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Myrkhoos

Would like to believe but just cannot

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59 minutes ago, sdelsolray said:

You exhibit strong confirmation and expectation biases, at least about this topic.

 

 

You presuppose the stories are true.  Why?  

Fictional writing often contains locations which actually exist.  This is not evidence of the accuracy of the story.

Copies of "letters" attributed to Paul exist.  Most Biblical scholars consider many of them forgeries.  Again, whether the content of the letters is non-fiction simply does not depend on whether they exist or not and simply does not depend on who wrote them.

 

 

I don't understand what that first sentence you wrote means?!

 

I don't know if the stories in Paul's ( or whoever wrote them) letters are true, but I DO know Christianity spread to the Ephesians and the Romans.  How?   If there was no Paul and someone just wrote them later, why?  The Romans just made shit up? Why do that? They already had a religion and the Roman emperors where considered gods. Why on earth would they want to become Christians, especially after killing so many .  They did do that, its historical.  Muhammed was one guy with a dream that wrote a book.  The Bible has tons of books, who wrote it?And why make it SO complicated and convoluted, if one person wrote it?  

 

I am not defending the Bible, I just want to have a good answer if some Christian tells me the Bible is historical and gives me Paul as proof. 

 

 

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Jane, I think you’d appreciate the books of Bart Ehrman. I just read one of his latest, “How Jesus Became God”.  Absolutely fascinating.  It’s a great read and I think it would answer some of your questions. 

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3 hours ago, Jane said:

Yeah! The quotes are working...

Awesome

 

3 hours ago, Jane said:

Mohammed existed. He was a real person. He claimed to be a prophet and he benefited from his religion. He never claimed to be God.

 

Some people call whether Mohammed existed into question. How did an illiterate merchant found the worlds second biggest religion? 

 

3 hours ago, Jane said:

   The mormon guy wanted to have 4 wives. So he had an ulterior motive.  People believe what they wish to believe, and back then it was perfectly normal to believe in all sorts of "magic" .  That isn't really my question. My question is what REALLY happened?

 

We probabably can never know what "really happened" because its lost to history. We can surmise based on information we have at hand and what is most likely.

 

3 hours ago, Jane said:

Paul did not benefit from his religion at all. So why did he do it?  SOMEONE must have spread Christianity to the Ephesians and the Romans.

 

How do you suppose this? Often Pastors today say they don't benefit from region and its a massive burden.... while living in million dollar homes. They just don't reveal all the benefits. Humans do a lot of things they believe in that don't directly benefit them.

 

3 hours ago, Jane said:

 If Paul didn't exist, how did it spread?

 

Paul, or whoever wrote those letters existed. We know this because we have the letters. Whether it was the 'Real Paul' or someone writing claiming to be Paul makes little difference. What matters is that a significant portion of the population converted to Christianity and followed his teachings.

 

3 hours ago, Jane said:

 I mean there was no internet back then. Traveling was hard and dangerous. Why do it?

 

You are kind of asking a fundamental question about the nature of humanity. Why climb Everest, why go to the moon? Why do we humans do anything?

 

3 hours ago, Jane said:

  I would like to know the truth:  Did Jesus exist?  Did he die?  How did he convince his  followers to continue believing in their mission, if Jesus was dead and buried?   Was Paul real, did he go to the Ephesians? If not him who did?  It's such a huge lie if none of it happened.  

I guess what I am asking is an alternate history to the Christian one.  How did Christianity REALLY start?  

 

As TABA said, you should start with Bart Ehrman  - he has looked at all these questions from an historical perspective and written many great books about it.

 

Here's Bart's blog - he covers many topics about Christianity. https://ehrmanblog.org/ 

 

Personally we can probably say a Jesus figure did exist, and most likely died. We cannot with any degree of certainty say that any of the sayings or actions attributed to him actually happened as written. The miracles can be written off because there is no way to determine their validity from an historical perspective. We know enough to day to be very skeptical of any miracle claim. The bible basically claims that Jesus used magic... all the time. There is no reliable evidence today that would indicate this is even possible. 

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16 hours ago, Jane said:

I have a religion question that has been bugging me. Can I ask it here or does it need to go somewhere else?


Here is my question:   how do you explain St. Paul away and the places he went and spread Christianity, like to the Ephesians ( that place still exists, its' historical) ?   His letters supposedly still exist and are real , or at least some of them.  How do you explain that he believed in Christ, and risked his life, and did without , just to spread Christianity?  It must have happened , or it would not have spread to places like Ephesus ( Turkey now) , or Rome.  This was one of those things in the past that made me more sure that the Bible was true, but now I need to explain this away and I don't know how....

