What Exacty did Jesus Fix?

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Re: What Exacty did Jesus Fix?

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:47 pm

Easy, Deavon. Why would you pay much attention to debunkers of that which you believe to be absolutely true? And not only absolutely true but Godgiven truth? The mere act of examining evidence to the contrary would be sinful.

How many Christians have you known who would even listen to indications of contradictions between the Gospels?

When you have a vested interest in this religion, you're unlikely to be able to examine its texts dispassionately. As you well know, most Christians have not only centuries of being told not to question that this all actually occurred but would likely be ostracized by their family and friends if they were to express serious doubts.

I believe it was the Mistress of Novices who assigned Karen Armstrong to write an apologetic on the historical validity of Jesus's Resurrection when Armstrong was a young nun. Armstrong carefully compared the Gospel accounts and realized that they were so contradictory that she couldn't believe any such thing had occurred. But she dutifully wrote her paper attesting to the truth of the Resurrection. When she presented it to the Mistress of Novices, she mentioned that she couldn't see how it could possibly be true. The reply was that of course it wasn't, but please don't tell the other nuns.
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Re: What Exacty did Jesus Fix?

Post by DeavonReye on Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:29 pm

How recent has this sort of information been available to people? Before the internet, unless you emersed yourself in the basement of a library, and scoured many books, . . . this type of information was not there to find. I never saw it until I started looking, mostly internet stuff, . . . people who discovered such information and relayed it online. It makes me wonder, given the type of information that it is, that christianity is still thriving. I realize that most preachers in "everyday America corner churches" only went through a bible college or seminary, and probably were not exposed to it. If I had been a preacher, and fell into this information, discovered its truth, . . . I would denounce too. At least, the fundamentalistic side of me. I'm pretty much deconverted, at this point. But still, information like this is good to come across.
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Re: What Exacty did Jesus Fix?

Post by DeavonReye on Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:31 pm

DotNotInOz wrote:Easy, Deavon. Why would you pay much attention to debunkers of that which you believe to be absolutely true? And not only absolutely true but Godgiven truth? The mere act of examining evidence to the contrary would be sinful.

How many Christians have you known who would even listen to indications of contradictions between the Gospels?

When you have a vested interest in this religion, you're unlikely to be able to examine its texts dispassionately. As you well know, most Christians have not only centuries of being told not to question that this all actually occurred but would likely be ostracized by their family and friends if they were to express serious doubts.

I believe it was the Mistress of Novices who assigned Karen Armstrong to write an apologetic on the historical validity of Jesus's Resurrection when Armstrong was a young nun. Armstrong carefully compared the Gospel accounts and realized that they were so contradictory that she couldn't believe any such thing had occurred. But she dutifully wrote her paper attesting to the truth of the Resurrection.
When she presented it to the Mistress of Novices, she mentioned that she couldn't see how it could possibly be true. The reply was that of course it wasn't, but please don't tell the other nuns.

Wow!
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Re: What Exacty did Jesus Fix?

Post by ZenYen on Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:36 pm

DeavonReye wrote:How recent has this sort of information been available to people? Before the internet, unless you emersed yourself in the basement of a library, and scoured many books, . . . this type of information was not there to find. I never saw it until I started looking, mostly internet stuff, . . . people who discovered such information and relayed it online. It makes me wonder, given the type of information that it is, that christianity is still thriving. I realize that most preachers in "everyday America corner churches" only went through a bible college or seminary, and probably were not exposed to it. If I had been a preacher, and fell into this information, discovered its truth, . . . I would denounce too. At least, the fundamentalistic side of me. I'm pretty much deconverted, at this point. But still, information like this is good to come across.

The info as to how the Bible came to be has been assembled over centuries, but Bible scholars have had a pretty clear idea about the history and process of it for several decades now. Most of it was stuff known only to scholars, though, and discussed only in scholarly papers written by scholars for scholars. It's only in the last decade or so that we've started seeing popular books such as Spong's, Ehrman's and Armstrong's aimed at sharing this history with a lay audience. And I'm certain that Dot is correct; there are many Christian leaders who, if they are familiar with the real scholarly work being done, will simply denounce it or ignore it altogether. To these people, free inquiry is the devil's work.
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Re: What Exacty did Jesus Fix?

Post by DeavonReye on Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:48 pm

So, . . . if it "rocks the boat", . . . they want no part of that. That's rather anti-advancement. Agreed, if they DID renounce their religion and church, . . . they would be out of a job. S0 it is probably a lot simpler to avoid it all, denounce it as faulty, or say it "came from Satan".

Hasn't he gotten accused of stuff long enough?
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Re: What Exacty did Jesus Fix?

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:37 pm

ZenYen wrote:The info as to how the Bible came to be has been assembled over centuries, but Bible scholars have had a pretty clear idea about the history and process of it for several decades now. Most of it was stuff known only to scholars, though, and discussed only in scholarly papers written by scholars for scholars. It's only in the last decade or so that we've started seeing popular books such as Spong's, Ehrman's and Armstrong's aimed at sharing this history with a lay audience.

Pretty close. I've a few such books by lesser known authors that I've had for twenty years or more. Some of Spong's earliest publications to debunk the Christian party line are close to twenty years old. His book Living In Sin? which questioned Christianity's standard position on homosexuality was published in 1988. Rescuing the Bible From Fundamentalism appeared in 1991, and it pretty much demolishes any sort of literal interpretation of the Bible.

And I'm certain that Dot is correct; there are many Christian leaders who, if they are familiar with the real scholarly work being done, will simply denounce it or ignore it altogether. To these people, free inquiry is the devil's work.

