Bible


Firstly, Bible is the Word of God. It is also an ancient, holy book and historical monument.There are excellent and intriguing stories in it. However, it is not only a range of various interesting stories; all of them tell a great story. This is a great story about God, the creator of the world and people, and what he does with his creation. This big story is build around a few major topics:
Creation
Fall
Israel
Jesus
Christ's followers
End of the ages


Creation:
God created the universe out of nothing, by giving things their existence. He settled his people in the world, which people had to take care of. God gave people the order to take care of animals, birds, trees and vegetation.

Fall:
God put the first people in the garden of Eden, where they could live freely with minor limitations. It was only forbidden to eat fruit from the tree, standing in the middle of the garden – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. However, the Serpent (the incarnation of evil), persuaded our forefathers to taste the forbidden fruit and and as a consequences Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden. This story basically helps you to understand the Bible, since it appears that Mankind no longer has a direct relationship with God. The whole creation also lost
primordial presence of God.

Israel:
God chooses the people of Israel, which He shall protect and take care of. Even though Israel got to the Egyptian captivity, God delivered them through Moses, who brought the people out of Egypt. And while they wandered in the wilderness, God gave them his law. Law of God is the essence of another 10 laws that teach people how they should live. After half a century wonderful Lord brought his people to the promised land.


Jesus:
Jesus appeared to the world as a teacher, healer and a prophet who spoke of God's kingdom, testifying that God was still focusing on his people, regardless of their oppression and suffering. Jesus taught people for three years, healed and cast out evil spirits from the possessed, announcing that his work and education reflected the power of God. He took care of the poor and the outcasts, could help even strangers who have turned to him, preaching to people merciful love of God and believed that the nation through his spiritual sacrifice will be reborn. But the Jewish religious leaders resented his teaching. Soon he was arrested and sentenced to die, and then Romans condemned Jesus to be crucified. While Jesus hung on the cross, darkness surrounded the land. But death had no power over him and Jesus after 3 days rose from the dead. He was not only a teacher, healer and a prophet. He really was the Messiah and the Son of God!
Christ's followers:
Having risen from the dead, Jesus instructed his disciples to spread the news about him to other people. Jesus, before he left his disciples and going out to God the Father promised to send them the power to help make this great task, the power that Jesus called the Holy Spirit.

End times:
The early Christians lived in anticipation that Jesus would return to earth to complete what he began during his life, death and resurrection. They waited for renewal of all creation, which was in accordance with God's primordial idea. There will come a day when the world will disappear, the evil and injustice will no longer exist, and those who have rejected God will be punished, while those who believed in Jesus will see God face to face.

Bible:
As soon as we start exploring contemporary Western civilization, we will definitely face the Bible. For many centuries it had a decisive influence on our laws, education systems and the ideals of democracy, not to mention our human human rights concept. Either way, the Holy Scriptures had a profound effect for many prominent European political, social and religious life reformers, and by means of them all for the largest Western nations. The same can be said about many of the current changes in world culture. When awakening nations start searchin their own way, many of their leaders choose to follow the Book.

Biblical ideas:
According to the Bible, everything in the world starts and will end with participation of God. Everywhere we see God, the care of his love for men and women, big and small, inviting them all to give their lives for Him. The most significant figure in the book is Jesus. He not only encourages us to question our beliefs and behavioral patterns, but also gives people the opportunity to to reduce the evil in their lives and to gain new strength to live by God's guidance. He declares that his teaching is the only one possible, and is the only way to know God and really close to him. In order to know the true God, one must accept Jesus Christ the only God
Son and repent, and be willing to pledge himself to the Lord and Savior, to seek forgiveness for the past sins. The Bible is full of wonderful and valuable insights into how people can and should respond to signs of immense and forgiving God's love.

Reading the Bible:
Reading the Bible can be difficult. Sometimes it is fun and provides us with inspiration, but sometimes it may arouse some enigmatic questions. People read the Bible for a variety of reasons:
▪ It can be read as a literary work. Psalms or the book of Isaiah are the best examples of world literature.
▪ the Bible can be read as history of the ancient world.
▪ People study the Bible to understand the Judeo-Christian religions, the emergence of moral norms.
▪ The Bible may be interesting for artists, writers, poets and all those who want to find inspiration.

