Jump to content

Oh, That's Just The Old Testament


Recommended Posts

This is one of the most frustrating arguments I hear from Christians; the Old Testament is irrelevant now because of the New Covenant in Jesus blah blah, he abolished the old covenant, blah blah. Despite the fact that Jesus, who himself was quite keen on the Law, specifically said that he didn't come to abolish the Law, modern Christians still seem to have this view, which neatly absolves them of most of the ridiculous commandments of the OT. How do you deal with this OT denial?

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 111
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

The Mosaic laws are detailed and clear.. there's no 'misunderstanding' them. They aren't deep, metaphorical or allegorical. They are literal. All 613 of them.   It doesn't matter what the Saduccees

This just in on Facebook:

This is one of the most frustrating arguments I hear from Christians; the Old Testament is irrelevant now because of the New Covenant in Jesus blah blah, he abolished the old covenant, blah blah. Desp

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. If they say its Jesus, not God, I say but according to the trinity they are one in the same. Also, even if it is the OT, God still commited those atrocities. There are people here who are much more well versed and will probably have better answers for you. Good luck!

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." -Hebrews 13:8

 

"For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." Malachi 3:6

 

The Hebrews verse the real clincher to me.  No matter how much they argue different covenants, age of grace, blah, blah, blah...Jesus is still their GOD ETERNAL, part of the trinity, and they cannot get away from the fact that he is the same god who did all the atrocious deeds of the OT.  Period.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

This very topic is the catalyst that began me on the path to deconversion. There are many things that create a rift between the old and new testaments. I will cite a few thing that have baffled me and basically have shown me that there is no way the old and new testament are to be taken together. First we see that Jesus was a Jew. He was not a Christian. That is an important thing to remember. So he was bound by Jewish law, because he created it. That would explain why he said things like this: For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished (Matthew 5:18)

This is in contrast with several later ideas that were brought up by Peter and Paul . In Acts chapters10 and 11, Peter has a vision where a blanket is lowered from heaven and a voice (presumably god, or an angel representing god) basically tells him that all things are now clean if god cleanses them. This is contrary to Jewish law regarding eating certain meats and killing certain animals. So essentially, god (or a representative of god) is basically eschewing the old covenant and declaring that anything is now clean if god makes it so.

Then there is Paul and his rebuttal of circumcision, the eating of meats presented to idols, etc. Paul basically sums it all up in Romans 6:14: For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

So essentially, Paul is speaking on behalf of god and saying that the law no longer has dominion over you because of Jesus' sacrificial death.

So, either the law is still applicable, a la Jesus' statement, or it isn't. Make up your mind!

This is a short lesson in the discrepancy between the old and new testament. I believe that it is clear that they are not really relevant to each other in regards to christianity. This is a sticky point for most Christians. For me, it was the doorway to my realization that christianity isn't flawless like I was led to believe for so many years.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ask them "Why would God order all these atrocities in the first place".

 

Okay they cop out and say the Old Covenant was washed away.  But that doesn't explain how it got there.  That doesn't explain why God was acting like an evil warmonger.  

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

This also is one of my biggest 'beefs' with christians who use that cop out too ... I find it so utterly ridiculous and have also had the same thought process as far as Jesus being said to be the same yesterday, today and forever etc. I remember being in one of the last church services I went to 4 years ago where the pastor was talking about Jesus going above the law by saving the 'woman caught in adultery' from being stoned by the jews. After church I said to my husband - but if Jesus was god then he should have followed his own laws, by his own law the woman should have been stoned. Those jews were only following their own religious laws that he gave to them.  He didn't really have a sensible answer - just that we are 'no longer under the law' etc... it was definitely another nail in the coffin of my deconversion though. It's hard to see the contradictions and irrational thought of christianity;s teachings when you are right in the thick of it... but in stepping back and looking from a broader perspective, things become so much clearer.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

This is one of the most frustrating arguments I hear from Christians; the Old Testament is irrelevant now because of the New Covenant in Jesus blah blah, he abolished the old covenant, blah blah. Despite the fact that Jesus, who himself was quite keen on the Law, specifically said that he didn't come to abolish the Law, modern Christians still seem to have this view, which neatly absolves them of most of the ridiculous commandments of the OT. How do you deal with this OT denial?

This was the key issue that exposed Christianity for me.

There is nothing in the new covenant, defined in Jer 31, that says anything about faith in a human sacrifice replacing the need to keep the law.

Each person will die for their own sin and salvation is based on personal work (Ezek 18).

The law is eternal and salvation is based on seeking the law (Psa 119).

The Levitical priesthood was not replaced and will not be replaced (Jer 33).

