Just Ask Grandpa - A Christian answers tough questions and debunks common myths

gramster
Theist
Posts: 501
Joined: 2010-05-15
User is offlineOffline
Just Ask Grandpa - A Christian answers tough questions and debunks common myths

Way too many "delusional myths", and unanswered questions on this site. One cannot rationally disbelieve something unless they have a clear picture of what it is that they do not believe. Since I do not see these myths and false perceptions answered properly in terms of simple reasoning I shall attempt to do it myself.

Myth #1. God will burn "sinners" in "HELL" throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity. This is not supported in the bible. It is merely a false doctrine that entered the church during the dark ages. It has it's roots in paganism. Unfortunately most Christians still believe this myth. Ultimately those who choose to accept Gods gift of eternal life will go on to live forever in a world without all the suffering and horrors of this world. Those who do not accept His gift will cease to exist and have nothing to do with God as they have chosen and wished for. Sounds pretty fair to me!

If God were indeed to burn anybody throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity (including the devil) He would be the most terrible monster one could imagine. I myself would join the movement in defying and blasting God. Fortunately we have a loving creator God that will not and would not do that.

Rather than writing a 20 page study on the topic of death and hell, I will just give a website that those interested can visit that will clearly and definitively clear this myth up. It is hell truth.com.

 


latincanuck
atheist
latincanuck's picture
Posts: 2036
Joined: 2007-06-01
User is offlineOffline
gramster wrote:Now as for

gramster wrote:

Now as for claims that God destroyed millions of "innocent" people during the flood. The bible specifically states that man's thoughts were "continually evil". I can't imagine the kinds of horrors that must have been going on at that time.

We also need to "get real" about statements like God having his people rape women, and impale babies. We could use some references here please. 

 

Well for the flood thing, we must remember god is very very jealous god and really a piety god, always killing people for minor offenses, hell he kills a bunch of kids because they called a someone bald. So how horrible could have it been? Really probably not that horrible, they probably just didn't believe in god.

For the rape part, just do some basic research come on you believe in the bible, you should know them well, if you really have bothered with actually reading the bible.

Numbers 31:7-18, Deuteronomy 20:10-14, Deuteronomy 21:10-14, Judges 5:30, Zechariah 14:1-2


gramster
Theist
Posts: 501
Joined: 2010-05-15
User is offlineOffline
Jesus prophecies

Now for the Jesus prophecies that were made to come true. I agree with the "poodle lady" on this. I agree that these have been made to come true, but by whom? I will list several and we will employ logic to decide just who made them come true.

1. Born in Bethlehem. I think we can rule out Jesus and his disciples. Possibly Joseph and Mary, but highly unlikely since she was pregnant and due to give birth. One would hardly undertake such a journey in this state unless compelled to do so. The Roman government that required all to go to their native city for a census is the most likely candidate. Or maybe God?

2. Born of a virgin. Not provable. If it were the debate would be ended.

3. Time of birth. Once again possibly Joseph and Mary, but unlikely.

4. Flight to Egypt. Again, initiated by Rome. Or God.

5. From Nazareth. Also brought about by circumstance.

6. A forerunner (John the Baptist). A conspiracy by Joseph, Mary, and their in laws, carried on by John when he was older? Pretty far out there.

7. The working of miracles, healing the sick, raising the dead. This would have to be God.

8. Triumphal entry into Jerusalem. This was obviously planned by Jesus to fulfill prophesy.

9. Rejection by the Jews. Yes, Jesus in a way did make this come true. It's not too easy to find a motive for a "huckster" to do this. Most would have wanted those of wealth, influence, and power to be on their side.

10. Sold for 30 pieces of silver. I hardly think Jesus conspired with Judas on this one.

11. Silent at his trial. To remain silent when ones life is on the line to try to make prophecy come true is not something one is likely to do.

12. Spit upon and crucified with sinners. Still not likely to be a part of Jesus brilliant plan of deception.

13. Piercing of hands and feet instead of the more common method of tying one to the cross or post would not have been made to come true by Jesus.

14. Being mocked as he died, being given a drink of sour vinegar, praying for his enemies, having his garments gambled for, do not seem to be part of any conspiracy.

15. Having his side pierced, and no bones broken. The customary thing to do to avoid having dying Jews on crosses over the Sabbath was to break their legs so they would die quickly. Jesus was already dead so they pierced his side to make sure. Not part of a conspiracy.

16. Buried with the rich, preservation from decay, resurrection, ascension to heaven, come from the line of David.

 

I just don't see a conspiracy here?? And I suppose the disciples carried on this brilliant conspiracy. They got together after Jesus their leader was crucified (a most horrible death), and decided to steal the body, and lie about a resurrection? Even after the persecution got serious, and James was beheaded, the all stuck to the story?? And for what??

You will have to explain this one to me. This is one conspiracy theory that I definitely do not understand.


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
gramster wrote:Now for the

gramster wrote:

Now for the Jesus prophecies that were made to come true. I agree with the "poodle lady" on this. I agree that these have been made to come true, but by whom? I will list several and we will employ logic to decide just who made them come true.

1. Born in Bethlehem. I think we can rule out Jesus and his disciples. Possibly Joseph and Mary, but highly unlikely since she was pregnant and due to give birth. One would hardly undertake such a journey in this state unless compelled to do so. The Roman government that required all to go to their native city for a census is the most likely candidate. Or maybe God?

2. Born of a virgin. Not provable. If it were the debate would be ended.

3. Time of birth. Once again possibly Joseph and Mary, but unlikely.

4. Flight to Egypt. Again, initiated by Rome. Or God.

5. From Nazareth. Also brought about by circumstance.

6. A forerunner (John the Baptist). A conspiracy by Joseph, Mary, and their in laws, carried on by John when he was older? Pretty far out there.

7. The working of miracles, healing the sick, raising the dead. This would have to be God.

8. Triumphal entry into Jerusalem. This was obviously planned by Jesus to fulfill prophesy.

9. Rejection by the Jews. Yes, Jesus in a way did make this come true. It's not too easy to find a motive for a "huckster" to do this. Most would have wanted those of wealth, influence, and power to be on their side.

10. Sold for 30 pieces of silver. I hardly think Jesus conspired with Judas on this one.

11. Silent at his trial. To remain silent when ones life is on the line to try to make prophecy come true is not something one is likely to do.

12. Spit upon and crucified with sinners. Still not likely to be a part of Jesus brilliant plan of deception.

13. Piercing of hands and feet instead of the more common method of tying one to the cross or post would not have been made to come true by Jesus.

14. Being mocked as he died, being given a drink of sour vinegar, praying for his enemies, having his garments gambled for, do not seem to be part of any conspiracy.

15. Having his side pierced, and no bones broken. The customary thing to do to avoid having dying Jews on crosses over the Sabbath was to break their legs so they would die quickly. Jesus was already dead so they pierced his side to make sure. Not part of a conspiracy.

16. Buried with the rich, preservation from decay, resurrection, ascension to heaven, come from the line of David.

 

I just don't see a conspiracy here?? And I suppose the disciples carried on this brilliant conspiracy. They got together after Jesus their leader was crucified (a most horrible death), and decided to steal the body, and lie about a resurrection? Even after the persecution got serious, and James was beheaded, the all stuck to the story?? And for what??

You will have to explain this one to me. This is one conspiracy theory that I definitely do not understand.

You forget that there were at least 40 years between the time of the incidents and the writing of your primary sources. Plenty of time for competent researchers to support a story. Especially when they have said sources (Torah, the Prophets, Paul's epistles) in front of them.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5070
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
This statement is a rank assertion

gramster wrote:

Now as for claims that God destroyed millions of "innocent" people during the flood. The bible specifically states that man's thoughts were "continually evil". I can't imagine the kinds of horrors that must have been going on at that time.

We also need to "get real" about statements like God having his people rape women, and impale babies. We could use some references here please. 

Quote:

 

 

 

based on no proof at all. There has never been a human born whose thoughts were continually evil. It sounds to me like the author of this myth was shooting from the hip and your cognitive bias leads you to accept it without question.

As for 'sin' it's merely a compilation of human mistakes of varying sizes used as a whip to flog us with. Most my thoughts are mundane, boring, whimpery things that wouldn't hurt a fly. As for the horrors going on at that time, the worst of it

was the mental onanism going on in the temple scribe's lonely cell.

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


latincanuck
atheist
latincanuck's picture
Posts: 2036
Joined: 2007-06-01
User is offlineOffline
gramster wrote:Now for the

gramster wrote:

Now for the Jesus prophecies that were made to come true. I agree with the "poodle lady" on this. I agree that these have been made to come true, but by whom? I will list several and we will employ logic to decide just who made them come true.

1. Born in Bethlehem. I think we can rule out Jesus and his disciples. Possibly Joseph and Mary, but highly unlikely since she was pregnant and due to give birth. One would hardly undertake such a journey in this state unless compelled to do so. The Roman government that required all to go to their native city for a census is the most likely candidate. Or maybe God?

2. Born of a virgin. Not provable. If it were the debate would be ended.

3. Time of birth. Once again possibly Joseph and Mary, but unlikely.

4. Flight to Egypt. Again, initiated by Rome. Or God.

5. From Nazareth. Also brought about by circumstance.

6. A forerunner (John the Baptist). A conspiracy by Joseph, Mary, and their in laws, carried on by John when he was older? Pretty far out there.

7. The working of miracles, healing the sick, raising the dead. This would have to be God.

8. Triumphal entry into Jerusalem. This was obviously planned by Jesus to fulfill prophesy.

9. Rejection by the Jews. Yes, Jesus in a way did make this come true. It's not too easy to find a motive for a "huckster" to do this. Most would have wanted those of wealth, influence, and power to be on their side.

10. Sold for 30 pieces of silver. I hardly think Jesus conspired with Judas on this one.

11. Silent at his trial. To remain silent when ones life is on the line to try to make prophecy come true is not something one is likely to do.

12. Spit upon and crucified with sinners. Still not likely to be a part of Jesus brilliant plan of deception.

13. Piercing of hands and feet instead of the more common method of tying one to the cross or post would not have been made to come true by Jesus.

