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Offline Ray1

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The Bible according to Eastern Europeans
« on: December 04, 2017, 11:59:47 AM »
Since there was a lot of talk about whether the Bible is the word of God or just a manmade book, I went back to a survey conducted recently that showed the religious beliefs of Eastern European countries.

It is worth noting that the countries where atheism is widespread, belief that the Bible is not the word of God, but a manmade book is also widespread.

For example, 58% of people in Estonia believe the Bible is not the word of God, and 45% of them don't believe in God's existence. Another example could be used in the Czech Republic where 66% don't believe in God, and 65% of them believe the Bible is not the word of God.

My point is, either atheism among people leads to the belief that the Bible is not the word of God or the other way around.

I welcome your take on this.


Belief in God Among Eastern Europeans Accroding to Pew Research Forums





Beliefs About the Bible Among Eastern Europeans





Source: http://www.pewforum.org/2017/05/10/religious-beliefs/#differing-views-on-whether-bible-is-the-word-of-god-should-be-taken-literally

Offline Iconodule

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Re: The Bible according to Eastern Europeans
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2017, 12:06:33 PM »
My point is, either atheism among people leads to the belief that the Bible is not the word of God or the other way around.

Yeah, it's not like decades of state-enforced atheism has anything to do with it.
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Offline augustin717

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Re: The Bible according to Eastern Europeans
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2017, 12:18:03 PM »
Oh Moldova
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: The Bible according to Eastern Europeans
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2017, 12:26:07 PM »
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Since there was a lot of talk about whether the Bible is the word of God or just a manmade book

If you're talking about me, again you've misunderstood. I didn't say that the Bible is "just a manmade book." I said there are human elements in it and there are God-inspired elements, there are literal elements in it and there are nonliteral elements in it. Which is which needs to be teased out contextually on a case-by-case basis using above all the rubric of Christ and the later Church. It's tough work, but can't be summed up as "just a manmade book" or even as "the Word of God but should not be taken literally."
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 12:27:26 PM by Volnutt »
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Offline Alpha60

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Re: The Bible according to Eastern Europeans
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2017, 12:36:09 PM »
Two things:

1. Oriental Orthodoxy wins, as usual (Armenia and Ethiopianare the only OO-majority countries, and Armenia is the only one without a substantial Islamic minority or infestation of Protestants to skew the data).

2. The numbers for Russia are truly impressive given the size of the Russian population as a whole; the Russian Orthodox Church is clearly the largest unified body of worshippers under one Patriarch believing in one doctrine (Catholicism has many Patriarchs under the Pope, and different Sui Juris churches in the RCC believe different doctrines; even different bishops in the same rite believe different doctrines; the faith of the Archbishop of Chicago and the Bishop of Milwaukee are as removed as the uCC is from the SBC).

3. It is highly likley that there is a large infestation of Protestant missionaries in Moldova, since that 58% bias in favor of Antiochene-literalism, which exceeds the total with absolute faih in God, looks suspicious, a strange outlier.

What would be rather more interesting to us would be a breakdown showing the percentage of Orthodox to non-Orthodox.  Since, strictly speaking, there is no real difference between a Jehovah’s Witness and an Atheist; both are in error and are characterized by evangelical fervor.  We have simply been blessed to not have had a J/W majority state.  Mormons on the other hand did manage to display their brutality as a government in the region they called “Deseret.”
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Offline Alpha60

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Re: The Bible according to Eastern Europeans
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2017, 12:37:54 PM »
My point is, either atheism among people leads to the belief that the Bible is not the word of God or the other way around.

Yeah, it's not like decades of state-enforced atheism has anything to do with it.

Zing!  I love you.  Or should I say, I offer you doulia;)
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

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This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline Ray1

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Re: The Bible according to Eastern Europeans
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2017, 12:52:09 PM »
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Since there was a lot of talk about whether the Bible is the word of God or just a manmade book

If you're talking about me, again you've misunderstood. I didn't say that the Bible is "just a manmade book." I said there are human elements in it and there are God-inspired elements, there are literal elements in it and there are nonliteral elements in it. Which is which needs to be teased out contextually on a case-by-case basis using above all the rubric of Christ and the later Church. It's tough work, but can't be summed up as "just a manmade book" or even as "the Word of God but should not be taken literally."

