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Sherapy

2+2=4 equates a certainty of god

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Jor-el
What i find interesting is that the ethical monothiesist usually argues that reincarnation is one of the 'perks' of the diety....especially the scriptures that infer the circle of life, rebirth/ reborn and reincarnation etc.....

Now this is an interesting statement... "Ethical Monotheists"... am I to infer then that those who do not accept reincarnation are the unethical ones?

And where exactly do these scriptures that infer the circle of life, rebirth/ reborn and reincarnation, happen to be found?

Surely you are not suggesting the bible, are you? :huh:

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Sherapy
Now this is an interesting statement... "Ethical Monotheists"... am I to infer then that those who do not accept reincarnation are the unethical ones?

And where exactly do these scriptures that infer the circle of life, rebirth/ reborn and reincarnation, happen to be found?

Surely you are not suggesting the bible, are you? :huh:

I am suggesting that jorel

http://144000.net/txt/reinc2.htm

reincarnation is not commonly held by EM but its not unheard of and for those that do use many of these scriptures to support their posit.....

the rest is just your own filtering if sheri said this the other must be bad .tripe.....alot of reilgions hold some sort of posit for reincarnation but the one that may not is ethical monothesists but even then they ahve been known to come around...... if indeed its the case its a perk..... .

i do not beleive in reincarnation, so would i call myself :rofl: unethical ??? lol

Edited by Tangerine Sheri

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Jor-el
Now I have to agree with Jor-el on that too. Reincarnation and resurrection are two completely different things. Reincarnation is a concept that we have multiple lives, each of us PERSONALLY, and through the experiences of these lives we learn; also we receive the punishment in this life for our sins in the past life. Resurrection suggests one life only and one chance to learn; it is actually closer to the idea of LingaSharira, Eternal Now, and resurrection means the end of Time for us as Time exists now, so all ever living people would find each other in one Moment, as now we are separated with Time, which is our method of filing the events. I can suggest that if our Conscience changes to the next stage and we would be able to see 4-dimensionally, then this is what would happen, we would find ourselves among all people who ever were living, but this most likely would be in spirit, not in physical state, so we wont be able to have a cupo with Adam, but still would be able to have a chat.

In your reading of the scriptures, have you ever noticed exactly what angels and Jesus were capable of doing in their "spirit bodies"?

The actual term is "glorified bodie"s and Paul refers to it as Incorruptible bodies, Peter and Jude refer to them as "heavenly bodies". They can eat, drink, hold other people walk and even run. They can translate themselves instantaneously to any place and can disappear in the blink of an eye, they can pass through walls and there are quite a few other things they can do. It is this kind of body that awaits the true church at the time of the rapture, and it is this kind of body that the believers will have for eternity.

Man was always meant to be both physical and a spiritual entity and that is what we will be, a part of the material realm and the spiritual realm at the same time. As a matter of fact they are both the same thing but one is simply a higher plane of existence over the other because at present they are almost seperate things, although that will change one day. Revelation even goes further to state that Heaven will be upon the earth and God will dwell with man upon the Earth.

It has always been meant to be this way, God comes down for us, God descends for us, we rise to be with him spiritually with him when we die, but it is only for a time... the future will be a joining of the spiritual to the physical.

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Sherapy
A perk only in that we are not doomed to an eternal hell if we live a mistake riddled life. If we only live one life, spiritually speaking, then the majoirity of people are going to hell, which in turn, IMO, means that God is NOT all loving, as if He were He would not save some and damn others. From a reincarnationist perspective, it is my view that we save and damn ourselves as a direct result of our actions here. You can't shake your karma. But let's not be mistaken here, let's assume this cycle does exist.....well, it isn't pretty lol. We have to live COUNTLESS lives here before we can ever reach the end goal. Its good to have the chances to do it, but the process itself sucks lol. We are like a hamster forever running on a wheel. We are always driven to be materialistic, making escaping the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth ever more difficult with each incarnation.

Marabod, I agree with much of your post. That is how I feel the spiritual state is. But learning is not limited to the material plane. We also do interplanetary sojourns in spirit, and this eternal now, this nirvana like state, for much of us, will only be very temporary at best, as we will have to come down here and incarnate again.

if you beleive that you are going to hell in the first place...then yes for you and countless others it may be comforting to have some antidotal beleif..

oy vey living with that hanging over your head may take the sunshine out of a few days.and the skip out of a step or two .......so reincarnation and purgatory were invented gave the church a run for its money literally too............ :P

Edited by Tangerine Sheri

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Dr. D
As a reincarnationist myself, I disagree somewhat with this post. Origen supporting reincarnation is shaky grounds at best. Really what it is, is a bunch of scholars trying to RE-interpret some of his writings to fit their own agendas....effectively putting words in the theologian's mouth. Like taking a sound bite out of context. Origen really DID NOT believe in reincarnation, NONE of his writings explicitly state it at all, or even give much in the way of hints to it. What he did believe in was the pre=existence of souls, that we existed in spirit before we took on bodily form, much in keeping with Platonic philosophy, from whom he borrowed heavily. Now while some may take this as an allusion to reincarnation; it really is not, they are two seperate things.

Also, and I may be wrong about this, but it is my understanding that we have no solid proof that the pharisees ever believed in reincarnation, rather, it was something that came about AFTER the destruction of the temple, when the displaced Jews, almost as a coping mechanism, turned to a more inward sort of spirituality, the Kabbalah. The temple and their external faith was gone, so they had to compensate somehow. This is where the belief in reincarnation really came into play, but lets not be mistaken here, either, the kabbalah, while I myself like it a lot, and even practice some kabbalah meditations, it still is a far cry from mainstream Judaism. Reincarnation has never been accepted by mainstream Judaism.

If anyone in believed in reincarnation AT THAT time period, it is my opinion, and mine only, that the Essenes may have. But I don't have any evidence to support it, I just feel they might have.

Lastly, I do agree with you, gnostic literature has all kinds of references to it. That's one of the reasons why I like so many of the gnostic books ;)

That Origin had, prior to the Second Council of Constantinople, entertained esoteric Platonism and its consideration of reincarnation as a possible solution to the origin and destiny of the human soul has long been a sensitive issue to Christian theologians.

Dr. Ava Chamberlain certainly suggests that this was the case, as did Dr Katharine Dell in her presentation before the Conference of Missionary Society of Great Britain.

That Origin was a brilliant scholar . . . . perhaps the best of his lot . . . . cannot be denied. But neither can it be denied that he was convinced that the teachings of Ammonius Saccas represented a greater truth. His adherence to those teachings were so great that he was subsequently exiled from Alelxandria and fired from his post.

The power plays of the Second Council of Constantinople gave ample evidence that the church fathers would conform to a singular doctrine or pay a hefty price for their opposition. Moreover, it influenced the posture the church would take on prime issues in all the centuries to come . . . . including the heresies of Origin.

There has been a historic effort on the part of conventional theologians to create a difference between the “pre-existence” of a soul and the concept of rebirth. They have tried to assert that in his heretical works Origin referred to the pre-existence of a soul and interpreted that as meaning what Ludwig Ott described as, “"Pre-existentianism . . . . .was accepted by Origen and individual members of his disciples (Didymus of Alexandria, Evagrius Ponticus, Nemesius of Emesa), as well as by the Priscillianists, teaches that souls exist even before their connection with the bodies—according to Plato and Origen, from all eternity—and are exiled in bodies, as a punishment for moral defect . . . . “

It would not be historically unfair to call Origin a Neo-Platonist and a Gnostic since his words echoed themes embraced by both. The works of Plato were adored by the Gnostics and it should be remembered that a copy of The Republic was found among the Nag Hammadi Scrolls. In The Republic, Plato describes the journey of the soul before returning in another body.

Certainly Socratic thought influenced Plato when he said, “I am confident that there truly is such a thing as living again, that the living spring from the dead, and that the souls of the dead are in existence."

Josephus wrote, "All pure and holy spirits live on in heavenly places, and in course of time they are again sent down to inhabit righteous bodies." And it was Josephus who wrote that the Pharisees adhered to reincarnation as well.

Augustine struggled with thoughts of reincarnation and confessed, “Did my infancy succeed another age of mine that dies before it? Was it that which I spent within my mother's womb? . . . And what before that life again, O God of my joy, was I anywhere or in any body?”

It was Origin who taught, “Those (souls) who require bodies are clothed with them, and contrawise, when fallen souls have lifted themselves up to better things their bodies are once more annihilated. They are thus ever vanishing and ever reappearing.”

Again, concerted efforts have been made for centuries to concoct other implications and meanings into the words of Origin but the early church was not so lenient and banished him forever. His words were considered heretical to the point of being “deadly.”

