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Early Christians Were Lazy -- Look At The Vedas Also Preserved By Memory


R. S. Martin
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So it goes without saying that the four gospels have to be different just because it was an "oral tradition" for a couple decades or so? It seems Sir Brahman or whoever wrote the Vedas managed just fine for a couple millenia without writing things down. And we end up with a single version today. From wikipedia:

 

That these methods have been effective, is testified to by the preservation of the most ancient Indian religious text, the Ṛgveda (ca. 1500 BCE), as a single text, without any variant readings.[19] Similar methods were used for memorizing mathematical texts, whose transmission remained exclusively oral until the end of the Vedic period (ca. 500 BCE).

 

The article gives names, dates, and locations for the various cultures.

 

So Brahman beat Jesus Christ (through whom, supposedly, all things were made that are made) hands down--is that it?

 

Anyone can make a coupla universes--just look at what scientists are doing these days--but when it comes to memorizing and transmitting/teaching the recipes for thousands of years without books, now THAT'S what's impressive. Not something a JC could do, huh? Or a Holy Spirit who supernaturally disclosed to St. Peter when Mr. and Mrs. Ananias cheated him out of a bit of money.

 

The methods described in the wikidepia article sound like very significant intellectual and mental exercise was required over very extended periods of time. This sounds like something that might happen in a monastery--not by someone like Paul or Peter who thinks he has to convert the world before Jesus' return in a few months or years, someone who is competing with a lot of other guys also out converting everyone to their special brand of Christ. All of whom think they are being hounded by the civil authorities for pushing a false religion. They said getting the story straight was the single most important item on the agenda (rooting out heresy by handing sinners over to Satan, etc.) yet they canonize the world's most confusing story ever sold--credit to Acharya S for that phrase.

 

And I bought the excuses. Until I found out just now what the learned men of India accomplished.

 

What do you think?

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The creators of the myths of the writings that became compiled by later men into a myth of some "cannon" of scripture were not interested in preserving some history. The "history" of it is part of its mythology. It was never about keeping the words true. It was about making the words pertinent to the time and place that was using them, all in the name of some founding figure as they saw appropriate.

 

They weren't lazy or sloppy. Quite the contrary. They were quite ambitious and creative! It's all a matter of looking at what exactly they were trying to accomplish with it. The "life story" of Jesus in the narrative gospels was about creating a vehicle for the underlying message. Not about history. That was just a context to hang the message on (that and offer a sense of credibility to the message linking it to some origin myth). Accuracy was very likely not the point of their degree of efforts were about. It was about self-identity through myth. And that took a lot of effort on their part.

 

The reasons it contradicts, is because its a compilation of a number of these efforts all thrown into the pot and tried to sound like a consistent story. That part is the later myth of the compilers of the texts to support some later idea of the control of bishops over belief. Lots of effort going on.

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Agreed, and it should be self evident just from looking at the end result. Not that any would admit that now.

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Agreed, and it should be self evident just from looking at the end result. Not that any would admit that now.

It's a shame that they don't. To me, it says a lot more of value about us as humans that we do this sort of thing, than it being some delivered message of perfect truth. Imperfect truth is the reality of human experience. It's their failure to accept its flaws that makes them "lazy", in not being able to explore meaning in the face of the imperfect.

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I suppose that's one of many reasons I left. The literalist interpretation misses whatever meaning the writers tried to communicate by stressing the minutiae as all important, leaving you with very little of substance in the end. What is the purpose of a belief like that? For me it was a wearying life of defending incongruities for no reason

 

What we know of the Buddha and his teachings were passed down orally for a long time, likely changing in form, yet the message still resonates today. I would think that it wouldn't matter a whit whether Jesus lived or not as long as the words seem true, the message stands independent of what we know or don't know about the past. Yet to so many I've talked to it isn't about the content but the forced belief in something essentially unknowable (and irrelevant).

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The literalist interpretation misses whatever meaning the writers tried to communicate by stressing the minutiae as all important, leaving you with very little of substance in the end. What is the purpose of a belief like that?

 

While I can certainly understand this, I think that the literalist approach makes the most sense to interpreting the Bible because that is the method by which the Bible interprets itself. For example, because the author of Matthew seems to believe that Isaiah 7:14 was speaking of a virgin born savior, he uses that passage, applying it to the birth of Jesus to indicate that Jesus was literally born of a virgin. This is emphasized in the narrative by Mary stating that she "knew no man" (hadn't had sexual intercourse). So while all sorts of non-literal ideas could possibly be derived from the idea of one being "virgin born," the Gospel writer first interprets the verse literally. Later creeds are formed based on the biblical writings. One such creed demands that Jesus was "born of a virgin." This would tell us that even the early church took the passages of the Bible in their literal sense. Yes, there was a tendency to move toward an allegorical interpretation, but it seems that the literal was first intended.