There is no provision in God's law for a human to be a vicarious sin sacrifice.

 

Christianity is revisionst theology that's loosely based on the Old Testament.

Ironically, it's the Old Testament that exposes Christianity as a fraud.

As for the denial exhibited by Christians, there were two outstanding examples of this denial in this forum many months ago.

The preachers "Thumbelina" and "Rayskidude" , along with several others, simply ignored all these problems and just went on preaching, using the general flimsy apologetic that "the system changed".

Jesus is special and is exempt from all the prior rules...yada yada yada.

That's all you'll get from these apologists...special pleading and excuses that do not pass the smell test.

The only way to deal with it is to expose it and throw it right back in their faces.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

This very topic is the catalyst that began me on the path to deconversion. There are many things that create a rift between the old and new testaments. I will cite a few thing that have baffled me and basically have shown me that there is no way the old and new testament are to be taken together. First we see that Jesus was a Jew. He was not a Christian. That is an important thing to remember. So he was bound by Jewish law, because he created it. That would explain why he said things like this: For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished (Matthew 5:18)

 

The Christian argument is that when Jesus rose from the dead, everything was accomplished at that point. A similar argument is that when he said he didn't come to abolish the law, but fulfill it, he meant that the law had a limited time and he wasn't just throwing it out, but that it would more-or-less expire.

 

It's really amazing to me, then, that Christians want to have the 10 Commandments posted everywhere. That is not part of the New Testament. (Of course, the christian denomination I was part of said that the 10 Commandments should not be posted, so I already had that perspective even when I was a Christian.)

 

But even if the old law is out and the new law is in, that does not change the fact that the old law was evil in a lot of ways. It's supposed to be the same god, so they can't say it doesn't matter.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is one of the most frustrating arguments I hear from Christians; the Old Testament is irrelevant now because of the New Covenant in Jesus blah blah, he abolished the old covenant, blah blah. Despite the fact that Jesus, who himself was quite keen on the Law, specifically said that he didn't come to abolish the Law, modern Christians still seem to have this view, which neatly absolves them of most of the ridiculous commandments of the OT. How do you deal with this OT denial?

 

It's difficult to debate with people whose scripture can shape-shift into whatever they want it to mean.

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

It's difficult to debate with people whose scripture can shape-shift into whatever they want it to mean.

 

Great description!

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is one of the most frustrating arguments I hear from Christians; the Old Testament is irrelevant now because of the New Covenant in Jesus blah blah, he abolished the old covenant, blah blah. Despite the fact that Jesus, who himself was quite keen on the Law, specifically said that he didn't come to abolish the Law, modern Christians still seem to have this view, which neatly absolves them of most of the ridiculous commandments of the OT. How do you deal with this OT denial?

 

 

If that is the truth then why do bibles still get printed with the Old T in there? If the religiousnutbars don't need to follow it anymore (never actually seen anyone murder their prized sheep to atone lol) why bother wasting the ink and paper?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." -Hebrews 13:8

 

"For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." Malachi 3:6

 

The Hebrews verse the real clincher to me.  No matter how much they argue different covenants, age of grace, blah, blah, blah...Jesus is still their GOD ETERNAL, part of the trinity, and they cannot get away from the fact that he is the same god who did all the atrocious deeds of the OT.  Period.

 

Makes you wonder why they all (those that actually washed the brain) are so ready to follow a murder and tyrant who uses them for his own ends.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

This very topic is the catalyst that began me on the path to deconversion. There are many things that create a rift between the old and new testaments. I will cite a few thing that have baffled me and basically have shown me that there is no way the old and new testament are to be taken together. First we see that Jesus was a Jew. He was not a Christian. That is an important thing to remember. So he was bound by Jewish law, because he created it. That would explain why he said things like this: For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished (Matthew 5:18)

 

The Christian argument is that when Jesus rose from the dead, everything was accomplished at that point. A similar argument is that when he said he didn't come to abolish the law, but fulfill it, he meant that the law had a limited time and he wasn't just throwing it out, but that it would more-or-less expire.

 

But even if the old law is out and the new law is in, that does not change the fact that the old law was evil in a lot of ways. It's supposed to be the same god, so they can't say it doesn't matter.

 

 

So when you look at Christianity and its history, it really doesn't make sense. Observe:

 

God is. He knows all, sees all, is all powerful.

God creates everything.

Man is created. Given one rule, and they break it.

God not happy. Banishes them from paradise.  

Man lives on, without any way to reconcile with God. Man violates relationship continually.

God not happy. He floods the world.

Man repopulates the earth. Nothing changes.

God not happy.