14. Being mocked as he died, being given a drink of sour vinegar, praying for his enemies, having his garments gambled for, do not seem to be part of any conspiracy.

15. Having his side pierced, and no bones broken. The customary thing to do to avoid having dying Jews on crosses over the Sabbath was to break their legs so they would die quickly. Jesus was already dead so they pierced his side to make sure. Not part of a conspiracy.

16. Buried with the rich, preservation from decay, resurrection, ascension to heaven, come from the line of David.

 

I just don't see a conspiracy here?? And I suppose the disciples carried on this brilliant conspiracy. They got together after Jesus their leader was crucified (a most horrible death), and decided to steal the body, and lie about a resurrection? Even after the persecution got serious, and James was beheaded, the all stuck to the story?? And for what??

You will have to explain this one to me. This is one conspiracy theory that I definitely do not understand.

How about actually staying on one topic and trying to debate one at a time, especially when we have brought points up regarding previous statements, instead of simply jumping around, it is kinda rude to just continue avoiding your previous statements and of course the previous responses to those statements.


ex-minister
atheistHigh Level ModeratorSilver Member
ex-minister's picture
Posts: 1704
Joined: 2010-01-29
User is offlineOffline
man made prophecies everywhere

jcgadfly wrote:

gramster wrote:

Now for the Jesus prophecies that were made to come true. I agree with the "poodle lady" on this. I agree that these have been made to come true, but by whom? I will list several and we will employ logic to decide just who made them come true.

1. Born in Bethlehem. I think we can rule out Jesus and his disciples. Possibly Joseph and Mary, but highly unlikely since she was pregnant and due to give birth. One would hardly undertake such a journey in this state unless compelled to do so. The Roman government that required all to go to their native city for a census is the most likely candidate. Or maybe God?

2. Born of a virgin. Not provable. If it were the debate would be ended.

3. Time of birth. Once again possibly Joseph and Mary, but unlikely.

4. Flight to Egypt. Again, initiated by Rome. Or God.

5. From Nazareth. Also brought about by circumstance.

6. A forerunner (John the Baptist). A conspiracy by Joseph, Mary, and their in laws, carried on by John when he was older? Pretty far out there.

7. The working of miracles, healing the sick, raising the dead. This would have to be God.

8. Triumphal entry into Jerusalem. This was obviously planned by Jesus to fulfill prophesy.

9. Rejection by the Jews. Yes, Jesus in a way did make this come true. It's not too easy to find a motive for a "huckster" to do this. Most would have wanted those of wealth, influence, and power to be on their side.

10. Sold for 30 pieces of silver. I hardly think Jesus conspired with Judas on this one.

11. Silent at his trial. To remain silent when ones life is on the line to try to make prophecy come true is not something one is likely to do.

12. Spit upon and crucified with sinners. Still not likely to be a part of Jesus brilliant plan of deception.

13. Piercing of hands and feet instead of the more common method of tying one to the cross or post would not have been made to come true by Jesus.

14. Being mocked as he died, being given a drink of sour vinegar, praying for his enemies, having his garments gambled for, do not seem to be part of any conspiracy.

15. Having his side pierced, and no bones broken. The customary thing to do to avoid having dying Jews on crosses over the Sabbath was to break their legs so they would die quickly. Jesus was already dead so they pierced his side to make sure. Not part of a conspiracy.

16. Buried with the rich, preservation from decay, resurrection, ascension to heaven, come from the line of David.

 

I just don't see a conspiracy here?? And I suppose the disciples carried on this brilliant conspiracy. They got together after Jesus their leader was crucified (a most horrible death), and decided to steal the body, and lie about a resurrection? Even after the persecution got serious, and James was beheaded, the all stuck to the story?? And for what??

You will have to explain this one to me. This is one conspiracy theory that I definitely do not understand.

You forget that there were at least 40 years between the time of the incidents and the writing of your primary sources. Plenty of time for competent researchers to support a story. Especially when they have said sources (Torah, the Prophets, Paul's epistles) in front of them.

What JCGadfly said.

This making up stuff happens all the time. How is it in this age we have the book of Mormon, less than 200 years old? How is it they were persecuted? Was it a conspiracy or do you believe all they say as well?

It was actually 27 pieces of silver but they rounded up to fit the prediction. The old testament prediction was not about a virgin, but in Hebrew is simply stated a young woman conceived. However, the Bible had been translated to Greek and they chose the Greek word virgin. Since it was quite common to say a human god was born of a virgin this was added.  Do you believe Horus the Egyptian God was born a virgin? Do you believe in the virgin birth of Krishna? Read that silent Jesus at the trial part again. You will find Jesus was not so silent. The writers of these book just had to have him say something and yet throw in another "prophecy" from the OT. It is quite laughable. Ezekiel who calls himself Son Of Man like Jesus did makes the same blunder. The Jews demand a prophecy from him and he goes on a long tirade about how he will not prophecy and once that is done he gives them a prophecy. When you say time of Jesus birth do you mean December 25th? That was a Roman pagan holiday. Well, I could go on but the other stuff isn't hard. You act like we have hard evidence that any of it really happened. History is written by the victors. We have one propaganda book without any clear evidence elsewhere. Even the Bible says you have to have more than one witness to convict someone. 

Say, at topic #63 I asked about your direct experience with God. You quoted Hebrews 11 as hard evidence for faith but that was myths about people who live thousands of years ago like Abraham. You didn't respond about your DIRECT experience with God. I repeated the question at topic #88 and then you switch the topic to evolution. So, I will give the question one more shot. If you pass this time I will know that you have no DIRECT experience with God where you hear, see, touch him and you have based your faith on an ancient book whose experiences are 2000+ years old meaning your faith is dead or rather was never alive. It certainly is not based on any evidence that peers can examine and repeat for themselves.

From #63 and #88

 

OK. The examples above are people who had DIRECT contact with God. God spoke to them, walked with them, showed his face to them, knocked them off their horse or an angel appeared to them.  So, they didn't have to rely on someone else for evidence. There was no book they read but had a personal experience. A child jumping into his father's arms knows his father. The child has experienced being with his father. He can see, hear, smell, touch his father. Other people can clearly see the father as his child jumps into his arms.

Does this mean you have had DIRECT physical contact with God in one of these avenues? Have you heard God's voice clearly speaking to you as a human would or have you seen an angel? If so, please let us know how.

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


gramster
Theist
Posts: 501
Joined: 2010-05-15
User is offlineOffline
Direct contact with God

Yes, I do go from topic to topic. That is because I am trying to answer the multitude of questions directed to me. If you do not want me to change topics before one has been completely resolved, than don't ask me questions that are off the topic. There is only one of me, and a great number of you. As your question about direct contact with God, I did not yet answer for two good reasons. One reason is that I was very busy answering other questions, and did not get to yours. The other is because any answer I gave you will certainly scoff at. If I say no, than you will say I am deluded, and believe in a myth. If I say yes, you will say I belong in a mental facility. I do not want to have my personal experiences trampled under foot by "swine", as the bible puts it.

I am not saying that you are a literal swine, but when trampling on the things of God, you are playing the role of spiritual swine.

That being said, I will answer your question. But first I will ask one. Have you had any direct contact with George Washington, Napoleon the Great, or any of the ancients of history? Do you disbelieve in anything or anyone you have not seen personally? What about the atom? Have you ever seen one? Have you even seen the effect of an atom in such a way that you can visually see or hear it? It is not irrational to believe in someone or something you have not seen first hand.

Now to answer your question. I will go out on the proverbial limb, and reveal some of my own experience. The short answer is yes. I have had direct contact with God. Some decades ago I was not a Christian. I "dabbled" in some things that I never should have. I became tangled in Satan's dark world. At first I thought I was having fun. It wasn't long before I found myself a captive in a world I could not free myself of.

I turned to God. I started attending bible studies, reading my bible, and praying. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and savior he was. Satan apparently thought I belonged to him, since I had been playing his games. One night the room I was sleeping in became very cold. I could feel a very ominous presence in the room. Than I felt a pair of powerful hands pushing down on my chest. I could hardly breathe. It was very scary. All that I could do is repeat the name of Jesus over and over. The attack ended, and the room warmed up again. I thanked Jesus, and was able to go back to sleep. This happened one more time. After that Satan never came back again.

Now go ahead and have your fun. Say that I am crazy. Say that I imagined it all. That is all you have. As for myself, I have never been delusional. I am as normal as anybody out there. I know it was real. I have also witnessed first hand the working of God in my life. I have had a personal relationship with him for years. He is real. This you can not understand because you are spiritually blind. You have been given over to delusion because you "love not the truth".

Now I am sure that others whom I am neglecting will say that I am ignoring their questions. I will try to get to as many of them as possible. Even though I am advanced in years, I stay very busy. There is so much that needs to be done. I was hoping to have more time to devote to these discussions, but I haven't. I will do the best I can with the time I do have.

Gramps.


gramster
Theist
Posts: 501
Joined: 2010-05-15
User is offlineOffline
Jesus

Even though it has not been clearly stated, it appears that the belief, or accusation is that the works of the new testament writers were somehow altered at a later date. Or maybe that the disciples made this stuff after the death of Jesus to make it fit prophecy. I would like to know just what the readers of this site believe in this matter. Since there is not time and space for me to go spell out in detail with references etc the evidences of Jesus life, death, and resurrection, I will have to direct you to a website. It is probably not the best, or the worst to address this issue, but it is fairly short and to the point. I am sure that this site is biased, as most sites are. Go ahead and browse this site, and let gramps know your take on the historical evidences.

Just what do you believe? Was Jesus an actual historical figure? Did his disciples actually exist? When were the new testament books actually written, and by whom? If there was a conspiracy who was involved? Why did Christianity spread so rapidly even in the face of such fierce persecution? I want to know your thoughts and beliefs.

The website is www.y-jesus.com.

This is in response to the much earlier question about the Jesus prophecies.

I will try to get to the other questions later.

