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bowener
04-03-2008, 01:57 PM
I am taking quite a few Religious Studies classes in the coming months, and I have recently been learning a lot about the origins of religions, christianity included.

I am just curious as to what you think or know about the origins of Christianity.

Not trying to start any shit btw.

Discuss.

StcChief
04-03-2008, 02:01 PM
As part of my BS degree I to take humanities classes. And choose History of religion, once was enough, spare me.

Rain Man
04-03-2008, 02:03 PM
I think it started with a fish developing legs and hopping onto land, and then the other fish killed him for it.

mlyonsd
04-03-2008, 02:05 PM
I think it started with a fish developing legs and hopping onto land, and then the other fish killed him for it.

How'd they do that if he was on dry land and they didn't have legs?

There, I just blew holes in your theory buster.

bowener
04-03-2008, 02:08 PM
As part of my BS degree I to take humanities classes. And choose History of religion, once was enough, spare me.

Was that just the history of it once it began, or did that include all the origins of it? Like the ideas behind each symbol and date and name and location and such, as well as similarities with other older religions?

Jenson71
04-03-2008, 02:13 PM
I've taken a few classes on it, read some stuff on it, talk about it occassionally. I wouldn't say I'm an expert, but I consider myself knowledgeable on the origins in general.

Dave Lane
04-03-2008, 02:14 PM
Was there a Jesus? Of course there was a Jesus – many!


The archetypal Jewish hero was Joshua (the successor of Moses) otherwise known as Yeshua ben Nun (‘Jesus of the fish’). Since the name Jesus (Yeshua or Yeshu in Hebrew, Ioshu in Greek, source of the English spelling) originally was a title (meaning ‘saviour’, derived from ‘Yahweh Saves’) probably every band in the Jewish resistance had its own hero figure sporting this moniker, among others.

Josephus, the first century Jewish historian mentions no fewer than nineteen different Yeshuas/Jesii, about half of them contemporaries of the supposed Christ! In his Antiquities, of the twenty-eight high priests who held office from the reign of Herod the Great to the fall of the Temple, no fewer than four bore the name Jesus: Jesus ben Phiabi, Jesus ben Sec, Jesus ben Damneus and Jesus ben Gamaliel. Even Saint Paul makes reference to a rival magician, preaching ‘another Jesus’ (2 Corinthians 11,4). The surfeit of early Jesuses includes:

Jesus ben Sirach. This Jesus was reputedly the author of the Book of Sirach (aka 'Ecclesiasticus, or the Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach'), part of Old Testament Apocrypha. Ben Sirach, writing in Greek about 180 BC, brought together Jewish 'wisdom' and Homeric-style heroes.

Jesus ben Pandira. A wonder-worker during the reign of Alexander Jannaeus (106-79 BC), one of the most ruthless of the Maccabean kings. Imprudently, this Jesus launched into a career of end-time prophesy and agitation which upset the king. He met his own premature end-time by being hung on a tree – and on the eve of a Passover. Scholars have speculated this Jesus founded the Essene sect.

Jesus ben Ananias. Beginning in 62AD, this Jesus had caused disquiet in Jerusalem with a non-stop doom-laden mantra of ‘Woe to the city’. He prophesied rather vaguely:

"A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against the whole people."
(Josephus, Wars 6:3)

Arrested and flogged by the Romans, he was released as nothing more dangerous than a mad man. He died during the siege of Jerusalem from a rock hurled by a Roman catapult.

Jesus ben Saphat. In the insurrection of 68AD that wrought havoc in Galilee, this Jesus had led the rebels in Tiberias. When the city was about to fall to Vespasian’s legionaries he fled north to Tarichea on the Sea of Galilee.

Jesus ben Gamala. During 68/69 AD this Jesus was a leader of the ‘peace party’ in the civil war wrecking Judaea. From the walls of Jerusalem he had remonstrated with the besieging Idumeans (led by ‘James and John, sons of Susa’). It did him no good. When the Idumeans breached the walls he was put to death and his body thrown to the dogs and carrion birds.

Jesus ben Thebuth. A priest who, in the final capitulation of the upper city in 69AD, saved his own skin by surrendering the treasures of the Temple, which included two holy candlesticks, goblets of pure gold, sacred curtains and robes of the high priests. The booty figured prominently in the Triumph held for Vespasian and his son Titus.

Too strange to be a coincidence!

According to the Biblical account, Pilate offered the Jews the release of just one prisoner and the cursed race chose Barabbas rather than gentle Jesus.

But hold on a minute: in the original text studied by Origen (and in some recent ones) the chosen criminal was Jesus Barabbas – and Bar Abba in Hebrew means ‘Son of the Father’!

Are we to believe that Pilate had a Jesus, Son of God and a Jesus, Son of the Father in his prison at the same time??!!

Perhaps the truth is that a single executed criminal helped flesh out the whole fantastic fable. Gospel writers, in scrambling details, used the Aramaic Barabbas knowing that few Latin or Greek speakers would know its meaning.

But was there a crucified Jesus?

Certainly. Jesus ben Stada was a Judean agitator who gave the Romans a headache in the early years of the second century. He met his end in the town of Lydda (twenty five miles from Jerusalem) at the hands of a Roman crucifixion crew. And given the scale that Roman retribution could reach – at the height of the siege of Jerusalem the Romans were crucifying upwards of five hundred captives a day before the city walls – dead heroes called Jesus would (quite literally) have been thick on the ground. Not one merits a full-stop in the great universal history.

But then with so many Jesuses could there not have been a Jesus of Nazareth?

The problem for this notion is that absolutely nothing at all corroborates the sacred biography and yet this 'greatest story' is peppered with numerous anachronisms, contradictions and absurdities. For example, at the time that Joseph and the pregnant Mary are said to have gone off to Bethlehem for a supposed Roman census, Galilee (unlike Judaea) was not a Roman province and therefore ma and pa would have had no reason to make the journey. Even if Galilee had been imperial territory, history knows of no ‘universal census’ ordered by Augustus (nor any other emperor) – and Roman taxes were based on property ownership not on a head count. Then again, we now know that Nazareth did not exist before the second century.

Nazareth – The Town that Theology Built

It is mentioned not at all in the Old Testament nor by Josephus, who waged war across the length and breadth of Galilee (a territory about the size of Greater London) and yet Josephus records the names of dozens of other towns. In fact most of the ‘Jesus-action’ takes place in towns of equally doubtful provenance, in hamlets so small only partisan Christians know of their existence (yet well attested pagan cities, with extant ruins, failed to make the Jesus itinerary).

What should alert us to wholesale fakery here is that practically all the events of Jesus’s supposed life appear in the lives of mythical figures of far more ancient origin. Whether we speak of miraculous birth, prodigious youth, miracles or wondrous healings – all such 'signs' had been ascribed to other gods, centuries before any Jewish holy man strolled about. Jesus’s supposed utterances and wisdom statements are equally common place, being variously drawn from Jewish scripture, neo-Platonic philosophy or commentaries made by Stoic and Cynic sages.

Dave Lane
04-03-2008, 02:15 PM
Invisible Friend

'Jesus of Nazareth' supposedly lived in what is the most well-documented period of antiquity – the first century of the Christian era – yet not a single non-Christian source mentions the miracle worker from the sky. All references – including the notorious insertions in Josephus – stem from partisan Christian sources (and Josephus himself, much argued over, was not even born until after the supposed crucifixion). The horrendous truth is that the Christian Jesus was manufactured from plundered sources, re-purposed for the needs of the early Church.

It is not with a human being that the Jesus myth begins. Christ is not a deified man but a humanised god who happened to be given the name Yeshu. Those real Jesuses, those that lived and died within normal human parameters, may have left stories and legends behind, later cannibalised by Christian scribes as source material for their own hero, but it is not with any flesh and blood rebel/rabbi/wonder-worker that the story begins. Rather, its genesis is in theology itself.


CNN in the Garden of Gethsemane?

Is it unreasonable to ask just who recorded not only one of the last prayers of the godman but also the last occasion when the "living" superhero was with his acolytes? The only possible witnesses were asleep.

'And he said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt."
And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, "Simon, sleepest thou? Couldest not thou watch one hour?
Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak."
And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words.
And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him.
And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, "Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners."
– Mark 14.36,41 (Matthew's version is almost identical, Luke has a shortened version and John omits the scene entirely.)

But of course as sacred theatre – a fabula praetexta – such paramulations back and forth and rhetorical declamations to an audience are precisely what we would expect.


Makes You Think

Many elements of the 'Passion' make no sense historically.

A trial for Jesus, when suspected rebels were habitually arrested and executed by the Romans without trial? Philo of Alexandria ((On the embassy to Gaius, XXXVIII) speaks of Pilate's ' continual murders of people untried and uncondemned.'

And why would the Romans have allowed a convicted felon to be almost immediately removed from his cross and put in a tomb? Crucifixion was chosen precisely to make a public point that the most cruel and humiliating form of punishment awaits those who oppose Rome's will. Roman disposition on this point was perhaps best summed up by Quintilian (AD 35-95, Decl 274) when he wrote that:

"Whenever we crucify the guilty, the most crowded roads are chosen, where most people can see and be moved by this fear. For penalties relate not so much to retribution as to their exemplary effect."

A century earlier, after the 'slave revolt' led by Spartacus, 6,000 prisoners were thus crucified along the Via Appia between the cities of Rome and Cappua, as a gruesome deterrent to further rebellion. Doubtless the corpses were left on their crosses to rot or to provide food for wild beasts and birds of prey.

But of course if the 'Passion' were really a pageant of a re-born sun-god it makes perfect sense that the 'sacrificed' actor be taken off-stage, subsequently reappearing in a later act, 'reborn'…






Where Did They Get Their Ideas From?


Asclepius. Believed by the Greeks to have once lived as a man and raised to a god after death. He was fathered by a god – Apollo – but with a human mother (Coronis, a beautiful maiden of Thessaly). He was raised by the centaur Chiron in a cave and from him learned the art of healing. But Asclepius committed the unpardonable sin of raising a man from the dead, enraging Hades for cheating him of dead souls. Zeus, afraid that Asclepius might render all men immortal, slew him with a thunderbolt. Apollo interceded on behalf of his son and persuaded Zeus to make Asclepius the god of medicine. As an immortal, Asclepius was able to cure the sick from the realm of the gods.

Certainly, for centuries, sick people went to the temples dedicated to Asclepius hoping for a cure. It was said that those who came to Asclepius on crutches went away dancing happily. Famous temples of the god were at Pergamum, Epidaurus, Cos and Rome. Full participation in the healing program involved sleeping inside the temple compound – in effect, the first hospitals – where 'holistic' treatment involved massage, baths and dream interpretation. Fortunate individuals did indeed experience a "healing miracle" and gave testimony to the cure effected by this Greek god.

The early Christians attacked the cult of Asclepius with great venom, indicating a close rivalry between the two cults and a certain embarrassment among Christians repeatedly being told that Asclepios had already done all of Jesus' tricks and had done them better.

Dave Lane
04-03-2008, 02:19 PM
The final in my origins postings :)

http://jesusneverexisted.com

Dave

A Work in Progress

There are many Christian bibles. Several hundred in fact (and this number excludes the thousand-plus foreign language editions). Every group that has ever claimed the title ‘Christian’, from gnostic sects of the second century, through countless ‘heresies’ of the Middle Ages, to Mormons of the twentieth century, has had recourse to its own version of the holy testament.

This fine tuning of God’s word, which began at the very inception of Christianity, continues even in our own day. Though this plethora of bibles share a common core, many contain material omitted by others, and vice versa. Even where the content is ostensibly the same, verses have been removed or added, words transposed, rearranged or rephrased. Evidently, God, as the ultimate ‘author’ is endlessly searching for that fine nuance, that pithy turn of phrase.

What is not apparent, when we pick up the holy book, is the extensive editing that has prepared that volume for public consumption, and this editing applies just as much to the central story and its main characters as to any subsequent tinkering – more so, in fact. In the first two centuries of the Christian era, when a ‘Bible’ as such did not exist and the proselytes of the new faith were scouring the Jewish scriptures for confirmation of their heresy, many scribes turned their hand to ‘gospel’ writing. These publications were severely ‘limited editions’, painstakingly written by hand. Often untitled and unsigned these texts passed from hand to hand, in time acquiring the authority and aura of an antique and blurring the distinction between fiction, history and scripture.
Director's Cut

It was well into the second century before a number of these ‘testimonies’ were collected together and bound into a single volume. From the mass of available material ecclesiastical editors selected what would and what would not be included in the Good Book. But of course different editors made different choices.

Search the Bible in vain for the gospels of Thomas, Matthaias or the ‘The Twelve’; for the Acts of Andrew or Acts of John; for the Epistle of Barnabas, the Didache; for the Shepherd of Hermas or the Apocalypse of Peter. Yet for the first two centuries of Christianity all of these were holy scripture, the revealed Word of God.

On the other hand rejected by the early church fathers were Paul’s letter to Philemon, the second and third letters of John, the second letter of Peter and the General Epistle of Jude, all part of the canon after Christianity became the state religion!

Clearly the Big Guy had had a major rethink. Roman bibles after the fourth century hedged their bets and included ‘doubtful’ and previously rejected material at the end as ‘Apocrypha’ (‘hidden’). Clearly this was God’s rough draft, not really meant for publication. Luther kept the apocrypha in his bible whereas Calvin and most other Protestant reformers excluded them.

To regard this wholesale editorial selection and censorship, and the rewriting which accompanied it, as a function purely of the human mind, influenced by considerations of ambition and wealth, power and politics, is, of course, to lose sight of the hand of god; the divine, beavering away in overdrive in central Europe and the eastern Mediterranean centuries ago!





Keeping Current

In truth, if scripture were not to be regularly revised no one alive would understand a word of it. Through the centuries, vocabulary, word usage, syntax and grammar continuously change. The ‘Great Bible’ of 1539 was the first English ‘national’ bible, appearing after the break with the Pope and his Latin Vulgate. Though written in ‘English’, little of it would be intelligible to the twenty first century English speaker. A tad more digestible is the ‘Authorised’ King James Version, the earliest bible to introduce the numbering of sentences. Its magisterial tone, with all its ‘begats’ and ‘art thous’, merely ossifies the appealing authority and grandiose language of monarchical England in 1611. It was followed by a series of subsequent revisions including the Revised Version of 1885, the American Standard Version of 1901, the Revised Standard Version of 1952, etc., etc.

The revisionist claim has always been made of ‘capturing the essential truth’ of the Greek and Hebrew originals – a neat trick when one considers that the originals were actually written entirely in capitals and without the benefit of punctuation or even spaces between words. Because of the high cost of vellum many words were truncated or abbreviated to squeeze more in – but at a cost of even greater ambiguity. As the original scrolls were copied, generation by generation, marginal notes, added by later clerics as personal interpretations or amplifications of obscure points, were written into the body of scripture itself. In this centuries’ long process of revision, many gospels fell completely by the wayside, not even making the apocrypha and known to us today only by chance survival.


Deceptive Arrangement

For the most part, each of the two ‘testaments’ of the Bible is made up of chapters, grandly styled ‘books’, with each ‘book’ set out in groups of paragraphs, confusingly called ‘chapters.’ Some ‘books’ are very brief indeed. The book of Ruth, for example, is barely two pages, 2,578 words in fact. The longest, Jeremiah, at 42,659 words, would make a pamphlet of reasonable length. Authorship of the Old Testament was largely a fifth/sixth century BC affair (with the ‘Chronicler’ not writing until the mid-fourth century); authorship of the New Testament primarily occurred in the second century AD. With all the revisions and re-writes the effort involved a good many people. Arguably, some of them wrote inspiring words – but in no sense is that the same as the words being inspired by a deity. The total compendium, though impressive and at times entertaining, makes torturous reading.

The ‘books’ are arranged in a particular order, one that appears to be an unfolding story – from Jews to Jesus, from Jesus to Church, from birth of the Messiah to a vision of the Day of Judgement yet to come. It appears to be chronological. It is not. The order is largely reversed. Exodus was written before Genesis. ‘Prophesies’ written after events are reassigned to an earlier authorship in order to establish their veracity. An ancient and heroic ‘history’ reflects the contingencies of a much later time. The final book, the ‘Revelation of St. John’ is the earliest, not the latest, part of the New Testament, save for the correspondence of St Paul, which itself pre-dates all the gospels – and not one of the favoured gospels took on their present form before 150 AD.

Similar liberties have been taken within the individual books themselves, with later additions used to preface or addend the original work. Mark is earlier than Matthew, yet its ending has been extended by borrowings from the later work. The ‘Revelation of St. John’, in its original draft a composite of several Jewish apocalyptic dramas, was later Christianized by a preface of ‘letters to the churches of Asia’.





No more true is this process of time-reversal or ‘back projection’ than of the life and times of the Jesus character himself, who began his existence as a celestial superhero, acquired an earthly death; subsequently was given an adulthood; and completed his career with a spectacular nativity!


The Church, in the sense of organisation, authority, assets and membership preceded rather than followed the justifying doctrine. As the organisation and its needs changed so the ‘testament of god’ adapted accordingly. Shuffling the confused jigsaw of stories back into the chronology of authorship proves very revealing.


Business Begets Bibliology

What becomes very obvious when the parts of the book are rearranged into the order in which they were written is that the story grew with the telling. For example, if we look at the central mystery of Christianity, the ‘Resurrection’, we find that in Mark’s gospel (the earliest) the visitors to the tomb find a sitting figure, ‘a young man in a white robe’ (Mark 16.5). He could have been anybody. Thirty years later the story is rather different: we can choose between the sudden appearance of ‘two men’, standing in ‘shining garments’ (Luke 24.4); or ‘a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven … His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow’ (Matthew 28.2,3).

Often an anachronism within the gospels provides a clue to the true authorship of the text. For example, all three synoptics have Jesus use the phrase ‘take up his cross’. This is Mark:

"And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." (Mark 8.34)

Matthew (16.4) and Luke (9.23) use almost identical words.

What’s ‘wrong’ here is that the crucifixion has not yet happened – the phrase belongs to a Christian Church a century or more into the future!

Each and every verse of the Bible is a testament to the needs and purposes of a particular time or place, whether to restate a gem of folk wisdom, upstage a rival story, assimilate a popular pagan myth, quash an opponent’s arguments or serve a current political purpose. Necessarily, and unavoidably, the compendium is rife with contradictions and inconsistencies.

Which (if either!) is correct, for example, in the fishy bread story?

"And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes. And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men."

"And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them. So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets. And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and he sent them away."