God provides laws on how to please him, even though man has shown he can't even follow one rule.

Man fails, God not happy.

God sends judges. Nothing changes.

God not happy.

God gives people a king. Nothing changes.

God not happy

God sends prophets. Nothing changes.

God not happy

God lets things go for a while. Sends Jesus.

Jesus dies and "fulfills the law". No sacrifice for sin needed anymore. Man can now have open relationship God.

Jesus goes back to heaven. Sends Holy Spirit. 

Holy Spirit teaches truth. Gives Power. Helps his people find God's will. 

Man still needs to follow God's law, or punishment is death and separation from God.

Nothing changes.

God not happy.

God Judges everyone. Saves some, throws some into Hell.

Destroys everything he made

Makes everything again, brand new.

 

There are two common themes in this. First is that God is never happy with Man. Second, there are still laws that need to be followed in order to have a relationship with God. So, regardless of what Jesus did, man still has to do the work. and still has to follow the rules. The only thing Jesus did was die so that a percentage of people (who will fail and break every one of Gods laws) will get to live with him forever, and the rest who just get thrown out with the trash because we didn't follow the rules. There needs to be a new ten commandments because the rules changed. Some Christians will argue that Gods nature (which changes, but doesn't change?????) still would require the old testament laws to still be in effect. The only difference would be that the punishment has already been paid for. Which, that, in and of itself, is utterly confusing in its own light. Its like a free pass.

Arrrgh! its so confusing. Which is even more evidence that if God, who is not the author of confusion, was real, he would not have made it so open ended and subject to so much interpretation. In the old testament, the laws are very specific. In the new, not very specific at all. Its hopeless and endless. Pure Madness. Which is why I am getting out.

 

 

 

 

 
  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

So when you look at Christianity and its history, it really doesn't make sense. Observe:

 

God is. He knows all, sees all, is all powerful.

God creates everything.

Man is created. Given one rule, and they break it.

God not happy. Banishes them from paradise.  

Man lives on, without any way to reconcile with God. Man violates relationship continually.

God not happy. He floods the world.

Man repopulates the earth. Nothing changes.

God not happy.

God provides laws on how to please him, even though man has shown he can't even follow one rule.

Man fails, God not happy.

God sends judges. Nothing changes.

God not happy.

God gives people a king. Nothing changes.

God not happy

God sends prophets. Nothing changes.

God not happy

God lets things go for a while. Sends Jesus.

Jesus dies and "fulfills the law". No sacrifice for sin needed anymore. Man can now have open relationship God.

Jesus goes back to heaven. Sends Holy Spirit. 

Holy Spirit teaches truth. Gives Power. Helps his people find God's will. 

Man still needs to follow God's law, or punishment is death and separation from God.

Nothing changes.

God not happy.

God Judges everyone. Saves some, throws some into Hell.

Destroys everything he made

Makes everything again, brand new.

 

There are two common themes in this. First is that God is never happy with Man. Second, there are still laws that need to be followed in order to have a relationship with God. So, regardless of what Jesus did, man still has to do the work. and still has to follow the rules. The only thing Jesus did was die so that a percentage of people (who will fail and break every one of Gods laws) will get to live with him forever, and the rest who just get thrown out with the trash because we didn't follow the rules. There needs to be a new ten commandments because the rules changed. Some Christians will argue that Gods nature (which changes, but doesn't change?????) still would require the old testament laws to still be in effect. The only difference would be that the punishment has already been paid for. Which, that, in and of itself, is utterly confusing in its own light. Its like a free pass.

Arrrgh! its so confusing. Which is even more evidence that if God, who is not the author of confusion, was real, he would not have made it so open ended and subject to so much interpretation. In the old testament, the laws are very specific. In the new, not very specific at all. Its hopeless and endless. Pure Madness. Which is why I am getting out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excellent summary of the history of the world according to the Bible! The only thing I would change is that he saves some, and sends the vast majority to hell.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This very topic is the catalyst that began me on the path to deconversion. There are many things that create a rift between the old and new testaments. I will cite a few thing that have baffled me and basically have shown me that there is no way the old and new testament are to be taken together. First we see that Jesus was a Jew. He was not a Christian. That is an important thing to remember. So he was bound by Jewish law, because he created it. That would explain why he said things like this: For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished (Matthew 5:18)

This is in contrast with several later ideas that were brought up by Peter and Paul . In Acts chapters10 and 11, Peter has a vision where a blanket is lowered from heaven and a voice (presumably god, or an angel representing god) basically tells him that all things are now clean if god cleanses them. This is contrary to Jewish law regarding eating certain meats and killing certain animals. So essentially, god (or a representative of god) is basically eschewing the old covenant and declaring that anything is now clean if god makes it so.

