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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".

 

I would agree that there is a strong probability that jesus was a jew. While trying to find a souce to confirm, I found a good article on why Jesus is not the Messiah. It provided some good information. For anyone interested: http://www.aish.com/jw/s/48892792.html

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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

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Hm, I think it's pretty clear that the authors of the gospels did depict him as a member of the Jewish tribe. Whether that has any bearing on whether he really was Jewish or not is of course open to discussion. Let's imagine he was entirely fictional. In that case, he would of course not be 'Jewish', since in that case, he'd simply not exist. However, we can maybe come up with some notion by which fictional characters are Jewish too - Tevyeh in fiddler on the roof, as is Mordechai in Hebrew Hammer, as is David "Noodles" Aaronson of Once Upon a Time in America, as is Susan Ivanova in Babylon 5. Some fictional Jews never even identify as such, yet we can tell by other things - clothing, behaviors, preoccupations, etc. These are tropes inserted to tell the reader that, yeah, there's no doubt about it, this guy's Jewish all right. The gospels seem to even assume Jewishness without feeling the need to make it explicit. Things that kind of indicate that he was (depicted as) Jewish include

- reading at the synagogue (Luk 4:16 and onwards)

- he ate with Jews. At the time, it seems a fair number of Jews may have considered eating with non-Jews problematic. Thus his being portrayed as being welcome at Jewish dinners suggests the evangelists wanted to portray him as a Jew.

- the temple-cleansing thing suggests at least that he concerned himself with the temple. Of course, a gentile believer in Judaism could care about the temple as well, but it still seems significantly more likely that a Jew off his hinges would do that than a gentile at the time

- at Matthew 15:2 and thereabouts, the argumentation suggests he recognizes the Jewish laws as having some kind of relevance 

- his celebrating the passover with the disciples is especially significant, as Jews were not to celebrate the passover with non-Jews, unless the non-Jew convert first. In addition, the other Jewish-like tradition in existence - Samaritanism - celebrated passover at Gerissim in Samaria, not at Jerusalem in Judea, so we can probably assume they aligned more closely with judaism than with samaritanism.

 

 

 

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".

John, of course, is the latest of the gospels, and we know that antijudaism had grown in intensity within the early Christian church during the time between the synoptics and John. John is generally held to contain a lot more in ways of attempts to distance Christianity from (rabbinic) Judaism. 

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The Assembly of God doctrine is like this: all of the Old Testament laws are invalid, except for giving 10% of your money to the church. Failure to pay your salvation tax will result in hell. I always wondered why it's okay to eat bacon while my church required a salvation tax.

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Norm, I read the article on why Jesus is not the messiah.  Excellent information!

 

Good information in this whole thread.  

 

Don't forget to tithe or burn!  Wendybanghead.gif

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I like this thread.. really good stuff!  I didn't know much about the Jews until I began to really look at the Bible, and then by chance meet some Jewish people online in forums.

 

I still don't know much, but I DO know they are very serious about idolatry... in any form. They are scholars and have very specific rules and such about a lot of things. The production of a new Torah is a serious matter and not everyone is allowed to do it. Every letterform is agonized over and checked and double-checked for accuracy. "gods' word is not something they take casually.

 

They learn early their verses and spend a great deal of time discussing interpretation and history. Questions are encouraged, as is respectful debate of scripture, young people especially are allowed to sit in on these debates.. and I suspect a lot of these conversations happen around the dinner table, and other social venues.

 

Judaism seems VERY different from christianity, after I got a little familiar with it. It struck me then that some of Jesus' words and actions were not in accord with Judaism, ESPECIALLY the idea that any human could be god...(or a 'begotten' son of god) that is NOT a jewish concept, at all. The OT calls the angels the 'sons of god'... Israel were (are) Yahweh's chosen people but I don't remember any OT verse that put humans in the same category as angels (different, below, above, whatever - but not the same) I could be wrong here, but the OT speaks of humans as God's creatures... and there is a definite demarcation between created beings and the creator.

