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Old 07-26-2011, 10:38 AM
 
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Ok, I swetted bluddover that lot, even with spellcheck.

Let me lie down for a bit and I'll address the points Thom R put, but I believe I had a discussion with Campbell 34 about whether Matthew's star really was silly....Ah..

"The star is silly. You don't agree? The wise men see a star and immediately think 'Jewish ruler born!'. They pack up, assemble some suitable gifts and then set out to 'worship' him. Matthew knows that Jesus is messiah and son of God but how do they know? They don't even know he's in Bethlehem because they stop off to ask Herod where a king of the jews might be born.

Instead of immediately massacring his relatives, courtiers and generals in case they are hiding a new - born pretender somewhere, he assembles the sanhedrin to try to work out where a king is likely to be born using scripture. Isn't it clear that Matthew already KNOWS that Jesus' birth is predicted in scripture and build up this silly, silly, story around that idea in order to prove that.

Meanwhile, the star, which is there for the sole purpose of taking the silly buggers to the very spot is hovering patiently over Herod's palace waiting for the wise men to resume their journey. Why the mistakes? As was said, wouldn't Matthew and Luke have known better?

They would, if they had compared notes, but they didn't. In constructing a scenario to get Jesus born in Bethlehem, Matthew had then as Judeans under Herod and shifted them to Nazareth. Luke had then as Nazoreans who had to go to Bethlehem. Luke, knowing about the census, used that as a mechanism. His scenario, other that not knowing that Antipas as tetrarch would not have Galilee taxes by Rome and the logistical whackiness of everyone going back to their ancestral city to register, is not too bad, datewise. It only comes a cropper because is contradicts Matthew.

Once we know that this is how they worked, we find many other examples such as the calling of the disciples, the death of Judas and the post resurrection appearances. Also discrepant."

Well, that's just lifted verbatim, but I'll consider your specific points. Foe instance the 'Wise men' being Magi. or Chaldeans or Chinese astrologers. It doesn't matter, If they looked at their star - charts and saw the Crab nebula in the house of the hog or whatever, why on earth would they think of a Jewish pretender?
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Old 07-27-2011, 03:43 AM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
13,856 posts, read 23,004,615 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
True. I'm a life long atheist, a natural born atheist, just like everyone else.
I know this is how atheists think, but at best I think it's just a slippery rhetorical device. On the basis one says that a person could say they are a naturally-born illiterate, incontinent, amoral, and anarchist. And that might be right as you're probably not born with knowledge of the existence of governments or moral systems. One is certainly not born with knowledge of writing or toilets.

An infant is neither choosing to "not believe in God" nor choosing to "believe there is no God." By the idea being used to say "everyone's a natural born atheist" you might as well say that rocks, flowers, fungi, ants, and centipedes are also atheists. After all a rock or a toadstool or a piece of fruit doesn't believe in God either. Possibly you'd agree with that, but I'd like to think on some level somewhere you realize it's rather silly.

And for all we know there could be a "God gene" or some such. Babies are probably not blank-slates as once thought. Maybe they aren't born with a belief in a God as such, but maybe in a way they are. We're still learning things about infant and fetal development.
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:03 AM
 
39,278 posts, read 10,937,819 times
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Thom. R vouchsafethed:
Quote:
This is a very big thing to digest so I'm only going to deal with a few snippets.
It is a big thing and at least I trust that I have shown that my theory (my Pet theory I have only hinted at) pretty much is based on the whole NT, not just a few 'points'. I want to say that I appreciate your input and while I may sound brash and abrasive in response, it's just my way and perhaps I am a bit over - impatient because (you mentioned my confidence) I am confident. I am pretty sure that this evidence - based theory does stack up and all other information (while it may modify it) actually seems to support it rather than upset it. Mainstream or not, I really do think I have cracked it, sussed it out and have it pretty much right. Sorry if that sounds arrogant.

Arq
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
In addition to the 'embarrassment' about Jesus being Galilean, there is the embarrassment of his being executed by crucifixion, and moreover by Romans. Paul constantly returns to the 'stumbling block' of the Cross and the gospels work hard at exonerating the Romans of Jesus' execution as much as they can. It's hard to believe that these two embarrassing facts would have been invented by the Christians if they were just making it all up. The principle of embarrassment indicated that they were stuck with these rather unwelcome facts.Thus we seem to have some basic evidence about Jesus. He was a Galilean, not a Judean. he was crucified by the Romans at the orders of Pilate, There seems also no doubt that Paul of Tarsus had contact with Jesus' followers and not always amicable contact and thus James, the brother of Jesus and Simon Peter, called Cephus, were two of Jesus' followers. You do not get followers of someone who was not here to be followed.
Thom
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Although this is used to defend Jesus actually existing I actually find it slightly off basis.