 

 

 

There's no pressing need to explain Paul away. His existence has been questioned by some. It's interesting to look over. Some of the options are that Marcion, in the 2nd century, used journey's and material from the exploits of Apollonius of Tyana and that basically turned into "Paul." You have to read all of the theories to get a feel for what they entail. 

 

But Doherty and Carrier assume that there was an historical Paul, at least for the authentic Pauline epistles. And that the person had gnostic oriented belief's about a celestial figure. Because when you set aside the gospels and un-authentic Pauline Epistles that's pretty much what you're looking at. And there is evidence of some early christian beliefs that speak about a celestial arena and drama taking place up in the upper heavens. Again, you have to read through all of this material to get a feel for what the theories entail. 

 

But at the end of the day, Paul is non-contemporary writer any which way it's spun. He never professed to having met jesus personally on earth, or witnessed the trial or crucifixion himself. It's a guy writing well after the supposed fact about things he himself never witnessed and what amounts to hearsay reporting. I'd just stick to the facts with christians. Paul doesn't prove anything. He doesn't the prove the bible is true and he doesn't prove that the gospel jesus (something created after Paul btw) is historically true and accurate.

 

The big issue here is that trying to find the real historical jesus ends up stripping down just about everything you think of as jesus. In the end we're facing some obscure guy, not really known by anyone at all lest a few followers, at best, who may have died with little attention paid to it at the time. Not by the Romans or Jews, according to documentation of the time. There's no trial records or anything to go by. Locating an historical jesus doesn't do the bible any justice at all. That's what you should probably keep in mind talking with christians. And furthermore, as an aside, there may not even be a fixed historical figure at the core of it all. It could just as well be several different prophet types rolled into one for the sake of a story. 

 

The only honest answer would be to say, "I don't know if any of it is true or not." 

 

Because no one really does.....

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Thanks, read everyone's replies . I am not a huge history buff, to be honest, I got out of those classes as much as I could in college 🙂  , so I was not sure what actual historical stuff is available on Christianity.  You type in a search in google, and you mostly get Christian sites defending it.  

 

I will look up that Bart Ehrman guy, thanks! 

 

 

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On 8/11/2019 at 11:22 AM, Jane said:

I am not defending the Bible, I just want to have a good answer if some Christian tells me the Bible is historical and gives me Paul as proof. 

The thing to remember about the bible is that it was written by unknown authors, at an unknown time, for unknown reasons and then translated through half a dozen languages before being voted on as to which parts are cannon. 

To this day there is no agreement within Christianity as to which parts are divinely inspired and which are merely ancient writings. 

"The Orthodox Bible includes 49 books in the Old Testament. The Ethiopian Orthodox Bible includes 56 books. The Protestant Bible includes 39 books. The Catholic Bible has 46 books." That is some massive differences and yet they were all lead by the holy spirit to their conclusions. 

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Let's not forget all the books they left out of the bible as well.

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well, at looked at Bart Ehrman's site, he wanted money so no go....lol, atheist collecting money for the poor? I might as well have stayed a Christian....sorry

 

So, I was looking at some photos, postcards and books I got in India, and found a large brochure of the Hare Krishna temple in Mumbai we visited.  I like it, but I can't be a vegetarian.  That;s a problem if you want to be a Hindu. This is actually weird, I wouldn't mind eating that way, I love Indian food, but when I was pregnant with my kids meat of any kind groced me out, so I became a vegetarian for around a year each time.  The result was I became very anemic , tired and feeling bad.  Doctor actually told me I need to either take massive amounts of supplements or eat red meat. So I ate meat.  Now we own a MEAT goat and sheep farm and I must say, they taste pretty good.   So while I would like to be a HIndu, I can't. Oh well, nice thought anyway. 

 

I guess I am not going to worry about the historical stuff.  Nobody can go back in time and find out for sure.  

 

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3 hours ago, Wertbag said:

The thing to remember about the bible is that it was written by unknown authors, at an unknown time, for unknown reasons and then translated through half a dozen languages before being voted on as to which parts are cannon. 

To this day there is no agreement within Christianity as to which parts are divinely inspired and which are merely ancient writings. 

"The Orthodox Bible includes 49 books in the Old Testament. The Ethiopian Orthodox Bible includes 56 books. The Protestant Bible includes 39 books. The Catholic Bible has 46 books." That is some massive differences and yet they were all lead by the holy spirit to their conclusions. 