The Bible is divided into Old and New Testaments:

The Old Testament consists of 46 boks.They are:
Pentateuch, comprising:
Genesis: Representing God’s work.
Exodus: God's work revealed in history.
Leviticus: God’s precepts given for all, most of them are regulations for eating and hygiene.
Numbers: shows God's faithfulness.
Book of Deuteronomy: its main theme-obedience.

Historical books:
Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and the Book of Esther, Jewish history covers 800 years of approximately 1200-400 years B.C. They describe how the Israelites settled in their conquered land, how the judges and the kings reigned before the great exile.
Wisdom books:
Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of songs. All of them are different from each other in topics. The Book of Job is a great poem about meaning of suffering, the Preacher considers futility of life. The book of Proverbs is a collection of sayings that explain how to deal in
everyday life, psalms is a collection of chants, prayers and set of poems, which express the multitude of feelings, and the Song of Songs sings about the miracle of physical love. Although each of these books deals with human behavior in daily life, God is ever present. The essence of wisdom books is a belief that God arranged life in such a way, that we gain wisdom by bowing to Him and carrying out his orders.
Prophets:
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi books were called after the names of the prophets that wrote them. Prophets were people of God who acted as his message carriers,
sometimes overpowered by his will, that sometimes they would speak directly in his name.
The Old Testament is an essential part of the Bible. All 46 books were inspired by the Spirit, and Christians consider those as a true testament of God's word. History shows that the Christian
Community has always resisted the attempts to reject the Old Testament by saying that it was made invalid by the new one.

The new testament is a set of 27 books:
4 gospels (the gospel - the good news):
According to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, their attention is given to the kind of good news that brought healing, peace and joy to the world, particularly by means of His death and resurrection, which saved people from eternal damnation.
Letters to the Galatians, Ephesians, Filipians, Colossians,
Thesalonians, Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, epistles of Peter, John and Jude, John's revelation. The Acts of the Apostles closed the New Testament story. Thirteen of the first epistles were written to young newly-established churches. They responded to important issues for Christians and church leadership problems. All these epistles were written by apostle Paul, who was primarily apostle to gentiles. His dramatic conversion to Christianity is also recorded in Acts of the Apostles.
Other messages were intended for larger groups of Christians. The New Testament story covers about 100 year period, 1st century after Christ’s birth in the province of the Roman Empire. This is basically a testament of Jesus Christ.