It's widely believed now that Rabbinic Judaism as we know it was probably not that dominant in the Apostolic age. It might have been big enough they had to think on how to deal with it, but the idea that him not fitting Rabbinic ideas on the Messiah is "embarrassing" (and therefore true) I don't think is all that valid.
The 'Apostolic Age'? You realize we are effectively talking about a mere fifty years from Crucifixion to Jewish war? During that time, so far as I have been able to discover Rabbinical Judaism was far and away the most widespread and influential 'philosophy' (as Josephus terms it) in Jewish religio - political thought. Of course Rabbinical teachers were a relatively small number of the population but the people were overwhelmingly influenced by them and in fact the setting up of synagogues was a particularly Pharisee institution. The present rabbinical tradition is pretty much directly the Pharisee rabbinical tradition. The Pharisee Rabbis were hugely respected and were unpaid, having honest jobs. The two most influential Pharisee rabbis, Hillel and Shammai, were a woodcutter and builder. The Sadducees were next in size but far smaller being a small, wealthy, Hellenic (and pro - roman) group that the Romans tended to give (or sell) the High Priestship. Their influence was pretty much confined to the temple and even there they were outvoted in the Sanhedrin by the Pharisees. The Essenes and Herodians were two other groups, one being a purely religious group and the the other purely limited to the Herodian family and their followers. I have seen guesstimates for the sizes and I'kk try to find them, but never get the idea that Pharisees were a few swankpots swanning around in fringed robes lording it over the populace. That is a christian misrepresentation and thus shows again that the gospels are Christian propaganda.

a few comments on the two parties "The common man related better to those who belonged to the party of the Pharisees. Though the Sadducees held the majority of seats in the Sanhedrin, history indicates that much of the time they had to go along with the ideas of the Pharisaic minority, because the Pharisees were popular with the masses."

Who were the Sadducees and the Pharisees?

The most important of the three were the Pharisees because they are the spiritual fathers of modern Judaism.

Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes

the scribes, who were lay teachers of the law, eventually supplanted the priests in the synagogues. The model for the scribes was Ezra, who was designated by the Hebrew title soper. After the Jewish return from exile in Babylon, this term came to mean one who was learned in the Hebrew Scriptures, especially the Torah. In the New Testament, these men are primarily called "scribes," but they are also referred to as "lawyers" and "teachers of the law." (I know that I said the Pharisees dominated and I assumed they outnumbered Sadducees in the Sanhedrin. That might not be the reason why they were able to overrule the Sadducees, but I find it hard to believe that -with Rome behind them - they were so intimidated by popular opinion that they would compromise their religious views)

Although not all Pharisees were scribes, the vast majority of the scribes were Pharisees, and they regulated the synagogues, teaching and interpreting the law. The Pharisees were solidly devoted to the daily application and observance of the Mosaic law and the "oral law," known as the Oral Torah.

Pharisees and Sadducees - Here a little, there a little - Commentary

By the time of Christ, the Sadducees had lost most of their religious influence with the people, the Pharisees having taken over the role. The Pharisees became the the religious teachers of the people while the Sadducees were concerned with their political power, notably within the Sanhedrin. The Pharisees became the lay teachers of the law in the synagogues, called in the New Testament the scribes, as well as lawyers. Thus, as Jesus began his ministry, it was in an atmosphere of teaching from Pharisees, (this Biblical site then echoes the Gospel picture of the Pharisees as rigid and hypocritical. I consider this is unfair and biased)
Pharisee - OrthodoxWiki

The Pharisees were perhaps like a political party, a small proportion of the populace actually being members, but massive support amongst the people. I encourage reading of these websites,

Arq
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
How and where do I prove my case of Gospel fabrication using the method of redaction criticism? I begin by using the Nativity as a test and precedent. That is the most provable discrepancy and contradiction of history in the whole four gospels. I argue that, if it can be proved that the Nativity stories cannot be true, have to have been invented and further show how and why they were concocted, then that precedent can be used to examine the entire remainder of the four gospels.
Thom
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I don't know that that really follows. Only two deal with the Nativity. Also like much ancient history, particularly stories of the births of religious figures, the tale might be intended to be more about faith-and-morals than being a completely literal rendition of events. Not saying it's a lie or concocted, but history then often had legendary aspects you learned from.
However you care to label it, the evidence shows clearly that it is not true, and I cannot not agree with you that it is about Faith and Morals. It is demonstrably about proving that Jesus fulfilled the prophetic requirement of being born in Bethlehem. When you try to water it down to just encouraging people to be faithful and good, you are ignoring the evidence in favour of faith and appealing to the argument that, true or not, Christianity is necessary because it makes people behave better. Even if that doubtful claim was true, that does not justify teaching people to take the Gospels seriously. I suppose however, that your appeal to 'faith and morals at least shows that you are not trying to argue that it actually stands up as recorded fact - or is that a second line of defence?

