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spartan max2

No one chooses what they believe

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Will Due
54 minutes ago, Piney said:

I will still ignore

 

Is that why you keep traveling in circles? :lol:

Or is it just stupidity.

 

 

Edited by Will Due

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Piney
25 minutes ago, Will Due said:

Or is it just stupidity.

Yours is the reason.....

 

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Will Due
4 minutes ago, Piney said:

Yours is the reason.....

 

:lol:

 

 

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Piney
3 minutes ago, Will Due said:

 

:lol:

So your not going to deny the patented falsehoods I pointed out in you "TruthBook?" ?

Good......:yes:

Edited by Piney
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psyche101
1 hour ago, Will Due said:

Yes it is.

It isn't very long.

Wait, that didn't sound right.

Will. Most of what you say doesn't sound right.

 

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Piney
Just now, psyche101 said:

Will. Most of what you say doesn't sound right.

Do some reading on Charles Taze Russell (Founder of the JWs), the ICOC and Jim Jones. They are the circle argument tactics American cults use on people. The problem is they were used on the uneducated and Will is trying to use them on the educated.  :lol:

@Will Due  You asked me if the reconstructed original form of Christianity is what you believe....

......well, it's not. What the Urantia Books preachs is a smash up of Charles Taze Russell (Jehovah Witnesses) and Joseph Smith (Mormons) and they were the only ones who taught that   Melek Taus (Micheal) a Iranian Kurdish god adopted by the Hebrews, was Jesus.......

Oh, and gee Will, you seemed to have missed the conversation about how much damage William S. Sadler' practices have done in developmental centers across the U.S. and the same eugenic and psychological ideas are in your precious book......Did you actually miss it? or ignore it? because you consistently fail to defend any untruths and outright lies in the "truth book?".

 

 

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Piney
Quote

122:6.2 (1350.1) The home of Joseph and Mary was a one-room stone structure with a flat roof and an adjoining building for housing the animals. The furniture consisted of a low stone table, earthenware and stone dishes and pots, a loom, a lampstand, several small stools, and mats for sleeping on the stone floor.

https://www.urantia.org/urantia-book-standardized/paper-122-birth-and-infancy-jesus

What were they? The Flintstones? :lol:

Clay and wood............stone table.....HA!.. Never saw a Hebrew stone table.:lol:

https://semiticmuseum.fas.harvard.edu/houses-ancient-israel

 

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Sherapy
2 hours ago, psyche101 said:

No it's not.

It is a hop skip and a jump to nowhere except sitting on UM preaching and linking UB quotes. 
 

 

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DieChecker
7 hours ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

Oh? and what are the 'teachings of Jesus'? Because, IIRC, there are no writings of the man himself, only what we are told he said and did. Considering that the gospels weren't written down until decades later, and may not have been written by the people attributed with the writings, plus transcription as well as translation issues, AND the very real possibility of insertions, deletions, heavy editing, misremembering, and embellishments, and we really have no true idea of what the man himself said, thought, or did. 

So if a biographer today wrote about Stalin, or Thomas Jefferson, their book would be suspect? Because those people no longer are alive?

You do realize that these were Oral Tradition cultures, right? A Jewish Priest had to memorize every single scripture, and be able to recite it flawlessly every time. That people likewise memorized what Jesus taught and passed it down orally should be the expected default.

Keeping a oral tradition for decades would have been nothing to them.

That being said, I'd agree that what we have today is probably a shadow... or a cooked down version, of what Jesus probably actually taught. We have no idea to know how much is what he taught and how much was not. But in my opinion the major themes are there, and it is the details which have been maniplated.

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DieChecker
9 hours ago, jypsijemini said:

I think my Christian upbringing was certainly a great springboard for my faith. I can't be sure that my current beliefs didn't sprout from the initial teachings of morals and ethics from my childhood - but they're not inherently Christian. You find the same themes not only in other religions, but in human society in general. We prefer to do good, loving, caring things to and for each other and ourselves over the bad. The majority just wants love and peace. It doesn't take a religion or belief to instil that in human beings. From birth, we crave and require love and nurturing, gentleness and constant care from our social network.

This in general is true, but it doesnt set who people will become. A child raised in meanness will be mean. A child raised to be a moral less criminal will be moral less.

In modern times our societies can set such standards, but in the past religion was the engine that supplied morality. Some argue we are post religion, but I believe religion is still a useful tool to society, and should be promoted, not demeaned.

