Origins of Christianity

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Gelin_

Re: Origins of Christianity

Post by Gelin_ » Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:53 am

[quote]...A fervent Christian on the list countered that my analysis is <U>pure heresy</U> and based on falsehoods.</B>[/quote]
<I>Pure heresy?</I> Jaf, I really hope you are not referring to my</B> various exchanges with you. I don't recall the word heresy anywhere in my replies. But you never know....

gelin

Gelin_

Re: Origins of Christianity

Post by Gelin_ » Fri Apr 08, 2005 2:10 pm

[quote]A <I>rational, secular, historical</I> perspective on the history of Christianity and its scripture
An essay by Scott Bidstrup
http://www.bidstrup.com/bible.htm

...By now, the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as well as many others had long since appeared, written by followers of the new Christ cults</B>, and Marcion brought an abbreviated version of Luke together with ten letters of Paul</B> to form the first canon of the New Testament. It was the first Christian scripture…[/quote]

Jaf, I have printed the entire artcile to be able to read it through. Later, I may answer some of the points presented, or I may not. In the meantime, I have this question for you: Do you agree with the author that <I>the followers of the new Christ cult(s)</I> actually wrote the four gospels, i.e. Matthew, Mark, Lu
ke and John?

gelin

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Post by admin » Fri Apr 08, 2005 9:16 pm

[quote]And when you do look at the story what comes to view is the simple fact that men wrote, compiled, selected and imposed the texts now called "The word of God".[/quote]
One thing that puzzles me though is how they did not seek to reconcile the many contradictions between the various accounts of the New Testament, since they decided to offer it as one book, a sacred book at that. Just one example: The Resurrection is supposedly the central event, the "poto mitan" of Christianity (in all its denominations, I think). Yet the four gospels relate the story in four distinct ways: with varied actors (witnesses), positions of the tombstone, with an archangel sitting on it or not, with the presence of an angel or a young man inside the tomb or not, with a thunderous force from heaven opening the tomb or not, etc.

"The devil is in the details," they say. So a true Christian will never worry about such det
ails, because they are "insignificant" (if not truly devilish). But, I keep thinking, how can the word of "one God" relate one event in four very distinct ways ? ? ? ?

Perhaps, you should all get a bible and read the four stories of the Resurrection, and explain to me why the word of God is so confusing. And why there are differing numbers of generations from Kind David to Marie, mother of Jesus?

So, my question to you, Jaf, is what were they thinking of ?

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Post by Jonas » Sat Apr 09, 2005 3:54 pm

[quote]Do you agree with the author that the followers of the new Christ cult(s) actually wrote the four gospels, i.e. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John?[/quote]

Not necessarily, it's still an open question.

Remember that before projects like the "KING JAMES BIBLE TRANSLATIONS", there were more than 2000 versions of the Bible in Latin and in Greek.

Even after King James sponsored his famous project, it took more than 70 years for different scholars to agree on an official version.

They could not agree on, what was genuine, what had been made up through the ages and to whom to attribute what.

And about what they were thinking. It didn't matter.

For about a millenium, the Church of Europe was omnipotent. The Clergy was the only educated group in Europe. About 99% of the people of Europe were illiterate.

Only said clergy knew what was written in this (these) bible (s).

The Ca
tholic Church was more powerful and richer than kings and queens.

Anything anybody said that could appear to be at cross purposes to what the church professed (whatever it was at that time), its wrath would fall on you.

That was one the reasons that some crowned heads of Europe welcomed the Reformation, among them the crowned heads of Germany.

That was the only way some of the crowned heads could free themselves from the omnipotence of the Catholic Church.

Widy_

Post by Widy_ » Sun Apr 10, 2005 3:30 pm

Sa ki sèten, se kè pa gen oun sèl vèsyoun a orijin kretyen yo, piskè, fòk nou sav deja, kè an oriyan, kretyen yo gen pwòp Pap a yo, ki pani anyen a wè epi pap vil "Rome" la.

Se "RUSSE" la menm gen pwòp pap a yo .....etc.