No Volnutt, I wasn't talking about you individually, but yes, you're included. What you just said is exactly what I believed when I was a Christian (not always, there were times when I fell into the Evangelical Protestant literal understanding), but in general,  I believed there were human elements, and elements "from" God. The Roman Catholic Church taught in general that the verses regarding God killing or commanding the killing of people is not from God, but simply the way the writers thought, basically, when they won a war, they claimed it was God who helped them to victory and helped them kill the people they killed, even though in reality God probably had nothing to do with it. That way of thinking though never made sense to me, it seemed like "a way out", nothing more or less, just an attempt to avoid the apparent conflict that exists in the Bible.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: The Bible according to Eastern Europeans
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2017, 02:14:27 PM »
Quote
Since there was a lot of talk about whether the Bible is the word of God or just a manmade book

If you're talking about me, again you've misunderstood. I didn't say that the Bible is "just a manmade book." I said there are human elements in it and there are God-inspired elements, there are literal elements in it and there are nonliteral elements in it. Which is which needs to be teased out contextually on a case-by-case basis using above all the rubric of Christ and the later Church. It's tough work, but can't be summed up as "just a manmade book" or even as "the Word of God but should not be taken literally."

No Volnutt, I wasn't talking about you individually, but yes, you're included.

Well, I am so vain I probably think this thread is about me :laugh:

What you just said is exactly what I believed when I was a Christian (not always, there were times when I fell into the Evangelical Protestant literal understanding), but in general,  I believed there were human elements, and elements "from" God. The Roman Catholic Church taught in general that the verses regarding God killing or commanding the killing of people is not from God, but simply the way the writers thought, basically, when they won a war, they claimed it was God who helped them to victory and helped them kill the people they killed, even though in reality God probably had nothing to do with it. That way of thinking though never made sense to me, it seemed like "a way out", nothing more or less, just an attempt to avoid the apparent conflict that exists in the Bible.

This is not intended to offend you, it's just my honest opinion. But I think that that kind of slipshod approach is a big problem with modern (at least pop) atheism. It's the counterpart approach to the creationist who latches on to some wrinkle in the biologists's understanding of the history of some species (eg. the giraffe's neck, the bombardier beetle) and yells, "Hah! Irreducible complexity! Checkmate evolutionists!"

The fact that there are difficulties and ambiguities in a topic does not completely invalid it.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 02:23:47 PM by Volnutt »
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: The Bible according to Eastern Europeans
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2017, 02:19:06 PM »
2. The numbers for Russia are truly impressive given the size of the Russian population as a whole; the Russian Orthodox Church is clearly the largest unified body of worshippers under one Patriarch believing in one doctrine

The Old Believers, the Old Calendarists, and Pat. Filaret would like a word with you.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 02:26:40 PM by Volnutt »
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The breath of Thine Holy Spirit inspires artists, poets and scientists. The power of Thy supreme knowledge makes them prophets and interpreters of Thy laws, who reveal the depths of Thy creative wisdom. Their works speak unwittingly of Thee. How great art Thou in Thy creation! How great art Thou in man!
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Offline Alpo

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Re: The Bible according to Eastern Europeans
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2017, 03:01:22 PM »
Oh Moldova

Care to elaborate? We don't have any specific stereotypes of Moldavians (aside them being Russians like all the other Eastern Europeans) but I'd like to have Romanian take on this.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 03:01:55 PM by Alpo »
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: The Bible according to Eastern Europeans
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2017, 03:19:31 PM »
Oh Moldova

Care to elaborate? We don't have any specific stereotypes of Moldavians (aside them being Russians like all the other Eastern Europeans) but I'd like to have Romanian take on this.

