Yesterday Anny mentioned the Bible as a holy book but not an encylopedia. I agree. It's not meant to answer all your reference questions. In fact, if you take passages from the Bible and put them in a word doc, you will find that those little green underliney things pop up indicating grammatical errors. Due to translation no doubt, but not your example of grammatical usage for a college paper or thesis.
However, I do have to differ with her as ghosts (Job), Pangaea (Genesis), and Dinosaurs (BOTH water dwelling veggie-sauruses and land dwelling meata-saureses) are mentioned in the Bible. Interestingly enough, it isn't the prospect of a single landmass breaking up or dinosaurs that will create some of the biggest controversy in a religious discussion, but the open communication about the spirit world.
I find it interesting that in a faith which believes deeply in the Holy Spirit and the minions of the underworld, we are not encouraged to discuss what happens to us when we pass on. Oh, it's talked about in quiet whispers and shared experiences... even (gasp) at seminary between the wives.
It was during one such discussion that a seminary guy confessed he was a sensitive who really appreciated taking a theology class where they did a two day seminar on hauntings and possessions!! I was floored! I mean, my husband attends the same school but he is a tough ghost critic despite our numerous personal experiences (which, if you have been following along, have not continued since the move and I have yet to hear from our renter that they've been a problem).
The seminar bits he told me about were fascinating. For example, spirits seem to prefer water or areas with water as a kind of anti-baptism. They also prefer to possess something, even if it's an animal as opposed to being cast out into a bodiless existence. There were other things too, like if you are in an exorcism, you ought to have your life very much in order because the inhabiting spirit will call out your sins one by one to get you to stop. This includes forgiven sins and existing sins. That's enough to make me run, right there.
My friend Dena is married to the guy who was in that course. She's sensitive too and we had a long talk one day about personal experiences, faith, and what we believe happens to us "after". Where I believe in spirits who pretend to be the ghosts of loved ones gone (the distinction is a whole 'nuther blog folks), Dena believes that ghosts are our spirits on a parallel plane with us. That they either can or cannot reach through the veil to be heard or seen. That hell for them is being near your loved one but never able to communicate and heaven is always interacting with them. Neither one of us was sure what that meant for the dingo dipwad who messed around with my shower head while I was bathing.
Jean, another friend, doesn't believe there is anything. Mia refuses to discuss it. Linda thinks I'm crazy. Terri and Jannifer will talk aliens but not ghosts, and most of us quietly pretend that whatever we've been taught must be right therefore pressing the matter might end up in bad vibes or mean we have broken from faith.
But does it really have to mean that? I'm firm in my belief of an afterlife in heaven (or hell, you naughty, naughty things!!! I say this tongue in cheek cause thankfully, I'm not the one making the decisions or pretending to have an inside scoop on the matter). I am also confident that there are many many things we cannot understand yet. We get glimpses and form an opinion which works until the next glimpse comes along to tighten or alter the definition we've created. Are there weres? Dunno. Aliens? No idea. I have experiences but no proof. Sasquatch? Possibly. Can't rule that out. Vampires? All kinds, especially those emotional vampires who suck your positive energy every time they are around. The blood kind? Again. Dunno. I know there are those who practise vampirism but whether they are immortal, enh....
With faith (any faith), which needs gossamer trust in order to have an existence, I would say it opens the door nicely to other philosophies, including the supernatural or paranormal. After all paranormal just means, outside the norm. But faith is... well, it's a belief right?
We believe it whether there is factual evidence or not. It is faith BECAUSE it's not concrete but accepted as truth, anyway. That being the case, I have faith that there is a spirit world intimately involved with us... you can call it ghosts if you want. I have faith that there are creatures yet undiscovered on this planet and therefore the possibility of other planets is wide open... I have faith that my experiences aren't the only ones out there, nor are yours... and I have faith that one day, I'll know for sure.