Arq
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Turning to Matthew, we find again that he has made up a story to fulfill the scripture because he has foreign wise men trekking to Judea after being led or tipped off by a star (which they interpret as announcing a Jewish Messianic birth)
Thom
Quote:
The magi were likely Zoroastrians. They say they were looking for a Jewish king and possibly that's what was meant. There was a belief in many cultures that an astronomical event meant the birth of a great king or figure.

Why would Persians want to adore a Jewish king or messiah? Well in Christian thinking it's a sign of Christ finding non-Jewish admirers from the start. Perhaps they had been inspired by God to believe this was someone special. (God and the supernatural is going to be in any Christian counterpoint, though I'll try to limit it a tad)

If you want more mundane I think they would have felt a king heralded by a star was a great king. They were presumably into astrology and adoring a great king, of any people, might seem propitious.
You are rather falling between two stools here. While I can accept that astrologers might find the sign of a royal birth in the stars, they would of course have no idea where it was and would immediately think of Parthia or Rome or some other place that had a king. Even if they suspected Judea, they would think of Herod, not a messianic pretender. If they got an audience with Herod, he'd first think of a royal birth in his family or other nobles or generals. He would hardly jump to the conclusion that it related to a messianic pretender fulfilling scripture by appearing in Bethlehem. That has the fingerprints of someone beginning with a messianic birth
in Bethlehem and building up a story around it and rather taking some unlikely conclusion - jumping for granted.

On the other hand, if you are going for the tatty old 'appear in a dream' stuff, then do so and then the going and asking directions in all the right places with the needlful clues out of all the other more likely possibilities popping up like a bad detective novel, is simply unnecessary. My previous post discussing the star with C34 makes it clear that the story is so daft that even discussing it seriously makes us both look witless.

I take your point about 'in Christian thinking it's a sign of Christ finding non-Jewish admirers from the start'. If so (and that might be a contributory element as much as, for instance, incorporating elements of Mithraic mythology) it hardly makes it look other than a fanciful tale concocted by Christians.

Arq
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
but on arrival at Herod's palace, they all have to consult scripture to find out where they should be looking
Thom
Quote:
Because as mentioned they weren't Jews. They don't refer to him as "Our New King" or anything. Herod I think might have been somewhat Hellenized or just not very religious, I'd have to look that up.
If so why in the name of wonder are they in Judea at all? Ok I'll save you the trouble of doing what the gospel writers did - invent some extra text to explain a difficulty - and I'll conjure up the explanation that their astrology came up with a star (Royal birth) appearing in Leo (Judea) and so they set off (not following a perambulating star which would only lead them into Turkey, unless it was a UFO - which it would have to be to hover over any particular roof) but I studied astrology at one time and Western astrology is based on Chaldean and I see no way Magi or any other star-gazer could get Royal birth in Judea out of a star map. Of course, I agree that Herod was Hellenized, but he was also a Jew and made pains to be a devoted one. He'd know his scripture but might well consult with the priests about scriptural points, but that's a minor detail out of a generally nonsensical story.

Arq
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
which is Bethlehem where Jesus' family apparently live. According to Matthew, they are Judeans, not Galileans, as Luke has it. The story is absurd
Thom
Quote:
It's absurd that a Galilean couple decided to settle in Bethlehem after he was born there? I don't know that the Gospel of Matthew is saying they were from Bethlehem, just that Jesus was born there and they lived there for a time.
This is the difficulty of making up ad hoc explanations without checking what the Bible says. Matthew doesn't say how Joseph got to Bethlehem, but it reads as though they just lived there and of course,there is no reason to place them anywhere else. If they had lived in Galilee, they would of course have gone back there rather than hang about in Judea, and there would have been no need for dream messages. The dream sends them to Egypt rather than back to Nazareth where Joseph had a house and job (not to mention his kids by a former marriage as virgin birth enthusiasts will insist). By trying to explain, you just create more problems.

After the Egypt sojourn (known to none of the others and based on a handy bit of prophetic text, they are told in a dream that it's safe to return to Judea where undoubtedly they lived - except that it isn't, and they need to avoid Archaelaeus is the only reason why they 'withdrew' to Galilee. That is given by Matthew as why Jesus is called a Nazarene. The whole story argues a Judaean couple who are obliged by circumstances to move to Galilee. Further, if they are Galileans, what on earth are they doing in a house in Judea? Luke has the mechanism of going back to an 'own city' during the census (not that it works very well) but Matthew has no reason. One poster suggested being in Judea for a festival and I can suggest staying with relatives. It's easy to make up all sorts of explanations, but then the whole sense of native Judeans being forced to relocate is still there and that is after all seriously discussing how Floo - powder might actually work or how hobbits might have invented tobacco or the way that a transporter beam might operate. The whole Nativity story totally contradicts Luke and is tacitly denied by John, and moreover is silly and unworkable Explaining (not very well, I have to say) how odd details might just be possible is like touching up the paint on a crashed aircraft.