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The way I was taught, if you want some cake, you've got to eat the whole thing. And if you're gonna throw some of it out, the baby goes with the bath water. There's no inbetween. Some scriptures are unbelievably clear and some are incredibly vague. That's why there are millions of books and authors who dedicate themselves to understanding and explaining the scriptures. But when it comes to God, not every area is grey. If it was, then sin would also be a grey area, as would belief and salvation. It's like how some Catholics think that confessionals allow for any amount of sin in their lives so long as they go to church and ask for forgiveness. "Say ten Hail Marys and you're good to go."

Ah, but there is in between. Theres 60 recognized denominations of Christianity in the US, each offering a slightly different flavor of religion. 

I'd argue sin is actually gray. What is sinful to me may not be to my mom, or dad, or wife, or kids. Sin is what makes you grieve for doing it. 

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If you believe Jesus existed but think that the Creation story was a metaphor, then you're admitting the whole thing is a book of lies.

I dont necessarily agree. Someone can write a biography that has a entire chapter of lies/made up events, and yet the other 20 chapters are factual and undisputed.

Jesus is not quoted as saying, "Believe in Genesis, or go to Hell.". He said to love those who were the worst, while maintaining those who already believe. Paul preached much the same.

Quote

"Jesus" had some great teachings, ones that I agree with and apply in my own life. But most of them are no different to the teachings of Buddha, Ghandi and the holy of holies, Facebook memes and inspirational quotes. They're just theologies about life that my spirit resonates with.

It's a pity though that he never had the chance to write them down himself - and that the men who did weren't necessarily his direct disciples. And that they used the original text written by Mark to construct their own. And that the rest of the New Testament was written by the founders of the Christian faith who never knew Jesus at all. And that there are writings out there dated around the same time that were dropped from the canonisation of the Bible because they contradicted the accepted scriptures.

It's true many teachings repeat world wide. Ideas like boats, arrows, agriculture, wheels.... evolved in nearly every culture, so it is no surprise that what works is taught in the Bible.

The Gnostic books were never part of the canon. The canon came down by way of Apostolic succession, but the Gnostics came by way of secret knowledge, which no Apostle is recorded as teaching. 

Quote

I have many reasons not to believe in the Bible and the "Truth" that it offers. Firstly, because it's self-contradictory. Secondly, because of the way modern Christianity has warped it so badly that it's unrecognisable. Thirdly, because most self-professed Christians don't 'practice what they preach'. And finally, because my soul was screaming, "No! There's more - you're not unworthy, you're not sinful, you're not condemned, you don't have to believe in order to be 'saved' and have everlasting life. You are Divine, you already ARE infinite. You are One with EVERYTHING" - and Christianity is a tool of division and separation. Non-believers vs. the righteous. God vs. Evil. Eternal life vs. destruction and damnation. My soul knows that this is not true.

Ever since I let it go, I haven't doubted my decision. A God who 'leaves the flock of 99 to seek out the lost sheep' would have tried to win me back by now. What's he waiting for? He "loves me" so much but He's going to pull the "free will" card and step back completely, risking losing me altogether? And yet He'll 'show' himself and prove himself to others? Yeah, okay. "Amazing Love", God.

Well, I pray you to live a loving life regardless, full of good people and successful works.

I am of the "Nothing is outside of Gods will" belief, so if you left Christianity, there likely is a reason. Perhaps you'll lead someone important to God, and not even realize it.

I feel your belief of, "and Christianity is a tool of division and separation" is due to leadership of how you were raised, and not reflective of how Christianity CAN be lived. 

I hope I'm not coming across as belligerent. I'm just trying to express my own beliefs, experiences, relationship with Jesus/God, and what I've been taught.

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onlookerofmayhem
47 minutes ago, DieChecker said:

So if a biographer today wrote about Stalin, or Thomas Jefferson, their book would be suspect? Because those people no longer are alive?

No. There is a massive amount of contemporary evidence about those two individuals. 

Now, if someone wrote a biography that claimed a bunch of things about either of them that were suspect then those claims would be up for debate.

51 minutes ago, DieChecker said:

A Jewish Priest had to memorize every single scripture, and be able to recite it flawlessly every time. That people likewise memorized what Jesus taught and passed it down orally should be the expected default.

 

52 minutes ago, DieChecker said:

Keeping a oral tradition for decades would have been nothing to them.

