Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
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01-08-2011, 04:41 AM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(21-07-2011 12:58 AM)Hunted By A Freak Wrote:  
(20-07-2011 04:40 AM)nontheocrat Wrote:  I've read works by many authors who feel that Paul was primarily responsible for making the resurrection of importance in Christian Dogma.
The importance of the resurrection was already well established in Judaism, being clearly stated in the Old Testament. Christian Dogma as it were was simply a manifestation of its true roots, being completely Jewish. Paul was just reaffirming what had been true to Judaism in the first place.

"The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up."

"For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay."

"O LORD, You have brought up my soul from Sheol; You have kept me alive

"But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol, For He will receive me. Selah."

"You shall strike him with the rod And rescue his soul from Sheol."

"For Sheol cannot thank You, Death cannot praise You; Those who go down to the pit cannot hope for Your faithfulness. It is the living who give thanks to You, as I do today; A father tells his sons about Your faithfulness. The LORD will surely save me; So we will play my songs on stringed instruments All the days of our life at the house of the LORD."

"Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from death? O Death, where are your thorns? O Sheol, where is your sting?"

And of course there is the sign of Jonah, which Jesus stated would be the only sign given to a wicked generation and was a picture of the resurrection:

"Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the stomach of the fish, and he said, "I called out of my distress to the LORD, And He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; You heard my voice. For You had cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, And the current engulfed me. All Your breakers and billows passed over me." So I said, 'I have been expelled from Your sight. Nevertheless I will look again toward Your holy temple.' Water encompassed me to the point of death. The great deep engulfed me, Weeds were wrapped around my head. I descended to the roots of the mountains. The earth with its bars was around me forever, But You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God. While I was fainting away, I remembered the LORD, And my prayer came to You, Into Your holy temple. Those who regard vain idols Forsake their faithfulness, But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the LORD. Then the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah up onto the dry land."

Quote:In fact, the earliest copies of Mark that have been discovered always end with Jesus' death minus a resurrection story leading many to believe that it was added at a later time.
If I'm not mistaken the story ends with the stone rolled away and an angel proclaiming "He has risen". Arguing out of silence doesn't give consideration to plausible alternatives. It just that "silent", nether condemning or approving.

Re "If I'm not mistaken the story ends with the stone rolled away and an angel proclaiming "He has risen". "

Ah....yes you are mistaken. Google the topic..there is no shortage of discussion out there about the interpolated ending of Mark which adds a resurrection story to the gospel.


(20-07-2011 03:05 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hi HBAF, here are some links on the compilation of the New Testament. They are full of a lot of detail, but they do give you a good idea of how haphazard and unscholarly the whole affair was.
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/r...canon.html and http://www.orthodox.net/faq/canon.htm.
Not that I don't have enough to do, but I'll make time to check out these links over the weekend. Thanks.
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01-08-2011, 06:49 AM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(01-08-2011 04:41 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(21-07-2011 12:58 AM)Hunted By A Freak Wrote:  
(20-07-2011 04:40 AM)nontheocrat Wrote:  I've read works by many authors who feel that Paul was primarily responsible for making the resurrection of importance in Christian Dogma.
The importance of the resurrection was already well established in Judaism, being clearly stated in the Old Testament. Christian Dogma as it were was simply a manifestation of its true roots, being completely Jewish. Paul was just reaffirming what had been true to Judaism in the first place.

"The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up."

"For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay."

"O LORD, You have brought up my soul from Sheol; You have kept me alive

"But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol, For He will receive me. Selah."

"You shall strike him with the rod And rescue his soul from Sheol."

"For Sheol cannot thank You, Death cannot praise You; Those who go down to the pit cannot hope for Your faithfulness. It is the living who give thanks to You, as I do today; A father tells his sons about Your faithfulness. The LORD will surely save me; So we will play my songs on stringed instruments All the days of our life at the house of the LORD."

"Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from death? O Death, where are your thorns? O Sheol, where is your sting?"