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The literalist interpretation misses whatever meaning the writers tried to communicate by stressing the minutiae as all important, leaving you with very little of substance in the end. What is the purpose of a belief like that?

 

While I can certainly understand this, I think that the literalist approach makes the most sense to interpreting the Bible because that is the method by which the Bible interprets itself. For example, because the author of Matthew seems to believe that Isaiah 7:14 was speaking of a virgin born savior, he uses that passage, applying it to the birth of Jesus to indicate that Jesus was literally born of a virgin. This is emphasized in the narrative by Mary stating that she "knew no man" (hadn't had sexual intercourse). So while all sorts of non-literal ideas could possibly be derived from the idea of one being "virgin born," the Gospel writer first interprets the verse literally. Later creeds are formed based on the biblical writings. One such creed demands that Jesus was "born of a virgin." This would tell us that even the early church took the passages of the Bible in their literal sense. Yes, there was a tendency to move toward an allegorical interpretation, but it seems that the literal was first intended.

I agree with doc of course (since he was agreeing with me ;) ). I really like how he worded everything in that post. I understand what you're looking at and it seems a reasonable point. But here's how I don't see it in that light. The idea of "literal" is a really a modern criteria being applied to the writers of the Christian myth 2000 years ago, somehow imagining them thinking with this same interest in mind as us in our contexts. Myth was, and still is, for a difference purpose than recording history and "literal" events. The Christian myths were really more well-crafted fictions supporting a school of thought or a community's social vision and identity.

 

When we witness Paul creating his myths in his early epistles, pulling out and interpreting verses of the Hebrew scripture to support his teachings about the Christ figure (or Matthew quoting the Isaiah verse) it wasn't the basis for his beliefs. His citing passages was to make his imaginings about the Christ figure in his beliefs address the objections of critics by making the story work with theirs. His motive was to have it fit within the Jewish epic, considering the Christian communities to be part of "Israel".

 

The "story" created was a framework for the teachings and beliefs to work off of, and all of his and others subsequent mythmaking efforts to support various communities' beliefs went into creating a more evolved mythology. This eventually became an even newer more evolved myth by Mark's community pulling those earlier myths into a his "narrative" myth, which became the basis for Matthew's community's version of Mark's myth, adding their own developed supporting myths created by this same process into their Gospel, and so on until you have the much later communities of the proto-orthodox picking and choosing which myths supported their criteria, until you have the final myth of the NT Canon, which layered it's myth over all the previous myths asking them to be read in that later light. Layers upon layers of myth until you reach the outer layer wrapped around the inner ones like an onion skin.

 

The way I see to understand all this for them is not a matter of things being factual, based "real" accounts, but on a message consistent with their beliefs based on philosophical and social criteria. It was about appropriateness to that "truth", not about historical accuracies. A good supporting myth was one that worked. So all that to say, I don't believe that they were interested in or motivated to read the scriptures literally. They treated them as stories, a people's "charter" document if you will, and they were interested in making the stories within it work for them as well. What happened as the split came later on is that these myths became a new religion's own charter document as they turned the table on the Jews who rejected them, making themselves the intended recipients of God's promises to Israel. They co-opted the Jewish story as their own, reading it however suited their new vision of themselves. Reading it literally was not in mind.

 

 

Again to address the topic subject, these folks were hardly lazy. They were quite the busy bees building a whole new hive in which to flourish. :)

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This would tell us that even the early church took the passages of the Bible in their literal sense. Yes, there was a tendency to move toward an allegorical interpretation, but it seems that the literal was first intended.

 

The whole Bible, or prophetic meanings literally? Because, back then it would have read, young woman, right? Not virgin. So, were did virgin come into play during Christ era? Egyptians?

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This would tell us that even the early church took the passages of the Bible in their literal sense. Yes, there was a tendency to move toward an allegorical interpretation, but it seems that the literal was first intended.

 

The whole Bible, or prophetic meanings literally? Because, back then it would have read, young woman, right? Not virgin. So, were did virgin come into play during Christ era? Egyptians?

 

The virgin came in through the Septuagint. The Septuagint is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, made by Jewish scholars--I'm not sure of the date but around the time of Jesus' birth. Maybe it was in the century before. They translated the verse in Isaiah about "a young woman shall bring forth a child...." into "a virgin shall bring forth a child...." Apologies if my wording is a bit off. Quoting from a fallible memory here. My point is that the original Hebrew term "young woman" was translated into Greek as "virgin."

 

Jesus, his disciples, and the early Christians, would have used this Greek translation, or Septuagint. I understand that is where the virgin birth doctrine comes from in the NT.