Then there is Paul and his rebuttal of circumcision, the eating of meats presented to idols, etc. Paul basically sums it all up in Romans 6:14: For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

So essentially, Paul is speaking on behalf of god and saying that the law no longer has dominion over you because of Jesus' sacrificial death.

So, either the law is still applicable, a la Jesus' statement, or it isn't. Make up your mind!

This is a short lesson in the discrepancy between the old and new testament. I believe that it is clear that they are not really relevant to each other in regards to christianity. This is a sticky point for most Christians. For me, it was the doorway to my realization that christianity isn't flawless like I was led to believe for so many years.

Actually, you're ignoring quite an important thing about Paul vs. circumcision - Paul never says Jewish Christians are to reject circumcision. Paul's difference from other Jewish Christians of his time was the idea that non-Jews do not need to circumcise to join the Christian religion. In 2nd Temple times, Pharisaism had a similar circumcisionless option for non-Jews who felt attracted to Judaism - in fact, Judaism does not think non-Jews need to circumcise even to this day, unless if those non-Jews wish to become Jews. (However, in 2nd temple times, some Jewish sects seem to have thought only Jews are saved or something along those lines - the Pharisees, from which all modern Judaism except the karaites stem, however, as already stated accepted the idea that non-Jews can be righteous. This also lines up well with old testament theology, see e.g. how God forgives the Nineveans in Jonah without them first becoming Jews, how even non-Jewish tribes help out in building the temple, how the concept of 'strangers in the gate' in the Torah is described and how the Torah makes it pretty explicit that these are the laws for the Israelite tribes. It is also generally held by Jews that Job was no Jew, yet he is described as righteous. Isaiah also speaks of non-Jewish righteous. So this particular bit is not as much of a theological problem as people like to think it is. Paul in fact is closer to Judaism in his stance on circumcision than the stance that gentiles have to be circumcised to be saved is. 

 

For a comparison, check the modern revival of of b'nei noah - gentiles who believe in Judaism and follow the rules Jews think apply to gentiles. The resurgence of this movement - a group that apparently had quite a number of adherents in Roman antiquity but lost most members to Christianity and Islam as members were pressured to join these religions instead - has to quite an extent been engineered by another group of believers in a would-bemessiah, viz. the adherents of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I tell xtians the NT is supposedly written on the assumption that the Old Testament is true and without error. So, it doesn't matter if the OT is irrelevant because the NT has not proven that it is a god-given directive for our lives. There is nothing that joins the two books except xtian folklore.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

This very topic is the catalyst that began me on the path to deconversion. There are many things that create a rift between the old and new testaments. I will cite a few thing that have baffled me and basically have shown me that there is no way the old and new testament are to be taken together. First we see that Jesus was a Jew. He was not a Christian. That is an important thing to remember. So he was bound by Jewish law, because he created it. That would explain why he said things like this: For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished (Matthew 5:18)

This is in contrast with several later ideas that were brought up by Peter and Paul . In Acts chapters10 and 11, Peter has a vision where a blanket is lowered from heaven and a voice (presumably god, or an angel representing god) basically tells him that all things are now clean if god cleanses them. This is contrary to Jewish law regarding eating certain meats and killing certain animals. So essentially, god (or a representative of god) is basically eschewing the old covenant and declaring that anything is now clean if god makes it so.

Then there is Paul and his rebuttal of circumcision, the eating of meats presented to idols, etc. Paul basically sums it all up in Romans 6:14: For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

So essentially, Paul is speaking on behalf of god and saying that the law no longer has dominion over you because of Jesus' sacrificial death.

So, either the law is still applicable, a la Jesus' statement, or it isn't. Make up your mind!

This is a short lesson in the discrepancy between the old and new testament. I believe that it is clear that they are not really relevant to each other in regards to christianity. This is a sticky point for most Christians. For me, it was the doorway to my realization that christianity isn't flawless like I was led to believe for so many years.

