Buddism. Okay, I can go with that, that is a pretty neutral belief system indeed. Just wasn't sure where you were going with that. I definately concede on that one then.
so you read the original bible, huh?
Not as much as I'd like to. I stick to the NIV myself because it seems the best translation. However, there are time I find myself reading a particular verse and wondering what it literally says in the Hebrew. Like, for example, which kind of love is being used anytime you see the word "love" (Hebrew language has a wide variety that is lost in translation). I want to learn more about the language of the original text and learn more about the variations between modern translations.
So, in answer to your question, I'm working on it.
who gets to decide the context?
Common sense. My last example is perfect for this. If you simply read "women obey your husbands" without reading on to "men respect your wives" you come off with the inequality conclusion. Just read the whole thing, and context is much clearer. No one "decides" context, you just use your head. It's not THAT difficult as some would have you believe.
its says submit and respect. I don't know the original words but those english words are not terms of equality.
Actually I was thinking about that too, I want to know what the original Hebrew says. But again, if you read enough of the Bible you get the jist for how things fit together. When you read biblical examples and weigh all the different biblical values together, it becomes very clear. Marriage by design is about dual submission, give and take, a partnership in which neither is superior to the other. But you can't grasp this until you've read enough of the Bible as a whole as opposed to selected verses or chapters.
I am glad you weren't hurt in your wreck, and that god answered your prayer. I mean that.
Thanks. I had to cut my post short because I was in class, so I had to get up and go all of a sudden. But I watched the laws of physics go right out the window on that one, and belive me cars don't go from 60mph to putting themselves into park. It was really, really bizarre. It was rather funny at the same time though. The car stops all of a sudden, I'm sitting there trying to recompose myself, and I finally take one hand off the wheel to put her in park, only to find it already there. Heh, I literally at that point said "Uh, thanks..."
And that's part of what I'm talking about when I say my life's experience has proved it to me but I can't prove that to anyone else. You can say "well, you just made that up" and I have no way to defend myself. But I firmly believe God reveals Himself to those that open their minds and hearts wide enough. But that's too high a level of optimism for some, unfortunately.
Anyway, there were a few other points I never got to get to:
it isn't possible that this is true. modern day translation differ in several ways.
You're right, it isn't possible, but it is nonetheless. That's what's so friggin' cool about it. Now I'm not talking about modern translation, I'm talking about the various original texts uncovered in various locations. None of them differ more than -- and I forget the exact figures -- 5-10%, and I think it was actually less...need to look it up again. If these various ancient texts were manmade, then there's no way they'd be that far apart geographically, that numerous, and yet with that small a margin of difference.
one of them being presentation of the trinity
The Trinity is not a problem of translation, it's a problem of interpretation. All translations of the Bible speak of God's nature the same (at least I haven't heard of a translation saying otherwise), but people interpret it differently. I think the problem is that a lot of people can't wrap their minds around the paradox of the Trinity, so they explain it away. But it's very much there. Also, the word "Trinity" is not a biblical term, just a word adopted later to describe the biblical concept. This isn't an a failure in Scripture, just a failure in man's understanding and not going far enough to understand better.
equal meaning your church has girl ministers right
No, pulpit ministers are male roles as described biblically. This does NOT mean men are above women though. A good comparison would be that you don't play basketball with footballs and vice versa. Neither is superior to the other; they're just used for different purposes.
Why aren't women accepted as preachers biblically? No one can authoritively answer this but God (or so I think), but I suspect it's a means of demonstrating how we depend on each other's differences to attain unity. Obviously, in a similar light, there are things women are far, far better at doing than men. In fact, if either sex were to be superior, I fear it would be the women. It's a hotly debated issue, but I personally think it's a beauty in diversity by design.
Let's face it, Joe Montana will never play basketball. Yeah, you have the occasional Bo Jackson, but generally speaking the divisions are clear but to no one's detriment.
Aren't you and the pope reading parts of the same book.
Yes, but I think the Pope is a victim of adhering to blind tradition. But my two cents won't even buy you a coke.
Or is yours more updated? This didn't work for the mormons.
No, the Bible makes very clear that Revelation is its end. The Book of Mormon and various other texts violate this, which is why I wonder how some people can actually buy into them. It's blatent contradiction. Mine's not "updated", it's the original. And as you've pointed out already, the more I can learn about the actual ancient texts as opposed to modern translations, the better (though even the differences between modern translations is still very minor).
Or is there just some vast misunderstanding going on?
Misunderstanding + stubbornness. Many people were raised a certain way, adhere to a tradition, or simply don't want to change from the way "things have always been". When you combine that with misunderstanding, you have the religious confusion we have today. In-depth research and open-mindedness is the solution to this problem.
and where did that come from?
I'd say naivity, laziness, and stubborness, primarily. 1) I believe whatever I'm told, 2) I don't want to put forth the effort to research, and 3) this is the way I've always thought.
I'm glad to say that I'm not among them, or at least I strive not to be. Many of my beliefs have changed as I've researched them. For instance, I used to be against interracial marriage. After research and study though, I learned that stance of mine was flat out idiotic and not biblically supported. Now I've flipped 100% the other way and I think it's an amazing thing that those who have the chance to experience it are really blessed to have the experience.
Study, research, understand, seek truth, that's what it comes down to. Pray for guidance along the way.