atheist study of gospel of John?
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02-12-2016, 11:04 AM (This post was last modified: 02-12-2016 11:10 AM by Deltabravo.)
RE: atheist study of gospel of John?
(01-12-2016 01:35 PM)DLJ Wrote:  
(01-12-2016 01:19 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  ...
In a sense, Epicureans were atheists and secularists but had a philosophy which focused on friendship and avoidance of obsession with wealth.
...

Regarding the "friendship and avoidance of obsession with wealth" reference, I've been an Epicurean since I first read about it when I was 10. Minus the friendship part.

I even follow an earmufftic version of the Epicurean diet.

Its supposed to be wine, bread and olive oil (and occasionally cheese) ... but I don't like wine ... and bread and cheese don't like me.

So it's just olive oil + chocolate milk and pepsi light.

It would be pepsi max but that's illegal here.

Thumbsup

What does that have to do with the Gospel of John?

Huh

Epicureanism is misunderstood as being about having a "good time" so to speak. It's much more than that. Epicurus came up with the idea that everything was composed of atoms, for instance.

It's important because Epicureanism, in my view, provided the underpinnings of the moral philosophy in the New Testament with its emphasis on friendship.

I hadn't read much about Epicureanism until recently and when I did I found that most of it is about scientific theories whereas we tend to associate it with the libertine lifestyle of Pompeii.

When I read the NT and in particular the description of the "god" of the NT it is clearly set out at the "word" or "logos" which I see is a Hellenistic view, and not something that I see as coming out of the Old Testament. The earliest mention of when Matthew, the first gospel, was written was in 78 AD which was after the Jewish revolt. I was reading Suetonius's Twelve Caesars and realised that the Claudians had reverted to virtual paganism and I found it interesting that Christianity arose, in written form, after Nero's death so I figured it was a reversion to the Hellenistic philosophies of the late Republic. You have to read Suetonius to understand how depraved the Claudian's were and how unpleasant life under them was, particularly for the ruling classes.

So, I figured that one should look at the philosophies which were floating around in the late Republic to see if one could find something which appeared similar to the teachings of the NT and I read a bit about the late Republic. It seems that Epicureanism was at the most popular philosophical theory at that time and that Stoicism had virtually died a death. I then started reading Lucretius' The Nature of the Universe and then doing a bit of research into whether Epicureanism had any influence on Christianity.

One would not think that it did, at first blush, but then I started coming across papers and books on the subject. It seems far fetched because Epicurus is considered to be an atheist, but then, in Sunday school we "Christians" as I suppose I was, are told that the NT marks the advent of a god who is very different, almost diametrically opposed in nature to the Old Testament God. In fact, in Christian parlance "we" talk about the Christian God and the Old Testament God, as though they are different. It's an odd thing, when you think about it and I think a lot of people, particularly those who haven't been brought up in Christianity don't realise how important this is to Christians, that they are worshipping a different, new God, a god of love, not a hateful cosmic thunderer.

When you look at the passages in Matthew starting with "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" you find a very secular moral philosophy which is based on this moral principle, which actually has nothing to do with the existence of a god at all since it is deduced by reason from that first principle. This is, of course, coupled with a promise of entry into the kingdom of heaven etc., but there is nowhere in these passages a suggestion that this moral philosophy is based on "do it or else".

In that sense, in relation to the existing view of what a "god" was, ie., an Emperor or Pharaoh or a big man at the top of Mount Olympu, for instance, Christianity is "atheistic" relative to the existing view of what "god" was.

That part of the NT which sucks people in to it, in my view, is a sales pitch to the people of the Near East who had to have a messiah figure tell the what to believe and be promised life hereafter as a reason for believing and among gullible, of course, like modern Evangelicals, this aspect of Christianity has overshadowed the moral teaching to a large extent. I've also noticed a view being expressed by some Muslim academics that the god of the Jews, Christians and Muslims is all the same, but the problem here is that Muslims don't read the NT and don't have any conception about what Christianity is, none whatsoever.

Anyway, I haven't got that much further with this whole idea but I have found some interesting works on the subject although I can't read the whole of some of them because they are on pay per paper academic websites and I have no access here in this Near Eastern dystopia I have landed myself in to a library of any sort.
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02-12-2016, 11:51 AM
RE: atheist study of gospel of John?
Here, for instance, is and a precis of something written by a Professor DeWitt:

St. Paul and Epicurus was first published in 1954.

Everyone who is interesting in the meaning of the Bible will find this a revealing study, for it opens up a new window on the New Testament, a window that was walled up centuries ago by prejudice. Professor DeWitt throws new light on the writings of the Apostle Paul by showing how they were influenced by the teachings of the Greek philosopher Epicurus.

That Epicureanism could have a place in Christian religion may come as a surprise to those familiar with the conventional concept of the philosophy of Epicurus. As demonstrated in the meaning of the English word epicure,derived from the name of the ancient philosopher, the modern world has long associated Epicurus with the indulgence of sensual pleasure in food and drink.