Actually, you're ignoring quite an important thing about Paul vs. circumcision - Paul never says Jewish Christians are to reject circumcision. Paul's difference from other Jewish Christians of his time was the idea that non-Jews do not need to circumcise to join the Christian religion. In 2nd Temple times, Pharisaism had a similar circumcisionless option for non-Jews who felt attracted to Judaism - in fact, Judaism does not think non-Jews need to circumcise even to this day, unless if those non-Jews wish to become Jews. (However, in 2nd temple times, some Jewish sects seem to have thought only Jews are saved or something along those lines - the Pharisees, from which all modern Judaism except the karaites stem, however, as already stated accepted the idea that non-Jews can be righteous. This also lines up well with old testament theology, see e.g. how God forgives the Nineveans in Jonah without them first becoming Jews, how even non-Jewish tribes help out in building the temple, how the concept of 'strangers in the gate' in the Torah is described and how the Torah makes it pretty explicit that these are the laws for the Israelite tribes. It is also generally held by Jews that Job was no Jew, yet he is described as righteous. Isaiah also speaks of non-Jewish righteous. So this particular bit is not as much of a theological problem as people like to think it is. Paul in fact is closer to Judaism in his stance on circumcision than the stance that gentiles have to be circumcised to be saved is. 

 

For a comparison, check the modern revival of of b'nei noah - gentiles who believe in Judaism and follow the rules Jews think apply to gentiles. The resurgence of this movement - a group that apparently had quite a number of adherents in Roman antiquity but lost most members to Christianity and Islam as members were pressured to join these religions instead - has to quite an extent been engineered by another group of believers in a would-bemessiah, viz. the adherents of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.

 

Thanks for the info on this. I was not really aware of this. Its interesting to know. I dont think it changes my argument that old testament law is not really applicable to new testament christians. Apparently that applies specifically to gentile converts though and not jews who convert. I guess the question that begs to be asked is if a jew converts to christianity, is he a jew or a christian. I am not sure you can be both. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 There is nothing that joins the two books except xtian folklore.

 

The most significant turning point in my deconversion process was realizing that the christian god simply does not line up with OT yahweh.  One of the false premises of the christian apolagetics is the ASSUMPTION that christianity somehow fulfills the law and is a natural progression of god's plans pointed to in OT prophecy.  However, there is a reason that the Jews did not convert wholeheartedly to Christianity and it wasn't because "their hearts were hardened to the truth" or some other such bullshit put forward by Paul.

 

The Christian message, theology, and practices (or more rightly one could say Paul's message, theology, and practices) were not only obviously NOT Jewish in nature, they were in fact the opposite!  They were a hybrid of the COMMON mystery religions of the day combined with a bit of gnosticism and some other things thrown in for fun.  ANY Jewish scholar with half a brain would have recognized this new religion for what it was...just another middle eastern mystery religion, and certainly nothing to do with Judaism or the god of the OT.  Virgin birth, baptism, communion meal of blood and wine, atoning human sacrifice for sin, hell....the basic tenets of Christianity as well as the core sacraments are NOWHERE TO BE FOUND IN THE OLD TESTAMENT.  Yet they were practiced at the time Jesus was born by the followers of Mithras and other mystery religions.  Even a good majority of the names ascribed to Jesus (the word "logos", the light of the world, the good shepherd, the alpha and omega, etc.) are stolen from OTHER religions, not Judaism.

 

The Jews of the day would have IMMEDIATELY recognized these theologies for what they were  Unfortunately, Christians today have ZERO historical context.  They just ASSUME there were only Romans (who appear to be secular), Jews, and Christians in the first century Palestine, because that is what the Bible tells them!  They know NOTHING about the myriad of popular religions of the day.  They just believe baptism suddenly came out of nowhere when John the Baptist revealed it!  Christians assume Christianity is Jewish because they have been told so.  But a little study shows that the two religions are not related AT ALL, except for Christianity retroactively trying to haphazardly tie a few OT prophecies to Jesus (and half of those OT quotes are not even prophecy!).  

 

Not only is their god not consistent over time (which is painfully obvious when they try to write off the whole Old Testament!!!), the whole notion that the new covenant is somehow born out of the old covenant does not even bear up under the tiniest bit of scrutiny.  It is just accepted by christians in complete ignorance, without the slightest investigation.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

This is one of the most frustrating arguments I hear from Christians; the Old Testament is irrelevant now because of the New Covenant in Jesus blah blah, he abolished the old covenant, blah blah. Despite the fact that Jesus, who himself was quite keen on the Law, specifically said that he didn't come to abolish the Law, modern Christians still seem to have this view, which neatly absolves them of most of the ridiculous commandments of the OT. How do you deal with this OT denial?

 

 

If that is the truth then why do bibles still get printed with the Old T in there? If the religiousnutbars don't need to follow it anymore (never actually seen anyone murder their prized sheep to atone lol) why bother wasting the ink and paper?

 

 

If it is obsolete why carry it around? Oh yeah, because without original sin in Genesis there is no need for a savior.

