Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
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25-07-2011, 08:06 PM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
I was talking about a word, I could care less about the book, though it is said in many parts of the book that the actual truth can only be understood by a select few so the parables exist to make sense of the meanings. Not that they really help any.

I would definitely say the creation story is discussing literal days, as if it's discussing periods of light then there's no telling how long the period before light lasted.

and yes religion in general answers nothing, it just gives people a sense of not needing to know.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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25-07-2011, 08:45 PM
 
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(25-07-2011 10:41 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I have not been keeping up with this thread but I just read two posts that I enjoyed. The first is the translation issue and/or the out of context issue. The attempt to apply multiple definitions to words is erroneous because the bible is not taught as such. People also try to use the argument that certain phrases and/or passages have to be considered in context to who they for. Also bullshit.
Hebrew is limited in the number of words that it uses, its not a very descriptive language. Even modern languages define words in context, its no different for Hebrew.
Quote:If Jesus says that he comes not to bring peace but a sword it does not matter who he said it to. It still means that he is not the peace loving saint that Christians portray him as.
This is something universalist, quakers and liberal christians claim, that God is love. But true they don't acknowledge the verses that make them uncomfortable.
Quote:The other one is the attempt to stretch out the creation story using different concepts of 'time.' Also bullshit. The bible says 6 days and no one ever questioned that week of creation before science showed it to be erroneous.
No one ever questioned it but Philo, Josephus, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Clement, Origen, Lactantius, Victorinus, Methodius, Augustine, Eusebius, Basil, and Ambrose. All before science showed that the 6 days of creation was erroneous.
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31-07-2011, 12:18 AM
 
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(20-07-2011 03:05 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Paul was responsible for the idea Jesus was a god. The real Jesus, who never met Paul, was a true blue Jew who would have considered the idea that God had a son blasphemous. Jews were fiercely monotheistic. Paul broke the rules.
The idea that God has a son is based in Judaism, not Pauline Theology. The Old Testament attests to this fact:

"Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession....Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him."

"Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son's name, If you know?"

Do you know His name? The Apostle Paul did... Your statement that "a true blue Jew who would have considered the idea that God had a son blasphemous", is based solely on modern Judaism. This statement gives no regard to what the Rabbinic establishment of Jesus' day believed or what the Old Testament actually states concerning such things.

Quote:Jews were fiercely monotheistic.
The Jews were fiercely monotheistic...? Again there is no concern in this statement for what the Old Testament actually states:

"Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky"

"Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"

"Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another's speech."

These passages don't convey a "fiercely monotheistic" view of God. Nonetheless Jews and Christian's are monotheistic, but monotheistic in the aspect of the Trinity.

Quote:Paul’s entire theology is strange. He fashions a Christ (an Anointed One) and a belief system all of his own, and these unique inventions are rather complex. Numerous scholars have discussed his theology at great length, yet often disagreed about what Paul may have meant, so it is no easy task to completely understand him. It is, however, important to understand his basic theology.
None of what Paul states is strange, well maybe strange to one unfamiliar to the Old Testament. Thus the real crux of the problem.

Quote:Paul believed Jesus was divine and existed in heaven before he took on a human form and lived on earth.
That's the picture of the Messiah that the Old Testament paints. Paul must have believed in the Old Testament scriptures.

Quote:How Paul’s Jesus got to earth he doesn’t say, as he has no birth story.
Logically he wouldn't have too, he was writing to churches that were already privy to this information.

I'll try and comment on the rest of your post soon. Please feel free to reply to any objections in the meantime.

