‘Word of God’ or Hearsay?

Warning: To those who are very sensitive and closed minded about their Religion, please move on to other blogs before I annoy you further. But for those who are wary of falsehood and false prophets, here’s something to think about.

When reading the Holy Books, a lot of us tend to take them as the literal Word of God, written with Divine Inspiration and thus free from human error.

Now when we say that we trust in the Holy Books, does it mean that it is in God whom we trust and that the Books are actually His revelation?

Before we try to answer that, let us first consider a definition of the word revelation:

Revelation: The act of revealing or of making known. In the religious sense, revelation usually means divine revelation. This is meaningless, since revelation can only be revelation in the first instance. For example, if God revealed something to me, that would be a divine revelation to me. If I then told someone else what God told me it would be mere hearsay to the person I tell. If that person believed what I said, they would not be putting their trust in God, but in me, believing what I told them was actually true. (from deism.com)

A lot of us probably have had doubts regarding certain parts of the Holy Books especially those that commission murder and genocide, or even those that demand that we give up reason in favor of blind faith and surrender all our material possessions as they only weigh down our souls. But then we are afraid to question our faith lest we burn in Hell for eternity. Who would gamble such a thing even if it were only remotely true?

But the point is, when we question the Holy Books, are we questioning God’s Word per se, or just the ‘messengers’ – the human writers who claim to be divinely inspired, never mind all the interpreters? There were no printing presses then, and some of the “authors” were probably illiterate, verbally passing on hearsay after hearsay from generation to generation until someone finally puts the ‘Word of God’  into writing. Now we have to presume that all of those story tellers, writers, and translators were also divinely inspired, lest the Holy Books be contaminated with human errors or deliberate rewriting. No wonder there are a number of significant disagreements among the Holy Books. And one of the things they do agree about is in killing the infidels. However, each man’s fellow faithful is for another man an infidel, so they try to kill each other, and to think they were all created by the same God.

So now, some of us might ask, where do we turn to for God’s Word?. My short answer: I don’t know. But I guess it would be better to say that we don’t know rather than to suspend our reason and force ourselves to believe in something unreasonable for fear of eternal fire. And the saddest part of it all is that this fear is based on hearsay to the nth level, probably with certain leaders time and again from past to present manipulating ‘God’s Word’ in order to control and tyrannize their subjects and expand their kingdoms by talking about a Kingdom of God in Heaven while building their own material kingdoms here on Earth. Well I guess that even sadder still is the thought that these subjects believe that what they are hearing are really God’s Word, so they are too terrified to question it.

But I do not think that the same God who gave us intellect and reason would demand that we relinquish these gifts in favor of blind faith, especially if this ‘faith’ is based on a man‘s word  – or many men’s word, if we include all the storytellers, writers, and translators. And so we must use our God-given reason to spot falsehood and false prophets. With reason, we do not need anyone citing any commandment prohibiting murder, rape, theft, kidnaping, assault, or robbery because we already know from common sense that these crimes are considered malum in se – ‘wrong or evil in itself – even if we live in the remotest places where there are no laws punishing them. Now as for malum prohibitum – ‘wrong because prohibited’ – ‘crimes’ like working on the Sabbath and not giving your money to the poor (or the Church), we must ask ourselves, are these ‘laws’ really the Word of God, or were they written by power-hungry leaders who plant the fear of eternal damnation into people’s hearts in order to control their subjects and conquer other nations? innerminds inner minds

6 Responses to “‘Word of God’ or Hearsay?”

  1. 1 alvin john ballares
    December 13, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    hey there jong or innerminds,

    just perused your blog. And i understand your sentiments. i was a bible skeptic before.but out of curiosity I studied biblical criticism and biblical apologetics. I weighed them, and found out that the Bible is more reliable. Without question, the Bible writers’ personalities, writing styles, perspectives, and distinctives are reflected in their words. But their accounts are more than the words of men – they are the Word of God. The Bible writers were guided in their writing to go where God wanted them to go and to produce what God wanted them to produce.

    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 Timothy 3:16-17]

    The Bible writers were not inspired as great artists are ‘inspired’ to produce great art. The word translated ‘inspired’ means “God-breathed.” The Greek word is theopneustos, from two Greek words: theos, meaning “God,” and pneo, meaning “to breathe”. It conveys the idea of God “breathing out” the Scriptures. And since the word for “breath” can also be translated “spirit,” we can easily see the work of the Holy Spirit as he superintended the writing.The Holy Spirit guided them.They may differ in personalities, but they contain complementing accounts. There are seeming contradictions in the Bible, bt with proper hermeneutics, you can arrive at the proper synthesis of the seemingly contradicting passages.

    Lee strobel helped me a lot in understanding the Bible.

  2. 2 alvin john ballares
    December 13, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    a quick addendum…I don’t agree that reason is faith’s greatest enemy. reason affirms faith.

    • 3 Pecier Carpena Decierdo
      December 20, 2009 at 1:30 pm

      Reason does not affirm faith. On the contrary, reason has time and time again negated claims based on ‘faith’. Take creationism, a faith-based position: reason and science shows that it is a false belief. Same thing about the myth of the world-wide flood, the myth about talking snakes and so on and so forth. But instead of dropping these falsified faith-based claims, the mainstream Christian twists and distorts the findings of science to create factoids that agree with his faith: thus the oft-expressed falsehood “Reason affirms faith”.

      Dear cousin, note the following differences. Reason is humble, faith is not. Reason is open to the possibility that its claims are wrong, faith is not. Faith is cock-sure and certain, scientific reason is not. Faith makes claims to super-human knowledge, scientific reason does not.

      The only knowledge human brains can contain is human knowledge, that is, limited knowledge. You often proclaim to believe this as a fact, dear cousin, but it seems to me that you do not grasp its full meaning. Because all we have are human brains with limited human knowledge, we cannot claim to be certain about everything. Yet faith, that archenemy of reason, makes people believe that they can be certain about things they actually know nothing about.

  3. 4 alvin john ballares
    December 21, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Im not certain about everything either. My faith has not matured yet.

  4. 5 Nomadic Gadlfy
    July 17, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    So here I am. Reading the first line of your article I’m already interested:

    “When reading the Holy Books, a lot of us tend to take them as the literal Word of God, written with Divine Inspiration and thus free from human error.”

    (1) Which book are you referring to as the “Holy Book” by which “a lot of us (who are the US here?) tend to take them as the literal Word of God…”?

    (2) “literal Word of God” — what do you meant by this statement? What is your understanding of the literal World of God?

    • 6 Jong Atmosfera
      July 17, 2010 at 8:33 pm

      (1) The Bible, Qur’an, and Torah. By “a lot of us” I meant a lot of people, particularly the religious people.

      (2) As in literally what God would have exactly said or written Himself.

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