I have a greater respect for the power of church historians in influencing modern thought than I do for the originators of that thought. Beginning with early church fathers to modern theologians, it has been taught that what Plato said did not mean what the words appear to mean . . . . that Augustine did not intend his words to be interpreted as they seem to appear . . . . that Scriptural reverences are subject to exegesis more justly than common reason. And therein lies my greatest differences with other posters here . . . . I do not accept Scripture to support Scripture . . . . tradition to become history . . . . or popular church postures in theology to be representative of truth.

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Jor-el
I am suggesting that jorel

http://144000.net/txt/reinc2.htm

reincarnation is not commonly held by EM but its not unheard of and for those that do use many of these scriptures to support their posit.....

the rest is just your own filtering if sheri said this the other must be bad .tripe.....alot of reilgions hold some sort of posit for reincarnation but the one that may not is ethical monothesists but even then they ahve been known to come around...... if indeed its the case its a perk..... .

i do not beleive in reincarnation, so would i call myself :rofl: unethical ??? lol

I read the article Sheri, we actually dealt with the issue on the previous two pages, it is another attempt similar to that of Dr.D, ***** the context, that way we can say and read into the text whatever we want...

Did you notice the little white lie in the link you gave me?

They state that in the former verse, the word in the original Greek text that translates as "with" was changed in the King James Translation to "into", obscuring the meaning of the whole paragraph, apparently to make it fit in accordance to Jerome's opinion regarding reincarnation.

Luke 1:17

And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the desobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

What he fails to tell us is that this passge is quoted verbatim by other bibles in the exact same form he gives above and still it doesn't mean what he is trying to make it say.

There are many more such little white lies in the text but I sincrely doubt you would be able to identify them...

Truly there are many false prophets in these last days...

Edited by Jor-el

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Jor-el
That Origin had, prior to the Second Council of Constantinople, entertained esoteric Platonism and its consideration of reincarnation as a possible solution to the origin and destiny of the human soul has long been a sensitive issue to Christian theologians.

Dr. Ava Chamberlain certainly suggests that this was the case, as did Dr Katharine Dell in her presentation before the Conference of Missionary Society of Great Britain.

That Origin was a brilliant scholar . . . . perhaps the best of his lot . . . . cannot be denied. But neither can it be denied that he was convinced that the teachings of Ammonius Saccas represented a greater truth. His adherence to those teachings were so great that he was subsequently exiled from Alelxandria and fired from his post.

...

Again, concerted efforts have been made for centuries to concoct other implications and meanings into the words of Origin but the early church was not so lenient and banished him forever. His words were considered heretical to the point of being “deadly.”

I have a greater respect for the power of church historians in influencing modern thought than I do for the originators of that thought. Beginning with early church fathers to modern theologians, it has been taught that what Plato said did not mean what the words appear to mean . . . . that Augustine did not intend his words to be interpreted as they seem to appear . . . . that Scriptural reverences are subject to exegesis more justly than common reason. And therein lies my greatest differences with other posters here . . . . I do not accept Scripture to support Scripture . . . . tradition to become history . . . . or popular church postures in theology to be representative of truth.

Then I believe we will never agree on this since your posture is the antithesis of mine where scripture is absolute and interprets itself...

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Sherapy
I read the article Sheri, we actually dealt with the issue on the previous two pages, it is another attempt similar to that of Dr.D, ***** the context, that way we can say and read into the text whatever we want...

Did you notice the little white lie in the link you gave me?

They state that in the former verse, the word in the original Greek text that translates as "with" was changed in the King James Translation to "into", obscuring the meaning of the whole paragraph, apparently to make it fit in accordance to Jerome's opinion regarding reincarnation.

Luke 1:17

And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the desobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

What he fails to tell us is that this passge is quoted verbatim by other bibles in the exact same form he gives above and still it doesn't mean what he is trying to make it say.

There are many more such little white lies in the text but I sincerely doubt you would be able to identify them...

Truly there are many false prophets in these last days...

I know it was dealt with in the last few pages, i concur with DR.D's posit ....for his counter and my own..

Jorel qoutes:

"scripture is absolute and interprets itself..."

you have very beautifully shown with all your posts that scripture is subject to interpretation and fallable, contradictory and errant......therefore not absolute..."shrugs"

Edited by Tangerine Sheri

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Marcus Aurelius
That Origin had, prior to the Second Council of Constantinople, entertained esoteric Platonism and its consideration of reincarnation as a possible solution to the origin and destiny of the human soul has long been a sensitive issue to Christian theologians.

Dr. Ava Chamberlain certainly suggests that this was the case, as did Dr Katharine Dell in her presentation before the Conference of Missionary Society of Great Britain.

That Origin was a brilliant scholar . . . . perhaps the best of his lot . . . . cannot be denied. But neither can it be denied that he was convinced that the teachings of Ammonius Saccas represented a greater truth. His adherence to those teachings were so great that he was subsequently exiled from Alelxandria and fired from his post.

The power plays of the Second Council of Constantinople gave ample evidence that the church fathers would conform to a singular doctrine or pay a hefty price for their opposition. Moreover, it influenced the posture the church would take on prime issues in all the centuries to come . . . . including the heresies of Origin.

There has been a historic effort on the part of conventional theologians to create a difference between the “pre-existence” of a soul and the concept of rebirth. They have tried to assert that in his heretical works Origin referred to the pre-existence of a soul and interpreted that as meaning what Ludwig Ott described as, “"Pre-existentianism . . . . .was accepted by Origen and individual members of his disciples (Didymus of Alexandria, Evagrius Ponticus, Nemesius of Emesa), as well as by the Priscillianists, teaches that souls exist even before their connection with the bodies—according to Plato and Origen, from all eternity—and are exiled in bodies, as a punishment for moral defect . . . . “

It would not be historically unfair to call Origin a Neo-Platonist and a Gnostic since his words echoed themes embraced by both. The works of Plato were adored by the Gnostics and it should be remembered that a copy of The Republic was found among the Nag Hammadi Scrolls. In The Republic, Plato describes the journey of the soul before returning in another body.

Certainly Socratic thought influenced Plato when he said, “I am confident that there truly is such a thing as living again, that the living spring from the dead, and that the souls of the dead are in existence."

Josephus wrote, "All pure and holy spirits live on in heavenly places, and in course of time they are again sent down to inhabit righteous bodies." And it was Josephus who wrote that the Pharisees adhered to reincarnation as well.

Augustine struggled with thoughts of reincarnation and confessed, “Did my infancy succeed another age of mine that dies before it? Was it that which I spent within my mother's womb? . . . And what before that life again, O God of my joy, was I anywhere or in any body?”

It was Origin who taught, “Those (souls) who require bodies are clothed with them, and contrawise, when fallen souls have lifted themselves up to better things their bodies are once more annihilated. They are thus ever vanishing and ever reappearing.”

Again, concerted efforts have been made for centuries to concoct other implications and meanings into the words of Origin but the early church was not so lenient and banished him forever. His words were considered heretical to the point of being “deadly.”

I have a greater respect for the power of church historians in influencing modern thought than I do for the originators of that thought. Beginning with early church fathers to modern theologians, it has been taught that what Plato said did not mean what the words appear to mean . . . . that Augustine did not intend his words to be interpreted as they seem to appear . . . . that Scriptural reverences are subject to exegesis more justly than common reason. And therein lies my greatest differences with other posters here . . . . I do not accept Scripture to support Scripture . . . . tradition to become history . . . . or popular church postures in theology to be representative of truth.

It wouldn't be historically unfair to call Origen more of a gnostic, I think, either way, its a fitting title. I totally agree with Origen's views on pre existence, as a matter of fact, it is my view that the fall of man took place in spirit, not flesh. But many of his views were far from the norm; however, it is still my view that Origen did not believe in reincarnation. I mean, how do you then, reconcile DIRECT quotes from his writings, such as these:

"[scripture says] ‘And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" and he said, "I am not"’ [John 1:21]. No one can fail to remember in this connection what Jesus says of John: ‘If you will receive it, this is Elijah, who is to come’ [Matt. 11:14]. How then does John come to say to those who ask him, ‘Are you Elijah?’—‘I am not’? . . . One might say that John did not know that he was Elijah. This will be the explanation of those who find in our passage a support for their doctrine of reincarnation, as if the soul clothed itself in a fresh body and did not quite remember its former lives. . . . [H]owever, a churchman, who repudiates the doctrine of reincarnation as a false one and does not admit that the soul of John was ever Elijah, may appeal to the above-quoted words of the angel, and point out that it is not the soul of Elijah that is spoken of at John’s birth, but the spirit and power of Elijah" (Commentary on John 6:7 [A.D. 229]).