I think the stereotype is that they're the rednecks of Romania.
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The breath of Thine Holy Spirit inspires artists, poets and scientists. The power of Thy supreme knowledge makes them prophets and interpreters of Thy laws, who reveal the depths of Thy creative wisdom. Their works speak unwittingly of Thee. How great art Thou in Thy creation! How great art Thou in man!
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Offline Ray1

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Re: The Bible according to Eastern Europeans
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2017, 08:59:26 AM »
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Since there was a lot of talk about whether the Bible is the word of God or just a manmade book

If you're talking about me, again you've misunderstood. I didn't say that the Bible is "just a manmade book." I said there are human elements in it and there are God-inspired elements, there are literal elements in it and there are nonliteral elements in it. Which is which needs to be teased out contextually on a case-by-case basis using above all the rubric of Christ and the later Church. It's tough work, but can't be summed up as "just a manmade book" or even as "the Word of God but should not be taken literally."

No Volnutt, I wasn't talking about you individually, but yes, you're included.

Well, I am so vain I probably think this thread is about me :laugh:

What you just said is exactly what I believed when I was a Christian (not always, there were times when I fell into the Evangelical Protestant literal understanding), but in general,  I believed there were human elements, and elements "from" God. The Roman Catholic Church taught in general that the verses regarding God killing or commanding the killing of people is not from God, but simply the way the writers thought, basically, when they won a war, they claimed it was God who helped them to victory and helped them kill the people they killed, even though in reality God probably had nothing to do with it. That way of thinking though never made sense to me, it seemed like "a way out", nothing more or less, just an attempt to avoid the apparent conflict that exists in the Bible.

This is not intended to offend you, it's just my honest opinion. But I think that that kind of slipshod approach is a big problem with modern (at least pop) atheism. It's the counterpart approach to the creationist who latches on to some wrinkle in the biologists's understanding of the history of some species (eg. the giraffe's neck, the bombardier beetle) and yells, "Hah! Irreducible complexity! Checkmate evolutionists!"

The fact that there are difficulties and ambiguities in a topic does not completely invalid it.

The Bible is more complicated than I might like to admit, if it weren't, there would be no colleges built dedicated to studying it. And there are times when some atheists use the same approach used by fundamentalist Christians, maybe because those atheists were born and raised with such understanding, or because it makes Christianity easy to attack. But also that doesn't deny the fact that some of us don't buy into the argument that the Bible shouldn't be taken literally at times. Take the flood story, for example, there are some Christians who consider the story fictional and should be understood symbolically, and that would be easy to do if it wasn't to the way the story is presented. There is plenty of details in the story that makes it difficult to imagine the author meant it symbolically. It would have been easier for many of us to accept the claim that stories like the flood are symbolic, but as I said, some details go against such interpretations. So my point is yes, some atheists purposely take the Bible literally because it makes it easier to discredit Christianity, but there are some of us who take it literally other reasons that are related to the way specific stories are presented to us in the Bible.

Offline Alpha60

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Re: The Bible according to Eastern Europeans
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2017, 12:43:27 PM »
2. The numbers for Russia are truly impressive given the size of the Russian population as a whole; the Russian Orthodox Church is clearly the largest unified body of worshippers under one Patriarch believing in one doctrine

The Old Believers, the Old Calendarists, and Pat. Filaret would like a word with you.

The Old Believers and Old Calendarists (who I object to given that the Russian Orthodox Church is on the Old Calendar)  are tiny compared to the canonical Moscow Patriarchate.  I am just talking about the Russian church; the canonical Russian church is orders of magnitude larger than any other church in Russia and accounts for the majority of Orthodox faithful worldwide (I believe there are something like 200 million Russian Orthodox).  Due to the very unfortunate schisms, the Ukranian Orthodox Church is separated between the autonomous church under the MP, and the portions under the KP and one other Patriarch; if they were united and if the Eastern Catholics would end their schism with Holy Orthodoxy a Ukrainian church might be the second largest.  At present, that distinction falls on the Romanian Orthodox Patriarchate, the second largest EO jurisdiction, and the second largest Orthodox church overall is of course the most pious Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church, with around 30 million and 40 million, respectively.  I was taken aback by how much larger the Romanian church was in comparison to the Greek and Bulgarian churches, but I guess that is the way of things. 

