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Christianity Is the Bible Misunderstood by Christians?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Astroboy, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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    By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made,
    And all the host of them . . . for He spake, and it was done;
    He commanded, and it stood fast.
    Psalm 33:6, 9


    Naam is the life-principle in all that lives,
    Naam is the foundation-stone of the Cosmos with its divisions.
    Naam is the Creator of Heavens and nether lands,
    Naam is the Manifester of all forms.
    Naam is the sub-strata of all regions,
    Naam is the liberator from all bondage
    Gauri M5

    ......................................................................................................

    That ye should shew forth the praises of him
    who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
    I Peter 2:9


    In utter darkness, the True Guru's Word shines forth into Light,
    In the company of the True Guru, all are rescued and saved.
    Gond M5

    ...................................................................................................
    to be continued.....
     
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  3. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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    Re: Is the Bible Misunderstood by Christians ?

    For the opening of the inner eye and ear, ethical culture is of paramount importance. Ethical life is a stepping stone to spirituality. Right conduct is a prerequisite for spiritual progress. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."

    Jesus Christ once said, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, we speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen."

    One of the Sikh Gurus also said the same thing: "Listen ye to the true testimony of the Saints, for they speak of that which they have seen."

    Purity of heart is very necessary for a pilgrim on the Path, for without it one cannot see the Light of God and hear the Voice of God. All scriptures speak of it. The Sermon on the Mount is clear enough on this point. In it Jesus deals with the realities of life. References to the "single eye" and the "Kingdom of God within," etc., pertain to the inner life. The inner and the outer are interdependent. Jesus has dealt with both the aspects of life: outer as well as inner. We have therefore to go step by step.

    Ethical life, as said before, precedes spiritual life. It consists of righteous living with life dedicated to the highest ideals: to wit, (1) Chastity or purity in thought, word and deed, for chastity is life and indulgence is death; (2) Universal love or love for all living creatures - in this way the self expands and tries to embrace the totality in one single sweep; (3) Selfless service, or service before self, which stems from the great reservoir of love for God, the very source and fountainhead of life; (4) Truthfulness - It comes in as a natural efflorescence from the above, for then one begins to be true to one's self. Of truthfulness or true living, Guru Nanak says, "Truth is higher than everything but higher still is true living."

    The Bible: "Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost"
    (II Peter I:21)

    Guru Nanak says, "Nanak only speaks what he is bidden," and "O Lalo! I only say that which my Lord speaks through me."
     
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  4. spnadmin

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    Re: Is the Bible Misunderstood by Christians ?

    Nam Jap ji

    This is a thread with an intriguing title. Where will it go?

    The Bible consists of 2 testaments -- Old and New -- and both testaments were written over many centuries. Not like SGGS which was compiled during the lifetime of the Gurus, the authors are known, primary sources (birs) have survived over time, and scholars, like Bhai Gurdas, who could provide insights from a contemporary perspective.

    Some of the books in the Old Testament in their current form may actually be compilations of several authors who span centuries themselves. For example, in the Book of Job, the way God is depicted changes noticeably, suggesting that there was more than one author and that the Judaic view of God evolved during the time the book was being written.

    Fundamentalist Christians, Evangelical Christians, Eastern Christians, Roman Catholics, and many of the "mainstream' Protestant groups differ so dramatically in their understanding of both testaments that the translations these groups use are different, and were translated to reflect differences in understanding. Roman Catholic bibles include 12 different translations -- and 4 or 5 of these are not considered "official." There are 23 different translations in use by Christian churches and I do not know how many are used in the Jewish religion.

    Is the Bible misunderstood by Christians? If you think controversies on SPN get heated, SPN is tame.

    Going to be a good thread.
     
  5. Astroboy

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    Re: Is the Bible Misunderstood by Christians ?

    Aad Ji,

    Actually I already changed the title once and am open to suggestions regarding the title. And I hope there will be more participants posting in this thread. There is no definite direction to where this discussion will lead to and it will be interesting to read many views and opinions.
     
  6. spnadmin

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    Re: Is the Bible Misunderstood by Christians ?

    NamJap --

    The title is a good title. But it could be that it self-defeats in a Sikh forum. Maybe people think -- well yes I don't understand the Bible so why comment.

