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half.note posted this thread...
Oct. 23, 2012 at 11:01 pm

For the past few weeks, I have been playing with the idea of doing a bible study.
I recently brought it up with Breece and he enthusiastically agreed that it's a great idea (btw, thanks Breece!).
I'm predicting that discussions will be between me and Breece on the most part, but anyone and everyone is welcome to join in.
Please, I would love to hear your thoughts and arguments.
It is my hope that as we study through this controversial book that we can answer a few common questions such as: "What does the Bible teach?" and "Is the Bible inspired?"
I find the Bible to be a wealth of knowledge. A Christian's compass, sword, and shield.
It is the very foundation of the Christian faith. We must stand firm on this foundation if we are to weather the difficult storms ahead.

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half.note replied...
Oct. 23, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Okay, we will now begin.
To study the Bible, we must, of course, have a Bible.
I am making the suggestion that you download a Bible program called e-Sword. It's absolutely free and an extremely useful tool equipped with dictionaries, commentaries, and study notes.
Here is the link:
h ttp://w ww.e-sword.n et/
Make sure you download the King James Version (KJV) and King James Version Plus (KJV+) because King James is the translation I will be using when we study.
Please let me know if you are going to be using e-Sword.
If you have any questions or concerns while downloading, feel free to ask me.
Keep in mind, you might be able to get by without a Bible or Bible program since I will probably put the direct quotes in my posts, but I will encourage you to have a Bible so you can read the verses in context if you are confused, or would like to study something out on your own.
And maybe as we continue on I might start to ask you to look up the verses for yourself, just to get you digging on your own. ;)
Okay, are we all set?
I'm taking requests for what you would like to study first.
We can start right off in Genesis and see where that leads us, or I can pick a topic that will get us used to how the Bible works.
Or if there is a topic you are wondering about in particular, we can take a look at it.
I await your replies.

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Oct. 24, 2012 at 9:38 am

I'll join, half.note!  Does it matter if I use the ESV Bible translation? I love that version. But I can use the NKJV if it's necessary. =)
We could start in Genesis... that would be interesting. Probably one of the first topics would be the concept of Original Sin, and whether or not the Bible agrees with it.
This thread is a great idea, btw! Thanks for coming up with it.

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8tephanie replied...
Oct. 26, 2012 at 12:03 am

I'd love to do this! I'm usually swamped with homework but whenever I get the chance, I'll likely check in :) I'd prefer to use my Apologetics study bible if possible but I do have access to the KJV if its necessary.

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contemplatorThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Oct. 26, 2012 at 12:29 am

Sure. And Genisis is a nice place to start. I've already  had a few studies on it, but one can't make me illinformed, can it? And this reminds me, we'll have to talk about certain differences that we have, like the KJV being kept pure and a consciouss death.

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Breece6 replied...
Oct. 26, 2012 at 8:44 am

Here!  I'm ready, I can start anywhere, Genesis is fine.
I think I should forewarn you though, I will be having an open mind in both directions :P  Meaning I'll appreciate everything we learn and the Bible of course and I won't disrespect any of it, but I might point out some contentions I have so we can discuss  them.

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half.note replied...
Oct. 26, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Yay! It's happening!  *does little dance*
I can see that there is some contention about Bible versions.
Personally, I trust the King James Version over all and would recommend that you would use it just for clarity sake. BUT, I have no problem if you read your preferred version as something of a comparison.
Is that you, Bekah??? New username threw me for a bit... Glad to see you around!
I appreciate- nay, I encourage any additions you can make to this study. Your thoughts and opinions are more than welcome. :)
I know, we seem to agree on so much, but there are always those few things. :P
New thread or take a moment to discuss it here?
I wouldn't expect anything less. :D
My hope is that I will present verses from the Bible and we will all discuss. And then I will try to use relevant verses to answer any arguments that are brought up. In that way, we will see exactly what the Bible has to say and hopefully it will be able to prove itself.
Well, it seems agreed that we will start in Genesis. Considering the subject matter of Chapter 1 I'm predicting a discussion on creation vs. evolution. However, I will try to expand it into other thoughts. Either way, it will still be enlightening. :D
Are you ready?
I’ll begin right away with Genesis 1, Chapter 1…