HBAF
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31-07-2011, 03:35 PM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(14-06-2011 06:11 AM)Lion of the Netherlands Wrote:  Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum so I would like to introduce myself first. I'm a guy, 17 jears old and I live with my parents who raised me as a christian. About six weeks ago, I started reading about the age of the earth, because I had read about old earth creationism before, and went back to believing in a young earth, because I wanted to believe the Bible literally. After doing research on that topic for the second time, I came to the conclusion that the earth must be 4,5 billion years old, and I couldn't go back to believing in na earth(and universe) that is only 6000 years old. This led me to question the infallibility of the Bilble, and I started to read into topics I previously avoided, such as evolution. I also started watching videos from the thinking atheist, and watched videos of the atheist expirience because, I reasoned, if my beliefs are true, they must be able to withstand the criticism that athiests have on the Bible and the existence of God. That idea wasn't right because the more I reasearching, the more questions I get, and the more I start to question the things I believe. I still haven't accepted the theory(as meant in a scientific sense) of evolution yet, because i'm not (yet) convinced of it, altough I have a better understandig of it than before I really started reading about how it works. So if i''m honest to myself, I must admit that I am doubting the infallibillity and truth of the Bible and the presence of God in my own and in other peoples lives.(I don't deny the experiences that people claim to have if their talking about miracles and the presence of God/the Holy Spirit, I'm just not sure whether those experiences really are from God or if they are the product of our own minds.) I also have doubts about the realilty of the places called heaven and hell. I've had some conversations with my brother about it(he's 15), but he just claims to know Jesus and God are real, so I can't reason with him very well, because he's not open to other ideas (yet). I've also explicitly asked him not to tell my dad about my doubts, because my dad is fundamentalistic in his views on the Bible, and I can't have discussions with him very well, because he's very close minded. I'm afraid my dad will be mad and dissapointed in me for questioning my beliefs. My mom on the other hand, is a lot more like me, because she's more reasonable, and she is more willing to think about uncomfortable topics than my dad. I still haven't told my mum about my doubts, because I am afraid she will judge me for questioning the Bible and the presense of God.

I hope you guys can give me advice on how to proceed, because, i'm afraid my parents will be dissapointed in me if I express my doubts. I also would like to ask you on how to tell my best friend(he's also 17 years old) about my growing doubts, because we're in the same church and we go to a bible study group together, so i'm also afraid he's going to judge me for questioning my beliefs.

I'm looking forward to hear your advise.

Hey brother, im 17 been atheist since i was about 3.
All I have to say is if your parents cant handle it then who cares?
my parents are christian i always question them when they offer to take me to church and stuff.

Its about you, your feelings dont feel just because your parents said so you should agree.


I mean my dad is a complete and utter asshole whos strangled me etc when i was younger. When i was younger sure i was afraid now i dont care and ive knocked him out once, sure. And he tells me his christian its a load of bollocks.


Its about you, if they dont understand that your old enough to make your own decisions then there not doing their job.
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31-07-2011, 05:15 PM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(31-07-2011 03:35 PM)James The Brit Wrote:  Hey brother, im 17 been atheist since i was about 3.

Everybody's an atheist when they're 3. Wink

(31-07-2011 03:35 PM)James The Brit Wrote:  I mean my dad is a complete and utter asshole whos strangled me etc when i was younger. When i was younger sure i was afraid now i dont care and ive knocked him out once, sure.

Yeah, it sucks when that happens ... for the Dad I mean.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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31-07-2011, 08:07 PM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(31-07-2011 12:18 AM)Hunted By A Freak Wrote:  
(20-07-2011 03:05 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Paul was responsible for the idea Jesus was a god. The real Jesus, who never met Paul, was a true blue Jew who would have considered the idea that God had a son blasphemous. Jews were fiercely monotheistic. Paul broke the rules.
The idea that God has a son is based in Judaism, not Pauline Theology. The Old Testament attests to this fact:

"Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession....Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him."

"Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son's name, If you know?"

Do you know His name? The Apostle Paul did... Your statement that "a true blue Jew who would have considered the idea that God had a son blasphemous", is based solely on modern Judaism. This statement gives no regard to what the Rabbinic establishment of Jesus' day believed or what the Old Testament actually states concerning such things.

Quote:Jews were fiercely monotheistic.
The Jews were fiercely monotheistic...? Again there is no concern in this statement for what the Old Testament actually states:

"Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky"

"Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"

"Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another's speech."

These passages don't convey a "fiercely monotheistic" view of God. Nonetheless Jews and Christian's are monotheistic, but monotheistic in the aspect of the Trinity.

Quote:Paul’s entire theology is strange. He fashions a Christ (an Anointed One) and a belief system all of his own, and these unique inventions are rather complex. Numerous scholars have discussed his theology at great length, yet often disagreed about what Paul may have meant, so it is no easy task to completely understand him. It is, however, important to understand his basic theology.
None of what Paul states is strange, well maybe strange to one unfamiliar to the Old Testament. Thus the real crux of the problem.

Quote:Paul believed Jesus was divine and existed in heaven before he took on a human form and lived on earth.
That's the picture of the Messiah that the Old Testament paints. Paul must have believed in the Old Testament scriptures.