Arq
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
and clearly built up around Matthew's thesis that scripture requires the Messiah to be born in Bethlehem. The foolishness continues with a dreadful massacre which, amongst all the recorded misdeeds of Herod, is utterly unknown to any historian of the time, which scotches one of the list of fulfilled prophecies
Thom
Quote:
I have to admit this story does seem a tad problematic to me at times. That certain things are not recorded in history isn't too problematic, but this does sound big enough it would make sense for it to at least be mentioned in other Gospels.

I might hesitantly entertain the idea that the story could be an exaggeration. Or that Bethlehem than was a small enough village that the number of boys under two-years-old was not really that high.
If the report I heard is true it would actually be nil as archaeology (so I heard -not confirmed) indicates that Bethlehem was derelict at the time. However, let's say it was a sizable village and Herod just slaughtered a few dozen kids, we still have a serious misdeed which is unknown to any other historian and to no other gospel writer and we still have have the whole silliness of the star story, the irreconcilable timing (with Luke) the tacit denial in John and the examples all through the gospels of evangelical fabrication. It seems futile to me to suggest that the massacre could be factual but somehow escaped not only history but evangelical attention.

I know that I can't make you take an overall view as distinct from trying to explain a few knotties and shrugging off the rest. I can only present the overall thesis saying why the way the gospels were written can be found, the fabrications can be demonstrated and the whole purpose of the gospels understood. It is for the individual to decide. You will understand that hesitant entertaining of ideas explaining away odd problems is very much opting for rather remote possibilities to prop up a preferred belief rather than going with the weight of the evidence. and I honestly don't see how it could be much weightier

Arq
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
The slaying of the children of Bethlehem Jer 31:15 Mt 2:16-18
Jeremiah 31. 15 This is what the LORD says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
16 This is what the LORD says: “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears,
for your work will be rewarded,” declares the LORD. “They will return from the land of the enemy. 17 So there is hope for your descendants,”

Thom
Quote:
This is all about the exiles following Israel and Judea's defeat by the mesopotamian empires. It is nothing to do with Jesus.
Bible verses and stories are often seen as being about more than one thing. That elements of the past could foretell or foreshadow those in future, in some form, existed in many cultures.
This is answered also in connection with your similar point here.

Arq
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
This, on its own, is doubtfully related to Jesus. It could be or it might not. But it isn't on its own.61:4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.

That sounds more like rebuilding a devastated land than anything to do with Jesus' ministry. Look at the preceding chapter: 60:16 Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and
thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.
With the stuff about gifts from Sheba and Tarshish (which could very well be used to refer to the Nativity of Matthew) and foreigners used as farm labourers, it is clear that this is about a beaten Judea dreaming of when God will make it strong, rich and powerful with the other nations treating it with respect if not being subservient. It is nothing to do with Jesus.
Thom
Quote:
Again you are doing a literal reading and assuming events are not seen as paralleling or foreshadowing or repeating other events.
Why should I? Really, why should I see OT passages relating to the events of the time as 'foreshadowing' (paralleling or repeating is neither here nor there)? The gospel events, especially when we have already seen strong indications of 'foreshadowing' being faked up by basing the events on the prophecy? I have to ask you, why should anyone suggest or assume that they really do 'foreshadow' other (read 'later') events? Only if one wants to believe that the OT really does prove Jesus was Messiah etc. by prophecy. Examination shows that claim is arguable to highly dubious and nonsensical in not a few cases.

Arq
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
The return is also nonsense as Matthew has the family escape from Herod's son, Archelaus, who was still ruling Judea as a client king at that time, and rush off to Galilee which was also under Herodian rule. This serves no purpose but to get Jesus into Galilee and Matthew can't resist passing it off as fulfilling a prophecy about the Messiah being called a Nazarene, even though no - one has ever found such a prophecy in the supposedly meticulously copied, memorized and recorded Scriptures.
Thom
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It says he was told to return when Herod died. He was scared of Herod's son, but told he'd be safe in Galilee. He likely had family in Galilee and time had passed so possibly it was easier to be less conspicuous there.