 

The whole point of the LAW was to teach Yahweh's people how to live, it was never to be considered a burden, but a joy. Christians don't seem to get this.

 

The OT also doesn't promote the concept of the soul being separate from the body... the body BECOMES a soul when the spirit of God enlivens it. (ruaach?  something like that) A separate soul is a pagan idea, not Jewish. I could go on, but the point is there are a lot of very basic ideas that are very different between Judaism and Christianity.

 

ALL the Jewish people I've spoken to are adamant that Jesus did not fill the requirements for the Israelite Messiah.

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The OT also doesn't promote the concept of the soul being separate from the body... the body BECOMES a soul when the spirit of God enlivens it. (ruaach?  something like that) A separate soul is a pagan idea, not Jewish. I could go on, but the point is there are a lot of very basic ideas that are very different between Judaism and Christianity.

 

While the rest you say is pretty good, this is a bit iffy; the idea of a soul separate from the body does at the very least happen in medieval Judaism and later, and some stuff both from intertestamental times (i.e. old testament apocrypha, DSS stuff), and in Talmudic times as well. On the other hand, "soul" is a terribly polysemous concept, and it's not clear that when Hebrew and Aramaic writings talk of the ruach, the neshama, the nephesh, etc, it's not clear whether they actually speak of the same thing we would talk about when we use that word. 

 

E.g. some mystical texts talk of Jews acquiring an additional one (don't recall if it's a ruach, a neshama or a nephesh right now) during sabbath. This could signify an extra mood or emotion too - an emotion those who wrote these claims only thought Jews could feel on the sabbath. Or possibly, an actual mystical entity. Who knows what they meant - and probably there's differences between what one mystic and another mystic intended.

 

It's of course possible the separate soul-concept entered Judaism from paganism, but on the other hand it's also a concept that may not necessarily even have been linked to religion per se but more the general concepts people dealt with. The mind clearly operates in a way that to the mind itself seems different from how the body operates, thus the mind-body distinction is quite a natural thing to come up with, and I do think it makes sense to talk of the mind as separate from the body - though the content of the mind of course is directly controlled by biochemical and bioelectrical states of a (huge) bunch of cells in the body. It is quite clear some people use 'soul' indistinguishably from 'mind', but some use it to mark some weirder thing - I've heard Christians speak of how we too are trinities - body, spirit and soul. Interestingly, they never told me which of those is "mind", or anything. In such circumstances, it's quite clear soul and spirit are some weird mystical concepts with little or no actual definition.

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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.

It goes back to the OT, actually - see, e.g. Isaiah 63:11 Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, [and] his people, [saying], Where [is] he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where [is] he that put his holy Spirit within him?

 

There's a bunch of other mentions of God putting his spirit in people in the OT as well, but they should be easy to find with a searchable electronic bible. I would suspect that OT apocrypha have more of it than the OT has, though, as you still only get about a handful and a half of them in the OT.

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My reply would be, well if Hitler had turned over a new leaf and went from a genicidal maniac to a born again Christian who did everything he could to make up for what he did, would we be willing to just flag away the acts of genicide? Hell no. He still did those things and like wise the God of the NT was the same God that committed all those acts of genicide in the OT.

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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.

I don't suppose any of you appreciate a differant perspective on some of this?

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... the idea of a soul separate from the body does at the very least happen in medieval Judaism and later, and some stuff both from intertestamental times (i.e. old testament apocrypha, DSS stuff), and in Talmudic times as well. On the other hand, "soul" is a terribly polysemous concept, and it's not clear that when Hebrew and Aramaic writings talk of the ruach, the neshama, the nephesh, etc, it's not clear whether they actually speak of the same thing we would talk about when we use that word.

 

E.g. some mystical texts talk of Jews acquiring an additional one (don't recall if it's a ruach, a neshama or a nephesh right now) during sabbath. This could signify an extra mood or emotion too - an emotion those who wrote these claims only thought Jews could feel on the sabbath. Or possibly, an actual mystical entity. Who knows what they meant - and probably there's differences between what one mystic and another mystic intended.