"If the doctrine [of reincarnation] was widely current, ought not John to have hesitated to pronounce upon it, lest his soul had actually been in Elijah? And here our churchman will appeal to history, and will bid his antagonists [to] ask experts of the secret doctrines of the Hebrews if they do really entertain such a belief. For if it should appear that they do not, then the argument based on that supposition is shown to be quite baseless" (ibid.).

"But if . . . the Greeks, who introduce the doctrine of transmigration, laying down things in harmony with it, do not acknowledge that the world is coming to corruption, it is fitting that when they have looked the scriptures straight in the face which plainly declare that the world will perish, they should either disbelieve them or invent a series of arguments in regard to the interpretation of things concerning the consummation; which even if they wish they will not be able to do" (ibid.).

He says it point blank right there, while on the flip side, you have scholars quoting vague passages, pertaining to pre existence and putting a reincarnationist spin on it. Now, on Josephus, you could perhaps be right, as I know he also stated that the Essenes believed in reincarnation. This too is my opinion. John the Baptist was likely an Essene. If he was, could he have been Elijah reincarnated? Yes, it is POSSIBLE. There is your Biblical evidence for reincarnation, that story specifically. But you just can't be sure. He was taken up to heaven, and supposedly never died, so, I mean this is stuff you can debate endlessly.

I firmly believe in reincarnation. But my beliefs come from Eastern Religions, gnostics, Plato and the like. It truly is a leap to say the Bible infers it. Maybe it did, but we just can't be sure either way.

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Dr. D
I read the article Sheri, we actually dealt with the issue on the previous two pages, it is another attempt similar to that of Dr.D, ***** the context, that way we can say and read into the text whatever we want...

Did you notice the little white lie in the link you gave me?

They state that in the former verse, the word in the original Greek text that translates as "with" was changed in the King James Translation to "into", obscuring the meaning of the whole paragraph, apparently to make it fit in accordance to Jerome's opinion regarding reincarnation.

Luke 1:17

And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the desobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

What he fails to tell us is that this passge is quoted verbatim by other bibles in the exact same form he gives above and still it doesn't mean what he is trying to make it say.

There are many more such little white lies in the text but I sincrely doubt you would be able to identify them...

Truly there are many false prophets in these last days...

I always find it interesting that the current complaint of theologians or Biblical scholars is that “people can put any meaning they want” into Scripture. That may have some basis in truth since almost every reader of the Bible has a superficial view of its words without consideration of the language, historical reference or subsequent history of translations, editing, insertions, etc.

But to a greater extent, such complaints are unfair considering that the church used about three centuries in adapting and adjusting the Bible to support an established doctrine and the modern reader is never informed of this part of religious history within their relationships with the church.

So, apart from “reading what we want” into Scripture, I ask how the layman or even the rather well prepared person is able to know what is correctly “read into” Scripture?

Who can detect the Greek Semitism within the New Testament? And if so, can they recognize the “Koine” Greek utilized in Luke? Who can discern between the literal Greek and the Jew’s Greek of New Testament times and if so, can they truly identify what was meant without knowing the “marketplace” phrases that so characterized the language?

How is it possible to “read into” writings that find their roots and translations within Early Hebrew, Square Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Ethiopic? In the time of Moses there were eight different languages written in five different styles.

As much as modern theologians would like to have us believe that the ancient Jews up to New Testament times were well versed in Hebrew tradition and law and were well informed of prophesies . . . . there is evidence that the opposite was true. With the mounting influence of Greek into Israel, so came the influence of the Greek philosophers and Plato was primary among them. Gnostic schools sprang up around the Platonic themes and his teachers were often better known than were those of the priests and rabbis. Jews moved away from their religious life and became more dedicated to commerce and progress.

The truth is that the reading list of the Jew was severely limited, and he distrusted the written word in all forms. Plato criticized the written word . . . . “that so far from helping memory, it destroys it, that it is no substitute for a true dialectic, or an exchange of minds between teacher and taught . . . .”

Accusing others of “reading into” Scripture also asks them to know the difference between the literal aspect of the writings and the countless traditions they contain. The survival at Qumran of a fragment of what may be regarded as an alternative form of the narrative contained in Daniel 4 (the prayer of Nabonidus) tells us about the process by which older traditions, deriving from Babylonian Jewry but not of Hebrew origin, enter a belief system.

Apart from the academic aspects, we ask people to recognize and identify a whole series of persons who were responsible for adding, cutting, rearranging, reinterpreting already existing literary material to make it conform to church doctrine. And from that to determine truth from collective interest. A real analysis of the Bible reveals countless sections that have been glossed by a later editor or scribe. A more valid question is what has been “read out” of the Bible.

Our debate centered around a particular event within the New Testament and as with all Christian scholars, your reliance upon Scripture was evident. So I will enter that arena with you . . . . the arena of Scripture and describe why we “interpret differently” from you . . . . not “read into” the words what we want. That accusation is better justified if stated that early church fathers placed the words they wanted into Scripture to support their views.

The forgeries of the Bible were sometimes preposterous in nature and form. Insertions were obvious to the least trained modern translators. E.J. Goodspeed called Colossians 3:14 “the most monstrous conglomeration of sentences in the Greek language.”

Even the early church fathers battled about what the Bible should say. Papias apparently had writings of some particular interest described as “strange parables and instructions of the Savior,” that were opposed by Irenaeus who called Papias “unintelligent” and, of course, the writings soon disappeared. The same happened with much of the 6,000 writings of Origin. And with them went much of our understanding of those times or the true intent of many portions of Scripture.

Perhaps Marcion was not far from the truth when he said that the authentic teachings of Jesus had been distorted by the earliest Jewish disciples and that the gospels had been altered for apologetic reasons.

Can we deny that early church writings depicted Mary as the holy ghost? Can we not be suspicious that a portion of the Gospel of Peter claimed that Roman guards saw three men coming out of the tomb, “the two supporting the one?” A letter from Clement made it clear that no fewer than three different versions of the Book of Mark were in circulation. Even the brilliant Origin was brought to his intellectual knees when he stated that the differences between John and the other gospels were because “the holy spirit endowed him with perfect memory so the discrepancies were intentional and were intended to deal with the spiritual meaning of all the books.” What a stretch of the imagination but the church was strong and there was a theological brew in the making.

What the early church did achieve through its corruptions of many writings was to finally alter the reigning philosophical and cultural climate and turned it away from rationalism and towards an interest in the numinous, the mysterious and the miraculous. The early priests were not afraid to bend the truth to achieve this end. Justin maintained that David wrote in one of his Psalms “the Lord shall reign from a tree,” and claimed that it was a prophesy. No such expression appears in any Psalm in either the Hebrew Canon or the Septuagint.

But not all were that dishonest. Arnobius, writing about 150 years after Origin, presented the same case as I do consistently. “This is an ingenious evasion, but obvious to any fool. How are we to know that these passages are to be allegorized? Do you know the intention of the authors of these stories better than they knew it themselves?”

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Sherapy
I always find it interesting that the current complaint of theologians or Biblical scholars is that "people can put any meaning they want" into Scripture. That may have some basis in truth since almost every reader of the Bible has a superficial view of its words without consideration of the language, historical reference or subsequent history of translations, editing, insertions, etc.

But to a greater extent, such complaints are unfair considering that the church used about three centuries in adapting and adjusting the Bible to support an established doctrine and the modern reader is never informed of this part of religious history within their relationships with the church.

So, apart from "reading what we want" into Scripture, I ask how the layman or even the rather well prepared person is able to know what is correctly "read into" Scripture?

Who can detect the Greek Semitism within the New Testament? And if so, can they recognize the "Koine" Greek utilized in Luke? Who can discern between the literal Greek and the Jew's Greek of New Testament times and if so, can they truly identify what was meant without knowing the "marketplace" phrases that so characterized the language?

How is it possible to "read into" writings that find their roots and translations within Early Hebrew, Square Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Ethiopic? In the time of Moses there were eight different languages written in five different styles.

As much as modern theologians would like to have us believe that the ancient Jews up to New Testament times were well versed in Hebrew tradition and law and were well informed of prophesies . . . . there is evidence that the opposite was true. With the mounting influence of Greek into Israel, so came the influence of the Greek philosophers and Plato was primary among them. Gnostic schools sprang up around the Platonic themes and his teachers were often better known than were those of the priests and rabbis. Jews moved away from their religious life and became more dedicated to commerce and progress.

The truth is that the reading list of the Jew was severely limited, and he distrusted the written word in all forms. Plato criticized the written word . . . . "that so far from helping memory, it destroys it, that it is no substitute for a true dialectic, or an exchange of minds between teacher and taught . . . ."

Accusing others of "reading into" Scripture also asks them to know the difference between the literal aspect of the writings and the countless traditions they contain. The survival at Qumran of a fragment of what may be regarded as an alternative form of the narrative contained in Daniel 4 (the prayer of Nabonidus) tells us about the process by which older traditions, deriving from Babylonian Jewry but not of Hebrew origin, enter a belief system.

