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Truth behind The Bible


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#61    Doug1o29

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:46 PM

View PostSpiritWriter, on 27 February 2013 - 07:35 PM, said:

I agree but would hope there could be a way to determine what percent was going to charity work as charity shouldnt be taxed. I believe this was the purpose initially its just unfortinate ppl make a business out of it.
That's what non-profit status is for.
Doug

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#62    scowl

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:23 PM

View PostDoug1o29, on 27 February 2013 - 06:43 PM, said:

Careful there.  Turns out that many parts of the Argosy are true.  It's a set of sailing directions for the Aegean.

That doesn't make for much of a story!

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By the same token, parts of the Bible are true.  The question is:  which parts?

The ones we have evidence for. All evidence points that Canaan was not dominated by a powerful Jewish nation during the period that the Bible describes and that's the basis for most of the Old Testament stories.


#63    Doug1o29

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 09:03 PM

View Postscowl, on 27 February 2013 - 08:23 PM, said:

That doesn't make for much of a story!
If you want people to remember it, you have to "improve" it a little.

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The ones we have evidence for. All evidence points that Canaan was not dominated by a powerful Jewish nation during the period that the Bible describes and that's the basis for most of the Old Testament stories.
People turn their great men into gods.  Most of the Egyptian gods started out as human beings whose stories kept getting bigger and better with the telling.  King David and Solomon apparently weren't great enough to get turned into gods, but they were on their way.  They might make it, yet.

I expect that when we finally figure it out, we'll find they either they were composites of real people, or they started as real people whose stories got "improved" a little with time.

If the definition of divinity is immortality, as it is with many of the Greek gods, then through their stories, David and Solomon are gods already.
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#64    scowl

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 06:59 PM

View PostDoug1o29, on 27 February 2013 - 09:03 PM, said:

People turn their great men into gods.  Most of the Egyptian gods started out as human beings whose stories kept getting bigger and better with the telling.  King David and Solomon apparently weren't great enough to get turned into gods, but they were on their way.

Actually they're more like Greek tragedies. Solomon had a downfall that showed him to be more human than god. David showed very god-like tendencies like having a guy killed after he knocked up his wife.  

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I expect that when we finally figure it out, we'll find they either they were composites of real people, or they started as real people whose stories got "improved" a little with time.

I don't care about the characters. I care about the history. The main problem with the history is that the Kingdom of Israel as described in the Bible never existed. The descriptions of unstoppable conquests by gigantic armies turning Israel into a Middle East superpower are not true and are probably embellishments of smaller conflicts. The Hebrews were just another culture in conflict with others in Canaan and trying to maintain their own identity. They were easily conquered by the Assyrians, Babylonians, and Persians. I believe the stories in the Old Testament was intended to give Jews a past they could be proud of, an explanation for why their people no longer had a nation of their own, and a reason to continue to exist as a separate people during the Diaspora.

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If the definition of divinity is immortality, as it is with many of the Greek gods, then through their stories, David and Solomon are gods already.

Fortunately that isn't the definition of a god!


#65    Doug1o29

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 10:12 PM

View Postscowl, on 28 February 2013 - 06:59 PM, said:

Actually they're more like Greek tragedies. Solomon had a downfall that showed him to be more human than god. David showed very god-like tendencies like having a guy killed after he knocked up his wife.  
Many of those ancient gods were pretty bloodthirsty.  You have to look no farther than Genesis for evidence.

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I don't care about the characters. I care about the history. The main problem with the history is that the Kingdom of Israel as described in the Bible never existed. The descriptions of unstoppable conquests by gigantic armies turning Israel into a Middle East superpower are not true and are probably embellishments of smaller conflicts. The Hebrews were just another culture in conflict with others in Canaan and trying to maintain their own identity. They were easily conquered by the Assyrians, Babylonians, and Persians. I believe the stories in the Old Testament was intended to give Jews a past they could be proud of, an explanation for why their people no longer had a nation of their own, and a reason to continue to exist as a separate people during the Diaspora.
Probably a lot of truth in what you're saying, but I'm trying to track the legends.