 

It's of course possible the separate soul-concept entered Judaism from paganism, but on the other hand it's also a concept that may not necessarily even have been linked to religion per se but more the general concepts people dealt with. The mind clearly operates in a way that to the mind itself seems different from how the body operates, thus the mind-body distinction is quite a natural thing to come up with, and I do think it makes sense to talk of the mind as separate from the body - though the content of the mind of course is directly controlled by biochemical and bioelectrical states of a (huge) bunch of cells in the body. It is quite clear some people use 'soul' indistinguishably from 'mind', but some use it to mark some weirder thing - I've heard Christians speak of how we too are trinities - body, spirit and soul. Interestingly, they never told me which of those is "mind", or anything. In such circumstances, it's quite clear soul and spirit are some weird mystical concepts with little or no actual definition.

I don't know about the soul, per se, but the idea of life after death, either eternal punishment or reward, seems to have appeared "between the testaments". From what's written in the NT, the Sadducees seemed to not believe it, but the more popular Pharisees did. (This could, of course, be a distorted picture.) The Book of Enoch, written between 100-200 BCE, has all of these ideas that were popular with the NT authors. Although the Catholics never claimed it was inspired (it was essentially lost, with copies in other languages being found after the NT was completely canonized, but with scraps of it found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, and with a direct quote in the book of Jude, so clearly popular in the 1st century CE and before), I suspect if it had been known, it would have wound up in the canon. Anyway, Judaism today is from the Pharisees, isn't it? Did they once believe in eternal life? Do they now? Or is Judaism completely about living here and now?
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... the idea of a soul separate from the body does at the very least happen in medieval Judaism and later, and some stuff both from intertestamental times (i.e. old testament apocrypha, DSS stuff), and in Talmudic times as well. On the other hand, "soul" is a terribly polysemous concept, and it's not clear that when Hebrew and Aramaic writings talk of the ruach, the neshama, the nephesh, etc, it's not clear whether they actually speak of the same thing we would talk about when we use that word.

 

E.g. some mystical texts talk of Jews acquiring an additional one (don't recall if it's a ruach, a neshama or a nephesh right now) during sabbath. This could signify an extra mood or emotion too - an emotion those who wrote these claims only thought Jews could feel on the sabbath. Or possibly, an actual mystical entity. Who knows what they meant - and probably there's differences between what one mystic and another mystic intended.

 

It's of course possible the separate soul-concept entered Judaism from paganism, but on the other hand it's also a concept that may not necessarily even have been linked to religion per se but more the general concepts people dealt with. The mind clearly operates in a way that to the mind itself seems different from how the body operates, thus the mind-body distinction is quite a natural thing to come up with, and I do think it makes sense to talk of the mind as separate from the body - though the content of the mind of course is directly controlled by biochemical and bioelectrical states of a (huge) bunch of cells in the body. It is quite clear some people use 'soul' indistinguishably from 'mind', but some use it to mark some weirder thing - I've heard Christians speak of how we too are trinities - body, spirit and soul. Interestingly, they never told me which of those is "mind", or anything. In such circumstances, it's quite clear soul and spirit are some weird mystical concepts with little or no actual definition.

I don't know about the soul, per se, but the idea of life after death, either eternal punishment or reward, seems to have appeared "between the testaments". From what's written in the NT, the Sadducees seemed to not believe it, but the more popular Pharisees did. (This could, of course, be a distorted picture.) The Book of Enoch, written between 100-200 BCE, has all of these ideas that were popular with the NT authors. Although the Catholics never claimed it was inspired (it was essentially lost, with copies in other languages being found after the NT was completely canonized, but with scraps of it found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, and with a direct quote in the book of Jude, so clearly popular in the 1st century CE and before), I suspect if it had been known, it would have wound up in the canon. Anyway, Judaism today is from the Pharisees, isn't it? Did they once believe in eternal life? Do they now? Or is Judaism completely about living here and now?

 

The Sadducees pretty certainly didn't believe in a life after death (but then again, they only seem to have considered the pentateuch to be genuine scripture), and the pharisees did believe in a life after death. To some extent, hints at such beliefs can be found in some parts of the OT, such as Isaiah 26:19, "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead". Another classic is Daniel 12:2 "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."