I was also surprised to discover the Romanians have some truly exquisite church music, not just the  very good Byzantine Chant I had associated with them, but a wonderful repetoire of three and four part harmony, some of it imported from the Russian/Ukranian/Bulgarian corpus, but most of it original amd distinctive, sounding most like the very beautiful contemporary Greek Orthodox music by Michaelides, Tikey Zes and others which everyone seems to like to hate on in these parts.  It is just absolutely lovely music, and its a pity that some people are close minded enough to scorn it, in eiher the Romanian or contemporary Greek scenarios.

What is even more a pity is that the OP opts to scorn Christianity.  Tell me, Ray1, have you ever visited an Orthodox parish or made any attempt to experience our faith?  The purely intellectual arguments you put forward just ring hollow in the grand context of the liturgical experience of Holy Orthodoxy, which for me and others is like a mystical union of Heaven and Earth, in which the distinction between the two is blurred and we have a foretaste of timelessness, as paradoxical as that may sound.  For those of us who have been, seen, and made it a part of our lives, I don’t think you could present any possible evidence that would discourage us.

I for my part would believe in the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church even if scientists presneted compelling archaeological or cosmological evidence discrediting it.  The reason for this is that the Orthodox faith is so beautiful and profound, it, for me, at least, redefines Reason (Logos) and personalizes Reason in Jesus Christ.  Everything else is devoid of meaning, mere vanity.  Of late I have been purchasing some computers for a project and it has dawned upon me ultimately how vain and trite it all is, even the most beautiful ones.
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline Ray1

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Re: The Bible according to Eastern Europeans
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2017, 06:46:07 PM »

What is even more a pity is that the OP opts to scorn Christianity.  Tell me, Ray1, have you ever visited an Orthodox parish or made any attempt to experience our faith?  The purely intellectual arguments you put forward just ring hollow in the grand context of the liturgical experience of Holy Orthodoxy, which for me and others is like a mystical union of Heaven and Earth, in which the distinction between the two is blurred and we have a foretaste of timelessness, as paradoxical as that may sound.  For those of us who have been, seen, and made it a part of our lives, I don’t think you could present any possible evidence that would discourage us.

I for my part would believe in the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church even if scientists presneted compelling archaeological or cosmological evidence discrediting it.  The reason for this is that the Orthodox faith is so beautiful and profound, it, for me, at least, redefines Reason (Logos) and personalizes Reason in Jesus Christ.  Everything else is devoid of meaning, mere vanity.  Of late I have been purchasing some computers for a project and it has dawned upon me ultimately how vain and trite it all is, even the most beautiful ones.

Yes, I have, I visited a Greek Orthodox parish. And even though the Eastern Orthodox Church is not a friend of mine, whenever the subject of liturgy comes up with my friends, I have nothing bad to say. Quite the contrary, I talk about how beautiful the liturgy was, and how it felt like out of this world. How being there for 2 to 3 hours and leaving the church after that felt like I was somewhere else, not this Earth, but somewhere heavenly, and I still hold that view regardless of my beliefs or lack thereof.

It is good that experience for you is a good reason to believe, but people are different. What works for you may not work for others. Some people from different religions can also argue for their faith based on experience. I can't deny that my experience with the GOC when it comes to liturgy is one of the most amazing experiences I ever had, but that is not a good enough reason for me to believe. I can't just put aside all the issues and questions I have. It is not fair, I need to get these issues dealt with first, and then I can go from there.