Quote:How Paul’s Jesus got to earth he doesn’t say, as he has no birth story.
Logically he wouldn't have too, he was writing to churches that were already privy to this information.

I'll try and comment on the rest of your post soon. Please feel free to reply to any objections in the meantime.

HBAF
Hi HBAF and everyone else.

Re the jews and god's son. I don't know what that particular author was rambling about, and no one else does either ( from memory...although I haven't scoured the literature for an explanation ). "God" sometimes referred to Israel as his son, so the term was loosely used. Surely you are not trying to claim that the ancient jews thought Yahweh had a son? If so ...what was his name? What did he do in his spare time? Who was his mum?

None of the ancient jews thought Yahweh had a son. They fought and stoned Paul the blasphemer for suggesting this was so (see the second half of Acts).

I agree that the passages you quote imply that the author thought there is more than one god up there, but they are isolated passages. The Old Testament is hardly the world's most logical and consistent book.

Re the birth of Jesus and Paul...remember that the gospels hadn't been written when Paul wrote, so the mythology about Jesus' birth was yet to be invented....hence nothing in Paul's letters about it. If Paul imagined Mary was a virgin who had been visited by 3 wise men he would have talked about it. Paul also didn't mention any of Jesus' teachings....or his miracles.....because these things were also yet to be invented when Paul wrote too. Paul tells us more about Jesus by what he doesn't say about him than by what he does ! LOL This undeniable fact undermines the entire basis of Christianity.
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31-07-2011, 10:01 PM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(31-07-2011 12:18 AM)Hunted By A Freak Wrote:  
(20-07-2011 03:05 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Paul was responsible for the idea Jesus was a god. The real Jesus, who never met Paul, was a true blue Jew who would have considered the idea that God had a son blasphemous. Jews were fiercely monotheistic. Paul broke the rules.
The idea that God has a son is based in Judaism, not Pauline Theology. The Old Testament attests to this fact:

"Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession....Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him."

"Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son's name, If you know?"

Do you know His name? The Apostle Paul did... Your statement that "a true blue Jew who would have considered the idea that God had a son blasphemous", is based solely on modern Judaism. This statement gives no regard to what the Rabbinic establishment of Jesus' day believed or what the Old Testament actually states concerning such things.

Quote:Jews were fiercely monotheistic.
The Jews were fiercely monotheistic...? Again there is no concern in this statement for what the Old Testament actually states:

"Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky"

"Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"

"Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another's speech."

These passages don't convey a "fiercely monotheistic" view of God. Nonetheless Jews and Christian's are monotheistic, but monotheistic in the aspect of the Trinity.

Quote:Paul’s entire theology is strange. He fashions a Christ (an Anointed One) and a belief system all of his own, and these unique inventions are rather complex. Numerous scholars have discussed his theology at great length, yet often disagreed about what Paul may have meant, so it is no easy task to completely understand him. It is, however, important to understand his basic theology.
None of what Paul states is strange, well maybe strange to one unfamiliar to the Old Testament. Thus the real crux of the problem.

Quote:Paul believed Jesus was divine and existed in heaven before he took on a human form and lived on earth.
That's the picture of the Messiah that the Old Testament paints. Paul must have believed in the Old Testament scriptures.

Quote:How Paul’s Jesus got to earth he doesn’t say, as he has no birth story.
Logically he wouldn't have too, he was writing to churches that were already privy to this information.

I'll try and comment on the rest of your post soon. Please feel free to reply to any objections in the meantime.

HBAF

Dear HBAF, re "None of what Paul states is strange"...um....have you ever read Paul? If you claim to completely understand Paul you have achieved what hundreds of scholars over the last few centuries have failed to do. I spent 3 months in all my spare time a few years ago trying to work him out and in the end decided it was pointless. I'm no theologian, but I do have 3 university degrees.

re "That's the picture of the Messiah that the Old Testament paints." Wow, really? Can you quote the part of the OT that says Jesus lived in heaven and will come to earth as the messiah? Gosh...millions of jews who believe nothing of the sort obviously haven't read their own scripture as dilligently as you! LOL

I'll cut and paste a little of my own writing for your perousal. I am not trying to be patronising, but why don't you do a little reading around the topic of Paul and his theology?

