Christianity Is FalseTeaching

pauljohntheskeptic
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Christianity Is FalseTeaching

As an atheist or skeptic dismissing Christianity as false is generally done through rationality and logic. We typically approach Christian belief by demanding proof their god exists. The evidence that Christians submit is usually the Bible and the argument that a creator must be responsible for the complex Universe we observe. Several years ago I had courses in comparative religions where I studied the alternatives to Christian belief. It is from this perspective I would like to discuss Christianity as a falsely interpreted religion derived from Judaism. I am an Ex-Christian atheist and do not accept Judaism as true any more than I do Christianity. I do not believe in invisible friends that look after the Universe.  It is not just the irrational belief in Christianity that led me from being a believer it was the illogical rejection of the original beliefs of the Jews. Judaism is the belief from which Christianity sprang and the differences are quite substantial. Christians appear to have falsely interpreted Jewish scripture that had an ancient basis. Jews that understand their religion do not convert to the derived religion of Christianity and reject Jesus as their Messiah. There is however a lot more to their rejection of Christian belief than Jesus not being as their described Messiah or Moshiach.

Judaism is actually a very liberal belief which is not the impression one gets from Evangelical Christians. As a Lutheran originally I was indoctrinated with Martin Luther's bigoted views of Jewish belief. It was later in life I found out exactly what Jewish belief entailed. The differences begin in the interpretation in Genesis and continue throughout the rest of scriptures. These problems are compounded by use of the poorly translated King James Version of the Bible by most Protestant Christians as well. In order to properly understand Jewish belief only the Hebrew Bible can be used. The version English speaking Jews use is the JPS 1917 Edition found here: http://www.mechon-mamre.org/e/et/et0.htm

Many evangelicals still use the poorly translated inferior King James Bible. It results in much of the hard core unassailable beliefs they profess. When I converted to Catholicism I began to use their version of the Bible and over the years I learned it was probably the most accurate version available today, that doesn't mean its real though. Bart Ehrman's book "Misquoting Jesus" details the issues involved in translations and interpretations.

When I must discuss the New Testament I generally use the Catholic version Douay-Rheims as a result of my research into the matter, found here:

http://www.drbo.org/

 

Jewish beliefs versus Christianity in General:

1)Man is born as a pure soul and can return to his creator the same. Christians say man is born with the Original Sin of Adam and must be saved from sin by the sacrifice of Jesus.

2)Judaism allows for evolution as the way God created the Universe. Many Christians believe God created everything as described in Genesis.

3)Jewish belief suggests the Garden of Eden story is a parable. Christians believe it was literal and actually happened.

4)The Messiah or Moshiach will come to establish God's Kingdom on Earth and he will be a man, not part of God. Christians believe Jesus the Son of God was the Messiah and came to sacrifice himself to placate God for man's Original Sin.

In order for Christianity to have basis from the founding religion of Judaism there must be errors the Jews made in interpreting God's will. As these beliefs go back to the origins or the Torah then the patriarchs must have incorrectly have understood God. Moses and those who wrote these books as well as the prophets must have incorrectly understood their relationship with Yahweh. This must be so in order to have Original Sin transferred to Adam's descendants instead of being born a pure soul. My challenge to Christian theists is where are these errors of understanding and why?

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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I would suggest the

I would suggest the "Christians" you describe are the fundies. Plenty more of the moderate/liberal Christians don't believe that Genesis should be taken literally. And some reject the idea of original sin. Still, good points.

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MattShizzle wrote:I would

MattShizzle wrote:

I would suggest the "Christians" you describe are the fundies. Plenty more of the moderate/liberal Christians don't believe that Genesis should be taken literally. And some reject the idea of original sin. Still, good points.

Matt,

All Christians rely on the Fall of Man in Genesis for basis of sin. Jews don't see it that way. They see it as the rise of man and Original Virture. Man is born pure in soul to the Jews but to the Christian man is born with Original Sin. This is how Christians warped Judaism's Messiah into Jesus the savior of humanity instead of a man come to set up the Kingdom of God.

 

 

Edit: changed Original Sin to sin to be accurate.

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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Jews don't get a pass either

Jews don't get a pass either because your post downplays them as more liberal. I know you don't buy their deity anymore than you do the Christian one.

BUT, as you said, in correctly rejecting the superstition of other religions, you applied the same logic to Christianity and Jewish religions.

There is tons of evidence that even the Jews stole their ideas from prior polytheism. Of course they would argue that they don't mean the same thing, but that is besides the point.