 

In Maimonides' 13 principles of faith, belief in an afterlife is affirmed - and these thirteen principles are part of most orthodox liturgies since medieval times onwards. However, Maimonides' own writings seem to indicate his belief in an afterlife was rather different than what most people would be ready to consider life after death - if you strive to become a torah-obedient, logical and kind of detached person, torah-obedience and logic will still exist after you die, and thus aspects of your personality will become immortal. This may be an exaggerated interpretation of his understanding of the idea of the life after death, though.

 

However, (orthodox and conservative) Judaism does often strive to keep people focused on this life, and downright disinterested in the next; certainly there's a balance they're trying to tread there, as the belief in eternal justice and reward for good deeds can be helpful ideas for people, but on the other hand, the rabbis of the talmud thought that someone doing good deeds for the sake of earning rewards is doing it wrong. 

 

There are Jews of all persuasions - orthodox, conservative and reform who don't believe their lives are going to go on after death. That is, however, an exception to the historically relatively widespread belief about its existence. However, Judaism has mostly admitted that we know nothing about the characteristics of that life, so it's counterproductive to speculate and waste ink on it. Even then, ink has been wasted on it, both among mystics and non-mystics. 

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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.

I don't suppose any of you appreciate a differant perspective on some of this?

 

 

That depends.  Does your perspective have merit based on objective evidence and sound logic?  If so then I would love to hear it.  If it's all smoke and mirrors then don't bother.  

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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.

It goes back to the OT, actually - see, e.g. Isaiah 63:11 Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, [and] his people, [saying], Where [is] he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where [is] he that put his holy Spirit within him?

 

There's a bunch of other mentions of God putting his spirit in people in the OT as well, but they should be easy to find with a searchable electronic bible. I would suspect that OT apocrypha have more of it than the OT has, though, as you still only get about a handful and a half of them in the OT.

 

 

Yes, it shows the evolution of the concept.  What starts off as Shekinah Glory morphs into "Full of the Holy Spirit" over a several hundred year period.  It's much the way "the Accuser" morphs from one of El's heavily court ministers into the rebellious fallen angel, Satan, by the time of the New Testament writings.

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"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.

 

 

 I take it that you are apposed to capital punishment?

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The Trinity is not in the bible. It is from the Nicene Creed. (This is something very few Christians Know) The Nicene Creed was the first big attempt to unite Christianity under one banner (so to Speak)  By uniting the three (trinity) They make the God of the OT,the NT and the spirit into one God  with the Holy Spirit their presence  after Jesus was Crucified. There by tying the Jews and Christians into one group with only one God which separates Christianity from the pagan religions.

 

The father/God and the son/Jesus are one in purpose and spirit, NOT one God.

 

To know the  Holy Spirit ; Everywhere you see holy spirit/Ghost replace it with LOVE/ pure love/complete love/ Gods love/ 

If you have never felt the power of love this will mean nothing to you,

 

 

BTW To be "Christian" one must accept the Trinity doctrine as truth    I DO NOT!!!!

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The Trinity is not in the bible. It is from the Nicene Creed. (This is something very few Christians Know) The Nicene Creed was the first big attempt to unite Christianity under one banner (so to Speak)  By uniting the three (trinity) They make the God of the OT,the NT and the spirit into one God  with the Holy Spirit their presence  after Jesus was Crucified. There by tying the Jews and Christians into one group with only one God which separates Christianity from the pagan religions.

 

The father/God and the son/Jesus are one in purpose and spirit, NOT one God.

 

To know the  Holy Spirit ; Everywhere you see holy spirit/Ghost replace it with LOVE/ pure love/complete love/ Gods love/ 

If you have never felt the power of love this will mean nothing to you,

 

 

BTW To be "Christian" one must accept the Trinity doctrine as truth    I DO NOT!!!!