"Jews nearly universally despised Paul and rejected his message and they still do. The idea that their mysterious perfect God could be incarnated in the person of a human Jesus revolted and enraged them. They refused to believe that their God could die, and they refused to believe Jesus’ death somehow addressed a primordial, sinful, nature of man. The messiah was never meant to be the saviour of an individual’s soul, but of an entire people.

The Jews of the first century knew what the prophets had said and Jewish tradition indicated: a true messiah was supposed to prove himself in the historical arena by heralding in a glorious age in which Israel ruled and bought the pagan empires of the world to the realisation of the glory of a single God, their god, Yahweh. He was supposed to build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28) and gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6). The messiah was to bring an end to the rule of the Romans and an end to exploitation, injustice, famine, disease and war. Paul’s fictional Christ had been nailed to a cross and had done none of this.

The Jews knew then, and still know today, that there was no mention in the Scriptures of there ever being an end to the covenant God made with their ancestors on Mount Sinai. They believed that the way to achieve salvation was to obey “the Law” i.e. the Torah, as taught by Moses (or so they believed). Paul was trying to usurp this centuries old tradition by creating a new path to salvation, using faith rather than the Law. Paul claimed
“...Though we were born Jews and not pagan sinners, we acknowledge that what makes a man righteous is not obedience to the Law, but faith in Jesus Christ...” (Galatians 2; 15-16).
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law.” (Galatians 3:13)
“Before faith came, we were allowed no freedom by the Law; we were being looked after till faith was revealed. The law was to be our guardian until the Christ came and we could be justified by faith. Now that that time has come we are no longer under that guardian, and you are, all of you, sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. All baptised in Christ, you have all clothed yourself in Christ, and there are no more distinctions between Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female, but all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:23-28 NJB). Yet Jews did not consider the Law a curse or an imposition on freedom, but a pleasure to follow because it was their way to serve God. They considered the Law a gift from a merciful and forgiving God. They knew God’s rules were written in Scripture hundreds of years earlier and none of Paul’s ideas were in Scripture. Why should they give up centuries of tradition to believe a self-righteous renegade Pharisee?

Jesus, who had died over a decade before Paul appeared on the scene and could not have ever even heard of his theology, would have totally rejected the idea that his own death somehow gave certain gentiles a ticket to heaven. Jesus would have cursed gentiles (who did, after all, nail him to a cross) with his dying breath, not imagined his God would give them a place in heaven! I’ll make the point again that Jesus never rejected the Law God had given to his ancestors. He said
“Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish them but complete them. I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved.” (Matthew 5:17-18 JB). Jesus could not have made himself clearer; he had no intention of altering the Law. Paul and Jesus undeniably contradicted each other!

Many Christians say that Jesus came to do away with the Jewish Law. They are not considering Jesus’ words, but those of Paul or Calvin or Luther. The exact opposite is true: Jesus kept the Torah and commanded his disciples to keep it too.

Paul also made a cavalier dismissal of the importance of the Jewish land (Israel) by suggesting that the Temple in Jerusalem was no longer the central focus of worship. He said all believers become a temple for God;
"…and that is what we are-the temple of the living God." (2 Corinthians 6:15 NJB)
“Didn’t you realise that you were God’s Temple...” (1 Corinthians 3;16 JB). By saying this Paul was attempting to expand God’s influence out into the whole Roman world by downplaying the idea God dwelt in the Temple at Jerusalem and claiming God lived in people’s minds. Yet for a Jew this was to deny the geographical pivot of Judaism. Consider how Jesus angrily drove the moneychangers out of the Temple. For Jesus, God’s dwelling place on earth could only ever be at the Temple, the magnificent centrepiece of God’s holy land.

Paul also undermined the ethnic pillar of Judaism;
"Those therefore who rely on faith receive the same blessing as Abraham, the man of faith." (Galatians 3:9 NJB);
“Merely by belonging to Christ you are the posterity of Abraham, the heirs he was promised.” (Galatians 3:29 NJB). Paul claimed that anyone who believed what he taught could consider themselves one of God’s chosen. He was trying to make those who believed his theology think they were something special. He was trying to weaken Judaism by downplaying the exclusivity of being Jewish. Jews, including Jesus, had always thought they were Abraham’s descendants and therefore a nation of God’s special people, so didn’t accept this idea.