Names out of the OT appear prior polytheism, EL, ELOHIM, BAAL and ASHURA are all part of the Ugartic pantheon which were adapted into the early Hebrew faith. Jewish historians will claim that they have nothing in common. THATS TRUE, if one is to go by the parameters of the Hebrew stories.

BUT, as we have seen in business competition, we see Coke come up with a new flavor soda, and Pepsi will look at that and come up with their own version with a different flavor and different color can. What people miss is that the "motif" is the same SODA.

So while "BAAL", for example, had different powers and different attributes in polytheism, the name, even if only in name, was taken from a prior religion and adapted and changed to suit the newer religion.

In the Ugartic text it says, "Let us make them in our image" which ment the head god "El" was summoning his divine family(lesser gods) to make humans in their image. We see this same motif occur in the OT.

We see older motifs such as curing blindness, flood stories, eye for an eye, creation motifs, purity motifs, in polytheism long before the monotheism of the god of Abraham.

The core of religion is quite simple, "My deity(insert label here) chose us, "chosen people" and someday a super hero(monotheism) or "super heros(polytheism) will save us".

This motif was born out of tribal kingships who attributed their wealth and power to gods.

Which makes more sense?

1. "Thor makes lighting"

OR,

2. Someone made up that story?

If one rightfully rejects that claim, what makes them think their own religion is immune to making false claims?

It makes much more sense that humans make things up and believe them as fact, than it would be to litterally believe that their magical claims are real.

 

 

 

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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
Jewish beliefs versus Christianity in General:

1)Man is born as a pure soul and can return to his creator the same. Christians say man is born with the Original Sin of Adam and must be saved from sin by the sacrifice of Jesus.

2)Judaism allows for evolution as the way God created the Universe. Many Christians believe God created everything as described in Genesis.

3)Jewish belief suggests the Garden of Eden story is a parable. Christians believe it was literal and actually happened.

4)The Messiah or Moshiach will come to establish God's Kingdom on Earth and he will be a man, not part of God. Christians believe Jesus the Son of God was the Messiah and came to sacrifice himself to placate God for man's Original Sin.

In order for Christianity to have basis from the founding religion of Judaism there must be errors the Jews made in interpreting God's will. As these beliefs go back to the origins or the Torah then the patriarchs must have incorrectly have understood God. Moses and those who wrote these books as well as the prophets must have incorrectly understood their relationship with Yahweh. This must be so in order to have Original Sin transferred to Adam's descendants instead of being born a pure soul. My challenge to Christian theists is where are these errors of understanding and why?

 

It looks to me like you're comparing fundy xians to moderate Jews.  Both religions have multiple interpretations.

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Brian37 wrote:Names out of

Brian37 wrote:

Names out of the OT appear prior polytheism, EL, ELOHIM, BAAL and ASHURA are all part of the Ugartic pantheon which were adapted into the early Hebrew faith. Jewish historians will claim that they have nothing in common. THATS TRUE, if one is to go by the parameters of the Hebrew stories.

BUT, as we have seen in business competition, we see Coke come up with a new flavor soda, and Pepsi will look at that and come up with their own version with a different flavor and different color can. What people miss is that the "motif" is the same SODA.

So while "BAAL", for example, had different powers and different attributes in polytheism, the name, even if only in name, was taken from a prior religion and adapted and changed to suit the newer religion.

In the Ugartic text it says, "Let us make them in our image" which ment the head god "El" was summoning his divine family(lesser gods) to make humans in their image. We see this same motif occur in the OT.

I agree that Yahweh aka El is probably derived from the older gods and may in fact be the same as El or Ba'al. Some legends say Yahweh's consort Ashtoret was the daughter of El and Asherah.  Some of the legends have Yahweh and Ba'al both as volcano gods, gods of war or gods of thunder. Yahweh, El and Ba'al may be the same god renamed depending on the culture and region. Followers of Yahweh worshipped Asherah/Athtoret sometimes called Anat through the 3rd century BCE. Athirat or Asherah was said to be the wife or consort of El or Yahweh or both.  There is conjecture Yahweh developed from the ancient god Ba'al as Ba'al simply means Lord, owner,  master or prince. As with Yahweh his true name was never used.  The Ba'al cycle  tablets contain the story of Ba'al's conflicts with Yamm as well as Mot the god of death which are reflected in the Hebrew Bible.

My point in using Judaism was to show how Christian beliefs morphed from it in a new direction not supported in their scriptures. It in no way suggests I see Yahweh as anything other than another god derived from ancient beliefs of the superstitious Canaanites.