Today is perhaps not surprising that any person can access the Bible in his own language. But the Bible was written in languages, which today no one talks in. NT - Old Greek language, the OT- Hebrew. In order to precisely identify meaning of the words of the biblical languages one needed to explore the history and culture and make ligvistic analysis. It was very difficult and painstaking work, but nevertheless one can be sure that the current state of Bible translations is broadly consistent with the original version.
Bible translations and versions
Old Testament was written in Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic languages. Septuagint was a Greek translation of the Old Testament. Today the Holy Bible is translated into most lagnuages of the world and is the most printed and bought book in the entire earth.
Some languages can boast a lot of versions of translations, some just a few or even one. As you may know English language has most versions of the Book. Some of those are quite literal, others maybe free. In any case we should rejoice that the Word of God spread across the world and we can read such a large variety of translations nowadays.
Some of the most popular translations in English: Amplified Bible, King James Version, New International Version, American Standard Version, Darby Translation, Easy To Read Version, English Standard Version, The Message, New King James Version, Wycliffe Bible, Young’s Literal Translation.
What are the differences between the New and Old Testaments (Covenants)
It is absolutely clear that these two books are the complete word of God and one cannot be fully understood without the other. God through Moses, kings, prophets and other his people that lived under the old Covenant prepared people of the world for the New Covenant and brought about the long awaited Messaiah – Jesus Christ.
If we did not have the Old Testament we would not understand why messiah was neccessary and what kind of savior he would be. Those that missed the point missed the messiah when he came on the stage (and most of the Jews are still waiting for the chosen one).
In Psalms and the prophets we see a lot of prophecies that exactly show Savior’s mission, life, character, teaching and death as well as consequences of it for all humanity.
Jesus made a perfect sacrifice to forgive us our sins
Under the old covenant people would have to sacrifice animals in order to obtain God’s fogiveness for the sins they had committed. However, those substitutes were very vague symbols of the sacrifice that is yet to come and gain us a complete and perfect forgiveness of sins. Those sacrifices did not solve the guilt problem, but merely covered it as people always felt guilty for what they had done. Those sacrifices were not perfect! Jesus brought a perfect sacrifice and made a perfect atonement for our sins as was predicted long time ago in the sacred scriptures (read all 53rd chapter of the book of Isaiah).
Believing, not doing justifies us in God’s eyes
The Law of Moses said: do and you will be blessed. Of course, people could not fullfill all the commandments in the law and therefore they were under a curse of the law for “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law” (Deuteronomy 27:26). The Old testament did not speak about faith. If you look through all of it you will hardly find this word mentioned. With the start of the New Covenant (Gospels, epistles) we see abundance of it. Why? Because, God justifies a human being by faith and not by keeping to the laws.
Why were the laws given then? To show us that we are sinful and are not able to fullfil what perfect God requires from us and this knowledge should have led God’s people to understanding of a genuine need for a messiah to save them from their sins.
Temple is no longer a building
In the Old Testament Jews had their temples (Solomon temple, temple dedicated by Zerubabbel and Herod’s temple). Temple was a place were the presence of God dwelt. Only once in a year (on the Day of Atonement) and only the High priest of Israel could enter that presence (that was in the Ark of the Covenant) with special offerings and sacrifices. That place was called the Holy of Hollies. The entrance to it was covered by a curtain. Nobody, even a king could enter there. There was an instance when the king Uzziah did that (because of his pride). The consequences were disasterous. He was immediatelly covered with leprocy (2 Chronicles 26:19).
This curtain covering the Holy of Holies was of course symbolic. It showed that Holy God could not be approached by a sinful human. This changed when Jesus Christ died on the cross. That day the curtain of the temple was torn in two top to bottom (Mark 15:38). As we know Jesus, before dying cried out:”It is finished” (John 19:30). By these words Jesus declared that the Old Covenant was over and the New began.
The promise that God will live with us and in us became reality! All who have given their lives to Christ and repented of their sins become sons and daughters of God and living temples of the Holy Spirit (Colossians 1:27, 1 Corinthians 6:19). So, the presence of God is no longer in the Temple. It is in the bodies of those who believe in Christ.
All believers are priests now
In the Old Testament only people who were from a tribe of Levi were given sacred right to be priests unto God. They did not have to do any other work, except serving the Lord in the tabernacle. All the other tribes had to give tithes in order for the Levi tribe to live. There has been a shift in that in the New Testament. Now, every believer becomes a priest under Jesus Christ (who is the High Priest in the New Covenant) (see 1 Peter 2:9 and entire book of Hebrews, which talks about all the Church as holy and royal priesthood).
Kingdom of Heaven within
As you may already see the Old Covenant was full of external things that served to show the upcoming glory of God that became a reality in the New Covenant. In the new era we have the kingdom of heaven within, in our heart, which is not a political kingdom that Isrealites expected their messiah to bring. Paradise is in your heart when Jesus lives there and it may be very hard to spot that initially. Material prosperity and abundance is no longer a sign that God blessed you. True blessings are spiritual ones and they become visual when your personality and character changes and you start bearing fruits of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23). Hell also starts in your heart and it eventually becomes a reality when you depart to your eternal abode.
Change of nature and character
Not only forgiveness of sins takes place when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, but also a complete change in our nature. The Old self dies and a new creature is born. This new man is created according to God’s likeness, image and holiness. It was impossible for ancient people to fulfill the commandments of the law, because they were written on stone and they hearts were hardened by sin. In the new covenant the Lord writes those commandments on the tablets of our hearts. This is the only way that God’s law can be fulfilled. It must be written in your heart. And that is only possible through supernatural regeneration that is done by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Biblical criticism apologetic

The Christian image of "criticism" is so poor, that something worse could hardly found. Having a "critical spirit," and criticizing a man is considered to be destructive, arrogant, judgmental, and omniscient. You would not find a pastor who would like to have church members that always criticize. You would also hardly find Christian literature that would praise criticism. However, you would find a lot of statements even by famous Christian authors demanding us not to criticize, compare or judge. When one criticizes what another Christian does with faith and sincere conviction you interfere into God’s matters. Statements like that are bountiful in contemporary sermons. 