Gramps


pauljohntheskeptic
atheistSilver Member
pauljohntheskeptic's picture
Posts: 2478
Joined: 2008-02-26
User is offlineOffline
gramster wrote:Even though

gramster wrote:

Even though it has not been clearly stated, it appears that the belief, or accusation is that the works of the new testament writers were somehow altered at a later date. Or maybe that the disciples made this stuff after the death of Jesus to make it fit prophecy. I would like to know just what the readers of this site believe in this matter. Since there is not time and space for me to go spell out in detail with references etc the evidences of Jesus life, death, and resurrection, I will have to direct you to a website. It is probably not the best, or the worst to address this issue, but it is fairly short and to the point. I am sure that this site is biased, as most sites are. Go ahead and browse this site, and let gramps know your take on the historical evidences.

Just what do you believe? Was Jesus an actual historical figure? Did his disciples actually exist? When were the new testament books actually written, and by whom? If there was a conspiracy who was involved? Why did Christianity spread so rapidly even in the face of such fierce persecution? I want to know your thoughts and beliefs.

The website is www.y-jesus.com.

This is in response to the much earlier question about the Jesus prophecies.

I will try to get to the other questions later.

Gramps

I have stated this many times before on other threads, I consider Jesus to be a legend similar to Robin Hood and Hercules. The Gospels are witness to the legendary background of the story with multiple versions of events. Many are told in complete different ways, such as the passion stories, see my thread Easter Myth week for example - http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/20050 This is what occurs when a story is told orally and retold by minstrels and bards. It is unclear if Jesus actually existed or if Robin Hood did. In Robin Hood's case writing was far more available and yet it's not clear if he was a real historical person. Jesus supposedly living over 1,000 years earlier in the era of rebellion and discord may be just a legend comprised of multiple stories from the Jewish desire to have the Mashiach come to bring about the Kingdom of God and free them from oppression.

No one knows who wrote the NT Gospels and there is disagreement as to exactly when but generally it is estimated to be from 65 CE to 115 CE. In the case of the books attributed to Paul, they were supposedly written prior to 65 CE.

I don't suggest there was a conspiracy in the early church but major departures from Jewish beliefs, especially by Paul. Discord is obvious between Paul and the Church leaders in Jerusalem, especially James who calls him to account for his heresy in Acts 21. After Paul's arrest the storyteller forgets what he has written and makes the claim the Roman soldiers came to save Paul from the Jewish mob as they knew him to be a Roman. Following the public knowledge that Paul is a Roman, there is no mention of the Jewish Church having anything at all to do with the man.

Christian belief did not spread as rapidly as you suggest, it took hundreds of years and would have died out as in many other mystic beliefs such as Mithra-ism except for Constantine. This is over 300 years after the life of Jesus.

____________________________________________________________
"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.


latincanuck
atheist
latincanuck's picture
Posts: 2036
Joined: 2007-06-01
User is offlineOffline
gramster wrote:Yes, I do go

gramster wrote:

Yes, I do go from topic to topic. That is because I am trying to answer the multitude of questions directed to me. If you do not want me to change topics before one has been completely resolved, than don't ask me questions that are off the topic. There is only one of me, and a great number of you. As your question about direct contact with God, I did not yet answer for two good reasons. One reason is that I was very busy answering other questions, and did not get to yours. The other is because any answer I gave you will certainly scoff at. If I say no, than you will say I am deluded, and believe in a myth. If I say yes, you will say I belong in a mental facility. I do not want to have my personal experiences trampled under foot by "swine", as the bible puts it.

I am not saying that you are a literal swine, but when trampling on the things of God, you are playing the role of spiritual swine.

Well last time I checked u put something up, you should try to stick with the original topic, finish a topic off properly before going off on another one.

Quote:

That being said, I will answer your question. But first I will ask one. Have you had any direct contact with George Washington, Napoleon the Great, or any of the ancients of history? Do you disbelieve in anything or anyone you have not seen personally? What about the atom? Have you ever seen one? Have you even seen the effect of an atom in such a way that you can visually see or hear it? It is not irrational to believe in someone or something you have not seen first hand.

I don't have to personally see these people, I have seen the evidence provided that these people existed, from signed documents to historical documents provided by third parties that existed at the time to confirm that they existed, unlike many of the characters of the bible there is no evidence that they existed. As for the atom, 1000 more times evidence of the atom than god, yet you would like to dispute the atom? One thing is not to dismiss something someone has said, another thing is to completely believe them without any back up evidence, so far you have provided no evidence that god exists, there outside of the bible no evidence that jesus existed not even by contemporary historians of his time.

Quote:

Now to answer your question. I will go out on the proverbial limb, and reveal some of my own experience. The short answer is yes. I have had direct contact with God. Some decades ago I was not a Christian. I "dabbled" in some things that I never should have. I became tangled in Satan's dark world. At first I thought I was having fun. It wasn't long before I found myself a captive in a world I could not free myself of.

I turned to God. I started attending bible studies, reading my bible, and praying. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and savior he was. Satan apparently thought I belonged to him, since I had been playing his games. One night the room I was sleeping in became very cold. I could feel a very ominous presence in the room. Than I felt a pair of powerful hands pushing down on my chest. I could hardly breathe. It was very scary. All that I could do is repeat the name of Jesus over and over. The attack ended, and the room warmed up again. I thanked Jesus, and was able to go back to sleep. This happened one more time. After that Satan never came back again.

Now go ahead and have your fun. Say that I am crazy. Say that I imagined it all. That is all you have. As for myself, I have never been delusional. I am as normal as anybody out there. I know it was real. I have also witnessed first hand the working of God in my life. I have had a personal relationship with him for years. He is real. This you can not understand because you are spiritually blind. You have been given over to delusion because you "love not the truth".

So you were in downward spiral in your life and you decided you wanted to end that spiral and choose a different path, and had a moment of clarity which you decided to follow the christian religion, great no more different that those that follow other gods or have become buddhists after studying buddhists texts and some event which causes a trigger for them to completely become part of that religion, most likely an addictive personality I would say, but I have no background of what you were into before. So far no evidence of god, you have provided the exact same evidence that my hindu, muslim and a few pagan friends of mine have.......nada. (however you will notice I am not making fun of you, if you were in a downward spiral in life and this is what you need to get out, that's fine, however it is still not actual evidence that a god exists.)

Quote:

Now I am sure that others whom I am neglecting will say that I am ignoring their questions. I will try to get to as many of them as possible. Even though I am advanced in years, I stay very busy. There is so much that needs to be done. I was hoping to have more time to devote to these discussions, but I haven't. I will do the best I can with the time I do have.

Gramps.

However it is far better to just finish a topic or two than to start up various other ones on the same thread.


ex-minister
atheistHigh Level ModeratorSilver Member
ex-minister's picture
Posts: 1704
Joined: 2010-01-29
User is offlineOffline
gramster wrote:Yes, I do go

gramster wrote:

Yes, I do go from topic to topic. That is because I am trying to answer the multitude of questions directed to me. If you do not want me to change topics before one has been completely resolved, than don't ask me questions that are off the topic. There is only one of me, and a great number of you. As your question about direct contact with God, I did not yet answer for two good reasons. One reason is that I was very busy answering other questions, and did not get to yours. The other is because any answer I gave you will certainly scoff at. If I say no, than you will say I am deluded, and believe in a myth. If I say yes, you will say I belong in a mental facility. I do not want to have my personal experiences trampled under foot by "swine", as the bible puts it.

I am not saying that you are a literal swine, but when trampling on the things of God, you are playing the role of spiritual swine.

That being said, I will answer your question. But first I will ask one. Have you had any direct contact with George Washington, Napoleon the Great, or any of the ancients of history? Do you disbelieve in anything or anyone you have not seen personally? What about the atom? Have you ever seen one? Have you even seen the effect of an atom in such a way that you can visually see or hear it? It is not irrational to believe in someone or something you have not seen first hand.

Now to answer your question. I will go out on the proverbial limb, and reveal some of my own experience. The short answer is yes. I have had direct contact with God. Some decades ago I was not a Christian. I "dabbled" in some things that I never should have. I became tangled in Satan's dark world. At first I thought I was having fun. It wasn't long before I found myself a captive in a world I could not free myself of.

I turned to God. I started attending bible studies, reading my bible, and praying. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and savior he was. Satan apparently thought I belonged to him, since I had been playing his games. One night the room I was sleeping in became very cold. I could feel a very ominous presence in the room. Than I felt a pair of powerful hands pushing down on my chest. I could hardly breathe. It was very scary. All that I could do is repeat the name of Jesus over and over. The attack ended, and the room warmed up again. I thanked Jesus, and was able to go back to sleep. This happened one more time. After that Satan never came back again.

Now go ahead and have your fun. Say that I am crazy. Say that I imagined it all. That is all you have. As for myself, I have never been delusional. I am as normal as anybody out there. I know it was real. I have also witnessed first hand the working of God in my life. I have had a personal relationship with him for years. He is real. This you can not understand because you are spiritually blind. You have been given over to delusion because you "love not the truth".

Now I am sure that others whom I am neglecting will say that I am ignoring their questions. I will try to get to as many of them as possible. Even though I am advanced in years, I stay very busy. There is so much that needs to be done. I was hoping to have more time to devote to these discussions, but I haven't. I will do the best I can with the time I do have.

Gramps.

Your first paragraph reminds me of a sign I see at my mechanics shop  "I can only please one person a day and it is not your turn. Tomorrow ain't looking so good either". So I fell into your queue and got a response and thank you. 

There are two things I hate

1) People who will not tell the truth or are very evasive

2) People who know the answers for everyone else and will school them

 You were falling into that group for me. You said you had hard evidence. I needed to know that because even Paul says it is faith and we see blindly. But now you have stated clearly your experience even with trepidation and attack stating I am a spiritual swine and  deluded, but you are confident you are not. 

What if we are all just humans? 

Why can't  you have your experience and I have mine? Why must my experience be the same as yours in order for me not to be condemned? 

Your direct experience with God is an emotional state and is personal. Many people in many religious have had similar experiences and they would attribute it to a different God. Your experience comforts you, but that isn't enough. Others must be condemned. This is what is wrong. We can educate each other, share our experiences, but what is wrong is to set ourselves above others, condemning "outsiders".  One thing I learned is how prideful it is to sit in judgement of others. I put my pants on one leg at a time just as you do.  