The first quotation is from Mark 6.41,44: the second only a page or so later from Mark 8.6,9!

Did Jesus go ‘immediately' into the desert after baptism, as Mark tells us:

"And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness. And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him." (Mark 1.12,13)


Or did he take himself off to a wedding as John would have it?

"And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him... The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Phillip... And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage." (John 1.32;43: 2.1.2)


Was Mark correct when he quoted Jesus that there would be ‘no signs’:

"And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation." (Mark 8.12)


Or was John nearer the truth when he says:

"And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book." (John 20.30)



Creationism

By a convoluted process of interpolation, accretion and redaction, the whole compendium of fables and fancy was brought into being. The four Gospels had a precedent in the ‘sayings of Jesus,’ epithets of wisdom attached to a shadowy Christ figure. Progressively anthropomorphized into a human figure, a series of anecdotes, ‘reminiscences’ and stories were attached to his name.

What follows is a retracing of this great work of fiction, this history of a fake history; not the legend of a birth but the birth of a legend.

Rain Man
04-03-2008, 02:20 PM
How'd they do that if he was on dry land and they didn't have legs?

There, I just blew holes in your theory buster.

I think he went back and walked on the water, and they nabbed him.

It's been a long time since I've been in Sunday School, though.

mlyonsd
04-03-2008, 02:25 PM
I think he went back and walked on the water, and they nabbed him.

It's been a long time since I've been in Sunday School, though.

LOL, I get it.

Jenson71
04-03-2008, 02:40 PM
But then with so many Jesuses could there not have been a Jesus of Nazareth?

The problem for this notion is that absolutely nothing at all corroborates the sacred biography and yet this 'greatest story' is peppered with numerous anachronisms, contradictions and absurdities.

There are a few things that I might want to debate, but I'll choose this for now.

You can't really argue that there must not have been a Jesus of Nazareth because the written and oral accounts of him have differences and historically incorrect statements. It's not using the historical methods we use for other historical people.

Your article talks about a "Jesus ben Saphat" and numerous other people named Jesus. For them, your method of historicity is that "They were alive, because they are written about." Maybe they were written about once, maybe twice. For them, that's good proof. For Jesus of Nazareth, it's not enough. You don't allow the same methods or measurements of history, and it's simply dishonest academics.

StcChief
04-03-2008, 02:41 PM
I believe.... I'll have another beer :BLVD:

bowener
04-03-2008, 02:48 PM
There are a few things that I might want to debate, but I'll choose this for now.

You can't really argue that there must not have been a Jesus of Nazareth because the written and oral accounts of him have differences and historically incorrect statements. It's not using the historical methods we use for other historical people.

Your article talks about a "Jesus ben Saphat" and numerous other people named Jesus. For them, your method of historicity is that "They were alive, because they are written about." Maybe they were written about once, maybe twice. For them, that's good proof. For Jesus of Nazareth, it's not enough. You don't allow the same methods or measurements of history, and it's simply dishonest academics.

I think what he is saying is more along the lines that the Jesus depicted in the bible most likely did not exist. A person that drew as much ire as he did from Rome would have been historically important enough to write about, and then if he really was causing mass miracles he for sure would have been written about.

noa
04-03-2008, 02:51 PM
I've always been interested in the influence of gnosticism and zoroastrianism on judaism and early christianity. I'd love to know if your class says anything about that.

bowener
04-03-2008, 02:55 PM
I've always been interested in the influence of gnosticism and zoroastrianism on judaism and early christianity. I'd love to know if your class says anything about that.

I havent gotten into those yet actually. I was going to try to take a summer class on similar topics, but I cannot. So in the fall I will try just for you. I am sure if you look around you can find a good book to check out at your local library that touches on this for you though. my understanding though, is that zoroastrianism has a big influence.

SBK
04-03-2008, 02:58 PM
This thread is what I figured it would be, a good opportunity for local lefties to bash Christians.

Jenson71
04-03-2008, 03:02 PM
I think what he is saying is more along the lines that the Jesus depicted in the bible most likely did not exist. A person that drew as much ire as he did from Rome would have been historically important enough to write about, and then if he really was causing mass miracles he for sure would have been written about.

Do you think he's saying that, or is that something you are saying?

A lot of people and scholars research and inquire on what the historical Jesus of Nazareth was actually like. Dave Lane's articles seem to say we can throw out any claim as to what he was like, because there was no Jesus of Nazareth. There wasn't even a Nazareth!

bowener
04-03-2008, 03:03 PM
This thread is what I figured it would be, a good opportunity for local lefties to bash Christians.

Bash? I do not see any bashing. I started it in an honest attempt to see if any Christians had bothered to learn the origins of their beliefs. What is wrong with that? Somebody came along and posted about some of the actual origins of Christianity. I do not see that as bashing, but I am sorry that you do.

bowener
04-03-2008, 03:09 PM
Do you think he's saying that, or is that something you are saying?

A lot of people and scholars research and inquire on what the historical Jesus of Nazareth was actually like. Dave Lane's articles seem to say we can throw out any claim as to what he was like, because there was no Jesus of Nazareth. There wasn't even a Nazareth!

I suppose no matter what I say it is always an interpretaion through me. I would have to say that it is something I am saying when attempting to understand anothers point. I probably got his point wrong, and misinterpreted it. So now I will just say, to me, Jesus of the bible seems to have been more fictional than factual. More borrowed from previous religions and beliefs than creating his own new accounts.

Jenson71
04-03-2008, 03:10 PM
I think what he is saying is more along the lines that the Jesus depicted in the bible most likely did not exist. A person that drew as much ire as he did from Rome would have been historically important enough to write about, and then if he really was causing mass miracles he for sure would have been written about.

You'd have to show evidence that Jesus did draw much ire from Rome. Aside from when he finally enters Jerusalem (and is killed for sedition), does he really get in many conflicts with Roman officials?

And then look at "would have been historically important enough to write about" - but wasn't Jesus written about? Yes. Now it's a matter of dates, and what changed from the actual events to the dates the records were written.

Jilly
04-03-2008, 03:12 PM
Some books I love:

The Crucified Guru: An experiment in Cross-Cultural Christology by M. Thomas Thangari; this book just talks about some of the intersections of eastern religions with Christianity (not quite origins, but definitely addresses some of the influences)

The Biblical Foundations of Christian Worship, Robert E Webber, Ed. This is Volume I of the Complete Library of Christian Worship; It isn't quite the history of the Christian Church as in this happened and this happened and then this happened, but more of a where things came from and why

I put these two books out there, because they offer a perspective on origins that are a bit different than the whole early desert fathers, then gnosticism, then Council of Nicea, then Catholic Church, then Reformation kind of Church history or early Christianity stuff. Maybe it's because I'm tired of the discussion or the thought strands. I've just been looking for different things to approach some of the origins of Christianity that have more to do with art and worship, then timelines, if that makes sense.

Jenson71
04-03-2008, 03:15 PM
So now I will just say, to me, Jesus of the bible seems to have been more fictional than factual. More borrowed from previous religions and beliefs than creating his own new accounts.

That's a pretty good thesis statement. I think even some modern Christian theologians would agree with it, believe it or not!

Next comes the evidence, of course. But I think there's a lot of scholarship out there that has similar conclusions.

SLAG
04-03-2008, 03:18 PM
I would say No. most Christians dont know, because if they did they would all be Catholic ;-)

bowener
04-03-2008, 03:18 PM
You'd have to show evidence that Jesus did draw much ire from Rome. Aside from when he finally enters Jerusalem (and is killed for sedition), does he really get in many conflicts with Roman officials?

And then look at "would have been historically important enough to write about" - but wasn't Jesus written about? Yes. Now it's a matter of dates, and what changed from the actual events to the dates the records were written.

I was stating according to the bible he drew ire from the romans (for sedition). If he were to have been a miracle worker, as is written in the bible, he would have made quite a public name for himself (most likely though nothing could guarantee this of course). Jesus was written about, that is the entire point. Jesus was written about only in the bible, no other historical records seem to suggest a magical mangod existed on Earth. Because Harry Potter is written about doesnt make him real. He is noted historically as a fictional character now of couse, but he is not a real person. I did not notice you pointed out that Nazareth most likely never existed either, at least in all the historical documents that have been found thus far, other than the bible, but again that is the point. The bible seems to be far less accurate than any recorded history, such as dates, or Kings, or ages, or locations.

Spicy McHaggis
04-03-2008, 03:19 PM
I was raised Christian and as far as I can tell it involved adopting Pagan holiday dates that devolved slowly into commercialism. Or something.

elvomito
04-03-2008, 03:21 PM
i've come to realize that christianity is not a religion

Jenson71
04-03-2008, 03:25 PM
Jesus was written about, that is the entire point. Jesus was written about only in the bible, no other historical records seem to suggest a magical mangod existed on Earth.

It's not only in the Bible that Jesus is written about. You just wrote about him in your last post. I just wrote about him. Anne Rice just wrote a book about him called "Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana."

So there's various sources we have for Jesus. Now we have to determine if those sources are reliable. And we have to determine how to determine reliablity, especially for ancient texts.

Most of the writings about Jesus that we look at for the historical Jesus are roughly between 50-130 or so CE. Now, that's about 20 years after Jesus died, traditionally. What can we trust to be actual historical evidence and what stories about him that we have now were changed or even just made up in those 20-100 years? It's interesting to learn, and it helps us undestand what the actual origins of Christianity were, not to mention what the earliest Christians thought and how they behaved.

As for Nazareth, I don't know much about it, sorry.

tiptap
04-03-2008, 03:25 PM
I've always been interested in the influence of gnosticism and zoroastrianism on judaism and early christianity. I'd love to know if your class says anything about that.


Zorastranism, yeah I thought about converting then I read up on how you have to put your body at death for the birds to peck in Zauggernauts or something like that. Anyway the Good God/light and Bad God/dark comes from Zorastransim.

bowener
04-03-2008, 03:27 PM
One thing that I think can help a lot of people is the hermeneutics of suspicion. Basically, the way I have been taught about it is, that you should understand that everything is somebody elses interpretation of the way it is. Like reading a book or watching TV. You are gaining knowledge from somebody else, through them and their interpretation on those matters, even if they think they are being unbiased. It should also cause you to question who certain things benefit. Such as for religion, who does this benefit most, how does it benefit them most?

Adept Havelock
04-03-2008, 03:28 PM
You'd have to show evidence that Jesus did draw much ire from Rome. Aside from when he finally enters Jerusalem (and is killed for sedition), does he really get in many conflicts with Roman officials?



If he actually claimed descent from Solomon, that would give him a potential claim to the throne of Judea. I'd think that might cause the Romans some concern considering the difficulties they had experienced in that region. :shrug:

Logical
04-03-2008, 03:31 PM
Do you think he's saying that, or is that something you are saying?

A lot of people and scholars research and inquire on what the historical Jesus of Nazareth was actually like. Dave Lane's articles seem to say we can throw out any claim as to what he was like, because there was no Jesus of Nazareth. There wasn't even a Nazareth!

Well if there was not a Nazareth, there definitely could not have been a Jesus of Nazareth. I think there is very little doubt that there was a biblical figure named Jesus and that the man he is based on lived at the time of your Jesus of Nazareth because he is also mentioned as a prophet in the Muslim faith. I agree historically there was no Nazareth and that Jesus from the Bible would not have been from there even if there was. I think the whole nativity story has been pretty much debunked. Also unless Mary was transported back in time or technology exists in time warp Virgin Birth is pretty damn silly.

Dave Lane
04-03-2008, 03:33 PM
Do you think he's saying that, or is that something you are saying?

A lot of people and scholars research and inquire on what the historical Jesus of Nazareth was actually like. Dave Lane's articles seem to say we can throw out any claim as to what he was like, because there was no Jesus of Nazareth. There wasn't even a Nazareth!

Heres some info on Nazareth that you might read pretty interesting if long read...


Dave

The Lost City

The Gospels tell us that Jesus's home town was the 'City of Nazareth' ('polis Natzoree'):


And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a CITY of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
(Luke1.26,27)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the CITY of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; because he was of the house and lineage of David:
(Luke 2.3,4)

But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: And he came and dwelt in a CITY called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.
(Matthew 2.22,23)

And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own CITY Nazareth. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
(Luke 2.39,40)

The gospels do not tell us much about this 'city' – it has a synagogue, it can scare up a hostile crowd (prompting JC's famous "prophet rejected in his own land" quote), and it has a precipice – but the city status of Nazareth is clearly established, at least according to that source of nonsense called the Bible.

However when we look for historical confirmation of this hometown of a god – surprise, surprise! – no other source confirms that the place even existed in the 1st century AD.

• Nazareth is not mentioned even once in the entire Old Testament. The Book of Joshua (19.10,16) – in what it claims is the process of settlement by the tribe of Zebulon in the area – records twelve towns and six villages and yet omits any 'Nazareth' from its list.

• The Talmud, although it names 63 Galilean towns, knows nothing of Nazareth, nor does early rabbinic literature.

• St Paul knows nothing of 'Nazareth'. Rabbi Solly's epistles (real and fake) mention Jesus 221 times, Nazareth not at all.

• No ancient historian or geographer mentions Nazareth. It is first noted at the beginning of the 4th century.

'Never heard of the place' – Josephus

In his histories, Josephus has a lot to say about Galilee (an area of barely 900 square miles). During the first Jewish war, in the 60s AD, Josephus led a military campaign back and forth across the tiny province. Josephus mentions 45 cities and villages of Galilee – yet Nazareth not at all.

Josephus does, however, have something to say about Japha (Yafa, Japhia), a village just one mile to the southwest of Nazareth where he himself lived for a time (Life 52).

A glance at a topographical map of the region shows that Nazareth is located at one end of a valley, bounded on three sides by hills. Natural access to this valley is from the southwest.

Before the first Jewish war, Japha was of a reasonable size. We know it had an early synagogue, destroyed by the Romans in 67 AD (Revue Biblique 1921, 434f). In that war, it's inhabitants were massacred (Wars 3, 7.31). Josephus reports that 15,000 were killed by Trajan's troops. The survivors – 2,130 woman and children – were carried away into captivity. A one-time active city was completely and decisively wiped out.

Now where on earth did the 1st century inhabitants of Japha bury their dead? In the tombs further up the valley!

With Japha's complete destruction, tomb use at the Nazareth site would have ended. The unnamed necropolis today lies under the modern city of Nazareth.

At a later time – as pottery and other finds indicate(see below) – the Nazareth site was re-occupied. This was after the Bar Kochba revolt of 135 AD and the general Jewish exodus from Judea to Galilee. The new hamlet was based on subsistence farming and was quite unrelated to the previous tomb usage by the people of Japha.


None of this would matter of course if, rather like at the nearby 'pagan' city of Sepphoris, we could stroll through the ruins of 1st century bath houses, villas, theatres etc. Yet no such ruins exist.

No, not Nazareth but Sepphoris, a 45 minute walk away – and which does not get a mention in the gospels!

In short order, Christian apologists fall over themselves to explain 'But of course, no one had heard of Nazareth, we're talking of a REALLY small place.' By semantic downsizing, city becomes TOWN, town becomes VILLAGE, and village becomes 'OBSCURE HAMLET'.

Yet if we are speaking of such an obscure hamlet the 'Jesus of Nazareth' story begins to fall apart.

For example, the whole 'rejection in his homeland' story requires at a minimum a synagogue in which the godman can 'blaspheme.' Where was the synagogue in this tiny bucolic hamlet? Why was it not obvious to the first pilgrims like Helena (see below) – it would, after all, have been far more pertinent to her hero than a well?

If JC had grown up and spent thirty years of his life in a village with as few as 25 families – an inbred clan of less than 300 people – the 'multitude' that were supposedly shocked by his blasphemy and would have thrown him from a cliff, would not have been hostile strangers but, to a man, would have been relatives and friends that he had grown up with, including his own brothers. Presumably, they had heard his pious utterances for years.

Moreover, if the chosen virgin really had had an annunciation of messiah-birthing from an angel the whole clan would have known about it inside ten minutes. Just to remind them, surely they should also have known of the 'Jerusalem incident' when supposedly the 12-year-old proclaimed his messiahship?

Indeed, had no one mentioned what had happened in Bethlehem – star, wise men, shepherds, infant-massacre and all? Why would they have been outraged by anything the godman said or did? Had they forgotten a god was growing up in their midst? And what had happened to that gift of gold – had it not made the 'holy family' rich?

If Nazareth really had been barely a hamlet, lost in the hills of Galilee, would not the appellation 'Jesus of Nazareth' have invoked the response 'Jesus of WHERE?'

Then again, if Nazareth had really been a tiny hamlet, the nearest convenient 'mountain' from which the god-man could have been thrown – a cliff edge – would have been 4 km away, requiring an energetic climb over limestone crags. Would the superman really have been frog-marched so far before 'passing through the midst of them' and making his escape?

Of course, all these incongruities exist because the 'Jerusalem incident' and the whole nativity sequence were late additions to the basic messiah-in-residence story.

Be that as it may, was there even a tiny village?


The archaeological evidence?

The world has been blessed by the fact that excavation at Nazareth has been conducted by Catholic archaeologists. In an earlier age they may well have "found" sandals neatly inscribed with "property of Jesus Christ". As it is, they diligently extract every last drop of sanctity from some pretty meagre findings. Yet for all their creative interpretations even the Franciscans cannot disguise the fact that the lack of evidence for a pre-Jesus village at the Nazareth site is virtually total.

Not that the Franciscans have lacked the opportunity to find what they want to find; they have, in fact, been in Palestine for several centuries, official custodians of the 'Holy Land' as a result of Papal Bulls 'Gratias agimus' and 'Nuper charissimae' issued by Clement VI in 1342.

During the Crusaders' wars, Nazareth had changed hands several times. At one point (1099) the Norman-Sicilian adventurer Tancred had set up a 'principality of Galilee' with Nazareth as his capital. But the Christians were repeatedly kicked out until finally, in 1263, Nazareth was completely devastated by Sultan Baibars and the whole area left desolate for nearly 400 years.

The Franciscans got back into the area under a deal with Fakhr ad-Din II, emir of Lebanon, in 1620. They reoccupied the remains of the crusader fort but found Greek monks still in possession of 'Mary's Well' . With funds flowing in they took over the town administration and in 1730 built a church over the Grotto. The demolition of this structure in 1955 paved the way for 'professional' archaeology, and the 'discovery' of the Biblical Nazareth in the very grounds of the Church itself!



