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Goodbye Jesus

The Word Of God?


sjessen

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To my way of thinking, the question is, what authority does the Bible have? If it is the word of God, then it has ultimate authority. If not, then it is of no more value than any other book. So we consider the Bible and ask, is this the work of God? We here at ex-Christian and many others have discovered through reading the Bible and reading books about the Bible that the Bible is so full of errors and changes and contradictions that there is no way the Bible is the written word of a perfect, all-powerful Being.

 

So the Bible is not the written word of God, so what authority does it have? If it is written by men, is it worth trusting the people who wrote the Bible? The fact is, we don't even know for sure who the authors of the NT books were. Do you know who they were? I don't. So we can't even say if the persons who wrote the Bible were of good character or bad.

 

It all boils down to the fact that since the Bible is not the word of God, we are therefore not under any obligation to it. And as a document of dubious origins, it is silly IMO to give it any more attention than any other work of man.

 

Preachers are not misconstruing the meaning of the Bible, the Bible itself makes no sense, so how can anyone make sense of it? As one person said on this forum, maybe there is a hell and maybe there isn't, could go either way according to her and other's interpretation of the Bible. So obviously the Bible isn't giving us a definitive answer on this and many other issues. So what good is it? Not much.

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To my way of thinking, the question is, what authority does the Bible have? If it is the word of God, then it has ultimate authority. If not, then it is of no more value than any other book. So we consider the Bible and ask, is this the work of God? We here at ex-Christian and many others have discovered through reading the Bible and reading books about the Bible that the Bible is so full of errors and changes and contradictions that there is no way the Bible is the written word of of a perfect, all-powerful Being.

 

So the Bible is not the written word of God, so what authority does it have? If it is written by men, is it worth trusting the people who wrote the Bible? The fact is, we don't even know for sure who the authors of the NT books were. Do you know who they were? I don't. So we can't even say if the persons who wrote the Bible were of good character or bad.

 

It all boils down to the fact that since the Bible is not the word of God, we are therefore not under any obligation to it. And as a document of dubious origins, it is silly IMO to give it no more attention than any other work of man.

 

Preachers are not misconstruing the meaning of the Bible, the Bible itself makes no sense, so how can anyone make sense of it? As one person said, maybe there is a hell and maybe there isn't, could go either way according to her and others interpretation of the Bible. So obviously the Bible isn't giving us a definitive answer on this and many other issues. So what good is it? Not much.

 

The police don't carry bibles in their holsters. I've seen Cops and they don't yell, "In the name of Jesus I command you to stop running from me..." It just doesnt work. No, they chase the bad person down and put handcuffs on him and sometimes taze 'em.

 

Now, I guarantee that if someone rebuked me in the name of Jesus I could still take a baseball bat and beat the crap out of 'em. So, yes you're right, the bible and Jesus and all that stuff has no authority.

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Now, I guarantee that if someone rebuked me in the name of Jesus I could still take a baseball bat and beat the crap out of 'em. So, yes you're right, the bible and Jesus and all that stuff has no authority.

 

Not sure if I am taking what you have said here correctly, but by "authority", I meant an authority on truth.

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Now, I guarantee that if someone rebuked me in the name of Jesus I could still take a baseball bat and beat the crap out of 'em. So, yes you're right, the bible and Jesus and all that stuff has no authority.

 

Not sure if I am taking what you have said here correctly, but by "authority", I meant an authority on truth.

 

Oh. lol.

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As one person said, maybe there is a hell and maybe there isn't, could go either way according to her and others interpretation of the Bible. So obviously the Bible isn't giving us a definitive answer on this and many other issues. So what good is it? Not much.

 

Agreed. The Bible is full of so many contradictions. For any particular issue you can find scriptures both for and against. Which I think explains why there are 40,000 denominations.

 

Once I started thinking that the Bible was not "God breathed", just man made, Christianity lost its validity to me.

 

I view it now as a book of semi-history, myth and legends.

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As sjessen said, we do not know who wrote the Bible, so we cannot know what they meant when they wrote it, or why. This leaves us with the dilemma of interpretation, which is why there are so many denominations. This is why there is such a fuss over Oreo cookies, xtians are taking an obscure verse from a part of the bible that most of them have never read properly to rage against a multinational corporation.

 

Everyone is free to interpret the Bible as he or she finds fit, and if this is true, then the Bible has as much authority as Harry Potter.

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Everyone is free to interpret the Bible as he or she finds fit, and if this is true, then the Bible has as much authority as Harry Potter.

 

The Catholic Church argues that only the church has the authority to interpret the Bible, and argue against private interpretation.

 

I actually think this is a good argument. But then to my mind they are just as guilty as the rest, for cherry picking scriptures and ignoring others to justify their bizarre practices, just as the other 40,000 denoms do the same.