 

Matthew 7:1-2

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


ex-minister
atheistHigh Level ModeratorSilver Member
ex-minister's picture
Posts: 1704
Joined: 2010-01-29
User is offlineOffline
Did Jesus exist? Prophecy?

gramster wrote:

Even though it has not been clearly stated, it appears that the belief, or accusation is that the works of the new testament writers were somehow altered at a later date. Or maybe that the disciples made this stuff after the death of Jesus to make it fit prophecy. I would like to know just what the readers of this site believe in this matter. Since there is not time and space for me to go spell out in detail with references etc the evidences of Jesus life, death, and resurrection, I will have to direct you to a website. It is probably not the best, or the worst to address this issue, but it is fairly short and to the point. I am sure that this site is biased, as most sites are. Go ahead and browse this site, and let gramps know your take on the historical evidences.

Just what do you believe? Was Jesus an actual historical figure? Did his disciples actually exist? When were the new testament books actually written, and by whom? If there was a conspiracy who was involved? Why did Christianity spread so rapidly even in the face of such fierce persecution? I want to know your thoughts and beliefs.

The website is www.y-jesus.com.

This is in response to the much earlier question about the Jesus prophecies.

I will try to get to the other questions later.

Gramps

 

Why did Christianity spread so rapidly even in the face of such fierce persecution?

I point back to my Mormon reference. The same can be said about it. Persecution is not a proof for whether something is true or not. 

 

I think Jesus was an historical person, but as even happens today urban legends, myths develop. It was a volatile time back then. The Romans were over a people who had a rich history of hating foreign rule. Many teachers and Messiahs arose, even Acts 5 mentions two that were killed by the Jews (Theudas and Judas the Galilean). One of these was bound to take just due to the sheer numbers.  Many, Many stories were created in this environment. Even the last version of the book of John states this:

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

The guy only lived 33 years and really the good stuff happened only in the last 3.5 years so how could there be endless stories? Because people made them up. You might have heard about or done the whisper a story to the next guy game. The first person whispers in the ear of the second person a very simple story. The 2nd person whispers to the 3rd and so. The last person tells everyone in the group what the story was. It is so outlandishly off at that point you have to laugh in disbelief, especially when the first person tells the original story. I participated in one of these in my youth.

Eye witness accounts are quite suspect.  There is lots of studies on these. Today we have DNA tests that have overturned eye-witness accounts and freed innocent people. This shows the power of science and nearly everyone believes in DNA evidence.

The Gospels were written decades after the events, so there was a build up of this kind of story telling. There we no cameras or DNA evidence that could be used. Scholars believe there was an original gospel they call Q which Matthew, Mark and Luke used and that is why they are so similar.  The only books we have are in Greek. The apostles would have spoken Aramaic. That is what the original book would have been written in. But copies were quite expensive and only the rich could afford to have them. The rich spoken in Greek. It was a "universal" language like English is today. The Church became empowered when the Roman Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity and took a big interest in organizing it. That codified the Bible and thus as I said the writing of history belongs to the victor.

Had one of the other messiahs been successful we would be pray to him instead.

On prophecies of Jesus. Check out the scripture that is quoted. If you read it in context you can easily tell the author was thinking of his time and not a future time involving this specific Jesus. The prophecies are not specific. 

For example read Zech 11 first and then read Matt 27.

Did Zech 11 strike you as a clear reference to Judas betraying Jesus for 30 pieces of silver?

Zechariah writes that it was the afflicted of the flock that paid him 30 pieces of silver. Then God told him to throw them (the afflicted) into the house to the potter. Who is who? Why is it them and not him (judas)? Why would Judas be the afflicted of the flock? They knew the word of the Lord. Judas would not.

Cheers.

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
gramster wrote:Even though

gramster wrote:

Even though it has not been clearly stated, it appears that the belief, or accusation is that the works of the new testament writers were somehow altered at a later date. Or maybe that the disciples made this stuff after the death of Jesus to make it fit prophecy. I would like to know just what the readers of this site believe in this matter. Since there is not time and space for me to go spell out in detail with references etc the evidences of Jesus life, death, and resurrection, I will have to direct you to a website. It is probably not the best, or the worst to address this issue, but it is fairly short and to the point. I am sure that this site is biased, as most sites are. Go ahead and browse this site, and let gramps know your take on the historical evidences.

Just what do you believe? Was Jesus an actual historical figure? Did his disciples actually exist? When were the new testament books actually written, and by whom? If there was a conspiracy who was involved? Why did Christianity spread so rapidly even in the face of such fierce persecution? I want to know your thoughts and beliefs.

The website is www.y-jesus.com.

This is in response to the much earlier question about the Jesus prophecies.

I will try to get to the other questions later.

Gramps

The disciples had nothing to do with making things up about Jesus. That was left to Paul and his converts who wrote the gospels. They were not altered at a later date - they were created after Jesus' death by Paul and his converts. The dating brought up earlier points to that. The fact that the Jesus movement started by the disciples was composed of observant Jews who did not give up the Torah (because Jesus didn't and the idea of doing so or that Jesus was a deity himself would have been offensive to Jesus - it was offensive to the disciples).

As for persecution - were they really persecuted for their faith or because they antagonized those in power (something that even Paul said not to do)?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


gramster
Theist
Posts: 501
Joined: 2010-05-15
User is offlineOffline
God Monster 2

In regards to God killing "kids" for calling someone bald. First of all they were referred to as "youth", a term commonly used in reference to young men. In that day, prophets held a position of influence and honor, and were the direct representatives of God to that society. In that light, this was not a case of a group of small children teasing an old man. It was a direct offense towards God, and defiance against His prophet. The statement "go up thou bald head", was mocking the act of God translating Elijah to heaven, and possible mocking Elisha as having made it up. If this were allowed to go on, this whole aspect of the prophets role in government would be compromised. Gods "harsh" act of prompting bears to attack this group made it clear that Elisha was a representative of God, and was to be respected as such.

 


gramster
Theist
Posts: 501
Joined: 2010-05-15
User is offlineOffline
Rape

I looked up all of these verses. There is not one incident of God instructing His people to rape anyone. The only passage that mentions rape at all is Zech 14:1,2. This passage prophecies that Israel will be attacked, and their women raped, or "ravaged".

There are passages where they were instructed to take young maidens captive, and rules on how these captives were to be treated. You can't have it both ways. If God were to have these young maidens killed, "He is a monster". If He were to leave them alone to fend for themselves, "He is a monster". If He takes them captive, and integrates them into society, "He is a monster".

In these cases He chooses to integrate them into society. Clear rules are set out here. If an Israelite is attracted to a young maiden captive, he is to marry her, not mistreat her, not sell her, and provision is made to let her go where ever she wants to go if things don't work out. There is nothing here about raping and disposing of maidens here. These passages do not address what to do if the maiden is  unwilling. There is very clear instructions in other passages about rape. God specifically does not approve of it.

 


gramster
Theist
Posts: 501
Joined: 2010-05-15
User is offlineOffline
Midianites

The destruction of the Midianites is probably the most difficult passage in the entire bible. God was especially hard on this culture. In other passages such as Duet 20: 10-14 God instructs Israel in the event a nation does not accept peace, what they are to do. There they are instructed not to kill the women, children, or animals. They are not even to chop down the trees unnecessarily. So what is so different about the Midianites? If you look back a couple chapters, Balak, the Midianite king pays Balaam, an israelite prophet to curse Israel. Balaam tries, but cannot because Israels lack of iniquity at that time. He conveys this to Balak, and later when the cursing fails, the Midianites entice Israel into sexual sin and pagan idol worship.

It appears likely that the Midianites were attempting to gain victory over Israel by enticing them into sinful practices and separating them from their God. For this reason God was especially harsh with that culture. Since the older women were involved in enticing Israel into sexual sin they were not spared. The harshest of all in the bible, even the children in this case were slain. God did not want this nation to rise up again any time soon to afflict and influence His people.

It is possible, that God took them out of that bloody and harsh world, and the next thing they know they would be in a paradise without all the bloodshed and strife going on? That in the eternal picture could be more compassionate than having them grow up in those times and circumstances.

 


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5070
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
Groan

gramster wrote:

Balak, the Midianite king pays Balaam, an israelite prophet to curse Israel. Balaam tries, but cannot because Israels lack of iniquity at that time. He conveys this to Balak, and later when the cursing fails, the Midianites entice Israel into sexual sin and pagan idol worship.

It appears likely that the Midianites were attempting to gain victory over Israel by enticing them into sinful practices and separating them from their God. For this reason God was especially harsh with that culture. Since the older women were involved in enticing Israel into sexual sin they were not spared.  

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


gramster
Theist
Posts: 501
Joined: 2010-05-15
User is offlineOffline
Personal Experience

You are right when you point out that I have gotten into too many diversified subjects. But I have, and here we are. I am now attempting to answer and wrap up as many "loose ends" as possible. I am not sure that any subject can ever be fully "wrapped up", but they can hopefully be at least addressed.

As far as "knowing all the answers", Gramps does not. However I do try to answer the questions to the best of my ability. If I "know it all" that is bad. If I do not, I am ignorant. Can't win, but that's ok.

As for "spiritual swine", and being "deluded", these comments were not for you. That was directed towards those who like to "fart around", and poke fun. I addressed them maybe a bit too vividly earlier. I refer to no one who is honestly discussing the issues in this way.

As far as personal experience, you are right. This is not evidence for you, or anyone else but myself. That is why I have not focused my attentions on this. My experience is not yours, and yours is not expected to be mine. I do not expect for you to have the same experience as myself, and am not judging you in that, or any other respect. Sorry if you got that impression.

Gramps


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
gramster wrote:In regards to

gramster wrote:

In regards to God killing "kids" for calling someone bald. First of all they were referred to as "youth", a term commonly used in reference to young men. In that day, prophets held a position of influence and honor, and were the direct representatives of God to that society. In that light, this was not a case of a group of small children teasing an old man. It was a direct offense towards God, and defiance against His prophet. The statement "go up thou bald head", was mocking the act of God translating Elijah to heaven, and possible mocking Elisha as having made it up. If this were allowed to go on, this whole aspect of the prophets role in government would be compromised. Gods "harsh" act of prompting bears to attack this group made it clear that Elisha was a representative of God, and was to be respected as such.

