Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
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19-07-2011, 04:55 AM (This post was last modified: 19-07-2011 05:14 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(19-07-2011 01:53 AM)Hunted By A Freak Wrote:  
(09-07-2011 06:56 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  We don’t know who wrote the gospels. The true identities of these authors are not recorded anywhere in church writings.

Each gospel was originally written by anonymous individuals and then heavily edited by numerous unknown others over subsequent years. It became impossible to genuinely accredit one person with the authorship. So all commentary on who might have originally written the gospels involves much guesswork.
Thanks for the detailed reply! It's raised some questions, though I doubt I have the time to pursue them all to a satisfactory end. But if I can start off by asking a question that doesn't concern authorship. Can you tell me why there are four gospels in the bible? I only ask this question to hear your perspective, if any.

(01-07-2011 09:40 AM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  but do realize that the rapture Jesus talked about was one that people living around him would experience. He was one of those people spreading the end is near messages.
This grabbed my attention, mainly because its based on a Hellenistic (western) perspective on scripture. This form of interpretation is limited in what it can reveal, particularly when it comes to eschatology. The better question would be, "What eschatological viewpoint does the bible present?"

Hi again HBAF. Re your question about why there are only 4 gospels....here is a titbit for your consideration...
The Gospels Appear
Irenaeus (ca. 130-200 CE) attempted the first known Catholic cannon in roughly 190 CE, although he never compiled a definitive list of books. He saw that many people were attracted by Gnosticism and feared that his brand of Christianity couldn’t compete. Formalizing doctrinal authority so that everyone was forced to have the same beliefs was his solution to what he saw as a problem. He proposed a list of books that should be used, which included the four canonical gospels. This was the first record of anybody clearly associating the names of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John with these books, a century and a half after the events they allegedly reported. Irenaeus gave no explanation as to who, where or when the people who had used these gospels were, or who wrote them. He chose them out of the dozens extant in his own time. His reason for deciding there could only be four gospels, and therefore excluding all others, was ridiculous; he claimed as there were only four directions from which the wind blew, there could only be four gospels. He accepted Acts, yet gave no details about its authorship either, and all the Pauline letters.

Irenaeus did claim a work could be accepted as canonical if the early church fathers had used it, and this established a theoretical basis for subsequent determinations of orthodoxy, yet he never provided any such evidence for the books he chose. He just decided he was an authority on the Christian Bible, so an authority he became.

Hope this helps.

I can give you good links to the story of the compilation of the New Testament if you are interested. Regards, Mark


(18-07-2011 02:35 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Thanks for the Haberman link.
I always thought, and many mainline Christian academics agree, that the "experience of the resurrection" by the diciples was a mythologic interpretation of their communal experience. It was never intended to be taken as literal, or factual, as "factual" was not a part of their worldview. When the story talks about them "seeing" him on the road to Emmaus, it meant they "experienced his presence" as a group. It's poetry, just like saying a dead person "is still with us". It is just as invalid for nonbelievers to take this mythology literally as it is for the fundie to do so, IMHO.

Hi Bucky, I respectfully disagree with you. I've been studying the pathetic book we now know as the bible, as well as the socio/political/religious climate it was written in, for the last 6 years or so. That doesn't mean I'm always right, or an expert, but does give me some credibility. The multiple anonymous spin doctors who strung the stories of Jesus together were writing for simple uneducated folk who they were trying to convince to join a cult. They expected their audience to believe every lying tale they told as the literal truth. HBAF could save himself a lot of time and effort by realising this.
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19-07-2011, 07:38 AM (This post was last modified: 19-07-2011 08:07 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
I don't disagree with you, but the concept of "literal truth" (especially for those illiterates) is a "scientific" overlay onto their worldview which never entered their minds. We assume our world view is the same as their;s was, and I don't think you can assume that. They lived in "magicland". Your thoughts ? Rolleyes
BTW the "selection" process for the canon, (I had understood), was first, more a liturgical communal choice. The many varied communites chose to USE some of the many extant texts in the worship services, and used the ones they thought reflected their experience of thier beliefs and what they thought had been the experiences of their teachers and ancestors, and didn't use the ones they thought didn't. Eventally the the Synod of Laodicea which met in 365, VOTED on the canon, from among the MANY texts extant and in use at the time. (http://freethought.mbdojo.com/canon.html). The VOTES were NOT unamimous. Far from it. The proceedings of the Synod are somewhat recounted in http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3806.htm, but the details of the votes are not. The fact that there were many dissenting VOTES,on each decision aboout each text raises many obvious questions, which I don't think I need to recount. (Ahem !). Am I wrong here ? The process in itself tells me more than I need to know.