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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hazindu

hazindu wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
Jewish beliefs versus Christianity in General:

1)Man is born as a pure soul and can return to his creator the same. Christians say man is born with the Original Sin of Adam and must be saved from sin by the sacrifice of Jesus.

2)Judaism allows for evolution as the way God created the Universe. Many Christians believe God created everything as described in Genesis.

3)Jewish belief suggests the Garden of Eden story is a parable. Christians believe it was literal and actually happened.

4)The Messiah or Moshiach will come to establish God's Kingdom on Earth and he will be a man, not part of God. Christians believe Jesus the Son of God was the Messiah and came to sacrifice himself to placate God for man's Original Sin.

In order for Christianity to have basis from the founding religion of Judaism there must be errors the Jews made in interpreting God's will. As these beliefs go back to the origins or the Torah then the patriarchs must have incorrectly have understood God. Moses and those who wrote these books as well as the prophets must have incorrectly understood their relationship with Yahweh. This must be so in order to have Original Sin transferred to Adam's descendants instead of being born a pure soul. My challenge to Christian theists is where are these errors of understanding and why?

 

It looks to me like you're comparing fundy xians to moderate Jews.  Both religions have multiple interpretations.

All Christians believe Jesus came to save us from our sins. Some say original sin some don't. All say we require him as a sacrifice. Some Christians see the Garden of Eden as literal  some say Genesis used figurative language such as the Catholic Church. Jews too have multiple interpretations. All Jews expected a Messiah that was a man that would establish God's Kingdom on Earth. Judaism rejects the Christian views. Death in their view did not enter the world as a result of Eve's sin as man was mortal from the beginning. Man still retains the God-likeness of his creation as well as his ability to do good in the eyes of God. Some Rabbinic writings to the contrary however do not influence the majority view. Yes the view evolution could have been the way God created the Universe is a liberal view. I said many Christians believe Genesis as literal, I didn't say all of them. You are correct I over emphasized the Garden of Eden Fall as many Christian moderates follow the Catholic belief of figurative language.  A typical Jewish morning prayer is "The soul which you have given me is pure." This is contrasted to the Christian view man has inherited sin. I'm looking for Christian opinion on where did the Jews misinterpret their own beliefs and why?

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

MattShizzle wrote:

I would suggest the "Christians" you describe are the fundies. Plenty more of the moderate/liberal Christians don't believe that Genesis should be taken literally. And some reject the idea of original sin. Still, good points.

Matt,

All Christians rely on the Fall of Man in Genesis for basis of sin. Jews don't see it that way. They see it as the rise of man and Original Virture. Man is born pure in soul to the Jews but to the Christian man is born with Original Sin. This is how Christians warped Judaism's Messiah into Jesus the savior of humanity instead of a man come to set up the Kingdom of God.


All?
I don't think so.
I think you're idealizing a more liberal take on Judaism and comparing it with fundamentalist Christianity.
Both religions have their liberals and their fundies.


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Strafio

Strafio wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

MattShizzle wrote:

I would suggest the "Christians" you describe are the fundies. Plenty more of the moderate/liberal Christians don't believe that Genesis should be taken literally. And some reject the idea of original sin. Still, good points.

Matt,

All Christians rely on the Fall of Man in Genesis for basis of sin. Jews don't see it that way. They see it as the rise of man and Original Virture. Man is born pure in soul to the Jews but to the Christian man is born with Original Sin. This is how Christians warped Judaism's Messiah into Jesus the savior of humanity instead of a man come to set up the Kingdom of God.


All?
I don't think so.
I think you're idealizing a more liberal take on Judaism and comparing it with fundamentalist Christianity.
Both religions have their liberals and their fundies.

Are there some Christians that don't think man fell into sin then?

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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Yeah.Not like that

Yeah.
Not like that anyhow.
They believe that the Bible is a history of people and their experiences and trying to make sense of God.
Not so much a literal history of events on earth so much as history of people making sense of God.
They see sin as turning away from God and their relationship with him.

That's as good as I can give you as I don't believe it myself and don't much care, but if you're interested in a genuine non-fundamentalist theology, you might find this book an interesting read. It's by a Catholic Theologian who doesn't resort to the old "That's old Testament - it doesn't mean anything anymore" cop-out.
His mystical interpretation comes across pretty coherent.
It's a nice and easy read.
While I hardly agree with it and although  there were atleast a couple of points that might have raised my eyebrow, as Christian books go that's actually pretty good!