Apart from the academic aspects, we ask people to recognize and identify a whole series of persons who were responsible for adding, cutting, rearranging, reinterpreting already existing literary material to make it conform to church doctrine. And from that to determine truth from collective interest. A real analysis of the Bible reveals countless sections that have been glossed by a later editor or scribe. A more valid question is what has been "read out" of the Bible.

Our debate centered around a particular event within the New Testament and as with all Christian scholars, your reliance upon Scripture was evident. So I will enter that arena with you . . . . the arena of Scripture and describe why we "interpret differently" from you . . . . not "read into" the words what we want. That accusation is better justified if stated that early church fathers placed the words they wanted into Scripture to support their views.

The forgeries of the Bible were sometimes preposterous in nature and form. Insertions were obvious to the least trained modern translators. E.J. Goodspeed called Colossians 3:14 "the most monstrous conglomeration of sentences in the Greek language."

Even the early church fathers battled about what the Bible should say. Papias apparently had writings of some particular interest described as "strange parables and instructions of the Savior," that were opposed by Irenaeus who called Papias "unintelligent" and, of course, the writings soon disappeared. The same happened with much of the 6,000 writings of Origin. And with them went much of our understanding of those times or the true intent of many portions of Scripture.

Perhaps Marcion was not far from the truth when he said that the authentic teachings of Jesus had been distorted by the earliest Jewish disciples and that the gospels had been altered for apologetic reasons.

Can we deny that early church writings depicted Mary as the holy ghost? Can we not be suspicious that a portion of the Gospel of Peter claimed that Roman guards saw three men coming out of the tomb, "the two supporting the one?" A letter from Clement made it clear that no fewer than three different versions of the Book of Mark were in circulation. Even the brilliant Origin was brought to his intellectual knees when he stated that the differences between John and the other gospels were because "the holy spirit endowed him with perfect memory so the discrepancies were intentional and were intended to deal with the spiritual meaning of all the books." What a stretch of the imagination but the church was strong and there was a theological brew in the making.

What the early church did achieve through its corruptions of many writings was to finally alter the reigning philosophical and cultural climate and turned it away from rationalism and towards an interest in the numinous, the mysterious and the miraculous. The early priests were not afraid to bend the truth to achieve this end. Justin maintained that David wrote in one of his Psalms "the Lord shall reign from a tree," and claimed that it was a prophesy. No such expression appears in any Psalm in either the Hebrew Canon or the Septuagint.

But not all were that dishonest. Arnobius, writing about 150 years after Origin, presented the same case as I do consistently. "This is an ingenious evasion, but obvious to any fool. How are we to know that these passages are to be allegorized? Do you know the intention of the authors of these stories better than they knew it themselves?"

:tu::tsu::tsu::tsu::tsu::tsu::tsu::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::nw::nw::nw::nw:

Dr. D yet again a brilliant post, I have said this before the amount of work and knowledge that has to go into this endeavor is astounding ...and one will conclude that they just cant be sure.......thats why agnostic is just the most honest posit i can hold ..

.

I put my money on you anytime...your fairness and honesty is inspiring for me...thanks for such a awesome read...

Edited by Tangerine Sheri

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IamsSon
U.S. Const. (December 15, 1791) amend. 1-10

Publisher: Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer

Amendment One

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment Two

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment Three

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment Four

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures , shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue , but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment Five

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment Six

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment Seven

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment Eight

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment Nine

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment Ten

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

source

This is the U.S. Bill of Rights (The first 10 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution) as they appear in the original. Now let's see what we can do by just taking a few words out, or ignoring some sentences.

Here is the original:

Amendment One

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Now, let's see what we can do: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It's OK to say this is true right since I didn't add anything to the text? Do the words I left out make a difference?

Amendment Two

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Would the Bill of Rights be the same if we just left this whole Amendment out?

Amendment Three

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Now, let's just change one word here:

Amendment Three

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the State, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Does that one word make a difference?

How about we leave Amendment Four out. I mean it's not like one sentence makes much of a difference, right?

Anyway, I think people will get the idea. You can tell yourself that it's OK to interpret a Biblical passage without being concerned about what previous passages, or even the sentence before or after says, but please be honest and admit you would not attempt to do that with any other document.

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Dr. D
It wouldn't be historically unfair to call Origen more of a gnostic, I think, either way, its a fitting title. I totally agree with Origen's views on pre existence, as a matter of fact, it is my view that the fall of man took place in spirit, not flesh. But many of his views were far from the norm; however, it is still my view that Origen did not believe in reincarnation. I mean, how do you then, reconcile DIRECT quotes from his writings, such as these:

"[scripture says] ‘And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" and he said, "I am not"’ [John 1:21]. No one can fail to remember in this connection what Jesus says of John: ‘If you will receive it, this is Elijah, who is to come’ [Matt. 11:14]. How then does John come to say to those who ask him, ‘Are you Elijah?’—‘I am not’? . . . One might say that John did not know that he was Elijah. This will be the explanation of those who find in our passage a support for their doctrine of reincarnation, as if the soul clothed itself in a fresh body and did not quite remember its former lives. . . . [H]owever, a churchman, who repudiates the doctrine of reincarnation as a false one and does not admit that the soul of John was ever Elijah, may appeal to the above-quoted words of the angel, and point out that it is not the soul of Elijah that is spoken of at John’s birth, but the spirit and power of Elijah" (Commentary on John 6:7 [A.D. 229]).

"If the doctrine [of reincarnation] was widely current, ought not John to have hesitated to pronounce upon it, lest his soul had actually been in Elijah? And here our churchman will appeal to history, and will bid his antagonists [to] ask experts of the secret doctrines of the Hebrews if they do really entertain such a belief. For if it should appear that they do not, then the argument based on that supposition is shown to be quite baseless" (ibid.).

"But if . . . the Greeks, who introduce the doctrine of transmigration, laying down things in harmony with it, do not acknowledge that the world is coming to corruption, it is fitting that when they have looked the scriptures straight in the face which plainly declare that the world will perish, they should either disbelieve them or invent a series of arguments in regard to the interpretation of things concerning the consummation; which even if they wish they will not be able to do" (ibid.).

He says it point blank right there, while on the flip side, you have scholars quoting vague passages, pertaining to pre existence and putting a reincarnationist spin on it. Now, on Josephus, you could perhaps be right, as I know he also stated that the Essenes believed in reincarnation. This too is my opinion. John the Baptist was likely an Essene. If he was, could he have been Elijah reincarnated? Yes, it is POSSIBLE. There is your Biblical evidence for reincarnation, that story specifically. But you just can't be sure. He was taken up to heaven, and supposedly never died, so, I mean this is stuff you can debate endlessly.

I firmly believe in reincarnation. But my beliefs come from Eastern Religions, gnostics, Plato and the like. It truly is a leap to say the Bible infers it. Maybe it did, but we just can't be sure either way.

Ah, how easy it becomes to select random passages addressing a theme, but to ignore the time frame in which they were written . . . . especially when dealing with the life of Origin. There is a certain advantage in this since the more heretic works of Origin were put to fire but the ones best serving the interest of the church remain for you to quote.

But the rebellious spirit of Origin did not entirely disappear even though he was attempting not to fall too far out of grace with Constantine. In his Commentary on John's Gospel he deals very honestly with the inconsistencies of the gospels and does his best to reconcile them to gain favor with the Eusebius crowd. He goes so far as to delegate some of those scriptural conflicts to the realm of purely spiritual and not historical truth. But in the end he had to get in his last punch, saying that God was ready to deceive men for their own good.

In many ways, Origin won since Eusebius once referred to himself as Origin's disciple. But Origin remained as much a theological pest as Socrates ever was. "Are we . . . . to reject as spurious the copies in use in the Churches, and to tell the fellowship that they should put away the sacred books current among them and should cajole the Jews into giving us copies which will be untampered with and free from forgery?"

He was openly accusing the Church of altering documents and inserting, editing and forging. And the corruptions the Church inflicted upon Scripture often dealt with suggestions of Platonic thought. For that reason he undertook the task of comparing the text of the Septuagint at every pont with that of the Hebrew original. This was an act tht did not set well with many of his superiors.

Even the Cambridge History of the Bible states that Origin " . . . . was too honest in his scholarship and too Platonist in his spirituality . . . ." Even in his own lifetime was Origin attacked for his allegiance to Platonic thought. Porphyry said of him, "His manner of life was Christian . . . but in his opinions about materials things and the diety, he played the Greek . . . ."

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Jor-el
I always find it interesting that the current complaint of theologians or Biblical scholars is that “people can put any meaning they want” into Scripture. That may have some basis in truth since almost every reader of the Bible has a superficial view of its words without consideration of the language, historical reference or subsequent history of translations, editing, insertions, etc.