 

Somehow, it kinda niggles in the back of my mind that I want to say--so much for an inerrant Bible. One of Christianity's central tenets is built on a mistranslation and is part of the canon.

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The virgin came in through the Septuagint.

 

See, this is another reason I think Christianity got Christianity all wrong. Jesus disciples where ready to go to war with the Romans, and were 'way off' on Jesus agenda, according to the Gospels that is. So, Christ came not for war(or else I assume, He would've went to war with the Romans), which would debunk that part of prophecy of Jesus. Unfortunately, maybe the whole virgin birth thing made it appealing to the Hellenistic Jews. Anyway, there are still numberous scripture predicting Jesus Christ as the Messiah, but I agree that the virgin one seems to be misrepresented.

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The virgin came in through the Septuagint.

 

See, this is another reason I think Christianity got Christianity all wrong. Jesus disciples where ready to go to war with the Romans, and were 'way off' on Jesus agenda, according to the Gospels that is. So, Christ came not for war(or else I assume, He would've went to war with the Romans), which would debunk that part of prophecy of Jesus. Unfortunately, maybe the whole virgin birth thing made it appealing to the Hellenistic Jews. Anyway, there are still numberous scripture predicting Jesus Christ as the Messiah, but I agree that the virgin one seems to be misrepresented.

The original disciples did according to what Iesus told them, which was not to go to the Gentiles until they had brought their message to the Jew. Paul usurped their authority by claiming to be an apostle, which he was not. Where do you read the apostles were going to war with the Romans? I've not read that in the bible! Paul countermanded their instructions. That is how the Iesus-thing went to the Gentiles, instead of focusing on the Jews which had been Iesus' instruction.

 

The only verses that predict Iesus as the messiah is open to interpretation, it is a denominational thing that Iesus is the messiah. The virgin myth came about from OT verse concerning a fair maiden, not one that had never had sex before--that is a Christian interpretation, not a Jewish one. The words used by Christians show a direct ignorance in reading comprehension. The OT was written when the Jews returned from Babylonia several hundred years before Iesus' birth and by that time, the mythologies concerning the OT were many. The books added to the OT were done by vote, just like Christians voted for NT books. Where is the spirit there? OT writings are no better for historical value than NT. They are both fiction written to give those in power legitimacy over the rest of the population. Moses never wrote jack shit about anything. Prove there is a Moses, then prove Iesus was the messiah after you prove the story of the talking snake is true. The books of the OT are fraud because the prophesies were written after the fact. Nothing was written before hand concerning prophecy. The prophecies were written hundreds of years after the event took place. Prophecy is 20/20 hindsight. Which equals ZERO believability.

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The original disciples did according to what Iesus told them, which was not to go to the Gentiles until they had brought their message to the Jew. Paul usurped their authority by claiming to be an apostle, which he was not. Where do you read the apostles were going to war with the Romans? I've not read that in the bible! Paul countermanded their instructions. That is how the Iesus-thing went to the Gentiles, instead of focusing on the Jews which had been Iesus' instruction.

 

The only verses that predict Iesus as the messiah is open to interpretation, it is a denominational thing that Iesus is the messiah. The virgin myth came about from OT verse concerning a fair maiden, not one that had never had sex before--that is a Christian interpretation, not a Jewish one. The words used by Christians show a direct ignorance in reading comprehension. The OT was written when the Jews returned from Babylonia several hundred years before Iesus' birth and by that time, the mythologies concerning the OT were many. The books added to the OT were done by vote, just like Christians voted for NT books. Where is the spirit there? OT writings are no better for historical value than NT. They are both fiction written to give those in power legitimacy over the rest of the population. Moses never wrote jack shit about anything. Prove there is a Moses, then prove Iesus was the messiah after you prove the story of the talking snake is true. The books of the OT are fraud because the prophesies were written after the fact. Nothing was written before hand concerning prophecy. The prophecies were written hundreds of years after the event took place. Prophecy is 20/20 hindsight. Which equals ZERO believability.

 

There is more to Christianity than the Bible Heretic, other writings and studies of that era reflect truths to help explain the Bible. Here is an excerpt from a writing with some good references that summarized the whole 'Gospel, Jesus agenda' of that time. Anyway, hope that helps.

 

Here's the link to the read if you want to read the whole thing. Link

 

The reasons for his arrest go much deeper than issues of reform and blasphemy. Among the charges presented at his trial were “perverting the nation and forbidding to pay tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a king” and “stirring the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning form Galilee to this place” (Matthews 23). By declaring himself messiah, King of the Jews, he was essentially declaring war on Rome. Caiaphas said, “If we let him go on thus, everyone will believe him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation” (Charlesworth 88). Caiaphas feared that Jesus would succeed in starting a revolt that would bring about the destruction of Judea by Rome.