There's also one on the New Testament that I might try sometime.
As atheists we'd probably disagree with a great deal with it, but I think that it's good evidence that there is genuine moderatism theology out there rather than just people who can't commit to the fundamentalist 'real deal'.


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It will be interesting to

It will be interesting to see the overall responses of Bart Ehrman's latest book: God's Problem.  In it he lays out the major contradictions in Xian Theology:

For example:

1. Suffering/Sin was brought upon Man as a punishment.

2. Suffering/Sin is brought into the world to make Man better (the "God as parent analogy&quotEye-wink

3. No one knows why there is sin in the world.

 

These 3 concepts are vastly different and used as excuses for Suffering at various times.

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.
Isaac Asimov


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Strafio wrote:Yeah.Not like

Strafio wrote:

Yeah.
Not like that anyhow.
They believe that the Bible is a history of people and their experiences and trying to make sense of God.
Not so much a literal history of events on earth so much as history of people making sense of God.
They see sin as turning away from God and their relationship with him.

That's as good as I can give you as I don't believe it myself and don't much care, but if you're interested in a genuine non-fundamentalist theology, you might find this book an interesting read. It's by a Catholic Theologian who doesn't resort to the old "That's old Testament - it doesn't mean anything anymore" cop-out.
His mystical interpretation comes across pretty coherent.
It's a nice and easy read.
While I hardly agree with it and although  there were at least a couple of points that might have raised my eyebrow, as Christian books go that's actually pretty good!

There's also one on the New Testament that I might try sometime.
As atheists we'd probably disagree with a great deal with it, but I think that it's good evidence that there is genuine moderatism theology out there rather than just people who can't commit to the fundamentalist 'real deal'.

I was raised Lutheran near the extreme end of the scale for fundies and became a Catholic at 19. I became a skeptic in college and an atheist by the time I was 35. I sometimes slip and forget that not all Christians believe like  the indoctrination I had as a child.  I hadn't realized some Christians were taking a similar stance as Judaism where sin is more the turning away from God. I was mostly trying to understand how Christians justified the differences just for understanding. I know I never thought about how the Jews missed all of the Christian concepts in their own Bible when I believed. Thanks for the suggestions on the books.

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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daedalus wrote:It will be

daedalus wrote:

It will be interesting to see the overall responses of Bart Ehrman's latest book: God's Problem.  In it he lays out the major contradictions in Xian Theology:

For example:

1. Suffering/Sin was brought upon Man as a punishment.

2. Suffering/Sin is brought into the world to make Man better (the "God as parent analogy&quotEye-wink

3. No one knows why there is sin in the world.

 

These 3 concepts are vastly different and used as excuses for Suffering at various times.

Yeah, I'll have to pick it up as I liked his other books and found them very worthwhile.

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:It

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

It is not just the irrational belief in Christianity that led me from being a believer it was the illogical rejection of the original beliefs of the Jews. Judaism is the belief from which Christianity sprang and the differences are quite substantial. Christians appear to have falsely interpreted Jewish scripture that had an ancient basis. Jews that understand their religion do not convert to the derived religion of Christianity and reject Jesus as their Messiah. There is however a lot more to their rejection of Christian belief than Jesus not being as their described Messiah or Moshiach.

(snip)

 

In order for Christianity to have basis from the founding religion of Judaism there must be errors the Jews made in interpreting God's will. As these beliefs go back to the origins or the Torah then the patriarchs must have incorrectly have understood God. Moses and those who wrote these books as well as the prophets must have incorrectly understood their relationship with Yahweh. This must be so in order to have Original Sin transferred to Adam's descendants instead of being born a pure soul. My challenge to Christian theists is where are these errors of understanding and why?

Actually, it's a far, far simpler matter than that, and it all comes down to one guy:

Saul of Tarsus. Paul the Usurper, as some call him.

The early church in Judea, in Jerusalem, was very much a judaic sect. The Disciples gathered for their sabbath services and then a communal meal, during which they'd talk about their friend and rabbi, tell stories, reminisce, and generally look forward to seeing him again... which makes sense, when you consider that JC kept saying things like 'some who are in their mother's wombs now will yet live blah blah blah'. He very much made it sound like 'God is going to give the signal for general ass-kicking very soon. Watch for the signs.'