And of course there is the sign of Jonah, which Jesus stated would be the only sign given to a wicked generation and was a picture of the resurrection:

"Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the stomach of the fish, and he said, "I called out of my distress to the LORD, And He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; You heard my voice. For You had cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, And the current engulfed me. All Your breakers and billows passed over me." So I said, 'I have been expelled from Your sight. Nevertheless I will look again toward Your holy temple.' Water encompassed me to the point of death. The great deep engulfed me, Weeds were wrapped around my head. I descended to the roots of the mountains. The earth with its bars was around me forever, But You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God. While I was fainting away, I remembered the LORD, And my prayer came to You, Into Your holy temple. Those who regard vain idols Forsake their faithfulness, But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the LORD. Then the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah up onto the dry land."

Quote:In fact, the earliest copies of Mark that have been discovered always end with Jesus' death minus a resurrection story leading many to believe that it was added at a later time.
If I'm not mistaken the story ends with the stone rolled away and an angel proclaiming "He has risen". Arguing out of silence doesn't give consideration to plausible alternatives. It just that "silent", nether condemning or approving.

Re "If I'm not mistaken the story ends with the stone rolled away and an angel proclaiming "He has risen". "

Ah....yes you are mistaken. Google the topic..there is no shortage of discussion out there about the interpolated ending of Mark which adds a resurrection story to the gospel.


(20-07-2011 03:05 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hi HBAF, here are some links on the compilation of the New Testament. They are full of a lot of detail, but they do give you a good idea of how haphazard and unscholarly the whole affair was.
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/r...canon.html and http://www.orthodox.net/faq/canon.htm.
Not that I don't have enough to do, but I'll make time to check out these links over the weekend. Thanks.

according to jewish history, the stones we'rnt even round but square.

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?”
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02-08-2011, 01:56 AM
 
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(31-07-2011 08:07 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(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.
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.
Let's take a step back and review your prior claim that "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."

This is the argument you presented and from reading the Old Testament its clear that its misguided. Paul being a Pharisee of Pharisees would have known these passages concerning God's son. A concept that was well attested hundreds of years before Paul's day. Claiming they were isolated passages or that "None of the ancient jews thought Yahweh had a son" really have no bearing. So how is it that an ancient Jew wrote about Yaweh having a son if "none of the ancient Jews thought that Yaweh had a son?" The concept of God's son was not an invention of Paul's, but was already well established. That was the claim you presented, so I would prefer to remain single minded on this point.

Quote: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.
Paul did write about the gospels in his letters because Jesus has already gone to the cross for our sins.

"although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name"

"Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved...that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve."

"and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven."

Quote: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.
Why would Paul have talked about the virgin birth again? Maybe you could answer the purpose of Paul's writings first before casting doubt on something you claim to not fully understand. Take it from my perspective, you claim you can't fully understand Paul's writings, yet you know that he should be writing about the virgin birth and the miracles performed by Christ. Maybe you don't see the humor in this, but your hypothesis has many unresolved issues.

How about the other NT writers, did they actually mention the virgin birth or the teaching & miracles of Jesus? Attempting to nullify Paul's writings as post resurrection based on his failing to mention the birth narrative and so forth is arguing from silence, and leaves quite a lot of unanswered questions.

You threw quite a bit out there, nice! Wink
I'll respond further when I have a chance.
Thanks for the reply...
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02-08-2011, 11:20 AM (This post was last modified: 02-08-2011 12:26 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
Two thoughts.

1. Paul saying he delivered the "gospel", does not necessarily mean he had read, or even heard about one of the 4 "cannonical" texts extant today, or even one of the many texts at the time which would end up being considered non-cannonical, (and there were MANY). The word "gospel" is a translation of the word "εὐαγγέλιον", (euangelion), (eu- "good", -angelion-"message"). All Paul was saying was that he delivered the "good news". "εὐαγγέλιον" is translated into Latin as "evangelium", and into (Old) English as "godspell". Taking an incorrect literal modern meaning of a translated word can lead one to a completely incorrect conclusion. Paul also refers to "the gospel" as "my gospel", (Romans 2:16, Galatians 1;11, 2:2), and "our gospel", (2 Corinthians 4:3, 1 Thessalonians 1:5, 2 Thessalonians 2:14). He was NOT referring to THE gospels.