The concepts of the trinity existed before the Nicene creed. It may or may not have been the majority in theology but it definitely did exist beforehand. There is a great thread that shows the political wrestling between two major forces in early Christianity regarding the trinity. Christianity is a very nebulous term not believing in the trinity might not make you a catholic or a Baptist but so long as you consider Jesus as the savior or messiah of some kind your a Christian.

 

 Early Christian groups were marginalized much in the same way Mormons were and scientologists are. Uniting Christian groups with Judaism was not really a concern as at this point they vastly outnumbered jews and secondly the strong anti-Semitism in Christian theology after the councils. This was more of an issue to stop infighting and gaining political power both of which were accomplished shortly afterwards

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The Trinity is not in the bible. It is from the Nicene Creed. (This is something very few Christians Know) The Nicene Creed was the first big attempt to unite Christianity under one banner (so to Speak)  By uniting the three (trinity) They make the God of the OT,the NT and the spirit into one God  with the Holy Spirit their presence  after Jesus was Crucified. There by tying the Jews and Christians into one group with only one God which separates Christianity from the pagan religions.

 

The father/God and the son/Jesus are one in purpose and spirit, NOT one God.

 

To know the  Holy Spirit ; Everywhere you see holy spirit/Ghost replace it with LOVE/ pure love/complete love/ Gods love/ 

If you have never felt the power of love this will mean nothing to you,

 

 

BTW To be "Christian" one must accept the Trinity doctrine as truth    I DO NOT!!!!

As far as the trinity not being in the Bible, although the word is not used there, the story of Jesus' baptism quite clearly has three the three personalities in one place at one time. Now there may be lots of arguments saying that it means something else, but Father speaks and Holy Spirit descends and lands on Son makes it pretty easy to accept that as a possible interpretation.

 

Regarding having to believe in the Trinity to be a Christian, the "oneness" groups reject the Trinity, and as far as I know everyone considers the to be Christians.

 

Not that it matters a hill of beans. There's enough inconsistency in the New Testament to come up with all sorts of variations. Believing in a particular one is not a requirement, to be a Christian, you have to believe that Jesus is the son of god, period. That's all the Etheopian Eunuch confessed to.

 

You're the only person I've ever heard of trying to say that Jesus is their lord and savior but that they are NOT a Christian. Belief in the trinity is definitely not a requirement.

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The concepts of the trinity existed before the Nicene creed. It may or may not have been the majority in theology but it definitely did exist beforehand. There is a great thread that shows the political wrestling between two major forces in early Christianity regarding the trinity. Christianity is a very nebulous term not believing in the trinity might not make you a catholic or a Baptist but so long as you consider Jesus as the savior or messiah of some kind your a Christian.

Funny enough, that makes Muslims qualify as Christians.

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What I find ironic in the way Christians brush off the problems with "oh, that's just the Old Testament" is the fact that most Christians claim that morality is "absolute" (i.e., unchanging). So, when confronted with the morally reprehensible crap supposedly endorsed by God in the Hebrew Scriptures, brushing it off with "oh, that's just the Old Testament" actually completely undermines their "absolute morality" claim.

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but, but... god is unchanging, right? Alpha and Omega, the same yesterday, today and tomorrow?

 

Good stuff guys.. thanks Miekko for your info on ancient judaic thought on the spirit, soul, etc... it's very difficult to determine what people might or might not have believed in the common culture of their time. Some of it is 'expected knowledge of audience' when authors write, and isn't always articulated

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BTW To be "Christian" one must accept the Trinity doctrine as truth    I DO NOT!!!!

 

The way I hear it the Oneness movement generally considers itself Christian.  I know I still called myself Christian when I retreated to Oneness.  But that was the beginning of the end.  I had been participating in online forums at the time.  When some Trinitarians found out I didn't believe the Trinity was true they figured that they needed to hit me with the Bible verses.

 

It's how I woke up to realize the Bible is a work of men.  Once that happened the clock was ticking.  I couldn't unlearn this.  I couldn't unsee it.  Knowing the truth about the Bible led to me rejecting the label "Christian".