Nan bib la se menm biten, piskè-m gen chans li oun lo bib e mwen rèmake kè chak bib gen pwòp vèsyoun li.

Si ou li oun bib a Alvantis e oun bib a Temwen jeyova ou Katolik, ou va wè kè yo chak ka ba ou oun vèsyoun diferan.

Mwen menm an mwen dènye bib mwen etidye se youn bib kè m te achte nan Mize kretyen nan vil "cairo" yo, e li wou ban mwen youn dòt vèsyoun ankò.

Dènye bib mwen li, se youn bib ki yekri nan alfabe arab, e li menm-ay li wouban mwen youn dòt vèsyoun ankò.

Dayè mwen ke fè zòt oun kamo si bib tala piskè gen de biten ki ke pe enterese zòt.

Mwen paka menm pale zòt dè enfliyans a pwotèstan e notaman Allaman (LUTHER) ki woumenne youn dòt vèsyoun ankò.

Toutalèla, Neki
ta pale dè "liturgie" men mwen ke pale dè "Musique Liturgique" pou di zòt konsa, kè katolik itilize e ka itilize ankò mizik a mizisyen pwofondeman pwotèstan Literyen "see: In the heart of the classical christian music" pou di zòt kè magre diferans yo ewopeyen ka itilize menm sipò mizikal la alòs kè kretyen ejipsyen ( mwen ay an lanmès a yo) ka itilize oun mizik ki ja pli pwòch dè ta afriken etyopien.

An konlizyoun, e pou-m bout mwen ka wè kè tout moun an fonksyoun dè enterè a yo, ka itilize ou entèprete orijin rèlijioun èvè liv sacre yo, pou yo rive a de finalite basman ekonomik, kon nou pe konstate nan plen peyi nèg pòv kon Soudan Mauritania......etc.

Gelin_

Post by Gelin_ » Mon Apr 11, 2005 11:14 am

[quote]Gélin asks: "Do you agree with the author that the followers of the new Christ cult(s) actually wrote the four gospels, i.e. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John?"

Of course I do</B>. HOWEVER ! An important caution is in order here.[/quote]
If I remember well, you did not agree that followers of the Christ cult were the actual authors of these books. I may be wrong. But if I am not, I am glad that you seem to concede that believers in Christ wrote these books for other believers. It's always to good to remember that the books we call new testament were written by believers and for believers. I know what some of you may be thinking from that statement, but bring it on....:o)


[quote]Notice that Bidstrup does not refer, like you do to "the four gospels". That's because, as a scholar he knows</B> that what, today people consider to be "the" four gospels contain main difference
s with the texts that were in circulation over the fisrt hundred years of the genesis of Judeo-Christianity.</B>[/quote]
There are many many scholars who can look at the same information as Bidstup and reach a completely different conclusion. Therefore, it's good to consider his ideas and evaluate them for what they are worth, pretty much the same way we evaluate any other writting. Because Bidstrup thinks it doesn't make it so...quite the contrary.

[quote]As Bidstrup is quoted above "the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as well as many others had long since appeared, written by followers of the new Christ cults, and Marcion brought an abbreviated version of Luke together with ten letters of Paul to form the first canon of the New Testament".

Therefore, the slicing, selecting and repackaging of many different sources</B> which Marcion was involved in, <I>was to find many more emulators before eventually <U>the new religion</U> would end up having its own
"Gospels".[/quote]
I don't follow that jump. Please, Jaf, explain a bit more.

There was no slicing/selecting/repackaging. Remember that all these hundreds or thousands of copies were hand-written because there was no technology around to copy them any other way. There were all manuscripts in the real sense of the term. That's why one single letter or book used to travel from church to church so the belivers could study it together.

In addition, the new religion (as you put it, and I like it) preceded its writings. And that's an important point. Yes, the man called Jesus-Christ started a new religion 2,000 years ago.

gelin

Gelin_

Post by Gelin_ » Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:27 pm

[quote]...One thing that puzzles me though is how they did not seek to reconcile the many contradictions between the various accounts of the New Testament, since they decided to offer it as one book, a sacred book at that.[/quote]
Each book of the collection called the new testament was written separately, and each author worked presumably independently of each other.