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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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19-07-2011, 11:12 PM
 
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(19-07-2011 04:55 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Irenaeus did claim a work could be accepted as canonical if the early church fathers had used it, and this established a theoretical basis for subsequent determinations of orthodoxy, yet he never provided any such evidence for the books he chose. He just decided he was an authority on the Christian Bible, so an authority he became.
I thought orthodoxy was based more on books that were already accepted as authoritative by believers.
Quote:I can give you good links to the story of the compilation of the New Testament if you are interested. Regards, Mark
Yes, please do!
Quote:They expected their audience to believe every lying tale they told as the literal truth. HBAF could save himself a lot of time and effort by realising this.
Well someone goofed when they inserted, "Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so." Anyways Mark, I've already wasted much time and effort, so there's no point stopping now. Wink

(18-07-2011 02:35 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Thanks for the Haberman link.
I always thought, and many mainline Christian academics agree, that the "experience of the resurrection" by the diciples was a mythologic interpretation of their communal experience. It was never intended to be taken as literal, or factual, as "factual" was not a part of their worldview.
So who first came up with the idea of God becoming a man, who would later be resurrected? If in fact it wasn't part of their world view.

Oh and your welcome...
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20-07-2011, 04:40 AM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(19-07-2011 11:12 PM)Hunted By A Freak Wrote:  So who first came up with the idea of God becoming a man, who would later be resurrected? If in fact it wasn't part of their world view.

Stories about gods dying and resurrecting were common in mythology prior to Christianity. Here is a Wikipedia link about dying gods that is a good springboard for research. It is understandable since most religions began as fertility cults modeled after the seasonal pattern of death in the fall and renewal in the spring. It is no coincidence that the resurrection story was placed at the time of Passover around the time of the Spring Equinox.

I've read works by many authors who feel that Paul was primarily responsible for making the resurrection of importance in Christian Dogma. 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.

No one can give you the full answer, but I hope this is a start. Smile

“There is no sin except stupidity.” Oscar Wilde
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20-07-2011, 07:23 AM (This post was last modified: 20-07-2011 07:30 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
Just to clarify. I meant that our worldview is scientific. We use words like "fact" and "cause and effect". They never did. Those are elements of OUR worldview which would NEVER have occurred to them. We cannot assume ANY element of our worldview was a part of theirs. I did not mean that a resurrected human was or was not a part of their worldview. (But thanks Mark, for reminding us about the fact that the original Mark ended without a resurrection.) In general, as I recall, (there must be a lot of articles about this, and I don't have time to find a good one just now), but the gospel of Mark was meant for a limited audience, mainly Romans, who were accusing the followers of having political ambitions. And the gospel was meant to debunk that, I think. So a dead guy was a good ending for that story.

BTW Lilith, where exactly did JC talk about the "rapture". I don't think he ever did. Can you cite one time the authors place any words about that in his mouth. The eschatology of the time was largely political. In fact, even at the END of his story the followers, just before the Ascension myth, ask him "Wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel ?, (Acts 1:6). He apparently was disappointed that even at the end they didn't get that he maybe didn't intend it to be political, but THAT'S what their eschatology was all about. Later when it never happened, they changed it to other views, including the "rapture", a term he NEVER used.