It's when Saul enters the picture that things change. Saul, who cannot even keep the story of his own conversion straight (check it out. He relates the story multiple times. Each time, the details change. Once he sees Jesus. Once he only sees a light. Once he sees nothing, only hears the voice. In one telling, his companions see everything. In another, they see nothing, hear nothing. The single most life-altering event he's ever experienced, and he can't keep the details straight). Saul, you see, is preaching to the gentiles. Where the Disciples, including Simon/Cephas/Peter, are mostly just bringing a message of 'have hope, have faith, trust in the Lord, the day of liberation is nigh' to their fellow jews, Saul's got to actually convert people who believe in their own gods.

And make no mistake, he does have to convert them... because he's a con artist of the worst sort. He moves from place to place, a charismatic cult leader who makes dire statements about how everyone is doomed, but offers hope for salvation... and a story of a prophet risen from the dead, to seal the deal. Saul makes claims of miracles in his conversion, in his journeys, and eventually in his 'deliverance' from the Roman authorities, which will always make you popular... but he's never actually charged with any crimes when he's 'arrested', leading more than one researcher to speculate that Saul, Mr. Influential Tax Collector (remember, he's a jew who's got enough juice that he's going to Damascus, which is not in Judea, to haul people back to face the sanhedron) was more likely taking periodic breaks from slumming amongst the poor and hopeful, and getting Roman friends to let him crash on the couch while claiming he was under arrest. And when it's time to move on, he 'escapes' from his 'jail', goes to the next city in the area, and adds that miracle to the growing list of bullshit.

It's Saul who tells people that Jesus, despite coming to alter 'not one jot or tittle' of the Law of Moses, has given them dispensation to violate it in choice ways... wear more ostentatious clothing (clothing of multiple fabrics), eat whatever they like (Peter's epistle claims the vision that declared all creatures clean, but Saul had already established the practice by then)... and then, after claiming that he gets to violate Jewish Law because he's among Gentiles and is 'all things to all people', when Peter visits him and adopts similar behavior so as not to clash w/Saul... he mocks Peter for his pride and arrogance in not following the Law. Great guy, that Saul.

He's also the one that takes the communal meal, the remembrance of a dear friend's life and hopes, and turns it into a celebration of his murder. He's the one that makes Christianity into a death cult, instead of a tradition of venerating a rabbi's life and teachings.

All those changes were about one thing: Selling the new religion to the Gentiles, so Saul could live high on the hog, give orders to the populace, and never actually have to take any responsibility for a damn thing. Any time things got tense, he skipped town.

From that standpoint, the 'rejection' of the Jewish beliefs isn't illogical at all. It's calculated as part of the sales pitch, and the gentiles who would very quickly form the majority of the early church (because of the efforts of Saul and assistants like Timothy) didn't reject the Jewish traditions... because they were never exposed to them.

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... and so the simple moral

... and so the simple moral of the story is, Fuck Religion, GO SCIENCE/PHILOSOPHY .....     


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BMcD

BMcD wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

It is not just the irrational belief in Christianity that led me from being a believer it was the illogical rejection of the original beliefs of the Jews.

Actually, it's a far, far simpler matter than that, and it all comes down to one guy:

Saul of Tarsus. Paul the Usurper, as some call him.

I agree that Paul is responsible for the warped religion called Christianity. I usually call it Paulinity as that is what it really should be called. My namesake as you say couldn't tell the same story about his conversion nor was it remembered in any one way by his propaganda agent Luke in the book of Acts.

Acts 9:3-22 - version 1 - Paul's companions hear the voice but don't see anything. He is to see Ananias in Damascus who had a vision of Saul for further instructions.

Acts 22:6-16 - version 2 - Paul in front of a lynch mob actually a stoning crazed mob on the steps of the Roman jail  - Paul's companions see the light but hear nothing. Ananias is involved but no vision. Could be due to large rocks about to be cast his way or yelling from the crowd he used a shorter version.

Acts 26:12-32 - version 3 - Paul in front of King Herod Agrippa- no idea if companions heard or saw anything they all fall down. Ananias isn't mentioned neither is blindness. It is more complex with the mention of Satan.

Galatians 1:11-24 version 4 - Here blindness isn't mentioned nor is a vision only that God's son Jesus was revealed in him.

I'm not sure if Paul was a con artist, mentally ill, or distorted by his converts into something he was not. One thing is for sure there are serious holes between Paul and James or James the Just. Note after Paul's arrest and the revelation he is a Roman no more is said about James, Peter, or the Jerusalem Church having any relationship with him at all.

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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As it happens, I think those

As it happens, I think those claims about Paul were historically incorrect.
We really need Rook in this convo but I'll give as best as I can, based on my reading of Robert Price's work.