2. The so-called "virgin birth" is one of the PRIME examples where there is development of an off-the-wall notion, based on a translation, of a MIS-translation, of a translation, which is then taken out of context, and solidified as doctrine, and driven over the cliff.

To wit :
a. Background :
Isaiah 7 talks about the history of King Ahaz, son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, who was king of Judah. At the time, King Rezin of Aram and Pekah, son of Remaliah, King of Israel, marched up to fight against Jerusalem, and the campaign was long and protracted. See the Syro-Ephraimite War, (Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syro-Ephraimite_War ), and it happened in the 8th Century (734) BC. When Ahaz was loosing faith, Isaiah went to visit him, and told him to "buck up", keep the faith, and continue the war, and told him that the SIGN from god, that they were favored, was that one of his wives, (a "woman of marriageable age") would be found to be with child. The SIGN was the CHILD, (and NOT the manner of the birth). ...."And they shall name him Emmanuel" which means "god is with us". The CHILD was the SIGN.

Any devout Jew in the time of the Roman occupation, (around 60 AD), would know that story, from Isaiah, and when they heard the words "a woman, (of marriageable age) will be found to be with child" they would connect the stories in their brains, and recognize that the gospel text's intention was to remind them of the Isaiah story, and would "harken" back to it, and realize the intent of the author was to claim that THIS child also was a sign. The general intent of the Gospel of Matthew was to claim the fulfillment of the various prophesies regarding the messiah, and this one was another one of those claims/stories of fulfillment.

b. The word "virgin" is a mistranslation, of a translation. So WE have a translation, of a mis-translation, of a translation. Matthew, writing in Greek about the "virgin birth" of Jesus, quotes the Septuagint text of Isaiah 7:14-16, which uses the Greek word "παρθένος" (parthenos,), (we still use the term "parthenogenesis") while the original Hebrew text has "עלמה" (almah), which has the slightly wider meaning of an unmarried, betrothed,or newly wed woman such as in the case of Ahaz' betrothed Abijah, daughter of Zechariah. He NEVER meant to imply that he was asserting "gynecological" claims, and THAT whole business was "off-the-wall", a mistranslation, taken to ridiculous extremes, by interpreters who missed the point. THE CHILD was the sign.

Also interesting that Matthew (1:25) only says that Joseph "knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn son". It does NOT say she REMAINED a virgin. (??)

See also : Mother Goddess, ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_goddess ) and Joseph Campbell, ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goddess ) and Courtly Love, ( http://cla.calpoly.edu/~dschwart/engl513...ourtly.htm ). The business of Mary, and her idealized state, was extremely important in the civilization/culture of the West, and in some circles remains very important today, (Lourdes & claims of "Marian" apparitions" etc., etc.)

Over and out. Cool

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Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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02-08-2011, 06:15 PM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(02-08-2011 11:20 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Two thoughts.

1. Paul saying he delivered the "gospel", does not necessarily mean he had read, or even heard about one of the 4 "cannonical" texts extant today, or even one of the many texts at the time which would end up being considered non-cannonical, (and there were MANY). The word "gospel" is a translation of the word "εὐαγγέλιον", (euangelion), (eu- "good", -angelion-"message"). All Paul was saying was that he delivered the "good news". "εὐαγγέλιον" is translated into Latin as "evangelium", and into (Old) English as "godspell". Taking an incorrect literal modern meaning of a translated word can lead one to a completely incorrect conclusion. Paul also refers to "the gospel" as "my gospel", (Romans 2:16, Galatians 1;11, 2:2), and "our gospel", (2 Corinthians 4:3, 1 Thessalonians 1:5, 2 Thessalonians 2:14). He was NOT referring to THE gospels.