Throughout Paul’s travels there was a repetitive pattern portrayed in Acts. He was initially welcome in the synagogues because he masqueraded as a traditional Jew, but after Jews heard what he had to say he was rejected, sometimes even beaten and pelted with rocks. To all true Jews Paul was a blasphemous heretic, a traitor, a charlatan, and a wannabe cult leader simply making up his own theology. As Paul was a Jew, the Jewish community imagined he was upsetting their relationship with God and that the whole Jewish community would suffer as a consequence. Is it any wonder they physically attacked him?

Paul’s teachings undermined Jesus’ religious beliefs and cultural heritage. Jesus, if he had been alive, would not have been happy about that. His family and disciples, who were still alive, very clearly weren’t happy about it either. They were implacably opposed to Paul, as demonstrated by the verbal slanging match described in Paul’s letters, the anti-Pauline tone of James’ letter (found in the Bible) and the fact James sent Paul to the Temple to purify himself and prove he was still a true Jew (see Acts). This led to Paul’s arrest, imprisonment, and transportation to Rome where he remained under house arrest for at least two years. The supporters of James in Rome were pleased to let Paul languish in prison. The Romans kept him incarcerated because he caused trouble nearly everywhere he went. James, the brother of Jesus, thereby effectively terminated Paul’s missionary career!

Paul's mission to go out to the gentiles and bring them into the flock was something that some elements in Judaism, particularly some of the Diasporan Jews, had been trying to do for hundreds of years. He was obsessed with the idea he needed to emancipate pagans from idolatory and immorality, so his mission to change the world was a deeply ingrained part of his psyche. He was not deterred by his incarceration and the interruption to his evangelism. To the best of our knowledge, he never gave up.

His reputation as an inspired teacher of religious truth carrying on the message Jesus taught has no truthful foundation, yet it has become part of Christian tradition, in part because of what Luke wrote in Acts. By the time Luke was writing Acts, sometime around the middle of the second century, Paul’s reputation needed more credibility, so Luke attempted to link Paul with Jesus by having Jesus’ ghost appear to Paul on the road to Damascus, which was pure fiction. Also fictional was the story of Paul becoming good friends with the disciples of Jesus in Jerusalem, as both parties obviously disliked the other intensely. Luke also tried to shore up Paul’s credibility by having him perform a number of miracles. Yet Paul failed to mention these miracles, an impossible omission if they were true. Paul revealed many personality traits in his letters, but genuine modesty definitely wasn’t one of them."


re "Paul must have believed in the Old Testament scriptures." Yes...I agree...some of the time...but he discarded the bits that didn't suit him. Hence his "new covenant" relaced the "old covenant" in Scripture.
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31-07-2011, 11:02 PM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(31-07-2011 12:18 AM)Hunted By A Freak Wrote:  
(20-07-2011 03:05 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Paul was responsible for the idea Jesus was a god. The real Jesus, who never met Paul, was a true blue Jew who would have considered the idea that God had a son blasphemous. Jews were fiercely monotheistic. Paul broke the rules.
The idea that God has a son is based in Judaism, not Pauline Theology. The Old Testament attests to this fact:

"Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession....Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him."

"Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son's name, If you know?"

Do you know His name? The Apostle Paul did... Your statement that "a true blue Jew who would have considered the idea that God had a son blasphemous", is based solely on modern Judaism. This statement gives no regard to what the Rabbinic establishment of Jesus' day believed or what the Old Testament actually states concerning such things.

Quote:Jews were fiercely monotheistic.
The Jews were fiercely monotheistic...? Again there is no concern in this statement for what the Old Testament actually states:

"Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky"

"Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"

"Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another's speech."

These passages don't convey a "fiercely monotheistic" view of God. Nonetheless Jews and Christian's are monotheistic, but monotheistic in the aspect of the Trinity.

Quote:Paul’s entire theology is strange. He fashions a Christ (an Anointed One) and a belief system all of his own, and these unique inventions are rather complex. Numerous scholars have discussed his theology at great length, yet often disagreed about what Paul may have meant, so it is no easy task to completely understand him. It is, however, important to understand his basic theology.
None of what Paul states is strange, well maybe strange to one unfamiliar to the Old Testament. Thus the real crux of the problem.

Quote:Paul believed Jesus was divine and existed in heaven before he took on a human form and lived on earth.
That's the picture of the Messiah that the Old Testament paints. Paul must have believed in the Old Testament scriptures.