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I totally agree that the Bible is not the authoritative word of God. It is, however, an interesting group of writings which have been brought together. The OT shows the efforts of a group of people to develop a mythos that supported the desire for joining together and uniting by asserting a common ancestry and a convenant which they all shared with what eventually developed into a single god. The NT, on the other hand, shows an interesting effort to create a new religion designed to appeal to both the Jews and the pagans through its main character, Jesus. Jesus is portrayed as the Hebrew Messiah by the authors making great efforts to depict the Jesus character as fulfilling alleged messianic prophecies in the OT (though a careful study of these alleged prophecies demonstrate them not to be messianic prophecies at all). At the same time, the NT, particularly the gospel, authors portray Jesus by borrowing from pagan traditions like Jesus being the son of a god which is totally contrary to Hebrew religious thought but quite common among the pagans. The contrast between the OT and NT religions is nowhere more evident, in my opinion, than the level of appeal which each sought. The OT was exclusive and focused on but one group, the Hebrews. The NT, however, attempted to be inclusive of both the Hebrews and the Pagans, seeking universal and worldwide acceptance. You know, something like what Constantine would want to help him keep his newly reunited Roman Empire together.

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..Jesus is portrayed as the Hebrew Messiah by the authors making great efforts to depict the Jesus character as fulfilling alleged messianic prophecies in the OT (though a careful study of these alleged prophecies demonstrate them not to be messianic prophecies at all). ..

 

McD, made the good point yesterday that Christians cannot ignore the old testament, because Jesus is claimed to be the prophesised Messiah. So without the old testament Christianity is invalid. So no one can sweep the blood soaked pages of the OT under the carpet.

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The bible, aka The Big Book of Jewish Fairy Tales.

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..Jesus is portrayed as the Hebrew Messiah by the authors making great efforts to depict the Jesus character as fulfilling alleged messianic prophecies in the OT (though a careful study of these alleged prophecies demonstrate them not to be messianic prophecies at all). ..

 

McD, made the good point yesterday that Christians cannot ignore the old testament, because Jesus is claimed to be the prophesised Messiah. So without the old testament Christianity is invalid. So no one can sweep the blood soaked pages of the OT under the carpet.

 

So true. It comes as one package.

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The bible, aka The Big Book of Jewish Fairy Tales.

 

I remember when I was a Christian, a work colleague told me the Bible was fairy tales. I remember being angered at the time. Now its makes me smile :)

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I totally agree that the Bible is not the authoritative word of God. It is, however, an interesting group of writings which have been brought together. The OT shows the efforts of a group of people to develop a mythos that supported the desire for joining together and uniting by asserting a common ancestry and a convenant which they all shared with what eventually developed into a single god. The NT, on the other hand, shows an interesting effort to create a new religion designed to appeal to both the Jews and the pagans through its main character, Jesus. Jesus is portrayed as the Hebrew Messiah by the authors making great efforts to depict the Jesus character as fulfilling alleged messianic prophecies in the OT (though a careful study of these alleged prophecies demonstrate them not to be messianic prophecies at all). At the same time, the NT, particularly the gospel, authors portray Jesus by borrowing from pagan traditions like Jesus being the son of a god which is totally contrary to Hebrew religious thought but quite common among the pagans. The contrast between the OT and NT religions is nowhere more evident, in my opinion, than the level of appeal which each sought. The OT was exclusive and focused on but one group, the Hebrews. The NT, however, attempted to be inclusive of both the Hebrews and the Pagans, seeking universal and worldwide acceptance. You know, something like what Constantine would want to help him keep his newly reunited Roman Empire together.

 

So do you think part, if not all of the NT was written in the 4th century OF?

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The bible, aka The Big Book of Jewish Fairy Tales.

 

With translation and editing by Italians and Greeks.

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Everyone is free to interpret the Bible as he or she finds fit, and if this is true, then the Bible has as much authority as Harry Potter.

 

The Catholic Church argues that only the church has the authority to interpret the Bible, and argue against private interpretation.

 

I actually think this is a good argument. But then to my mind they are just as guilty as the rest, for cherry picking scriptures and ignoring others to justify their bizarre practices, just as the other 40,000 denoms do the same.

 

One of my systematics profs was bitching about the dark ages & the Catholic church taking the bible away from the people, and I said, "Yeah, because you guys did suck a great job with it. How many denominations do you have now? I think it's time we took the bible back from the people and put it back in the hands of the professionals." He laughed.

 

It's not just the bible, the Catholic church (in their minds) takes responsibility for ALL Christians.