Christian Hero No 1. 1955-1960 Excavations conducted by Father Bellarmino Bagatti (Professor, Studium Biblicum Franciscanum at Flagellation, Jerusalem). Beneath his own church and adjoining land, Bagatti discovered numerous caves and hollows. Some of these caves have obviously had a great deal of use, over many centuries. Most are tombs, many from the Bronze Age. Others have been adapted for use as water cisterns, as vats for oil or as 'silos' for grain. Apparently, there were indications that Nazareth had been 'refounded' in Hasmonean times after a long period when the area had been deserted. Yet overwhelmingly, archaeological evidence from before the second century is funerary. Obliged to admit a dearth of suitable evidence of habitation, none the less, Bagatti was able conclude that 1st century AD Nazareth had been 'a small agricultural village settled by a few dozen families.'

With a great leap of faith the partisan diggers declared what they had found was 'the village of Jesus, Mary & Joseph' – though they had not found a village at all, and certainly no evidence of particular individuals. The finds were consistent, in fact, with isolated horticultural activity, close to a necropolis of long-usage.

Rather conveniently for the Catholic Church, questionable graffiti also indicated that the shrine was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, no less!

Yet one point is inescapable: the Jewish disposition towards the 'uncleanliness' of the dead. The Jews, according to their customs, would not build a village in the immediate vicinity of tombs and vice versa. Tombs would have to be outside any village.

"The tombs, both those discovered by Bagatti and others known from earlier explorations, would have been placed outside the village and serve, in fact, to delimit its circumference for us. Looking at their locations on the plans drawn up by Bagatti (1.28) or Finegan (27), one realizes just how small the village actually was ..."

–J.D. Crossan (The Historical Jesus)

But just how small can we get before giving up on a 'village'? The presence of numerous rock-cut tombs that close to the 'grotto' is evidence that, in the 1st century, in that area, there was no village. The area was not inhabited, even if it was used.



Christian Hero No 2. 1996 -1997 Dr. Pfann (Franciscan School of Theology) digs at Nazareth. In November 1996 Stephen Pfann of the Center for the Study of Early Christianity began an investigation of agricultural terraces in the grounds of Nazareth Hospital. What Pfann and his crew came up with was a vaguely-dated winepress, described as 'ancient'. Potsherds were also found on the surface of the terraces, dating from various periods 'beginning with the early to late Roman periods.'

An archaeological survey of the surface of the land adjacent to Nazareth Hospital was conducted between February and May 1997 by Pfann and a team, all from the Center for the Study of Early Christianity. Two distinct areas were identified which are defined by the type of terracing found there.

With typical Christian zeal Pfann was able to conclude that 'Nazareth was tiny, with two or three clans living in 35 homes spread over 2.5 hectares'. It was just unfortunate that all evidence of the homes was razed by later invaders.

In truth, the scanty evidence is consistent with the site being used as a single family farm over many centuries – and a single family farm does not make a village.

Excavations by Michael Avi-Yonah at Caesarea in 1962:

Caesarea

History and archaeology actually begin to coincide with the discovery of a fragment of dark gray marble at a synagogue in Caesarea Maritima in August 1962. Dating from the late 3rd or early 4th century the stone bears the first mention of Nazareth in a non-Christian text. It names Nazareth as one of the places in Galilee where the priestly families of Judea migrated after the disastrous Hadrianic war of 135 AD. Such groups would only settle in towns without gentile inhabitants, which ruled out nearby Sepphoris. Apparently, the priests had been divided from ancient times into twenty-four 'courses' that took weekly turns in Temple service. The restored inscription reads:

'The eighteenth priestly course [called] Hapizzez, [resettled at] Nasareth.'

– J.D. Crossan (The Historical Jesus)

A few Jewish priests and their families made up a small settlement in the southeast of the valley until the 4th century. Quite probably, they extended and re-used some of the ancient necropolis tombs. The Jewish hamlet was then supplanted by the Christian presence slightly further north, by 'Mary's Well'.

One might speculate that Christian control of the village's sole water source eventually drove the perfidious Jews away, thus allowing the Greek monks to take over the 2nd century synagogue – now known as the 'synagogue-church' – sometime in the 4th century when Christianity got the official stamp of approval. A town grew up at the site, causing the abandonment and destruction of any more ancient Jewish dwellings which, as in Capernaum, were most probably built without foundations. Some Jews subsequently re-settled in the valley, for we know that they were expelled again from the area in the 7th century for collaboration with the Persians.



Getting a Name

The expression 'Jesus of Nazareth' is actually a bad translation of the original Greek 'Jesous o Nazoraios'. More accurately, we should speak of 'Jesus the Nazarene' where Nazarene has a meaning quite unrelated to a place name. But just what is that meaning and how did it get applied to a small village? The highly ambiguous Hebrew root of the name is NZR.

The 2nd century gnostic Gospel of Philip offers this explanation:

'The apostles that came before us called him Jesus Nazarene the Christ ..."Nazara" is the "Truth". Therefore 'Nazarene' is "The One of the Truth" ...'

– Gospel of Philip, 47.

What we do know is that 'Nazarene' was originally the name of an early Jewish-Christian sect – a faction, or off-shoot, of the Essenes. They had no particular relation to a city of Nazareth. The root of their name may have been 'Truth' or it may have been the Hebrew noun 'netser' ('netzor'), meaning 'branch' or 'flower.' The plural of 'Netzor' becomes 'Netzoreem.' There is no mention of the Nazarenes in any of Paul's writings. The Nazorim emerged towards the end of the 1st century, after a curse had been placed on heretics in Jewish daily prayer.

'Three times a day they say: May God curse the Nazarenes'.

– Epiphanius (Panarion 29.9.2).

The Nazarenes may have seen themselves as a 'branch from the stem of Jesse (the legendary King David's father)'. Certainly, they had their own early version of 'Matthew'. This lost text – the Gospel of the Nazarenes – can hardly be regarded as a 'Gospel of the inhabitants of Nazareth'!

It was the later Gospel of Matthew which started the deceit that the title 'Jesus the Nazorene' should in some manner relate to Nazareth, by quoting 'prophecy':

"And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene."

– Matthew 2.23.

With this, Matthew closes his fable of Jesus's early years. Yet Matthew is misquoting – he would surely know that nowhere in Jewish prophetic literature is there any reference to a Nazarene. What is 'foretold' (or at least mentioned several times) in Old Testament scripture is the appearance of a Nazarite. For example:


"For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines."

– Judges 13.5.

Matthew slyly substitutes one word for another. By replacing Nazarite ('he who vows to grow long hair and serve god') with a term which appears to imply 'resident of' he is able to fabricate a hometown link for his fictitious hero.

So how did the village get its name?

It seems that, along with the Nozerim, a related Jewish/Christian faction, the Evyonim – ‘the Poor’ (later to be called Ebionites) – emerged about the same time. According to Epiphanius (Bishop of Salamis , Cyprus, circa 370 AD) they arose from within the Nazarenes. They differed doctrinally from the original group in rejecting Paul and were 'Jews who pay honour to Christ as a just man...' They too, it seems, had their own prototype version of Matthew – ‘The Gospel to the Hebrews’. A name these sectaries chose for themselves was 'Keepers of the Covenant', in Hebrew Nozrei haBrit, whence Nosrim or Nazarene!

In other words, when it came to the crunch, the original Nazarenes split into two: those who tried to re-position themselves within the general tenets of Judaism ('Evyonim'-Nosrim); and those who rejected Judaism ('Christian'-Nosrim)

Now, we know that a group of 'priestly' families resettled an area in the Nazareth valley after their defeat in the Bar Kochbar War of 135 AD (see above). It seems highly probable that they were Evyonim-Nosrim and named their village 'Nazareth' or the village of 'The Poor' either because of self-pity or because doctrinally they made a virtue out of their poverty.

"Blessed are the Poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven."

– Matthew 5,3.

The writer of Matthew (re-writer of the proto-Matthew stories) heard of 'priestly' families moving to a place in Galilee which they had called 'Nazareth' – and decided to use the name of the new town for the hometown of his hero.



Dodgy Story, Dodgy Geography

The original gospel writers refrained from inventing a childhood, youth or early manhood for JC because it was not necessary to their central drama of a dying/reborn sun-god. But as we know, the story grew with the telling, particularly as the decades passed and the promised redeemer and judge failed to reappear. The re-writer of the Gospel of Mark, revising his text sometime between 140 and 150 AD, introduces the name of the city only once in chapter one with these words:

"And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee ..." – Mark I, 9.

From then on the name is almost forgotten. We may reasonably suspect that all four references in Mark are a later interpolation.

We can trace the subsequent elevation of Nazareth in the Gospel of Luke. Luke is the writer who emphasizes JC's ties to 'Nazareth.' Luke is the writer who goes out of his way to demonstrate an anti-Capernaum stance. Scholars have concluded Luke was not a Jew himself because of his 'glaring errors in things Jewish'. He also makes mistakes in his geography. He knows little about the place and in his mini-drama describes an impossible incident:

" ... and brought him to the precipice of the mountain that their city was built upon." – Luke 4.29.


Nazareth, in fact, is located in a depression, set within gentle hills. The whole region is characterized by plains and mild rises with no sharp peaks or steep cliffs. The terrain is correctly understood as a high basin, for in one direction is the much lower Plain of Esdraelon. But there is no disguising Nazareth is built in a valley and not on a mountain. Even the mediaeval town sat below the summit – protected from the wind. Beginning only in 1957, the Jewish suburb called 'Nazerat Illit' ('Upper Nazareth') was built to the top of the hills to the east of the city.




Foreground
(below that pointy building): – supposed location of 1st century 'city' of Nazareth


Background & right:
'Mount of Precipice' (aka 'Lord's Leap')





Perhaps the Multitude might really have threatened to roll JC down the slope?

It would take quite some time to get from the downtown 'synagogue' and scramble to the top of the 'cliff'!



The Town that Theology Built

In the 3rd century Church Father Origen knew the gospel story of the city of Nazareth – yet had no clear idea where it was – even though he lived at Caesarea, barely thirty miles from the present town! Even in Origen's day, as the Church became more institutionalised, intense rivalry was developing between the patriarchs of Caesarea and Jerusalem. This rivalry was only resolved (in Jerusalem's favour) at Chalcedon in 451. Part of the rivalry centred on control of 'Holy places'. Hence, 'finding' the lost city of Nazareth was a matter of major importance,

Perambulating to the rescue, in the early 4th century, came the 80-year-old dowager Empress Helena. Preparing the way for an imminent meeting with her maker with a program of 'Works', she made a conscience-salving pilgrimage to Palestine. In the area of Nazareth she could find nothing but an ancient well – in fact the only water source in the area (which in itself demolishes the idea there was ever a 'city' ). No doubt encouraged by canny locals, Helena promptly labelled the hole in the ground 'Mary's Well' and had a small basilica built over the spot. Conveniently, the gospels had failed to make clear exactly where Mary had been when the archangel Gabriel had come calling. Thus the Well site acquired local support for the divine visitation and Nazareth acquired its first church.

Helena created the pilgrimage business which has never ceased.


'Mary's Well': Hole in ground evidence for Holy Family (about as convincing as an empty tomb)

Note collection box for coins, lower rt.





4th Century Pilgrim Route – and NO NAZARETH!



Itinerarium Burdigalense – the Itinerary of the Anonymous Pilgrim of Bordeaux – is the earliest description left by a pious tourist. It is dated to 333 AD. The itinerary is a Roman-style list of towns and distances with the occasional comment.

As the pilgrim passes Jezreel (Stradela) he mentions King Ahab and Goliath. At Aser (Teyasir) he mentions Job. At Neopolis his reference is to Mount Gerizim, Abraham, Joseph, and Jacob's well at Sichar (where JC 'asked water of a Samaritan woman'). He passes the village of Bethel (Beitin) and mentions Jacob's wrestling match with God, and Jeroboam. He moves on to Jerusalem.

Our pilgrim – preoccupied with Old rather than New Testament stories – makes no single reference to 'Nazareth.'

A generation after the dowager empress had gone touring, another geriatric grandee, the Lady Egeria, spent years in the 'Land becoming more Holy by the day'.

Egeria – a Spaniard, like the then Emperor Theodosius and almost certainly part of the imperial entourage – reached the Nazareth area in 383. This time, canny monks showed her a 'big and very splendid cave' and gave the assurance that this was where Mary had lived. The Custodians of the Cave, not to be outbid by the Keepers of the Well, insisted that the cave, not the well, had been the site of the divine visitation. This so-called 'grotto' became another pilgrimage attraction, over which – by 570 – rose the basilica of another church. Today, above and about the Venerable Grotto, stands the biggest Christian theme park in the Middle East.




Grotto beneath Basilica of the Annunciation. Mary's 'maiden home' (or even home of the holy family, if you prefer)



By the late 4th century – by which time the Church had control of theological correctness – Nazareth was being correctly described by Jerome as 'a very small village in Galilee' (Onom. 141:3). He should know: he had fled scandal in Italy to set up an ecclesiastical retreat in the area for well-heeled Romans. The village owed its very existence to the imperial itinerary half a century before.

By the 5th century the supposed site of Nazareth – marked by its couple of churches – had become a key destination for pious (and leisured) pilgrims. We know of a Piacenza visiting in 570, of an Arculf visiting in 638, a Wilhebald in 724, an Al Mas'udi in 943. Sewulf in 1102, like the earlier visitors, reported that only the annunciation church was to be seen.

In 636 Arab armies overran Byzantine possessions in Palestine, including Nazareth. A Christian presence continued in the area, though it was subject to restrictions and heavy taxes. Nearly five centuries later, Crusaders occupied the valley and built a fort. On the foundations of the earlier Byzantine 'grotto' church they built something a little grander, more befitting their resident bishop.



Old town Nazareth – an ecclesiastic theme-park


'JesusWorld'

.




In the center of town, the huge Catholic Church of the Annunciation (largest church in the Middle East) built over numerous caves.

Up the hill, Church of St. Joseph built over other caves ('carpenter's house and workshop').

Across the street, Sisters of Nazareth Hospice, built over ancient tombs, one with a huge rolling stone door!

Up the road, the Greek Catholic Church, next to an early synagogue




Today more than a million visitors (fifty per cent of tourists visiting Israel) call at Nazareth. Who would want to spoil the party? So perhaps keep it quiet ...

The evidence for a 1st century town of Nazareth does not exist – not literary, not archaeological, and not historical. It is an imaginary city for an imaginary god-man.

bowener
04-03-2008, 03:33 PM
It's not only in the Bible that Jesus is written about. You just wrote about him in your last post. I just wrote about him. Anne Rice just wrote a book about him called "Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana."

So there's various sources we have for Jesus. Now we have to determine if those sources are reliable. And we have to determine how to determine reliablity, especially for ancient texts.

Most of the writings about Jesus that we look at for the historical Jesus are roughly between 50-130 or so CE. Now, that's about 20 years after Jesus died, traditionally. What can we trust to be actual historical evidence and what stories about him that we have now were changed or even just made up in those 20-100 years? It's interesting to learn, and it helps us undestand what the actual origins of Christianity were, not to mention what the earliest Christians thought and how they behaved.

As for Nazareth, I don't know much about it, sorry.

Clever, I suppose, in the way you turn that. Yes we are discussing Jesus now on a forum, the Jesus, for purposes of context, is the one written about in the scriptures. Again, I can write about Bob Zeuzenheizelhefenbaum, a great German Composer who never existed, but he is o' so fabulous at the triplettes he writes into his compositions. He now exists only in that sentence, perfectly false, yet exists. We should definitely discuss reliability and get at the heart of the matter for sure! I like where this is all going!

Logical
04-03-2008, 03:33 PM
One thing that I think can help a lot of people is the hermeneutics of suspicion. Basically, the way I have been taught about it is, that you should understand that everything is somebody elses interpretation of the way it is. Like reading a book or watching TV. You are gaining knowledge from somebody else, through them and their interpretation on those matters, even if they think they are being unbiased. It should also cause you to question who certain things benefit. Such as for religion, who does this benefit most, how does it benefit them most?Now see that is logical and reasonable and debunks the myth that the Bible is the authoritative unerring word of God.

tiptap
04-03-2008, 03:39 PM
I often wonder why with all the focus on the Bible being the word of god why Jesus didn't write for the Bible himself. He would have had 10 years to write before his calling at 30 and 3 years after that. If the written word was all that important why no writings?

My speculation is that despite Luke's statement, Jesus was functionally illiterate. He and his followers had very little need to read since most reading material was limited in its dispersion. Yeah they could make out symbols and such but not really read and write.

Paul and his disciples on the other hand were more literate. Mark, Luke and Paul himself were the major contributors to the New Testament. Matthew was unlikely to have been penned by that disciple but was a rewash of Mark for jewish consumption. John comes close to being gnostic with the talk of Word was God theme.

I do think there was a Jesus of Nazareth, because of Paul. He was crucified but may have survived or had his body hidden. Certainly those early Christians would have been SO VERY SCARED of Saul/Paul change. They had brethen killed by this man and suddenly he asking about a risen Christ he saw on the way to Dasmascus. "Sure Saul, whatever you say."

Dave Lane
04-03-2008, 03:39 PM
It's not only in the Bible that Jesus is written about. You just wrote about him in your last post. I just wrote about him. Anne Rice just wrote a book about him called "Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana."

So there's various sources we have for Jesus. Now we have to determine if those sources are reliable. And we have to determine how to determine reliablity, especially for ancient texts.

Most of the writings about Jesus that we look at for the historical Jesus are roughly between 50-130 or so CE. Now, that's about 20 years after Jesus died, traditionally. What can we trust to be actual historical evidence and what stories about him that we have now were changed or even just made up in those 20-100 years? It's interesting to learn, and it helps us undestand what the actual origins of Christianity were, not to mention what the earliest Christians thought and how they behaved.

As for Nazareth, I don't know much about it, sorry.


Please let me know what sources mention a historical Jesus before 150 CE? I am unaware of any such source.

Thanks
Dave

bowener
04-03-2008, 03:40 PM
I think we should make some parameters perhaps for finding what is reliable. We could go all Descartes on its ass but that would take quite a while. I do have time however, over a period of days, if you wish to do it in this manner. I think we should possibly assume some truths though to shorten the whole matter. What should we assume? [a] nothing, [b] geometry is certainly truth, [c] physics as well as geometry are certain truths which entails that bodies (not just human bodies, but any mathematically describable object) do in fact exist [d] everything we know and see is as it is and appears the same to everyone else, [e] we can know nothing but our own minds?

edit: [f] the word of God (Yaweh) is infoulable, the bible is the authoratative word of God, and thus infoulable?

bowener
04-03-2008, 03:47 PM
I have to leave work now and go to a Stats review for my upcoming test! It was great discussing all of this so far with you guys. I hope you have lots for me to read when I get back!