 

The thing is, books like Paul's ( or whoever really wrote them) seem to be in all of them. And Ephesus exists.   Why and how did it get there? There is real historical evidence that there were early Christians there, and it goes along with Paul's letter to the Ephesians for example.  If Paul did not eyewitness any of the Jesus events , and God really did not talk to him, WHY did he do it? And if not him, who did?  That's all. But I understand , this is one thing that cannot be known, just like how come we are here in this universe and it's very complex, not some random thing that just happens.  

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22 minutes ago, Jane said:

well, at looked at Bart Ehrman's site, he wanted money so no go....lol, atheist collecting money for the poor? I might as well have stayed a Christian....sorry

 

A very short sighted statement. You can subscribe to his blog if you are interested in scholarship regarding Christianity. Instead of taking the money for himself he donates to charity. The idea was to give you a link where you could find resources.

 

You want a busy professor to give you free stuff? Yes his books cost money, holy shit, who'd have thought someone that puts hours into research and writing would charge to compensate for their time?

 

Tell you what - go to a second hand store like Amazon, find the books we mentioned - you should be able to pick them up second hand for $5 -$10. If you aren't willing to do that then you are simply not interested in finding out answers.

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1 hour ago, Jane said:

 

The thing is, books like Paul's ( or whoever really wrote them) seem to be in all of them. And Ephesus exists.   Why and how did it get there? There is real historical evidence that there were early Christians there, and it goes along with Paul's letter to the Ephesians for example.  If Paul did not eyewitness any of the Jesus events , and God really did not talk to him, WHY did he do it? And if not him, who did?  That's all. But I understand , this is one thing that cannot be known, just like how come we are here in this universe and it's very complex, not some random thing that just happens.  

Why would Paul say the things he did?  Money, fame or true belief are all possible.  By claiming belief he had an all expenses paid life, no more hard labour to make ends meet.  No way to know if that was his motivation, but it certainly can be seen in modern day preachers.

For comparison you can look to other modern fast growing religions such as Mormonism or Scientology.  They both started from a single persons crazy ideas and in just over a century have grown to have millions of followers.  We can plot the growth, we can see people easily converted to any of these ideas and we can see the craziest cults able to recruit people.  The spread of Christianity is not unique and missionary work can be very successful.

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2 hours ago, Jane said:

well, at looked at Bart Ehrman's site, he wanted money so no go...

 

Check with your local library.  They might have some of his books available for loan.

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You can also get Ehrman’s books for free at public libraries. 

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2 hours ago, Jane said:

well, at looked at Bart Ehrman's site, he wanted money so no go....lol, atheist collecting money for the poor? I might as well have stayed a Christian....sorry

 

So, I was looking at some photos, postcards and books I got in India, and found a large brochure of the Hare Krishna temple in Mumbai we visited.  I like it, but I can't be a vegetarian.  That;s a problem if you want to be a Hindu. This is actually weird, I wouldn't mind eating that way, I love Indian food, but when I was pregnant with my kids meat of any kind groced me out, so I became a vegetarian for around a year each time.  The result was I became very anemic , tired and feeling bad.  Doctor actually told me I need to either take massive amounts of supplements or eat red meat. So I ate meat.  Now we own a MEAT goat and sheep farm and I must say, they taste pretty good.   So while I would like to be a HIndu, I can't. Oh well, nice thought anyway. 

 

I guess I am not going to worry about the historical stuff.  Nobody can go back in time and find out for sure.  

 

 

Being lazy will not answer your questions.  Usually, it takes hard, honest and focused work to move forward.

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Will check at the library ( quotes not working again )  but I am starting to be recovered enough to do things , so I probably won't have much time.

 

As for being lazy , that's a joke , right?  We are farmers, we do physical labor probably 12 hours a day when I am not injured. Lazy is not the word I would use...

Not sure if you read this, but I had an accident and couldn't walk for a month now, just got my stitches out of my foot.  This is the only reason I have had time to sit on here and write stuff online.  Usually, when I am fully functional , I might watch 1 Netflix show online at night, or if it is raining outside a lot, and then I am too tired to read something "serisous" and I just want something entertaining 

 

I guess I thought someone on here might have a answer that can be summed up in a few sentences.  I don't really want to read an entire book about it.  But that's ok.  I guess the true answers is we will never know.  

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Jane said:

I guess I thought someone on here might have a answer that can be summed up in a few sentences.  I don't really want to read an entire book about it.  But that's ok.  I guess the true answers is we will never know.  

 

This is what the phrase "lazy' referred to, not your physical output in a work situation.