2. The so-called "virgin birth" is one of the PRIME examples where there is development of an off-the-wall notion, based on a translation, of a MIS-translation, of a translation, which is then taken out of context, and solidified as doctrine, and driven over the cliff.

To wit :
a. Background :
Isaiah 7 talks about the history of King Ahaz, son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, who was king of Judah. At the time, King Rezin of Aram and Pekah, son of Remaliah, King of Israel, marched up to fight against Jerusalem, and the campaign was long and protracted. See the Syro-Ephraimite War, (Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syro-Ephraimite_War ), and it happened in the 8th Century (734) BC. When Ahaz was loosing faith, Isaiah went to visit him, and told him to "buck up", keep the faith, and continue the war, and told him that the SIGN from god, that they were favored, was that one of his wives, (a "woman of marriageable age") would be found to be with child. The SIGN was the CHILD, (and NOT the manner of the birth). ...."And they shall name him Emmanuel" which means "god is with us". The CHILD was the SIGN.

Any devout Jew in the time of the Roman occupation, (around 60 AD), would know that story, from Isaiah, and when they heard the words "a woman, (of marriageable age) will be found to be with child" they would connect the stories in their brains, and recognize that the gospel text's intention was to remind them of the Isaiah story, and would "harken" back to it, and realize the intent of the author was to claim that THIS child also was a sign. The general intent of the Gospel of Matthew was to claim the fulfillment of the various prophesies regarding the messiah, and this one was another one of those claims/stories of fulfillment.

b. The word "virgin" is a mistranslation, of a translation. So WE have a translation, of a mis-translation, of a translation. Matthew, writing in Greek about the "virgin birth" of Jesus, quotes the Septuagint text of Isaiah 7:14-16, which uses the Greek word "παρθένος" (parthenos,), (we still use the term "parthenogenesis") while the original Hebrew text has "עלמה" (almah), which has the slightly wider meaning of an unmarried, betrothed,or newly wed woman such as in the case of Ahaz' betrothed Abijah, daughter of Zechariah. He NEVER meant to imply that he was asserting "gynecological" claims, and THAT whole business was "off-the-wall", a mistranslation, taken to ridiculous extremes, by interpreters who missed the point. THE CHILD was the sign.

Also interesting that Matthew (1:25) only says that Joseph "knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn son". It does NOT say she REMAINED a virgin. (??)

See also : Mother Goddess, ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_goddess ) and Joseph Campbell, ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goddess ) and Courtly Love, ( http://cla.calpoly.edu/~dschwart/engl513...ourtly.htm ). The business of Mary, and her idealized state, was extremely important in the civilization/culture of the West, and in some circles remains very important today, (Lourdes & claims of "Marian" apparitions" etc., etc.)

Over and out. Cool

Hi Bucky. I'm very impressed with your comments! Thankyou for your efforts. Yes...Paul was definately talking about his , and only his, gospel. Paul recognised only one earthly authority...himself....and it is widely accepted, even amongst the most evangelical scholars, that he wrote well before the 4 gospels.

Yes...Matthew was responsible for the very silly idea that Mary was a virgin because he tried to fit the baby Jesus into a non existent Hebrew prophesy.
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02-08-2011, 09:10 PM (This post was last modified: 02-08-2011 09:46 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(02-08-2011 01:56 AM)Hunted By A Freak Wrote:  
(31-07-2011 08:07 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(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.
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.
Let's take a step back and review your prior claim that "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."

This is the argument you presented and from reading the Old Testament its clear that its misguided. Paul being a Pharisee of Pharisees would have known these passages concerning God's son. A concept that was well attested hundreds of years before Paul's day. Claiming they were isolated passages or that "None of the ancient jews thought Yahweh had a son" really have no bearing. So how is it that an ancient Jew wrote about Yaweh having a son if "none of the ancient Jews thought that Yaweh had a son?" The concept of God's son was not an invention of Paul's, but was already well established. That was the claim you presented, so I would prefer to remain single minded on this point.