Dave Lane
04-03-2008, 03:49 PM
Bowener

Really I think any contemporary account from a source such as Josephus or Philo or any other chronicler of 1st century Judea is viable. Later writings from people that could not have known or had no knowledge of the era are very suspect.

Dave

Logical
04-03-2008, 03:49 PM
I think we should make some parameters perhaps for finding what is reliable. We could go all Descartes on its ass but that would take quite a while. I do have time however, over a period of days, if you wish to do it in this manner. I think we should possibly assume some truths though to shorten the whole matter. What should we assume? [a] nothing, [b] geometry is certainly truth, [c] physics as well as geometry are certain truths which entails that bodies (not just human bodies, but any mathematically describable object) do in fact exist [d] everything we know and see is as it is and appears the same to everyone else, [e] we can know nothing but our own minds?

edit: [f] the word of God (Yaweh) is infoulable, the bible is the authoratative word of God, and thus infoulable?

You were doing ok until you added [f]ROFL

Jenson71
04-03-2008, 04:18 PM
Clever, I suppose, in the way you turn that. Yes we are discussing Jesus now on a forum, the Jesus, for purposes of context, is the one written about in the scriptures. Again, I can write about Bob Zeuzenheizelhefenbaum, a great German Composer who never existed, but he is o' so fabulous at the triplettes he writes into his compositions. He now exists only in that sentence, perfectly false, yet exists. We should definitely discuss reliability and get at the heart of the matter for sure! I like where this is all going!

Okay, the first part of my post was ridiculous and unncessary. I apologize.

Jenson71
04-03-2008, 04:22 PM
I think there is very little doubt that there was a biblical figure named Jesus and that the man he is based on lived at the time of your Jesus of Nazareth because he is also mentioned as a prophet in the Muslim faith.

I'm not sure why you would consider the Muslims having him as a prophet as proof there was a Jesus as we know him.

I agree historically there was no Nazareth and that Jesus from the Bible would not have been from there even if there was. I think the whole nativity story has been pretty much debunked. Also unless Mary was transported back in time or technology exists in time warp Virgin Birth is pretty damn silly.

I don't think the whole nativity story has been pretty much debunked. Some things of it don't add up, but some things d0 seem right.

Jenson71
04-03-2008, 04:24 PM
If he actually claimed descent from Solomon, that would give him a potential claim to the throne of Judea. I'd think that might cause the Romans some concern considering the difficulties they had experienced in that region. :shrug:

Maybe so. I can't say for sure, but isn't that why Herod (King of the Jews) traditionally wanted to kill the kids?

Adept Havelock
04-03-2008, 04:27 PM
Maybe so. I can't say for sure, but isn't that why Herod (King of the Jews) traditionally wanted to kill the kids?

Sorry, I don't know.

Jenson71
04-03-2008, 04:35 PM
Please let me know what sources mention a historical Jesus before 150 CE? I am unaware of any such source.

Thanks
Dave

Most of them you have already quoted from your pasted articles. There are the four gospels, then letters from Paul and others, non-canonical gospels like Thomas, then you have your writings from Pliny the Younger, Suetonius, Tacitus, Josephus. That's all I can think of.

It's not a whole lot, unfortunately.

acesn8s
04-03-2008, 04:35 PM
I think he went back and walked on the water, and they nabbed him.

It's been a long time since I've been in Sunday School, though.
They killed Ariel the mermaid?

acesn8s
04-03-2008, 04:45 PM
I would say No. most Christians dont know, because if they did they would all be Catholic ;-)
Because if they did know the origins of Christianity they would all want to be poked in the butt by a Priest?:shrug:

Logical
04-03-2008, 04:54 PM
I'm not sure why you would consider the Muslims having him as a prophet as proof there was a Jesus as we know him

Because a second source in history is like having two sources for a news story, it provides credibiliity.

I don't think the whole nativity story has been pretty much debunked. Some things of it don't add up, but some things d0 seem right.You must be joking, what parts have not been debunked and please provide a historical cross reference other than the Bible that provides credibility especially for virgin birth, even if she was magically impregnated birth through something other than the vaginal canal was not possible in those days, they did not have the technology for Caeserian Section.

Jenson71
04-03-2008, 05:01 PM
Because a second source in history is like having two sources for a news story, it provides credibiliity.

True, but you have to take a look at the sources. If one source relies entirely on the first source (and comes over 500 years later), then you don't have two sources. You just have one source still.

I've always thought it was really weird how Christian and Jewish traditions came into Islam. The area in Saudi Arabia in the 600s was left pretty isolated. The Roman Empire did not stretch down there, and neither do the Byzantine Empire. And basically it's just a bunch of paganism. People would worship gods in rocks and stuff. I guess it was either because of encounters in the trading routes, or missionaries. Or both. Either way, it's interesting, but I don't think it could be considered another source.

Jenson71
04-03-2008, 05:04 PM
You must be joking, what parts have not been debunked and please provide a historical cross reference other than the Bible that provides credibility especially for virgin birth, even if she was magically impregnated birth through something other than the vaginal canal was not possible in those days, they did not have the technology for Caeserian Section.

Well okay, virgin birth is relegated to miracle status. Sure, it doesn't really fit for natural order of things, but that's what makes it a miracle.

Dave Lane
04-03-2008, 05:17 PM
Maybe so. I can't say for sure, but isn't that why Herod (King of the Jews) traditionally wanted to kill the kids?

This of course is not supported in anyway by facts or historic evidence.

Dave

Jenson71
04-03-2008, 05:19 PM
This of course is not supported in anyway by facts or historic evidence.

Dave

Which is why I said "traditionally"

Dave Lane
04-03-2008, 05:19 PM
Most of them you have already quoted from your pasted articles. There are the four gospels, then letters from Paul and others, non-canonical gospels like Thomas, then you have your writings from Pliny the Younger, Suetonius, Tacitus, Josephus. That's all I can think of.

It's not a whole lot, unfortunately.

None of them mention anything about a historic jesus including Paul. Re-read your gospels and you will see Paul never knew of claimed to have any knowledge of a jesus that was a historical figure.

Dave

Dave Lane
04-03-2008, 05:24 PM
Because a second source in history is like having two sources for a news story, it provides credibiliity.
You must be joking, what parts have not been debunked and please provide a historical cross reference other than the Bible that provides credibility especially for virgin birth, even if she was magically impregnated birth through something other than the vaginal canal was not possible in those days, they did not have the technology for Caeserian Section.

Actually Jim I give the Muslims zero credibility as a source. They were almost 800 years after the fact and did like the christians did to John the baptist and incorporated him into their story to gain followers. Unlike jesus John the Bapist did exist.

Als as an interesting side note John the Bapist is the one figure in the new testament that is actually described. Wild man who ate locusts and honey. None of the other figures of the New testament have any description as young, old fat, red headed, tall, short nothing. Odd one might think.

Dave

Jenson71
04-03-2008, 05:27 PM
None of them mention anything about a historic jesus including Paul. Re-read your gospels and you will see Paul never knew of claimed to have any knowledge of a jesus that was a historical figure.

Dave

That's not true at all. Clearly, Jesus was a human who actually lived, to Paul. Paul did not know Jesus when he was alive, if that's the case you're making. And neither did any of the other writers. Is that what you're saying?

Jenson71
04-03-2008, 05:30 PM
Unlike jesus John the Bapist did exist.

Now that's a surprise. Why do you think that?

irishjayhawk
04-03-2008, 06:17 PM
Well okay, virgin birth is relegated to miracle status. Sure, it doesn't really fit for natural order of things, but that's what makes it a miracle.

I think it might help further discourse if you define miracle. For example, a radio transported back in time to the 1500s would be considered a "miracle".

irishjayhawk
04-03-2008, 06:18 PM
I would like to know why - in the story of the greatest man ever to live - we are missing the years 13-~29 in his life.

Jenson71
04-03-2008, 06:24 PM
I think it might help further discourse if you define miracle. For example, a radio transported back in time to the 1500s would be considered a "miracle".

Okay, for me, a miracle is something that goes against nature's laws and can never be explained by science, because it's outside of nature.

I think that's how I'd define it. How would you define it?

ClevelandBronco
04-03-2008, 06:42 PM
I left my religion to follow my faith.

Logical
04-03-2008, 06:58 PM
I left my religion to follow my faith.


Seriously, good, that is something we should all strive to do, follow what we all believe in whether it is Deism, Buddhism, Hinduism or even Christianity (if you lean that way):D

stevieray
04-03-2008, 06:59 PM
Origin of Christianity?

Same as it is today...in people's hearts...the big misconception is that you choose it, but in reality it chooses you.

Easy 6
04-03-2008, 07:03 PM
This thread is what I figured it would be, a good opportunity for local lefties to bash Christians.

Lets not confine it to "lefties"...bashing Christians is a time honored Planet tradition for both sides.

irishjayhawk
04-03-2008, 08:14 PM
Okay, for me, a miracle is something that goes against nature's laws and can never be explained by science, because it's outside of nature.

I think that's how I'd define it. How would you define it?

That's along the lines of the definition I would give too. However, it has a flaw. See, my radio example still busts that definition because it can be explained by science - just later in time. So back then, the radio would fit all criteria in that definition but in the 2000s it would fail all the guidelines.

My point is how do you call anything a miracle without having a completely objective look at all of time - here and in the future?

irishjayhawk
04-03-2008, 08:14 PM
Origin of Christianity?

Same as it is today...in people's hearts...the big misconception is that you choose it, but in reality it chooses you.

So, how do you explain the lack of Christianity before Christ?

Logical
04-03-2008, 08:23 PM
So, how do you explain the lack of Christianity before Christ?:hmmm:

:eek:

:doh!:

LMAO

Jenson71
04-03-2008, 08:35 PM
That's along the lines of the definition I would give too. However, it has a flaw. See, my radio example still busts that definition because it can be explained by science - just later in time.

Doesn't my "can never be explained by science" explain that?

Mr. Kotter
04-03-2008, 08:42 PM
I figured that good ole Dave Lane...."cut and paste" poster who-has-an-axe-to-grind EXTRAORDINAIRE would have a significant showing in this thread....Heh.



I see he didn't disappoint me. So, why don't you tell us....are you unable to sleep due to reoccurring childhood night terrors and/or bedwetting, or do you still have Freudian issues to bring to closure over your childhood/growing up issues with your youth pastor/priest....that have taken you to this point? :hmmm:

;)

Mr. Kotter
04-03-2008, 08:45 PM
So, how do you explain the lack of Christianity before Christ?

Surely you aren't this....well, slow.

I mean, hello.....Judaism. Before that Zoroasterianism. ;)

Logical
04-03-2008, 09:04 PM
Surely you aren't this....well, slow.

I mean, hello.....Judaism. Before that Zoroasterianism. ;)Did you notice the weird claim Stevie made, he was being a smartazz in response to a silly statement. I don't think he was seriously asking the question.

irishjayhawk
04-03-2008, 10:13 PM
Did you notice the weird claim Stevie made, he was being a smartazz in response to a silly statement. I don't think he was seriously asking the question.

Yep.

:D

irishjayhawk
04-03-2008, 10:15 PM
Doesn't my "can never be explained by science" explain that?

Right, but you cannot make a statement that say something can never be explained by science unless you have either a) defeated aging and live forever or b) time travel.

I know that's splitting hairs, but it's entirely plausible and possible that we'd get off the planet and find something in the corner of the cosmos that creates matter spontaneously. That would sure answer a lot of questions.

Mr. Kotter
04-03-2008, 10:22 PM
Did you notice the weird claim Stevie made, he was being a smartazz in response to a silly statement. I don't think he was seriously asking the question.

I know, IJH and you are smarter than this....Stevie's claim, was by no means so narrowing .... he merely suggested the "natural" 'evolution,' if you will.....toward Christianity.

Zoroasterianism-Judaism-Christianity = is not a "logical" stretch; not in the LEAST.... :shrug:

Logical
04-03-2008, 10:33 PM
I know, IJH and you are smarter than this....Stevie's claim, was by no means so narrowing .... he merely suggested the "natural" 'evolution,' if you will.....toward Christianity.

Zoroasterianism-Judaism-Christianity = is not a "logical" stretch; not in the LEAST.... :shrug:
Sorry but I think most people find Christianity not it finds them, so if you are backing that statement we disagree.

irishjayhawk
04-03-2008, 10:37 PM
I know, IJH and you are smarter than this....Stevie's claim, was by no means so narrowing .... he merely suggested the "natural" 'evolution,' if you will.....toward Christianity.

Zoroasterianism-Judaism-Christianity = is not a "logical" stretch; not in the LEAST.... :shrug:

Well, since you're playing serious, I'll oblige.

First, he said Christianity chooses you. It's a laughable claim to say the least. The claim doesn't have any bearing on the "evolution....toward Christianity."

Moreover, if it is a natural progression or evolution, why does Judaism still exist? Doesn't Christianity depend on Christ?

He said that Christianity had the origin it had now: in people's hearts. How can that be the origin if before Christ there was no Christianity? Christianity and Judaism is NOT THE SAME THING.

It is a logical stretch because you have to believe Jesus is the son of god. That's, generally, a HUGE "stretch". But, you know, whatever.

ClevelandBronco
04-03-2008, 10:42 PM
Sorry but I think most people find Christianity not it finds them, so if you are backing that statement we disagree.

I won't pretend that I know much of anything about most people, but Christianity certainly found me. I wasn't looking for it. I didn't want it. I didn't need it. Still, one afternoon it found me.

Since that day I've been trying to find it.

Logical
04-03-2008, 10:45 PM
Well, since you're playing serious, I'll oblige.

First, he said Christianity chooses you. It's a laughable claim to say the least. The claim doesn't have any bearing on the "evolution....toward Christianity."

Moreover, if it is a natural progression or evolution, why does Judaism still exist? Doesn't Christianity depend on Christ?

He said that Christianity had the origin it had now: in people's hearts. How can that be the origin if before Christ there was no Christianity? Christianity and Judaism is NOT THE SAME THING.

It is a logical stretch because you have to believe Jesus is the son of god. That's, generally, a HUGE "stretch". But, you know, whatever.

Dude the majority of Christians believe in Virgin Birth, if they believe that how much of a stretch is the son of God as a concept. Now that I think about it Stevie's statement is not really a stretch in that light.

stevieray
04-03-2008, 10:54 PM
Christianity certainly found me. I wasn't looking for it. I didn't want it. I didn't need it. Still, one afternoon it found me.

Since that day I've been trying to find it.

:clap:

irishjayhawk
04-03-2008, 10:58 PM
I won't pretend that I know much of anything about most people, but Christianity certainly found me. I wasn't looking for it. I didn't want it. I didn't need it. Still, one afternoon it found me.

Since that day I've been trying to find it.

:clap:

What does it even mean to say it "found" you? Does it stalk you?

Dude the majority of Christians believe in Virgin Birth, if they believe that how much of a stretch is the son of God as a concept. Now that I think about it Stevie's statement is not really a stretch in that light.

I know. ;)

It's astonishing the lengths they'll reach for to suspend logic, evidence, and reason. The backbending must hurt.

Mr. Kotter
04-03-2008, 11:01 PM
I won't pretend that I know much of anything about most people, but Christianity certainly found me. I wasn't looking for it. I didn't want it. I didn't need it. Still, one afternoon it found me.

Since that day I've been trying to find it.


That's something that contrarians like IJH and Logical/Illogical (whatever Jim's name is, these days) won't likely ever understand.

You, and I (and Stevie), sadly....are likely pissin' in the wind..... :shrug:

Logical
04-03-2008, 11:03 PM
I won't pretend that I know much of anything about most people, but Christianity certainly found me. I wasn't looking for it. I didn't want it. I didn't need it. Still, one afternoon it found me.

Since that day I've been trying to find it.Just curious are you suggesting you were just changing the oil in your car (or some other mundane activity) and you were suddenly inspired to become a Christian? Sort of a duh I could have had a tomato kind of revelation.

That no one came to you to lead your inspiration?

stevieray
04-03-2008, 11:05 PM
What does it even mean to say it "found" you? Does it stalk you?



I know. ;)

It's astonishing the lengths they'll reach for to suspend logic, evidence, and reason. The backbending must hurt.

No, dude, the only stalking going on is you and others who are imtimidated by the sheer mention of God in any form.

speaking of which, how long did you last before you lost our bet?

irishjayhawk
04-03-2008, 11:06 PM
That's something that contrarians like IJH and Logical/Illogical (whatever Jim's name is, these days) won't likely ever understand.

You, and I (and Stevie), sadly....are likely pissin' in the wind..... :shrug:

Best. Defense. Ever.

The "they won't understand it". It's like if I just typed a random string like: 398470298wngldksygpa9d7u-35 j34987 523u5293y41239841-2 u40298

And then told you that an invisible man told me what it was, meant, and what I should do: tell everyone the meaning of that string.

irishjayhawk
04-03-2008, 11:08 PM
No, dude, the only stalking going on is you and others who are imtimidated by the sheer mention of God in any form.

speaking of which, how long did you last before you lost our bet?

Depends. I don't think I've debated religion. I've talked about it but never debated it, which is what you said.

But no, I'm not intimidated by the sheer mention of God. I'm intimidated by the sheer number of people who believe they're connected to an invisible man in the sky who did some magic.

Mr. Kotter
04-03-2008, 11:08 PM
Best. Defense. Ever.

The "they won't understand it". It's like if I just typed a random string like: 398470298wngldksygpa9d7u-35 j34987 523u5293y41239841-2 u40298

And then told you that an invisible man told me what it was, meant, and what I should do: tell everyone the meaning of that string.

"OMGWTFBBQ"...would have been more effective, Captain Cop-Out.

:rolleyes:

irishjayhawk
04-03-2008, 11:11 PM
"OMGWTFBBQ"...would have been more effective, Captain Cop-Out.

:rolleyes:

I don't see a cop-out there. Though if you want to talk cop-outs let's start with most of the religions in the world.

Having said that, I have to laugh now at the use of "OMGWFTBBQ". Brilliant. :clap:ROFL

ClevelandBronco
04-03-2008, 11:14 PM
Just curious are you suggesting you were just changing the oil in your car (or some other mundane activity) and you were suddenly inspired to become a Christian? Sort of a duh I could have had a tomato kind of revelation.

