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Why do atheists ignore Biblical context?

Dr_Obvious
Posts: 551
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10/10/2014 4:05:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I see it all the time. They make a claim that the Bible say this or that, then provide a verse out of context. What they fail to realize is that context is important. Have you ever overheard part of a conversation between two people, and you thought that they said something entirely different from what they meant? It happens all the time and I believe that atheists would say that context is important in most things, yet they deny that it applies to Scripture as well. A certain member of this site is famous for this. Whenever someone tries to educate him, he claims that they are trying to make the text say something else. This is not the case. A good example is the apparent discrepancy in the New Testament, about the day of Pentecost. Two different accounts give a different time for the events they describe. But is it really a contradiction? The answer is no. Both accounts were written to a group of people in different geographical locations, and they had different methods for telling time. So the contradiction disappears, yet atheists still bring it up in their arguments. As you can see, context is important, regardless what some atheists claim. In order to understand Scripture, you must study it; not just read it, like any other book.
Beastt
Posts: 5,135
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10/10/2014 4:42:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Why do Christians believe they have the correct interpretation, based on the context, when they have 38,000 different denominations, all based on different interpretations of the Bible?

There is no single, conclusive, accepted context for the Bible, which is why we end up with tens of thousands of different Christian interpretations. Meanwhile, atheists tend to read what the book says, and are far more likely to hold only one interpretation - what the book actually says.

And please... PLEASE provide the context in which human sacrifice to God is moral, in which slavery is moral, in which rape is moral and in which killing infants is moral. Christians love to go off on the context evasion, but fall rather silent when asked to provide any context - biblical or not - which makes many of these biblical barbaric atrocities moral.
"If we believe absurdities we shall commit atrocities." -- Voltaire
Cryo
Posts: 202
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10/10/2014 6:05:34 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Yes, there are atheists and other criticizers who haven't actually read and studied the bible. There are also Christians who haven't studied the bible. There will always be misinformed people on both sides, but fortunately they're not the ones that people really pay attention to. The ones people are listening to, the debaters, scholars and writers, have actually done their homework. They make the arguments that people hold on to.

Besides, there's only so much biblical context can do for your argument. When I hear terms like "biblical context" or "historical context", it's almost always as a defense of something in the bible.

Slavery for example, which God clearly has no issues with, is often countered with something like "Well you have to understand the context of the times they were living in..." or "Yeah but it wasn't slavery like we think about it..."

Women's rights is another one. When I mention 1st Timothy 2:12 or Ephesians 5:22 and ask why God felt women shouldn't have equal rights, they bring up "historical context" and "biblical context". I'm told, "No but you have to understand how we should interpret it today..." or some other confusing excuse.

It's ridiculous. If God can simply command people to not murder, steal or work on the sabbath, then he can surely command people to not own slaves or to give women equal rights.

The Bible was clearly written by primitive, ignorant, superstitious men. There's nothing about it that would suggest divine inspiration.
NotTodayWeSay
Posts: 7
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10/10/2014 6:16:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/10/2014 4:05:10 PM, Dr_Obvious wrote:
I see it all the time. They make a claim that the Bible say this or that, then provide a verse out of context. What they fail to realize is that context is important. Have you ever overheard part of a conversation between two people, and you thought that they said something entirely different from what they meant? It happens all the time and I believe that atheists would say that context is important in most things, yet they deny that it applies to Scripture as well. A certain member of this site is famous for this. Whenever someone tries to educate him, he claims that they are trying to make the text say something else. This is not the case. A good example is the apparent discrepancy in the New Testament, about the day of Pentecost. Two different accounts give a different time for the events they describe. But is it really a contradiction? The answer is no. Both accounts were written to a group of people in different geographical locations, and they had different methods for telling time. So the contradiction disappears, yet atheists still bring it up in their arguments. As you can see, context is important, regardless what some atheists claim. In order to understand Scripture, you must study it; not just read it, like any other book.

I'm sorry, but how is the example of the Pentacost quotes, a claim against contradictions in the bible? If there are two accounts of one event that have inconsistent details how can they work together?

Contradiction definition
a situation in which inconsistent elements are present.

But you missed a better example than the Pentacost discrepancy, and that is the 4 different accounts of the resurrection. Not only do each account have time contradictions, but also people involved, vacancy of the tomb, and what was said. Not only that, but when these passages were written, hundreds of years have passed since the events happened, so they aren't even first hand accounts. How are you meant to justify context behind accounts that falter on details?
Oh yes, we can all agree that when we look at the overall meaning of the events that took place, and seriously gloss over the minor details, that it's the resurrection is what's important. But why should we even take that "context"as true, when what people claim happened can't even document it properly?
You are right context is important, but that is possibly the only true thing you said in your argument, to then to say two accounts with details that don't match up are not discrepancies to each other, is in itself, a paradox.
"What do we say to the Grim Reaper?" "Not Today!"