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I totally agree that the Bible is not the authoritative word of God. It is, however, an interesting group of writings which have been brought together. The OT shows the efforts of a group of people to develop a mythos that supported the desire for joining together and uniting by asserting a common ancestry and a convenant which they all shared with what eventually developed into a single god. The NT, on the other hand, shows an interesting effort to create a new religion designed to appeal to both the Jews and the pagans through its main character, Jesus. Jesus is portrayed as the Hebrew Messiah by the authors making great efforts to depict the Jesus character as fulfilling alleged messianic prophecies in the OT (though a careful study of these alleged prophecies demonstrate them not to be messianic prophecies at all). At the same time, the NT, particularly the gospel, authors portray Jesus by borrowing from pagan traditions like Jesus being the son of a god which is totally contrary to Hebrew religious thought but quite common among the pagans. The contrast between the OT and NT religions is nowhere more evident, in my opinion, than the level of appeal which each sought. The OT was exclusive and focused on but one group, the Hebrews. The NT, however, attempted to be inclusive of both the Hebrews and the Pagans, seeking universal and worldwide acceptance. You know, something like what Constantine would want to help him keep his newly reunited Roman Empire together.

 

So do you think part, if not all of the NT was written in the 4th century OF?

 

I am uncertain about this. What I was suggesting is that the inclusion of Pagan elements was designed to reach more people and that is what Constantine liked about the new religion since his empire was Pagan.

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I totally agree that the Bible is not the authoritative word of God. It is, however, an interesting group of writings which have been brought together. The OT shows the efforts of a group of people to develop a mythos that supported the desire for joining together and uniting by asserting a common ancestry and a convenant which they all shared with what eventually developed into a single god. The NT, on the other hand, shows an interesting effort to create a new religion designed to appeal to both the Jews and the pagans through its main character, Jesus. Jesus is portrayed as the Hebrew Messiah by the authors making great efforts to depict the Jesus character as fulfilling alleged messianic prophecies in the OT (though a careful study of these alleged prophecies demonstrate them not to be messianic prophecies at all). At the same time, the NT, particularly the gospel, authors portray Jesus by borrowing from pagan traditions like Jesus being the son of a god which is totally contrary to Hebrew religious thought but quite common among the pagans. The contrast between the OT and NT religions is nowhere more evident, in my opinion, than the level of appeal which each sought. The OT was exclusive and focused on but one group, the Hebrews. The NT, however, attempted to be inclusive of both the Hebrews and the Pagans, seeking universal and worldwide acceptance. You know, something like what Constantine would want to help him keep his newly reunited Roman Empire together.

 

So do you think part, if not all of the NT was written in the 4th century OF?

 

I am uncertain about this. What I was suggesting is that the inclusion of Pagan elements was designed to reach more people and that is what Constantine liked about the new religion since his empire was Pagan.

 

Then why do you think he wanted a religion that included Jews, and not another "pagan" religion?

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Then why do you think he wanted a religion that included Jews, and not another "pagan" religion?

 

That is an insightful question. Many people have used the issue you raise to suggest that the gospels were originally intended to bring Jews only into the religion and thus emphasized only the alleged Messiahship of Jesus. They further suggest that it was the Romans who added in the Pagan elements for their purposes. From what I have seen, however, there are manuscripts of the gospels which pre-date Constantine which would, at least to me, suggest that Constantine did not rewrite the gospels.

 

What I think Constatine was doing was trying to unite his newly reunited empire not just militarily, but also socially and religiously. If you think about it, the purely pagan religions had many gods which suggests not just a single ruling figure. Constantine liked the idea of a religion with but one god (if you consider the trinity one god - but that's another issue) and, therefore, one ruling figure. That reflected his goals of but one ruling figure over Rome. The Pagan elements of Christianity were good because then the concept would be more acceptable to a pagan culture.

 

I think he was not overly concerned about a religion that included Jews because by and large the Jews had (wisely) rejected Christianity so as a practical matter, that part of Christianity meant nothing to him. So, it wasn't that he wanted the Jews necessarily, it was that they had rejected it anyway so it was a non-issue.

 

These are just my thoughts and, of course, I could be way off base.

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Well I suppose you can understand by looking at the context of the verse and the context of the whole bible. I odnt think a theologian would be able to do that though, dost make much sense that you must be a theologian to understand a book thats supposed to be a road map for everyone.

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Then why do you think he wanted a religion that included Jews, and not another "pagan" religion?

 

That is an insightful question. Many people have used the issue you raise to suggest that the gospels were originally intended to bring Jews only into the religion and thus emphasized only the alleged Messiahship of Jesus. They further suggest that it was the Romans who added in the Pagan elements for their purposes. From what I have seen, however, there are manuscripts of the gospels which pre-date Constantine which would, at least to me, suggest that Constantine did not rewrite the gospels.