Also if you think such a prophecy about a Nazarene doesn't exist than why did he mention it at all? Although I guess you're saying he did it to make being in Galilee significant.
I suggest that Matthew did it for the same reason that Nazoreth was made Jesus' native city at all - to explain why he was called a Nazorene without admitting the point that, his having taken a Nazarite vow and thus being a nazarene might be the reason. If Nazoreth actually didn't really exist at the time, then that really has to be the reason.

As hinted already, if Joseph had come from Galilee (as Luke says) or had relatives there, why hang about in Judea rather than go back there or go to Egypt only to be told to return when it was safe, when in fact - oops, sorry - it wasn't and they had to go to Galilee which was ruled by another son of Herod. The problems pile up whichever way one looks at it and we have to beware of tis business of fiddling a half- way plausible explanation of one detail and overlooking the sheer unworkability and unfeasibility, not to mention the fairy - tale angels and dreams of the whole story.

Arq
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Thus the Nativity establishes three things - that the Gospel - writers made up stories to prove Jesus' messiahship, they built them around the need to fulfill prophecy which they arranged retrospectively, and they cannot have been eyewitnesses if they have made such blunders. That established surely to any reasonable persons' satisfaction, let us see our gospel - writers doing the same in the rest of the gospel.
Thom
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I guess that's a way to read it. By that basis most all history, even some today, I suppose can be seen as people making up stuff to prove a thesis. Also if by "reasonable people" one means "modern people who think in the only way I can think." So putting those caveats in.
Caveats accepted - but this is another familiar ploy - 'if you don't accept the Bible you have to reject every other book..' Modern people who think reasonably and rationally rather than ignoring anything that conflicts with their preferred beliefs will be aware that every other book, film or poem will be pushing a view and one must be aware. I have studied the Waterloo campaign almost in the same way I have studied the gospels and I am well aware of bias in the accounts of the time and also bias in later and modern reappraisals. The objective assessment of evidence (to be succinct logic and the science method) shows up the bias and we can see what's verifiable and what's invented story (The guard does not surrender! is one and 'By God so you have!' is very likely another) and the same method can be applied to the Gospels.

You seem to overlook that I do find some evidence of Jesus historical fact thereby, You may not believe it but I would rather get at the truth than just tell myself what I want to hear.


Arq
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
This is clearly the same event as in Passion week, but John places it before John the Baptist has been arrested, before Jesus has even declared himself. The argument that is wa a different and earlier event is not going to stand up. It is the same event, surely, as in Mark 11.15 who gives, interestingly, the most information about this effective take -over of the temple and disruption of trade.
Thom
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I don't know that John is going for strict chronological accuracy or structure. According the Catholic Encyclopedia his primary purpose is to set down the teachings and refute certain issues. Also incidents in a person's life can repeat. Even major incidents. Some may decide to focus on one rather than tell both. Or possibly there was just the one and John wanted to tell the story in an order based more on theology.
While I am well aware that John fiddles his story to push a religious agenda, and making allowances for the possible reporting of events out of order the internal evidence of the gospels is that John ripped the temple cleansing out of location when he didn't need to. He could easily have left it where it belonged - after the temple procession. That he did this and it didn't just 'get out of place' is shown by his writing of the galilean welcome gloss to cover up his relocation of the the event. The evidence undermines your suggestion and indicates that John did this deliberately.

This makes it unlikely that it was an actual early 'Temple cleansing' (overlooked by all other gospels canonical and non canonical) and John just forgot to mention the one in 'Passion week' which must have been staring him in the face.

The remaining question is why. It could be (as I first thought) that John was embarrassed by the violence of his divine figure and though that it would do better before the 'spirit descended', but I also see embarrassment about the significance of the temple ruckus in all the evangelists, who cover it up in different ways. I thus see John's ploy as his method of 'writing it down'. All that together with all the other examples of textual fiddling, contradiction and agenda in the gospels must tend to make a deliberate change for a particular and propagandist reason rather than
just a slip.


Arq
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
This is important to note as it reveals part of Matthew's agenda - to put Paul's argument that Faith in Jesus supersedes the Jewish Mosaic law, and this whole cornfield quarrel and the Sabbath - healing which follows is there to prove that Sabbath observance is superseded. It may seem ironic in these days when Christians are making a fuss about keeping the 'sabbath' (albeit on a different day) Special, but at the time the important matter was to show the early Christians that the law was superseded or 'Fulfilled' as the evangelist puts it. This only works of course if the Gospels were written after Paul had expounded his teachings
Thom
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Umm why? Why couldn't Paul have been teaching this because it was the thinking of the early Christians who instructed him in the faith?
I explain in my posting on Paul why I think the internal evidence of Gospels, Acts and Paul, plus supplementary evidence from Josephus, suggests that no -one really suggested sabbath - breaking and all foods being Clean until Paul and his agenda of sidelining the requirements of the Jewish ritual Law.