That and the fact that they're products of a distinct culture. It's hardly easy to trash everything that forms the basis of your livelihood and social network.

At bottom, they know how any reasonable critiques of the underpinnings of Christian theology will be received. Remember that there was a pretty active movement threatening to excommunicate Spong who retired before anything substantive was put together.
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Re: What Exacty did Jesus Fix?

Post by john5180 on Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:39 pm

The information has never really been hidden, Deavon. But look at who all had the ability to actually read in earlier times.... Literacy has come a long way since A.D. 325, and the first Council of Nicae.
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Re: What Exacty did Jesus Fix?

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:52 pm

A very good point about the universal lack of literacy until not far from our own time, John.

Even though the Puritans were staunch advocates of literacy so that people would be able to read the Bible for themselves, it was common for people to be completely illiterate or only marginally literate at most well into the twentieth century in this country.

My father's mother had no schooling beyond the fourth grade and his father about the sixth. I remember Dad saying that as a kid in the 1910's he knew several adults who couldn't read or write.

As for the effects the Council of Nicea had upon what we know as the canon texts, Robert Price (The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man) maintains that the primary reason why we have the canon we do is that the Emperor Constantine favored the view of the divinity of Jesus and wanted that established as the orthodox position. Guess who was behind assembling the Council of Nicea?
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Re: What Exacty did Jesus Fix?

Post by DeavonReye on Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:03 pm

It just seems like, to me, that most of this information is a relatively NEW thing to the normal person, . . . and coming in lightning speed. It was enough to break through my fundi shell. I wonder how long christianity, in its current state, will continue to flurish?
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Re: What Exacty did Jesus Fix?

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:10 pm

I think the wider availability of so many critiques is partially a result of the fact that the Dead Sea Scrolls were subjected to wider scrutiny than had previously been the case for biblical manuscripts. And so many of the manuscripts found among the DSS diverged from the orthodox Christian position that the field became much more open for critics.

It was only in the late 1940's to mid-50's that the DSS were discovered which is quite recent in the span of biblical scholarship.

I've long wondered if the increase in Christian fundamentalist churches we're experiencing is in part the result of criticism of the essential theology becoming far more open and common. You know, digging in their heels against inevitable change?
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Re: What Exacty did Jesus Fix?

Post by DeavonReye on Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:15 pm

I haven't read up on the DSS much, but only heard that some of it was actually contradictory to the christian bible. A while back (a few years or so), christians would point to the DSS and say how close it matches the bibles of today, and use that as a way to show how the bible is unchanging, or something like that.
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Re: What Exacty did Jesus Fix?

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:35 pm

DeavonReye wrote:A while back (a few years or so), christians would point to the DSS and say how close it matches the bibles of today, and use that as a way to show how the bible is unchanging, or something like that.

Yeah, and there's good reason why the manuscripts of the DSS match today's Bibles...Today's translations were revised to reflect what was discovered in the DSS. So, to some extent they are correct in saying so...although they probably have no idea just why today's versions match the DSS so well.

I may be mistaken about this but I'm thinking that the main source for the Bible until the discovery of the DSS was still the work done by the council that assembled the KJV. (Unless you were using the Catholic version, of course.) And it was largely based upon the Latin Vulgate making the KJV a not-so-great translation of a very bad one.

There's a really good book called The Journey From Texts to Translations by Paul D. Wegner about the history of the various versions of the Bible. Wegner is a professor of the Bible at Moody Bible Institute. He discusses in detail how specific translations were put together from the very earliest dating back to the latter 14th century up to the present. Read that back-to-back with Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus, and you'll have a pretty good overview of how the Bible we know today came about. Wegner is orthodox and Ehrman only recently out of the agnostic closet.
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Re: What Exacty did Jesus Fix?

Post by DeavonReye on Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:50 pm

Didn't the DSS also contain books that were considered "heretical"? Not sure of that.
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Re: What Exacty did Jesus Fix?

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Dec 22, 2009 7:11 pm

If you mean by that materials that were bible related but not part of the accepted canon, I think so, although I'm not sure any of them are labeled heretical exactly. Don't know.

This appears to be a scholarly overview of the contents of the DSS.

http://www.crosscurrents.org/deadsea.htm

I was surprised to learn that only about 40% of the manuscripts are of books of our canonical Bible. I had assumed the proportion was substantially greater.

Interesting that the DSS even include some horoscopes. I didn't know that. I wonder if astrology will be reconsidered as biblically supported as a result. Twisted Evil Suspect
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Re: What Exacty did Jesus Fix?

Post by MaineCaptain on Tue Dec 22, 2009 7:21 pm

DotNotInOz wrote:.

Interesting that the DSS even include some horoscopes. I didn't know that. I wonder if astrology will be reconsidered as biblically supported as a result. Twisted Evil Suspect
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Re: What Exacty did Jesus Fix?

Post by TPaine on Tue Dec 22, 2009 7:35 pm

The DSS are all copies of Old Testament writings possibly done by the Essenes sect of Judaism. According to this Link some date from the third century BCE but most date from the first century BCE. According to Josephus the Essenes were a monkish group who separated themselves from the mainstream Jewish communities.
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Re: What Exacty did Jesus Fix?

Post by jumbojava on Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:53 am

So,

What did JC fix......?
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Re: What Exacty did Jesus Fix?

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:20 am

jumbojava wrote:So,

What did JC fix......?

I think the Essenes would regard Christianity and the concept of Jesus as a heresy and blasphemy.

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Re: What Exacty did Jesus Fix?

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:54 am

jumbojava wrote:So,

What did JC fix......?

I guess we've pointed out it depends who you ask. We've given some good views though here, I think.

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Re: What Exacty did Jesus Fix?

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