Quote: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.
Paul did write about the gospels in his letters because Jesus has already gone to the cross for our sins.

"although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name"

"Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved...that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve."

"and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven."

Quote: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.
Why would Paul have talked about the virgin birth again? Maybe you could answer the purpose of Paul's writings first before casting doubt on something you claim to not fully understand. Take it from my perspective, you claim you can't fully understand Paul's writings, yet you know that he should be writing about the virgin birth and the miracles performed by Christ. Maybe you don't see the humor in this, but your hypothesis has many unresolved issues.

How about the other NT writers, did they actually mention the virgin birth or the teaching & miracles of Jesus? Attempting to nullify Paul's writings as post resurrection based on his failing to mention the birth narrative and so forth is arguing from silence, and leaves quite a lot of unanswered questions.

You threw quite a bit out there, nice! Wink
I'll respond further when I have a chance.
Thanks for the reply...

Hi HBAF and everyone. Re the jews and "God's son"....have a look at http://www.whatjewsbelieve.org/explanation6.html . This is written by a rabbi. Also have a read of http://www.urantia.org/en/urantia-book-s...d-hebrews, which helps put the tangled mess of what the ancient jews believed into perspective. Now....I did find some Christian literature claiming the ancient Jews thought God had a son, using the same quotes as HBAF. There are all sorts of possible explanations for these quotes (such as translation and interpretation issues, and the fact that some writings may have originated prior to 7 BCE when the population was polytheistic)...its tedious to ramble on.....the fact remains that the jews , ancient and present , believe in the one and only Yahweh , who had no family. Prior to the 6th or 7th century BCE they were polytheistic, and Yahweh may have been one of the gods they worshipped, and at that stage had a wife ( google Asherah, or go to http://unreasonablefaith.com/2009/05/11/...-asherah/) and kids, but NEVER since that time. HBAF, I'm happy to be corrected, but you will need to come up with some new evidence to convince me.

Re... "Paul did write about the gospels in his letters because Jesus has already gone to the cross for our sins." Huh?....you make no sense to me here. Please explain how Jesus on the cross has anything to do with Paul writing about the gospels. If Paul wrote about the gospels....show me where. If Paul wrote about the teachings of Jesus....show me where ( apart from in one letter where he talks about the last supper....and this is probably an interpolation). If Paul mentions Jesus' miracles....show me where. You can't..... because Paul's Christ was a mythical spirit, a god/man, not a once human flesh and blood Jesus.

You probably think I'm crazy....I'm not....thousands of scholars have made the same observation. Hey....I would really like to share this with you even though it may upset your preconceived notions of Jesus...Jesus was just a guy who got knocked off by the Romans for trying to start a war with Rome. He wasn't a god, and he didn't die for anyone's sins...Paul made these ideas up. Please ....for your own sake....do some reading on these issues....but read the works of genuine historians...not evangelical types of people trying to get you to join a church.

If you are genuinely interested in the purpose of Paul's writings I will tell you, but I don't want to bombard this post with too much information at once.

I don't think anybody can completely rationalise Paul's teachings because he was inconsistent, over imaginative and manipulative. He was an inventor of theology. So the fact that I , and thousands of scholars more knowlegable than myself, don't quite understand him is a reflection on him, not us.

Re "How about the other NT writers, did they actually mention the virgin birth or the teaching & miracles of Jesus?" Of course they do...we all know that.