    But that is just my hypothesis. Hmm, I wonder what a different title could b e? Let me think and get back to you.
     
  7. Astroboy

    Astroboy Malaysia
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    Re: Is the Bible Misunderstood by Christians ?

    Sweet tongue imbued with humility, O Nanak! is the essence of all virtues.

    God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble [James 4:6]

    ______________________________________________________________


    The heavenly city is radiant with the light of ÍASPIS
    (v 11) and this jewel stone also decorates God’s throne (Rev. 4:3).

    The Palace of the Lord God is beautiful. Within it are flawless diamonds,
    gems, rubies and pearls. A fortress of gold surrounds this Source of Nectar.
    SGGS Page 17

    _______________________________________________________________


    Then the Eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the Ears of the deaf
    shall be unstopped. Then shall the Lame man leap as an hart,
    and the Tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
    Isaiah 35:5-6


    ਸੁਣਿਐ ਅੰਧੇ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਰਾਹੁ ॥
    सुणिऐ अंधे पावहि राहु ॥
    Suṇi­ai anḏẖė pāvahi rāhu.
    Listening-even the blind find the Path.
    Guru Nanak Dev - view Shabad/Paurhi/Salok

    ___________________________________________________________

    The kingdom of God cometh not with observation;
    Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, Lo there!
    for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

    Luke 17:20-21

    ਅੰਤਰਗਤਿ ਤੀਰਥਿ ਮਲਿ ਨਾਉ ॥
    अंतरगति तीरथि मलि नाउ ॥
    Anṯargaṯ ṯirath mal nā­o.
    cleanse yourself with the Name, at the sacred shrine deep within.
    Guru Nanak Dev - view Shabad/Paurhi/Salok
     
  8. Sikh80

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    Re: Is the Bible Misunderstood by Christians ?

    All saints and sages have come here to give us lessons of basic Moral science that we all learn in early days of schooling. We forgot those lessons as the subject never carried any marks. All sages belong to a class and taught us in a way that they had tested to reach the final goal ,the Truth. It has been done by very many. There may be difference in the path selected but the ultimate goal remains the same. There is no difference in the saints/seers/Prophets .They had no religion and no preference for any caste and creed or clime.All of have them have the same fraternity.

    All the messages are plain and simple. The interpretors made the difference and divided this world into so called faiths. All faiths are good and all are to be respected as the man is the same and so is his intrinsic nature as already mentioned by 'jyotijahal' ji in her recent post in the thread of 'detachment. ............."started by aad ji.


    Have a look at the following. This is how a modern Hindu interpretor gives an introduction to his commentary on Gita.
    Hats Off.!
    Please let your mental taste buds taste the essence .
    Qoute
    "But since realized sages dwell in the essence, they can recognize ways that are at variance with it. They are capable of representing truth in a definitive form and prompting other men to its pursuit. This is what all seer-prophets-Ram, Mahabir, Buddh, Jesus, and
    Muhammad-have done. And so it was with the more recent Tulsidas, Kabir, and Guru Nanak. Deplorably, however, after a sage has departed from the world, instead of following the path shown by him, his followers gradually begin to revere and worship such physical objects as the places of his birth and death or the spots he had frequented during his life.

    In other words, they proceed to idolize the great Soul. Their memory of the sage is indeed sharp and strong at the beginning, but it gets blurred with time, and men come increasingly under the sway of misguided and false notions that finally crystallize into stupid, irrational practices." Unquote

    Above Quoted from 'Summary' of 'Introduction to Gita'.

     
  9. spnadmin

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    Re: Is the Bible Misunderstood by Christians ?

    Nam Jap -- Yes, I have found several examples of this without trying where there is this close match. They just drop into my lap. What puzzles me is this -- we know that Nanaak traveled throughout the Holy Land. Is there any documentary evidence that talks about more than his conversations in Mecca and Baghdad ? Anything written that summarizes his experiences. Did he have contact with Jewish scholars, or Muslims who sold holy books. Nanak could be the link as he traveled to hear what other faiths had to say. He distilled from this experience the keys, as he saw them, to a blessed life. There was also in the region from China to the Mediterranean trade routes, lively trade in manuscripts for many centuries before Nanak. In the Turkic and Persian courts Muslim scholars knew and were conversant in both Testaments of the Bible. So this does not surprise me. But there is no way to prove connections without evidence.
     