But, as Professor DeWitt makes clear both in this volume and in its predecessor, Epicurus and His Philosophy, the pleasures which the ancient Greek espoused as constituting the chief good of life were not the pleasures of the flesh. The merit and the lure, however, of the Epicurean ethic, which allied happiness with pleasure, were so appealing and so widely acknowledged that Paul had no choice but to adopt it and bless it for his followers with the sanction of religion. He could not, though, admit indebtedness to a philosopher who had long been accused of sensualism and atheism, and there was no choice, therefore, but to consign Epicurus to anonymity.
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02-12-2016, 11:56 AM
RE: atheist study of gospel of John?
Epicureanism and Christianity
Norman DeWitt
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3138/utq.14.3.250
Abstract

PDF
Abstract
It has long been a fixed belief in the cultural tradition of western Europe that of the ancient moralities it is Stoicism that exhibits the closest affinity with Christianity. This belief was not in the beginning the result of positive teaching. Its origin is rather to be sought in a sympathetic reaction or association reflex. The original reaction was the heartening experience of Christianity in discovering an extensive harmony and coincidence between its own ethics and the teachings of the philosopher Seneca, especially in his Moral Epistles. The sympathetic reaction was a feeling of admiration for Stoicism, because the wisdom of Seneca bore a Stoic label. Subsequently this feeling was reinforced by the study of Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius, whose Stoic labels were printed in even larger letters. Only in later phases of this accumulating admiration for Stoicism was its affinity with Christianity subjected to analysis and rationalization.
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02-12-2016, 01:08 PM (This post was last modified: 02-12-2016 07:17 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: atheist study of gospel of John?
(02-12-2016 11:04 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  It's important because Epicureanism, in my view, provided the underpinnings of the moral philosophy in the New Testament with its emphasis on friendship.

Nice try, except for the fact that we know where the "Golden Rule" teachings came from in the NT and it had nothing to do with your latest invention. It came from Rabbinic Judaism. After the destruction of the Temple and the Jewish Diaspora, the Rabbis were trying to simplify all the Hebrew rules and regulations. They boiled them down to "Love your neighbor as yourself". There is an ACTUAL historical paper trail of that, (as opposed to your *invention from nothing*, with your usual NO REFERENCES). They didn't get it from Greek Epicureanism. But don't let that stop your fiction writing. Why stop at this late date ? DeWitt was not a NT scholar, or an OT scholar and knew nothing about the origins of the NT or the OT, (and neither did anyone else THAT LONG AGO ).
http://www.britannica.com/topic/Rabbinic-Judaism
http://www.iccj.org/index.php?id=3712
"Jesus ben Sira in the early second century BCE advised his readers :
‘Be as friendly to your neighbour as to yourself, and (in his regard) be attentive to all that you hate.’
In rabbinic writings, too, the negative Golden Rule is understood as the counterpart of the commandment of love towards one’s neighbour. Thus the lemma, ‘Loving mankind’, introducing chapter 26 in Aboth de-R. Nathan B, the chapter which contains Akiba’s teaching on the (negative) Golden Rule, is borrowed from the Hillel maxim in mAb 1.12, ‘Be disciples of Aaron, loving peace and pursuing peace, loving mankind …’. But the most striking expression of the bond between the two concepts occurs in Targum Pseudo-Jonathan’s rendering of Leviticus 19:18:
‘And you shall love your neighbour: whatever you yourself hate, do not do to him.’ "

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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02-12-2016, 03:36 PM
RE: atheist study of gospel of John?
I'm aware that i'm not the most brilliant of buttons in the bag, so perhaps I'm being a bit dull. However, i'm failing to see what any of this Epicureanism talk has to do with the OP.
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02-12-2016, 03:53 PM
RE: atheist study of gospel of John?
DB. May I ask, which Greek philosophers have you read from ancient times?

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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03-12-2016, 02:48 AM
RE: atheist study of gospel of John?
Banjo, I did my BA in classical political philosophy. 40 years ago. It would be hard for me to make a full list. lol

I studied under a Greek philosopher called Plato. lol

http://www.humanistperspectives.org/issue189/mamo.html
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03-12-2016, 03:00 AM
RE: atheist study of gospel of John?
(02-12-2016 01:08 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(02-12-2016 11:04 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  It's important because Epicureanism, in my view, provided the underpinnings of the moral philosophy in the New Testament with its emphasis on friendship.