Quote:How Paul’s Jesus got to earth he doesn’t say, as he has no birth story.
Logically he wouldn't have too, he was writing to churches that were already privy to this information.

I'll try and comment on the rest of your post soon. Please feel free to reply to any objections in the meantime.

HBAF

Re "Nonetheless Jews and Christian's are monotheistic, but monotheistic in the aspect of the Trinity."
Um....are you suggesting that Jews believe in the trinity?

I would be interested in your assessment of the trinity. I've never understood it, and I know I'm not the only one who has difficulty here. You seem confident that it is a fact....obviously more confident than Christians in the fourth century who couldn't decide whether Jesus was a god, a human or a spirit...so ended up claiming he was all 3. Look up the arian controversy if you are interested.
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01-08-2011, 12:19 AM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(23-07-2011 01:05 PM)Hunted By A Freak Wrote:  
(20-07-2011 03:05 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hi Bucky, thanks for this input. I agree Jesus knew nothing of a rapture. The rapture was invented by Paul, a man who had never met Jesus, at least 20 or so years after Jesus' death.
The concept of the rapture is first found in Genesis, well before Paul's day. It's also found throughout the Old Testament, here's an example from Kings:

"And it came about when the LORD was about to take up Elijah by a whirlwind to heaven, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal....When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, "Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you." And Elisha said, "Please, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me"....He said, "You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so"....As they were going along and talking, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven."

There are many examples of the rapture in the bible, here's one from the gospel of John:

"After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias). A large crowd followed Him, because they saw the signs which He was performing on those who were sick....So Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone....Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea and after getting into a boat, they started to cross the sea to Capernaum. It had already become dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them....Then, when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat....So they were willing to receive Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going. The next day the crowd that stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other small boat there, except one, and that Jesus had not entered with His disciples into the boat, but that His disciples had gone away alone....So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they themselves got into the small boats, and came to Capernaum seeking Jesus. When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You get here?"

You'll notice that the boat in the above passage was immediately taken across the sea. This is a clear picture of the rapture with the boat symbolizing the church. When Jesus is in the boat with His disciples or telling them were to cast their nets, they end up catching many fish (I will make you fishers of men). But when Jesus isn't with them in the boat or guiding them, they find their nets are always empty. Its this way with the church. Only when Jesus is the head of the church can it be effective for the catch and call people to repentance. If Jesus isn't in the boat then its just bobbing up and down on the water.

Its interesting that you can find examples of the rapture in the most peculiar places and that's pretty cool as far as I'm concerned. To say that Paul influenced the concept of the rapture, which can be found from Genesis to Revelation, is really unfounded. The Holy Spirit inspired men to write about things they didn't fully understand, like the rapture, yet there's always that common thread that permeates its pages.

I want to comment on the rest of your post, but I have a broken disposal and a soon to be "angry" wife. Angry

Hi HBAF. You have an understanding of "the rapture" that is not shared by people.
Here is wikipaedia definition...

"In Christian eschatology, the Rapture is a reference to "being caught up" referred to in 1 Thess 4:17, when, in the End Times, the Christians of the world will be gathered together in the air to meet Jesus Christ.[1] Rapture is used in at least two senses, in the sense of pre-tribulation views in which a group of people will be "left behind" and as a synonym for the Resurrection generally.[2][3][4][5]

There are many views among Christians regarding the timing of Christ's return (including whether it will occur in one event or two), and various views regarding the destination of the aerial gathering described in 1 Thessalonians 4."

If we are talking about "rapture" in a general sense then...yes...old testament prophets or Mr Spock from Star Trek could be beamed upstairs...

1. The state of being transported by a lofty emotion; ecstasy.
2. An expression of ecstatic feeling. Often used in the plural.
3. The transporting of a person from one place to another, especially to heaven
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01-08-2011, 03:05 AM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(01-08-2011 12:19 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(23-07-2011 01:05 PM)Hunted By A Freak Wrote:  
(20-07-2011 03:05 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hi Bucky, thanks for this input. I agree Jesus knew nothing of a rapture. The rapture was invented by Paul, a man who had never met Jesus, at least 20 or so years after Jesus' death.
The concept of the rapture is first found in Genesis, well before Paul's day. It's also found throughout the Old Testament, here's an example from Kings:

"And it came about when the LORD was about to take up Elijah by a whirlwind to heaven, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal....When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, "Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you." And Elisha said, "Please, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me"....He said, "You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so"....As they were going along and talking, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven."