That being said, I'd agree that what we have today is probably a shadow... or a cooked down version, of what Jesus probably actually taught. We have no idea to know how much is what he taught and how much was not.

If people flawlessly passed down any stories, where did the cooked down shadow version of the story come from?

57 minutes ago, DieChecker said:

But in my opinion the major themes are there, and it is the details which have been maniplated.

Which themes? And why concede that we have no idea what sayings to attribute to him yet accept that over all themes stayed intact?

Did you read the link posted earlier in the thread?

Lots of people named Jesus said a lot of stuff back in that era. We know of multiple individuals, not connected with the biblical Jesus, that were written about. 

How are we to whittle down stories that seem to be an amalgamation into one historic person with absolutely zero contemporary evidence?

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eight bits
1 hour ago, DieChecker said:

That people likewise memorized what Jesus taught and passed it down orally should be the expected default.

Huh?

First, if the world was about to end, which is what ended up in the books, then for whose benefit would somebody take the trouble to memorize anything?

Second, the parallel to clerics memorizing Torah is shaky. For one thing, the Torah doesn't actually go back to Moses (even assuming there was a historical Moses, which there seems not to have been). The Talmud is supposedly "oral Torah," that is, originally orally transmitted teaching that was eventually written down, but it doesn't go back all that far, either.

Third, the written story shows considerable development from Mark to John (to say nothing of the many equally Christian and equally pious written gospels that the eventual winners of the church-defining struggles deep-sixed). Why wouldn't any oral tradition have been at least as labile? There was no Christian "quality control" department, no center of the faith where versions of the tradition could be checked for accuracy and corrected for lapses.

Also, if we take Mark seriously as a record of the earliest overt Christian practice (Jesus and his disciples doing their thing), there's nothing about the disciples memorizing anything, or even understanding much of what Jesus supposedly said. In Mark, the boys repeatedly ask one another what Jesus means by whatever he just said, even when Jesus is standing right there and they don't bother to ask him.

None of the other canonical Gospels depict the disciples striving to memorize anything, either.

Bottom line: the existence of any archival oral tradition is unbiblical. People surely talked about Jesus (we have Paul's writings testifying that he and others preached orally), but except for the brief anecdote of the first Lord's supper, Paul never claimed to offer any teaching in Jesus' own words. Even in that exception, it is unclear whether Paul is quoting Jesus or instead reciting a liturgical set piece where words are attributed by the celebrants to Jesus.

Paul's letters are the capstone of a preaching career that began within a few years of Jesus' supposed lifetime, with repeated face-to-face interactions with Jesus' supposed closest partners and designated successors. Paul never, except maybe once, dips into this rich oral tradition for support and guidance from God's very own lips?

Baloney.

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Habitat

There wasn't much to memorize !

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Will Due
6 hours ago, Piney said:

So your not going to deny the patented falsehoods

 

Why did you misquote the book by changing the spelling of its words and then claim the spelling was wrong?

 

 

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DieChecker
1 hour ago, eight bits said:

First, if the world was about to end, which is what ended up in the books, then for whose benefit would somebody take the trouble to memorize anything?

If the world was about to end, why send out disciples and apostles at all? 

Because they were to spread the Good Word across the known world. These people were functionally illiterate, most of them, so memorizing is what they had.

Quote

Second, the parallel to clerics memorizing Torah is shaky. For one thing, the Torah doesn't actually go back to Moses (even assuming there was a historical Moses, which there seems not to have been). The Talmud is supposedly "oral Torah," that is, originally orally transmitted teaching that was eventually written down, but it doesn't go back all that far, either.

Did the Jewish priests of 0 CE have to memorize, and able to discuss, scriptures? Yes, we believe they did.

Did most of the people know how to read/write? No, we believe they did not.

So how did these people teach fishing, or carpentry, or animal husbandry... oral tradition. It's what they did.

Point being in 35 CE when the Apostles went out into the world, they likely combined their recollections and memorized them into an oral tradition, such that decades, or centuries, later what was written down was likely close to the original version. It's how their society remembered things.

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Third, the written story shows considerable development from Mark to John (to say nothing of the many equally Christian and equally pious written gospels that the eventual winners of the church-defining struggles deep-sixed). Why wouldn't any oral tradition have been at least as labile? There was no Christian "quality control" department, no center of the faith where versions of the tradition could be checked for accuracy and corrected for lapses.