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half.note replied...
Oct. 26, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Genesis 1:1-31
Before we begin, I suggest that you say a quick prayer asking God to open your mind to the truths he wishes to show you as you read and study.
If you are not comfortable doing so, by all means, just keep reading. :)
Okay, we will start with Genesis chapter one. Hopefully this is not too much to study all at once, but it all seemed to come as one thought so we’ll look at it as one.
Rather than post all 31 verses, I will give you a link to chapter 1 on an online KJV Bible.  But those with Bibles (KJV or not) feel free to open them up and carefully read.
Here is the link (remove spaces):
h ttp://w ww.kingjamesbibleonline.o rg/Genesis-Chapter-1/
This is all very basic, and I’m sure that for you hard-core Christians (like me) you have at least the first few verses already memorized.

Anyways, I will go through it for those of you that aren’t as familiar with it:
What we see is the first six days of creation. I think the main discussion point here is whether or not these are literal or symbolic days.
I firmly believe that they are literal. For one thing, after God creates something it always points out that “the evening and the morning were the _____ day”. This seems to draw attention to the fact that it was a literal day since it is made up of these time periods. (Note: I checked the Hebrew words that had been translated as “evening” and “morning” and they did not suggest something metaphorical or symbolic.)
Also, there are many verses in the Bible that reinforce the idea that God is the Creator:
Feel free to look up Psalms 8:3-9, Mark 10:6, Colossians 1:16-17, Revelation 10:6
Anyways, I wanted to point on some interesting things that you find in chapter 1 of Genesis:
Notice that God speaks everything into existence.  “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” This shows his power to create, but more specifically it shows the power of his Word.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (John 1:1-5)
There are actually some very interesting parallels between chapter 1 of John and chapter 1 of Genesis.
For example, in Genesis God speaks and it is created. In John we see that “all things were made by him" (him being the Word). So we see that God’s word = creation.
We also see the reference to light in John and, as we know, God created light on the first day. The Word is described as a light that shines in the darkness.
If you read further on in John 1, you realize that the Word is Jesus:
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
But out of the context of John, the Word can also be used to describe the Bible (see Hebrews 4:12). God’s words have the power to create literal light. God’s words also have the power to create spiritual light. Light and truth that shine to us from the beginning of the world; slicing through the darkness; begging our attention. This light can recreate us, and make us new. That is the power of the Bible, God’s word.
Ah well, that’s enough of my preaching. Tell me what you think. State your opinion, argue, or bring up relevant verses. I’d love to hear from you. :)
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalms 119:105)
God bless. <3

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JunieSparrow replied...
Oct. 28, 2012 at 11:32 am

May I join you all please?  Sorry I didn't respond earlier; I've been busy. 
My comments/thoughts on Gen 1:
In the beginning... Beginning of what? 
The world?  The earth?  God?  My guess is Time, but what do you think? 
Verse 14:  And God said,  Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years. 
Reminds me of:
Matt 24: 29 - 30  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken;
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 
The Jewish calender is based on the moon, but we've moved away from that for the most part. 
Verse 26:  Let us make man in OUR image...
Who is the US?  I've heard the conjecture that God's talking to Jesus, but I'm skeptical because "The Word was God" at that time.  My guess is He's talking to the angels, which would indicate they are also made in the image of God.  Reference Gen 3:22:  And the Lord God said,  Behold, the man is become as one of Us, to know good and evil... 
That's all I can think of for now; if I have more I'll post it later.  Apologies for any typos in the verses. 

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contemplatorThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Oct. 28, 2012 at 10:31 pm

I think that The Beginning is reffering to the beginning of time. And also, verse 14 is the fourth day. This is significant because light has already been spoken into existance and plants were created on the third day. So the order of the creation does not suggest evolution, but a short period of time. 
In verse 26, I think that 'our' is God reffering to himself. He is one God in three beings. Each being is entirely God. Each being is seperate to each other. The trinity. 
Now, a mystery: (27) God created man in his own image, in the image of God, He created him; male and female, He created them. 
But in chapter two, Adam was able to name all the beasts and birds and trees before God created Eve. Infact, all of chapter 2 is like chapter one rewritten. Any insight to this?