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Fortunately that isn't the definition of a god!
That may be, but is there any other characteristic that distinguishes "gods" from men?  Gods are immortal; men are not.  As far as I can tell, that's the difference.  Jesus is a god only if he can defeat death.  If he really died on the cross, then he was just a man.  Without the resurrection, Christinaity is nothing.
Doug

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#66    Mr Walker

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 10:36 AM

View PostDoug1o29, on 27 February 2013 - 02:00 PM, said:

I am not doubting that there were Christians from early times.  Nor do I doubt that something gave rise to the legend.  All I am saying is that there is a dearth of evidence.  I would like to see the archeological reports on those shrines if you know where to find them.  Also, references in historical writings would be very helpful in establishing dates.

The gospels are not reliable sources.  Matthew and Mark were most-likely written during the Bar Kochba Rebellion, about 100 years after Jesus.  Luke contains a reference to "most excellent Felix."  The only Roman official we know of named Felix was appointed Prefect of Egypt in 151 AD.  Luke is addressed to "most excellent Theophilus," the Patriarch of Antioch from about 169 to 183 AD.  Historians argue about whether it was Theophilus or Irenaeus who first reported the Book of John by name (about 180 AD).  The Book of Acts likewise makes reference to Theophilus.

Linguists tell us that Luke and Acts were written by the same author - I see no reason to doubt that.  Acts is, basically, a sequel to Luke.

As for Paul:  I didn't mean to imply that I believe the biblical description is accurate.  "Paul" could well be Apolonius of Tyana.  Certainly there are an embarassing number of similarities in the two men.  How would you go about establishing that "Paul" was not a legend based on Apolonius?

In short, there is a 150-year gap between the death of Jesus and a solid reference to the gospels.  While John, Philip and Jesus most-likely were real people, we cannot truthfully say that we know anything more about them than that.
Doug
PA has really answered as well as I could. But prehistory is often more about a study of sociology society and archeaololgy than scientific facts. The sociology and the timelines involved, show that a man fairly consistently known as jesus  started a new cult  of preaching teaching and healing, and was followed by many locals. After his death, rather than dying out, this cult grew rapidly both in numbers and in area. Within two decades of his death it had established churches and was known in rome as anew jewish variant. There is NO  discontinuity in the linear time line between these events and the established  writings of the gospels, as PA points out.  The gospels as we read them are only the existing end product of both oral tradition and earlier  written versions.Those versions do not remain but there are some historical references to them.

Paul wasnt a legend his historical existence is established via a number of contemporary historical documents. it requires denial and a sort of conspiracy theorist's mind to believe otherwise. Normally, in such cases of oral history leading into a written version, what is told is what is mostly true. The power of christ and christianity inherently creates opposition to the basic story,  but if this was  say, spartacus, no one would deny his historicity, because to do so costs nothing..

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

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#67    Doug1o29

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 03:52 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 02 March 2013 - 10:36 AM, said:

PA has really answered as well as I could. But prehistory is often more about a study of sociology society and archeaololgy than scientific facts. The sociology and the timelines involved, show that a man fairly consistently known as jesus  started a new cult  of preaching teaching and healing, and was followed by many locals. After his death, rather than dying out, this cult grew rapidly both in numbers and in area. Within two decades of his death it had established churches and was known in rome as anew jewish variant. There is NO  discontinuity in the linear time line between these events and the established  writings of the gospels, as PA points out.  The gospels as we read them are only the existing end product of both oral tradition and earlier  written versions.Those versions do not remain but there are some historical references to them.
I believe there is adequate evidence to establish that there were Christians around since at least the 60s (Remember Nero and the fire?  64AD) and probably before.  I also believe that legends don't just jump up out of nowhere; something has to get them started.  That would be enough to conclude that there well could have been someone equivalent to Jesus, even though there isn't enough evidence to call him "historical."  I know that there were other writings from before the time of our modern gospels.  For example, Clement of Rome in about 96 AD wrote about the woman who poured oil on Jesus' head - Clement said head, not feet.  He didn't get that detail from our modern gospels.  So where did he get it?  Somebody earlier person wrote it down.  There are other writings, too, purportedly by "Mark."  The Gospel of Thomas may well be the book Papias referred to as a collection of sayings by someone named "Mark."  The problem is that with all the different Marks around, nobody really knows who the real authors were and when they wrote what.

The first step is to establish when our modern gospels were written, then trace their sources to establish what got added to the story and what might have been part of the "original."  I am trying to determine as nearly as possible, what actually happened.  I very much doubt that I will be able to establish it as history, but hopefully, I can shed some light on it.