Link to post
Share on other sites

An aside note, since this the the theology forum.  In the tale of the birth of Jesus, the 3 kings (magi) come to bow before the child in the stable. Ask a Christian who these guys are and enjoy the stammering blank looks you get.  No idea.  Christian scholars will often tell you vaguely they are Persian kings or astrologers.  When in fact, it's pretty clear that these are Priests of Mithras...the contemporary cult from which much of the Jesus narrative is plagiarized (He was a popular god of Roman soldiers prior to the birth of Christ).  

 

The 3 magi being written in the birth narrative had a very powerful message for the gospel readers in the first few centuries and they would have understood the meaning clearly- Even the worshipers of Mithras recognize Jesus is the TRUE GOD!  Jesus is superior to the older Mithras!  This was a big deal when even St. Augustine declared the followers of Mithras must be worshiping the same God as Christians, because their beliefs and practices were almost identical! 

 

Of course, today no Christians have ever heard of Mithras or the other competing religions of the day.  No historical context.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I love how "filled with the Holy Ghost" suddenly appears in the first five books of the NT.  It's used like it's a credential.  When a character is introduced if they are important Christianity they have the "filled with the Holy Ghost" qualification.

 

Example:

John the Baptist is full of the Holy Ghost in the womb in Luke 1:14

Elizabeth is full of the Holy Ghost in Luke 1:41

Zacharius is full of the Holy Ghost in Luke 1:67

Simon if full of the Holy Ghost in Luke 2:25

Jesus (God the Son?!?) is full of the Holy Ghost in Luke 4:1

 

 

Where did this tradition come from?  They go crazy with it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Actually, you're ignoring quite an important thing about Paul vs. circumcision - Paul never says Jewish Christians are to reject circumcision. Paul's difference from other Jewish Christians of his time was the idea that non-Jews do not need to circumcise to join the Christian religion. In 2nd Temple times, Pharisaism had a similar circumcisionless option for non-Jews who felt attracted to Judaism - in fact, Judaism does not think non-Jews need to circumcise even to this day, unless if those non-Jews wish to become Jews. (However, in 2nd temple times, some Jewish sects seem to have thought only Jews are saved or something along those lines - the Pharisees, from which all modern Judaism except the karaites stem, however, as already stated accepted the idea that non-Jews can be righteous. This also lines up well with old testament theology, see e.g. how God forgives the Nineveans in Jonah without them first becoming Jews, how even non-Jewish tribes help out in building the temple, how the concept of 'strangers in the gate' in the Torah is described and how the Torah makes it pretty explicit that these are the laws for the Israelite tribes. It is also generally held by Jews that Job was no Jew, yet he is described as righteous. Isaiah also speaks of non-Jewish righteous. So this particular bit is not as much of a theological problem as people like to think it is. Paul in fact is closer to Judaism in his stance on circumcision than the stance that gentiles have to be circumcised to be saved is. 

 

For a comparison, check the modern revival of of b'nei noah - gentiles who believe in Judaism and follow the rules Jews think apply to gentiles. The resurgence of this movement - a group that apparently had quite a number of adherents in Roman antiquity but lost most members to Christianity and Islam as members were pressured to join these religions instead - has to quite an extent been engineered by another group of believers in a would-bemessiah, viz. the adherents of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.

 

Thanks for the info on this. I was not really aware of this. Its interesting to know. I dont think it changes my argument that old testament law is not really applicable to new testament christians. Apparently that applies specifically to gentile converts though and not jews who convert. I guess the question that begs to be asked is if a jew converts to christianity, is he a jew or a christian. I am not sure you can be both. 

 

Who would have the authority to say you can't? Obviously, all "normal" kinds of Judaism - orthodox, conservative, reform (and karaism) say that anyone who believes Jesus is God or participates freely and willingly in idolatrous worship is an apostate - and thus does not have a standing in the Jewish community (except the right to repent from idolatry and thus regain his or her standing) and of course it makes sense for Jewish authorities to be able to regulate what it takes to qualify as Jewish - but from a Christian point of view it is less obvious that a Christian cannot also be Jewish, and from that side of the issue, there are a few important points:

1] as for deciding who can be considered Christian, we probably must assign authority to Christians (since there's no God who can tell us which persons are true christians and which are not; of course, we could accept some kind of measurable definition - whoever is baptised by some liturgy and professes whatever is Christian? Still, ... gets tricky. If you ask a Christian, he'd probably answer 'God can tell' or that there's some way the Church or representatives thereof have that authority)

2] Christianity tends to think of itself as in some way having superseded Judaism, and so they may think Jewish authorities' decisions no longer are valid in the eyes of God, but that such authority exists within Christianity instead. Some seem to think Jewish authorities still maintain some validity on some questions related to Jewish affairs. (E.g. halakha, that is Jewish law.) In this case, a Jewish authority deciding that a Christian is an apostate would probably be considered invalid from the Christian point of view, and the Christian would probably see this disagreement over what is permitted for a Jew to believe as sad confirmation that the Jews are spiritually blinded.