Well for one thing, the 4 Gospels had different audiences. Mathew was to the Jews. Mark was for the Romans. Luke was for the Greek speakers in Asia Minor and around the Mediterranean. John was for those who wanted more of the supernatural. 

As to later edits.... after about 330 Christianity wasn't a Jewish cult, it was the religion of the Roman Empire, and thus got influenced by politics and Roman culture.

The Bible was written mostly before that, and likely was very true to the source at that time.

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Also, if we take Mark seriously as a record of the earliest overt Christian practice (Jesus and his disciples doing their thing), there's nothing about the disciples memorizing anything, or even understanding much of what Jesus supposedly said. In Mark, the boys repeatedly ask one another what Jesus means by whatever he just said, even when Jesus is standing right there and they don't bother to ask him.

It also doesnt mention any of them taking a crap, so did they not pass bodily wastes?

These were fishermen, and poor folk, mostly. They couldn't read or write. Yet they went out and spread Christianity such that by the time of the Council of Nicea there were about 1500 bishops in the Roman territories. In the first century around 40 Greek speaking cities had Christian populations. How did these people all get trained on what the base beliefs were if not orally? And how was there such standardization of belief if not by a structured oral tradition? Paul did send letters, but why is there only a handful if there were 40 some cities with believers?

 

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DieChecker
3 hours ago, onlookerofmayhem said:

If people flawlessly passed down any stories, where did the cooked down shadow version of the story come from?

The era of the control of Christianity by the Roman's, and later the Roman Catholic Church.

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Which themes? And why concede that we have no idea what sayings to attribute to him yet accept that over all themes stayed intact?

This could be debated forever. It's like your asking me to prove mathematics to you. To prove the algebra invented by the arabs is the same as we use today. Something I'm not sure I've got time to do.

We do know that much of the Old Testiment is generally correct based on the Dead Sea Scrolls. And so if the OT was not heavily edited, it is a likely supposition the New Testiment was not also. It's not proof, but it is likely.

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How are we to whittle down stories that seem to be an amalgamation into one historic person with absolutely zero contemporary evidence?

Because between 35 CE and today, scholars and priests have thought on the words passed down and the best remembrances lived on. Since 325 CE there has be public debate over the meanings of specific scriptures and thus with public records, it becomes hard to edit what the entire world has access to. Not impossible, given later Catholic control of almost all Christianity, but unlikely.

Edited by DieChecker
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eight bits
1 hour ago, DieChecker said:

If the world was about to end, why send out disciples and apostles at all? 

Good question. How does uncertainty about that help your case?

1 hour ago, DieChecker said:

These people were functionally illiterate, most of them, so memorizing is what they had.

The "functionally illiterate" hypothesis is nowhere in the Bible, and the patristic authors thought Matthew was literate enough to write a Gospel, and that John was a literate disciple, too. (Indeed, that there was a literate "Beloved Disciple" is Biblical - you're on the hook for some literate witness, DC). Just because Peter was supposed to have used a secretary (Mark, lol), it doesn't follow that the patristic supposer thought Peter was illiterate (big shots have secretaries, then and now).

Sorry, DC, it's a modern just-so story to help fill the gap of a generation or so between Mark and the events in question. There's no evidence for it, and if the Gospels are evidence, then there's evidence against it. The argument is not a winner for you.

And memorization is not the same as relying upon memory. Literate or illiterate, we all rely upon memory to some extent; few of us memorize much.

We have a written record to compare with the supposed oral tradition in this case. The written record depicts the first witnesses being befuddled by Jesus, not understanding his words, much less retaining them. The very idea that Jesus is super special and so maybe somebody should be taking something down doesn't even occur to these people until almost half-way through Mark. Peter famously solves the puzzle. And what is the first thing Jesus says in reaction? Don't tell anybody about that. Hardly a command to begin memorizing things for the benefit of posterity.

The written record comes in four officially approved parts. They disagree about what Jesus said and did. This is not possible unless there are at least four distinct "oral traditions" being reduced to writing - or the writing is substantially independent of whatever oral tradition(s) existed. Then there are all those other gospels which disagree with the approved four. How many of them display yet more distinct "oral traditions," and why is theirs less worthy of consideration than the winners'?

Yes, different gospels had different audiences. But supposedly there was only one Jesus, and he had long since said whatever he had to say. That decades later, there were four, or forty, different audiences, can't have changed what Jesus really said (if he really said any of it at all).