Of course, we can clearly understand the positive not that the preachers want to convey, but the chosen wording allows us to claim that as utter nonsense. After all, is it not clear that a lot of people sincerely do utter nonsense and commit the worst and greatest sins? Should not we react to that critically and warn? Are we to remain silent, when disseminated contradictions, false interpretation of the Bible and poor arguments are presented as truth? However, some pastors and preachers would say that ‘criticism is the work of the devil, especially if it is directed against the church and its’ ministers’.

It is therefore not surprising that there still is fiery abyss between Christian faith and philosophy. For philosophers such as B. Russell (1872-1970) says: "The main feature of the philosophy ... is being critical.

In the introduction of philosophy "Learn to Live" L. French Ferry takes the same view. On the one hand philosophy and critical thinking, on the other - faith and religion: "... all we know of the earlier civilizations before ancient Greek, philosophy was often replaced by religion ... a long time, people looked for salvation under the care of the gods, rather than cultivating their minds." But in Christianity, he says, "it is not so important to think as to trust the Other. And, of course, it is here that lies the greatest and most significant difference between religion and philosophy."
Everybody praises the Greek for finding critical thinking. One famous Greek managed to formulate a truly fair idea: people create gods according to their own image. As a result, these gods actually do not exist - there's only one God. Thus some Greeks were successful to approach biblical monotheism. However, is it really the Greeks that discovered the criticism of myths and gods? Are you sure the Greeks are the parents of critical thinking? No!

Religious criticism - let's start from it - the Bible is a revelation. Detailed criticism of religion is to be found, for example., Psalm 115, 4-8, Psalm 135, 15-18, Isaiah 44, 9-20, Jeremiah 10, 1-16. It is stated in these verses that gods (idols) made by people are worthless, utterly powerless. Isaiah describes how the artist works and creates things, as wood is used for the construction and kindling, and as the same tree of the human hand is converted into an idol and worshiped:

Half of the wood he burns in the fire; over it he prepares his meal, he roasts his meat and eats his fill. He also warms himself and says, “Ah! I am warm; I see the fire. ” From the rest he makes a god, his idol;   he bows down to it and worships. He prays to it and says, “Save me! You are my god!” (44, 16-17)

Idols are useless and they do not affect anything. According to Jeremiah, they are "
Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field," (Jer. 10, 5), so it is foolish and absurd to engage with them. But that's not all the criticism that prophets have. They do not forget to mention idol worshipers:

"
They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand. 19 No one stops to think, no one has the knowledge or understanding to say, “Half of it I used for fuel; I even baked bread over its coals, I roasted meat and I ate. Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left? Shall I bow down to a block of wood?” (Isaiah 44, 18-19)

The Bible criticizes men made idols and says that it is unwise to trust them. Clever and foolish things were important for the Israelites, who lived several centuries before the Greeks. They saw much deeper connection between idols and idolatry than the first philosophers. Psalm 115, 8 reads: "
Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them." And Isaiah 44, 9: "All who make idols are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless.“

But one should also note that the Old Testament criticism is not targeted at the pagan nations, and not the Greek and Roman cults in the New Testament- even criticism here would have been really logical. Nation and the cults are mentioned only occasionally, as, for example: cruelty of nations of Canaan, or the horrors of human sacrifice. When religion is criticized, especially in the Old Testament, the first focus is to me, to my people, Israel. When the Greeks invented the criticism and attacked everybody barbaroi, non Greeks, Jews had already been a step further - moving to self-criticism.

There are many critical stories about the people of God in the Holy Scriptures. It is openly described how hard monotheism rooted among the people of Israel. King David's adultery and murder (2 Samuel 11-12), is fully told and the accusatory speech of the prophet Nathan to the king is thoroughly conveyed. This gave impetus to appear by far the best-known prayer of repentance in the Book (Psalm 51). The murderers were not only David, but also Moses and Paul - all of which we know not from somewhere else but from the Bible. Peter's error, when he approaches the suffering of Jesus light heartedly by promising not to turn away "(Mt 26, 31-35), is retold openly and in detail. Similarly, Paul's conflict where he strongly criticized his colleague on the unwillingness to sit at one table with a Christian who - a former pagan (Gal 2, 11-14) is not hidden.