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Breece6 replied...
Oct. 29, 2012 at 6:01 am

Well, I'm going to be a rebel and cite a verse from Gensis chapter 2 here.
Before I do that though, a little nitpicking.
First off, I don't think it makes sense for God have an "image".  Wouldn't that imply that God was physically existing before the universe?  Physical existance and an "image" requires a space to exist within.
It just seems like it's limiting God by saying he has an "image" by which we are modeled after.  
As for creation vs. evolution, I still think it's likely it's all an allegory.  There are actually some interesting parallels between Genesis and evolution.
For instance, in Genesis 2:7 God creates man out of dirt.  Care to guess what the first cells were essentially made out of?  Dust, pretty much. 

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JunieSparrow replied...
Oct. 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm

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Well, He'd already created the universe by the time he got around to making people... so he could have chosen a form/image for himself, then decided to make man the same way. Some interesting verses:
John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Exodus 33:18 And he [Moses] said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. [“Glory” = face.]

Exodus 33:20 And he [God] said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
Exodus 33:21 And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:
Exodus 33:22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
Exodus 33:23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.
Daniel 3:25 He [Nebuchadnezzar] answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
Hebrews 7:1 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
Hebrews 7:2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
Hebrews 7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
Genesis 18:1 And the Lord appeared unto him [Abraham] in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;
Do we all accept that God is some sort of a trinity? If so, I think it's kind of clear that He can manifest Himself in different ways. He can be a Spirit, or He can be a man, or he can be something else. Revelation has a lot of switching back and forth from “God” to the “Lamb” and the “Son of man.” These are images or forms of God, but they're still all God.
I hope all that answers your nitpicking. :)

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Breece6 replied...
Oct. 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Certainly interesting, but I still have doubts.
Looking at the verses you've cited, it seems like some of the contradict each other.  Specifically Exodus 33:20 and Genisis 18:1, where it say that God cannot be seen but he showed himself.  
And John 1:18 further says that "no man hath seen God at any time", yet int he Bible it says countless times that God has shown himself.  
I dunno, the whole concept of God as a physical being who "made man in his image" just seems so arbitrary and almost degrading to God.  
Maybe I've been talking to Destinee and Dynamo too much :P

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Destinee replied...
Oct. 30, 2012 at 2:40 pm

To go from perfection (God, by definition) to imperfection (humans, by Christian doctrine) IS degrading. :D