  10. svea00

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    Re: Is the Bible Misunderstood by Christians ?

    This is actually a very hot thread!
    I´ve been discussing this issue lately with several people. I read a book about indian gurus lately (swedish book/author, nevermind). The author gathered also some information and claimed that Jesus might have gone to India and studied the religious and medical knowledge of his time there before he became himself an active "guru". I don´t know myself that much about the bible as I never read it fully, but I can tell that I´d like to read the new testament now that I know more about other, eastern religions in a neutral translation. I was brought up and educated as a roman catholic and always told to read the bible in a certain -church conform- way. I begin to feel that this whole religion was a huge misunderstanding. One more point to sikhi that claimes all religions to be equal and lead to the same aim ;).

    As you might know there are also some scrips that didn´t make it into the bible called the apocyphas. Here I gathered some examples from the gospel of thomas, that decribes a more gnostic view on the teachings of Jesus.
    (I´m not as good as namjap with gathering also the fitting parts from the sggs) - enjoy it:


    "If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not bring it forth, what you do not have within you will kill you." Thomas v. 70

    In Thomas v.3, Jesus says...the Kingdom of God is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty, and it is you who are that poverty.

    In Thomas v. 77 where Jesus said...I am the light that shines over all things. I am everywhere. From me all came forth, and to me all return. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift a stone, and you will find me there.
     
  11. spnadmin

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    Re: Is the Bible Misunderstood by Christians ?

    svea00

    As I was reading what you said -- this idea came just like a pop-up-window! It may have been your mention of Jesus before he became an active guru.

    The very first sangat of Christians following the death of Jesus was not in Palestine, not in Greece, not in Rome, not along the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea. The very first sangat was in India, in the area that is now Mylapore, where Thomas the Apostle is buried. Also in Kerala. They were converted by Thomas the Apostle, also called Thomas the Doubter. I can even remember a picture of an early Christian church in that general area.

    Read this. It is fascinating.
    Syro-Malabar Catholic Church - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Also this one. It gives census data
    http://members.tripod.com/~Berchmans/early.html

    So this a way of knowing that Biblical texts would reach India 1,500 years before the birth of Nanak. India has a rich intellectual history, so why am I surprised.

    This is fascinating -- I am reading and reading about this. The early Christians in India had a liturgy influenced by Jewish rites (Thomas was Jewish). But there was in this area already a large Jewish community, Knanayas. Again the possibility of points of contact for exchanges of religious ideas and religious documents. That had to be a fertile ground for intellectual activity. Jews, Dravidians, Syrian Christians, Jains, Hindus, etc.

    Thus the community consists of people from many ethnic groups of Kerala including the pre-Christian era Jewish diaspora, different trading diaspora of Muziris, many local Dravidian converts, Syriac Christian settlers of successive centuries and the Knanayas. [11]

    Nam Jap, I have found a new thing to study.
     
  12. Archived_Member1

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    Re: Is the Bible Misunderstood by Christians ?

    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    2 The same was in the beginning with God.
    3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
    4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
    John 1:1-4



    guramukh baanee breham hai sabadh milaavaa hoe ||
    The Word of the Gurmukh is God Himself. Through the Shabad, we merge in Him.
    SGGS p. 39



    i've always found this one interesting. :)
     
  13. carolineislands

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    Re: Is the Bible Misunderstood by Christians ?

    Sikh80 I couldn't agree more.

    YES the Bible is misunderstood by Christians! The ideology we call Christianity doesn't have much to do with Jesus at all. What we have today is a *******ed mixed up interpretation of the religion that was put together by *******ed, mixed up people with so many agendas it couldn't even be listed. Triune God? Where did THAT come from? Well, pre-Christian pagan religions, of course. Christians today don't have a clue where the rituals they perform actually come from. Lining up in a cathedral to go eat little crackers that symbolize Jesus's flesh? Don't get me started.

    Jesus was nothing like the religion you see today. My brother, who is a mainline conservative Christian pastor once asked me why I didn't attend church services. My answer was puzzling to him -- "Because I'm afraid Jesus will come back and catch me there."

    Funny thing is -- I meant it!

