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religions that use the bible

religions that use the bible

religions that use the bible

Hello. Welcome to solsarin. This post is about “religions that use the bible“.

Bible

The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλίαtà biblía, ‘the books’) is a collection of religious texts, writings, or scriptures sacred in Christianity, Judaism, Samaritanism, Rastafari, and many other faiths. It appears in the form of an anthology, a compilation of texts of a variety of forms. These texts include theologically-focused historical accounts, hymns, prayers, proverbs, parables, didactic letters, admonitions, essays, poetry, and prophecies. Believers also generally consider the Bible to be a product of divine inspiration.

The Hebrew Bible shares most of its content with its ancient Greek translation, the Septuagint, and in turn was the basis for the Christian Old Testament. The Christian New Testament is a collection of writings by early Christians written in Koine Greek. The books that are included in the Bible by a tradition or group are called a biblical canon. A number of biblical canons have evolved, with overlapping and diverging contents from denomination to denomination. Among Christian denominations there is some disagreement about what should be included in the canon, primarily about the biblical apocrypha, a list of works that are regarded with varying levels of respect or recognition.

Different attitudes

Attitudes towards the Bible also differ among Christian groups. Roman Catholics, High Church Anglicans, Methodists and Eastern Orthodox Christians stress the harmony and importance of both the Bible and sacred tradition, while many Protestant churches focus on the idea of sola scriptura, or scripture alone. This concept rose to prominence during the Reformation, and many denominations today support the use of the Bible as the only infallible source of Christian teaching. Others, though, advance the concept of prima scriptura in contrast, meaning scripture primarily or scripture mainly.

The Bible has had a profound influence on literature and history, especially in the Western world, where the Gutenberg Bible was the first book printed using movable type. According to the March 2007 edition of Time, the Bible “has done more to shape literature, history, entertainment, and culture than any book ever written. Its influence on world history is unparalleled, and shows no signs of abating.” With estimated total sales of over five billion copies, it is widely considered to be the best-selling book of all time. As of the 2000s, it sells approximately 100 million copies annually.

Etymology

The English word Bible is derived from Koinē Greek: τὰ βιβλίαromanized: ta biblia, meaning “the books” (singular βιβλίονbiblion). The word βιβλίον itself had the literal meaning of “scroll” and came to be used as the ordinary word for “book”. It is the diminutive of βύβλος byblos, “Egyptian papyrus”, possibly so called from the name of the Phoenician sea port Byblos (also known as Gebal) from whence Egyptian papyrus was exported to Greece.

By the 2nd century BCE, Jewish groups began calling the books of the Bible the “scriptures”, and they referred to them as “holy”, or in Hebrew, כִּתְבֵי הַקֹּדֶשׁ (Kitvei hakkodesh), and Christians now commonly call the Old and New Testaments of the Christian Bible “the Holy Bible” (in Greek, τὰ βιβλία τὰ ἅγιαtà biblía tà ágia) or “the Holy Scriptures” (η Αγία Γραφήe Agía Graphḗ).

Between 386 and 388

The Greek ta biblia (lit. “little papyrus books”) was “an expression Hellenistic Jews used to describe their sacred books” (the Septuagint). Christian use of the term can be traced to c. 223 CE. The biblical scholar F. F. Bruce notes that Chrysostom appears to be the first writer (in his Homilies on Matthew, delivered between 386 and 388) to use the Greek phrase ta biblia (“the books”) to describe both the Old and New Testaments together.

Medieval Latin biblia is short for biblia sacra “holy book”, while biblia in Greek and Late Latin is neuter plural (gen. bibliorum). It gradually came to be regarded as a feminine singular noun (biblia, gen. bibliae) in medieval Latin, and so the word was loaned as singular into the vernaculars of Western Europe. Latin biblia sacra “holy books” translates Greek τὰ βιβλία τὰ ἅγια tà biblía tà hágia, “the holy books”.

religions that use the bible
religions that use the bible

In the early 1840s, Joseph Smith received a revelation in which the Lord commanded the latter-day saints to “seek after” their dead, and ensure that their ancestors who may have died without the saving ordinance of baptism, were baptized by proxy and by priesthood authority in the temple, presumably so that all those who had passed without receiving a proper baptism would have the opportunity to understand and accept the deep symbolism of the ordinance and its necessity even though they had never been given that opportunity in this life.

So Mormons, who perform and receive proxy baptisms for the dead in temples, interpret this scripture to mean that the ancient saints were doing the same thing – and that the practice was lost or ceased sometime after the apostles died during what Mormons refer to as “The Great Apostasy.”

40 differing interpretations

Other Christian sects, however, interpret this scripture in a variety of wildly different ways. B.M. Foschini, for example, offered up 40 differing interpretations of this scripture over a half-century ago in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly.

Most of these interpretations seem to me like awfully convoluted ways of denying that Joseph Smith might have actually received a revelation that resolves a conflict inherent in other sects between the critical importance (if not absolute necessity) of baptism as clearly stated by Jesus in John 3:5 and elsewhere in The Bible, and the apparent injustice of God inherent in the fact that so much of humanity never even learns of Jesus Christ, much less has the opportunity to be baptized.