As far as the "god becoming man" thing goes, it's not that simple and there are thought to be three differing views on that, which I only have time now to briefly say anything about, (but it is very interesting and instructive to look into).
A. One view was that JC WAS god, gave it up, became man, and went BACK to being god. (Up only->down only->up only).
B. Another view, was that he always was god, remained god, took on a human nature, while remaining god, then dropped the human part and went back to just being god. ((Up only->(up+down)->up only)). (The Gnostic view). (The Johannine view).
C. A third view was that he was never god before, was born a human, and after was elevated to divinity after. (down only->up only).
I think "c" was the view of "Mark", but I need to go check, and also go back and review who held the "b" view, (maybe Luke ?) There were three completely different views of the human/divine thing which developed in different communities. Also the question of what he may or may not have thought about himself is the subject of literally thousands of works, which is for another day. Gotta run. 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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20-07-2011, 03:05 PM (This post was last modified: 20-07-2011 03:59 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(19-07-2011 11:12 PM)Hunted By A Freak Wrote:  
(19-07-2011 04:55 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Irenaeus did claim a work could be accepted as canonical if the early church fathers had used it, and this established a theoretical basis for subsequent determinations of orthodoxy, yet he never provided any such evidence for the books he chose. He just decided he was an authority on the Christian Bible, so an authority he became.
I thought orthodoxy was based more on books that were already accepted as authoritative by believers.
Quote:I can give you good links to the story of the compilation of the New Testament if you are interested. Regards, Mark
Yes, please do!
Quote:They expected their audience to believe every lying tale they told as the literal truth. HBAF could save himself a lot of time and effort by realising this.
Well someone goofed when they inserted, "Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so." Anyways Mark, I've already wasted much time and effort, so there's no point stopping now. Wink

(18-07-2011 02:35 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Thanks for the Haberman link.
I always thought, and many mainline Christian academics agree, that the "experience of the resurrection" by the diciples was a mythologic interpretation of their communal experience. It was never intended to be taken as literal, or factual, as "factual" was not a part of their worldview.
So who first came up with the idea of God becoming a man, who would later be resurrected? If in fact it wasn't part of their world view.

Oh and your welcome...

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.

(20-07-2011 07:23 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Just to clarify. I meant that our worldview is scientific. We use words like "fact" and "cause and effect". They never did. Those are elements of OUR worldview which would NEVER have occurred to them. We cannot assume ANY element of our worldview was a part of theirs. I did not mean that a resurrected human was or was not a part of their worldview. (But thanks Mark, for reminding us about the fact that the original Mark ended without a resurrection.) In general, as I recall, (there must be a lot of articles about this, and I don't have time to find a good one just now), but the gospel of Mark was meant for a limited audience, mainly Romans, who were accusing the followers of having political ambitions. And the gospel was meant to debunk that, I think. So a dead guy was a good ending for that story.

BTW Lilith, where exactly did JC talk about the "rapture". I don't think he ever did. Can you cite one time the authors place any words about that in his mouth. The eschatology of the time was largely political. In fact, even at the END of his story the followers, just before the Ascension myth, ask him "Wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel ?, (Acts 1:6). He apparently was disappointed that even at the end they didn't get that he maybe didn't intend it to be political, but THAT'S what their eschatology was all about. Later when it never happened, they changed it to other views, including the "rapture", a term he NEVER used.

As far as the "god becoming man" thing goes, it's not that simple and there are thought to be three differing views on that, which I only have time now to briefly say anything about, (but it is very interesting and instructive to look into).
A. One view was that JC WAS god, gave it up, became man, and went BACK to being god. (Up only->down only->up only).
B. Another view, was that he always was god, remained god, took on a human nature, while remaining god, then dropped the human part and went back to just being god. ((Up only->(up+down)->up only)). (The Gnostic view). (The Johannine view).
C. A third view was that he was never god before, was born a human, and after was elevated to divinity after. (down only->up only).
I think "c" was the view of "Mark", but I need to go check, and also go back and review who held the "b" view, (maybe Luke ?) There were three completely different views of the human/divine thing which developed in different communities. Also the question of what he may or may not have thought about himself is the subject of literally thousands of works, which is for another day. Gotta run. Cool

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.

Yes, I believe C. How did you guess? LOL 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. Here is a short cut and paste:

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.

Paul believed Jesus was divine and existed in heaven before he took on a human form and lived on earth. How Paul’s Jesus got to earth he doesn’t say, as he has no birth story. Paul does, however, claim that Christ the Son
“... came out of the seed of David according to the flesh” (Romans 1:3-4), which is inconsistent with his claim elsewhere that Jesus was the son of God. He was frequently inconsistent.

Paul had an almost fanatical and morbid obsession with sin. He thought everyone was born with the stain of original sin, inherited from his or her parents. He thought sin offended Yahweh, and Yahweh would forgive people only if he was offered a blood sacrifice. This was a common belief amongst Jews of the time, which is why cattle and other animals were slaughtered on a gigantic scale in the Temple. Paul had a highly original and rather odd idea. He claimed Jesus was a blood sacrifice. He thought Jesus sacrificed himself so God would forgive men for their sins. This became known as the doctrine for the atonement of sin through the sacrificial death of Jesus. He then claimed Jesus rose from the dead, which proved God accepted Jesus' sacrifice.