That no one came to you to lead your inspiration?

Yep.

In fact I had the opportunity to talk several friends out of their faith before then.

I was good at that.

ClevelandBronco
04-03-2008, 11:16 PM
I once talked a guy out of going to seminary. He was scheduled to go the next morning. It took me until sunrise, but I talked him out of it.

keg in kc
04-03-2008, 11:16 PM
Anytime I see a question start with "How many [X]" my brain instantly ends it with "-does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"

That's going to be the extent of my contribution to this thread.

irishjayhawk
04-03-2008, 11:16 PM
I once talked a guy out of going to seminary. He was scheduled to go the next morning. It took me until sunrise, but I talked him out of it.

Did anything involving "sex" happen to come up in that conversion? As in, "Dude you can't have sex again"

stevieray
04-03-2008, 11:18 PM
Depends. I don't think I've debated religion. I've talked about it but never debated it, which is what you said.

But no, I'm not intimidated by the sheer mention of God. I'm intimidated by the sheer number of people who believe they're connected to an invisible man in the sky who did some magic.



discussion is debate...are you really this naive?

ClevelandBronco
04-03-2008, 11:20 PM
Did anything involving "sex" happen to come up in that conversion? As in, "Dude you can't have sex again"

No. I attacked his faith.

irishjayhawk
04-03-2008, 11:20 PM
discussion is debate...are you really this naive?

I believe you said debate, but whatever, I really don't care THAT much about an internet debate, especially when trying to educate people.

Jenson71
04-03-2008, 11:23 PM
Did anything involving "sex" happen to come up in that conversion? As in, "Dude you can't have sex again"

Seminary isn't limited to Catholicism.

irishjayhawk
04-03-2008, 11:26 PM
Seminary isn't limited to Catholicism.

True. Fair point.

Mr. Kotter
04-03-2008, 11:26 PM
Seminary isn't limited to Catholicism.

Fair enough.

But Catholicism, the priesthood, and "celibacy" are intricately....linked....aren't they?h??

;)

stevieray
04-03-2008, 11:27 PM
I believe you said debate, but whatever, I really don't care THAT much about an internet debate, especially when trying to educate people.

the bet was you couldn't go six months without talking about God...you lasted what? a month?

You need God as bad as I do...maybe you could ask yourself why?

Logical
04-03-2008, 11:28 PM
Yep.

In fact I had the opportunity to talk several friends out of their faith before then.

I was good at that.
Interesting

ClevelandBronco
04-03-2008, 11:31 PM
Interesting

I was an evangelical atheist.

Mr. Kotter
04-03-2008, 11:31 PM
the bet was you couldn't go six months without talking about God...you lasted what? a month?

You need God as bad as I do...maybe you could ask yourself why?

Some priest somewhere really did a serious number on some.....alterboy back in the 90's, eh? It would explain a lot, that's for sure....

If there is any justice in the universe, the alterboy will realize...it was not his fault, and that the priest was...a twisted, and sick, bastard.

:hmmm:

Jenson71
04-03-2008, 11:33 PM
Right, but you cannot make a statement that say something can never be explained by science unless you have either a) defeated aging and live forever or b) time travel.

Right, I have those limitations. I'm just telling you how I would define miracle. Hypothetically, we have some event we can never answer through science. It's in total contradiction. That would be a miracle, I think is my answer.

Jenson71
04-03-2008, 11:35 PM
I was an evangelical atheist.

It'd be interesting to hear the process of how you went from that to what you're like today, if you felt like sharing.

Rausch
04-03-2008, 11:37 PM
As a knuckle-smaked Catholic school vet of 12 years I will say they made us learn multiple religions. Buddhism, Islam, Native American traditions, etc.

I don't feel well cultured on where those religions are today but I can at least have a basic understanding of where they come from...

Rausch
04-03-2008, 11:39 PM
Anyone else having problems posting?

elvomito
04-04-2008, 12:08 AM
I think it might help further discourse if you define miracle. For example, a radio transported back in time to the 1500s would be considered a "miracle".
That's along the lines of the definition I would give too. However, it has a flaw. See, my radio example still busts that definition because it can be explained by science - just later in time. So back then, the radio would fit all criteria in that definition but in the 2000s it would fail all the guidelines.

My point is how do you call anything a miracle without having a completely objective look at all of time - here and in the future?you seem to acknowledge that the Bible may in fact be telling the exact truth about everything it contains. have you a fever?

Rausch
04-04-2008, 12:19 AM
you seem to acknowledge that the Bible may in fact be telling the exact truth about everything it contains. have you a fever?

Clearly...:spock:

elvomito
04-04-2008, 12:31 AM
Clearly...:spock:given time, miracles can be explained by science. what's with the weird look?

Saggysack
04-04-2008, 01:07 AM
I don't know much of anything about the origins of christianity. I do know that christianity has stolen a few pagan holidays and claimed them as their own. Like Christmas and Easter. Do not bear false witness. Do not lie.

What I do believe is that if religion, any religion were to be true, it isn't anymore. Man has corrupted it to their liking and advantage with a very helpful dose of a absent father. To follow what we call religion today would equal to following a false god to me. Religion to me isn't about being right, it isn't about one upping the next guy into him believing the other is on the more righteous path. It isn't about increasing my flock or spreading my faith. It isn't about political dodgeball, which you see everyday in our society. It was even attempted by someone in this thread who calls himself a christian.

As a athiest I don't really know if Jesus of Nazareth was real or not. Don't care either. What I do know is that God, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, or any of the like will not provide a roof over my childrens head, they will not make sure my children will not go to bed hungry, they will not make sure my children will be safe at a time I cannot protect them, they will not make sure my children grow up in a healthy, happy, home setting, they will not keep my wife happy in our marriage, they will not pay my debts or relieve my debtors.

What I do know is, as a father myself, and someone who has been told that God is all of our father. I would never treat my children to the environment that he has treated us. War, poverty, hunger, abuse is not a setting I would allow my children to live in. If he is real, he's absent, he is not a father, he is a low life that abandoned his children. Tell a child that is born in painful agony with his heart outside of his chest and terminal that God made him in his vision. His vision was to make the most innocent of this world suffer, and that to me is unforgivable. And that is all I need to say about my faith.

'Hamas' Jenkins
04-04-2008, 01:12 AM
I am taking quite a few Religious Studies classes in the coming months, and I have recently been learning a lot about the origins of religions, christianity included.

I am just curious as to what you think or know about the origins of Christianity.

Not trying to start any shit btw.

Discuss.

Invisible dude made everything in six days, including dudes out of clay and bitches from ribs. They was bad, saw they is naked. Invisible dude gets pissed at their offspring, and gets them all kilt, 'cept for a drunk and 2 of every animal on earth who fit in a boat bigger than the Titanic. People still **** up, invisible dude has his essence bone the shit outta some bitch, she shits out his son even though she's still got a pure box. He's awesome, but pisses off some jew motherf*ckers, so they sell him out. He shits himself atop Golgotha, comes back, and the shroud used to wrap his corpse later becomes Bill Brasky's golf towel. Some rando with schizophrenia tells us how the world's gonna end, a council meets in a Nice-e-a place, decides what jew motherf*ckers gets to write about Invisible dude and which don't. Then, some jew-hating guy becomes the head of 'em, blames the plague on 'em eventually denies the Holocaust existed, and tells the clergy they cain't marry...mainly so they'll leave him and his company all they's money.

Oh, and the Invisible Dude is now channeled through some guys named Jimmy Swaggert, and the like.

Logical
04-04-2008, 01:22 AM
Invisible dude made everything in six days, including dudes out of clay and bitches from ribs. They was bad, saw they is naked. Invisible dude gets pissed at their offspring, and gets them all kilt, 'cept for a drunk and 2 of every animal on earth who fit in a boat bigger than the Titanic. People still **** up, invisible dude has his essence bone the shit outta some bitch, she shits out his son even though she's still got a pure box. He's awesome, but pisses off some jew motherf*ckers, so they sell him out. He shits himself atop Golgotha, comes back, and the shroud used to wrap his corpse later becomes Bill Brasky's golf towel. Some rando with schizophrenia tells us how the world's gonna end, a council meets in a Nice-e-a place, decides what jew motherf*ckers gets to write about Invisible dude and which don't. Then, some jew-hating guy becomes the head of 'em, blames the plague on 'em eventually denies the Holocaust existed, and tells the clergy they cain't marry...mainly so they'll leave him and his company all they's money.

Oh, and the Invisible Dude is now channeled through some guys named Jimmy Swaggert, and the like.

An instant classic, I nominate this post for the Hall of Classics

ROFLROFLROFL

:clap::clap::clap:

Logical
04-04-2008, 01:26 AM
...

What I do know is, as a father myself, and someone who has been told that God is all of our father. I would never treat my children to the environment that he has treated us. War, poverty, hunger, abuse is not a setting I would allow my children to live in. If he is real, he's absent, he is not a father, he is a low life that abandoned his children. Tell a child that is born in painful agony with his heart outside of his chest and terminal that God made him in his vision. His vision was to make the most innocent of this world suffer, and that to me is unforgivable. And that is all I need to say about my faith.

What can I say dad is an alcholic slum lord who beats his kids, makes them fight his battles with the neighbors, runs off with the local whore for days at a time, and uses his money to feed some of your brothers and sisters but not others.

Saggysack
04-04-2008, 01:33 AM
What can I say dad is an alcholic slum lord who beats his kids, makes them fight his battles with the neighbors, runs off with the local whore for days at a time, and uses his money to feed some of your brothers and sisters but not others.

...the truth will make you free.

ClevelandBronco
04-04-2008, 01:37 AM
It'd be interesting to hear the process of how you went from that to what you're like today, if you felt like sharing.

The story of my revelation is probably not going inspire anyone else. I've told it before on the Planet and as far as I know it didn't lead to any conversions, but that's not my job anyway. God will reveal Himself to His children in His own time, right?

I was an Ayn Rand-style atheist from the age of 16 or so. I read "Anthem" which led to "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged." Strangely, at the same time I was reading "The Communist Manifesto" and "Das Kapital." I guess I was allowing those very divergent philosophies to duke it out inside my head. Ayn Rand won, (but it took several years) obviously, given my political stance these days.

At any rate, both views are atheist at their core. At least that's what they say. I've since recognized that all men and all philosophies have gods, but not all systems worship the same god. (In the case of Marx, he worships the worker. In the case of Rand, she worships the inventor [And very probably the inventor in the form of the novel writer. How convenient for her.])

As a young man I talked a man out of leaving for seminary school in the morning. I was instrumental in blowing up the faith of a Methodist lay pastor I knew. I helped shake another friend's faith to the point that he tried to commit suicide. He survived and I was sure that his survival was a sign that he finally understood that his life was in his own hands and he should damned well get his shit together and claim it for himself.

There were other conversations along the way. I did my best to convince whomever I was speaking with that God did not exist in any form.

So anyway, I was working on a project in my garage one day years after I had talked that friend out of becoming a priest (and God knows how many other transgressions) and I felt "it."

"It" was like a string that was plucked inside my chest. I remember the feeling. I remember the moment. I said out loud, "You've got to be kidding."

I've never experienced anything like it before or since. "It" caused me to direct myself to learn more about Jesus. "It" leads me to try to be a Christian.

I'm still chasing "it." I trust that "it" has the patience to wait for me.

That's my story.

ClevelandBronco
04-04-2008, 02:01 AM
Edit

Logical
04-04-2008, 02:47 AM
The story of my revelation is probably not going inspire anyone else. I've told it before on the Planet and as far as I know it didn't lead to any conversions, but that's not my job anyway. God will reveal Himself to His children in His own time, right?

I was an Ayn Rand-style atheist from the age of 16 or so. I read "Anthem" which led to "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged." Strangely, at the same time I was reading "The Communist Manifesto" and "Das Kapital." I guess I was allowing those very divergent philosophies to duke it out inside my head. Ayn Rand won, (but it took several years) obviously, given my political stance these days.

At any rate, both views are atheist at their core. At least that's what they say. I've since recognized that all men and all philosophies have gods, but not all systems worship the same god. (In the case of Marx, he worships the worker. In the case of Rand, she worships the inventor [And very probably the inventor in the form of the novel writer. How convenient for her.])

As a young man I talked a man out of leaving for seminary school in the morning. I was instrumental in blowing up the faith of a Methodist lay pastor I knew. I helped shake another friend's faith to the point that he tried to commit suicide. He survived and I was sure that his survival was a sign that he finally understood that his life was in his own hands and he should damned well get his shit together and claim it for himself.

There were other conversations along the way. I did my best to convince whomever I was speaking with that God did not exist in any form.

So anyway, I was working on a project in my garage one day years after I had talked that friend out of becoming a priest (and God knows how many other transgressions) and I felt "it."

"It" was like a string that was plucked inside my chest. I remember the feeling. I remember the moment. I said out loud, "You've got to be kidding."

I've never experienced anything like it before or since. "It" caused me to direct myself to learn more about Jesus. "It" leads me to try to be a Christian.

I'm still chasing "it." I trust that "it" has the patience to wait for me.

That's my story.Nice story

irishjayhawk
04-04-2008, 08:35 AM
the bet was you couldn't go six months without talking about God...you lasted what? a month?

You need God as bad as I do...maybe you could ask yourself why?
ROFL

Now I know why you fail logic and resort to invisible men in the sky.

Just because I talk about the non-existence of god means I need the non-existence god. ROFL


I was an evangelical atheist.

No such thing. Just as no militant atheists, which is the new favorite term. There's also no such thing as a fundamentalist atheist.

Atheism is a religion in the same way that off is a television channel.
Atheism is a religion in the same way that bald is a hair color.

Mr. Kotter
04-04-2008, 08:49 AM
No such thing. Just as no militant atheists, which is the new favorite term. There's also no such thing as a fundamentalist atheist.

Atheism is a religion in the same way that off is a television channel.
Atheism is a religion in the same way that bald is a hair color.

And, yet....immature, insecure, and angry non-believers are constantly whining and sniveling over the lame claims of infringement on their imagined "rights" .... when others choose to exercise their own undisputed and constitutionally guaranteed First Amendment rights.

Afterall, the phrase is "freedom OF religion"....not "freedom FROM religion." No amount of spin will change that.

Such immense silliness and wasted time, effort, and energy....will be embarrassing to you when you look back at yourself later in life.

stevieray
04-04-2008, 09:01 AM
ROFL

Now I know why you fail logic and resort to invisible men in the sky.

Just because I talk about the non-existence of god means I need the non-existence god. ROFL




fail logic? logic said you couldn't go six months..and logic was right...

Adept Havelock
04-04-2008, 09:28 AM
Afterall, the phrase is "freedom OF religion"....not "freedom FROM religion." No amount of spin will change that.


Yet I often hear believers claim athiesm is a religion. :shrug:

IMO, It's not a religion, but it is a form of faith.

I have no solid evidence that the supernatural doesn't exist, merely my own experiences and perceptions have led me to this conclusion. However, as I have no proof, it is a form of faith.

FWIW- I really don't get "evangelizing" athiesm (trying to convince others of the sole correctness of my viewpoint), as what someone believes doesn't really affect me. Unless of course they are trying to codify it in law or pushing to change the basic definition of science (as the ID folks are).

I also have to wonder how quickly you would join some of those "immature, insecure, and angry non-believers" in their "whining and sniveling over the lame claims of infringement on their imagined 'rights'", if a group with sufficient political clout attempted to force your school board to insist legends of Greek Mythology or some of the unverifiable stories of the Bible be taught as actual History in your school, with only the disclaimer "This is another point of view, but it's just as historically valid and worthy of consideration as Herodotus." :hmmm:

It's all about whose ox is being gored. JMO.

Mr. Kotter
04-04-2008, 10:36 AM
Yet I often hear believers claim athiesm is a religion. :shrug:

IMO, It's not a religion, but it is a form of faith.

I have no solid evidence that the supernatural doesn't exist, merely my own experiences and perceptions have led me to this conclusion. However, as I have no proof, it is a form of faith.

FWIW- I really don't get "evangelizing" athiesm (trying to convince others of the sole correctness of my viewpoint), as what someone believes doesn't really affect me. Unless of course they are trying to codify it in law or pushing to change the basic definition of science (as the ID folks are).

I also have to wonder how quickly you would join some of those "immature, insecure, and angry non-believers" in their "whining and sniveling over the lame claims of infringement on their imagined 'rights'", if a group with sufficient political clout attempted to force your school board to insist legends of Greek Mythology or some of the unverifiable stories of the Bible be taught as actual History in your school, with only the disclaimer "This is another point of view, but it's just as historically valid and worthy of consideration as Herodotus." :hmmm:

It's all about whose ox is being gored. JMO.

I am one of those who considers atheism, as you say, a form of faith (semantics aside, it is akin to religion.)

The problem with you and those like you) is that you are reasonable and, yes, logical in your analysis in this argument....understanding the distinction between articles of faith, and empirical matters (which IJH appears incapable of.) Stop that, damn it. It's the reason you are more tolerant. How do you expect to embrace the full vitriolic hatred (that so many who hold similar positions of religious intolerance and bigotry) when you choose to use the brain God gave you. Come on, man....get with the program!

:cuss:

I understand the logic behind atheistic evangelism, but it really is pathetic, misguided, and just plain silly for the most part. At least religious evangelism is something many feel we are commanded, by God, to do. Who do atheistic evangelists blame their zealotry on? Heh.

Of course, it is a matter of whose Ox is being gored. FWIW, I'd advocate a diverse and widelty divergent curriculum in a perfect world. Let students make up their own minds; but ensure they are given a reasonable presentation of competing perspectives.

stevieray
04-04-2008, 10:47 AM
I'd like to see the statistics of atheism's success rate in turning people's lives around in prisons.

Adept Havelock
04-04-2008, 10:50 AM
Heh. Yep, I'm just too damn tolerant for my own good. :)



Of course, it is a matter of whose Ox is being gored. FWIW, I'd advocate a diverse and widelty divergent curriculum in a perfect world. Let students make up their own minds; but ensure they are given a reasonable presentation of competing perspectives.

So are you actually OK with teaching Greek Mythology as being just as "legitimate" history as Herodotus?

I'm also for a divergent curriculum, as long as it's "categorized" correctly.

IMO, that means teaching ID/Creationism/Relgion in Philosophy/Religion classes and Science in Science classes. Or in your instance, Mythology in Humanities/Literature classes, and History in History classes.

Otherwise, we might as well teach Astrology in Astronomy class in order to "teach the controversy".