New Testament, though, on the one hand, , started from social programs in the early Christian history (Acts 6), on the other hand, it constantly raised such facts as the rich not willing to share with the poor (1 Cor 11, 21-22), abusing the poor during common meetings  (James 2) salaries that are not paid in time (James 5, 4). In the Old Testament, even entire books assigned to describe the situation of people in Israel (Micah, Amos). The same can be said about the New Testament, let us say the first Corinthians. So let it be emphasized again that all of that we know not from enemy writings but from the Bible.

No religion confessors are so lynched in their sacred writings as they are in ST and NT. It is clearly stated that even religious Jews and Christians are sinners, capable of any bad work. Paul wrote to Christians: "
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! (1 Corinthians 10, 12), and exhorted them not to consider themselves better than others in face of the Jewish court: "Do not be arrogant, but tremble." (Romans 11, 20). Also, the people of Israel are constantly reminded that they were elected not because they appeared to be better than other nations (see Deuteronomy 7, 7-8).

Self-criticism is deeply rooted in the heart of biblical religion - the doctrine of sin and salvation. In the early chapters of the book we see how the first people turned away from God and immediately started searching fault with others (Genesis 3, 12-13). Since then, people tend to translate problems to others both in private lives, as well as public, for example politics. But Christianity is expressed in the fact that we primarily search for guilt in ourselves. Becoming a Christian firstly means to look at ourselves and recognize our own sinfulness. Faith begins with his faithlessness, imperfection, failure and weakness recognition. Therefore, Jesus blamed the Pharisee for saying: "
God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. ..." and praises the tax collector prayer: " God, have mercy on me, a sinner!" (Luke 18, 11-14). For the same reason, Paul wrote: "For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them —yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me...." (1 Cor 15, 9-10). As a result, the apostle urges the others to look at themselves critically: "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves." (2 Corinthians 13: 5)

Bible can be regarded as wide critical, own God's people history commentary. Open and honest look at yourself in the Judeo-Christian culture, raised self-criticism to the level of virtues and turned it into a symbol of strength. Therefore, all shameful "Christian" history stages starting from the Crusades, the slave trade to racism have been explored and evaluated by our own historians - Christians and condemned.

No other religion admits its’ own failings and injustices, such as Christianity. For example, criticism of Islam and its’ history is unthinkable thing and blasphemy. Therefore, there are no really critical sciences, or critically debating parliaments. Even Shintoist Japan has not recognized World War II crimes and has not asked Chinese forgiveness. While the Western world can no longer be considered Christian in the true sense, but even a very secularized understanding of original sin, still has enormous impact on culture and decisions: the West still searches causes of problems within itself first.

Talking about history, we should not miss one more important aspect: The Bible retells the history of God and man and delivers the story of salvation. The latter is closely related to ‘profanic’ history. Bible gives many dates, numbers, and names and genealogical lists. God's work is going on in the normal 'history, no matter whether it is the Exodus from Egypt, or the construction of the temple, or the exile of Israelites to Babylon, or the Passion of Jesus. The Bible itself says that the events described therein are part of history, thus the Bible is a historical document. Literary man E. Auerbach (1892-1957) writes that "the books of the Bible were not edited by developers of legends, but by historians". Paul also says, that the essence of Christianity: Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection are historical events. If it ever appears to be an error, then the whole of Christianity was a mistake (see 1 Corinthians 15, 13).

None of texts of sacred scriptures linked their texts with their writers’ life span and the historical environment as did the Bible. But it also means that the Bible provides a wealth of historical material, while opening up the opportunity to criticize undisturbed. It even tells itself how different parts of it appeared (eg, Deuteronomy 31, 22-26, Joshua 1, 8, 24, 26, also 1, 1, 30, 1, 31, 1, Jeremiah 1, 1-3; Luke 1: 1-4; Revelation 1, 9-11). In other words, it knowingly and voluntarily surrenders itself to the hands of history reviewers and critics. It becomes vulnerable. For example, Paul invites friends and enemies, to check the resurrection of Jesus, giving the names of witnesses, and thus allowing them to be questioned (1 Cor 15, 5-7). Of course, he does it being firmly convinced that his message will withstand any questioning and any kind of historical criticism. Accordingly, there is nothing to fear and nothing to hide. As a result, not surprisingly, critical writing of history was born exactly in the Christian West.