    I think if Jesus is looking down on the state of Christianity today he's probably just shaking his head and wondering why he bothered.
     
  14. spnadmin

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    Re: Is the Bible Misunderstood by Christians ?

    Caroline ji

    I enjoyed your story very much. I stopped going to church when I was 14 because mumbo jumbo always bothered me. And everyone was so solemn all the time. Gurdwara is not anything like that and I always leave feeling energetic, and full of fun -- strange maybe.

    Also, is anyone else bothered by that automatic delete function that inserts asterisks on its own? There is something very prudish about that. For example you can't ever type ****her -- if you don't know what I just typed it is the adverb meaning to go a longer distance. Today I tried to type the apostle Thomas was a *** and I had to change it to Jewish. Gosh!!! I am going to find out if Aman can adjust this.
     
  15. carolineislands

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    Re: Is the Bible Misunderstood by Christians ?

    I forgot the word I typed but I know it wasn't a cuss word. LOL I started to put *******ized -- the word for causing something to be illegitimate...

    LOL I never would have EVER seen the word **** in ****her if you hadn't of told me that.
     
  16. carolineislands

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    Re: Is the Bible Misunderstood by Christians ?

    ROFL! My grandmother used to buy racy novels and a black magic marker and cross out the sex scenes and cuss words after she read them!

    Too funny.
     
  17. carolineislands

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    Re: Is the Bible Misunderstood by Christians ?

    The Lost Years of Jesus: The Life of Saint Issa - Notovitch


    Ancient scrolls reveal that Jesus spent seventeen years in India and Tibet
    From age thirteen to age twenty-nine, he was both a student and teacher of Buddhist and Hindu holy men
    The story of his journey from Jerusalem to Benares was recorded by Brahman historians
    Today they still know him and love him as St. Issa. Their 'buddha'
    From the above sited website. It's actually a pretty interesting story!
     
  18. spnadmin

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    Re: Is the Bible Misunderstood by Christians ?

    There have to be primary source documents like the one you just noted that cover several centuries where sharing of religious concepts can be traced.
     
  19. Astroboy

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    Re: Is the Bible Misunderstood by Christians ?


    King James Bible
    Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

    ਗੁਰ ਗਿਆਨ ਦੀਪਕ ਉਜਿਆਰੀਆ ॥੧॥
    गुर गिआन दीपक उजिआरीआ ॥१॥
    Gur gi­ān ḏīpak uji­ārī­ā. ||1||
    The lamp of the Guru's spiritual wisdom illuminates and enlightens. ||1||
    Guru Arjan Dev - view Shabad/Paurhi/Salok
    __________________________________________________________________


    And he showed me a pure river of Water of Life, clear as crystal,
    proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
    John Revelation 22:1

    ਹਮਾਰੀ ਪਿਆਰੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਧਾਰੀ ਗੁਰਿ ਨਿਮਖ ਨ ਮਨ ਤੇ ਟਾਰੀ ਰੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
    Hamārī pi­ārī amriṯ ḏẖārī gur nimakẖ na man ṯė tārī rė. ||1|| rahā­o.
    My Beloved has brought forth a river of nectar. The Guru has not held it back from my mind, even for an instant. ||1||Pause||
    Guru Arjan Dev - [SIZE=-1]view Shabad/Paurhi/Salok[/SIZE]
     
  20. carolineislands

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    Re: Is the Bible Misunderstood by Christians ?

    "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."

    That is one of my favorite songs -- I sing it a LOT!
     
  21. Astroboy

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    Re: Is the Bible Misunderstood by Christians ?

    Caroline Ji,
    Your input is good. Here's an excerpt from Never Dance to the World's Tune:

    Divali day an Indian Festival is celebrated in sweet remembrance of important past events. The true meaning behind the Festival of Lights should be practiced, and that is to enkindle the light, the true Light of the Lord, within. On this day the people clean the house, throw out all the worn-out unwanted things, whitewash the walls, and light the lamps and candles; but this is outer Divali. Truly speaking, Divali will be fruitful if the inner Light is lighted. When the Light is lit inside, that is an indication of the manifestation of God. This is achieved only when all the dirt and filth in the heart is washed away.

    (Excerpts from : NEVER DANCE TO THE WORLD'S TUNE)
     

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