Re "Attempting to nullify Paul's writings as post resurrection based on his failing to mention the birth narrative and so forth is arguing from silence, and leaves quite a lot of unanswered questions." I'm sorry, you have lost me again here. I'm not trying to "nullify" Paul's writings, I was just making the point he knew nothing of the gospels. This is an undeniable fact.

ps. it just occured to me that possibly you believe Paul wrote before the alleged resurrection of Jesus? If so, you would be the first person I have ever read in my 6 years of studying the bible to have thought so. Paul first appeared on the scene to annoy the original disciples and family of Jesus at least 15 years after Jesus died. Check your facts.
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02-08-2011, 09:43 PM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
Yes...Matthew was responsible for the very silly idea that Mary was a virgin because he tried to fit the baby Jesus into a non existent Hebrew prophesy.

Thanks so much ! Blush
Not so sure I can agree with that last part. I think the authors/editors of Matthew, who clearly added the lineage story to the "Q" source material, (which Mark used),
(Matthew 1,) to establish the Davidic lineage, (and BTW ended the chapter by saying Josef was NOT the father (???), thus dis-establishing the lineage), for prophesy fulfillment, and ended the chapter with exactly the SAME words as the editors of Isaiah did, and thus I would assume that Matthew also was trying to make the point that the "child was the sign", and never had any intention also of asserting anything about "virgin" anything, since he never used that word. The question remains however who introduced then, the "virgin" business, (and why), as it seems to be a part of the Protoevangelian of James, which I seem to remember was written around 150 AD. Somebody added it in there somewhere, but I doubt it was as early as Matthew. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/infancyjames.html
The idea that deities are born of virgins is not unique: http://www.entheology.org/pocm/pagan_ori...birth.html

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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02-08-2011, 10:08 PM
 
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(02-08-2011 11:20 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Two thoughts.

1. Paul saying he delivered the "gospel", does not necessarily mean he had read, or even heard about one of the 4 "cannonical" texts extant today, or even one of the many texts at the time which would end up being considered non-cannonical, (and there were MANY).
Maybe he didn't read any of the gospel accounts, but why would he have had too. He definitely heard about the events concerning calvary and it shows in his writings. Paul mentions that God became a man, being Jesus, that His blood was shed for the remission of sins, that He was crucified on a cross, and was buried and resurrected three days later and appeared before His disciples. This is the gospel message.

Quote:The word "gospel" is a translation of the word "εὐαγγέλιον", (euangelion), (eu- "good", -angelion-"message"). All Paul was saying was that he delivered the "good news". "εὐαγγέλιον" is translated into Latin as "evangelium", and into (Old) English as "godspell". Taking an incorrect literal modern meaning of a translated word can lead one to a completely incorrect conclusion. Paul also refers to "the gospel" as "my gospel", (Romans 2:16, Galatians 1;11, 2:2), and "our gospel", (2 Corinthians 4:3, 1 Thessalonians 1:5, 2 Thessalonians 2:14). He was NOT referring to THE gospels.
There's only one gospel message and it's always the same message. Can you show me how the gospel differs from Paul to Mark, or from Paul to John? They all preached Christ crucified. This is my gospel and Christ is my Savior. This is my families gospel and Christ is their Savior. And this is the worlds gospel and Christ is the Savior of the whole world.

Quote:2. The so-called "virgin birth" is one of the PRIME examples where there is development of an off-the-wall notion, based on a translation, of a MIS-translation, of a translation, which is then taken out of context, and solidified as doctrine, and driven over the cliff.
Can you tell me how many times the Septuagint translates the passage in Isaiah as virgin. The greek translation was penned hundreds of years before the gospel birth narratives.

Quote:To wit :
a. Background :
Isaiah 7 talks about the history of King Ahaz, son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, who was king of Judah. At the time, King Rezin of Aram and Pekah, son of Remaliah, King of Israel, marched up to fight against Jerusalem, and the campaign was long and protracted. See the Syro-Ephraimite War, (Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syro-Ephraimite_War ), and it happened in the 8th Century (734) BC. When Ahaz was loosing faith, Isaiah went to visit him, and told him to "buck up", keep the faith, and continue the war, and told him that the SIGN from god, that they were favored, was that one of his wives, (a "woman of marriageable age") would be found to be with child. The SIGN was the CHILD, (and NOT the manner of the birth). ...."And they shall name him Emmanuel" which means "god is with us". The CHILD was the SIGN.
To understand passages such as these you first have to understand how to interpret prophecy. I'll try to cover this concept in another post. Anyways you stopped a little early in your example, you should have proceeded a bit further to Isaiah 9:

"For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this"

Notice here that a "son" will be given and his name will be "Mighty God". Yet another hurdle concerning Mark's stance that ancient Jew's would have considered God having a son as heretical.