It is really sad that you should think this way and that you actually seem to believe this lie, you yourself just did what you accused the superficial reader of doing in the above text. Remeber how you quoted Luke 9:18-19?

Was what you were trying to push on us based on your "thorough" knowledge of the Koine Greek language of the time?

But to a greater extent, such complaints are unfair considering that the church used about three centuries in adapting and adjusting the Bible to support an established doctrine and the modern reader is never informed of this part of religious history within their relationships with the church.

This saddens me even more, quite different from the Expatriate I came to know before. Maybe that's why you changed your name...

Beside being the biggest load of beeswax I've ever heard, from someone who is supposed to be informed on the bible.

Do you know we can reconstitute the entire New Testament except for 3 verses just from the works of the early church fathers up until 200 AD?

And this was before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. When we examine later texts from the later sources and compare them to the DSS, gues what we find?

They are so closely reliable that nothing changes at all in what we have compared to what was around in the early 2nd century.

Leaving out the early church fathers personal interpretations of those verses, they in effect supply us with an abundance of evidence that the entire New testament was around already by 100 AD, and that we have the entire ORIGINAL works of the New Testament Today.

If the church had "adapted" and "adjusted" the bible, we would today know about it and guys like you would be the 1st to bandy that evidence about, the fact that you don't and are talking merely from supposition based on flawed scholarly criticism is quite evident.

About the middle of the last century it was confidently asserted by a very influential school of thought that some of the most important books of the New Testament, including the Gospels and the Acts, did not exist before the 230 AD. This conclusion was the result not so much of historical evidence as of philosophical presuppositions. Even then there was sufficient historical evidence to show how unfounded these theories were, as Lightfoot, Tischendorf, Tregelles and others demonstrated in their writings; but the amount of such evidence available in our own day is so much greater and more conclusive that a firstcentury date for most of the New Testament writings cannot reasonably be denied, no matter what our philosophical presuppositions may be.

The evidence for our New Testament writings is ever so much greater than the evidence for many writings of classical authors, the authenticity of which noone dreams of questioning. And if the New Testament were a collection of secular writings, their authenticity would generally be regarded as beyond all doubt. It is a curious fact that historians have often been much readier to trust the New Testament records than have many theologians. Somehow or other, there are people who regard a 'sacred book' as ipso facto under suspicion, and demand much more corroborative evidence for such a work than they would for an ordinary secular or pagan writing From the viewpoint of the historian, the same standards must be applied to both.

The New Testament is by far the most reliable ancient writing known today. There exist as many 25,000 ancient manuscripts that contain all or portions of the New Testament.

Counting Greek copies alone, the texts are preserved in 5,366 partial and complete manuscripts hand copied from the second through the fifteenth century. A few New Testament fragments are very early, dating from the second century. At least 362 New Testament manuscripts and 245 lectionaries (collections of Scripture texts grouped together for reading in public worship services) date from the second through the tenth centuries, constituting nearly 11% of all New Testament and lectionary manuscripts. Such early manuscripts are valuable in establishing the original text of the New Testament. The other 89% of manuscripts are minuscule, dating between the ninth and fifteenth centuries.

Add to these Greek manuscripts the more than 10,000 Latin Vulgate and at least 9,300 early translations, and we approach the earlier mentioned number of 25,000.

By contrast, the manuscripts for most other ancient books date from about a thousand years after their original composition. To compare this to the other ancient writings: Homer’s Iliad is in “second place” behind the New Testament with no more than 643 copies. And of Plato’s Tetralogies only seven copies are known. Also the earliest copy of Plato’s work is dated about 1,200 years after he produced the original. The oldest copy of the Iliad dates about 500 years after the original. This is a dramatic contrast to the oldest papyrus texts of the New Testament, a part of chapter 18 of the Gospel of John, dated at near 125 AD and a fragment of Mark 6:52-53 dated to 50 AD.

The importance of the vast number of manuscripts copies cannot be overstated. This abundance of manuscripts makes it possible to reconstruct the original with virtually complete accuracy.

An overview of the most important New Testament manuscripts, sorted by age:

50 AD - Qumran cave 7 (7q5 is Mark 6:52-53) - (dated around 50 A.D. !): this may be possibly be the new earliest surviving New Testament manuscript.

125 AD – Oldest Fragment (P52): Papyrus codex containing John 18:31-33 and 37 of about 2 ½ x 3 ½ inches. Known as the Rylands Papyrus (P52), it dates from the first half of the second century, as early as 117-138 AD. Found in Egypt (some distance from the probable place of composition in Asia Minor), this little piece of papyrus has forced the critics to place the fourth gospel in the first century, abandoning previous assertions that it could not have been written by the apostle John.

150 AD - Magdalen papyrus: fragment (dated around 150 A.D., but a more recent dating place it possible around 50 A.D. !)

250 AD – Chester Beatty Papyri (P45,P46,P47): This collection of three codices contains most of the New Testament. P45 consists of pieces of 30 leaves of a papyrus codex: two from Matthew, two from John, six from Mark, seven from Luke, and thirteen from Acts. P46 contains 86 slightly mutilated leaves (11 by 6 1/2 inches), stemming from an original that contained 104 pages of Paul’s epistles, including Romans, Hebrews, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, Galatians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, and 2 Thessalonians. P47 is made up of 10 slightly mutilated leaves of the book of Revelation.

Second-third century AD – Bodmer Papyri (P66,P72,P75): P66, dating from about 200 AD or earlier, contains 104 leaves of John. P72 is the earliest known copy of Jude, 1 Peter, and 2 Peter. It dates from the third century and also contains several apocryphal books. P75 is a codex of 102 pages (originally 144); it contains most of Luke and John, and dates between 175 and 225 AD. This is the earliest known copy of Luke. Actually, in this collection are some 88 papyri manuscripts of portions of the New Testament, of which the foregoing are merely the most important representatives. The papyri witness to the text is invaluable, dating as far back as the threshold of the second century – within a generation of the autographs (original copies penned by the author) and including most of the New Testament. All are extant (that is, available as manuscript) from within the first 200 years after the New Testament itself was written.

325-350 AD – Codex Vaticanus: The Codex Vaticanus is perhaps the oldest codex on parchment or vellum (ca. 325-350). It is one of the most important witnesses to the text of the New Testament. This manuscript of the whole Bible was likely written by the middle of the fourth century; however, it was not known to textual scholars until after 1475, when catalogued in the Vatican Library. It includes most of the LXX version of the Old Testament and most of the New Testament in Greek. Missing are Timothy through Philemon, Hebrews 9:14 through Revelation, and the general epistles.

340 AD – Codex Sinaiticus: This fourth century Greek manuscript is generally considered the most important witness to the text because of its antiquity, accuracy, and lack of omissions. It contains over half the Old Testament (LXX), and all of the New Testament, with the exception of Mark 16:9-20 and John 7:53-8:11.

From five of the early manuscripts alone (P45,P46,P47, P66,P75), it is possible to construct all of Luke, John, Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Hebrews, and portions of Matthew, Mark, Acts, and Revelation. Only the "pastoral epistles" (Titus, 1 and 2 Timothy), the general epistles (James, 1 and 2 Peter, and 1, 2, and 3 John), and Philemon are excluded.

Textual scholars Westcott and Hort estimated only one in 60 of these variants has significance. This would leave the text 98.33% pure. Philip Schaff calculated that, of the 150,000 variants known in his day, only 400 altered the meaning of the passage, only 50 were of real significance, and not even one affected an article of faith or a precept of duty which is not abundantly sustained by other and undoubted passages, or by the whole tenor of Scripture teaching.

Most other ancient books are not so well authenticated. New Testament scholar Bruce Metzger estimated that the Mahabharata of Hinduism has been copied with only about 90% accuracy and Homer’s Iliad with about 95%. By comparison, he estimated the New Testament is about 99.5% accurate.

If you want to see more go here!

So, apart from “reading what we want” into Scripture, I ask how the layman or even the rather well prepared person is able to know what is correctly “read into” Scripture?

The well prepared layman can correctly read scripture because scripture is self evident in understanding for the most part and part of the preparation for any "self respecting" christian is to learn the history of the church and what was said by the church fathers, including all their thoughts on certain passages that are considered problematic.

Who can detect the Greek Semitism within the New Testament? And if so, can they recognize the “Koine” Greek utilized in Luke? Who can discern between the literal Greek and the Jew’s Greek of New Testament times and if so, can they truly identify what was meant without knowing the “marketplace” phrases that so characterized the language?

Yes they can even when they can't actually read the text because they make a point of familiarizing themselves with Jewish culture and thought. More times than not, they are more knowledgable of Jewish beliefs and traditions than the Jews are themselves.