1 hour ago, DieChecker said:

Paul did send letters, but why is there only a handful if there were 40 some cities with believers?

Paul wasn't responsible for 40 cities' churches. He could barely maintain good order in the ones he was responsble for. Why would he go fishing in someone else's pond?

 

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Will Due

 

The lack of spiritual perception around here is stunning.

And by free will choice, how much of it is self-induced?

God only knows.

 

 

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Sherapy
2 hours ago, Will Due said:

 

The lack of spiritual perception around here is stunning.

And by free will choice, how much of it is self-induced?

God only knows.

 

 

What is spiritual perception, Will? 
 

 

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Jodie.Lynne
16 hours ago, DieChecker said:

So if a biographer today wrote about Stalin, or Thomas Jefferson, their book would be suspect? Because those people no longer are alive?

You do realize that these were Oral Tradition cultures, right? A Jewish Priest had to memorize every single scripture, and be able to recite it flawlessly every time. That people likewise memorized what Jesus taught and passed it down orally should be the expected default.

Keeping a oral tradition for decades would have been nothing to them.

That being said, I'd agree that what we have today is probably a shadow... or a cooked down version, of what Jesus probably actually taught. We have no idea to know how much is what he taught and how much was not. But in my opinion the major themes are there, and it is the details which have been maniplated.

1. as has been pointed out, your analogy is flawed. There is much supporting evidence for the acts and statements of those two individuals, They do not exist in a vacuum. We even have actual documents, penned by Jefferson (IDK if Stalin actually wrote anything down, not my area of interest) to support his opinions.

2. The disciples of Jesus, were NOT priests. If you have evidence to suggest otherwise, please cite it. There is NOTHING to suggest that the 'average Joe' of the 1st century was taught to memorize, verbatim, the dialogues that they heard.

 

No offense intended, but you are blinded by your faith. A la Ken Ham, you have your 'god goggles' on, and will stretch your credulity to the breaking point, and beyond, to support your beliefs. And that is entirely your choice to make.

If your beliefs allow you to treat others well, to lead a good life, then more power to you.

 

To All the "Christians": Just remember that your Jesus hung out with all the undesirables, and accepted them for who they were.

@DieChecker That last line is NOT directed at you personally, but at all the so-called "Christians on these boards that are so quick to condemn & judge others. :)

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jypsijemini
19 hours ago, DieChecker said:

Ah, but there is in between. Theres 60 recognized denominations of Christianity in the US, each offering a slightly different flavor of religion. 

I'd argue sin is actually gray. What is sinful to me may not be to my mom, or dad, or wife, or kids. Sin is what makes you grieve for doing it.

That's why it's hard to ever really know what the Bible wants to actually say, unless you're like my brother and your conviction to the truth drives you to learn the ancient Hebrew, Greek and Latin in order to understand the original texts. And to me, even then, because you're not directly connected to the institutions which hold the original documents, you're only ever going to be allowed to read a copy of the texts - so it's plausible that some of the text may have been withheld during the duplicating process. It could very much be word-for-word, full, true and accurate to the original too. But who's really to know?

And different denominations were created because some people interpreted the Word differently to their original church, and nobody wanted to accept it and make changes - so a new church was started. And then another. And another.

The Bible is like coffee, and Christianity is like the drinks made from coffee. The first church consumed the Bible like it was like an espresso shot - pure, bitter and untainted. Then came the long black - a watered down interpretation of the Bible. And then the flat white. Add some sugar to sweeten it up a bit. Then you've got your cappuccinos, your lattes, your iced lattes, your frappuccinos - and even mocha, blending one religion with another. And now you can choose the strength of your coffee. Mild, strong, decaf - like the way some churches like their content to be as close to the Word as possible, some use it in bits and pieces but ignore the rest, and for some, just a weak reference to the Bible with as much modern interpretation as possible is all they want to stomach.

(I'm a barista. Coffee was the best analogy I could come up with.)

It's the same with Christianity. Once too many of the integral components and beliefs are abandoned, it takes on its own form but tries to hide itself under the same banner. They really become a whole separate religion in and of itself with the same God - like Catholics, Judaism and Islam. They're not considered "Christianity' because they don't hold the same beliefs and values. Just because they read from the same book, doesn't make every denomination Christian.

