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Thread: The Bible

  1. #1

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    The Bible

    I've been thinking recently about how it was that the Scots did so many amazing things in the world.

    I have noted that religion was a huge influence in their lives and they certainly took that all over the world with them and as a result built thousands of churches.

    I've often seen references to the fact that often the Bible was the only book they possessed and recently that has made me wonder if that was perhaps the key to why they did so well.

    The Bible being the one book they possessed was obviously also used to teach children to read and write. And with all the books in the Bible there is much that can be learned from it as a way of living your life.

    Now I'm not getting all religious here but I can't think of even one book today we would all read like the Bible was read in Scots homes a century and more ago.

    I've commented in the past on how children could recite whole passages of the Bible. The visiting ministers would examine the children as to their knowledge of the Bible.

    I remember at the church in Ahmadi, Kuwait we were given the task of learning all the names of the books in the old and new testaments and then when examined and we got them all correct the next Sunday we were presented with a copy of the Bible. I still have that Bible today and indeed used it for my swearing in ceremony as a Canadian citizen.

    So in many ways the Bible was used as a school book and memorizing sections of it must have developed a retentive memory. This must have developed a mind set that helped the children when they attended schools. And the Ministers were quite often the school teachers.

    The Bible is certainly not read as often today as it was a century ago. Church attendance is well down as well. So what has taken its place?

    As far as I can see nothing has taken its place.

    Most of the major publishers in the world were Scots. A lot of the major universities in the world were founded by Scots. But even if you discount Scots most of the Universities in the world were founded by Christians.

    I keep looking at the inventions of Scots that totally changed the world. Transport - bridges, roads, canals, railways, steam boats, etc. In fact having just published the book Scots in England I was amazed at what they achieved in medicine and health care.

    Then I compare that to what Scots are doing today and we seem to be a pale shadow of what we were. In many respects this seems to equate to the loss of the Bible in our lives.

    And so I looked at what has replaced the Bible. You could say that the Internet has replaced the Bible. While it is a recent shift it seems that Facebook and Twitter and other social networking sites have replaced the Bible. I'm not sure what effect this is having on the minds of children. Is it helping them with developing a retentive memory? I somehow don't think so. In fact I've often said that my memory isn't that great and so the search engine on my site makes up for that.

    Then if you watch any commentary on TV about education you can't help but be concerned how kids today are not doing as well at school. In the old days in Scotland school was free although you did need to pay something to go to higher schools and University although much of that was really just living expenses.

    Today we seem to be caught up in a multi-cultural attitude where it is no longer "correct" to say Happy Christmas. You no longer get to sing a hymn at school. Yet we get to the point that the Muslim faith are building mosques in former Christian countries but a lot of Muslim countries won't tolerate Christians in their countries and won't let you build a church.

    I'd go further in that the Muslim countries are gradually and steadily getting rid of Christians. See the recent bombings of churches in Iraq and Egypt. Turkey has almost eradicated Christians whereas it was formerly a very Christian country. Iran, Lebanon, etc. see dwindling number of Christians.

    So with the Bible going out of fashion it seems that Christianity is dwindling as well. We don't seem to care that much about it any more and so the Muslim faith keep expanding as they obviously care a lot more about their religion than Christians do.

    What I can't yet see is any evidence that the Muslim faith is producing the thinkers and innovators of tomorrow.

    And so my question in all this is has the loss of that one book (The Bible) made a significant change to the world and to the Scots?

    Alastair

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  3. #2

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    Re: The Bible

    Here is a great website if you want a Bible passage.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/

    There are 27 English language translations on the site as well as many other languages.

    If that is not enough for you there is another site with quite a few versions also:

    http://biblia.com/

    I know I found the King James version hard to understand and so many of the other versions are easier which has helped me to understand the teachings.

    Cheers,

    Hugh

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    Re: The Bible

    As a minister, I would love to agree that it is the lack of the Bible that is responsible for the decline, but I fear it is much more that we have lost faith not merely in Christianity, but in ourselves and our values.

    We have abandonned the old convictions that all we needed can be found in the Bible (which is true) and have found nothing to replace it with. We endlessly beat ourselves up for the wrongs we have done in the name of God/Christianity, but rarely do I see an outline such as in this article about the great things the Bible has inspired in us: personal responsibility, hard work, creativity, creating a better world for all. Respect for others, compassion, caring and charity are the virtues and values that Christ required of those who follow Him.

    As parents, many have abandonned the concept of "spare the rod and spoil the child", but in its place all we have is a mushy "defend the child against any criticism or folly". Teachers and parents alike are threatened with social workers if they so much as give a punishment or criticize poor school work. A dose of reality is what is needed if society is not to face permanent decline.

    Unfortunately, this uncertainty of what is "right" has also translated into refusing to pass on the faith of their family for fear the child will not want it: so they wait for faith to magically transform the child's life when "they can decide for themselves". How bizarre when we see it as our duty to pass on other values.

    Muslims on the other hand, continue to have their children memorize the Koran, in a faith which does not permit dissent or discussion on how to interpret the real message and meanings of the writings in the 21st century of its passages (which was what the Enlightenment was all about).

    The Bible if slavishly followed can lead to a lack of respect for science and rights. But a well-educated person needs the Book to provide values in their life and a context for their history. Hopefully, the great value of the Bible will once again be recognized before it is too late and it will return to its rightful place as the most influential book ever written.

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  7. #4

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    Re: The Bible

    As it happens when you note "spare the rod and spoil the child" I noted in another post that when you read of Scots children at school in the old days there is often comment about physical punishment by the teachers. Discipline was certainly a part of school life back then.

    I do remember myself getting the belt at school. We often said that was preferred as it was then over and done with. The only other punishment meeted out was to give you lines. Like 100 lines meant you had to write out 100 times the first rule of the school rule book... and that was a 3 line rule!

    I really don't think that had any bad affect on us although I do remember one teacher who I do think went a bit over the score.

    Alastair

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  9. #5

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    Re: The Bible

    I believe the Scottish tradition of the Bible in every home was carried all over the world. I remember my Grandma Holley reading her Bible daily and teaching me spelling games based on verses. My great grandpas both mother and father's side were ministers.

    When I moved to the UK, I carried the Bible I received when I was baptised in 1971! I have my Grandparent Williams' old family Bible as my inheritance. Most of my writing of ancient legends must be verified from my old King James Version.

    I have also wrote a letter to my MP with great concern about the English schools considering taking prayer out of schools. He informed me, 'yes he had read something like that issue in his papers but it is more an Issue with the United States, not the United Kingdom'.

    I had to take the answer as positive.

    I believe in discipline. I do strongly feel the Children's Act of 1998 has been taken to the extreme on protecting children at all cost. Parents and Teachers are too frightened to actually be in control.
    kellyd

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