Paul thought Jesus, once he had risen, went back up to heaven. He said Jesus would be coming back “soon” to take all believers, living and dead, up to heaven too. He thought God had the power to raise men from the dead. So he thought all believers, present and past, will be ‘saved’ and will achieve ‘salvation’. He claimed every person will either be saved or won’t and the primary purpose of existence was to get in the former group, not the latter. According to Paul, a believer was someone who had faith in his story about Jesus, which meant they became ‘one with Jesus’ and therefore received the ‘gift of eternal life’. Anyone who didn’t have faith in Jesus couldn’t be saved, so missed out on eternal life. This rather complicated scheme became known as the doctrine of justification by faith. These are the core ideas of Paul’s theology.

If any readers are scratching their heads and reading the above again trying to make some sense out of it, rest assured you're not the first to find these bizarre ideas totally implausible. Paul frequently took his readers and listeners on roller coaster mental rides such as this. These ideas are at the very foundation of Christianity and all true Christians who claim to understand this scheme regard it as fact! This was only the beginning of a complex web of ideas about God, Jesus and man that Paul created. He had obviously spent countless days cogitating over theological issues and came to many firmly held conclusions. He had no doubt he had worked out many truths and that anyone who would listen needed to be told all about them, and the sooner the better, because he thought the end of the world was imminent. He thought he was on a mission to get as many people into heaven as possible, and he thought only he knew how to do it.




(19-07-2011 11:12 PM)Hunted By A Freak Wrote:  
(19-07-2011 04:55 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Irenaeus did claim a work could be accepted as canonical if the early church fathers had used it, and this established a theoretical basis for subsequent determinations of orthodoxy, yet he never provided any such evidence for the books he chose. He just decided he was an authority on the Christian Bible, so an authority he became.
I thought orthodoxy was based more on books that were already accepted as authoritative by believers.
Quote:I can give you good links to the story of the compilation of the New Testament if you are interested. Regards, Mark
Yes, please do!
Quote:They expected their audience to believe every lying tale they told as the literal truth. HBAF could save himself a lot of time and effort by realising this.
Well someone goofed when they inserted, "Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so." Anyways Mark, I've already wasted much time and effort, so there's no point stopping now. Wink

(18-07-2011 02:35 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Thanks for the Haberman link.
I always thought, and many mainline Christian academics agree, that the "experience of the resurrection" by the diciples was a mythologic interpretation of their communal experience. It was never intended to be taken as literal, or factual, as "factual" was not a part of their worldview.
So who first came up with the idea of God becoming a man, who would later be resurrected? If in fact it wasn't part of their world view.

Oh and your welcome...

Hi HBAF. Re "Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so[/i]." This is from "Acts" which was written at least 100 years after jesus' death. It is largely a work of fiction. It bad-mouthed the Jews, and was very pro Pauline. Acts was written as propaganda to try to link the story of a once living historical Jesus with Paul's theology. It is amateurish and fabricated. Acts was responsible for promoting the biggest hoax that has ever been inflicted on mankind:
that Jesus and his original followers were Christians who believed Paul's theology.

The above might sound "out there" to you...but it is true. 99.9% of Christians have no idea about this because they haven't appreciated the real history.

If you can appreciate that "Christianity" is a heavily modified and corrupted interpretation of Judaism, which was the real religion of jesus and his disciples, you will be far far closer to understanding historical truth than any priest or preacher.

Understand that the gospels are largely a second century creation, and were heavily influenced by Paul's theology.


(20-07-2011 03:05 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(19-07-2011 11:12 PM)Hunted By A Freak Wrote:  
(19-07-2011 04:55 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Irenaeus did claim a work could be accepted as canonical if the early church fathers had used it, and this established a theoretical basis for subsequent determinations of orthodoxy, yet he never provided any such evidence for the books he chose. He just decided he was an authority on the Christian Bible, so an authority he became.
I thought orthodoxy was based more on books that were already accepted as authoritative by believers.
Quote:I can give you good links to the story of the compilation of the New Testament if you are interested. Regards, Mark
Yes, please do!
Quote:They expected their audience to believe every lying tale they told as the literal truth. HBAF could save himself a lot of time and effort by realising this.
Well someone goofed when they inserted, "Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so." Anyways Mark, I've already wasted much time and effort, so there's no point stopping now. Wink

(18-07-2011 02:35 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Thanks for the Haberman link.
I always thought, and many mainline Christian academics agree, that the "experience of the resurrection" by the diciples was a mythologic interpretation of their communal experience. It was never intended to be taken as literal, or factual, as "factual" was not a part of their worldview.
So who first came up with the idea of God becoming a man, who would later be resurrected? If in fact it wasn't part of their world view.

