Topic 1.1.1
Now we know more
MICRO TOPIC 1.1.1

Now we know more

More than Saint Augustine
He did the best with what he had in 400 AD
This has nothing to do with godliness or intelligence.
This is just acknowledging more information today than ever before.
We can now understand the Bible better than at any time in history because we have a massive amount of scholarly information from manuscripts, linguistics, archaeology and science not available to early church fathers.

Word of God

Christianity does NOT come from the Bible. Christianity comes from the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Bible is not the source, but rather the record, of Christianity.

The Bible tells about important events leading up to the birth of Jesus (Old Testament), Jesus' life and teachings (Gospels), growth of the early church (Acts), instructions to the early church (Letters) and a glimpse into the future (Revelation).

The Old Testament is the holy record of Judaism The New Testament is the holy record of Christianity.

All Christians believe that the New Testament is the basis for Christian belief and practice – the Word of God for everyone today – written by eye witnesses, keeping Jesus' message free from re-writing and distortion over time.

Bible content

There is universal agreement on the content of the Bible. There is not a Catholic Bible and a Protestant Bible ... or an English Bible and a French Bible.

There is only ONE BIBLE but many translations of it from the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. Problems with the Bible are not from disputed content, but from language interpretation.

The English word 'bible' comes from the Latin word 'biblia,' meaning books. When capitalized and preceded by the word 'the' it means holy books. As we experience the Bible today, our single printed volume is 66 small books bound together within one cover, about 1,200 pages in total, arranged in approximate historical sequence.

The Bible by number of pages:

  • 77% is the 39 books of the Old Testament. (Catholics and Orthodox include a dozen non-conflicting additional books). The Old Testament is a record of how God dealt with the Israelites (Jewish people), before Jesus.
  • 10% is the four gospels, eye-witness accounts of the life of Jesus Christ.
  • 3% is the book of Acts, an account of the teachings and growth of the early church.
  • 8% is 21 letters of instruction from apostles (those who had been taught by Jesus personally) to new churches springing up throughout the Roman Empire.
  • 2% is the book Revelation, the Apostle John's vision about heaven

Jews,Christians and Muslims all believe in the Old Testament, but the New Testament is uniquely Christian.

SAINT AUGUSTINE AS EXAMPLE

Tradition set by early theologians

Role of theologians

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a theologian as 'a specialist in theology'. It defines theology as 'the study of God and of God's relation to the world.'

Christians believe that our best knowledge of God is through the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, as recorded in the Bible.

Christian theologians help us understand the Bible, its times and its message.

However, over the past twenty centuries, theologians have gradually ascribed much to the Bible that isn't even in the Bible. Instead of simplifying scripture, they have made it more complex, confusing and divisive.

There are now more than 2,500 different Christian denominations, each different – often considerably different – and each claiming to have the correct interpretation of the same Bible.

Every denomination has its own set of acceptable theologians who define and defend the doctrines for the group. And each group has its own set of acceptable seminaries to prepetuate, expand and modify its doctrines.

Now anyone can study scripture

There was a time when theologians, and pastors trained by theologians, were essential for transmitting the Bible message to the masses of people. Most people could not read or write, and source documents were not available to them. The only way to learn was to have faith in what the theologians, pastors and priests were saying.

But now all that has changed. Today ordinary people are well educated, perfectly capable of reading the Bible themselves, trusting God's holy spirit rather than church tradition to guide them.

All eye witnesses and Bible writers are deceased, so theology today is primarily a study of their writings, known to us as the New Testament. Of course, considerable care went into selecting the writings to be included in the New Testament, and the message is confirmed by the Holy Spirit and life-change.

All Christians agree that Christian belief and practice must be in accord with the New Testament.

Great men of God, but didn't know as much as we know now.

Some of names of influential theologians of the first few centuries of Christianity include Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origen, Athanasius, Jerome and Augustine.

Saint Augustine

Other than the Apostle Paul, no one has had greater influence on shaping Christian doctrine than Saint Augustine of Hippo (Algeria).

His interpretation of scripture has shaped many doctrines that carry over to this day in Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant churches, including his concept of original sin which is explored in depth in scripture on this site.

Pronounced.

We have same sources. Lived 400 years after Jesus. Bible was Latin?

Wrote xxx books, now have xxx sermons.

Augustine's limitations

Consider Saint Ausustine's situation:

He lived in Africa, a thousands of mile from where Jesus and the apostles lived, taught and started churches.

He lived 400 years later. To long for word-of-mouth to be reliable. Long enough for many religious interpretation to form.

Never knew Greek, master at Latin. We can get closer to the truth.

One thousand years before the printing press. Did best he could. But we can do even better.

This website challenges two of the doctrines promulgated by Saint Augustine: original sin and predestination, with Bible statements and reasons.

WE KNOW MORE THAN AUGUSTINE

Sounds audacious, but true

We know more

It sounds audacious to say ...

Same Greek scripture, now more scholarship.

One thousand years before the printing press. Did best he could. But we can do even better.

Man of God

View from this site

Nothing wrong with adjusting to new info

Essentially agree, but challenge Saint Augustine on doctrines of original sin and predestination.

If day, then death before Adam

If death before Adam, then not Adam cause death

Understandable and relevant the culture.

Specialists usually have constituencies.

NEXT
Are the Genesis creation 'days' 24 hours ... or longer?
Why does it matter?
SITE IN EARLY STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT
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