While there may be no discontinuity between the early Christians and the writing of the gospels, there are, nonetheless, lots of gaps when nobody wrote anything down.  And then there are things that did get written down, but don't fit the Christian tradition.

Quote

Paul wasnt a legend his historical existence is established via a number of contemporary historical documents. it requires denial and a sort of conspiracy theorist's mind to believe otherwise. Normally, in such cases of oral history leading into a written version, what is told is what is mostly true. The power of christ and christianity inherently creates opposition to the basic story,  but if this was  say, spartacus, no one would deny his historicity, because to do so costs nothing..
You mention some contemporary historical documents.  What are they?  How were their dates established?

The search for truth requires careful research.  One cannot take the conspiracy theorist's word for anything, but neither can anyone take the Christians' word for anything.  Neither is deliberately lying, but both are good at deceiving themselves (and others).  Everything must be supported by evidence and reasoning.  What cannot be supported that way amounts to little more than speculation - it may be true, but then again, it may not be.

I agree that when I finish, if I ever do, I'm likely to find that a lot of what is in the modern gospels was in earlier versions.  But parts are almost-certainly later additions.  What I would like to know is which is which and what does that say about the evolution of the stories.  A woman poured oil on Jesus  - but the various sources disagree on the details.  Clement's version is older, thus, more likely to be accurate, but oil on his HEAD?

No matter what else you can say about the gospels there remains that embarassing (for Christians) 150-year gap between Jesus' death and the first mention of the gospels in the historical record.  So what fills that gap?
Doug

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The beginning of knowledge is the realization that one doesn't and cannot know everything.
Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
Ignorance is not an opinion. --Adam Scott

#68    third_eye

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 06:51 PM

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 09:03 PM

''food contamination crisis hits church''
-communion wafers contain 0% christ-
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film at eleven.

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#70    Mr Walker

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 11:00 PM

View PostDoug1o29, on 02 March 2013 - 03:52 PM, said:

I believe there is adequate evidence to establish that there were Christians around since at least the 60s (Remember Nero and the fire?  64AD) and probably before.  I also believe that legends don't just jump up out of nowhere; something has to get them started.  That would be enough to conclude that there well could have been someone equivalent to Jesus, even though there isn't enough evidence to call him "historical."  I know that there were other writings from before the time of our modern gospels.  For example, Clement of Rome in about 96 AD wrote about the woman who poured oil on Jesus' head - Clement said head, not feet.  He didn't get that detail from our modern gospels.  So where did he get it?  Somebody earlier person wrote it down.  There are other writings, too, purportedly by "Mark."  The Gospel of Thomas may well be the book Papias referred to as a collection of sayings by someone named "Mark."  The problem is that with all the different Marks around, nobody really knows who the real authors were and when they wrote what.

The first step is to establish when our modern gospels were written, then trace their sources to establish what got added to the story and what might have been part of the "original."  I am trying to determine as nearly as possible, what actually happened.  I very much doubt that I will be able to establish it as history, but hopefully, I can shed some light on it.

While there may be no discontinuity between the early Christians and the writing of the gospels, there are, nonetheless, lots of gaps when nobody wrote anything down.  And then there are things that did get written down, but don't fit the Christian tradition.

You mention some contemporary historical documents.  What are they?  How were their dates established?

The search for truth requires careful research.  One cannot take the conspiracy theorist's word for anything, but neither can anyone take the Christians' word for anything.  Neither is deliberately lying, but both are good at deceiving themselves (and others).  Everything must be supported by evidence and reasoning.  What cannot be supported that way amounts to little more than speculation - it may be true, but then again, it may not be.

I agree that when I finish, if I ever do, I'm likely to find that a lot of what is in the modern gospels was in earlier versions.  But parts are almost-certainly later additions.  What I would like to know is which is which and what does that say about the evolution of the stories.  A woman poured oil on Jesus  - but the various sources disagree on the details.  Clement's version is older, thus, more likely to be accurate, but oil on his HEAD?

No matter what else you can say about the gospels there remains that embarassing (for Christians) 150-year gap between Jesus' death and the first mention of the gospels in the historical record.  So what fills that gap?
Doug
  sorry this is from wiki but i was just reading the article.