 

Many of us, if not most, have spent countless hours researching topics surrounding religion, science, philosophy etc. Some of us will never stop research - I still spend many hours reading up on the latest news and arguments.

 

You can't just sum up the answer in a few sentences, and if you could that means someone has read a SHIT TON of material then somehow condensed it into a few sentences... in fact that's what most of our answers come from. We've all replied based on condensed knowledge gathered by much research.

 

I have something in the order of 20 books at home covering everything from religion to archaeology. On top of that I've read god knows how much on the internet, and listened to (again) god knows how many hours of debate and lectures. Answers are not pulled out of a vacuum. We are happy to help, but at some point each person has to do their own homework.

 

I reiterate what sdelsolray said.

 

We are not being nasty, not trying to put you down, just being straight and level about the kind of commitment required to find the answers you are looking for. 

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Logiacalfallacy:  hope you don't mind me asking this, but do you not work?  Are you retired?  Just curious.  Even before we were farmers I didn't have that sort of time, ever.  Maybe you work less hours in NZ?  When we were working, we worked around 50 - 60 hours a week, then husband commuted an hour in traffic, plus then we had kids to take care of , plus regular house chores.  How in the world do you find the time to read that many books?

 

btw I just got done helping husband put the goats in the pasture and pulled weeds out of the garden with a garbage bag around my cast lol, now my foot is swelled up some, but at least I did something 

 


 

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7 hours ago, Jane said:

I guess I thought someone on here might have a answer that can be summed up in a few sentences

I thought the basis of the question was why Paul would do what is claimed? At least that was the question I was replying to. Fame, money or a true believer missionary are the obvious choices. Was there a different question that was your main concern? 

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Well this topic got sidetracked a lot. 

 

To answer Jane, why did Paul did what he did. Well, 1. I do not know the exact reason. 2. Speculation. As has been said, you can do a very simple google search for modern cults. Not just religious, but also political and psychotherapeutic, etc. There are literally millions of people working fervently, dying even for these cults, giving up everything Jonestown, Heaven s gate, etc. I do not know their reasons, but high fervor missionary work is clearly possible even for these modern day movements. What I mean is that it us not a definitive proof of he truth of the belief. Not that it means it is false either. 

     Unfortunately , high and intensive manual labour is not conducive to reflection. Most highly spiritual groups from ancient greek philosophers to buddhist and christian monks had large portions of time dedicated to contemplation. They where either supported by others like some buddhist monks, to just being extremely frugal and/ or very efficient communal living. Not that I am.saying that you have to or should do that, just reality. I mean that is of the reasons that modern universities are built. People dedicated to intelectual pursuits. But each has his life and his choices.

        Like you are a farmer. Imagine saying, hey Jane, please tell how can I fix and work a 4 000 acre farm plus animals in just half an hour a year with no machinery? That is somewhat how you are asking to explain the psychology of religious choice and new testament history in a few sentences.

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We are so off topic... like we've gone from Paul writing to the Romans to whether LF works. :lmao:

 

20 hours ago, Jane said:

Logiacalfallacy:  hope you don't mind me asking this, but do you not work?  Are you retired?

 

I wish I was retired. No, I work full time, have done since I was 16. I'm not going to get into a pissing match of who works harder.

 

Quote

How in the world do you find the time to read that many books?

 

I find generally people find the time to do what they want to. Time management. You'd be surprised at how much you can read in a year if you spend only 1/2 an hour a day reading. Say you can do 10 pages in 30 minutes - that's 3 minutes to a page which is not terribly fast. You can read 3,650 pages in a year! You must stop for breaks? Lunch time? Have a spare 5 minutes here and there? If you were interested, truly interested in finding answers you'd find the time to research those answers. You have enough time to spend on this site. Maybe you could spend a few minutes a day reading some material on the topic?

 

Quote

btw I just got done helping husband put the goats in the pasture and pulled weeds out of the garden with a garbage bag around my cast lol, now my foot is swelled up some, but at least I did something 

 

That's great. Last night I did two hours workout - upper body, core, legs. Now I'm broke and my body asks why? And I tell it because people who don't exercise die earlier than people who do! :D (Great motivation)

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I guess I have other priorities from you. I would not spend every available minute I have sitting down reading something like that.  Usually when I do read something, it is either a novel, at night, in winter when it gets dark early , or on rain days, or something useful like new canning recipes, or looking up goat stuff, or something related to what we do. Or I chat with friends on Facebook.   