Quote:Also interesting that Matthew (1:25) only says that Joseph "knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn son". It does NOT say she REMAINED a virgin. (??)
That's a problem for Catholics, but then again their more gnostic than bible believing.

Quote:Over and out. Cool
Late. Wink
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02-08-2011, 10:26 PM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(02-08-2011 09:43 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Yes...Matthew was responsible for the very silly idea that Mary was a virgin because he tried to fit the baby Jesus into a non existent Hebrew prophesy.

Thanks so much ! Blush
Not so sure I can agree with that last part. I think the authors/editors of Matthew, who clearly added the lineage story to the "Q" source material, (which Mark used),
(Matthew 1,) to establish the Davidic lineage, (and BTW ended the chapter by saying Josef was NOT the father (???), thus dis-establishing the lineage), for prophesy fulfillment, and ended the chapter with exactly the SAME words as the editors of Isaiah did, and thus I would assume that Matthew also was trying to make the point that the "child was the sign", and never had any intention also of asserting anything about "virgin" anything, since he never used that word. The question remains however who introduced then, the "virgin" business, (and why), as it seems to be a part of the Protoevangelian of James, which I seem to remember was written around 150 AD. Somebody added it in there somewhere, but I doubt it was as early as Matthew. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/infancyjames.html
The idea that deities are born of virgins is not unique: http://www.entheology.org/pocm/pagan_ori...birth.html

Hi Bucky, I take your point about the original authors of Matthew not mentioning the virgin idea. You may be right. Still...."Matthew" as read by Christians claims mary was a virgin, and "he" was clearly making it up. I didn't know about the infancy gospel of James...thanks for that info.

Yep....if your mum wasn't a virgin in those days you almost missed out on divine status LOL.
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03-08-2011, 03:04 AM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(02-08-2011 10:08 PM)Hunted By A Freak Wrote:  
(02-08-2011 11:20 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Two thoughts.

1. Paul saying he delivered the "gospel", does not necessarily mean he had read, or even heard about one of the 4 "cannonical" texts extant today, or even one of the many texts at the time which would end up being considered non-cannonical, (and there were MANY).
Maybe he didn't read any of the gospel accounts, but why would he have had too. He definitely heard about the events concerning calvary and it shows in his writings. Paul mentions that God became a man, being Jesus, that His blood was shed for the remission of sins, that He was crucified on a cross, and was buried and resurrected three days later and appeared before His disciples. This is the gospel message.

Quote:The word "gospel" is a translation of the word "εὐαγγέλιον", (euangelion), (eu- "good", -angelion-"message"). All Paul was saying was that he delivered the "good news". "εὐαγγέλιον" is translated into Latin as "evangelium", and into (Old) English as "godspell". Taking an incorrect literal modern meaning of a translated word can lead one to a completely incorrect conclusion. Paul also refers to "the gospel" as "my gospel", (Romans 2:16, Galatians 1;11, 2:2), and "our gospel", (2 Corinthians 4:3, 1 Thessalonians 1:5, 2 Thessalonians 2:14). He was NOT referring to THE gospels.
There's only one gospel message and it's always the same message. Can you show me how the gospel differs from Paul to Mark, or from Paul to John? They all preached Christ crucified. This is my gospel and Christ is my Savior. This is my families gospel and Christ is their Savior. And this is the worlds gospel and Christ is the Savior of the whole world.