Initially, we mentioned the biblical criticism of religion and idols. But there is still different God’s own "criticism". Only in this case we have to write the concept in quotes, because the meaning is not the same, a little bit distant one. This refers to doubting God, and blaming God. If the believer does not understand God's actions, he is not obliged to squeeze it within himself, hide, but can speak it to God and to talk to him about it. God even encourages to do so. Therefore we would find more than one instance of people with concerns and complaints to God ( Jeremiah 12 chapter, See. Habakkuk 1, 2.12-17; and entire book of Lamentations). In addition there is a series of lamentations in psalms where the tone is even quite harsh and critical (eg, PS 3, 5, 6, 13, 44, 74, 77, 79). Here in Psalm 44, 24-27 God is strictly educated ':'
Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression? We are brought down to the dust; our bodies cling to the ground. 26 Rise up and help us; rescue us because of your unfailing love…”
The entire book of Job is designated for the theme. Job 6, 4 Job is depressed, suffering and laments: " The arrows of the Almighty are in me, my spirit drinks in their poison; God’s terrors are marshaled against me. " In the ninth chapter he is proud of the omnipotence of God, but the very next second he is not able to cope with despair: " Even if I summoned him and he responded, I do not believe he would give me a hearing. 17 He would crush me with a storm and multiply my wounds for no reason." (9, 16-17). Without feeling guilty he complains about the injustice of the world: "Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power? " (21, 7). He bravely sparkles critical questions: " Does it please you to oppress me, to spurn the work of your hands,  while you smile on the plans of the wicked?  ..." (10, 3), " Why do you hide your face and consider me your enemy??" (13, 24). Job searches for the truth, to defend himself in the presence of God (13, 3) by saying to his friends, "... then know that God has wronged me and drawn his net around me." (19, 6). His complaint ends in painful, even sarcastic accusation: " “But he stands alone, and who can oppose him? He does whatever he pleases. 14 He carries out his decree against me, and many such plans he still has in store. 15 That is why I am terrified before him; when I think of all this, I fear him. 16 God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me. " (23, 13-16).

A special feature about book of Job is that though God chastened Job (see 38, 2s, 40, 2, 42, 3), however, He considers Job to be righteous (42, 8), contrary to his friends who tried to defend God in their talks with Job. Therefore, the moral of the book of Job is still very provocative today: it is better to pour out accumulated discontent and criticism towards God rather than suppress it and praise God with divided devotion.

Job "criticizes" his God, well knowing that God is truly present and hears his words. Job is a believer (19, 25). Really atheistic criticism of God does not know the Bible. Saying that God does not exists shows stupidity of the speaker as is critically stated in Psalm 14, 1: "
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” Bible characters never deny God, but they often disagree with him. No wonder that the Israeli patriarch Jacob, who wrestled with God (in the form of a man) (Gen. 32, 25) was named Israel (the one who fought with God ").

First of all, no doubt, God requires faith, obedience and worship. However, He does not want blind believers. God searches for a trustworthy relationship between two persons. It is very different from Islam, where God needs only (blind) devotion (the word islam means exactly this). In order for trust to appear and grow, God allows his reliability to be tested. But above all, of course, He verifies the reliability of a man and then invites him to try and test the worth of God's word. Reliability of God rests in his revelation and his word. In other words, God himself is the tool ', which can and must measure' God. That’s why God allows to be charged in the book of Lamentations and the Psalms for his promises and their assumed departing from them. We have heard the question a lot of times ‘why there is so much pain in the world that loving and caring God created?’ Because God exists, he has a certain way, that’s why this world of suffering and trouble is still able to exist. Paul asks: "
Is God unjust?" (Romans 9, 14). Although the question is answered in the negative, but it is interesting that such issues as this are on the whole set and discussed.

God ‘substantiation ', testing and verification examples could be found in numerous biblical stories. For example, the Israelites leaving Egypt. We could ask: why so many ceremonies and time were necessary? Wasn’t God able to take his people out of the place in a twinkle of an eye? Of course, it was possible, but it was necessary that Moses, Aaron and all the people would see what their God is like, that everything that had been foretold, occurs, that He is powerful and reliable. God allowed a lot of things to happen in order to develop trust in his people.