I can't see evangelizing athiesm as any more "pathetic" than evangelizing religion. The only purpose of both is to convince someone else their current worldview is incorrect, and yours is a superior one. A Religious person believes they are doing "Gods will", while the Athiest (in many cases) believes they are working against a destructive meme. Both are doing what they believe to be "correct", the difference being the religious is other-directed, the athiest is likely (but not always) self-directed. I just don't see how that makes them "more" pathetic, but I can see how a religious person would want to choose to believe that. Much as IJH chooses to see a religious evangalist as "more pathetic". From where I sit, there's very little difference.

JMO.

I'd like to see the statistics of atheism's success rate in turning people's lives around in prisons.

Feel free to sponsor a study. ;)

BucEyedPea
04-04-2008, 10:58 AM
So are you actually OK with teaching Greek Mythology as being just as "legitimate" history as Herodotus?
So you don't think there isn't a good lesson to learn about how Aphrodite can make men act like fools...to the point of starting a war? Ya' know the Trojan War.

The debbil made me post that. :evil:

Adept Havelock
04-04-2008, 10:59 AM
So you don't think there isn't a good lesson to learn about how Aphrodite can make men act like fools...to the point of starting a war? Ya' know the Trojan War.

The debbil made me post that. :evil:

Sure I do. I loved my mythology class in High School.

Do I think it should be taught in History Class? Nope.

This is a poor analogy, but I think it would still explain my POV. "Troy" would belong in History Class, where "The Odyssey" would belong in "Mythology/Literature".

Dick Cheney made you post that? :eek: Indeed, his dark powers have grown. :fire:

BucEyedPea
04-04-2008, 11:02 AM
Ayn Rand won, (but it took several years) obviously, given my political stance these days.

At any rate, both views are atheist at their core.
That's actually true. One thing many fault Rand for was her lack of spiritual values.

BucEyedPea
04-04-2008, 11:04 AM
Sure I do. I loved my mythology class in High School.

Do I think it should be taught in History Class? Nope.

Dick Cheney made you post that? :eek: Indeed, his dark powers have grown. :fire:

Well I think she should be held responsible for that war. JMO though.:D

Bowser
04-04-2008, 11:05 AM
Need to jump in/hijack for a moment....

I had a long discussion with a baptist fundamentalist this week. He claims the bible has been proven to be accurate to the word that is written inside of it based on archeological finds as of late in and around Israel. He wouldn't expand on "what" was found, or by whom, just kept hammering away with the same statement. Does anyone know of such news, archeologically speaking?

BucEyedPea
04-04-2008, 11:07 AM
Fair enough.

But Catholicism, the priesthood, and "celibacy" are intricately....linked....aren't they?h??

;)

For Buddhist monks and nuns too.

irishjayhawk
04-04-2008, 11:10 AM
And, yet....immature, insecure, and angry non-believers are constantly whining and sniveling over the lame claims of infringement on their imagined "rights" .... when others choose to exercise their own undisputed and constitutionally guaranteed First Amendment rights.

Where have I ever infringed on your First Amendment Rights? Where have atheists ever done that?

Writing on coins? Ten Commandments in courthouses? Pledge? These are all places where Christianity has violated the "freedom of religion" clause.

Afterall, the phrase is "freedom OF religion"....not "freedom FROM religion." No amount of spin will change that.

Yes, take the Constitution literal when you want and take it figuratively when you want. Constitution is no different than any other document where it can be twisted to support anything you want depending on how you want to read it to support that claim.


Such immense silliness and wasted time, effort, and energy....will be embarrassing to you when you look back at yourself later in life.

Silliness?

I do fear that it's a wasted time because most people cannot think for themselves, which is all I ask. Of course, you will argue that you are thinking for yourself and you still end up Christian/Muslim etc.

I don't think I'll ever be embarrassed later in life. Why would I?

fail logic? logic said you couldn't go six months..and logic was right...

No, you said I couldn't go six months mostly because you wanted no one to call into question your belief. Seriously, the more you speak the more I'm pretty sure you're a fundamentalist.

Yet I often hear believers claim athiesm is a religion. :shrug:

Yep. I hear this claim often and it, like you point out, violates Kotter's point.

IMO, It's not a religion, but it is a form of faith.

I don't consider it a form of faith unless you consider taking the non-existence of leprechauns a form of faith. Do you?

I have no solid evidence that the supernatural doesn't exist, merely my own experiences and perceptions have led me to this conclusion. However, as I have no proof, it is a form of faith.

But see, my problem with this is merely that you are not asserting any claim. Believers assert the claim that god exists and then expect people to DISPROVE it. The point is, like everywhere else in life, you take all the evidence together and you make a conclusion.

There is no evidence of leprechauns, therefore the probability of their existence is close to nil. Is that faith? If so, where do you draw the line between faith and reality? If it is faith, couldn't anything be looked at as a leap of faith since we don't have concrete evidence? Wouldn't The Matrix as a movie be a viable faith since we don't have evidence that we aren't a living in a computer software? There obviously has to be a line.

FWIW- I really don't get "evangelizing" athiesm (trying to convince others of the sole correctness of my viewpoint), as what someone believes doesn't really affect me. Unless of course they are trying to codify it in law or pushing to change the basic definition of science (as the ID folks are).

This is my main point of contingency. That and the fact that as a society we need to move on.

We need to think about the survival of the species, of longer lifespans, of getting off the planet. However, there isn't much motivation when there's "eternity" awaiting the majority of people and there is this "invisible man" that cares about anything and everything in the normal course of every man's life.

How can science progress if we're constantly battling the young generation of minds with the "Debate" on evolution?


I also have to wonder how quickly you would join some of those "immature, insecure, and angry non-believers" in their "whining and sniveling over the lame claims of infringement on their imagined 'rights'", if a group with sufficient political clout attempted to force your school board to insist legends of Greek Mythology or some of the unverifiable stories of the Bible be taught as actual History in your school, with only the disclaimer "This is another point of view, but it's just as historically valid and worthy of consideration as Herodotus." :hmmm:

Or, as a perfect example, the FSM theory of creation in the science classroom. But your example is brilliant because I've always wondered when in a society or at what point a religion goes from a religion to myth.

It's all about whose ox is being gored. JMO.

While I somewhat agree, I think there's more to it than that.

I'd like to see the statistics of atheism's success rate in turning people's lives around in prisons.

ROFL

Atheism is a religion like bald is a hair color. Moreover, you speak just like a true devout would. You prey on the weak, poor, uneducated, and stupid. And then when they show signs - any signs - of turning around their life, you immediately claim it as your work while simultaneously ignoring any cases where it doesn't work.

Heh. Yep, I'm just too damn tolerant for my own good. :)

Indeed. I have a question for you though and I'm sure you've seen it in our past threads but: Are there views that deem no tolerance from people?

I'd say yes. Phelps crew is one. 2+2=5 is another. But where do you draw the line? There sure are some whacky religions. Scientology is a prime example. How can someone of faith really say that's not a faith?

Where do you draw the line?



So are you actually OK with teaching Greek Mythology as being just as "legitimate" history as Herodotus?

His answer is pretty textbook ID. Give all points of view and let them make their own decision. It's great in theory, but horrendous in practice. We might as well tell students that the certain rules of mathematics are up for debate as well. In this new world, anything is possible.

I'm also for a divergent curriculum, as long as it's "categorized" correctly.

How so? Christianity is almost never classified as myth, even though most past religions have been relegated to myth. I would say it's an example of a bad category. Just as ID is science and Greek Mythology is history.


IMO, that means teaching ID/Creationism/Relgion in Philosophy/Religion classes and Science in Science classes. Or in your instance, Mythology in Humanities/Literature classes, and History in History classes. Otherwise, we might as well teach Astrology in Astronomy class to "teach the controversy" JMO.

:clap: Agreed.

irishjayhawk
04-04-2008, 11:11 AM
Need to jump in/hijack for a moment....

I had a long discussion with a baptist fundamentalist this week. He claims the bible has been proven to be accurate to the word that is written inside of it based on archeological finds as of late in and around Israel. He wouldn't expand on "what" was found, or by whom, just kept hammering away with the same statement. Does anyone know of such news, archeologically speaking?

No, but pi is 3. ;)

BucEyedPea
04-04-2008, 11:15 AM
Need to jump in/hijack for a moment....

I had a long discussion with a baptist fundamentalist this week. He claims the bible has been proven to be accurate to the word that is written inside of it based on archeological finds as of late in and around Israel. He wouldn't expand on "what" was found, or by whom, just kept hammering away with the same statement. Does anyone know of such news, archeologically speaking?

There's was a segment of "Underground Cities" on the History Channel last nite that covered some....like where John the Baptist did his baptisms. There's another I saw about that could have been the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

And after 9/11 I spent some time going back through ancient history to add up who had the land in Palestine the longest which took me through some newer additional archaelogical finds in Egypt that showed good evidence for Exodus. It was a pretty awesome find. This led to questioning of some dates being inaccurate earlier too.

There was another History Channel, I think it was or it may have been Discovery on Atlantis and the Greek Island of Santorini...whose volcanic explosions and or quakes may have effected the northern section of the Red Sea, which was shallow and marshy per some which could have caused the water to roll back and then reflow back like a tide just in time to save the Jews running from Pharoah's army.

Another explanation I heard was that that part of the Red Sea had some sort of channels but the Santorini explanation makes more sense to me. Last night the program said in some areas of Palestine there are still 26 layers of cities over each other.

stevieray
04-04-2008, 11:15 AM
No, you said I couldn't go six months mostly because you wanted no one to call into question your belief. Seriously, the more you speak the more I'm pretty sure you're a fundamentalist.






You lost the bet because of your own actions....my goodness, find some integrity.

irishjayhawk
04-04-2008, 11:16 AM
You lost the bet because of your own actions....my goodness, find some integrity.

I already said I lost. And I don't really care. Just as people say they wouldn't say things in person, I wouldn't welch in person. But you have a weird sense of logic regardless.

Adept Havelock
04-04-2008, 11:17 AM
Where do you draw the line?


IMO, when something does more harm than good. I do not believe that to be the case when it comes to religion. Your results may differ. :shrug:

irishjayhawk
04-04-2008, 11:17 AM
There's was a segment of "Underground cities" on the History Channel last nite that covered some....like where John the Baptist did his baptisms. There's another I read about that could have been the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

And after 9/11 I spent some time going back through ancient history to add up who had the land in Palestine the longest which took me through some newer additional archaelogical finds in Egypt that showed good evidence for Exodus. It was a pretty awesome find. This led to questioning of some dates being inaccurate earlier too.

There was another History Channel, I think it was or it may have been Discovery on Atlanta and the Greek Island of Santorini...whose volcanic explosions and or quakes may have effected the northern section of the Red Sea, which was shallow and marshy per some which could have caused the water to roll back and then reflow back like a tide just in time to save the Jews running from Pharoah's army.

Another explanation I heard was that that part of the Red Sea had some sort of channels but the Santorini explanation makes more sense to me. Last night the program said in some areas of Palestine there are still 26 layers of cities over each other.

IMO, this is just really big backbending to make science fit religious texts.

irishjayhawk
04-04-2008, 11:18 AM
IMO, when something does more harm than good. I do not believe that to be the case when it comes to religion. Your results may differ. :shrug:

Well that's fair. But it raises another question in my book:

Wouldn't the "good" of Christianity always trump the ID movement and such? It seems like you're just setting yourself up to draw another line.

tiptap
04-04-2008, 11:27 AM
The story of my revelation is probably not going inspire anyone else. I've told it before on the Planet and as far as I know it didn't lead to any conversions, but that's not my job anyway. God will reveal Himself to His children in His own time, right?

I was an Ayn Rand-style atheist from the age of 16 or so. I read "Anthem" which led to "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged." Strangely, at the same time I was reading "The Communist Manifesto" and "Das Kapital." I guess I was allowing those very divergent philosophies to duke it out inside my head. Ayn Rand won, (but it took several years) obviously, given my political stance these days.

At any rate, both views are atheist at their core. At least that's what they say. I've since recognized that all men and all philosophies have gods, but not all systems worship the same god. (In the case of Marx, he worships the worker. In the case of Rand, she worships the inventor [And very probably the inventor in the form of the novel writer. How convenient for her.])

As a young man I talked a man out of leaving for seminary school in the morning. I was instrumental in blowing up the faith of a Methodist lay pastor I knew. I helped shake another friend's faith to the point that he tried to commit suicide. He survived and I was sure that his survival was a sign that he finally understood that his life was in his own hands and he should damned well get his shit together and claim it for himself.

There were other conversations along the way. I did my best to convince whomever I was speaking with that God did not exist in any form.

So anyway, I was working on a project in my garage one day years after I had talked that friend out of becoming a priest (and God knows how many other transgressions) and I felt "it."

"It" was like a string that was plucked inside my chest. I remember the feeling. I remember the moment. I said out loud, "You've got to be kidding."

I've never experienced anything like it before or since. "It" caused me to direct myself to learn more about Jesus. "It" leads me to try to be a Christian.

I'm still chasing "it." I trust that "it" has the patience to wait for me.

That's my story.

And as long as we are giving testimonies, my arc/ark went the other way, will except for the part about Rand and Marx. Neither one of them rang true. I remember the heart strings of those teenager/young adult years. It just that all experience is local. And it doesn't get more local than one's own feelings.

But I had too many questions. For example, the risen Christ had scars of his crucifixion. So if I had my head shot or eaten by animals or burned at the stake for my convictions, what kind of body would I get? If you believe in the trinity then Jesus couldn't die as He was God. That is different than being human. What assurance that humans get a resurrection? (I know Lazarus, he was added for just this question). Why does God need a blood offering to forgive? Why if all people can get the heart string plucked are there not equal percentage of Chinese, Europeans, Africans, and Indians Christian? Those are theological questions. The scientific problems are a different set.

Bowser
04-04-2008, 11:27 AM
There's was a segment of "Underground Cities" on the History Channel last nite that covered some....like where John the Baptist did his baptisms. There's another I saw about that could have been the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

And after 9/11 I spent some time going back through ancient history to add up who had the land in Palestine the longest which took me through some newer additional archaelogical finds in Egypt that showed good evidence for Exodus. It was a pretty awesome find. This led to questioning of some dates being inaccurate earlier too.

There was another History Channel, I think it was or it may have been Discovery on Atlantis and the Greek Island of Santorini...whose volcanic explosions and or quakes may have effected the northern section of the Red Sea, which was shallow and marshy per some which could have caused the water to roll back and then reflow back like a tide just in time to save the Jews running from Pharoah's army.

Another explanation I heard was that that part of the Red Sea had some sort of channels but the Santorini explanation makes more sense to me. Last night the program said in some areas of Palestine there are still 26 layers of cities over each other.

Interesting. Thanks. I really wouldn't mind learning more of biblical times from a historical view.

The problem with debating the god issue with a fundamentalist is that they are never wrong, nor open to any ideas outside what is written. And this guy is old school - we are all born sinners, destined to burn in the lake if we don't repent, etc. etc. And of course at the end of our conversation, he hits me with the fundamentalist money shot - "If you don't want to save your soul for yourself, save it for your wife, child, family, and friends ". I had no idea he would try to scare me into "salvation". :D

BucEyedPea
04-04-2008, 11:30 AM
IMO, this is just really big backbending to make science fit religious texts.

How could you form such a firm opinion without ever seeing the programs?
You're operating on faith here too.

As if the Jewish people never existed or had a history, such as being slaves in Egypt. The Bible is also a history of a people. The evidence of pottery with what are deemed Jewish markings on them in Egypt, the small boxes ( coffins of their babies) under the homes and the suddeness of daily activities just stopping shown by how they left their tools were pretty convincing....and I don't know if the archaelogists were Christian or Jewish either but just professionals.

tiptap
04-04-2008, 11:40 AM
Interesting. Thanks. I really wouldn't mind learning more of biblical times from a historical view.

The problem with debating the god issue with a fundamentalist is that they are never wrong, nor open to any ideas outside what is written. And this guy is old school - we are all born sinners, destined to burn in the lake if we don't repent, etc. etc. And of course at the end of our conversation, he hits me with the fundamentalist money shot - "If you don't want to save your soul for yourself, save it for your wife, child, family, and friends ". I had no idea he would try to scare me into "salvation". :D

I lived with a college friend after college. (He would later end up a State Senator) His father was a Baptist Preacher. He was religion major in college. He tells the "ploy" he would use occasionally. After getting a person worked up about death and eternal damnation and being right with God and there was still hesitation in making that final step, he would drop his Bible. And then as the person bent over to pick it up he would kneel with him and lean a little on them and ask "while we are down on our knee here, don't you want to pray to God for your soul."

It is your eternal life we are talking about and a star in my crown when I meet Jesus.

irishjayhawk
04-04-2008, 01:02 PM
How could you form such a firm opinion without ever seeing the programs?

I would undoubtedly enjoy seeing such programs.

You're operating on faith here too.

As if the Jewish people never existed or had a history, such as being slaves in Egypt. The Bible is also a history of a people. The evidence of pottery with what are deemed Jewish markings on them in Egypt, the small boxes ( coffins of their babies) under the homes and the suddeness of daily activities just stopping shown by how they left their tools were pretty convincing....and I don't know if the archaelogists were Christian or Jewish either but just professionals.

Greek myths have had historical accuracies and things as well.

Dave Lane
04-04-2008, 02:32 PM
I figured that good ole Dave Lane...."cut and paste" poster who-has-an-axe-to-grind EXTRAORDINAIRE would have a significant showing in this thread....Heh.



I see he didn't disappoint me. So, why don't you tell us....are you unable to sleep due to reoccurring childhood night terrors and/or bedwetting, or do you still have Freudian issues to bring to closure over your childhood/growing up issues with your youth pastor/priest....that have taken you to this point? :hmmm:

;)

Actually I've seen several people make those same points on here about you. And no I have no axe to grind merely facts to share. And I refuse to type that much info myself :)

Dave

Dave Lane
04-04-2008, 02:36 PM
Two fundamental questions I'd like all christians on here to answer for me.

1) What happened to everyone in the world that died before christ or was born in to remote a place ie South America pre-1492?

2) Who did Cain marry?

Please explain in detail :)

Thank you
Dave

Dave Lane
04-04-2008, 03:06 PM
Now that's a surprise. Why do you think that?

He was in fact mentioned by both Josephus and Pliny at the time.

Dave

Dave Lane
04-04-2008, 03:34 PM
Need to jump in/hijack for a moment....