Quote:2. The so-called "virgin birth" is one of the PRIME examples where there is development of an off-the-wall notion, based on a translation, of a MIS-translation, of a translation, which is then taken out of context, and solidified as doctrine, and driven over the cliff.
Can you tell me how many times the Septuagint translates the passage in Isaiah as virgin. The greek translation was penned hundreds of years before the gospel birth narratives.

Quote:To wit :
a. Background :
Isaiah 7 talks about the history of King Ahaz, son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, who was king of Judah. At the time, King Rezin of Aram and Pekah, son of Remaliah, King of Israel, marched up to fight against Jerusalem, and the campaign was long and protracted. See the Syro-Ephraimite War, (Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syro-Ephraimite_War ), and it happened in the 8th Century (734) BC. When Ahaz was loosing faith, Isaiah went to visit him, and told him to "buck up", keep the faith, and continue the war, and told him that the SIGN from god, that they were favored, was that one of his wives, (a "woman of marriageable age") would be found to be with child. The SIGN was the CHILD, (and NOT the manner of the birth). ...."And they shall name him Emmanuel" which means "god is with us". The CHILD was the SIGN.
To understand passages such as these you first have to understand how to interpret prophecy. I'll try to cover this concept in another post. Anyways you stopped a little early in your example, you should have proceeded a bit further to Isaiah 9:

"For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this"

Notice here that a "son" will be given and his name will be "Mighty God". Yet another hurdle concerning Mark's stance that ancient Jew's would have considered God having a son as heretical.

Quote:Also interesting that Matthew (1:25) only says that Joseph "knew her not till she brought forth her firstborn son". It does NOT say she REMAINED a virgin. (??)
That's a problem for Catholics, but then again their more gnostic than bible believing.

Quote:Over and out. Cool
Late. Wink

Re...."Maybe he didn't read any of the gospel accounts, but why would he have had too. He definitely heard about the events concerning calvary and it shows in his writings. Paul mentions that God became a man, being Jesus, that His blood was shed for the remission of sins, that He was crucified on a cross, and was buried and resurrected three days later and appeared before His disciples. This is the gospel message."

HBAF, there's no "maybe" about it. Paul knew nothing of the gospels. I'm waiting for your commentary about the fact paul never mentions Jesus' miracles or teachings? Come on man.....I'm asking you why the creator of Christian theology has nothing to say on this. Surely you shouldn't dodge this question?

Re...."There's only one gospel message and it's always the same message. Can you show me how the gospel differs from Paul to Mark, or from Paul to John? They all preached Christ crucified. This is my gospel and Christ is my Savior. This is my families gospel and Christ is their Savior. And this is the worlds gospel and Christ is the Savior of the whole world. " HBAF...you seriously need to read the writings you hold so dear and BE HONEST. A book could be written on the differences between Paul and Mark.....I'm not going to tackle that here, particularly as to date you have failed to address nearly all the issues I have bought up. You sound a little emotional. I can't tell if you are angry or pissed off or what. Why are you telling us that Christ is your saviour without saying why? Do you seriously think anyone on an atheist forum is going to be impressed by your emotional attachment to Jesus? This is the THINKING atheist forum. What do you think you are going to achieve? Getting all of us in a circle, clapping hands and singing Kumbyah?

Re Isaiah and Jesus....you seriously need to read this... http://www.messiahtruth.com/isa9.html

You also seriously need to read about the history of the Jews. And I'm not talking about the stuff you are spoon fed in church trying to justify Christian interpretations of scripture. Read stuff written by Jews about Judaism.

I am giving you the benefit of the doubt by assuming you are on this forum to learn. That's why i'm here. I have an open mind. If I wanted to hear "This is my gospel and Christ is my Savior" I can turn on the TV at 3 am or go to any happy clappy church on a Sunday morning. I want to hear logical, rational arguments for your beliefs, and i want you to respond to my arguments so that we learn from each other. If you ain't up to it, sod off and join a Christian forum where like-minded clones will make you feel good about your delusions.
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