Arq
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
It may be argued that Paul was following Jesus and his teachings and this is only what Jesus taught. I say that it isn't, because if it were, Paul need only refer to Jesus' directives instead of having to argue the case himself
Thom
Quote:
I don't see why that inevitably follows. Christians argue all sorts of cases that agree with what Jesus said, but aren't always stated simply as "Because Jesus said so." Saul/Paul was a scholarly person, explaining or arguing is what many of them do.
Point taken, but from what I recall Jesus said is the starting point and the argument is designed to support that. On the other hand, someone's argument is frequently bolstered with supportive quotes from Jesus, Paul or, failing that, the Old testament. It rarely (I seem to recall) rests entirely on unsupported argument. In fact Paul does support his thesis with quotes from the Old testament. Why, if Jesus or his disciples had said so, would Paul not have referred to Jesus' arguments about its ok to do good on the sabbath or what goes into a man cannot defile?

Ok, you didn't see my post on Paul when you wrote this but again all the factors seems to come together to indicate that Paul himself initiated this messianism minus Judaism and we can see why - to appeal to his gentile fellow citizens.

Arq
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Take the reference to David and the shewbread. It comes from Samuel 21. “The priest (Ahimelech, not Abiathar who is a son of Ahimelech) gave him the holy bread, for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence, which is removed from before the Lord, to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away” (v. 6).- 1 Samuel 21:1–9
(ps. Ahimelech is just a priest and Abiathar might be the High Priest, but it really doesn't look like it. After the shewbread event, he flees to David after Saul kills the Priests off and it certainly looks by II Samuel 6. that the house and High Priestship is Abinadab's.)

The priest is trembling, but even so, he makes some conditions before allowing David to take the bread. David had priesly permission to take the bread. Even if it was the Sabbath and the priest was doing wrong or was coerced by David, that does not mean that it's allright to do it for ever after. David was no saint. His deeds are surely no precedent for junking the principle tenets of Mosaic Law. And the Pharisees, learned in the law would see that well enough and they would mock Jesus' argument as nonsense. But what is their response? Silence.
Thom
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I think Jesus is to some extent indicating his own authority in the passage. Also the Pharisees response may not have been important to the writer or to the point.
I'm sure he is, and the Pharisee response (if there had been one) would have been unwelcome rather than unimportant to the writer. The point is that the argument Jesus makes is nonsense. It in no way validates Jesus' opinion on sabbath - breaking, and certainly doesn't make his own authority, soundness in scriptural argument or honesty very impressive. It underlines at least the grotesque bias of the gospels, the flimsiness of the arguments and, combining the crumminess of the whole one -sided argument with other evidence for Gospel fabrication and the evidence for the Pauline innovation of Law abrogation, I have to say that another bit of Paulinist Christian anti - Pharisee propaganda is indicated as is the case again and again. How much of that sort of evidence is needed before it is accepted that Paulinist christian anti Pharisee (if not anti Jew) propaganda is what the whole NT is? Well, I know - no amount of evidence will ever persuade those determined to believe in Christianity.

Well, let's post this and I'll get on with the rest later. I do appreciate your responses and questionings and find them valuable
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Old 07-27-2011, 03:39 PM
 
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I know this is how atheists think, but at best I think it's just a slippery rhetorical device. On the basis one says that a person could say they are a naturally-born illiterate, incontinent, amoral, and anarchist.
No, we are not born incontinent, we just don't know when and were to do our business. Babies control their bladder and bowels, just make poor decisions as to when and were to exercise that control.

We are illiterate only in the aspect we don't yet speak, but babies communicate, and they are born knowing how.

amoral? Above their pay-grade, but no they are not, for they have yet to be taught the hatred taught by religion.

anarchist? a political philosophy which considers the state undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful. Hmmmmmm perhaps we need to listen to the youngest.
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:01 AM
 
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In fact there was just one comment to reply to So I'll respond and then we let this thread vanish in oblivion and return to the bog - standard 'Was Jesus Historical?' threads with the monumentally ignorant and uniformed 'Of course he lived and dun all them miricles and the Joos killed him like it says in the Bible...' with the cut and paste Quranic mimbar - thumping.

It really is talking to a load of brick walls...equipped with loudspeakers wired up to an evangelical tape loop.