 

So, because the disciple Judas betrayed his location, Jesus was arrested late at night the Garden of Gethsemane, with only a few of his followers to protect him. He was then brought before the Sanhedrin; a court made of Jewish religious leaders and led by Caiaphas (Bock 48). The crucial moment came when they asked Jesus if he was the messiah, to which he replied “I am” (Bock 50). Under Jewish law Jesus could now be crucified as a blasphemer and traitor. A false messiah was considered treacherous because he could cause a revolt and “deliver his people” to the Gentiles (Charlesworth 88). So according to the law, Jesus was to be crucified. But the Sanhedrin at that time did not possess the legal power to sentence him to death (Bock 48). So Jesus was handed over to the Romans, who were quite familiar with crucifixion as a means of pacifying unruly provinces (Charlesworth 80).

 

For the Romans to kill him they must certainly have considered him politically dangerous, for they would not have cared about the religious charges against him (Harris 191). The gospels do much do remove the blame from the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate. But all non-biblical sources agree that Pilate was a hard man, whose main concern was keeping the ever-rebellious masses of Judea in line (Harris 191). If he offered to free Jesus (the custom is unheard of in other sources), he did so not because he thought him a harmless prophet but because he wished to mock his followers. He wanted them to feel foolish for having believed that this imprisoned man was some invincible leader (Harris 191-192). The people of course did not want him back after he had been proven a false messiah, so they instead asked for the popular Zealot leader Barabbas (Mathews 27). Jesus, convicted on a charge of sedition, was then crucified between two Zealots. There was a sign around his neck that read “King of the Jews,” a warning to any other would-be messiahs (Harris 192).

 

Even after his death those who continued to follow him followed him as a Davidic military messiah. The believed that if the Jews repented, as Jesus, John, and the Essenes had urged them to do, then Jesus would return and overthrow Rome (Harris 193). In the gospels first question his disciples ask him after his resurrection is “Lord, wilt thou restore again the kingdom of Israel?” (Harris 194).

 

The original Christian church was communal in nature (similar to the Essenes), was centered in Jerusalem, and was lead by James (the brother of Jesus), John, and Peter (Harris 196). Jews outside of Judea were converted by missionaries like Paul. Paul was born Saul of Tarsus, a Greek-speaking Roman citizen. He converted to Christianity after having a vision of Jesus, and became a missionary without having ever actually had contact with Jesus or his original disciples (Harris 196). Converts to Judaism outside of Palestine were common, and many of these people then converted to the Christian sect. But Paul would convert Gentiles directly to Christianity without having them become properly circumcised Jews first (Harris 197). This upset the Jerusalem church so much that Paul traveled to Jerusalem and pleaded with the church elders to allow him to continue. They agreed that he could go on converting Gentiles straight to Christianity, but said that the Gentile Christians would be inferior to the Jewish Christians (Harris 197). But Paul constantly downplayed the difference between the difference between Gentile and Jewish Christians, telling converts that they were equal. Eventually Paul was brought back to Jerusalem to stand trial. James ordered him to undergo a seven-day purification ritual to ensure that he was still “zealous of the law” (Harris 200). Paul accepted this, clearly showing that James was the leader of the Christians. This also shows that the Jewish Christians still worshipped in the temple and obeyed the purity laws, and almost certainly expected Jesus to return in the role of a Davidic messiah (Harris 200). Paul’s attempt to prove his loyalty was cut short when he was attacked by a mob and saved by a Roman soldier. After another trial by the priests he claimed his Roman citizenship in order to save his own life, and was taken to Rome and put under house arrest (Harris 200).

 

So the Jerusalem Church had succeeded in silencing Paul. The church remained distinctly Jewish, patriotic, anti-Gentile, and anti-Roman (Sweet 3). Then came the Jewish War of 68 A.D. During the war the Jerusalem church side, naturally enough, with the rebels, and was crushed along with them in 70 A.D. (Sweet 3). Jerusalem and the Jewish Christians were no more, leaving Paul and his version of Christianity to fill the void. After the war, when the last Zealot (Simon ben Gioras) was publicly strangled, anti-Semitism became entrenched in Rome (Harris 201). It became necessary to distance Jesus from the Jews, and make him apolitical (Sweet 3). The writings of Mark after the war described a peaceful messiah. He was not out to save the Jewish people from Rome, but to save all people in some intangible spiritual sense. This image never would have become popular had the Jews won the war. The converts to Christianity were still mostly Jewish though, and for good reason. Rome now hated the Jews, but thanks to the success of distancing Jesus from his people, it had little problem with Christianity (Harris 201). Rome’s persecution of Christians didn’t begin until much later, when the church grew powerful enough to threaten the state. But by the time of Constantine, when Christianity became legal, it was no longer necessary for Christians to remain peaceful and apolitical. The Pagan persecution began, and Christianity began to use the machinery of the state to spread itself by force, making Jesus a military leader once more (Harris 203).