The traditional picture is that the Gospels were written by original apostles of Jesus and that Paul was later inspired to take these ideas further into the world.
This is the story that was portrayed by Acts which gave a storyline following Jesus' death.
Based on historical studies on how the New Testament really came about, that's not how things came about at all.
The Paul's works were a rival to the four gospels.
At first the 'Catholics' (well, the particular sect of Christianity that would eventually evolve into the Catholic Church) at first opposed them, but Pauls works were so popular among Christians worldwide that they instead adopted them, editing them to suit their own theology, and basically changing it to suit their needs.
In the 3rd century they wrote Acts in order to make a story that brought Paul and the disciples together.
The idea that Paul took Christianity into Europe after having worked with the disciples is one that was fabricated by the Catholic Orthodoxy.

This Pre-Nicine New Testament is a collection of all the surviving Christian works, including ones that didn't make it into the final Catholic Bible.
This excerpt from the book gives us the intro - the fantastic historical outline of the evolution of the various texts and the cannons they were placed in.
It's fantastic reading and will give you insight into the Bible's actual historical context, a way of looking that you'd never have previously imagined.
Price's "The Da Vinci Fraud - Why Truth is much stranger than fiction" is also a good book.


 


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I'm not sure that I buy that

I'm not sure that I buy that Acts was written that far after the fact, considering that it's used by the descendants of all five of the Apostolic Thrones, and not just those that adhered to the Latin Pope. Certainly, Alexandria had very little use for Rome's doctrines by the 3rd century, including rejecting most of the ecumenical councils.

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pauljohntheskeptic
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Strafio wrote:As it happens,

Strafio wrote:

As it happens, I think those claims about Paul were historically incorrect.
We really need Rook in this convo but I'll give as best as I can, based on my reading of Robert Price's work.

The traditional picture is that the Gospels were written by original apostles of Jesus and that Paul was later inspired to take these ideas further into the world.
This is the story that was portrayed by Acts which gave a storyline following Jesus' death.
Based on historical studies on how the New Testament really came about, that's not how things came about at all.
The Paul's works were a rival to the four gospels.

I haven't read Price but I have read books by Robert Eisenman, Joel Carimichael, Hyam Maccoby, and Wayne Meeks among others on Paul, the 1st Christians, The Dead Sea Scrolls and its relationship to Christianity.

Acts is an account supposedly by Luke generally praising his hero Paul. He however leaves out the end where legend takes over. Generally it is thought Paul wrote his works first. The Gospels were written after 60 CE up to about 100 CE for Matthew if I remember. That Paul is out in right field (US baseball term-meaning far from everything) is a given his writing is based on mystic religions such as Mithra and others.

Strafio wrote:


At first the 'Catholics' (well, the particular sect of Christianity that would eventually evolve into the Catholic Church) at first opposed them, but Pauls works were so popular among Christians worldwide that they instead adopted them, editing them to suit their own theology, and basically changing it to suit their needs.
In the 3rd century they wrote Acts in order to make a story that brought Paul and the disciples together.
The idea that Paul took Christianity into Europe after having worked with the disciples is one that was fabricated by the Catholic Orthodoxy.

There were as you say many sects of Jesus believers not always per se Christian including perhaps James the Just or not depending on the viewpoint.

Strafio wrote:

This Pre-Nicine New Testament is a collection of all the surviving Christian works, including ones that didn't make it into the final Catholic Bible.
This excerpt from the book gives us the intro - the fantastic historical outline of the evolution of the various texts and the cannons they were placed in.
It's fantastic reading and will give you insight into the Bible's actual historical context, a way of looking that you'd never have previously imagined.
Price's "The Da Vinci Fraud - Why Truth is much stranger than fiction" is also a good book. 

Actually I have read nearly all of the books listed in Price's book with one or two exceptions. I might pick it up to see what his take is on the subject. They do give quite a different picture of the time. The 1st and 2nd century were noted for the prolific amount of religious writing as well as multiple claimed messiahs.

____________________________________________________________
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Strafio
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Lol! Sounds like you've both

Lol! Sounds like you've both researched this a lot better than I have.
Pauljohn, that book I recommended is mainly the books themselves with a small introduction to each one.
If you're more interested in the historical explanation on how they came together then that would probably be one of his other books.
His "Da Vinci Fraud" book did a couple of chapters on it, but I'm sure there's a more specialised one out there.
Unfortunately, those are the only two I've tried out so far.

Perhaps someone else here has a better recommendation?