Thankfully, the Bible's age has helped translations remain quite accurate. Because it's so old, there are tons of different copies of the same texts, with different ages. This means you can compare multiple copies of the same texts from different dates and iron out any discrepancies.
One of the bigger obstacles to Bible understanding (or any other book for that matter) is in the translation. A common example is that in Greek, you have four words for love, whereas in English you have one. A decent Bible should have footnotes explaining which word is used.
Also, discoveries about ancient Greek and (especially) Hebrew are being made all the time, which people aren't always aware of. For example, within the last 50 to 100 years, a slight gramatical pointer was found in the paragraph in Genesis about how "on the seventh day, God rested".
We now know that the word 'rested' is actually continuous, and should be more accurately rendered "has been resting". In other words, the seventh 'day' hasn't finished yet. This means the previous 6 'days' of creation would have been thousands, maybe millions of years long each. It basically squishes the argument that the earth was made in just 144 hours.
Basically, I believe in understanding what you believe. It annoys me when people say they believe something but have no proof or reason for it. If you can't back it up, then in my opinion it's not your belief. Does that make sense?
The Hindus believe in an Oscillating universe, one theory about the nature of the universe supported by many modern scientists. Hinduism is one of the few(the onlty one I know of) that thinks in larger time-scales. The Shiva Naharaja depicts the god Shiva doing his cosmic dance and creating the universe. It illustrates the balance of creation/destruction and symbolizes the ignorance of dichotomy.
Hindus believe that the universe is completely destroyed and re-created over and over again every few billion(i can't recall exactly) years. Also note that the drum represents creation of the universe. Doesn't that sound a bit like the big-bang theory? It just blows my mind that the ancients actually though about the universe(and time) in such large scales. Don't Christians believe the world(universe?) is only, like, a few thousand years old?
"I agree with you, actually.
A lot of people claim to be open minded, and yet when you talk about religion, they laugh at you.
Not very open-minded at all."
Lazarus, I personaly don't bash religion unless people shove it on others people's faces, or start wars like we are seeing around the world. Or when an idiot pope says ignorant things about muslins just to make the situation worse (no I am not muslin) but what about the pope? He's the closest mind jerk on earth. With that said, it's hard to respect religious people who follow and listen to retards like the pope. Unfortunatly but true, the current events in the world have stained religion's views for many people.
To me, to each his own...but religion does affect the lives of many, many people and that's what I dislike it so much.
George Pell is not the Pope. Although I'm not religious, I think the Pope (Benedict and John Paul) is one of the most misunderstood figures in Christianity. If you read about recent encyclicals, you'll find that Catholicism is, oddly, much more progressive than a lot of evangelical denominations.
Was listening to that the other day - "Did I see you in a limousine, flinging out the fish as you walk on the mean".
@Johnny: Hinduism is not a religion either, and you don't have to believe in the Hindu deities to be a good Hindu. In fact, you don't have to *believe* in anything, other than the goodness of humanity and yourself.