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

Harris, Marvin. Cows Pigs Wars and Witches: The Riddles of Cultures. NewYork: Vintage Books, 1989

Mathews, Shailer. Jesus on Social Institutions. Philadelphia: Fortress Press 1971.

Bammel, Ernst. “ The Revolutionary Theory from Reimarus to Brandon.” Jesus and the Politics of His Day. Bammel, Ernst, and C.F.D. Moule, ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984 p.11-67

Sweet, J.P.M. “The Zealots and Jesus” Jesus and the Politics of His Day. Bammel, Ernst, and C.F.D. Moule, ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984 p.1-9

Duling, Dennis C. Jesus Christ Through History New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. 1979.

Charlesworth, James H. “The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Historical Jesus” Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls. James H. Charlesworth, ed. New York: Doubleday, 1992 p.1- 74

Betz, Otto. “Jesus and the Temple Scroll” Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls. James H. Charlesworth, ed. New York: Doubleday, 1992 p.21-103

Yadin, Yigael. Bar Kokhba: The Rediscovery of the Legendary Hero of the Last Jewish Revolt against Rome. New York: Random House, 1971

Goodman, Martin. The Ruling Class of Judea: The Origins of the Jewish Revolt Against Rome AD 66-70 London; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988

Bock, Darrell L. “Jesus V. Sanhedrin” Christianity Today. Vol: 42 Issue 4; April 6, 1998 p. 48-50

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Several words for the English use of virgin are:

 

These are from Hebrew, because they were originally written in Hebrew:

 

The following uses Strong's Numbers, which numbers every word in the Bible in order to make research easier, even for those who do not read and write Greek or Hebrew. G = Greek word, H = Hebrew word.)

 

Beth-oo-law--which is a woman to be a bride, a virgin bride--meaning never married before, physically a virgin never had sexual intercourse. (Genesis. 24:16--H1330) (Leviticus 21:3--1330).

 

Beth-oo-law(H1330)(Deu 22:23)

 

Al-maw--which is a maiden or lass (Gen 24:43--H5959). Common word for unmarried girl.

 

Al-maw(H5959)--young girl (Isaiah 7:14 is not the same Hebrew word for virgin as Bethulaw). Even the words by KJV with Strong's Numbers, points out the differences in these words. When Isaiah claimed a virgin woud give birth, he used the generic term 'almah' and did not classify the girl as a physical virgin. If the Greek translation of Isaiah 7:14, calls her 'betheulah', instead of 'alma,' then the Greek translation is in error and the later translation to Latin is also in error. Even by prophecy, Iesus did not come from a physical virgin but from a young woman who may or may not have been a virgin. According to that prophecy, his name was to be Immanuel, which supposedly means 'with us is God.' Isaiah was NOT referring to the coming messiah but his own son, Immanuel.

 

So, we have Christians taking a prophecy written after the fact, in which Isaiah foretells the coming birth of his own son, Immanuel, whom the Christians hijack for a messiah and rename him Iesus in Latin or Jesus in English but strangely, not Immanuel.

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...

Why do I want to read someone's sunday school lesson about Jesus?

I can tell it is so, because it is written with the surmise that Jesus is real. It is written in light of the bible and not as a critical evaluation of the life of Iesus. It is history according to Christianity and not valid history.

 

What did Christians preserve from memory? Not a damn thing they did not steal from another religion. Christians cannot even get the name of the messiah correct.

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So, we have Christians taking a prophecy written after the fact, in which Isaiah foretells the coming birth of his own son, Immanuel, whom the Christians hijack for a messiah and rename him Iesus in Latin or Jesus in English but strangely, not Immanuel.

 

I know this Heretic, except it wasn't exactly the Christians fault, but the Jews. LOL The Jews translated the Septuagint, between a hundred to couple hundred years before Christ. Many were already using this translation in the temples, preaching. Which this verse somehow used the Greek word for virgin.

 

CARM- The LXX is a translation of the Hebrew scriptures into Greek. This translation was made around 200 B.C. by 70 Hebrew scholars. In Isaiah 7:14, they translated the word "almah" into the Greek word "parthenos." According to A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature,2 parthenos means "virgin." This word is used in the New Testament of the Virgin Mary (Matt. 1:23; Luke 1:27) and of the ten virgins in the parable (Matt. 25:1, 7, 11). If the Hebrews translated the word into the Greek word for virgin, then they understood what the Hebrew text meant here.
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There is more to Christianity than the Bible Heretic, other writings and studies of that era reflect truths to help explain the Bible. Here is an excerpt from a writing with some good references that summarized the whole 'Gospel, Jesus agenda' of that time. Anyway, hope that helps.

