September 17, 2014
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Letters
The Bible isn’t a textbook

To the Editor:

Erik Thorp recently (March 21) lamented that the Executive Climate Change Council inconsiderately wants to stop man’s depredations against the environment. He cited Bible verses supposedly illustrating man’s foolishness in attempting to correct Earth’s problems because such efforts are beyond our powers. Seriously? We should consider selected verses from a 4,000-year-old book concerning present conditions the authors could have no knowledge about?

If you are going to use the Bible as a science textbook, then you must believe the world is flat, supported by columns, and that the heavens are solid. You must believe that bats are birds, snakes can talk, and fish can swallow a human whole (then spit him out without their digestive juices causing any harm to the human). You must believe there was light before the sun, sea creatures before plant life, and a shield of water surrounding the planet before the mythical flood.

Given that there are so many inaccuracies and mistakes in just this small compilation, why should we consider using Mr. Thorp’s edicts as justification for ignoring earthly problems? If there is no need for man to stop polluting, then let’s just let garbage litter the streets, dump our motor oil in reservoirs, knock down the dams holding back coal ash, pump sewage directly into rivers, and put lead back into gasoline. According to Mr. Thorp, nothing we do will in any way cause an increase in greenhouse gases, smog, pollution, or the wholesale destruction of the species.

You see, he knows the Truth. He read it in a book. And it’s a good book because it doesn’t have any of those disturbing things like statistics, and theories, and facts – those pesky things that make you think.

 

Barry Nordin

Warwick


Comments
12 comments on this item

You are clearly an atheist and a jerk Barry. By the way, you champion statistics and facts but claim the Bible is 4,000 years old? What a dunce. It was written after the death of Christ. A scientist like you can figure out the age of the good book. This is the year of our Lord 2014. Deduct a couple of decades and you'll have the approximate age.

By the way, a whale can swallow a human whole. Also, mr. scientist, a whale is not a fish. It is a mammal.

For someone pointing out mistakes you certainly are full of them.

God Bless!

David Barry, 'tis you who is full of it, and jerkish. The Bible is a collection of writings, the earliest of which were set down more than 3500 years ago. The animal referred to in the Book of Jonah, depending on translation, may be a fish OR a whale.

As you state, "For someone pointing out mistakes you certainly are full of them."

God Bless!

The Bible is not anti-environment. The Pope is constantly saying how people need to be morally more responsible with Earth.

Just for clarity sake, the passages referenced by Mr. Thorp were from both the Old and New Testaments, meaning Mr. Nordin's approximation of "4,000 years ago" may not be entirely inaccurate.

While the book of Isaiah predates Christ by perhaps only a century or so, the Book of Psalms is far older, perhaps 3,500 years or so, and the Book of Job may very well predate the Pentateuch placing it more or less at the 4,000 year mark. So before you accuse others of ignorance, perhaps a little basic research.

OK professorX....those are passages from the old testament which may or may not have been written about 3500 years ago. The BIBLE is the old and new testaments and was cleary written less than 2000 years ago. Definitions matter, particularly to someone criticising lack of scientific knowledge.

The problem starts with the very existence of something called the "Executive Climate Change Council". Weren't these the same guys warning us about "...the coming Ice Age" not so long ago? None of this, of course, has anything to do with "global warming", "global cooling", or the hip new difference splitter, "climate change". Rather, it has everything to do with a basic distrust/dislike of capitalism and western market economies on the part of a few trust fund recovering hippies When Al Gore begins to heat his sprawling carbon footprint with windmills, I'll begin to pay attention.

Davebarry,

I agree, definition matter, which is why it matters when certain books of the Bible were composed. The Bible is not one book, and was most definitely not written during one period of time; to imply otherwise is simply bad history. The books of the New Testament alone span several centuries of composition. So, while the books which comprise the current Bible were indeed compiled less than 2,000 years ago, the writing of those books is far, far older. As you said sir, definitions matter: the writing of a text and the compiling of several texts into one tome is not the same thing.

Professor X....the book 'THE BIBLE' was not written thousand of years ago. While some of the writings certainly preceeded Christ, the book itself is much younger. The new testament Gospels were written about 60 years AD, more or less. I don't know what you don't understand about THE BIBLE. Not the writings, the BIBLE. Maybe you can find one somewhere and see what I'm talking about.

The counsel of Nicea, 325AD, assembled the works into what is largely the BIBLE. That makes the bible 1689 years old.

You seem to really struggle with the terms "written" and "compiled." I'm not disagreeing with your approximate date of the compilation of the Bible. Just pointing out when the works were actually written, which was the original point of the comments in the Letter to the Editor.

And please spare me your sarcasm... we are having a dialogue/discussion; nothing more.

JohnStark it is people like you who are trashing our environment.... our Earth.

Michael, Thank you for the personal slam while predictably ignoring my points. I'm sure you walk around your neighborhood twice a week, like I do, picking up trash. And I'm sure you do your part to ensure that dirt bags don't keep under-sized fish in order to preserve various species. That guy on the bicycle? That's me. But unlike you, I feel no need to issue a public declaration of some bizarre EarthLove. So as you're pounding your chest, say to yourself: "Frack, baby, frack."

I will admit that I still have far to go in learning about God, The Bible, and Christianity... but I do believe that 'our life is not ours' and we must work together to do God's work. So maybe everyone can stop arguing about dates (not that it isn't important) and try and just do the best they can do in their lifetime to help others. Then when we meet our maker, we can try and explain our choices and why (for many) His words or presence were not acknowledged with respect.

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