19 hours ago, DieChecker said:

I'd argue sin is actually gray. What is sinful to me may not be to my mom, or dad, or wife, or kids. Sin is what makes you grieve for doing it. 

I dont necessarily agree. Someone can write a biography that has a entire chapter of lies/made up events, and yet the other 20 chapters are factual and undisputed.

Sin: Pedophiles and sociopathic killers don't feel guilt or remorse, so are their actions not sinful? And some people are compulsive cheaters whose behaviour hurts many, many people. They don't seem to mind doing it. Are they not 'sinning'? And the liars? There are many ways to justify and emotionally detach from wrongful behaviour, even without the presence of a mental illness or abnormality in your biology.

Take, for example, Jodi Arias. She armed herself and borrowed gas cans, rented a car and drove interstate to see her ex-boyfriend. When he was in the shower, he shot him in the side of the head. He scrambled to get away but she stabbed him 27 times all over his chest, back and even to the back of his head. He made it to the end of the hallway before he collapsed, which is where she pulled his head back and sliced his throat from ear to ear, almost decapitating him. Then she tried to clean up a bit, took off her bloody socks, deleted all the photos and chucked the camera in the washing machine. She poured bleach all over it and stuck it on a cycle to destroy the evidence. She took the gun and knife with her when she left, stopped in the desert to toss them from the car and made her way to see a new lover. Weeks after the murder, she sent condolence letters and flowers to his grandmother, pretending to grieve with her. She told the police she was never there. Then when presented with evidence, she admitted she was there - but that it was a home invasion gone wrong and that she was the surviving victim. When that was disproven, she took to the stand with her story that she acted in self defence. She was found guilty of premeditated first degree murder.

At NO POINT did this woman ever show any signs of remorse or guilt. She was more concerned about being allowed to apply make up for her mug shot. She was more concerned about having someone update her Twitter account while she was in prison. She was more concerned about her fame and reputation in the eyes of the country. She wasn't mentally ill or unstable. She wasn't abused as a child. She wasn't even spoilt. And she very clearly didn't act in 'self defence'. She had no injuries. All the evidence proved that the incident had been calculated and passionate, not spur-of-the-moment and panicked. She didn't think it was wrong, she felt no guilt or remorse - so does her interpretation of her actions mean that she didn't 'sin'?

Lies: Doesn't the one chapter of lies serve to discredit it's writer and thus cast doubt upon all the other 'facts' in the rest of the book?

19 hours ago, DieChecker said:

I am of the "Nothing is outside of Gods will" belief, so if you left Christianity, there likely is a reason. Perhaps you'll lead someone important to God, and not even realize it.

I feel your belief of, "and Christianity is a tool of division and separation" is due to leadership of how you were raised, and not reflective of how Christianity CAN be lived. 

I hope I'm not coming across as belligerent. I'm just trying to express my own beliefs, experiences, relationship with Jesus/God, and what I've been taught.

Firstly, I know you mean well but please, please don't give me that 'perhaps you'll lead someone important to God". I'd be absolutely horrified and mortified if anything did or said lead someone into something that I consider to be brainwashing. It's insulting and disrespectful to MY belief that the Bible is untruthful. Has somebody told you they hope that you do something to encourage someone to abandon their Christian beliefs? Because I certainly didn't. And I haven't even said that I hope you leave the church and your beliefs, because I don't feel that way. I respect you and your beliefs, even the ones I don't personally agree with.

Secondly, I gave examples as to WHY I believe Christianity is about division and separation - it wasn't an observation of the church. It was formed based on 20 years of biblical indoctrination, teaching and personal reading. It leads one to believe that there's Christians and non-Christians, sheep and goats, our way and the world's way, the saved and the condemned. The leadership didn't tell me that. The bible did.

And thirdly, I'm enjoying this discussion. It's interesting. And I hope anything and everything that I've said has come across to you in a way that you know it was said from a place of unconditional love, acceptance, respect and care. I honestly do respect your right to hold your beliefs, even though they're not the same as my own. They don't have to be! I apologise if anything I've said made you feel judged or belittled. That was not my intention and I'm sorry if I failed to communicate my thoughts in a gentler way.

We ALL need to remember that you don't have to like or respect WHAT a person believes, but we must all respect one another and our right to believe in whatever we want.