 

No it's not. Christians stand on the bible as THE WORD of god, and their authority to act the way they do such as bad-mouthing alternative lifestyles and nonbelievers. The bible is their traditional teaching. How much of Christianity would you believe if there were no bible? It is the Christian faith of the bible that makes them so difficult to believe and it is the bible that is quoted in other religions in order to give power to that other religion, these being Islam, Mormonism, and Christianity. These religions all depend on the Torah of Judaism to be true because they all mention the writings of OT scriptures. Without the bible to lean on, Christianity would not a leg to stand on. Christians cry about the gospel of Iesus. They have no idea what he taught because the church corrupted whatever teachings he may have had, to suit their own theology. There is no proof of Iesus, or Moses, beyond the fantasy you read in the OT and NT books. And if you could prove Moses lived, how are you going to prove he wrote anything? Everything written, was written hundreds of years after Moses died. It is all crap designed to give legitimacy to the priests who could only gain power by showing god gave it to them. The only way to do it was to write it down as a book of holiness after the Jews returned from exhile and that was when they wrote their OT scriptures and included the law of Moses. Why do you think the prophets in later years started calling the scribes 'liars?' Because they wrote that god said he said something when he did not. Even the common man knew Moses did not give them over 600 laws on two tablets! Forgeries. Christians and the revealed religions worship frauds and forgeries.

 

Even if the Vedas is preserved by memory, to what good is it if it defrauds someones' belief?

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How much of Christianity would you believe if there were no bible?

 

That's kind of the point Heretic, I consider writings about Christianity just as important as any other writing from the OT days. There is a Bible because someone ''wrote''. I read all the writings pertaining to the Bible, and about the Bible. I read Christian writings, Islamic writings, Jewish writings. So, you should chill out before you start flapping about this and that and the THE WORD. It may be the word, but just as all athiest, deist, agnostic, etc how different views, so do Christians, and so do I. I do not agree with people that take the Bible in a literal way because isn't a literal authority. It is a book written with alot of truths and history of a particular group of people.

And if you could prove Moses lived, how are you going to prove he wrote anything? Everything written, was written hundreds of years after Moses died.

 

Tell me Heretic, what other writings dating Moses era are significant in your stance of theology?

 

It is all crap designed to give legitimacy to the priests who could only gain power by showing god gave it to them. The only way to do it was to write it down as a book of holiness after the Jews returned from exhile and that was when they wrote their OT scriptures and included the law of Moses.

So, you DO believe that the Jerusalem exile was a historically accurate situation. If yes, then why did the King let them go, and make their own land again?

Why do you think the prophets in later years started calling the scribes 'liars?'

 

Which prophet(s) are you speaking of?

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See, this is another reason I think Christianity got Christianity all wrong.

That's a fascinating phrase. Ponder that in your mind and tell me what that means to you. I see layers upon layers of significance to this. But I want to hear you explain it in your words first.

 

Jesus disciples where ready to go to war with the Romans, and were 'way off' on Jesus agenda, according to the Gospels that is.

Indeed. Operative phrase being "according to the Gospels that is." Yes, according to the Gospels which were written after the destruction of the Temple. The story takes on a different spin in the light of that, and the original inclusions of the disciples in the story in Mark casts them in the light of being somewhat "unenlightened", as a type of literary vehicle to speak to Mark's audience who it was assumed now understood things and were "enlightened". Enlightened that is to the events and the circumstances of the world at that time, now looking at their traditions and stories in a new light - one that they now understood, and made a point of by contrast in their story to the earlier followers of Jesus.

 

So... you have the "message" or story being written through the eyes of those who came later, casting Jesus as "divinely" knowing this all along. It's their views about how they wanted to imagine Jesus at the time when "Mark" created that Gospel. Not a historical record of what happen, what Jesus or the disciples really knew or did back then.

 

So, Christ came not for war(or else I assume, He would've went to war with the Romans), which would debunk that part of prophecy of Jesus.

Or maybe for some strange reason he did do something to piss off the Roman's enough to get him killed. Who can really know? I do believe Jesus was likely killed at some point, but his death wasn't really considered very significant until later on by the groups in Asia Minor that Paul joined up with (he didn't create them - they were already there). The whole martyr myth was fashioned off the Greek model of the noble death, giving significance to the value of their founding figure of Jesus in the eyes of the Greeks surrounding them.