Nice try, except for the fact that we know where the "Golden Rule" teachings came from in the NT and it had nothing to do with your latest invention. It came from Rabbinic Judaism. After the destruction of the Temple and the Jewish Diaspora, the Rabbis were trying to simplify all the Hebrew rules and regulations. They boiled them down to "Love your neighbor as yourself". There is an ACTUAL historical paper trail of that, (as opposed to your *invention from nothing*, with your usual NO REFERENCES). They didn't get it from Greek Epicureanism. But don't let that stop your fiction writing. Why stop at this late date ? DeWitt was not a NT scholar, or an OT scholar and knew nothing about the origins of the NT or the OT, (and neither did anyone else THAT LONG AGO ).
http://www.britannica.com/topic/Rabbinic-Judaism
http://www.iccj.org/index.php?id=3712
"Jesus ben Sira in the early second century BCE advised his readers :
‘Be as friendly to your neighbour as to yourself, and (in his regard) be attentive to all that you hate.’
In rabbinic writings, too, the negative Golden Rule is understood as the counterpart of the commandment of love towards one’s neighbour. Thus the lemma, ‘Loving mankind’, introducing chapter 26 in Aboth de-R. Nathan B, the chapter which contains Akiba’s teaching on the (negative) Golden Rule, is borrowed from the Hillel maxim in mAb 1.12, ‘Be disciples of Aaron, loving peace and pursuing peace, loving mankind …’. But the most striking expression of the bond between the two concepts occurs in Targum Pseudo-Jonathan’s rendering of Leviticus 19:18:
‘And you shall love your neighbour: whatever you yourself hate, do not do to him.’ "


Yes, Bucky, Judaism was heavily influenced by Epicureanism and the Golden Rule is in Judaism. As Jesus says, it is the law and the "Prophets" The "Judaism", which is reflected in the OT stories is Near East animism out of Assyria/Egypt.

For example and by way of illustration of this post see http://altercockerjewishatheist.blogspot.com.cy :

Tree Animism in the Bible
Updated thru 9/9/2016

Many present day religious Jews, especially the so called ‘rationalists religious Jews’, think their lofty philosophical conceptions and discussions of God-Judaism such as Monotheism , The Transcendent, The Prime Mover, The Big Banger, Proofs of God, (alleged) real ‘science’ in the Torah, (alleged) lack of mythological elements in the Torah, (alleged) absence of paganism, were always part and parcel of Judaism.

This is because ‘embarrassing’ passages, mythological and pagan elements in the Tenach are often ignored, sometimes deceptively translated and reinterpreted away in homage to an evolved conception of God. In short, apologetics.

I hope to write a series of posts exploring Animism, Polytheism, Totemism, Taboo, Magic, and Demonology within the Tenach in relation to the roots of Judaism.

This post will focus on Tree Animism - Sacred Trees in the Tenach

I use the term animism to include the case where spiritual beings can take up lodging in things such as trees, bushes, streams/springs etc:, stones, mountains.
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03-12-2016, 03:33 AM
RE: atheist study of gospel of John?
(03-12-2016 03:00 AM)Deltabravo Wrote:  Yes, Bucky, Judaism was heavily influenced by Epicureanism and the Golden Rule is in Judaism. As Jesus says, it is the law and the "Prophets" The "Judaism", which is reflected in the OT stories is Near East animism out of Assyria/Egypt.

For example and by way of illustration of this post see http://altercockerjewishatheist.blogspot.com.cy :

Tree Animism in the Bible
Updated thru 9/9/2016

No it wasn't. You are incompetent to comment on the subject. You presented NO REFERENCES. NOTHING in that article says ANYTHING supporting you assertions about Epicureanism. The Golden Rule was in Eastern religions FAR FAR earlier than Greek thinking. You have no clue where it came from and why it arose in Hebrew thinking, and you FAILED to establish a connection (other then you usual dots).

Quote:Many present day religious Jews, especially the so called ‘rationalists religious Jews’, think their lofty philosophical conceptions and discussions of God-Judaism such as Monotheism , The Transcendent, The Prime Mover, The Big Banger, Proofs of God, (alleged) real ‘science’ in the Torah, (alleged) lack of mythological elements in the Torah, (alleged) absence of paganism, were always part and parcel of Judaism.

This is because ‘embarrassing’ passages, mythological and pagan elements in the Tenach are often ignored, sometimes deceptively translated and reinterpreted away in homage to an evolved conception of God. In short, apologetics.

All irrelevant of OFF TOPIC.

Quote:I hope to write a series of posts exploring Animism, Polytheism, Totemism, Taboo, Magic, and Demonology within the Tenach in relation to the roots of Judaism.

This post will focus on Tree Animism - Sacred Trees in the Tenach

I use the term animism to include the case where spiritual beings can take up lodging in things such as trees, bushes, streams/springs etc:, stones, mountains.

Good for you. No doubt you will play your dot-connection games. None of that has ANYTHING to do with Epicureanism which you FAILED to support in ANY WAY.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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03-12-2016, 05:15 AM
RE: atheist study of gospel of John?
Yeah, I read this stupid thread.

The answer to the OP is easy. I shall put it in caps. (not yelling)

READ THE GOSPEL OF JOHN.

The OP is an atheist, right?

FFS!

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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