Naturally if you are talking of those who call themselves christians but don't even know where the book of Micah is located in the bible because they don't even own a bible, then I won't put my hand in the fire for those. Notice that I stated the above of "Self Respecting" Christians who take their faith seriously.

How is it possible to “read into” writings that find their roots and translations within Early Hebrew, Square Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Ethiopic? In the time of Moses there were eight different languages written in five different styles.

Because that is why scholars write papers and there are scholarly debates on these issues, all one has to do is follow the debates and they quickly become conversant on those issues. We as christians don't have to go out and invent the wheel personally anymore, we can and do rely on experts to learn the most of what the texts have to offer.

As much as modern theologians would like to have us believe that the ancient Jews up to New Testament times were well versed in Hebrew tradition and law and were well informed of prophesies . . . . there is evidence that the opposite was true. With the mounting influence of Greek into Israel, so came the influence of the Greek philosophers and Plato was primary among them. Gnostic schools sprang up around the Platonic themes and his teachers were often better known than were those of the priests and rabbis. Jews moved away from their religious life and became more dedicated to commerce and progress.

The truth is that the reading list of the Jew was severely limited, and he distrusted the written word in all forms. Plato criticized the written word . . . . “that so far from helping memory, it destroys it, that it is no substitute for a true dialectic, or an exchange of minds between teacher and taught . . . .”

I have no problem with what you stated here, it is quite true, otherwise the Jews would have recognized their Messiah and not allowed the Religious establishment to do what it did.

Accusing others of “reading into” Scripture also asks them to know the difference between the literal aspect of the writings and the countless traditions they contain. The survival at Qumran of a fragment of what may be regarded as an alternative form of the narrative contained in Daniel 4 (the prayer of Nabonidus) tells us about the process by which older traditions, deriving from Babylonian Jewry but not of Hebrew origin, enter a belief system.

What you neglect to tell your readers is that the Book of Daniel is part of the Septuagint which was composed over a 15 year period in 285 BC and that chapter 4 of the book of Daniel is recognized to be part of this work, wheras the prayer of Nabonidus is an Aramaic text belonging to the Dead Sea scrolls: four scraps of parchment from Cave 4, usually called 4Q242, copied from an older original in the second half of the first century BCE. The story is similar but not exact. Since Daniel predates the prayer of Nabonidus by almost 250 years, I find it interesting that you bring this up. Who exactly are you trying to kid?

Apart from the academic aspects, we ask people to recognize and identify a whole series of persons who were responsible for adding, cutting, rearranging, reinterpreting already existing literary material to make it conform to church doctrine. And from that to determine truth from collective interest. A real analysis of the Bible reveals countless sections that have been glossed by a later editor or scribe. A more valid question is what has been “read out” of the Bible.

You know, this is called slander in todays mainstream language, and it can be proved as slander. I just did, earlier on this post. But I'll add something more here.

I would like to state that textual conspiracies such you suggested would be practically impossible - there is no way that the church could have eliminated ALL known readings of a given text!

95% of the errors found in the NT text are recognized as unintentional [Patz.MNT, 138]. This includes confusion of similar letters, repetition of words or sentences, and just plain bad copying. The remaining 5% of errors includes revised spelling and grammar, harmonization of similar passages, elimination of textual difficulties, and, indeed, theological or doctrinal changes. However, let it not be said that there was some systematic or even informal conspiracy to change the NT text.

Also working against any idea that some important text was lost or added is evidence that textual criticism was already in process as early as the second and third century! Origen complains of negligence and audacity by scribes; Jerome takes note of various scribal errors, and so on. [Metz.TNT, 152-4] These fellows, at least, were on guard against any variations! (To this we may also add that scribal science used in Alexandria on the NT in the early decades also ensured careful treatment of the text.)

Rather than citing some particular textual difficulty, all we have is the typical critic stating some vague idea that somewhere, somehow, we must be missing SOMETHING that will cause problems for the Christian faith! Even Ehrman [Ehr.OxC, 46n], though he has only found a few dozen corruptions - which he was able to identify because original readings were still preserved! - cannot resist speculating that there are actually "hundreds" of undiscovered corruptions. This is rather like the wandering soothsayer who carries a sign saying "THE WORLD WILL END TOMORROW" - having faith that someday, he will be right! The evidence is far better that we DO have the "original text" -- it is simply mixed up with "unoriginal variants," and it is speculative to believe we have lost any real parts.

Patz.MNT - Patzia, Arthur. The Making of the New Testament. Downers Grove: IVP, 1995.

Ehr.OxC Ehrman, Bart D. The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture. New York: Oxford U. Press, 1993.

Metz.TNT Metzger, Bruce Manning. The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration. New York: Oxford U. Press, 1968.

Until solid textual evidence is found for such changes as you purport, all that we are being offered with such objections is a "spaghetti against the wall" supposition.

Below I will post a quote by Bart Ehrman who is a critic in just this kind of debate and argues for corruption of the NT text. Ehrman proposes that the Biblical text was unintentionally altered by scribes and intentionally altered for a variety of reasons.

I do not think that the "corruption" of Scripture means that scribes changed everything in the text, or even most things. The original texts certainly spoke at great length about Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. The issues involved in the corruption of the text usually entail nuances of interpretation. These are important nuances; but most of the New Testament can be reconstructed by scholars with reasonable certainty -- as much certainty as we can reconstruct "any" book of the ancient world.

Many of his claims of intentional change are good, some require rather strained explanations or else plumb the depths of paranoia (as opposed to a much simpler idea that a change was the result of an accident). However, various critics have taken his material and run with it as though it renders the whole of the NT suspect; Ehrman himself draws far more cautious conclusions, and does not here make any argument for any theological view as correct.

Our debate centered around a particular event within the New Testament and as with all Christian scholars, your reliance upon Scripture was evident. So I will enter that arena with you . . . . the arena of Scripture and describe why we “interpret differently” from you . . . . not “read into” the words what we want. That accusation is better justified if stated that early church fathers placed the words they wanted into Scripture to support their views.

You say so but the evidence says otherwise, don't you know we can check these assertions easily online?

The forgeries of the Bible were sometimes preposterous in nature and form. Insertions were obvious to the least trained modern translators. E.J. Goodspeed called Colossians 3:14 “the most monstrous conglomeration of sentences in the Greek language.”

Interesting quote, where exactly did you find this because according to his own interpretation of Colossians, it is an origianl work of Paul.

An Introduction to the New Testament By Edgar J. Goodspeed

He does state that there was division regarding this issue but he does not side with those that would make this letter a forgery. As for the verse you quoted I found absolutely no reference to it being a later insertion but rather a parallel to gnostic thought, which is one of the reasons given for this letter being put in doubt as one of Pauls works.

There is unfortunately no general agreement among scholars touching the authenticity of the 3 epistles. The Tübingen school ... took the position that all three were pseudonymous writings of the second century. Among the great critical scholars of the present century, on the other hand, a fair number ... have found themselves inclined to accept all three as genuine works of the apostle whose name they bear. It may be said, however, that the opinion now most prevalent among the few who are competent to judge of such matters is that Philemon and Colossians are from the hand of Paul, but that Ephesians is the work of a disciple of the second generation. ... Philemon, which is really unassailable in spite of the perverse attacks of the Tübingen critics, is the chief support of the authenticity of Colossians...

TIB XI pp. 133-134

Even the early church fathers battled about what the Bible should say. Papias apparently had writings of some particular interest described as “strange parables and instructions of the Savior,” that were opposed by Irenaeus who called Papias “unintelligent” and, of course, the writings soon disappeared. The same happened with much of the 6,000 writings of Origin. And with them went much of our understanding of those times or the true intent of many portions of Scripture.

Those "strange parables and instructions of the Savior" as you say are his belief in millenialism, which the present day church holds to be biblical as can be seen from multiple texts in the bible, but was scoffed at by Eusebius not Irenaeus, the reasons for him doing so are clear, since Eusebius was an Amillennialist, which is understandable since who wants to speak out against a State that has just put christianity in the mainstream?

Perhaps Marcion was not far from the truth when he said that the authentic teachings of Jesus had been distorted by the earliest Jewish disciples and that the gospels had been altered for apologetic reasons.

Please provide evidence of the above, it shouldn't be hard since you are the one paraphrasing him.

Can we deny that early church writings depicted Mary as the holy ghost? Can we not be suspicious that a portion of the Gospel of Peter claimed that Roman guards saw three men coming out of the tomb, “the two supporting the one?” A letter from Clement made it clear that no fewer than three different versions of the Book of Mark were in circulation. Even the brilliant Origin was brought to his intellectual knees when he stated that the differences between John and the other gospels were because “the holy spirit endowed him with perfect memory so the discrepancies were intentional and were intended to deal with the spiritual meaning of all the books.” What a stretch of the imagination but the church was strong and there was a theological brew in the making.