 

What I think Constatine was doing was trying to unite his newly reunited empire not just militarily, but also socially and religiously. If you think about it, the purely pagan religions had many gods which suggests not just a single ruling figure. Constantine liked the idea of a religion with but one god (if you consider the trinity one god - but that's another issue) and, therefore, one ruling figure. That reflected his goals of but one ruling figure over Rome. The Pagan elements of Christianity were good because then the concept would be more acceptable to a pagan culture.

 

I think he was not overly concerned about a religion that included Jews because by and large the Jews had (wisely) rejected Christianity so as a practical matter, that part of Christianity meant nothing to him. So, it wasn't that he wanted the Jews necessarily, it was that they had rejected it anyway so it was a non-issue.

 

These are just my thoughts and, of course, I could be way off base.

 

That sounds pretty logical.

 

Do you think there existed a Jesus who was crucified for leading a revolt and/or claims of messiahship? To me the theory that best fits is that "Jesus from the Synoptics" didn't exist at all, but that there was messianic thought bubbling up around Judea at that time and before, and Paul and others versed in the tanakh had the "son of god" idea revealed to them not by an actual person, but from certain verses nestled in there that spoke of such things. Paul IMO never considered Jesus an actual human, but he WAS to come soon (for the first time) to gather believers at the end of the world. The gospel authors took this basic skeleton and added details, mark first as a non-literal story, then Matt and luke took mark and added and deleted as appropriate to suit their needs. They could have used some details of a Jesus-y type figure that did exist, but the similiarities between that person and who we think of as "Jesus" would be few and far between.

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Oops dp

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Everyone is free to interpret the Bible as he or she finds fit, and if this is true, then the Bible has as much authority as Harry Potter.

 

As far as fiction goes, Harry Potter is much higher quality than anything in the bible. HP even has moral lessons... many of Dumbledore's conversations with Harry about the power of love and friendship are quite profound.

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That sounds pretty logical.

 

Do you think there existed a Jesus who was crucified for leading a revolt and/or claims of messiahship? To me the theory that best fits is that "Jesus from the Synoptics" didn't exist at all, but that there was messianic thought bubbling up around Judea at that time and before, and Paul and others versed in the tanakh had the "son of god" idea revealed to them not by an actual person, but from certain verses nestled in there that spoke of such things. Paul IMO never considered Jesus an actual human, but he WAS to come soon (for the first time) to gather believers at the end of the world. The gospel authors took this basic skeleton and added details, mark first as a non-literal story, then Matt and luke took mark and added and deleted as appropriate to suit their needs. They could have used some details of a Jesus-y type figure that did exist, but the similiarities between that person and who we think of as "Jesus" would be few and far between.

 

I think there may have been a person who served as a model for the Jesus of the Bible, though clearly the Jesus depicted in the Bible with virgin birth, miracles, resurrection, etc. did not exist. If there was a person who served as the model, I'd say he would be somewhat like the Jesus of the Gospel of Thomas. That was a person who had some wise, strange, and even incomprehensible things to say, but no miracle worker. I have no idea whether this person was crucified, but I would not be surprised if he were (though without all the supernatural stuff in the NT).

 

I find your theory very interesting and is well worth thinking about - which I will. For sure, Paul never claimed to have seen a physical Jesus.

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That sounds pretty logical.

 

Do you think there existed a Jesus who was crucified for leading a revolt and/or claims of messiahship? To me the theory that best fits is that "Jesus from the Synoptics" didn't exist at all, but that there was messianic thought bubbling up around Judea at that time and before, and Paul and others versed in the tanakh had the "son of god" idea revealed to them not by an actual person, but from certain verses nestled in there that spoke of such things. Paul IMO never considered Jesus an actual human, but he WAS to come soon (for the first time) to gather believers at the end of the world. The gospel authors took this basic skeleton and added details, mark first as a non-literal story, then Matt and luke took mark and added and deleted as appropriate to suit their needs. They could have used some details of a Jesus-y type figure that did exist, but the similiarities between that person and who we think of as "Jesus" would be few and far between.

 

I think there may have been a person who served as a model for the Jesus of the Bible, though clearly the Jesus depicted in the Bible with virgin birth, miracles, resurrection, etc. did not exist. If there was a person who served as the model, I'd say he would be somewhat like the Jesus of the Gospel of Thomas. That was a person who had some wise, strange, and even incomprehensible things to say, but no miracle worker. I have no idea whether this person was crucified, but I would not be surprised if he were (though without all the supernatural stuff in the NT).

 

I find your theory very interesting and is well worth thinking about - which I will. For sure, Paul never claimed to have seen a physical Jesus.

 

What most people don't realize is is that Paul never alludes to the Damascus road experience, that is only in acts, which is pretty difficult to take as historical. Paul only says Jesus was revealed to him by scripture- never an apparition or whatever. At least in the 7 letters known to be by him.

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