 

So something probably did happen, but the whole story of the trial and crucifixion was a developed myth tying together the value of the noble death for belief in the eyes of the Greek (think of Socrates and the hemlock), and myth of sacrifice to bring about change (think of the story of Maccabees in the temple), into the whole sacrificial system of the Jews. So Jesus' death becomes a martyrs death as a sacrifice for God. Quite the concept!

 

Now it's just a matter of making it all fit with scripture to validate it in the eyes of the Jews these early groups considered themselves to be part of.

 

Unfortunately, maybe the whole virgin birth thing made it appealing to the Hellenistic Jews. Anyway, there are still numberous scripture predicting Jesus Christ as the Messiah, but I agree that the virgin one seems to be misrepresented.

Paul was great at developing the myths, using the story of Abraham early on to justify the Christ cults views into Hebrew scripture. But the Virgin birth thing was not his doing. Paul was quite skilled with scripture, and why he could be so creative with it. But even so, his playing around with it didn't always seem to follow through with him in later years, where he seems to shift how he sees things and redefines the meaning of scripture in that later view point.

 

So there are numerous scriptures that are used to "predict" Jesus (in retrospect, of course). But they are all part of this later effort of making their myth "fit", which they really don't in a great many cases. It's making prophecy to support mythmaking.

 

 

What did Christians preserve from memory? Not a damn thing they did not steal from another religion.

Is everything in a society's traditions written down and they don't talk about them outside that? And what is written down, where did it come from? Memory, by chance? Maybe we create myths to embody the message of our traditions and views we preserve through memory, ritual, etc? If so, then maybe they did as well, considering it's what people seem to do?

 

As far as Christian having "stolen" every single thing they believe, that is simply false. Certainly they adopted plenty of ideas and symbols from their surrounding cultures, but there is plenty that is novel to them. Which one would expect. This is no different than ANY religion. Of course they are unique, just as you are human, but are unique. There is probably little that is 100% novel anywhere. "There is nothing new under the sun", yet our uniqueness is in HOW we blend all this stuff.

 

Think of it in terms of the evolution of species. A bird of paradise can be one of a kind, with some totally unique plumage. Yet it is drawing off the same genes used by other birds. But it adapts itself to its environment uniquely. It's not simply "stealing" from other birds. Same thing with ideas and myths. There a several unique and novel ideas present in the Christian myth that were not in existence at the time. That's how evolution works. Creation of novelty through adaptation.

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I wish some times i could write and spell as good as you here on this forum.

 

I have been watching this post and there are many responces and all have valid point's in them.

 

It is like to everyone, that god/jesus is just an ideal in the beginning and each man/woman has thier on ideal of who god is or isn't, in the end.

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How much of Christianity would you believe if there were no bible?

 

That's kind of the point Heretic, I consider writings about Christianity just as important as any other writing from the OT days. There is a Bible because someone ''wrote''. I read all the writings pertaining to the Bible, and about the Bible. I read Christian writings, Islamic writings, Jewish writings. So, you should chill out before you start flapping about this and that and the THE WORD. It may be the word, but just as all athiest, deist, agnostic, etc how different views, so do Christians, and so do I. I do not agree with people that take the Bible in a literal way because isn't a literal authority. It is a book written with alot of truths and history of a particular group of people.

And if you could prove Moses lived, how are you going to prove he wrote anything? Everything written, was written hundreds of years after Moses died.

 

Tell me Heretic, what other writings dating Moses era are significant in your stance of theology?

 

It is all crap designed to give legitimacy to the priests who could only gain power by showing god gave it to them. The only way to do it was to write it down as a book of holiness after the Jews returned from exhile and that was when they wrote their OT scriptures and included the law of Moses.

So, you DO believe that the Jerusalem exile was a historically accurate situation. If yes, then why did the King let them go, and make their own land again?

Why do you think the prophets in later years started calling the scribes 'liars?'

 

Which prophet(s) are you speaking of?

 

Here's one, I'll post more as I find them. Mostly Jeremiah spoke against the scribes who spoke falsely claiming god is with us.

 

Here is another: 'Because they have committed villany in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbours' wives, and have spoken lying words in my name, which I have not commanded them; even I know, and am a witness, saith the LORD. (Jer 29:23)' KJVR

 

I haven't found any proof of Moses dating to 'his' time period. I'm not trying to prove he lived. What I find are references that are written using the babble for reference. I don't believe Moses ever lived. I believe his story was created to give legitimacy for over 600 laws god never gave him. And, I don't support any books on theology. Are you in the wrong class room?