3] Christianity thinks of itself as the true continuation of the Old Testament religion, and thus clearly related to Judaism in some way, although the understanding among the Christian laity of Jewish history and so on tends to be bad. This is why Christians may think that they believe in the 'true' Judaism while mainstream Jews believe in a fallen, distorted version. 

4] The distinction of Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians exists in Acts and to some extent in Paul's letters, and there's no clear reason to think the Jewish Christian segment would have been abolished, 

 

Now, given who can decide who is Christian (see 1] ), and given that they think Jewish authority is abrogated (for this point, 2] is the important reasoning), that such a distinction is attested in the early church (see 4]), it is not that weird that a Christian would believe that Jewish Christianity is a valid form of Christianity. 

 

 A movement that asserts the possibility does in fact exist, c.f. pretty much any "Messianic Judaism" congregations and the protestant congregations they align with - mainly baptists of various kinds.

 

However, messianic judaism is a thing some christians object to as well, but not mainly due to the 'jews adhering to jewish customs while professing christian beliefs' aspect of it. The problem is that messianic judaism is a bit of a deception (on top of a deception) - they generally try to convert Jews ignorant of Judaism to what they market as 'completed Judaism' and tend to misrepresent Jewish sources to give the impression to people that Judaism originally accepted Christian theology etc. Dressing up Christianity as Judaism and adding a bit of Yiddish to the service does not Judaism make, and the majority of messianic Jews have no actual Jewish background of any kind anyway (Christian, secular and Jewish sources have all assessed the number of actual Jewish persons among those who call themselves messianic jews to be about one in five!)- they're Christians who feel that by practicing (fake) Judaism, they get closer to God or whatever. The occasional Christian will accuse messianic congregations of "galatianism", which probably even is justified in light of what messianic judaism often tends to teach.

 

One of the founders of 'Jews for Jesus' in fact said something along the lines of the effort to convert Jews converts five times as many gentiles.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

Actually, you're ignoring quite an important thing about Paul vs. circumcision - Paul never says Jewish Christians are to reject circumcision. Paul's difference from other Jewish Christians of his time was the idea that non-Jews do not need to circumcise to join the Christian religion. In 2nd Temple times, Pharisaism had a similar circumcisionless option for non-Jews who felt attracted to Judaism - in fact, Judaism does not think non-Jews need to circumcise even to this day, unless if those non-Jews wish to become Jews. (However, in 2nd temple times, some Jewish sects seem to have thought only Jews are saved or something along those lines - the Pharisees, from which all modern Judaism except the karaites stem, however, as already stated accepted the idea that non-Jews can be righteous. This also lines up well with old testament theology, see e.g. how God forgives the Nineveans in Jonah without them first becoming Jews, how even non-Jewish tribes help out in building the temple, how the concept of 'strangers in the gate' in the Torah is described and how the Torah makes it pretty explicit that these are the laws for the Israelite tribes. It is also generally held by Jews that Job was no Jew, yet he is described as righteous. Isaiah also speaks of non-Jewish righteous. So this particular bit is not as much of a theological problem as people like to think it is. Paul in fact is closer to Judaism in his stance on circumcision than the stance that gentiles have to be circumcised to be saved is. 

 

For a comparison, check the modern revival of of b'nei noah - gentiles who believe in Judaism and follow the rules Jews think apply to gentiles. The resurgence of this movement - a group that apparently had quite a number of adherents in Roman antiquity but lost most members to Christianity and Islam as members were pressured to join these religions instead - has to quite an extent been engineered by another group of believers in a would-bemessiah, viz. the adherents of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.

 

Thanks for the info on this. I was not really aware of this. Its interesting to know. I dont think it changes my argument that old testament law is not really applicable to new testament christians. Apparently that applies specifically to gentile converts though and not jews who convert. I guess the question that begs to be asked is if a jew converts to christianity, is he a jew or a christian. I am not sure you can be both. 