God

So that’s just the confusion over a single verse of The Bible. Amidst that kind of disagreement over everything from the importance of baptism and the priesthood to the very nature of God, the chances of getting an authoritative pronouncement from any human being (unless they’re a prophet) of which church or religion most closely adheres to The Bible is virtually nil.

If you ask with sincerity in faith, with trust in God and an open mind, perhaps over time as you listen to the still small voice that will probably answer you, and you continue to ask in faith and carefully consider the possibility that God will answer your prayer in ways you may not anticipate, your prayer will be answered in due time and you will eventually come to know which church or religion most closely adheres to The Holy Bible as it was revealed in times of old to the prophets and apostles who originally wrote it.

religions that use the bible
religions that use the bible

The Intersection of the Bible and Other Religions

Although the Bible nowhere discusses “other religions” as such, much in it is relevant to the subject. The OT includes repeated references to the deities and religious practices of the Egyptians, Canaanites, Philistines, and Babylonians. The NT world was populated with “many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’” (1 Cor. 8:5) and characterized by religious syncretism. But the religions of the ancient world have been replaced today by the so-called major world religions.

Biblical Themes and Other Religions

Even a cursory survey indicates that there are some similarities between Christian faith and other religions. Islam and Christianity, e.g., both believe in an eternal Creator God and a judgment to come after death. Both Jesus and Confucius taught a version of the Golden Rule, and both Christianity and Confucianism teach respect for one’s parents. Such similarities are not surprising and can be understood in light of the biblical teaching that all people, including adherents of other religions, have been created by God in his image (Gen. 1:26–27; 5:1–2) and that God has revealed himself in a general manner to all peoples through the created order.

But the differences between Christian faith and other religions are greater and more significant than any similarities.

1. God

The Bible teaches that there is one eternal Creator God who has created all else that exists (Genesis 1–2). Hinduism has theistic traditions, but it also includes polytheistic, monistic, and atheistic traditions. Confucianism’s views on the religious ultimate are unclear, and Buddhism explicitly denies the existence of an eternal Creator.

2. Death

Hinduism and Buddhism both accept the idea of multiple rebirths regulated by karma. The Bible, by contrast, teaches that there is only one life, after which all persons face judgment before God (Heb. 9:27; Rev. 20:11–15).

3. Sin

Many religions, particularly Hinduism and Buddhism, identify the root problem afflicting humankind as ignorance about the true nature of reality. But the Bible teaches that the problem is not ignorance but sin, that is, deliberate rejection of God and his ways (Isa. 59:2; Rom. 3:9–26). Moreover, contrary to Confucianism, the Bible teaches that after the fall of Adam and Eve all humankind has been corrupted by sin infecting their moral nature, so that people are not inherently good but sinful (Genesis 3; Rom. 3:9–20; 5:12–14).

4. Soul

Buddhism teaches that there is no enduring, substantial soul that passes from one life to another. But the Bible teaches that there is an immaterial dimension of the person, created by God, which continues to exist after death (Matt. 10:28; Rev. 6:9; 20:4).

5. Salvation

Although some forms of bhakti Hinduism and Pure Land Buddhism do teach that salvation cannot be attained through one’s own efforts but rather is a gift from another being, Islam, along with most other religious traditions, teaches that salvation is based on one’s own deeds. But the Bible clearly states that salvation is not something that human beings can earn through their own efforts; it is the gift of God’s grace, which is to be accepted by faith (Rom. 3:20, 28; Eph. 2:8–9).

6. Christ’s Incarnation

The Bible teaches that the eternal Creator is a tripersonal Being, and that the second person of this Trinity, while remaining fully God, became a man (John 1:1–14; Rom. 1:3–4; Phil. 2:7–8; Col. 2:9). In a unique onetime event, the Son of God became incarnate as the historical person Jesus of Nazareth. The Hindu notion of avatar, by contrast, concerns multiple manifestations of Vishnu as both humans and animals, and involves legendary figures such as Krishna, not actual historical persons. In fact, no other world religions teach that the eternal Son of God became a true man.

7. Christ’s Preeminence

Jesus is not just another great religious teacher. The truth of Jesus’s teachings cannot be separated from its grounding in the person of Christ as the incarnate Word of God, the eternal, omnipotent Son of God who shares fully in all the attributes of God. It is because of who he is and what he has done on the cross that Jesus is himself the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6), the only Savior for all humankind (Acts 4:12).

religions that use the bible
religions that use the bible

8. Christ’s Substitution

The Bible teaches that salvation is based on the sinless life (Heb. 4:15) and the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on the cross, as he took upon himself the punishment for the sins of the world (Rom. 3:25–26; 1 Pet. 3:18; 1 John 2:2). There is nothing like this teaching in Hinduism, Buddhism, or Confucianism, and it is explicitly denied in Islam.

9. Christ’s Resurrection

The Buddha, Confucius, Muhammad, and Jesus all died, but there is no reliable historical record of any—apart from Jesus—being resurrected after death (1 Cor. 15:1–8). It is because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ that we, too, can have victory over sin and death and anticipate our own resurrection to eternal life with God (Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 15:20–22, 54–58).

Thank you for staying with this post “religions that use the bible” until the end.

 

 

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