Actually yes we can deny categorically that the church pictured Mary as the Holy Ghost. And yes it is true that there were fake versions of the gospels being circulated, but it is interesting that we don't have them today. It seems that the early church fathers who knew which of the Gospels was true, made sure of the destruction of the others.

Do you blame them for preserving what was the truth? Don't we stamp out forgeries today with all the zeal of the ancients, would you accept brass for gold?

What the early church did achieve through its corruptions of many writings was to finally alter the reigning philosophical and cultural climate and turned it away from rationalism and towards an interest in the numinous, the mysterious and the miraculous. The early priests were not afraid to bend the truth to achieve this end. Justin maintained that David wrote in one of his Psalms “the Lord shall reign from a tree,” and claimed that it was a prophesy. No such expression appears in any Psalm in either the Hebrew Canon or the Septuagint.

Oh I don't argue that some of the early church fathers had that attitude, they may have said the scriptures said A or B but they did not actually alter scripture itself, but I challenge you to prove that they intentionally messed with scripture. , I doubt you can since even the better known authorities don't go so far, they just suggest, which is a far cry from what you are doing.

But not all were that dishonest. Arnobius, writing about 150 years after Origin, presented the same case as I do consistently. “This is an ingenious evasion, but obvious to any fool. How are we to know that these passages are to be allegorized? Do you know the intention of the authors of these stories better than they knew it themselves?”

You mean to say that you have gnostic tendencies just as he had and thus that is where you are truly at...

Edited by Jor-el

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Jor-el
:tu::tsu::tsu::tsu::tsu::tsu::tsu::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::nw::nw::nw::nw:

Dr. D yet again a brilliant post, I have said this before the amount of work and knowledge that has to go into this endeavor is astounding ...and one will conclude that they just cant be sure.......thats why agnostic is just the most honest posit i can hold ..

.

I put my money on you anytime...your fairness and honesty is inspiring for me...thanks for such a awesome read...

Truly marvelous Sheri, absolutely no-one on this forum can ever accuse you of being subjective in the least! :tu:

If they do, I can always point them in the direction of this post...

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IamsSon
Truly marvelous Sheri, absolutely no-one on this forum can ever accuse you of being subjective in the least! :tu:

If they do, I can always point them in the direction of this post...

You need to define subjective... otherwise this is a wasted post. :P

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Jor-el
You need to define subjective... otherwise this is a wasted post. :P

Ok...

I was being sarcastic... but maybe even that isn't clear enough... ;)

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Sherapy
Truly marvelous Sheri, absolutely no-one on this forum can ever accuse you of being subjective in the least! :tu:

If they do, I can always point them in the direction of this post...

Jorel DR. D presented a very articulate and fair and 'unbaised' counter he is saying he can't make that call in all fairness i concur ........It is you who is claiming that the bible is absolute and interprets itself.......

so it is you who has to substansiate this claim without using scripture to defend scripture...

ad hominen won't fly . do you have a counter or not jorel????

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Jor-el
Jorel DR. D presented a very articulate and fair and 'unbaised' counter he is saying he can't make that call in all fairness i concur ........It is you who is claiming that the bible is absolute and interprets itself.......

so it is you who has to substansiate this claim without using scripture to defend scripture...

ad hominen won't fly . do you have a counter or not jorel????

I already have Sheri... on two previous occasions, but if you prefer to believe Dr. D's "unbiased" account then that is up to you.. personally I see quite a bit of bias and sloppiness...

Elijah could not have been John the Baptist because according to scripture, he is one of two men who didn't die, but was taken to heaven bodily.

2 Kings 2:11

11 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.

There it is Sheri just for you, you can believe it or disbelieve it, that is up to you, but the bible explains itself quite well and thus this talk of Elijah reincarnating is BS, it is based on unsubstantiated beliefs as far as the bible is concerned. It is manipulation of the text by Dr.D and others that show how clearly the lengths some people will go to to peddle a pet belief. If he could prove it more substantially and not having it clash and contradict other quite clear scripture, then I would be the 1st to accept such a belief. That is not the case and never will be.

I'll just copy / paste a text from a jewish site and you can read it at hearts leisure. It seems they also interpret this the way we christians do, whether they believe it or not, is their problem not mine.

Elijah is a major character in the Old Testament--his exploits are found in the Book of Kings, specifically I Kings 16:29 through II Kings 2:13, which is thought to have been written somewhere around 640-580 BCE. He is sometimes classified as a pre-classical prophet: he doesn't have his own book, and he doesn't prophesy about the future. He condemned immorality in his time. King Ahab ruled the north kingdom of Israel (roughly 871-852 BCE); his Queen Jezebel had introduced the worship of the Phoenician fertility god Baal among the Israelites. Elijah publicly denounced the queen and king for being immoral.

Our main (OK, our only) information about Elijah comes from the Bible. To explain why Elijah has a prominent place at the Passover seder even today, we're obliged to rely on textual interpretation plus centuries of rabbinic interpretation. We're not dealing with the historical existence of Elijah nor the historical validity of the stories about him, but rather with text and tradition.

We might call Elijah a fire-and-brimstone zealot. He denounced the king for immorality, including the legal murder of Naboth on trumped-up charges to obtain a vineyard. ("Naboth's vineyard" has been used proverbially to mean a coveted object--something to be obtained at all costs.) He accused the Israelites of abandoning God. He challenged the priests of Baal to a duel of gods: set up altars for sacrifice on top of a mountain, and let each deity ignite the sacrifice miraculously to see which is more powerful. It's a wonderful story, regardless of whether you believe it to be "true."

The finale (and the critical point for the seder) is that Elijah didn't die. Instead, he was carried to heaven in a whirlwind by a "fiery chariot with fiery horses" (II Kings 2:11). There are only two characters in the Hebrew bible who don't die but are taken directly to heaven. Elijah is one; the other is Enoch (Gen 5:24) who "walked with God, and then he was no more, for God took him."

Elijah wasn't made into some sort of angel, he's just a human being who didn't die. The Jewish concept of the Messianic age includes the resurrection of the dead, and here's someone who won't need to be resurrected. That, plus his fiery stance against injustice, led to the belief that Elijah will usher in the Messianic age.

We're not sure exactly when this folkloric tradition arose, but it was certainly early. Our first record is from the prophet Malachai (around 450 to 400 BCE). The last verses of the last book of the Hebrew Bible (Malachai 3:23), say: "Lo, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before the coming of the awesome, fearful day of the Lord." Thus, not just folklore but biblical text (accepted by Christians as well as Jews) says that Elijah will herald the coming of the Messiah. Later, the rabbis of the Midrashic period (roughly 50 BCE to 200 CE) told stories about Elijah returning to earth to confront injustice, performing miracles to help the downtrodden, and hold even the pious to an uncompromising standard of morality.

See: Elijah

Edited by Jor-el

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WARRIOR FOR THE LIGHT
I agree , It's Bad Math IMO.

LOVE :) mnka

(New Keyboard)

I liked your keyboard accent you acquired :rolleyes:

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WARRIOR FOR THE LIGHT
In your reading of the scriptures, have you ever noticed exactly what angels and Jesus were capable of doing in their "spirit bodies"?

The actual term is "glorified bodie"s and Paul refers to it as Incorruptible bodies, Peter and Jude refer to them as "heavenly bodies". They can eat, drink, hold other people walk and even run. They can translate themselves instantaneously to any place and can disappear in the blink of an eye, they can pass through walls and there are quite a few other things they can do. It is this kind of body that awaits the true church at the time of the rapture, and it is this kind of body that the believers will have for eternity.

Man was always meant to be both physical and a spiritual entity and that is what we will be, a part of the material realm and the spiritual realm at the same time. As a matter of fact they are both the same thing but one is simply a higher plane of existence over the other because at present they are almost seperate things, although that will change one day. Revelation even goes further to state that Heaven will be upon the earth and God will dwell with man upon the Earth.

It has always been meant to be this way, God comes down for us, God descends for us, we rise to be with him spiritually with him when we die, but it is only for a time... the future will be a joining of the spiritual to the physical.

Jorel,

We may not see eye to eye on presentation of matters .... But, this is one post of your I agree 110% with.... ok... 125% !!! :su

Edited by WARRIOR FOR THE LIGHT

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WARRIOR FOR THE LIGHT
I am suggesting that jorel

http://144000.net/txt/reinc2.htm

reincarnation is not commonly held by EM but its not unheard of and for those that do use many of these scriptures to support their posit.....

the rest is just your own filtering if sheri said this the other must be bad .tripe.....alot of reilgions hold some sort of posit for reincarnation but the one that may not is ethical monothesists but even then they ahve been known to come around...... if indeed its the case its a perk..... .

i do not beleive in reincarnation, so would i call myself :rofl: unethical ??? lol

Sheri,

Great link... I kept reading looking for the example and story of the Potter... but was disappointed not to find it... But great non the less for its missing....