Oh and your welcome...

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.

(20-07-2011 07:23 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Just to clarify. I meant that our worldview is scientific. We use words like "fact" and "cause and effect". They never did. Those are elements of OUR worldview which would NEVER have occurred to them. We cannot assume ANY element of our worldview was a part of theirs. I did not mean that a resurrected human was or was not a part of their worldview. (But thanks Mark, for reminding us about the fact that the original Mark ended without a resurrection.) In general, as I recall, (there must be a lot of articles about this, and I don't have time to find a good one just now), but the gospel of Mark was meant for a limited audience, mainly Romans, who were accusing the followers of having political ambitions. And the gospel was meant to debunk that, I think. So a dead guy was a good ending for that story.

BTW Lilith, where exactly did JC talk about the "rapture". I don't think he ever did. Can you cite one time the authors place any words about that in his mouth. The eschatology of the time was largely political. In fact, even at the END of his story the followers, just before the Ascension myth, ask him "Wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel ?, (Acts 1:6). He apparently was disappointed that even at the end they didn't get that he maybe didn't intend it to be political, but THAT'S what their eschatology was all about. Later when it never happened, they changed it to other views, including the "rapture", a term he NEVER used.

As far as the "god becoming man" thing goes, it's not that simple and there are thought to be three differing views on that, which I only have time now to briefly say anything about, (but it is very interesting and instructive to look into).
A. One view was that JC WAS god, gave it up, became man, and went BACK to being god. (Up only->down only->up only).
B. Another view, was that he always was god, remained god, took on a human nature, while remaining god, then dropped the human part and went back to just being god. ((Up only->(up+down)->up only)). (The Gnostic view). (The Johannine view).
C. A third view was that he was never god before, was born a human, and after was elevated to divinity after. (down only->up only).
I think "c" was the view of "Mark", but I need to go check, and also go back and review who held the "b" view, (maybe Luke ?) There were three completely different views of the human/divine thing which developed in different communities. Also the question of what he may or may not have thought about himself is the subject of literally thousands of works, which is for another day. Gotta run. Cool

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.

Yes, I believe C. How did you guess? LOL 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. Here is a short cut and paste:

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.

Paul believed Jesus was divine and existed in heaven before he took on a human form and lived on earth. How Paul’s Jesus got to earth he doesn’t say, as he has no birth story. Paul does, however, claim that Christ the Son
“... came out of the seed of David according to the flesh” (Romans 1:3-4), which is inconsistent with his claim elsewhere that Jesus was the son of God. He was frequently inconsistent.

Paul had an almost fanatical and morbid obsession with sin. He thought everyone was born with the stain of original sin, inherited from his or her parents. He thought sin offended Yahweh, and Yahweh would forgive people only if he was offered a blood sacrifice. This was a common belief amongst Jews of the time, which is why cattle and other animals were slaughtered on a gigantic scale in the Temple. Paul had a highly original and rather odd idea. He claimed Jesus was a blood sacrifice. He thought Jesus sacrificed himself so God would forgive men for their sins. This became known as the doctrine for the atonement of sin through the sacrificial death of Jesus. He then claimed Jesus rose from the dead, which proved God accepted Jesus' sacrifice.

Paul thought Jesus, once he had risen, went back up to heaven. He said Jesus would be coming back “soon” to take all believers, living and dead, up to heaven too. He thought God had the power to raise men from the dead. So he thought all believers, present and past, will be ‘saved’ and will achieve ‘salvation’. He claimed every person will either be saved or won’t and the primary purpose of existence was to get in the former group, not the latter. According to Paul, a believer was someone who had faith in his story about Jesus, which meant they became ‘one with Jesus’ and therefore received the ‘gift of eternal life’. Anyone who didn’t have faith in Jesus couldn’t be saved, so missed out on eternal life. This rather complicated scheme became known as the doctrine of justification by faith. These are the core ideas of Paul’s theology.