There are many examples of the rapture in the bible, here's one from the gospel of John:

"After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias). A large crowd followed Him, because they saw the signs which He was performing on those who were sick....So Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone....Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea and after getting into a boat, they started to cross the sea to Capernaum. It had already become dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them....Then, when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat....So they were willing to receive Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going. The next day the crowd that stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other small boat there, except one, and that Jesus had not entered with His disciples into the boat, but that His disciples had gone away alone....So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they themselves got into the small boats, and came to Capernaum seeking Jesus. When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You get here?"

You'll notice that the boat in the above passage was immediately taken across the sea. This is a clear picture of the rapture with the boat symbolizing the church. When Jesus is in the boat with His disciples or telling them were to cast their nets, they end up catching many fish (I will make you fishers of men). But when Jesus isn't with them in the boat or guiding them, they find their nets are always empty. Its this way with the church. Only when Jesus is the head of the church can it be effective for the catch and call people to repentance. If Jesus isn't in the boat then its just bobbing up and down on the water.

Its interesting that you can find examples of the rapture in the most peculiar places and that's pretty cool as far as I'm concerned. To say that Paul influenced the concept of the rapture, which can be found from Genesis to Revelation, is really unfounded. The Holy Spirit inspired men to write about things they didn't fully understand, like the rapture, yet there's always that common thread that permeates its pages.

I want to comment on the rest of your post, but I have a broken disposal and a soon to be "angry" wife. Angry

Hi HBAF. You have an understanding of "the rapture" that is not shared by people.
Here is wikipaedia definition...

"In Christian eschatology, the Rapture is a reference to "being caught up" referred to in 1 Thess 4:17, when, in the End Times, the Christians of the world will be gathered together in the air to meet Jesus Christ.[1] Rapture is used in at least two senses, in the sense of pre-tribulation views in which a group of people will be "left behind" and as a synonym for the Resurrection generally.[2][3][4][5]

There are many views among Christians regarding the timing of Christ's return (including whether it will occur in one event or two), and various views regarding the destination of the aerial gathering described in 1 Thessalonians 4."

If we are talking about "rapture" in a general sense then...yes...old testament prophets or Mr Spock from Star Trek could be beamed upstairs...

1. The state of being transported by a lofty emotion; ecstasy.
2. An expression of ecstatic feeling. Often used in the plural.
3. The transporting of a person from one place to another, especially to heaven

Dear HBAF, re
"There are many examples of the rapture in the bible, here's one from the gospel of John:

"After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias). A large crowd followed Him, because they saw the signs which He was performing on those who were sick....So Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone....Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea and after getting into a boat, they started to cross the sea to Capernaum. It had already become dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them....Then, when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat....So they were willing to receive Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going. The next day the crowd that stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other small boat there, except one, and that Jesus had not entered with His disciples into the boat, but that His disciples had gone away alone....So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they themselves got into the small boats, and came to Capernaum seeking Jesus. When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You get here?"

You'll notice that the boat in the above passage was immediately taken across the sea. This is a clear picture of the rapture with the boat symbolizing the church. When Jesus is in the boat with His disciples or telling them were to cast their nets, they end up catching many fish (I will make you fishers of men). But when Jesus isn't with them in the boat or guiding them, they find their nets are always empty. Its this way with the church. Only when Jesus is the head of the church can it be effective for the catch and call people to repentance. If Jesus isn't in the boat then its just bobbing up and down on the water."

I must admit, I would never have read "the rapture" into this story. Is this your idea, or is it something that is taught in your church?

I'm sorry...can't buy the "clear" idea that Jesus in a boat represents a church. If I take myself back 2000 years and imagine our mate J walking on the water to get into a boat, and I was one of the disciples, I'd be pretty impressed. If , however, J then tried to claim that in 2000 years time the boat would represent a "church", I'd be perplexed. There was no such thing as a church in jesus' day. If J then claimed that "Christians" went to this church, I'd also be perplexed, as there was no such thing as Christians in J's day, because there was no such thing as Christianity. I would think my hero had aspirated some water and was delirious with a chest infection.

HBAF, you sound like an intelligent man. How about using your intelligence to bring some healthy reality into your ideas? I am not trying to belittle you...I'm genuinely asking you to come back down to planet earth. Please don't be offended and please keep communicating.
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