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Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Directly after this in all the synoptics (John has NONE of this material, but we'll consider that later) - Matthew says right away and Luke says on another Sabbath, another small indication that they amended their text - Jesus heals a man in a Synagogue. The argument is that it should be ok to 'do good' on the Sabbath. As I understand it, it would be lawful to save life but not if it was a matter that could be left until the next day. The example is not about doing good but about diluting the Jewish ritual Law. The Pharisees should have pointed that out but are shown as silent, fuming and plotting Jesus' destruction. Already
Paul's disagreements with his own people over his Messianic supercedence of the Torah have been turned by his Christian followers into bitter dislike of Jews who haven't converted. These tales are not historic; they are polemic. Jesus never said them and Pharisees never behaved that way. It is untrue and invented. Let us give up this silly idea that the Gospels are true eyewitness testimony. They are likely writing for a purpose as most history was. Also these are religious writings and so have a purpose.
Thom.
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"Have a purpose" I guess can be interpreted as "invented and untrue" if one wishes.

It's true that the Gospels don't force your hand to believe in them. You can disbelieve them. It's also true they don't conform to modern academic ideas on history writing. I'm not sure if they were even intending, or read as, being equivalent to Josephus or Tacitus. There's way too much here and I'm not entirely happy with my response to be honest. So I'll stop for now.
Of course I am not interpreting 'have a purpose' as 'invented and untrue'. That, I have to say, reflects the theist way of thinking of beginning with something to prove and looking around for any evidence at all that might support it. It is the reverse of what I have done, which was to show that the majority of the gospels is invented and untrue and then, understanding what was invented and how leads to understanding why and thus THEN one can understand the purpose.

I take the Gospels as what they are - four accounts of Jesus' life making certain statements about him. While one may doubt the miracles and so - on, as I have said, if Jesus was a divine figure, then there is only skeptical bias as a reason to dismiss them. But looking at the gospels and their undoubted contradictions but using them to understand the way the gospels were constructed (it is hugely significant to be able to trace the common text in the synoptics as otherwise, the claim to be eyewitness would stand up better) gives us the data.

And this sort of data is grist to the historical - critical mill, no matter
what was the intended purpose of inscriptions, letters, coins or bas- reliefs. Of course we are well aware of different styles of ancient writing. It has long been assumed that Tacitus' Boadicea speech was written by him and at best reflected the sort of sentiments he thought that she might have expressed. Historical and textural criticism always raises such questions and is applied to everything up to the present day. Why do you think it is so exciting when a load of government files are declassified? We can then see what might shed 'new light' on what we might have been told.

All I'm saying is that the same techniques should have been applied to the gospel claims long ago and I still can't understand why they weren't. Perhaps as you say, it was a always a matter of believe in them or disbelieve in them. That is course is the fallacy of bifurcation. There is another way. Objectively analyse them. You probably won't believe me, preferring to suppose that as an atheist, I was looking for anything to support my disbelief, but the fact is that, if the gospel stories hung together better, what could I have said? As it is, on this sort of shambles, I would be justified in rejecting the whole lot but in fact I have found reasons to suppose there was a historic Jesus, that there was a John the baptist, that the two associated at the jordan and that Jesus did the Temple cleansing and was crucified, that he had followers and that Paul got his initial ideas from them.

There was a mission by him to the gentiles and he did provide Famine relief and there was a discussion of his missionary work in Jerusalem. That's a lot more than a lot of unbelievers will allow and it's only because formal analysis of the NT gives good reason to credit those claims.

As I say, I'm grateful for your qustions as, though I tried to ask myself questions all the time, I have to be aware that unbelief might not make me as self - critical as I should be. I should prefer proper questions about evidence and the analysis, however, rather than the tired old excuses to ignore the evidence such as bias, believe in Jesus or not, they were not written as history/biography or Jesus did many other things.

I am certainly confident that the Evangelical testimony would provably NOT stand up in court. I do presently think that what I have presented here is the clearest evidence that any reasonable person would need to concludethat the Christian claims about Jesus do not stand up. One can believe or not, as you say, but I can say with the greatest confidence that for anyone taking the trouble to read my posts here to still believe in the Christian claims is based on Faith and not on evidence, in fact in dismissing evidence and on pretty poor or fallacious grounds - which is what we find in the evolution debate too. Theist thinking does tend to have a sameness about it.

I am of course willing to argue that and any other point I've made. But I suspect that response would rather be what it has so far been. Dead silence and hope that everyone forgets about it.

Well, like I say, one day I hope to publish and perhaps then proper historians will show that I just had it wrong. If not, then I trust there will be a moving on of Bible criticism from lists of contradictions or 'interpreting' what Jesus is claimed as having said.
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:20 AM
 
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I know this is how atheists think, but at best I think it's just a slippery rhetorical device. On the basis one says that a person could say they are a naturally-born illiterate, incontinent, amoral, and anarchist. And that might be right as you're probably not born with knowledge of the existence of governments or moral systems. One is certainly not born with knowledge of writing or toilets.
But of course it's the case that we are born illiterate, incontinent and without any idea of politics; not anarchist - as AN says, that is something else entirely. What it is entirely is a political-social stance decided upon, on more or less well -thought grounds.