I am not much a reader of heavy theological stuff, makes my head explode 🙂  Same with history stuff, and any sort of humanities type subjects.  In school I preferred math and science to those types of things.  AND PE hahaha, I have always exercised, and a phycial labor type job is what I enjoy. It  made me sick sitting at a desk most of the time.  I don't do well sitting and being inactive. 

 

 

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On 6/30/2019 at 2:56 PM, Myrkhoos said:

Hello,

 

I am having this pulsating feelings of going back to it all, missionary, hardocre, spirituality style, but it is not of conviction, or new found wisdom, I think. Mostly because of longing for lost time and effort and pain and force of habit, mental and emotional.

 

Bu I would like to believe it all. Sometimes. Would like the Bible not to be so inconsistent and the God image to be more coherent. Would like the community not to seem so brainwashed all the time. Would like it , actually, not to believe, but it to be different. Not for God to create beings and test them, which only now I see and feel it is so twisted. Would like to not feel the threat of eternal torment if I do not do what he says, even if if I have no power to do it myself.

 

Would like to be able to understand it all, and not be created not being able to.

 

Would like to feel real compassion, not just tha trials and pains are somehow a sign of his love, which again seems twisted.

 

Would like not to feel rage and sickness to myself at any kind of praise to some kind of person, in religion and not only.

 

Would like to be helped when I am in my worst state, mentally and materially and not be agressed and bullied for it.

 

Would like not to participate in the ritual symbolic cannibalism of lithurgy.

 

Would like to have freedom, not just to obey parents, priests and leaders and be scared shitless if I do not.

 

Would like to feel empathy and safety, not domination and constant anxiety.

 

Would like not having to forcefully brainwash myself.

 

But I cannot. It is just too vile and putrid, it seems that way. I cannot. Something in me cannot, would prefer torture, than this. 

 

I cannot accept contradictions as always sign of superior intelligence

 

I cannot keep finding and seeing patterns in my head that I have no proof they are there or not. Like if I replace God with the tooth fairy, and the pattern would still work.

 

I cannot be naive, trusting. I have been harmed, psychologically to the point of severe breakdown and witness this continually happening.

 

I cannot just think of an afterlife , and fantasize about it when all things will be right. That does not make feel better, it makes me feel worse, as why in an uncertain future and not now? 

 

The image of God I have been presented with is absurd, pathological, and unprovable. An amalgam of different ideas and projection. While I do not deny some kind of reality of being, which I am not aware of, and I am trying to be honest and say , yes, I am full of bias and lack, what I am aware of makes me extremely skeptical of the Christian God claim.

 

And, the first claim I have is this, the apostles believed, from the official gospels, after seeing countless wonders, from manipulation of the elements, to curing of thousands, to bringing back the dead, and countless sermons and explanations of the truths, gradually building up their understanding. I have yet to see such a preacher, although it was promised that those who believed in him would do the same, even greater.

 

I do not believe, but I am open and investigating and trying to make sense of my experiences. 

 

 

Myrkhoos, From my own experience, you may be looking for that safe place again. Finding out that Christianity may be a lie is the same thing as finding out that your spouse cheated on you or somebody died and you have a hard time accepting the facts. For instance many people will stay in an abusive relationship because of the fear of moving into another area of their life which is the unknown. It is extremely scary for many people to have to start all over again and go in another direction of their life. So many times it is easier to stay in a situation where things are known, even though they may not be good for that person, they still want to stay and remain in a "safe" area. Even though it is not a safe area to be in, the brain will convince you that it is so. It is a known fact in Neuroscience that the brain does not like change, that is why any habit or brainwashing of any kind is so hard to break.

 

At the very end of me leaving the church for the very last time, I had found a church that their Doctrine was all about Grace and was probably the easiest Church to belong to because this Doctrine accepted the whole entire world as being saved under Jesus blood. These people basically do not even believe in hell. But the confusion still remained in me because the Bible clearly stated that they were saved and unsaved people. You could try joining one of these types of churches but if you are anything like me you will still be confused at the whole Doctrine. I personally had to continue going until I could not go any longer and knew that I needed help in finding out the truth about Christianity and the doctrine that came from the Bible.

 

My uncle belongs to a church for many years now and doesn't even believe in God. He goes because he loves the music and the community of the church. You could even try that for a while and see how it goes.

 

In the meantime you must realize that you are probably grieving something that you have believed in for a long time. It took me a long time to finally let go and realize that the Bible was a man written book. I have been posting here for 10 years and sometimes it still hurts that I believed what the church told me.

 

Keep coming back here. Keep posting all your questions. Continue to read and investigate Christianity. We are all here for you. Big hug for you today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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