I had a long discussion with a baptist fundamentalist this week. He claims the bible has been proven to be accurate to the word that is written inside of it based on archeological finds as of late in and around Israel. He wouldn't expand on "what" was found, or by whom, just kept hammering away with the same statement. Does anyone know of such news, archeologically speaking?

Yes they found a rent receipt with Jesus's name on it. :)

Dave

OK I lied :)

Jenson71
04-04-2008, 05:07 PM
He was in fact mentioned by both Josephus and Pliny at the time.

Dave

Both Josephus and Pliny mention Jesus too. Josephus calls him the one "who is called the messiah" in book 20 of Antiquities of the Jews, and a longer description in book 18 of Antiquities.

Pliny mentions Jesus as someone who was worshiped as a god.

Mr. Kotter
04-05-2008, 01:09 AM
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Go Jayhawks!

:KU:

Dave Lane
04-05-2008, 08:30 AM
Both Josephus and Pliny mention Jesus too. Josephus calls him the one "who is called the messiah" in book 20 of Antiquities of the Jews, and a longer description in book 18 of Antiquities.

Pliny mentions Jesus as someone who was worshiped as a god.

Not True at all. Read below for Josephus information

Josephus (c37-100 AD)


Flavius Josephus is a highly respected and much-quoted Romano-Jewish historian. The early Christians were zealous readers of his work.

A native of Judea, living in the 1st century AD, Josephus was actually governor of Galilee for a time (prior to the war of 70 AD) – the very province in which Jesus allegedly did his wonders. Though not born until 37 AD and therefore not a contemporary witness to any Jesus-character, Josephus at one point even lived in Cana, the very city in which Christ is said to have wrought his first miracle.

Josephus's two major tomes are History of The Jewish War and The Antiquities of the Jews. In these complementary works, the former written in the 70s, the latter in the 90s AD, Josephus mentions every noted personage of Palestine and describes every important event which occurred there during the first seventy years of the Christian era.

At face value, Josephus appears to be the answer to the Christian apologist's dreams.

In a single paragraph (the so-called Testimonium Flavianum) Josephus confirms every salient aspect of the Christ-myth:

1. Jesus's existence 2. his 'more than human' status 3. his miracle working 4. his teaching 5. his ministry among the Jews and the Gentiles 6. his Messiahship 7. his condemnation by the Jewish priests 8. his sentence by Pilate 9. his death on the cross 10. the devotion of his followers 11. his resurrection on the 3rd day 12. his post-death appearance 13. his fulfillment of divine prophesy 14. the successful continuance of the Christians.

In just 127 words Josephus confirms everything – now that is a miracle!

BUT WAIT A MINUTE ...

Not a single writer before the 4th century – not Justin, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Cyprian, Arnobius, etc. – in all their defences against pagan hostility, makes a single reference to Josephus’ wondrous words.

The third century Church 'Father' Origen, for example, spent half his life and a quarter of a million words contending against the pagan writer Celsus. Origen drew on all sorts of proofs and witnesses to his arguments in his fierce defence of Christianity. He quotes from Josephus extensively. Yet even he makes no reference to this 'golden paragraph' from Josephus, which would have been the ultimate rebuttal. In fact, Origen actually said that Josephus was "not believing in Jesus as the Christ."

Origen did not quote the 'golden paragraph' because this paragraph had not yet been written.

It was absent from early copies of the works of Josephus and did not appear in Origen's third century version of Josephus, referenced in his Contra Celsum.

Josephus knows nothing of Christians

It was the around the year 53 AD that Josephus decided to investigate the sects among the Jews. According to the gospel fable this was the period of explosive growth for the Christian faith: " the churches ... throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria ... were edified... and ... were multiplied." – Acts 9:31.

This is also the time of the so-called "Council of Jerusalem" when supposedly Paul regaled the brothers with tales of "miracles and wonders" among the gentiles (Acts 15.12).

And yet Josephus knows nothing of all this:

"When I was sixteen years old, I decided to get experience with the various sects that are among us. These are three: as we have said many times, the first, that of the Pharisees, the second that of the Saduccees, the third, that of the Essenes. For I thought that in this way I would choose best, if I carefully examined them all. Therefore, submitting myself to strict training, I passed through the three groups." – Life, 2.

Josephus elsewhere does record a "fourth sect of Jewish philosophy" and reports that it was a "mad distemper" agitating the entire country. But it has nothing to do with Christianity and its superstar:

"But of the fourth sect of Jewish philosophy, Judas the Galilean was the author. These men agree in all other things with the Pharisaic notions; but they have an inviolable attachment to liberty, and say that God is to be their only Ruler and Lord. They also do not value dying any kinds of death, nor indeed do they heed the deaths of their relations and friends, nor can any such fear make them call any man lord ... And it was in Gessius Florus's time that the nation began to grow mad with this distemper, who was our procurator, and who occasioned the Jews to go wild with it by the abuse of his authority, and to make them revolt from the Romans. And these are the sects of Jewish philosophy." – Antiquities 18.23.

Nothing could better illustrate the bogus nature of the Testimonium than the remaining corpus of Josephus's work.

Consider, also, the anomalies:

1. How could Josephus claim that Jesus had been the answer to his messianic hopes yet remain an orthodox Jew?
The absurdity forces some apologists to make the ridiculous claim that Josephus was a closet Christian!

2. If Josephus really thought Jesus had been 'the Christ' surely he would have added more about him than one paragraph, a casual aside in someone else's (Pilate's) story?

In fact, Josephus relates much more about John the Baptist than about Jesus! He also reports in great detail the antics of other self-proclaimed messiahs, including Judas of Galilee, Theudas the Magician, and the unnamed 'Egyptian Jew' messiah.

It is striking that though Josephus confirms everything the Christians could wish for, he adds nothing that is not in the gospel narratives, nothing that would have been unknown by Christians already.

3. The passage is out of context. Book 18 starts with the Roman taxation under Cyrenius in 6 AD, talks about various Jewish sects at the time, including the Essenes, and a sect of Judas the Galilean. He discusses Herod's building of various cities, the succession of priests and procurators, and so on.

Chapter 3 starts with a sedition against Pilate who planned to slaughter all the Jews but changed his mind. Pilate then used sacred money to supply water to Jerusalem, and the Jews protested. Pilate sent spies among the Jews with concealed weapons, and there was a great massacre.

Then comes the paragraph about Jesus, and immediately after it, Josephus continues:

'And about the same time another terrible misfortune confounded the Jews ...'

Josephus, an orthodox Jew, would not have thought the Christian story to be 'another terrible misfortune.' It is only a Christian who would have considered this to be a Jewish tragedy.

Paragraph 3 can be lifted out of the text with no damage to the chapter. It flows better without it. Outside of this tiny paragraph, in all of Josephus's voluminous works, there is not a single reference to Christianity anywhere.

4. The phrase 'to this day' confirms that this is a later interpolation. There was no 'tribe of Christians' during Josephus's time. Christianity did not get off the ground until the second century.

5. The hyperbolic language is uncharacteristic of the historian:


'... as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him."

This is the stuff of Christian propaganda.


REALITY CHECK

In fact, the Josephus paragraph about Jesus does not appear until the beginning of the fourth century, at the time of Constantine.

Bishop Eusebius, that great Church propagandist and self-confessed liar-for-god, was the first person known to have quoted this paragraph of Josephus, about the year 340 AD. This was after the Christians had become the custodians of religious correctness.

Whole libraries of antiquity were torched by the Christians. Yet unlike the works of his Jewish contemporaries, the histories of Josephus survived. They survived because the Christian censors had a use for them. They planted evidence on Josephus, turning the leading Jewish historian of his day into a witness for Jesus Christ ! Finding no references to Jesus anywhere in Josephus's genuine work, they interpolated a brief but all-embracing reference based purely on Christian belief.

Do we need to look any further to identify Eusebius himself as the forger?

Sanctioned by the imperial propagandist every Christian commentator for the next thirteen centuries accepted unquestioningly the entire Testimonium Flavianum, along with its declaration that Jesus “was the Messiah.”

And even in the twenty first century scholars who should know better trot out a truncated version of the 'golden paragraph' in a scurrilous attempt to keep Josephus 'on message.'

Dave Lane
04-05-2008, 08:31 AM
Heres Pliny's infor

Pliny the Younger (61-115 AD)

Around 112 AD, in correspondence between Emperor Trajan and the provincial governor of Pontus/Bithynia, Pliny the Younger, reference is made to Christians for the first time. Pliny famously reports to his emperor:

'Christians ... asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so. ' – Pliny to Trajan, Letters 10.96-97.

Note that Pliny is relaying what those arrested said they believed (and there is no reference here to a 'Jesus.')

Pliny had convened trials of Christians, not because of their beliefs but because he had 'forbidden political associations' which he obviously suspected them of forming. He continues:

'Accordingly, I judged it all the more necessary to find out what the truth was by torturing two female slaves who were called deaconesses. But I discovered nothing else but depraved, excessive superstition.'

Some of those arrested recanted, worshipped the imperial image and state gods, and cursed Christ. But Pliny is uncertain how to proceed with numerous others in what he describes as a widespread 'contagion' and asks Trajan for guidance. Trajan's celebrated reply is:

' They are not to be sought out; if they are denounced and proved guilty, they are to be punished, with this reservation, that whoever denies that he is a Christian and really proves it -- that is, by worshiping our gods -- even though he was under suspicion in the past, shall obtain pardon through repentance.'

Is the exchange of letters genuine?

It's worth noting that unlike the 247 letters Pliny himself prepared for publication (so-called books 1-9), book 10, which contains the celebrated letters "96" and "97", was published posthumously and anonymously. "It is surprising," says Betty Radice (translator of the Penguin edition), "that no more letters were to be found in the imperial files or among Pliny's personal papers to add to this record of the relations between one of the best of Rome's Emperors and his devoted servant."



Pliny's ignorance of Christians

Pliny was a lawyer in Rome before going to the east. He was only a child when the "persecution of Christians by Nero" supposedly took place but his guardian Verginius Rufus was a high-placed commander at the time, loyal to Nero. Following Nero's suicide, Rufus actually declined an offer of the army of the Rhine to become emperor himself. Any "lurid massacre" of Christians, if it had taken place, could have been told to Pliny as a child – but in later life he recalls no such thing.

At the age of 17 Pliny inherited his uncle's extensive estates (the elder Pliny had died in the eruption of Vesuvius). Rich and talented, and with impeccable connections to the highest echelons of the Roman state, Pliny began a distinguished career. He served on the imperial staff in Syria, a centre – one is led to believe – of energetic Christian activity, but again it left no mark on Pliny.

Rising rapidly through the ranks of quaestor, tribune and praetor, while still in his thirties the bright young aristocrat was appointed state prosecutor at four major public trials of provincial governors. Such a career would have made any incumbent aware of "persecution" of Christians, if indeed there had ever been any. But Pliny reports none of it.

Pliny survived the persecution of the Stoic opposition during the reign of Domitian (81-96). The emperor actually made him a senator, even though several of Pliny's Stoic friends were executed. Subsequently Pliny went on to became consul, state priest, and finally, governor of Bithynia-Pontus.

Curious, is it not, that such a well-placed, well-educated Roman grandee, directly and intimately involved in the Roman judicial system at the highest levels, and a friend of historians Tacitus and Suetonius, should – in the second decade of the 2nd century – remain so ignorant of Christians and the persecution of them – unless, that is, they were nothing other than an obscure, and insignificant bunch of fanatics and the "persecution" is a fable?

"Having never been present at any trials concerning those persons who are Christians, I am unacquainted not only with the nature of their crimes, or the measure of their punishment, but how far it is proper to enter into an examination concerning them."

'Hamas' Jenkins
04-05-2008, 08:42 AM
I remember seeing a pr0n with a dude named Pliny the Fister.

Adept Havelock
04-05-2008, 09:11 AM
I remember seeing a pr0n with a dude named Pliny the Fister.

Wasn't that part of the historical pr0n double feature? I think the second film was a spoof on the British Parliament featuring William Pitt the Felcher.

Jenson71
04-05-2008, 10:31 AM
Not True at all. Read below for Josephus information

In fact, Origen actually said that Josephus was "not believing in Jesus as the Christ."

Right, that's not a surprise, since we know Josephus was a Jew.

Origen did not quote the 'golden paragraph' because this paragraph had not yet been written.

It was absent from early copies of the works of Josephus and did not appear in Origen's third century version of Josephus, referenced in his Contra Celsum.

Origin doesn't quote anything from Josephus. You can read Contra Celsum online and do a word search. http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/04161.htm He does make a few references to Josephus.

Josephus knows nothing of Christians

It was the around the year 53 AD that Josephus decided to investigate the sects among the Jews.

And yet Josephus knows nothing of all this:

"When I was sixteen years old, I decided to get experience with the various sects that are among us. These are three:

Josephus elsewhere does record a "fourth sect of Jewish philosophy" and reports that it was a "mad distemper" agitating the entire country. But it has nothing to do with Christianity and its superstar:

"But of the fourth sect of Jewish philosophy,

Every historian, even Christian, will tell you the four main sects of Jews - Pharisees, Sadducces, Essense, and the fourth philosophy - what we call Zealots.


1. How could Josephus claim that Jesus had been the answer to his messianic hopes yet remain an orthodox Jew?
The absurdity forces some apologists to make the ridiculous claim that Josephus was a closet Christian!

He never did claim that. He said some people know him as the messiah.

2. If Josephus really thought Jesus had been 'the Christ' surely he would have added more about him than one paragraph, a casual aside in someone else's (Pilate's) story?

He didn't personally believe Jesus was the messiah.

In fact, Josephus relates much more about John the Baptist than about Jesus! He also reports in great detail the antics of other self-proclaimed messiahs, including Judas of Galilee, Theudas the Magician, and the unnamed 'Egyptian Jew' messiah.

We can read in the Bible that John the Baptist had followers, and in Acts, we see they were even spread out to Africa. In fact, there are still people in the Middle East today that worship John the Baptist.

It is striking that though Josephus confirms everything the Christians could wish for, he adds nothing that is not in the gospel narratives, nothing that would have been unknown by Christians already.

I don't see why that is striking, at all.

3. The passage is out of context. Book 18 starts with the Roman taxation

The problem here is we can read this on the internet. Google the book (18 and 20), do a word search, and then see if this is true.

4. The phrase 'to this day' confirms that this is a later interpolation. There was no 'tribe of Christians' during Josephus's time. Christianity did not get off the ground until the second century.

And Paul was...?

Here is Bart Ehrman's thoughts on Josephus:

Probably the most controversial passage in all of Josephus's writings is his description of Jesus in book 18 of The Antiquities of the Jews

"At this time there appeared Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one should call him a man. For he was a doer of startling deeds, a teacher of people who receive the truth with pleasure. And he gained a following both among many Jews and among many of Greek origin. He was the Messiah. And when Pilate, because of an accusation made by the leading men among us, condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him previously did not cease to do so. For he appeared to them on the third day, living again, just as the divine prophets had spoken of these and countless other wondrous things about him. And up until this very day the tribe of Christians, named after him, has not died out."

This testimony to Jesus has long puzzled scholars. Why would Josephus, a devout Jew who never became a Christian, profess faith in Jesus by suggesting that he was something more than a man, calling him the messiah (rather than merely saying that others thought he was) and claiming that he was raised from the dead in fulfillment of the prophecy?
Many scholars have recognized that the problem can be solved by looking at how, and by whom, Josephus's writings were transmitted over the centuries. For in fact they were not preserved by Jews, many of whom considered him to be a traitor because of his conduct during and after the war with Rome. Rather, it was Christians who copied Josephus's writings through the ages. Is it possible that this reference to Jesus had been beefed up a bit by a Christian scribe who wanted to make Josephus appear more appreciateive of the "true faith"?
If we take out the Christianized portions of the passage, what we are left with, according to one of the most convincing recent studies, is the following:
"At this time there appeared Jesus, a wise man. For he was a doer of startling deeds, a teacher of people who recieve the truth with pleasure. And he gained a following both among many Jews and among many of Greek origin. And when Pilate, because of an accusation made by the leading men among us, condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him proviously did not cease to do so. And up until this very day the tribe of Christians, named after him, has not died out."


Your website lays claims that seem intriguing on the surface, Dave Lane. It makes good use of language and contradictions. But some of them are huge stretches of faith and claims. Even the hardest of atheist scholars will claim there was a Jesus of Nazareth. I urge you to use more than your website for arguments.

bigfoot
04-05-2008, 12:30 PM
No doubt in my mind we are created beings. Either the Creator has chosen not be involved with "his" creation, or he is involved to some degree. The the central theme of the 2000 year old gospel remains pretty well intact and I see it as the best hope for mankind.


http://www.getexpelled.com/


“As a very small boy exploring the almost virgin woods of the old Carver place I had the impression someone had just been there ahead of me… I was practically overwhelmed with the sense of some Great Presence… I knew even then it was the Great Spirit of the universe…. Never since, have I been without this consciousness of the Creator speaking to me through flowers, rocks, animals, plants and all other aspects of creation.”

GW Carver

Stewie
04-05-2008, 12:56 PM
I'm pretty sure most religious activity takes place at Walmart from 12/18 - 12/24 unless you're a Muslim, then you look for the best way to acquire ANFO. If you're Jewish? Well, I can make a dradle from a 2x4 in my basement.

irishjayhawk
04-05-2008, 01:29 PM
No doubt in my mind we are created beings. Either the Creator has chosen not be involved with "his" creation, or he is involved to some degree. The the central theme of the 2000 year old gospel remains pretty well intact and I see it as the best hope for mankind.


http://www.getexpelled.com/


“As a very small boy exploring the almost virgin woods of the old Carver place I had the impression someone had just been there ahead of me… I was practically overwhelmed with the sense of some Great Presence… I knew even then it was the Great Spirit of the universe…. Never since, have I been without this consciousness of the Creator speaking to me through flowers, rocks, animals, plants and all other aspects of creation.”

GW Carver

You obviously haven't seen the backstory on Expelled.

Dave Lane
04-05-2008, 01:32 PM
Wow did you read the article? Even the catholic church has pronounced it as false and a later sddition to his works.

Not a single writer before the 4th century – not Justin, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Cyprian, Arnobius, etc. – in all their defenses against pagan hostility, makes a single reference to Josephus’ wondrous words.

The third century Church 'Father' Origen, for example, spent half his life and a quarter of a million words contending against the pagan writer Celsus. Origen drew on all sorts of proofs and witnesses to his arguments in his fierce defense of Christianity. He quotes from Josephus extensively. Yet even he makes no reference to this 'golden paragraph' from Josephus, which would have been the ultimate rebuttal. In fact, Origen actually said that Josephus was "not believing in Jesus as the Christ."