There are very few things that the majority of humanity is in agreement on, and religion is definitely not one of them. But we should all be able to discuss faith and beliefs with confidence - and the rest of us need to ensure that everybody feels safe and free to do so. Even if you're so convinced by the truthfulness of your own beliefs, doesn't mean you can berate someone who thinks differently. I'm looking at you, Habitat. :lol:

Peace, Earth family <3

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jypsijemini

https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124572693

Here's something from Bart D. Ehrman, who was completely determined to prove the authenticity of the Bible...

And then he learned the truth, and wrote a book about it.

 

An excerpt from his book, Jesus, Interrupted by Bart D. Ehrman pulled from the article linked above:

Who Wrote The Gospels?

Though it is evidently not the sort of thing pastors normally tell their congregations, for over a century there has been a broad consensus among scholars that many of the books of the New Testament were not written by the people whose names are attached to them. So if that is the case, who did write them?

Preliminary Observations: The Gospels as Eyewitness Accounts

As we have just seen, the Gospels are filled with discrepancies large and small. Why are there so many differences among the four Gospels? These books are called Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John because they were traditionally thought to have been written by Matthew, a disciple who was a tax collector; John, the "Beloved Disciple" mentioned in the Fourth Gospel; Mark, the secretary of the disciple Peter; and Luke, the travelling companion of Paul. These traditions can be traced back to about a century after the books were written.

But if Matthew and John were both written by earthly disciples of Jesus, why are they so very different, on all sorts of levels? Why do they contain so many contradictions? Why do they have such fundamentally different views of who Jesus was? In Matthew, Jesus comes into being when he is conceived, or born, of a virgin; in John, Jesus is the incarnate Word of God who was with God in the beginning and through whom the universe was made. In Matthew, there is not a word about Jesus being God; in John, that's precisely who he is. In Matthew, Jesus teaches about the coming kingdom of God and almost never about himself (and never that he is divine); in John, Jesus teaches almost exclusively about himself, especially his divinity. In Matthew, Jesus refuses to perform miracles in order to prove his identity; in John, that is practically the only reason he does miracles.

Did two of the earthly followers of Jesus really have such radically different understandings of who he was? It is possible. Two people who served in the administration of George W. Bush may well have radically different views about him (although I doubt anyone would call him divine). This raises an important methodological point that I want to stress before discussing the evidence for the authorship of the Gospels.

Why did the tradition eventually arise that these books were written by apostles and companions of the apostles? In part it was in order to assure readers that they were written by eyewitnesses and companions of eyewitnesses. An eyewitness could be trusted to relate the truth of what actually happened in Jesus' life. But the reality is that eyewitnesses cannot be trusted to give historically accurate accounts. They never could be trusted and can't be trusted still. If eyewitnesses always gave historically accurate accounts, we would have no need for law courts. If we needed to find out what actually happened when a crime was committed, we could just ask someone. Real-life legal cases require multiple eyewitnesses, because eyewitnesses' testimonies differ. If two eyewitnesses in a court of law were to differ as much as Matthew and John, imagine how hard it would be to reach a judgement.

A further reality is that all the Gospels were written anonymously, and none of the writers claims to be an eyewitness. Names are attached to the titles of the Gospels ("the Gospel according to Matthew"), but these titles are later additions to the Gospels, provided by editors and scribes to inform readers who the editors thought were the authorities behind the different versions. That the titles are not original to the Gospels themselves should be clear upon some simple reflection. Whoever wrote Matthew did not call it "The Gospel according to Matthew." The persons who gave it that title are telling you who, in their opinion, wrote it. Authors never title their books "according to."

Moreover, Matthew's Gospel is written completely in the third person, about what "they" — Jesus and the disciples — were doing, never about what "we" — Jesus and the rest of us — were doing. Even when this Gospel narrates the event of Matthew being called to become a disciple, it talks about "him," not about "me." Read the account for yourself (Matthew 9:9). There's not a thing in it that would make you suspect the author is talking about himself.

With John it is even more clear. At the end of the Gospel the author says of the "Beloved Disciple": "This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true" (John 21:24). Note how the author differentiates between his source of information, "the disciple who testifies," and himself: "we know that his testimony is true." He/we: this author is not the disciple. He claims to have gotten some of his information from the disciple.

As for the other Gospels, Mark was said to be not a disciple but a companion of Peter, and Luke was a companion of Paul, who also was not a disciple. Even if they had been disciples, it would not guarantee the objectivity or truthfulness of their stories. But in fact none of the writers was an eyewitness, and none of them claims to be.

Who, then, wrote these books?

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