Sources outside of the New Testament that mention Paul include:
    Like PA I do not accept that the gospels were written as late as 180 AD. My understanding based on current scholarship is that some of them in their existing form,  were written as early as 70-80 AD. They were  also written earlier but those are now gone. Also later additions and alterations were made. But this is true of all things. Compare a modern history of world war 11, with ones written immediately after the event, or  a chinese history of that war with a japanese one.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#71    Doug1o29

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 04:17 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 02 March 2013 - 11:00 PM, said:

sorry this is from wiki but i was just reading the article.


Sources outside of the New Testament that mention Paul include:
Like PA I do not accept that the gospels were written as late as 180 AD. My understanding based on current scholarship is that some of them in their existing form,  were written as early as 70-80 AD. They were  also written earlier but those are now gone. Also later additions and alterations were made. But this is true of all things. Compare a modern history of world war 11, with ones written immediately after the event, or  a chinese history of that war with a japanese one.
Thanks.  Those would all seem to be good references.  I must have missed Clement's reference to Paul.  I'll have to go back and read it again.

There is some reason to doubt the validity of Ignatius of Antioch.  The objections are:
1.  He was supposedly a patriarch, but there are no historical references to him before the ostensible date of his letters.  He has no provenance.
2.  He is supposed to be a prisoner on his way to Rome to be killed in the arena.  BUT:  guards are expensive.   Why send him to Rome when you could kill him right there in Antioch with a lot less trouble and expense?  The guards allow him to take a month-long side trip to visit other Christians.  Wish all guards were that considerate.
These details make the whole story seem rather improbable.

I have not finished reading Origen and Polycarp.  Origen supposedly said he was a student of John (That from Irenaeus.).  But I haven't found where Origen himself said it.  I suspect it's in his writings somewhere, but so far, no luck.  Irenaeus was a good scholar and his reasoning was sound, as long as he was using a reliable source.

Polycarp was martyrred in 155 AD, about the time Justin was writing his Apology.  Apolonius was born in about 15AD and died about 100AD.  Apolonius could have been the prototype for Paul without creating a time conflict with either Clement or Polycarp.

A big question about Paul is how he could have been in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus' trial and death and still not have written a first-hand account.   It's a glaring omission in the record.  No such claim is made for Apolonius.

180 would seem awful late for any of the four gospels.  Theophilus of Antioch died in 180 AD.  Luke was addressed to Theophilus.  That doesn't leave much time to write a gospel and none at all to write Acts.  I think we'll need to select an earlier date for them.

The "authenicated" letters of Paul are probably older than the gospels.  They would seem to be a more-reliable source.
Doug

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The beginning of knowledge is the realization that one doesn't and cannot know everything.
Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
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#72    scowl

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 09:31 PM

View PostDoug1o29, on 28 February 2013 - 10:12 PM, said:

That may be, but is there any other characteristic that distinguishes "gods" from men?  Gods are immortal; men are not.  As far as I can tell, that's the difference.  Jesus is a god only if he can defeat death.  If he really died on the cross, then he was just a man.  

If we all go to heaven when we die, does that mean we're all gods?


#73    Mr Walker

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 11:04 PM

View Postscowl, on 04 March 2013 - 09:31 PM, said:

If we all go to heaven when we die, does that mean we're all gods?
We are each gods already. Everyone of us exists within god, and god exists within each one of us. Once one realises this, the empowerment of god becomes available. Heaven also exists with us right here and now, because all extermal experience is  so "interpreted" by our minds that it forms our reality. ie a person living in a samll isolated cell can see it as imprisonment and deprivation, or a retreat and tranquility with potential for meditation.. How we interpret our extermal realities is what creates the feeling that we exist in heaven or in hell.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#74    Valdemar the Great

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 07:50 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 04 March 2013 - 11:04 PM, said:

We are each gods already. Everyone of us exists within god, and god exists within each one of us. Once one realises this, the empowerment of god becomes available. Heaven also exists with us right here and now, because all extermal experience is so "interpreted" by our minds that it forms our reality. ie a person living in a samll isolated cell can see it as imprisonment and deprivation, or a retreat and tranquility with potential for meditation.. How we interpret our extermal realities is what creates the feeling that we exist in heaven or in hell.
i think that pretty much describes the way I see it, I think. That you for that, a nice concise description.

Life is a hideous business, and from the background behind what we know of it peer daemoniacal hints of truth which make it sometimes a thousandfold more hideous.

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#75    Frank Merton

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 07:55 AM

We all have "Buddha nature."





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