 

What is a "youth"?  8?  10?  12?  20?  When is it bad, and when is it okay to kill someone who is making fun of you?  Why aren't at least half the people on this forum being eaten by bears this very minute?

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
gramster wrote:I looked up

gramster wrote:

I looked up all of these verses. There is not one incident of God instructing His people to rape anyone. The only passage that mentions rape at all is Zech 14:1,2. This passage prophecies that Israel will be attacked, and their women raped, or "ravaged".

There are passages where they were instructed to take young maidens captive, and rules on how these captives were to be treated. You can't have it both ways. If God were to have these young maidens killed, "He is a monster". If He were to leave them alone to fend for themselves, "He is a monster". If He takes them captive, and integrates them into society, "He is a monster".

In these cases He chooses to integrate them into society. Clear rules are set out here. If an Israelite is attracted to a young maiden captive, he is to marry her, not mistreat her, not sell her, and provision is made to let her go where ever she wants to go if things don't work out. There is nothing here about raping and disposing of maidens here. These passages do not address what to do if the maiden is  unwilling. There is very clear instructions in other passages about rape. God specifically does not approve of it.

 

Maybe it is okay for you to be given in marriage against your will to someone who killed all your family.  Why should it be okay for anyone else?  Personally, if it were me, I would have rather died.  And how much choice do you think the young women had?  "I like that one, so I'll take her."  "Uh, can I go with the guy who has bathed in the last decade?"  "No."  How is marriage against your will not rape?

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
gramster wrote:The

gramster wrote:

The destruction of the Midianites is probably the most difficult passage in the entire bible. God was especially hard on this culture. In other passages such as Duet 20: 10-14 God instructs Israel in the event a nation does not accept peace, what they are to do. There they are instructed not to kill the women, children, or animals. They are not even to chop down the trees unnecessarily. So what is so different about the Midianites? If you look back a couple chapters, Balak, the Midianite king pays Balaam, an israelite prophet to curse Israel. Balaam tries, but cannot because Israels lack of iniquity at that time. He conveys this to Balak, and later when the cursing fails, the Midianites entice Israel into sexual sin and pagan idol worship.

It appears likely that the Midianites were attempting to gain victory over Israel by enticing them into sinful practices and separating them from their God. For this reason God was especially harsh with that culture. Since the older women were involved in enticing Israel into sexual sin they were not spared. The harshest of all in the bible, even the children in this case were slain. God did not want this nation to rise up again any time soon to afflict and influence His people.

It is possible, that God took them out of that bloody and harsh world, and the next thing they know they would be in a paradise without all the bloodshed and strife going on? That in the eternal picture could be more compassionate than having them grow up in those times and circumstances.

 

There is a very readable book, Mistakes Were Made, but Not By Me.  It was written by a couple of psychologists and is about self-justification.  We all make up stuff to support our preferred opinions.  The book has chapters about relationships, law enforcement, science, politics, and religion.  You might want to check it out.  It was available at my local library.

Think about your last paragraph.  In order to justify your god/s/dess being a compassionate entity, you have just said s/he/it/they sent these people who were so bad everyone had to be killed to another paradise.  If bad people can go to paradise in this case, why not others?

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


Billy Bob Jenkins
Theist
Billy Bob Jenkins's picture
Posts: 184
Joined: 2010-07-14
User is offlineOffline
gramster wrote:As for evil,

gramster wrote:

As for evil, I do not believe that God is it's author.

I guess you don't believe in the Bible then. 

Isaiah 45:7 (King James Version) 7I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Looks like you'll be in Hell burning alongside all these atheists.

Do you really think you're doing God a service by coming here and lying to these atheists about His nature? Being a false prophet is no better than being an atheist. You might as well be a murderer, or a pedophile, if you're going to make up lies about God. 

Matthew 7:15 (King James Version) Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

 

The Truest Christian these atheists will ever meet. I worship the only Lord at the Church with the Truest Christians: Landover Baptist.


gramster
Theist
Posts: 501
Joined: 2010-05-15
User is offlineOffline
God Creating "Evil"

Read things in their context. This passage is talking about how God will use Cyrus to overthrow Babylon. You also need to look at some more translations. My bible reads "causing peace, and creating calamity". In context this translation makes more sense.

Before you go shooting your mouth off, accuse someone of lying, call them a false prophet, and liken them to a murderer and a pedophile, you might want to do at least a wee bit of homework. Some common sense wouldn't hurt either.


gramster
Theist
Posts: 501
Joined: 2010-05-15
User is offlineOffline
Sending "bad people to paradise"

Sorry I didn't make this more clear. I was not indicating that God may have sent the older pagans and idol worshipers to paradise, I was referring only to the children. Those who were under "the age of accountability". This group could be taken to paradise and not violate any of Gods principles.


gramster
Theist
Posts: 501
Joined: 2010-05-15
User is offlineOffline
Young Maidens

From reading this "sketchy" account of probably the most difficult passage in the bible it is easy to assume that the maidens were immediately forced into marriages and raped. The whole experience was to be sure quite brutal and traumatizing. War is always very ugly. I can't imagine the horrors of the battlefield and it's aftermath. It will be good when this is all over.

God chose to assimilate these maidens into society. There was no good way to do this. To make sure they were provided for, and not raped and discarded He put down some rules. And yes, these rules don't seem to go far enough. God seems to take man where he is and lead him step by step in a better direction. I would not have liked to be alive during that time in earth's history.

I suppose God could have commanded that the maidens not be taken into marriage and make a separate camp for them. I am not sure that this would have been any better in the long run. This is itself would pose a whole set of problems. I could do lots of second guessing on this one but am not sure I could come up with a good solution.

 


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
gramster wrote:Read things

gramster wrote:

Read things in their context. This passage is talking about how God will use Cyrus to overthrow Babylon. You also need to look at some more translations. My bible reads "causing peace, and creating calamity". In context this translation makes more sense.

Before you go shooting your mouth off, accuse someone of lying, call them a false prophet, and liken them to a murderer and a pedophile, you might want to do at least a wee bit of homework. Some common sense wouldn't hurt either.

I've always found it interesting when people use the "You're reading it out of context" dodge and resolve it by adding context to what is said.

Yes, the chapter mentions Cyrus but says squat about Babylon. That was added context to support the book of Daniel (and claim fulfilled prophecy).

And yes, let's look at other translations with more political motivations - after all, we can't have our God creating "evil". But is "calamity" really that much better for your God?

 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


gramster
Theist
Posts: 501
Joined: 2010-05-15
User is offlineOffline
Bear Attack

This incident I would liken much closer to a rebellion against the authority of the prophets than to merely simple teasing. That is why God needed to take such drastic action. To allow this kind of mocking and disrespect to His prophets would undermine this branch of His government. Something no society can allow to happen. When civil order breaks down, anarchy is the inevitable result. This was a behavior that could have spread if it were not dealt with properly.

God by having bears attack the offenders made it very clear that His prophets were to be respected, and their authority was not to be challenged. He also provided clear and indisputable evidence of His own existence. The taunts "go up thou bald head" indicates that maybe they did not  believe Elisha about the translation of Elijah into heaven.


gramster
Theist
Posts: 501
Joined: 2010-05-15
User is offlineOffline
Conspiracy Theories

So you say that the gospels were written by Paul and his converts?? First let's take a look at Paul. In a conspiracy, there is usually a motive. What was Paul's motive?? Paul was a prominent figure in Israel. He was well educated, well respected, and most likely wealthy since prominent persons usually are. He was also intensely involved in the persecution of the Christians. The Roman government was also involved in this persecution. They had recently beheaded James, and were looking for more victims.

So now Paul says to himself. I think I will walk away from wealth, honor, and respect and join this new movement? So he makes up a completely unbelievable story about being knocked off his donkey by God? He now can get in to the inner circle. He spends the rest of his life traveling from providence to providence claiming to have inside information about God and Jesus. He often goes hungry, is stoned nearly to death, and eventually put to death. And he sticks to this "made up" story to the very end.

Paul indeed must have been a mad man. Now you say his converts also were in on this "brilliant" conspiracy. That poses another problem. The more people involved in any conspiracy the harder it is to keep it a secret. With that kind of involvement and the persecution that was going on somebody certainly would have "broken" and "spilled the beans". They also would have had to be "mad" to undergo such hardship for a lie.

We also have no account of any of the disciples disputing the accounts of Jesus death and resurrection, or his divinity. They would certainly have protested greatly about these blatant forgeries.

I have never put much stake in conspiracy theories. They are too problematic. This one is a doozy.


Billy Bob Jenkins
Theist
Billy Bob Jenkins's picture
Posts: 184
Joined: 2010-07-14
User is offlineOffline
gramster wrote:Read things

gramster wrote:

Read things in their context. This passage is talking about how God will use Cyrus to overthrow Babylon. You also need to look at some more translations. My bible reads "causing peace, and creating calamity". In context this translation makes more sense.

Before you go shooting your mouth off, accuse someone of lying, call them a false prophet, and liken them to a murderer and a pedophile, you might want to do at least a wee bit of homework. Some common sense wouldn't hurt either.

  I do read the Bible in context, from Genesis to Revelation. That is how books are read, from beginning to end. 

If your Bible disagrees with the KJV1611, then it is a Satanic plant intended to deceive would-be Christians into following a false charicature of God instead of the real McCoy. The KJV1611 is the most widely distributed Bible in the world, so it is the one that God has shown His approval. The New International, New World, New King James, etcetera, are all Satanic. 

Murderers, pedophiles, and false prophets all go the same Hell. 

All of my schoolwork was homework, as I was homeschooled. 

Who needs common sense? Damnation is common. I have uncommon, True Christian sense. 

Shouldn't you be more concerned about the destiny of your immortal soul, now that you are teetering on the brink of death? If I were you I would get right with the Lord before it is too late, instead of reading that Satanic translation of yours.   