Atheism is often claimed to be the same - a considered rejection of theist belief implying that one is theist until one hs learned to atheist.

But, if one replaces 'anarchist' with the correct term, 'a -political', then the mistake or false reasoning (not to use the term 'slippery rhetorical device') is clear and it is also clear that Ashville's point is dead right and yours Thom., is wrong.

We are all born a -theist (without a theist belief) just as we are born a -political (without political views) until we are taught them.

Having said that, I have observed a remarkably advanced 'political ' sense in infants in the sense of an almost innate instinct for getting ones own way, using moral blackmail (such as staged tantrums) and...well, parents will know just what the little darlings are capable of. I do believe that we are born with innate social and interpersonal instincts just as young animals are instinctively equipped for their survival roles. And I am fairly sure that, if the research is ever done, we will find out that what we are pleased to call 'the divine instinct' and all the various feelings we have about gods, fate and 'something bigger' is also an evolved instinct - something to do with individual, family and community survival. We all know how Faith, political, religious (various) and in Harry Potter (as one young violin prodigy mentioned) can inspire one to supreme effort.

That aside, personal gods and organized religions, theological claims and holy scriptures are the theism which we are all born without and have to be taught. Just as we have to be potty - trained about the other kind of crap.
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Old 07-30-2011, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Englewood, FL
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I'd seriously like to have the OP's opinion on this. I'm a Christian. If I'm wrong about God and Jesus Christ, and there is no afterlife, and eternity is just one long sleep into nothingness, I know that I've led a decent life, have helped people along the way, and have led a happy, productive life. Nothing lost on my part. But if you're wrong, and there is a God, and there is a final judgement, you have everything to lose. Don't you ever get concerned about "what if"? Honest answers please, no smart alec answers -- someone who went to such trouble to make such a thorough, well thought out treatise should give me an honest answer to this question.
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Old 07-30-2011, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Rivendell
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I'd seriously like to have the OP's opinion on this. I'm a Christian. If I'm wrong about God and Jesus Christ, and there is no afterlife, and eternity is just one long sleep into nothingness, I know that I've led a decent life, have helped people along the way, and have led a happy, productive life. Nothing lost on my part. But if you're wrong, and there is a God, and there is a final judgement, you have everything to lose. Don't you ever get concerned about "what if"? Honest answers please, no smart alec answers -- someone who went to such trouble to make such a thorough, well thought out treatise should give me an honest answer to this question.
Kiggy- I know you are new to this forum so I will be kind. First, that is not the topic of this thread. This is off topic.

Start a new thread if you would like. Or, you could search for threads on Pascal's Wager. This topic has been done to death.
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Old 07-30-2011, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Englewood, FL
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Kiggy- I know you are new to this forum so I will be kind. First, that is not the topic of this thread. This is off topic.

Start a new thread if you would like. Or, you could search forth threads on Pascal's Wager. This topic has been done to death.
Thanks for the suggestion, but I was addressing the OP.
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Old 07-30-2011, 11:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kiggy View Post
I'd seriously like to have the OP's opinion on this. I'm a Christian. If I'm wrong about God and Jesus Christ, and there is no afterlife, and eternity is just one long sleep into nothingness, I know that I've led a decent life, have helped people along the way, and have led a happy, productive life. Nothing lost on my part. But if you're wrong, and there is a God, and there is a final judgement, you have everything to lose. Don't you ever get concerned about "what if"? Honest answers please, no smart alec answers -- someone who went to such trouble to make such a thorough, well thought out treatise should give me an honest answer to this question.
Not really. I am so convinced that the claims of Christianity are so utterly false that the chances of a God being pissed with me for not believing the unbelievable are vanishingly small.

To take your 'Pascal's wager' ploy, there is probably no afterlife but, if there is, it is hardly reasonable to suppose that any one god is handing out entry tickets. The atheist implication is that we all get it so there's no point in worrying about 'am I being a good enough Christian?' 'Will my failure to sell my car and CD's and follow Jesus like it says in the gospels count against me?' 'What about all these randy thought I keep getting. Will my grovelling apologetic prayers fool...turn away God's wrath?'

There's probably no god - certainly no Christian God - so stop worrying and enjoy life.

That is my answer and so I'll ask you one. Since it is demonstrated here that the Christians, following Paul, added a fictitious divine character to the Jewish OT, the question arises, what if you are wrong and the muslims - who do not believe the risen god as man nonsense are right? Doesn't it ever worry you that you might be worshipping the wrong god and Allah is already giving orders for stoking up your own particular pile of hot coals?

P.s thanks for even taking the trouble to read what I posted. I don't know when I ever heard such a thunderous silence from the believers.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 07-30-2011 at 11:48 PM..
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