Blessings

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Marcus Aurelius

This post will be considered out in left field, but I cannot help myself. Skeptics will likely tear it apart, but I don't care. I was reading these back and forth posts, and they are all quite well written, and while I was debating about what to respond to, it really got me thinking about something else. Does any of it really matter? Really think about that. When one talks about God it is so easy to state, well God is this way because my scripture says this, then someone else says no, God is this way because my scripture says this. Nonsense!! All nonsense!! We are talking about a metaphysical being who is so far beyond our pathetic sensory perception and attempts to understand same, that all you have left is a quagmire of differing viewpoints all based on the idealogies and words of man, which, in the end, has absolutely nothing to do with God. I mean, do you honnestly think that Almighty God cares which theologian said what???? We believe in certain ways because it is merely easier for us to do so. It is easier to conceptualize God, and therefore create the delusion that you KNOW GOD, because He is so far beyond understanding, we have to drag Him DOWN to OUR level of understanding. You know God because of what you read in a book, or what some ancient theologian said. Absurd. A chasing after the wind.

Most people view God all wrong, IMO, they view religion as the ENDING POINT, when it should in fact, be the starting point. You read a set of scriptures or whatever, you identify with it, then it becomes you, this is God, I now know God.

But who really knows the mind of God? Origen? Eusebius? Augustine? Can they point the way for YOU to know God?

God, a transcendental being, outside of time and space, we KNOW, in time and space, because we read it in a book???? Is this all there is to God, what is contained in these books and these writings throughout the centuries? I highly doubt it.

If one truly sought God, then it is my view, that dogma and religion would disappear. Because God is far greater than these things, these products of man, these outward works.

If man is truly the image of God, then to know God, one has to know self. Look INWARD to find God. He waits for us in the silence, not amidst the words.

The proof of God, lies not in the books, but within inner, personal, mystical experiences. If you lay aside all of your divisions, your pre-concieved notions, and seek Him, not with a mind tossed about by the tides of its own thoughts, but in utter stillness, there, THERE, you will find God! If you truly knock, it shall be opened to you.

You can debate about God all you want to from the things that have gone before you, but you exist, here, in this present moment to find God FOR YOURSELF. Why waste the opportunity, the rarity of a human life, debating about foolish things and not seeking the truth that starts from within?????

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Omnaka
This post will be considered out in left field, but I cannot help myself. Skeptics will likely tear it apart, but I don't care. I was reading these back and forth posts, and they are all quite well written, and while I was debating about what to respond to, it really got me thinking about something else. Does any of it really matter? Really think about that. When one talks about God it is so easy to state, well God is this way because my scripture says this, then someone else says no, God is this way because my scripture says this. Nonsense!! All nonsense!! We are talking about a metaphysical being who is so far beyond our pathetic sensory perception and attempts to understand same, that all you have left is a quagmire of differing viewpoints all based on the idealogies and words of man, which, in the end, has absolutely nothing to do with God. I mean, do you honnestly think that Almighty God cares which theologian said what???? We believe in certain ways because it is merely easier for us to do so. It is easier to conceptualize God, and therefore create the delusion that you KNOW GOD, because He is so far beyond understanding, we have to drag Him DOWN to OUR level of understanding. You know God because of what you read in a book, or what some ancient theologian said. Absurd. A chasing after the wind.

Most people view God all wrong, IMO, they view religion as the ENDING POINT, when it should in fact, be the starting point. You read a set of scriptures or whatever, you identify with it, then it becomes you, this is God, I now know God.

But who really knows the mind of God? Origen? Eusebius? Augustine? Can they point the way for YOU to know God?

God, a transcendental being, outside of time and space, we KNOW, in time and space, because we read it in a book???? Is this all there is to God, what is contained in these books and these writings throughout the centuries? I highly doubt it.

If one truly sought God, then it is my view, that dogma and religion would disappear. Because God is far greater than these things, these products of man, these outward works.

If man is truly the image of God, then to know God, one has to know self. Look INWARD to find God. He waits for us in the silence, not amidst the words.

The proof of God, lies not in the books, but within inner, personal, mystical experiences. If you lay aside all of your divisions, your pre-concieved notions, and seek Him, not with a mind tossed about by the tides of its own thoughts, but in utter stillness, there, THERE, you will find God! If you truly knock, it shall be opened to you.

You can debate about God all you want to from the things that have gone before you, but you exist, here, in this present moment to find God FOR YOURSELF. Why waste the opportunity, the rarity of a human life, debating about foolish things and not seeking the truth that starts from within?????

Good Post Brahmana.

Love Omnaka

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Sherapy
I already have Sheri... on two previous occasions, but if you prefer to believe Dr. D's "unbiased" account then that is up to you.. personally I see quite a bit of bias and sloppiness...

Elijah could not have been John the Baptist because according to scripture, he is one of two men who didn't die, but was taken to heaven bodily.

2 Kings 2:11

11 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.

There it is Sheri just for you, you can believe it or disbelieve it, that is up to you, but the bible explains itself quite well and thus this talk of Elijah reincarnating is BS, it is based on unsubstantiated beliefs as far as the bible is concerned. It is manipulation of the text by Dr.D and others that show how clearly the lengths some people will go to to peddle a pet belief. If he could prove it more substantially and not having it clash and contradict other quite clear scripture, then I would be the 1st to accept such a belief. That is not the case and never will be.

I'll just copy / paste a text from a jewish site and you can read it at hearts leisure. It seems they also interpret this the way we christians do, whether they believe it or not, is their problem not mine.

Elijah is a major character in the Old Testament--his exploits are found in the Book of Kings, specifically I Kings 16:29 through II Kings 2:13, which is thought to have been written somewhere around 640-580 BCE. He is sometimes classified as a pre-classical prophet: he doesn't have his own book, and he doesn't prophesy about the future. He condemned immorality in his time. King Ahab ruled the north kingdom of Israel (roughly 871-852 BCE); his Queen Jezebel had introduced the worship of the Phoenician fertility god Baal among the Israelites. Elijah publicly denounced the queen and king for being immoral.

Our main (OK, our only) information about Elijah comes from the Bible. To explain why Elijah has a prominent place at the Passover seder even today, we're obliged to rely on textual interpretation plus centuries of rabbinic interpretation. We're not dealing with the historical existence of Elijah nor the historical validity of the stories about him, but rather with text and tradition.

We might call Elijah a fire-and-brimstone zealot. He denounced the king for immorality, including the legal murder of Naboth on trumped-up charges to obtain a vineyard. ("Naboth's vineyard" has been used proverbially to mean a coveted object--something to be obtained at all costs.) He accused the Israelites of abandoning God. He challenged the priests of Baal to a duel of gods: set up altars for sacrifice on top of a mountain, and let each deity ignite the sacrifice miraculously to see which is more powerful. It's a wonderful story, regardless of whether you believe it to be "true."

The finale (and the critical point for the seder) is that Elijah didn't die. Instead, he was carried to heaven in a whirlwind by a "fiery chariot with fiery horses" (II Kings 2:11). There are only two characters in the Hebrew bible who don't die but are taken directly to heaven. Elijah is one; the other is Enoch (Gen 5:24) who "walked with God, and then he was no more, for God took him."

Elijah wasn't made into some sort of angel, he's just a human being who didn't die. The Jewish concept of the Messianic age includes the resurrection of the dead, and here's someone who won't need to be resurrected. That, plus his fiery stance against injustice, led to the belief that Elijah will usher in the Messianic age.

We're not sure exactly when this folkloric tradition arose, but it was certainly early. Our first record is from the prophet Malachai (around 450 to 400 BCE). The last verses of the last book of the Hebrew Bible (Malachai 3:23), say: "Lo, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before the coming of the awesome, fearful day of the Lord." Thus, not just folklore but biblical text (accepted by Christians as well as Jews) says that Elijah will herald the coming of the Messiah. Later, the rabbis of the Midrashic period (roughly 50 BCE to 200 CE) told stories about Elijah returning to earth to confront injustice, performing miracles to help the downtrodden, and hold even the pious to an uncompromising standard of morality.

See: Elijah

Jorel, i donot conclude that there is reincarnation..DR. D has shown very masterfully that the bible infers reincarnation and that scripture can be interpreted in many ways which refutes your claim...

in argumetation one concludes for themsleves there is no preference on how one concludes, one articulates a counter to support thier posit and the other counters we are looking at the merit of your claim which is that the bible is absolute and interprets itself.....

So far it isn't holding weight...

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