The Truest Christian these atheists will ever meet. I worship the only Lord at the Church with the Truest Christians: Landover Baptist.


pauljohntheskeptic
atheistSilver Member
pauljohntheskeptic's picture
Posts: 2478
Joined: 2008-02-26
User is offlineOffline
gramster wrote:So you say

gramster wrote:

So you say that the gospels were written by Paul and his converts?? First let's take a look at Paul. In a conspiracy, there is usually a motive. What was Paul's motive?? Paul was a prominent figure in Israel. He was well educated, well respected, and most likely wealthy since prominent persons usually are. He was also intensely involved in the persecution of the Christians. The Roman government was also involved in this persecution. They had recently beheaded James, and were looking for more victims.

So now Paul says to himself. I think I will walk away from wealth, honor, and respect and join this new movement? So he makes up a completely unbelievable story about being knocked off his donkey by God? He now can get in to the inner circle. He spends the rest of his life traveling from providence to providence claiming to have inside information about God and Jesus. He often goes hungry, is stoned nearly to death, and eventually put to death. And he sticks to this "made up" story to the very end.

Paul indeed must have been a mad man. Now you say his converts also were in on this "brilliant" conspiracy. That poses another problem. The more people involved in any conspiracy the harder it is to keep it a secret. With that kind of involvement and the persecution that was going on somebody certainly would have "broken" and "spilled the beans". They also would have had to be "mad" to undergo such hardship for a lie.

We also have no account of any of the disciples disputing the accounts of Jesus death and resurrection, or his divinity. They would certainly have protested greatly about these blatant forgeries.

I have never put much stake in conspiracy theories. They are too problematic. This one is a doozy.

Here's a couple of books on Paul the deceiver (my name for my namesake) that might enlighten you a bit on why so many scholars consider him as a mythmaker.

The links are to Amazon through RRS

The Mythmaker - Hyam Maccoby

The 1st Urnban Christians - Wayne A Meeks

The Birth of Christianity Reality and Myth - Joel Carmichael

The Dead Sea Scrolls and the First Christians - Robert Eisenman

Paul was clearly never a Pharisee as purported in the NT, he associated with the enemy, the Herodians, he used the inferior translation or the Septuagint over the Hebrew source considered as the only truly valid version by Pharisees as is evidenced in his writing. Paul also did not use Pharisaic logic though Jesus is shown to do so in most of the Gospels. Pharisees' use of logic was you cannot take the argument beyond the premise though Paul certainly does so in his writing. There are many other problems with Paul and the mystic religion that developed as an off shoot of Judaism. 

You need to educate yourself more regarding Paul, Pharisees, and the Jerusalem church before making such conclusions as you have above.

____________________________________________________________
"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.


robj101
atheist
robj101's picture
Posts: 2481
Joined: 2010-02-20
User is offlineOffline
I have a hard time

I have a hard time maintaining an interest in this thread. It reminds me too much of discussing the plot in a book I don't care much for but then again I was an atheist before I really took any interest in the bible and when I did it only helped confirm what I already knew.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

gramster wrote:

So you say that the gospels were written by Paul and his converts?? First let's take a look at Paul. In a conspiracy, there is usually a motive. What was Paul's motive?? Paul was a prominent figure in Israel. He was well educated, well respected, and most likely wealthy since prominent persons usually are. He was also intensely involved in the persecution of the Christians. The Roman government was also involved in this persecution. They had recently beheaded James, and were looking for more victims.

So now Paul says to himself. I think I will walk away from wealth, honor, and respect and join this new movement? So he makes up a completely unbelievable story about being knocked off his donkey by God? He now can get in to the inner circle. He spends the rest of his life traveling from providence to providence claiming to have inside information about God and Jesus. He often goes hungry, is stoned nearly to death, and eventually put to death. And he sticks to this "made up" story to the very end.

Paul indeed must have been a mad man. Now you say his converts also were in on this "brilliant" conspiracy. That poses another problem. The more people involved in any conspiracy the harder it is to keep it a secret. With that kind of involvement and the persecution that was going on somebody certainly would have "broken" and "spilled the beans". They also would have had to be "mad" to undergo such hardship for a lie.

We also have no account of any of the disciples disputing the accounts of Jesus death and resurrection, or his divinity. They would certainly have protested greatly about these blatant forgeries.

I have never put much stake in conspiracy theories. They are too problematic. This one is a doozy.

Here's a couple of books on Paul the deceiver (my name for my namesake) that might enlighten you a bit on why so many scholars consider him as a mythmaker.

The links are to Amazon through RRS

The Mythmaker - Hyam Maccoby

The 1st Urnban Christians - Wayne A Meeks

The Birth of Christianity Reality and Myth - Joel Carmichael

The Dead Sea Scrolls and the First Christians - Robert Eisenman

Paul was clearly never a Pharisee as purported in the NT, he associated with the enemy, the Herodians, he used the inferior translation or the Septuagint over the Hebrew source considered as the only truly valid version by Pharisees as is evidenced in his writing. Paul also did not use Pharisaic logic though Jesus is shown to do so in most of the Gospels. Pharisees' use of logic was you cannot take the argument beyond the premise though Paul certainly does so in his writing. There are many other problems with Paul and the mystic religion that developed as an off shoot of Judaism. 

You need to educate yourself more regarding Paul, Pharisees, and the Jerusalem church before making such conclusions as you have above.

You're too nice, pjts. I was waiting for him to get pompous and demand my sources. All I got was the pompous.

Unfortunately, grams, this information and the dating of the writings stand against Jesus creating Christianity and for Paul remaking Jesus into something that would have offended Jesus had he known of it.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


gramster
Theist
Posts: 501
Joined: 2010-05-15
User is offlineOffline
God Creating Evil

 Now here is true FJM mentality. Rather than facing the obvious fact that the passage is referring to the calamity Cyrus was to cause, you just throw crap into the fan, and let it splatter. No intelligent human being is going to use just one translation in determining the meaning of a particular text in question. You look at several translations, and if need be look into the various possible meanings in the original Hebrew or Greek. One translator chose the word evil, and the other calamity. We do not always have an exact match in English for the words being translated. I believe you understand this, and are "just farting around".

Gramps


gramster
Theist
Posts: 501
Joined: 2010-05-15
User is offlineOffline
Paul the author of myths

Of course I didn't demand sources. I would only do this after hearing something that makes sense. If it does not make sense, there is no point in checking out sources. I am still quite in the dark as to what you believe.

You say Paul wrote the gospels. Do you believe Paul and his converts wrote the whole new testament? If not just what did Paul write, and who wrote the rest? Do you believe Paul just made up all of the accounts of his own persecution and imprisonment? If he did wouldn't those he was writing to have easily found this out? If not where was the motive for his making all this up, and suffering the consequences?

Just who was Jesus? Did he die and if so why? If he was crucified did his followers than disperse, or continue the cause?

I really don't see anything as of yet that makes any sense here. If something comes up that makes sense, I can than justify looking into it deeper. Until than it is nothing more than nonsense, and not worthy of investigation.


KSMB
Scientist
KSMB's picture
Posts: 702
Joined: 2006-08-03
User is offlineOffline
Question: What does it take

Question: What does it take for otherwise probably sensible people to start defending murdering people for calling someone bald and killing everyone except all the virgin women to keep for sexual slavery?

Answer: Just the belief that it was done by or ordered by their god.


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
gramster wrote:Of course I

gramster wrote:

Of course I didn't demand sources. I would only do this after hearing something that makes sense. If it does not make sense, there is no point in checking out sources. I am still quite in the dark as to what you believe.

You say Paul wrote the gospels. Do you believe Paul and his converts wrote the whole new testament? If not just what did Paul write, and who wrote the rest? Do you believe Paul just made up all of the accounts of his own persecution and imprisonment? If he did wouldn't those he was writing to have easily found this out? If not where was the motive for his making all this up, and suffering the consequences?

Just who was Jesus? Did he die and if so why? If he was crucified did his followers than disperse, or continue the cause?

I really don't see anything as of yet that makes any sense here. If something comes up that makes sense, I can than justify looking into it deeper. Until than it is nothing more than nonsense, and not worthy of investigation.

I never said Paul wrote the gospels. Nor did pjts. Stop straw-manning. Maccoby's work (among others) claims that the gospels were written by people Paul converted to Christianity. They probably had both the Torah and Paul's epistles in front of them so they could  try to keep the stories so they could tie Jesus to both religions.

Some of the epistles were likely written by members of the Jesus movement (what became known as the Jerusalem church though it wasn't a church at all). This is why they sit in opposition to Paul's teachings (that and Paul's swearing allegiance to Rome). The Catholics who voted on the canon didn't look that closely at what they were voting on.

Did a man named Jesus who claimed to be the Messiah die? Yes. Did his followers carry on? Yes again - but they had no cause. They were observant Pharisaic Jews who only differed from the orthodoxy in that they believed Jesus was Messiah - not considered an offense by the Sanhedrin.

You don't see things that make sense because you're still bedazzled by the magic. Want to see behind the curtain?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


ex-minister
atheistHigh Level ModeratorSilver Member
ex-minister's picture
Posts: 1704
Joined: 2010-01-29
User is offlineOffline
Broaden your viewpoint

gramster wrote:

 Now here is true FJM mentality. Rather than facing the obvious fact that the passage is referring to the calamity Cyrus was to cause, you just throw crap into the fan, and let it splatter. No intelligent human being is going to use just one translation in determining the meaning of a particular text in question. You look at several translations, and if need be look into the various possible meanings in the original Hebrew or Greek. One translator chose the word evil, and the other calamity. We do not always have an exact match in English for the words being translated. I believe you understand this, and are "just farting around".

Gramps

I agree. Having taken Russian and Koine Greek you realize it is not always this word in this language is identical to that word in another. Billy Bob only learned English so he is unaware of this. The other compounding thing is Koine Greek is a dead language. Modern Greek bears some resemblance but it is not the same just like KJV is not modern English.  The KJV language is also dead. No one speaks it and I did ask Billy Bob why he didn't speak it since it is apparently the language of heaven, while NIV is the language of hell.

How a version clears up the meaning in today's Englishe

Exodus 13:15

KJV1611: therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males;

What the hell is a matrix?