If any readers are scratching their heads and reading the above again trying to make some sense out of it, rest assured you're not the first to find these bizarre ideas totally implausible. Paul frequently took his readers and listeners on roller coaster mental rides such as this. These ideas are at the very foundation of Christianity and all true Christians who claim to understand this scheme regard it as fact! This was only the beginning of a complex web of ideas about God, Jesus and man that Paul created. He had obviously spent countless days cogitating over theological issues and came to many firmly held conclusions. He had no doubt he had worked out many truths and that anyone who would listen needed to be told all about them, and the sooner the better, because he thought the end of the world was imminent. He thought he was on a mission to get as many people into heaven as possible, and he thought only he knew how to do it.




(19-07-2011 11:12 PM)Hunted By A Freak Wrote:  
(19-07-2011 04:55 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Irenaeus did claim a work could be accepted as canonical if the early church fathers had used it, and this established a theoretical basis for subsequent determinations of orthodoxy, yet he never provided any such evidence for the books he chose. He just decided he was an authority on the Christian Bible, so an authority he became.
I thought orthodoxy was based more on books that were already accepted as authoritative by believers.
Quote:I can give you good links to the story of the compilation of the New Testament if you are interested. Regards, Mark
Yes, please do!
Quote:They expected their audience to believe every lying tale they told as the literal truth. HBAF could save himself a lot of time and effort by realising this.
Well someone goofed when they inserted, "Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so." Anyways Mark, I've already wasted much time and effort, so there's no point stopping now. Wink

(18-07-2011 02:35 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Thanks for the Haberman link.
I always thought, and many mainline Christian academics agree, that the "experience of the resurrection" by the diciples was a mythologic interpretation of their communal experience. It was never intended to be taken as literal, or factual, as "factual" was not a part of their worldview.
So who first came up with the idea of God becoming a man, who would later be resurrected? If in fact it wasn't part of their world view.

Oh and your welcome...

Hi HBAF. Re "Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so[/i]." This is from "Acts" which was written at least 100 years after jesus' death. It is largely a work of fiction. It bad-mouthed the Jews, and was very pro Pauline. Acts was written as propaganda to try to link the story of a once living historical Jesus with Paul's theology. It is amateurish and fabricated. Acts was responsible for promoting the biggest hoax that has ever been inflicted on mankind:
that Jesus and his original followers were Christians who believed Paul's theology.

The above might sound "out there" to you...but it is true. 99.9% of Christians have no idea about this because they haven't appreciated the real history.

If you can appreciate that "Christianity" is a heavily modified and corrupted interpretation of Judaism, which was the real religion of jesus and his disciples, you will be far far closer to understanding historical truth than any priest or preacher.

Understand that the gospels are largely a second century creation, and were heavily influenced by Paul's theology.

ps...a quote from an author who is a better wordsmith than me:
“Christians at all levels of intelligence and capacity are being denied access to vital information concerning their religion, and this curtailment of information helps breed either an attitude of ill-founded complacency, or one of smug self-certainty. Living in a kind of metaphysical dream, the custodians of “old fashioned” Christianity stumble from one futile explanation of New Testament events to another. Jesus was sinless; Jesus was sexless; Jesus was all-knowing; Jesus is the Saviour of the whole world; Jesus is God. Such sentiments slip easily from the lips when the mind has been overtaken by spiritual vertigo due to intellectual undernourishment.”
(Douglas Lockhart)
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20-07-2011, 05:35 PM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
"Paul had an almost fanatical and morbid obsession with sin."

Ever read Rescuing the Bible From Fundamentalism ? (John Shelby Spong), retired Episcopal Bishop He, along with some other scholars, thinks that obsession was with his own sexuality, (gay).

http://www.nytimes.com/1991/02/02/nyregi...-fury.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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21-07-2011, 12:58 AM
 
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(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.

Thanks for the post nontheocrat!


(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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21-07-2011, 03:02 AM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/r...canon.html and http://www.orthodox.net/faq/canon.htm.

The second link is inoperative ? Could you check it please. Thanks.

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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21-07-2011, 04:27 AM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
[quote='Bucky Ball' pid='39149' dateline='1311238921']

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/r...canon.html and http://www.orthodox.net/faq/canon.htm.

The second link is inoperative ? Could you check it please. Thanks.


Here's another link with many good articles and book ideas.
http://www.infidels.org/new.html
Cool

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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