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half.note replied...
Oct. 30, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Okay, I think it’s time a stepped in here.
First of all: welcome, JunieSparrow, to the thread. I can tell you’ll be an ally for me. :)
Do you mind if I ask what denomination you identify with?
Now, I don’t have a whole lot of time, but since this is my thread I thought I could take a break from (translation: avoid) my math homework for a moment.
I’ve seen a couple different topics come up:
1.  “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…” The beginning of what?
2.  evolution
3.  The image of God--is He a physical being?
This is what I think…
1.   I’d agree that this is the beginning of time. But only time for us, it seems reasonable that God perceives time differently than we do.
“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” (Psalms 90:2)
2.  Breece, you mentioned the idea that the creation story in the Bible is an allegory for evolution. There are a couple problems with that theory.
First, we know from Genesis 1:1-5 that God created light / night and day on the First Day of creation.  But it isn’t until the Fourth Day that God creates the sun, moon, and stars (Genesis 1:14-19). According to the creation story, light actually exists before any celestial bodies that emit light.  How is this explained by evolution? I don't think it can, but I know the Bible can explain it, for it tells us that in heaven there will be no sun, moon, or stars but God himself will be the light of heaven (Revelation 21:23).
But there is also another interesting inconsistency between creation and evolution: plants are created on the Third Day (Genesis 1:9-13). That’s before the sun, moon, and stars. If the creation story of Genesis was really an allegory for evolution than wouldn’t plants be formed after worlds and their light-giving stars, not before?
So you see, it is impossible that the story of Genesis is just a metaphor for evolution. Either it’s true or it’s not. You can’t have both.
3.  I believe that God does have a physical form. But I don’t see how that automatically limits him in anyway, though.
Breece, you said that Exodus 33:20 and Genesis 18:1 contradict each other. Let’s take a closer look at these verses:
Exodus 33:20
“And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.”
Let’s pick it apart:
The word “man” in this verse is from the Hebrew word “'âdâm.” Look familiar? That’s right, it’s similar to the name “Adam.” The definition of this Hebrew word is “ruddy, that is, a human being (an individual or the species, mankind, etc.), another, hypocrite, common sort, low, man (mean, of low degree), person.”
You see, in English, “man” is such a broad term, but in Hebrew it is more specific. In this verse in particular, “man” refers to any common, sinful human being.
Note also the Hebrew definitions of “see” and “live”:
A primitive root; to see, literally or figuratively (in numerous applications, direct and implied, transitively, intransitively and causatively), advise self, appear, approve, behold, certainly, consider, discern, (make to) enjoy, have experience, gaze, take heed, indeed, joyfully, lo, look (on, one another, one on another, one upon another, out, up, upon), mark, meet, be near, perceive, present, provide, regard, (have) respect, (fore-, cause to, let) see (-r, -m, one another), shew (self), sight of others, (e-) spy, stare, surely, think, view, visions.
A primitive root [compare to châyâh: to live, whether literally or figuratively; give (promise) life, nourish up, preserve (alive), quicken, recover, repair, restore (to life), revive] causatively to revive - live, save life.
Isn’t Hebrew fun!? XD
From all this Exodus 33:20 takes on a different meaning. Essentially, “seeing God’s face won’t be enough to save a sinner.”
But that’s a very literal meaning of the verse, and I’d say it’s possible that there is more figurative meaning within the Hebrew. In that case, this verse is saying something along the lines of “the glory of God is too much for man too behold.”
But of course, we don’t have to know Hebrew to understand the Bible. Just reading context can be extremely useful and often makes the meaning clear.
For this verse, Moses prays to God to “shew me thy glory” (Exodus 33:18). Since Moses had favour in God’s sight, He agrees that he will walk past him so that he can see Him. But God only lets him see His “back parts… my face shall not be seen.” (Exodus 33:23)
This gives an idea that God does have a physical form which sinful humans are unable to behold. After all, Moses was a holy man with special favour in God’s eyes and yet he was only allowed to see His back. O, how much less do we deserve to look upon God!?
Now let’s take a look at Genesis 18:1:
“And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day.”
Yes, we do see God appearing to Abraham and Sarah, but when you read the rest of the chapter it becomes clear that it is God in the form of man (Abraham has a meal prepared for Him, after all). God in His full glory is not a sight that mortal man can look upon.
So, it’s not that God is invisible and man is unable to see Him. The problem is that we are sinners and seeing the perfect glory of God is too much for us to bear.
Okay, that should be good for now. Hopefully I’ve been clear and haven’t confused you all. XD
I’ll try to post again when I have time.
God bless. <3

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half.note replied...
Oct. 30, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Oh, wow! I apoligize for the length of my last post.
I almost feel sorry for you guys... Almost.  ;)
Anyways, I just thought I'd inform you that we will discuss Genesis chapter 1 until we've exhausted all the possibilities of debate, and then we will move onto the next chapter.
But let's make it quick because I'm really excited to do chapter 2. (It's about the Sabbath!!!!)
I want to thank everyone for contributing to this discussion. I'm sure we'll all learn a lot! (Especially with my novel-esque posts...) :D
God bless. <3

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Breece6 replied...
Oct. 31, 2012 at 6:10 am

