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Religion 101: "Religion Made Simple" Mba Mbulu, Instructor

Class # 9: The Bible [Audio Version]

Read the following information. To the best of your ability, relate what you read to what you know about religion. Also, consider the following question(s).

(1) Is there anything sacred or holy about a bible?

(2) What is the difference between the New Testament and the Old Testament?

(3) What do powerlessness and hopelessness have to do with that collection of writings called the Bible?

Question: What is the Bible?

Answer

The bible is a term that refers to hundreds of writings that revolve around certain periods in the history of the Jewish people. Old Testament writings tell the story of a militarily and politically inept and irresponsible nation of people (Jews) who are dominated by a politically astute and well organized nation of people (Egyptians). The central figure in the Old Testament is Moses, and its story line centers on the origin of the Jews and their quest for liberation from the Pharaoh. The New Testament revolves around the life of these same people 1100 to 1200 years later. They continue to be a militarily and politically inept and irresponsible nation of people (Jews) who are dominated by a politically astute and well organized nation of people (the Romans this time). The central figure in the New Testament is Jesus, and its story line centers on the deliverance of the Jews from the abuse heaped on them by Rome.

We should not overlook the term testament. A testament is simply a statement of a person's convictions. Since a person's convictions are frequently more powerful that his/her intelligence, a testament is often subjective instead of objective, and tainted with inaccuracies that misrepresent the facts. Because the term has become identified with the bible and religion, people have acted as if a testament is sacred in some way or a holy covenant of some type, but that is not the case. A testament is little more than a sworn testimony, and we all know what sworn testimonies can be made of.

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In considering the bible, people must keep the political climate in mind. Hundreds and hundreds of writings make up the bible, but We are aware of only a handful of them. Why? Because most of those writings contained information that was not consistent with the convictions of the groups of individuals who compiled the Old and New Testaments. The Old and New Testaments are not meant to tell the truth, they are meant to record an earlier response and initiate a subsequent response. In the Old Testament, Moses was able to motivate his people to liberate themselves. In the New Testament, people far removed from Jesus were able to get their people to hope for deliverance.

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