Offline Volnutt

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Re: The Bible according to Eastern Europeans
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2018, 03:39:40 AM »
Quote
Since there was a lot of talk about whether the Bible is the word of God or just a manmade book

If you're talking about me, again you've misunderstood. I didn't say that the Bible is "just a manmade book." I said there are human elements in it and there are God-inspired elements, there are literal elements in it and there are nonliteral elements in it. Which is which needs to be teased out contextually on a case-by-case basis using above all the rubric of Christ and the later Church. It's tough work, but can't be summed up as "just a manmade book" or even as "the Word of God but should not be taken literally."

No Volnutt, I wasn't talking about you individually, but yes, you're included.

Well, I am so vain I probably think this thread is about me :laugh:

What you just said is exactly what I believed when I was a Christian (not always, there were times when I fell into the Evangelical Protestant literal understanding), but in general,  I believed there were human elements, and elements "from" God. The Roman Catholic Church taught in general that the verses regarding God killing or commanding the killing of people is not from God, but simply the way the writers thought, basically, when they won a war, they claimed it was God who helped them to victory and helped them kill the people they killed, even though in reality God probably had nothing to do with it. That way of thinking though never made sense to me, it seemed like "a way out", nothing more or less, just an attempt to avoid the apparent conflict that exists in the Bible.

This is not intended to offend you, it's just my honest opinion. But I think that that kind of slipshod approach is a big problem with modern (at least pop) atheism. It's the counterpart approach to the creationist who latches on to some wrinkle in the biologists's understanding of the history of some species (eg. the giraffe's neck, the bombardier beetle) and yells, "Hah! Irreducible complexity! Checkmate evolutionists!"

The fact that there are difficulties and ambiguities in a topic does not completely invalid it.

The Bible is more complicated than I might like to admit, if it weren't, there would be no colleges built dedicated to studying it. And there are times when some atheists use the same approach used by fundamentalist Christians, maybe because those atheists were born and raised with such understanding, or because it makes Christianity easy to attack. But also that doesn't deny the fact that some of us don't buy into the argument that the Bible shouldn't be taken literally at times. Take the flood story, for example, there are some Christians who consider the story fictional and should be understood symbolically, and that would be easy to do if it wasn't to the way the story is presented. There is plenty of details in the story that makes it difficult to imagine the author meant it symbolically. It would have been easier for many of us to accept the claim that stories like the flood are symbolic, but as I said, some details go against such interpretations. So my point is yes, some atheists purposely take the Bible literally because it makes it easier to discredit Christianity, but there are some of us who take it literally other reasons that are related to the way specific stories are presented to us in the Bible.

Sorry, just saw this.

Which details are you talking about specifically? The measurements of the Ark? That's about the only details I can think of that seem hard to fit into a symbolic framework. The clean animals would be brought on in sevens symbolic of completion and piety while the unclean need only the bare minimum to continue, the unclean raven (symbolic of human craftiness) abandons Noah while the pure dove returns to him with the symbol of God's abundant favor (olive oil), etc.

But regardless, I have no problem with the idea that the author(s) and redactor(s) of Genesis believed in it literally and intended it to be literal history, and in that case they were mistaken (at least in terms of the flood literally covering the globe, some historical core about a righteous monolater and his family taking animals aboard an ark during an especially brutal local flood some time in the early Bronze Age is still theoretically possible, and in fact given Noah's veneration as a Saint is likely to some extent required of an Orthodox Christian).

However, even if it's not literally true in any sense, that doesn't mean that the story is completely without value. It still serves as an important symbol of Christ as the Ark of Salvation, of Noah as the archetypal "last preacher of righteousness to a perverse generation," etc.

Adam and Eve, the Exodus, and other accounts can likely be read similarly. What matters to me is less what the human authors thought and more what God intended the story to be. Remember, I don't think it was His intention to give us infallible encyclopedias.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 03:40:25 AM by Volnutt »
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The breath of Thine Holy Spirit inspires artists, poets and scientists. The power of Thy supreme knowledge makes them prophets and interpreters of Thy laws, who reveal the depths of Thy creative wisdom. Their works speak unwittingly of Thee. How great art Thou in Thy creation! How great art Thou in man!
Akathist Hymn- Glory to God for All Things