 

The prophets called the scribes liars because of the writings claiming god was with them--I believe that is in Jeremiah but I am having a hard time finding the phrase. Even the NT books claim the comment, somewhat like 'in vain do they worship me teaching traditions for commandments'. The law was a forgery, it was created to support the legitimacy of the priest and the prosecution of its laws. Moses was preached in every synagogue and to what purpose? None. The priests told the scribes what to write. Why do you think the ancient scrolls were sewn together in unmatched sizes? So the law or chapter could be edited and resewed into the scroll. Ancient cut and paste. This is the ancient text transcribed into Greek. The rewritten works of Moses and claims of prophets made centuries after the fact.

 

So what about Jews settling where there are other Jews, like Jerusalem, duh ... Why wouldn't they go back? There is a thing called natural segregation where peoples of like cultures tend to live close together.

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Just as suredly as Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, he never came in the flesh.

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Scribes are liars. Scribes were not well loved by the general population.

 

Jer 8:8 How do you say, We are wise, and the Law of Jehovah is with us? Lo, certainly the lying pen of the scribes has written falsely.

 

These two verses uphold that claim:

 

Mat 5:20 For I say to you that unless your righteousness shall exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of Heaven.

 

Mat 23:13 But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of Heaven against men. For you neither go in, nor do you allow those entering to go in.

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The prophets called the scribes liars because of the writings claiming god was with them

Actually, the role of the scribe was that of interpreter of law in the Temple-State system of the ancient Near East. The King was all powerful, but corrupt. He could order war, move men into action, execute criminals. The High Priest was all pious, but had no political power. So the Temple State model had the power of the king on one hand balanced by the piety of the priesthood on the other. The scribes, were the go-between, to interpret the teachings of the priest hood to the rule of the king. So...... when they are called liars, it is not because they forged texts as you speculate. It would be because they are falsely interpreting the laws because they are corrupted by politics. They were not being true to their trade in other words.

 

As far as the OT being a total fiction and you claimed, that is actually false. It definitely has real history in it, but also mythology, particularly the pre-monarchy legends of Moses and the Exodus. It is possible a real Moses did exist in some fashion, but certainly the stories in the OT are mythological. Once you get into the Monarchy, those are based in real events that can be confirmed. Not everything of course, like the magic of Elijah and whatnot. I just prefer to be accurate in criticisms.

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The prophets called the scribes liars because of the writings claiming god was with them--I believe that is in Jeremiah but I am having a hard time finding the phrase. Even the NT books claim the comment, somewhat like 'in vain do they worship me teaching traditions for commandments'.

 

Here is the Matthew passage:

 

Matt. 15:5-10, KJV:

5
But ye say, Whosoever shall say to
his
father or
his
mother,
It is
a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
6
And honour not his father or his mother,
he shall be free
. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
7

Ye
hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
8
This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with
their
lips; but their heart is far from me.
9
But in vain they do worship me, teaching
for
doctrines the commandments of men.

I don't know how to find it in "Esaias."

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I wish some times i could write and spell as good as you here on this forum.

 

I have been watching this post and there are many responces and all have valid point's in them.

 

It is like to everyone, that god/jesus is just an ideal in the beginning and each man/woman has thier on ideal of who god is or isn't, in the end.

 

Your spelling's clear enough. Your excuse for inserting an evangelization shtick in the middle of a thread about the veracity of ancient texts isn't. If you feel called to preach, you can always start your own thread--given you can take the heat. You might want to read the Rules for the Lion's Den before you get in too deep. Since you're fairly new I'll be nice and warn you. When I mention "heat" I really mean hot as in searing hot.

 

By way of further explanation, Christians as a whole tend to be some of the most cruel, evil-hearted monsters ever born. Most of us were initiated by them. We tend to be capable of returning what we are given. Think it over really carefully before you decide that your calling to preach to us really came from God. Not that I'm sure this is what you're after.

 

I confess this thread took a very unexpected turn while I wasn't looking but it's interesting all the same. Granted, AM's posts on symbolism go right over my head but Heretic's posts about original texts are right down my alley.

 

Heretic, I'm asking myself, though, how you know all the stuff you claim to know...where's the evidence? How do you know that absolutely nothing of the OT was written down anywhere until after the Babylonian exile? And that all of it is fiction?

 

For my OT course (eight-month MA level), one of the books we had to read was Richard Elliott Friedman's Who Wrote the Bible. That was about five years ago and I might have forgotten a few details but I think it was Friedman who argued that many/most of the OT was written as political manoevers. We used the HarperCollins Study Bible (NRSV). All of those study notes, along with Friedman and the lectures, gave me the idea that there really could have been a lot of politics going on and that any "prophecy" that occurrred was coincidental.

 

However, in order for politics--or even a Babylonian exile--to happen, we have to have real live historical people. So I guess there was a people known as Israel before the exile and it stands to reason to think that some of the later kings whom the OT says built cities actually have a basis in history. What do you think? Did I misread your posts, possibly?

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