Satan's NIV makes it plain

NIV:This is why I sacrifice to the LORD the first male offspring of every womb and redeem each of my firstborn sons

 

But God does create evil because according to the bible he is the source of all things. He needs to own up to that. Humans at least have the sense to take responsibility for what they create even if it goes awry. 

There are countless examples.

 

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


pauljohntheskeptic
atheistSilver Member
pauljohntheskeptic's picture
Posts: 2478
Joined: 2008-02-26
User is offlineOffline
gramster wrote:Of course I

gramster wrote:

Of course I didn't demand sources. I would only do this after hearing something that makes sense. If it does not make sense, there is no point in checking out sources. I am still quite in the dark as to what you believe.

In my case I simply don't believe. I consider Christianity to be an outgrowth of one or more rebel movements in the 1st Century, Kingdom of God is at Hand Believers, Nazarenes, and Zealous Jewsish belief.

I consider Paul to be a heretic from Judaism and to have brought mysticism into the mashiach expectations.

Why do research, you might learn something, then what?

gramster wrote:

You say Paul wrote the gospels. Do you believe Paul and his converts wrote the whole new testament? If not just what did Paul write, and who wrote the rest? Do you believe Paul just made up all of the accounts of his own persecution and imprisonment? If he did wouldn't those he was writing to have easily found this out? If not where was the motive for his making all this up, and suffering the consequences?

No one has any idea who wrote the Gospels, no copyrights and no 1st century autographed 1st Editions have ever been found.

In regards to who wrote the NT, please google it, if you are interested. There are several evident factions in the NT writing, you probably call this perspective of the writer.

Books probably written by Paul:

Galatians - 46 CE

1 & 2 Thessalonians - 50 CE

1 & 2 Corinthians - 55 CE

Romans - 56 CE

Philemon - 62-64 CE

Philippians - 62-64 CE

Attributed to Paul but very questionable:

Colossians - 62 CE

Ephesians - 62 CE

1 & 2 Timothy - 63 CE

Titus - After 60 CE

Gospels :

Mark - 60 CE + Attributed to John Mark an attendant of Peter who supposedly documented all the events as told him while Peter was awaiting his execution. They had visiting hours for accused rebels in Roman prisons?

Luke - 70 CE or later - Attributed to Sci-Fi writer Luke, who seems to have never even visited some of the locations in his writing. He was a companion of Paul according to tradition. Luke demonstrates a complete lack of history from the very beginning.

Acts - 70 + CE - a follow up book to the Sci-Fi work in Luke, attributed to the same writer due to similar writing style. Casts Paul as a Super Hero. Very poor attention to what he has written and fails in consistency when

examined. Example, 3 accounts of Paul's LSD, epileptic fit or whatever on road to Damascus. Inconsistency in Paul's arrest in Jerusalem. The Romans knew he was a Roman and saved him or not. Documents major factional difference between his gospels and the pillar of the Jerusalem Church James, who was likely the brother of Jesus aka James the Just.

Matthew- written  somewhere around 95 CE attributed to Matthew supposedly a disciple of Jesus. If this is the case he was very old. He demonstrates a complete lack of knowledge in regards to Herod. He is given to much Sci-Fi in his writing. Baby killing by Herod, Satan tempting one part of the Trinity Pak (suicidal for Satan if true), BS in regards to Pilate, dead people walking the streets after Jesus dies, sealed tomb & soldiers being posted, and much more Sci-Fi and inconsistent BS.

John - written somewhere around 80-90 CE by an unknown writer. Poorly written inconsistent account. Inconsistent treatment of the Trinity Pak. Sci-Fi in regards to Gethsemane, misplaced multitude of fishes miracle, possibility Judas was still living, variant of Palm Sunday arrival, variant of feeding & aftermath of 5,000 person picnic, and much more.

Other books:

James - supposedly James the Just brother of Jesus. Had to be before he was killed as documented by Josephus, in 63 CE. This book is dated as late as 150 CE by some scholars. Writing is inconsistent of a Jew as Zealous for the law as James is said to be as documented in Acts and by Josephus.

1 & 2 Peter - approx 60 CE - have a Pauline slant to the writing so Peter as source is questionable. However, when in reference to Jesus Resurrection he speaks of him as a man not part of a god. His references to honor the king seem in contrast to the Jerusalem Church and the Jesus movement. The kingdom of god had the Jews ruling for god on Earth which is much of the message attributed to Jesus and has basis in the mashiach as expected by the Jews. My opinion is a Pauline believer is responsible for 1 Peter.

The Catholic Church claims Peter wrote 2 Peter in 66 CE. A discussion of the transfiguration event uses the quote from Luke 9:35 and also in Matt 3:17. Since John Mark was Peter's biographer one wonders how this was omitted in Mark. Chapter 3 begins with suspicious writing, "This 2nd epistle.." which why say this after about 6 years since the 1st? He also has praise for Paul the deceiver, which is also questionable seeing that no where else does it indicate these 2 ever reconciled.

1,2, & 3 John - written around 90 CE. The writing is such that it is unclear if this John was a disciple, as in 1 John 1:5 "This is the message we have heard of him, and declare unto you that God is light and in him no darkness at all."-KJV, NAB, NIV, Douay-Rheims all  indicate they heard it from him (ie. Jesus). He tells the followers to not love the world or things of the world. This seems to contrast with Judaism and the Hebrew bible which taught that the world was all created by God and was good.  2 John - Short letter to a lady in Ephesus. Mentions there are anti-christs teaching the Christ has not come and tells her not to receive them.

3 John - Perhaps he is considered a false teacher by Diotrephes a leader in the Church who will not receive him, see what happens when you spread the idea there are false teachers, you may be included yourself.

Jude - supposedly written by Jude or Judas the brother of James also considered the brother of Jesus about 90 CE. This book was even questioned as to authenticity by Eusebius. Jude demonstrates knowledge and even quotes the Book of Enoch as well as the Assumption of Moses. It is written primarily to warn against heresy specifically Gnosticism.

Revelation - written after 96 CE supposedly by John. Again, if so a very old man. The writing style is very different however. Possibly written by another John. It was disputed for centuries and not accepted into Canon until 387 CE at the Council of Carthage. Inspired by the books of Enoch, Ezekiel, and the apocalyptic parts of Daniel. The writer has many issues with the Romans. IMHO, a complete Sci-Fi rant which I'd be glad to discuss in extreme blasphemous detail.

gramster wrote:

Just who was Jesus? Did he die and if so why? If he was crucified did his followers than disperse, or continue the cause?

Jesus was a character in the Gospels. Whether he was a composition of legends, oral stories, or literature is the question. Perhaps a real man, perhaps a legend like Robin Hood.

Everybody dies, so did Jesus if he existed.

If he was executed it was for crimes against Rome such as: assault, battery, property destruction (several times), public endangerment, disrespect for the laws of Rome, rebellion against established authority, and public disorder. Community service was not a punishment given out at the time, execution was.

The Gospels indicate the disciples fled, several places. No accounts from outside sources support anything in their regard.

Rebellion against Rome continued in many forms and many groups until Hadrian attempted complete extermination of the Jews.

gramster wrote:

I really don't see anything as of yet that makes any sense here. If something comes up that makes sense, I can than justify looking into it deeper. Until than it is nothing more than nonsense, and not worthy of investigation.

A closed mind is a sad thing. Research and study will not harm you.

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"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.


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5070
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
A succinct and humorous precis

 

John Paul - thanks for that.

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


pauljohntheskeptic
atheistSilver Member
pauljohntheskeptic's picture
Posts: 2478
Joined: 2008-02-26
User is offlineOffline
Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

John Paul - thanks for that.

You're welcome.

____________________________________________________________
"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.


gramster
Theist
Posts: 501
Joined: 2010-05-15
User is offlineOffline
Paul the deceiver

There are several problems with your logic. First with Paul's use of the Septuagint. It would be logical for Paul get used to using this Greek translation of the Hebrew scripture sense his main mission was to spread the gospel to the Gentiles. If I were to be evangelizing in Mexico or South America I would certainly be using a Spanish translation of the Bible. That would not prove I was not an American.

There are also problems with the assertion that Paul was not a Pharisee. Paul's logic is perfectly valid if his premise is true. Since his arguments are based on the assumption that Christianity is true, many say that he is not using valid Pharisaic logic. That is circular reasoning.

One can hardly dismiss respected scholars like Klausner and Davies who place Paul firmly in the traditions and methods of Rabbinic Judaism. Klausner saying "It would be difficult to find more typically Talmudic expressions of scripture than those in the Epistles of Paul".

As for Paul "associating" with Herodians, I must have missed that. I find Paul traveling about spreading the Gospel to the Gentiles.

 


gramster
Theist
Posts: 501
Joined: 2010-05-15
User is offlineOffline
Research and Study

Gramps does not have an aversion to study and research. Given the fact that, as is was so gently stated above, I am "teetering on the edge of death", and have limited time, I have to give priority to what it is that I research into. As to the issue of Paul "inventing" Christianity, I have been looking into this.

In the first book mentioned above "The Myth Maker", I also find many problems. First one must consider the author of the book. Hiram Maccoby was a Talmudic Scholar and leading author against Christianity with an axe to grind. His book was really more about anti-Semitism" than anything else. Maccoby blamed Paul on Christianities "apparent" anti semitic prejudices. He did not have the insight to realize Paul was not anti semitic at all. Neither is Christianity. Only a few misguided extremists in history have taken the writings of Paul and distorted them and taken them out of context for their own diabolical use.

This book really never needed to be written. But since it has we will address it. This book has all the trademarks of   garden variety Conspiracy Theory "novel". When it suits his case Maccoby quotes the NT as a reliable source. When it suits his case it is not a reliable source. The Mishnah he treats as 100% reliable and acts like all of it's rules were in effect fully at the time of Jesus. He asserts that other scholars would recognize the "Maccoby truth" if they were not so biased. Only he has the wisdom to see the true story. He is very liberal with the use of prejudicial adjectives, and plays the role of a major historical revisionist, making up history as he goes.