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I was having a mild political/religious debate on Facebook (glutton for punishment I suppose), and that tired old argument of "just the OT" came out. Haven't made a response since. It just isn't worth it.

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but, but... god is unchanging, right? Alpha and Omega, the same yesterday, today and tomorrow?

 

Good stuff guys.. thanks Miekko for your info on ancient judaic thought on the spirit, soul, etc... it's very difficult to determine what people might or might not have believed in the common culture of their time. Some of it is 'expected knowledge of audience' when authors write, and isn't always articulated

One kind of important thing I've gotten from studying Judaism from an outsider's perspective is just how significantly different religions are. Not just as in "religions have different beliefs". It's far from just that - religions have significantly different things they focus on. In protestant Christianity, faith and right beliefs are often the focus - and often, atheists of a protestant background will fall into thinking that this is how all religions work. In Judaism, doctrine does not have such a favoured status - practice has that status, with community as a second important aspect of the religion. This does have some peculiar results - there are orthodox Jews that are atheists, and there are people who believe in (classical rabbinical) Judaism that are not Jews! Catholicism seems to be occupy the middle ground there, with a lot of the same community thinking that Judaism has (at least in areas where they're not the majority - I guess the fact that Jews have historically often been a minority has been an important factor in turning community into such an important part of the religion), but a far less elaborate ruleset for daily life, yet a greater focus on right doctrine than Judaism has. Unlike Judaism, though, it seems the cleric actually is supposed to be a kind of intermediate between the laity and God, and thus oftentimes, the Catholic adherent may actually defer to the pastor in questions of dogma.

 

Other religions may focus on other things too, such as ritual (Judaism is somewhat ritualist, somewhat ethics-oriented; some religions are primarily ethics-oriented (sikhism, bahai perhaps), some are primarily ritualistic (some versions of hinduism, shintoism maybe?), and some are primarily doctrine-oriented (Christianity, versions of Islam - although nearly all islam has an important ethics-oriented component although we may well disagree with their ethics). Similar differences obtain in how religions view their scripture - to sola scripturaists, the bible is Truth and Inspiration and Inspired and true history and so on. To a modern Jew, even an orthodox one, the Bible is Inspired, but it's not necessarily history - it's basically a springboard for discussions that will lead to ethical conclusions and doctrinal speculations, for a Sikh, the sri guru granth sahib seems to be mainly a meditative thing, a text which to repeat and internalize in order that the text affect you mentally in beneficial ways. That too is an approach some of Judaism has to the Torah, and especially to the Psalms. There's significant differences in how religions approach things, and too often, modern atheists tend to assume that the only religion that really does what religions by definition should do is protestantism, and any religion that isn't doing what protestantism is doing is doing it wrong, and thus all criticism that applies to protestantism also applies to "real" judaism, "real" catholicism, "real" hinduism, etc. 

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I agree. I think that attitude pervades everyone though. The meditative and mystical Sufiism is quite different from Islam, though they are basically the same religion. As I've said before modern Judaism (at least what I have been exposed to) is very different from Protestanism, and Catholicism is a lot more ritualistic than Protestantism. It's very different applications and approaches.

 

I think a lot of christians would be shocked by the amount and level of debate and discussion of scripture by Jews. It would seem blasphemous to them.

 

I'm lucky, I guess, because after my sojourn through mainstream christianity, then SDA - then gnosticism and spiritualism.. I went through Ceremonial magic and neo-paganism as well, and through that touched on some eastern concepts such as Hinduism and Buddhism. In some small way I have experienced a couple of different avenues in spirituality. You are right, they can be vastly different. 

 

I had a conversation with a Muslim friend not long ago, he asked about my garden (where I meditate), which I have dedicated to "the Goddess and her Consort" (for me it symbolizes balance in nature, dualism/and the ultimate oneness of it, and respect for nature too) and we spoke about my 'spirituality'. He could not get through his head that although I have a garden with statues of The Great Mother and Pan, I do not believe in anthropomorphic deities... or any deity at all. That I could have ritual and 'spirituality' (for lack of a better term) in my life without religion or belief in a deity is something he can't quite grasp..

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