Here we go!
1.  I see the time part as kind of arbitrary and pointless to debate in my opinion :P
2.  We come into a lot of problems when dealing with Creation vs. Science.  
Let's get some things down first, evolution only has to do with life on earth becoming more complex, nothing to do with the origins of the universe etc.  You probably knew that though and were just using it as a general term for popular creation theories though :P  
Another problem we face when determing your question "how could light have been created if light emitting sources weren't created yet" is that when you get into upper level sciences such as chemistry and begin to study quantum physics, we reach some interesting theories.  The main one applicable here is that everything in the universe is merely different quantities and organizations of the same base material.  Matter is made of energy, just a different organization of it.  Hence e=mc squared where we learn how to convert the value of mass into the value of energy.  
Because of this, it could be validly interpreted that light was made before light emitting stars and such because light is just a specific organization of the base substance of the universe.  As soon as God made anything at all he would have made light.  Also, light is present at subatomic levels as well, it doesn't need a massive star to produce it.
The plants being made before stars and moon question has similar (but not exactly the same problems).  For instance, we know now that there are micro organisms that function as plants and animals, consumers and producers.  Light is not always needed for these organisms to exist, they live in the deepest parts of the ocean and even underground.  Some of them might have existed before the moon came into place.  
It's really hard to argue it one way or the other, I like to think about it like this:
If God went up to a bunch of hebrews 6000 years ago and said "The universe was created by an expansion of energy and man was created by the process of natural selection where their DNA was mutated over millions of years worth of generations"  Do you think it would have worked?  Rather, I think that Genisis is made to be in such a way that it can apply to all time periods if interpreted correctly, and that the truths are still there.
3.  Don't have time to answer this one now, will get to it later :P

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Oct. 31, 2012 at 9:32 am

*pops her head in*
Hey guys! I'm going to do a looooonger post later today, responding to the passage, but I wanted to say something really quick about the whole "In the beginning" and whether "creation is just a allegory for evolution" thing.
Well... if God said He created the universe in six days, I'm inclined to take Him literally.  In the Bible, time and numbers are important. 
40 days, (of purification, of Jesus wandering in the wilderness, of rain during Noah's flood, etc.), 40 years, (the children of Israel in the wilderness), 3 days, (the time from Jesus's death to his resurrection), the 12 disciples, the amount of stones Elijah used to build an altar to the Lord, (12, for the twelve tribes of Judah), and the list goes on and on.  Especially in the ancient Law of God, (Deuteronomy, Leviticus, etc.) God is VERY strict about time. When He says "7 days" about something, He means 7 days!
There are SO many passages using specific amounts of time and/or numbers, that it seems crazy not to take God literally in what He says in Genesis.  When the Bible, (which is God's Word) says that He created the universe in 6 days, why would it be an allegory there, and not anywhere else?
Just a few thoughts. =)  Like I said, I'll respond to the other things in depth later, hopefully.
By the way, guys... Haha. Some of you won't be happy to hear this, but: I'm a full-fledged Calvinist again!  I've been watching this DVD called "Amazing Grace", basically the doctrine and philosophy of Calvinism, contrasting it with Armeniesm, and giving Biblical proof. And I must say, it's convinced me.  Whenever we get to the issue of predestination in this Bible study, I'll be armed and ready. ;-) 

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Breece6 replied...
Oct. 31, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Just a thought of my own, if we're taking the Bible literally now what about 2 Peter 3:8 where it says "A day is like a thousand years to God"?
Just saying, I don't think because other numbers are specific is a good enough justifcation to ignore mountains of observable scientific evidence when a perfectly reasonable (in my opinion) explanation (The Creation Story being an allegory) is available.  

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JunieSparrow replied...
Oct. 31, 2012 at 1:57 pm

I guess it might seem degrading for God to put himself in the form of a man...

Philippians 2:6  [Christ Jesus,] Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Philippians 2:7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Philippians 2:8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

What about this:  Think about a river.  It's hundreds of miles long, and has thousands of springs and creeks and streams running into it.  If I dip a bucket into it, I don't have the whole river, but the water in my bucket has all the attributes of the river water.  I don't have the river, I have a bucket of the river.  

In the same way, Jesus Christ was not all of God, but he was still God.  

I hope that makes things clearer.  

Thanks half.note!  What denomination am I?  Hmmm....  

1 Corinthians 1:10  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

1 Corinthians 1:12  Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ [and I am Baptist, and I am Methodist, and I am a Presbyterian, and I am a Pentacostal, and I am a Primitive Baptist and so on and so forth ad nauseam].

1 Corinthians 1:13  Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

I don't think I have one.  :)


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