God does not require a silent and blind obedience from the people. Therefore, he descends into conversations with people and gives an opportunity to object and ask. Unfortunately, this mindset is unpleasant for Christian ears today. These thoughts are avoided altogether, or are construed differently. This is due to the fact that they are valued not from the point of the Holy Bible, but from a cultural perspective, which contributes to our understanding of criticism since the times of Renaissance and the Enlightenment.

John Locke (1632-1704), one of the parents of education did not doubt the existence of God. He also believed in miracles and revelations. And Locke held belief to be a reasonable matter (one of his major works, written in 1695, is called "intelligent Christianity"). But how to determine what is God's revelation? Since of human mind decides what revelation is, anything contrary to the mind, cannot be regarded as a divine revelation. "Such an argument cannot be recognized as divine revelation, ... if it is contrary to our clear, intuitive knowing”, thought Locke. He regarded human mind to be the highest instance.

English deists such as: Cherbury, Tolland and Tyndale extended this line. J. S. SEMLA (1725-1791) who is considered to be the father of modern German Bible criticism thought he knew exactly what the difference between "Scripture" and "word of God “was:

"... We know the difference ... the Bible as a historical and a relative concept, as formulated by the Jews, consists of Ruth, Esther, Ezra, Song of Songs, and other books, but the word of God that has been educating people through all ages to receive salvation and learn from God, does not include all the above mentioned books."

And H. S. Reimarus (1694-1768) lectured on the Old Testament with non-quivering self-confidence:

"We would definitely not find any other book or story, so full of contradictions, with both variety and shameful abuse of the name of God: where all the characters, called the people of God, would have caused so much outrage, disgust and problems for a spirit that loves honor and respect ... It [History of the Old Testament] is made up of tissue of nonsense, impudence, deceptions and atrocities... " (non literary translation).

Another significant effect on the concept of religion and Christianity was made by I. Kant (1724-1804). "Arguments of the Faculties (1794) famous Konigsberg philosopher explains that the work of philosophers is "to check with cold common sense and assess the subject without fear of assumed holiness ... " (non literary translation) the origin of Christian teaching and correctness. Philosophers are ever "free" to put Bible faith....for criticism of the mind.

According to Kant, the Bible, of course, is not infallible, "... as those who compiled he Holy Scripture,  being people, could be wrong." He is also convinced that the mind has the right "to interpret Scripture in accordance with its’ principles ..." Mind is the only gauge of all things. Therefore, religion must be "a priori developed from the mind" ("Zum Streit der Vorarbeiten Fakult├Ąten). Mind (and not the Bible itself!) concludes: "In religion everything depends on the action."

In a small work "What does it mean: to orient thinking?" philosopher, aptly sums up: "Only pure faith reason is a signpost or compass, that speculative thinker can focus his mind on wandering through the object field of ‘beyond senses’ ..., and this belief in mind is what every other faith, even revelation has to become ultimate foundation. "The mind is the last gauge of finding truth”. It is therefore not surprising that, unlike Locke, Kant did not believe in Trinity or the virgin birth of Jesus, sinlessness, nor his performed miracles, sacrifice and resurrection on our behalf, or Ascension, and future second coming. It is true that Kant never denied the existence of God (on the contrary!) always considered attending local "ecclesial", but his professed 'religion was "a positive way of life” ... religion and his morality - morality autonomic human. Unfortunately, this Enlightenment conception of religion had and has nothing to do with Christianity.

After Kant, theologically conservative Christian entirely discredited criticism. But the problem is the fact that Kant left the back door open for the devout ones. It is allowed to believe “unreasonably” as much as you wish in the Church. Kant did not quite want to take away all dogmas from Christians. Let them be  - but they do not have anything to do with reasonable truth, science, etc. This led to a place where science or academic space was taken place by movement of mind and place of authority and churches were abandoned for the ‘naive 'communities of believers, where mind and criticism has no place.

I. Kant's views and their consequences need to be analyzed more deeply and more widely, but let one be said: reason cannot be sovereign, it can also make mistakes and is worthy of criticism, but not criticism according to Kant, but according to God's word. Mind should not control, but to serve - both in science as well as in the church. We must and should regain criticism from “Kant’s captivity”, because we need it badly. For a number of things! For our entire life! Let there be briefly touched upon four of his realms here.