Origen did not quote the 'golden paragraph' because this paragraph had not yet been written.

It was absent from early copies of the works of Josephus and did not appear in Origen's third century version of Josephus, referenced in his Contra Celsum.

melbar
04-05-2008, 01:32 PM
Theres a book on how the early church and many traditions formed called "When Jesus became God". It was written by a Jewish author who gained access to early christian documents from the first century A.D. The bribary, murder, and infighting amongst the Bishops is appaling. Constantine played a huge part although he knew little of Christ. Reads like a novel. Interresting read.

Bowser
04-05-2008, 02:42 PM
Not trying to start any shit btw.

Discuss.

LMAO

bigfoot
04-05-2008, 03:32 PM
You obviously haven't seen the backstory on Expelled.

Oh come on, go see it, then formulate your own opinion.

irishjayhawk
04-05-2008, 04:52 PM
Oh come on, go see it, then formulate your own opinion.

Why should I pay for something that correlates a scientific theory (Evolution) with the cause of Hitler's Holocaust and Nazism?

Jilly
04-05-2008, 07:33 PM
Any Tom, Dick or Harry can get information from the internet and call it fact. And some make great claims and even back their claims up, but I'm one who believes in primary sources and when it comes to the primary sources of the days when Jesus was to be alive, they are few and far between. The people that, according to the Gospels, which I deem credible, Jesus reached were not literate people and didn't go around writing novels. Oral tradition, esp when it came to narratives, was how information was transferred from generation to generation. If one does not take the countless number of Gospels as proof that Jesus existed, then I'm not sure what it is that would be a credible source.

Someone asked earlier why we have no record of Jesus' childhood and teenage years, if one is willing to take the Gospels as a credible source then there are records of those years, just not in the Gospels that are in the Bible.

Logical
04-05-2008, 08:04 PM
Any Tom, Dick or Harry can get information from the internet and call it fact. And some make great claims and even back their claims up, but I'm one who believes in primary sources and when it comes to the primary sources of the days when Jesus was to be alive, they are few and far between. The people that, according to the Gospels, which I deem credible, Jesus reached were not literate people and didn't go around writing novels. Oral tradition, esp when it came to narratives, was how information was transferred from generation to generation. If one does not take the countless number of Gospels as proof that Jesus existed, then I'm not sure what it is that would be a credible source.

Someone asked earlier why we have no record of Jesus' childhood and teenage years, if one is willing to take the Gospels as a credible source then there are records of those years, just not in the Gospels that are in the Bible.


There are plenty of oral accounts of aliens and Bigfoot, I suppose everyone should believe in them as well.

Chieficus
04-05-2008, 10:51 PM
There are plenty of oral accounts of aliens and Bigfoot, I suppose everyone should believe in them as well.

My foot is pretty big... but I don't think I'm hairy enough; so I'll pass on believing in Bigfoot...

I've glanced through some of the pages in this thread and for most of what I've seen it's the same ol' same ol' that's always in a religious thread on this board from childish bickering to cut and pastes that supposedly explain away every potential historical fact of Jesus' existence. Fun, fun.

But instead of mucking up the mess, bowener, this is for you: "Origins of Christianity" with a bit of a Chieficus flair:

You have a time where Jewish culture has been incorporated into a piece of the Roman Empire. Many Jews seem to have a love-hate relationship with Rome, but in that Messianic fever is running high, looking for God's anointed to come and kick the tail out of the Roman dudes and restore Israel to her "glory." Several men rise up over the course of the years, generating followers and rebellions that are all quickly squashed and lose influence.

Enter God-taking-on-human-flesh into the world's history, coming as a child born to a seemingly insignificant woman who is supposed to get married to an insignificant man. The child grows, he seems rather smart, but other than that he learns the skill trade of his "father" and is a low man on the totem pole who basically works as a type of craftsman/construction worker. Then one day he begins a ministry preaching that the kingdom of God has come after being baptized by his cousin John. This man starts hanging around with some fishermen and tax collectors and teaching people about life and God.

The buzz starts to build that, hey, maybe this guy is the messiah, but wait a minute: he's not over throwing any political systems and doesn't seem to interesting in doing such a thing; but ah: he's ticking off the religious leaders of the day for making claims to be God's son and God Himself. The religious leaders, after many attempts to do away with this guy, finally gets him to the Roman authority who roles his eyes and basically says, "Give me a break!" But after making various threats, Mr. Roman guy agrees to add the man to the crucifixion list to quiet down the mad religious types.

Another Messiah figure, who in his own way didn't live up to the expectations of others, come and gone. His disciples are fleeing and hiding in fear. End of story, time to move on, just like all the others in the past...

But wait, a few days later things begin to change. Hundreds of the man's followers begin to claim to have seen him alive. A tomb is left empty, and some claim the body was stolen (right out from under the guard's noses) but can't give any proof for that. Men who had hidden in fear begin to proclaim with boldness this Jesus resurrected (and if they made it all up, many of them sure did willingly face beatings, prison, and death for their intentional lies). These accounts were written down within a few decades, well before any sense of the legendary could have truly polluted the ideas; and the ideas were incorporated into various creeds even sooner than that. Family members who originally thought this Jesus was mad for his claims began to worship him as God; and even some devout Jewish Pharisees who feared that they would be severely punished for turning to false gods began to worship him as well.

A theology of a people then began to be established with historical apologists cropping up within a generation or two and in a few more generations councils convened to confirm (not create, as some falsely claim) their convictions against heresies.

As one poster said much earlier: there were many messianic/"Joshua" figures in those centuries... but: only the one (that many try to disprove) changed the history of the world and spawned a global religion with a message of grace and love and not political upheaval...

Chieficus
04-05-2008, 10:59 PM
I lived with a college friend after college. (He would later end up a State Senator) His father was a Baptist Preacher. He was religion major in college. He tells the "ploy" he would use occasionally. After getting a person worked up about death and eternal damnation and being right with God and there was still hesitation in making that final step, he would drop his Bible. And then as the person bent over to pick it up he would kneel with him and lean a little on them and ask "while we are down on our knee here, don't you want to pray to God for your soul."

It is your eternal life we are talking about and a star in my crown when I meet Jesus.

I had a prof who told us about how after he became a Christian he started going door-to-door with a man who had the "sinner's prayer" written on a card. If all else failed, he'd give the person the card and have them read it and then respond, "Now that you're a Christian here's what you need to do." The prof said, "I was like, 'Uhhh, this ain't right.'"

As both a Baptist and a preacher I usually have one response for people who try ploys/tatics like that: I want to run up to them and kick them in the nuts. (That's kinda my version of grabbing a whip and driving people out of the temple.)

I greatly prefer the method of trying to live an authentic life of just who I am and Jesus is a part of that so as I get to know people and they tell me their story and I tell them my story and Jesus gets talked about and my Bible doesn't get sidewalk dirt on it...

:)

Adept Havelock
04-06-2008, 12:06 AM
As one poster said much earlier: there were many messianic/"Joshua" figures in those centuries... but: only the one (that many try to disprove) changed the history of the world and spawned a global religion with a message of grace and love and not political upheaval...

I don't have a dog in this fight as people are free to believe whatever they want. Still, I'd point out they all do have one thing in common. They all claim to be the "Messiah" awaited by the Jewish People, and the Jews (with very few exceptions) say none of them are. Who would know better? JMO. :shrug:

Logical
04-06-2008, 12:54 AM
My foot is pretty big... but I don't think I'm hairy enough; so I'll pass on believing in Bigfoot...

I've glanced through some of the pages in this thread and for most of what I've seen it's the same ol' same ol' that's always in a religious thread on this board from childish bickering to cut and pastes that supposedly explain away every potential historical fact of Jesus' existence. Fun, fun.

But instead of mucking up the mess, bowener, this is for you: "Origins of Christianity" with a bit of a Chieficus flair:

You have a time where Jewish culture has been incorporated into a piece of the Roman Empire. Many Jews seem to have a love-hate relationship with Rome, but in that Messianic fever is running high, looking for God's anointed to come and kick the tail out of the Roman dudes and restore Israel to her "glory." Several men rise up over the course of the years, generating followers and rebellions that are all quickly squashed and lose influence.

Enter God-taking-on-human-flesh into the world's history, coming as a child born to a seemingly insignificant woman who is supposed to get married to an insignificant man. The child grows, he seems rather smart, but other than that he learns the skill trade of his "father" and is a low man on the totem pole who basically works as a type of craftsman/construction worker. Then one day he begins a ministry preaching that the kingdom of God has come after being baptized by his cousin John. This man starts hanging around with some fishermen and tax collectors and teaching people about life and God.

The buzz starts to build that, hey, maybe this guy is the messiah, but wait a minute: he's not over throwing any political systems and doesn't seem to interesting in doing such a thing; but ah: he's ticking off the religious leaders of the day for making claims to be God's son and God Himself. The religious leaders, after many attempts to do away with this guy, finally gets him to the Roman authority who roles his eyes and basically says, "Give me a break!" But after making various threats, Mr. Roman guy agrees to add the man to the crucifixion list to quiet down the mad religious types.

Another Messiah figure, who in his own way didn't live up to the expectations of others, come and gone. His disciples are fleeing and hiding in fear. End of story, time to move on, just like all the others in the past...

But wait, a few days later things begin to change. Hundreds of the man's followers begin to claim to have seen him alive. A tomb is left empty, and some claim the body was stolen (right out from under the guard's noses) but can't give any proof for that. Men who had hidden in fear begin to proclaim with boldness this Jesus resurrected (and if they made it all up, many of them sure did willingly face beatings, prison, and death for their intentional lies). These accounts were written down within a few decades, well before any sense of the legendary could have truly polluted the ideas; and the ideas were incorporated into various creeds even sooner than that. Family members who originally thought this Jesus was mad for his claims began to worship him as God; and even some devout Jewish Pharisees who feared that they would be severely punished for turning to false gods began to worship him as well.

A theology of a people then began to be established with historical apologists cropping up within a generation or two and in a few more generations councils convened to confirm (not create, as some falsely claim) their convictions against heresies.

As one poster said much earlier: there were many messianic/"Joshua" figures in those centuries... but: only the one (that many try to disprove) changed the history of the world and spawned a global religion with a message of grace and love and not political upheaval...

Praise be Alah, Alah Akbar

tiptap
04-06-2008, 07:39 AM
I had a prof who told us about how after he became a Christian he started going door-to-door with a man who had the "sinner's prayer" written on a card. If all else failed, he'd give the person the card and have them read it and then respond, "Now that you're a Christian here's what you need to do." The prof said, "I was like, 'Uhhh, this ain't right.'"

As both a Baptist and a preacher I usually have one response for people who try ploys/tatics like that: I want to run up to them and kick them in the nuts. (That's kinda my version of grabbing a whip and driving people out of the temple.)

I greatly prefer the method of trying to live an authentic life of just who I am and Jesus is a part of that so as I get to know people and they tell me their story and I tell them my story and Jesus gets talked about and my Bible doesn't get sidewalk dirt on it...

:)

But you still don't recognize an authentic life unless it is a Christian life. And since your a pastor and you have responsibilities and I do think there is value in providing celebration and hope in times of joy and sorrow, I won't go any further.
(Except to wish that you could be persuaded of the merit in the arguments that Global Warming is human related and is the province of Man's responsibility under the biblical responsibility of Stewardship Concept.)

Chieficus
04-06-2008, 09:19 AM
But you still don't recognize an authentic life unless it is a Christian life.

Don't confuse "authentic" and "right."

Authentic is being who you are, right is having the correct worldview. I have friends who are very much authentic atheists, but I'd say they're wrong in how they put the whole picture together.

How that applies to what you said about the Bible-dropping ploy, is that an authentic and Biblically correct Christian wouldn't stoop to such levels simply to get "another star in their crown," but would seek to glorify Jesus as a natural part of how they live, think, and talk.

tiptap
04-06-2008, 09:36 AM
I was initially just trying to disengaged in this. Tried to give you as much kudos as my atheism would allow. Absolute right and wrong does stand as province to act concertedly and coercively in action. It would give sanction to displacing and killing of Canaanites by Israelites. And in the Christian era, sanction to the physical expulsion of Muslims in Palestine and Jerusalem in the Middle Ages. And the value of securing a soul for heaven via Christ, includes coercion. How else do I interpret the Damascus Road blinding of Saul. Simply leaning on someone seems a lot less coercive than blinding a man to faith.

BucEyedPea
04-06-2008, 11:27 AM
I don't have a dog in this fight as people are free to believe whatever they want. Still, I'd point out they all do have one thing in common. They all claim to be the "Messiah" awaited by the Jewish People, and the Jews (with very few exceptions) say none of them are. Who would know better? JMO. :shrug:

Buddhists and Shintos also believed in a Messiah.
I think the ancient Aztecs did to. Amazing the similarities between the diverse faiths.

Jenson71
04-06-2008, 02:57 PM
Wow did you read the article? Even the catholic church has pronounced it as false and a later sddition to his works.

Where'd you get that 'information?'



He quotes from Josephus extensively. Yet even he makes no reference to this 'golden paragraph' from Josephus, which would have been the ultimate rebuttal. In fact, Origen actually said that Josephus was "not believing in Jesus as the Christ."

Origen did not quote the 'golden paragraph' because this paragraph had not yet been written.

It was absent from early copies of the works of Josephus and did not appear in Origen's third century version of Josephus, referenced in his Contra Celsum.

Sorry Dave. Josephus is not quoted in Contra Celsum. His writings are referenced, including those about Jesus or John or James.

Did you read the Contra Celsum in the link I provided? I did read your article, by the way.

Jilly
04-08-2008, 12:29 PM
There are plenty of oral accounts of aliens and Bigfoot, I suppose everyone should believe in them as well.

What I was saying, was that aside from the Gospels, which in my opinion, count as historical documents or primary sources, there are not many other literary works we can point to for Jesus' existence because of the oral tradition of the culture. Therefore, if we do not believe the Gospels to be credible sources, there is not much else to go by. Does that make more sense, mr. smart britches?

Logical
04-08-2008, 01:22 PM
What I was saying, was that aside from the Gospels, which in my opinion, count as historical documents or primary sources, there are not many other literary works we can point to for Jesus' existence because of the oral tradition of the culture. Therefore, if we do not believe the Gospels to be credible sources, there is not much else to go by. Does that make more sense, mr. smart britches?

I understood your point, it just seems like people want to rely on the Bible and fall back on their is no other written record. I think as Dave Lane has shown that just is not the case.

Logical
04-08-2008, 01:29 PM
Praise be Alah, Alah Akbar
Chieficus, sorry for being rude. I just felt like you had got up on your soapbox and were ministering to the masses. You probably did not deserve my smart ass response.

tiptap
04-09-2008, 07:21 AM
Rep. Monique Davis to atheist Rob Sherman: `It’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists!'

The following exchange between atheist activist Rob Sherman of Buffalo Grove and Ill. Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago) took place Wednesday afternoon in the General Assembly as Sherman testified before the House State Government Administration Committee.

I know from experience that many of you will side with Davis (update -- apparently I was wrong! ), but I ask you to consider what the outcry would have been if a lawmaker had launched a similar attack on the beliefs of a religious person.

Davis: I don’t know what you have against God, but some of us don’t have much against him. We look forward to him and his blessings. And it’s really a tragedy -- it’s tragic -- when a person who is engaged in anything related to God, they want to fight. They want to fight prayer in school.

I don’t see you (Sherman) fighting guns in school. You know?

I’m trying to understand the philosophy that you want to spread in the state of Illinois. This is the Land of Lincoln. This is the Land of Lincoln where people believe in God, where people believe in protecting their children.… What you have to spew and spread is extremely dangerous, it’s dangerous--

Sherman: What’s dangerous, ma’am?

Davis: It’s dangerous to the progression of this state. And it’s dangerous for our children to even know that your philosophy exists! Now you will go to court to fight kids to have the opportunity to be quiet for a minute. But damn if you’ll go to [court] to fight for them to keep guns out of their hands. I am fed up! Get out of that seat!

Sherman: Thank you for sharing your perspective with me, and I’m sure that if this matter does go to court---

Davis: You have no right to be here! We believe in something. You believe in destroying! You believe in destroying what this state was built upon.

Sherman didn't budge, continued his testimony related to Gov. Rod Blagojevich's oddly misdirected $1 million grant intended for Pilgrim Baptist Church, (story) and later told me he "felt like Rosa Parks."

http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2008/04/rep-monique-dav.html

Adept Havelock
04-09-2008, 09:22 AM
Thanks for the post, tiptap. Interesting read. IMO, it's a shame this womans rantings will be taken by some as somehow pertaining to all believers. That said, there are certainly more than a few nutjobs like her in political office. Thankfully, we have folks willing to direct a spotlight at those fools. Like most cockroaches, they usually scuttle away when the light exposes them.

I'm ordering one of these. I wonder if Jonah Goldberg will compare me to an Islamic terrorist, as he recently did those who display a Darwin fish.
.

bowener
04-09-2008, 01:22 PM
Thanks for the post, tiptap. Interesting read. IMO, it's a shame this womans rantings will be taken by some as somehow pertaining to all believers. That said, there are certainly more than a few nutjobs like her in political office. Thankfully, we have folks willing to direct a spotlight at those fools. Like most cockroaches, they usually scuttle away when the light exposes them.

I'm ordering one of these. I wonder if Jonah Goldberg will compare me to an Islamic terrorist, as he recently did those who display a Darwin fish.
.

I have the Darwin fish. Didnt know I was an islamic terrorist since that goes againts their beliefs as much if not more than christians think it goes against theirs.

Adept Havelock
04-09-2008, 01:25 PM
I have the Darwin fish. Didnt know I was an islamic terrorist since that goes againts their beliefs as much if not more than christians think it goes against theirs.

In all fairness, Jonah didn't outright say you were an Islamic Terrorist. He just compared you to one. ;)

Dave Lane
04-11-2008, 03:00 PM
Whats the teapot? I haven't seen it before...

Dave

ClevelandBronco
04-11-2008, 03:04 PM
Whats the teapot? I haven't seen it before...

Dave

Here you go:

http://www.google.com/webhp?hl=en

irishjayhawk
04-11-2008, 04:48 PM
Whats the teapot? I haven't seen it before...

Dave

It's Bertrand Russell's Teapot. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell's_teapot)

Essentially, it's what I've argued timelessly in the DC. Those making the claim must substantiate. Not the other way around.

If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.