 

Who would have the authority to say you can't? Obviously, all "normal" kinds of Judaism - orthodox, conservative, reform (and karaism) say that anyone who believes Jesus is God or participates freely and willingly in idolatrous worship is an apostate - and thus does not have a standing in the Jewish community (except the right to repent from idolatry and thus regain his or her standing) and of course it makes sense for Jewish authorities to be able to regulate what it takes to qualify as Jewish - but from a Christian point of view it is less obvious that a Christian cannot also be Jewish, and from that side of the issue, there are a few important points:

1] as for deciding who can be considered Christian, we probably must assign authority to Christians (since there's no God who can tell us which persons are true christians and which are not; of course, we could accept some kind of measurable definition - whoever is baptised by some liturgy and professes whatever is Christian? Still, ... gets tricky. If you ask a Christian, he'd probably answer 'God can tell' or that there's some way the Church or representatives thereof have that authority)

2] Christianity tends to think of itself as in some way having superseded Judaism, and so they may think Jewish authorities' decisions no longer are valid in the eyes of God, but that such authority exists within Christianity instead. Some seem to think Jewish authorities still maintain some validity on some questions related to Jewish affairs. (E.g. halakha, that is Jewish law.) In this case, a Jewish authority deciding that a Christian is an apostate would probably be considered invalid from the Christian point of view, and the Christian would probably see this disagreement over what is permitted for a Jew to believe as sad confirmation that the Jews are spiritually blinded.

3] Christianity thinks of itself as the true continuation of the Old Testament religion, and thus clearly related to Judaism in some way, although the understanding among the Christian laity of Jewish history and so on tends to be bad. This is why Christians may think that they believe in the 'true' Judaism while mainstream Jews believe in a fallen, distorted version. 

4] The distinction of Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians exists in Acts and to some extent in Paul's letters, and there's no clear reason to think the Jewish Christian segment would have been abolished, 

 

Now, given who can decide who is Christian (see 1] ), and given that they think Jewish authority is abrogated (for this point, 2] is the important reasoning), that such a distinction is attested in the early church (see 4]), it is not that weird that a Christian would believe that Jewish Christianity is a valid form of Christianity. 

 

 A movement that asserts the possibility does in fact exist, c.f. pretty much any "Messianic Judaism" congregations and the protestant congregations they align with - mainly baptists of various kinds.

 

However, messianic judaism is a thing some christians object to as well, but not mainly due to the 'jews adhering to jewish customs while professing christian beliefs' aspect of it. The problem is that messianic judaism is a bit of a deception (on top of a deception) - they generally try to convert Jews ignorant of Judaism to what they market as 'completed Judaism' and tend to misrepresent Jewish sources to give the impression to people that Judaism originally accepted Christian theology etc. Dressing up Christianity as Judaism and adding a bit of Yiddish to the service does not Judaism make, and the majority of messianic Jews have no actual Jewish background of any kind anyway (Christian, secular and Jewish sources have all assessed the number of actual Jewish persons among those who call themselves messianic jews to be about one in five!)- they're Christians who feel that by practicing (fake) Judaism, they get closer to God or whatever. The occasional Christian will accuse messianic congregations of "galatianism", which probably even is justified in light of what messianic judaism often tends to teach.

 

One of the founders of 'Jews for Jesus' in fact said something along the lines of the effort to convert Jews converts five times as many gentiles.

 

Thanks for sharing this. I don't really know much about Judaism. In light of this conversation, I got to thinking. It is clear that Jesus followed Judaic principles and ceremonies, as evidenced by the numerous stories in the gospels. But I wonder, was he actually a Jew? I would guess probably, but I don't recall anything specifically mentioning that he claimed to be Jewish. The more I think about it, the more I am leaning towards him not being an actual Jew. That would throw Christianity for a huge loop if that were the case.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Thanks for sharing this. I don't really know much about Judaism. In light of this conversation, I got to thinking. It is clear that Jesus followed Judaic principles and ceremonies, as evidenced by the numerous stories in the gospels. But I wonder, was he actually a Jew? I would guess probably, but I don't recall anything specifically mentioning that he claimed to be Jewish. The more I think about it, the more I am leaning towards him not being an actual Jew. That would throw Christianity for a huge loop if that were the case.

It's a mixed bag.

Jesus undermined the dietary law in Mark 7.

Yet, he claimed to be the expected king messiah, which would indicate he was Jewish.

But then in John, he calls the law "their law", which is somewhat odd.

One would think he'd refer to it as "our law".

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

This is one of the most frustrating arguments I hear from Christians; the Old Testament is irrelevant now because of the New Covenant in Jesus blah blah, he abolished the old covenant, blah blah. Despite the fact that Jesus, who himself was quite keen on the Law, specifically said that he didn't come to abolish the Law, modern Christians still seem to have this view, which neatly absolves them of most of the ridiculous commandments of the OT. How do you deal with this OT denial?

It's difficult to debate with people whose scripture can shape-shift into whatever they want it to mean.

Thats exactly what they do with scripture and hey if you say it means what it is saying, then they will tell you you are interpreting it wrong.
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.