Authority Criticism

Early Christians were a minority of critics in the Roman Empire. They disagreed with the cult of the emperor and refused unconditional obedience. Theologian O. O'Donovan urges the Church to always remain in the State and society as a "dangerous voice," which gives bold criticism against a government and against the powerful. Of course, criticism should be constructive as we have already seen from the first communities. Christians of that time offered a better model of society with social equity, welfare, solidarity and compassion, and so on and so forth.

Cultural Criticism

One of the most important tasks of today's church is a profound analysis and critique of the surrounding culture and worldviews. What influence is made? What is useful to learn what is to be rejected and what is dangerous? There are things which can easily be seen and appreciated.

However, there are cases (the majority), when the attack or direct influence aren’t there. Some currents get into church indirectly through back door. For example, pragmatism ("everything is okay, that works") or therapeutic evaluation ("all is well, which helps). Another gap '- high level of openness to innovation, for example. "Emerging churches" by new evangelical church leaders (and often young)). This is a real novelty, full of postmodern provisions allowing for free ‘inclusivism’, universalism, moral relativism and even syncretism to take roots. In this case a little knowledge of philosophy is quite useful in order to criticize postmodern thinker beliefs.

It is also necessary to add that the biblical cultural criticism applies to both the "left wing" and "right-wing” themes: social injustice, world's pollution, the pace of arms, religion and right - authoritarianism, laziness, greed, chasing pleasure and others.

Criticism of our own teaching

Christians interpret God's infallible word. But all interpretations are not perfect, infallible. Even such honorable churches, as Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch and Rome "made mistakes" and questions of faith, "as stated in the Anglican" Article 39 "(19). It should be remembered that the Bible is always viewed through denominational glasses; Biblical interpretation is always colored by a deep and gentle theology and church tradition of the interpreter. Realizing that we must remain open to criticism, corrections and changes of our own theology. Baptist should ask himself whether the concept of baptism has no weaknesses in his theology. A Lutheran could think about only adult baptism concepts. A philosopher (atheist) H. Albert says, "Who really cares about the truth, will do so, that those provisions which are particularly important to him would get the toughest critical testing."
("Traktat ├╝ber kritische Vernunft") Why would this idea not work for Christians and their theology?
But criticism is important not only for theologians and churches. Self-criticism is important for the sake of true discipleship and growth in faith. Christians often misunderstand learning, which the philosopher K. Popper (1902-1994) called cabbage barrel manner: the head is crammed and crammed as much as it can get there, although head (and heart) is not empty. Who became a believer, has a whole theology of it inside himself: a true understanding of God, man, salvation, the meaning of life, morality and so on and so forth. Only problem is that (large) part of the content is false, inaccurate and distorted. It is therefore necessary to take a critical look at oneself, seek for mistakes and modify existing knowledge.

The Reformation was also the criticism of the then church theology and practice. Luther looked critically at the established tradition of indulgences. Unfortunately, his criticism was neither accepted nor heard. Rome responded with its’ “fist”. Although the potential for a change was great: the theological situation was not established yet, training about indulgences not fully accepted, no most of “Mary” dogmas, and papal infallibility was not legalized yet. Rome could respond flexibly. But even quite properly moderate tone and flexibility in the wording of the Evangelical Augsburg confession of faith (1530) was rejected. After the Tridentate meeting the Catholic party shut the door completely. The effects of it we feel to this day. Had criticism been taken there would have been no schism of Christendom (during the Reformation).

Criticism of Christian books

Christians sometimes behave uncritically and negligently while choosing sermon literature and actual material. Instead of examining information carefully and thoroughly they take everything that had once heard or read of and accept it for what is seems to be. It is mostly connected to scientific and political knowledge, but theology is not an exception too.
The Bible calls for Christians to grow in faith and wisdom so that they had the ability to independently (not autonomically) to interpret spiritual issues. One of the main features of this is the ability to distinguish between: right and erroneous data, which arguments are weak and which are strong, which logical and which utter nonsense, where non-Christian views are based on biblical quotations.
To conclude with I must say that God allows us both to test his word, and also expects us not to follow our subjective way of mind while analyzing the Bible. Let us not be afraid to ask questions and look at things critically, but also remember that Bible is the final authority on any question of human existence.






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