An attempt at answering pertinent questions

Based on the news item that appeared on Rediff, dchech asked the following questions:

1)Bible, is there name bible in bible?
Ans) No. Why should it be there? The word Bible means “the Book”. The contents of the Bible or the Scripture have an origin and a purpose. As is said in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

2)is original bible available now? why there is different version in bibile? 76th version available in Protestant bible and for Catholic it is 66th version. here both are mismatching, why?
Ans) The Bible is a compilation. No one man wrote it. As I said in the previous answer, men of God wrote, under the influence of the Holy Spirit. There are two testaments of the Bible. Testament, as you may be aware, means Law. The old testament talks of the “Old Law” which is governed primarily by the “Ten commandments”. The “New Law” talks of the Law of Love, forgiveness and grace. The basic tenets of the “New Law” were laid by Jesus Christ and were chronicled by his contemporaries and disciples, namely Mathew Mark, Luke and John and together they are called the Gospels. Paul, another contemporary through his letter (epistles) to the fledgling yet growing church of Asia, delineates the “rules” under the “New Law”. However, the actual compilation as one complete holistic book took almost 3 centuries after the life of Christ, when under Emperor Constantinople, the Roman empire took Christianity as the official religion of Rome. The earliest writings of the Current Bible that we have are the Greek translations and historians have been able to certify their authenticity beyond reproach. The nearest and the most authentic English translation of the Greek version is the King James version. I am neither a Catholic nor a Protestant. Therefore I cannot either certify or repudiate your claims of the versions that you talk of. However I do know that while the Catholic Church records 73 books to the Bible, the non-Catholic arm of the Christian religion only has 66 books to their Bible. And they do not mismatch. The Catholic Church has only “additional” 7 books.

And I assume that you are not really interested in the versions of the Bible as much as in the fact that there is not ONE bible that everybody agrees upon. Giving rise to the spectre that if one were to read one version , there is another group vehemently opposing it saying that theirs is the “true” version and vice versa. True Enough!

However, one must understand that the very basic tenets, the testaments, the Law is the same. If there were ten commandments in the Old Testament, the new one contains only two, viz. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” AND “Love your neighbour as thyself”.

3) some christians belive Jesus is god, some belive, jesus is son of god, some belive in trinity why?
Ans) I am assuming that when you say “some”, you are actually meaning “some Christians”. And I probably have not understood your question at all. Personally, I believe Jesus is God. I also believe Jesus is the Son of God. And I further believe in the triune unity of God the Father, God the son and God the spirit. I also believe in ONE God, not in three gods.

Where does your error in understanding occur? Is it in the fact that according to you,while some people ONLY believe in Jesus being God, others totally reject that view. The ONLY view of the second group of Christians is that Jesus is the son of God and not the God himself. There is a third group that does not believe either of the two positions but ONLY believes in the triune God. I guess you need to rephrase that question before I can answer that.

4)what happens to the people who lived before Jesus came (go to heaven or hell); why do some very righteous people automatically go to hell just because they don’t believe in Jesus (we thought about Gandhi); on the other hand, why do some pretty horrible people (like my friend’s abusive father) get rewarded with heaven just because they’re Christian;
Ans) I guess this is one question I would love to ask God when I meet him in paradise. 🙂
Anyway, your question is relevant even today. What about those people who have never heard about Jesus? there are millions of them even today in this “internet” age!

John 10:16 says, “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” Now, obviously, this implies that Jesus’ shepherdhood extends not only to his own flock but others flocks too. The very obvious corollary is, “Why then do Christian missionaries go around trying to convert people to Christianity if people of other religions are also part of the “Christians God’s” plan? 🙂

That is because of the commission that Jesus gave the disciples after he resurrected from death. Acts 1:8 says “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Guess India comes under the definition of “…and to the ends of the earth”.

The fundamental idea is to be “His witness”. Conversion is only a natural corollary. Unfortunately, that step has been reversed in the preceding centuries. I guess they could not help it. “Witnessing Jesus” is dashed difficult. What with “showing the other cheek” and “forgiving the enemy”, I guess they realised that THAT path was not profitable. So they jumped a step and started the conversion process. They probably assumed and a large number are still assuming that shortcutting to the second step is OK with God. Personally I am convinced that THAT kind of shortcutting is a short cut to perdition.

And this wholesome assumption that all Christians are assured of heaven is rather misplaced. The Jews had VERY similar views in Jesus’ time. To make them understand, Jesus told them The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector which you can read here. So, though I wont stick out my neck and commit that we will see Gandhi in heaven, I can very assuredly state that being a Christian is no guarantee for entering heaven.

5)why does a loving and merciful God require a blood sacrifice (Jesus) to forgive people’s sins; why are we guilty of Adam’s original sin; why does the Word of God (Bible) disagree with scientific facts;
Ans) Since two of the questions are theological questions, they need theological answers. God is loving and merciful. There need be no doubt of that! Here is where the testaments (Old and New) come into being. The purpose why God created man was for adoration. However, humans, created in the image of God, disobeyed Him. The redemption , in the old testament, could only be effected by the blood of bulls and goats. But it was amply clear to God that THAT redemption was partial and had to be repeated year after year. By the time of the New testament, God sends his only begotten Son to be sacrificed ONCE on the cross. The new testament states, “FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL NOT PERISH BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.” This redemption was complete and therefore there is no need for any further sacrifices. I guess that answers your two questions. And as regards third, I guess you need to be more specific about which scientific law does the Bible turn on its head.

6)how can Jesus be God; how can One God be 3 different things trinity?
Ans) Er, Why cant he be?
God is not three different things. Let me put it this way. H2O is ice. H2O is water. H2O is vapour. Ice, water and vapour may be different “things”, but aren’t they essentially the same? I admit that the comparison is a little too simplistic. In which case, I honestly ask you to ask these questions to the one who can answer them. God himself. In His wisdom, He will reveal what you seek. But, if you posted them simply to ask “embarrassing” questions, well…., dont bother. You will never get the answer.

Myopic miasma

Reading the “interview” and the aftermath that it caused in the Parliament, I am amazed at the clarity of description that Ronen Sen has of his politicians back in India. Though one can easily assume that Mr. Sen was actually referring to the Indian politicians as “headless chicken”, their behaviour in Parliament was absolutely like that of “headless chicken”. Even after being told that “Parliament is in the position to take action if it found anyone showing disrespect to MPs and casting an aspersion on their freedom of expression”, they did not abate. How could they? After all, they were just playing out their role. That of a “headless chicken”.

And Karat’s assertion is truly thick. He accuses Mr. Sen of being a US ambassador rather than an Indian one. Famous! And whose strategic interests are you safeguarding Mr. Karat? China’s or Pakistan’s?

I am not all in favour of signing the nuke deal. The idea of aligning ones foreign policy, defence policy and trade policy in tune with another sovereign nation who is an established superior power than us, does give the distinct impression that of kow-tow. But, to oppose for the sake of opposing, given that the alignment does not go against our stated objectives in these fields is not acceptable.

Mr. Karat does say that we have moved away from aligning with Iran and the Palestinians and towards US and Israel. If that is so, all I can say is why did we have the distance in the first place? The US as a hegemony could have steamrolled us. But Israel too? For a founder of Non-aligned movement that is a famous stand to take. And now, when the opportunity opens up wherein we can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best of the best in the comity of nations, trust these myopic flounderers to grass the deal.

A miasma does envelop the political horizon. The tragedy is that the nobody has the foresight to look far. The entire spectrum of lawmakers, including the ruling coalition is afflicted with the paralysis of short-sightedness. Alas, when will my country awake from this myopic miasma.