[quote]The Resurrection is supposedly the central event, the "poto mitan" of Christianity (in all its denominations, I think). Yet the four gospels relate the story in four distinct ways: with varied actors (witnesses), positions of the tombstone, with an archangel sitting on it or not, with the presence of an angel or a young man inside the tomb or not, with a thunderous force from heaven opening the tomb or not, etc.[/quote]
The fact that the 4 gospels relate the resurrection in 4 distincts way is not necessaril
y wrong, otherwise there wouldn't be a need to have 4 identical books. It can actually be quite revealing if one takes the time to look for complementarity instead of contradictions (which, by the way, may be real). Try to interview 4 witnesses to an accident and it's likely that you'll have the same story in 4 distinct ways. Now, I am not denying there aren't any contradiction in the whole collection. All I am saying is that many such contradictions disappear on close examination and careful study.

[quote]But, I keep thinking, how can the word of "one God" relate one event in four very distinct ways ? ? ? ?[/quote]
What if that single event can be seen from many different perspectives?

[quote]So, my question to you, Jaf, is what were they thinking of ?[/quote]
Ooooops sorry Guy, I just realized the whole message was addressed to Jaf. But that's ok with you, too, I guess...

gelin

Gelin_

Post by Gelin_ » Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:38 pm

[quote][quote]Do you agree with the author that the followers of the new Christ cult(s) actually wrote the four gospels, i.e. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John?[/quote]

Not necessarily, it's still an open question.[/quote]
Jonas, could you say more about this specific point?

[quote]Even after King James sponsored his famous project, it took more than 70 years for different scholars to agree on an official version.

They could not agree on, what was genuine, what had been made up through the ages and to whom to attribute what.[/quote]
There was then a genuine text in the beginning of the church.

[quote]Anything anybody said that could appear to be at cross purposes to what the church professed (whatever it was at that time), its wrath would fall on you.

That was one the reasons that some crowned heads of Europe welcomed the Ref
ormation, among them the crowned heads of Germany.

That was the only way some of the crowned heads could free themselves from the omnipotence of the Catholic Church.[/quote]
Do you think the world will see the inquisition again?

gelin

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Post by admin » Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:44 pm

[quote]Ooooops sorry Guy, I just realized the whole message was addressed to Jaf. But that's ok with you, too, I guess... [/quote]
Gelin, you are ALWAYS welcome to jump in, no matter whom I seem to be talking to ... 1) You are never far away in my mind; 2) I am always appreciative of exhibitions by a trained gymnast.

Perhaps, one day we'll cover the "complementarities" as well as the "contradictions" in the stories of the Resurrection. See, I am giving you advance warning (please use the time to study). And I am giving everyone else advance notice of your next great exhibition on the "Ann Pale" stage.

FREE ADMISSION.

;-)

Gelin_

Post by Gelin_ » Mon Apr 11, 2005 3:11 pm

[quote]...I am always appreciative of exhibitions by a trained gymnast...[/quote]
Ouch...!!! that's below the belt, man...:o(

gelin

Gelin_

Post by Gelin_ » Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:52 am

A very important quote from Bidstrup:

[quote]The Bible is a lot of things to a lot of people, but to Christians, especially, it is <U>a source of inspiration and a guide to daily living.</U>

To others, the Bible is <U>a historical document and a source of controversy.</U>

To others still, the Bible is <U>a self-contradictory mish-mash of arcane rules and proscriptions, mostly relevant to long-dead cultures in far away places.</U>

What is the truth in all of this?

The reality is that it is all true to an extent, and equally nonsensical at the same time. The Bible has meaning to all its readers, but it is important to consider that the meaning it has is informed <U>by the prejudices the reader brings to it.</B></U>

Source: http://www.bidstrup.com/bible.htm [/quote]

Therefore, Bidstrup himself should be included among the many readers that bring their own prejudices to the an
alysis and study of the Bible. And I guess the man is right!

gelin

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