Maccoby goes on the make general and vague comparisons between Christianity, and Paganism, trying to make a connection that does not make sense. He makes many unfounded assumptions like the deep hatred between Peter and Paul. Many try to make this case based on one confrontation in the Bible. One often becomes best friends with someone who confronts them on an issue like this.

He also asserts that Paul was in opposition to the Jerusalem church. something that is also unfounded. Among other fabrications is the notion that the disciples did not believe in the deity of Jesus, the Jewish leaders tried to save Jesus from the Romans, that Paul was an unsavory figure with less than honorable motives, he was never a Pharisee, he was a "thug" for a Saducee high priest, and the originator of the "Christian Myth". This book is full of unfounded, and poorly supported fiction.

Reading Paul's writings I find Paul to be of excellent character. There is nothing to indicate otherwise, except maybe a couple of passages taken out of context and distorted to try to prove a point.

I will try to find the time to examine the remaining books listed above. Hopefully at least one of them will be less of a disappointment.


pauljohntheskeptic
atheistSilver Member
pauljohntheskeptic's picture
Posts: 2478
Joined: 2008-02-26
User is offlineOffline
gramster wrote:There are

gramster wrote:

There are several problems with your logic. First with Paul's use of the Septuagint. It would be logical for Paul get used to using this Greek translation of the Hebrew scripture sense his main mission was to spread the gospel to the Gentiles. If I were to be evangelizing in Mexico or South America I would certainly be using a Spanish translation of the Bible. That would not prove I was not an American.

Clearly you don't understand.

If the Hebrew version and the Greek are dissimilar which they are, utilizing the Greek anyway for convenience sake indicates minimally lazyiness or a sign that he had no idea of the differences. If he was a Pharisee he would have been extremely unlikey to utilize a translation that inaccurately expressed scripture which the Greek does. Regardless of who was his target audience, utilizing the most accurate basis of scripture as an educated Pharisee  would have been 2nd nature. Instead, he inaccurately conveys Hebrew scripture to the Gentiles. Granted his primary purpose was the spread of his mystical views which are in many ways contradictory to Jewish beliefs which may be why he did so.  If as in may cases the language one needs to express one self does not convey the original intent of the content, one must be extremely meticulous in expressing it to the target audience. Paul does not do this. In your example of Spanish, my 2nd langauge, there are excellent examples of English thoughts that do not easily convey the original intent which is even further worsened by multiple dialects and meaning by regional understanding.

gramster wrote:

There are also problems with the assertion that Paul was not a Pharisee. Paul's logic is perfectly valid if his premise is true. Since his arguments are based on the assumption that Christianity is true, many say that he is not using valid Pharisaic logic. That is circular reasoning.

Once again you do not understand.

If for example, I tell you that I have difficulty driving at night, a conclusion cannot be made simply from the premise that you have the same difficulty even if I add that it is raining. 

gramster wrote:

One can hardly dismiss respected scholars like Klausner and Davies who place Paul firmly in the traditions and methods of Rabbinic Judaism. Klausner saying "It would be difficult to find more typically Talmudic expressions of scripture than those in the Epistles of Paul".

Joseph Klausner's involvement in the Zionist Hebrew Encyclopedia certainly does not indicate any objectivity on his part. 

gramster wrote:

As for Paul "associating" with Herodians, I must have missed that. I find Paul traveling about spreading the Gospel to the Gentiles.

 

His association with the Herodians was during his witch hunter days.

Perhaps you should pick up your Bible and read - Acts 9:1-2.  Galatians 1:13-14.

The high priests in power at the time were Herodians and Sadducees.

 

____________________________________________________________
"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.


pauljohntheskeptic
atheistSilver Member
pauljohntheskeptic's picture
Posts: 2478
Joined: 2008-02-26
User is offlineOffline
gramster wrote:Gramps does

gramster wrote:

Gramps does not have an aversion to study and research. Given the fact that, as is was so gently stated above, I am "teetering on the edge of death", and have limited time, I have to give priority to what it is that I research into. As to the issue of Paul "inventing" Christianity, I have been looking into this.

In the first book mentioned above "The Myth Maker", I also find many problems. First one must consider the author of the book. Hiram Maccoby was a Talmudic Scholar and leading author against Christianity with an axe to grind. His book was really more about anti-Semitism" than anything else. Maccoby blamed Paul on Christianities "apparent" anti semitic prejudices. He did not have the insight to realize Paul was not anti semitic at all. Neither is Christianity. Only a few misguided extremists in history have taken the writings of Paul and distorted them and taken them out of context for their own diabolical use.

This book really never needed to be written. But since it has we will address it. This book has all the trademarks of   garden variety Conspiracy Theory "novel". When it suits his case Maccoby quotes the NT as a reliable source. When it suits his case it is not a reliable source. The Mishnah he treats as 100% reliable and acts like all of it's rules were in effect fully at the time of Jesus. He asserts that other scholars would recognize the "Maccoby truth" if they were not so biased. Only he has the wisdom to see the true story. He is very liberal with the use of prejudicial adjectives, and plays the role of a major historical revisionist, making up history as he goes.

Maccoby goes on the make general and vague comparisons between Christianity, and Paganism, trying to make a connection that does not make sense. He makes many unfounded assumptions like the deep hatred between Peter and Paul. Many try to make this case based on one confrontation in the Bible. One often becomes best friends with someone who confronts them on an issue like this.

He also asserts that Paul was in opposition to the Jerusalem church. something that is also unfounded. Among other fabrications is the notion that the disciples did not believe in the deity of Jesus, the Jewish leaders tried to save Jesus from the Romans, that Paul was an unsavory figure with less than honorable motives, he was never a Pharisee, he was a "thug" for a Saducee high priest, and the originator of the "Christian Myth". This book is full of unfounded, and poorly supported fiction.

 

Exactly on what Christian web site did you find this book review? 

Did you actually read the book?

 

In Paul's own words - Galatians 1:6-11 "I wonder that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel. [7] Which is not another, only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. [8] But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. [9] As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema. [10] For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.11-For I give you to understand, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man." - Douay-Rheims

And - Galatians 2:11-14 - "[11] But when Cephas was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. [12] For before that some came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them who were of the circumcision. [13] And to his dissimulation the rest of the Jews consented, so that Barnabas also was led by them into that dissimulation. [14] But when I saw that they walked not uprightly unto the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all: If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of the Gentiles, and not as the Jews do, how dost thou compel the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? [15] We by nature are Jews, and not of the Gentiles sinners. - Douay-Rheims

In the case of Barnabas, see Acts 15:39 "And there arose a dissension, so that they departed one from another; and Barnabas indeed taking Mark, sailed to Cyprus." Douay-Rheims

Nothing indicates they were reconciled.

In the case of Peter - Peter's side of Paul's slander is not included. There is nothing to indicate they were reconciled.

In the case of Paul teaching in contrast to the Jerusalem Church - 

See:

Acts 15 where Paul meets with the council and James gives his decision on Paul's teaching.

 

Acts 21:18-26 where James confronts Paul for ignoring the agreement.

 

gramster wrote:

Reading Paul's writings I find Paul to be of excellent character. There is nothing to indicate otherwise, except maybe a couple of passages taken out of context and distorted to try to prove a point.

I will try to find the time to examine the remaining books listed above. Hopefully at least one of them will be less of a disappointment.

I'm sure you see Paul as the "superhero" Luke intended.

____________________________________________________________
"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.


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
Blast you PJTS!Distorting

Blast you PJTS!

Distorting Paul's meaning by reading his work - how dare you?

Nice work, sir.

I wonder why there are so many good Christians blasting Obama. After all, their religion says to respect and be subservient to those in authority. That's why Rome loved Christianity from Constantine on (perhaps even earlier?)

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


D33PPURPLE
atheist
Posts: 71
Joined: 2009-07-23
User is offlineOffline
gramster wrote:Way too many

gramster wrote:

Way too many "delusional myths", and unanswered questions on this site. One cannot rationally disbelieve something unless they have a clear picture of what it is that they do not believe. Since I do not see these myths and false perceptions answered properly in terms of simple reasoning I shall attempt to do it myself.

Myth #1. God will burn "sinners" in "HELL" throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity. This is not supported in the bible. It is merely a false doctrine that entered the church during the dark ages. It has it's roots in paganism. Unfortunately most Christians still believe this myth. Ultimately those who choose to accept Gods gift of eternal life will go on to live forever in a world without all the suffering and horrors of this world. Those who do not accept His gift will cease to exist and have nothing to do with God as they have chosen and wished for. Sounds pretty fair to me!

If God were indeed to burn anybody throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity (including the devil) He would be the most terrible monster one could imagine. I myself would join the movement in defying and blasting God. Fortunately we have a loving creator God that will not and would not do that.

Rather than writing a 20 page study on the topic of death and hell, I will just give a website that those interested can visit that will clearly and definitively clear this myth up. It is hell truth.com.

 

 

Oh yes, I've seen this whole thing before. It's almost word for word to the last one I read. Is this, by chance, a copy and paste?

Anyway, granting that Helltruth.com is correct in its interpretations (I honestly like how they skip over context. We're talking about punishment in the afterlife here, so we can't compare the meaning of "everlasting" as it pertains to punishment of the souls the same way as it pertains to the "everlasting" punishment of a city, which is in this life. Another problem with it is that they say in the story of Lazarus and the way the site interprets it. They claim that "The rich man was in bodily form with eyes, a tongue, etc., yet we know that the body does not go to hell at death.  It is very obvious that the body remains in the grave, as the Bible says." However, Jesus says that if your eyes or hands are a cause of evil, it is better to enter the gates of heaven WITHOUT a hand or eye, than be in hell wholesome. So apparently, the physical condition of the body does affect the condition of our souls. The site also claims that punishment occurs after judgment, not after death, yet the story never says if judgment has occurred or not, so that's not a really valid objection. The one that I truly enjoy is when they claim that parables cannot be taken literally because that would require that you believe in talking trees. Funny, because the Bible wants you to believe in talking donkeys), which I find less than satisfactory, they claim that people aren't tortured forever, they are just destroyed. I am forced to ask: what's the difference? A being that tortures someone for eternity because of their crimes or one that annihilates his opponent. Big difference. 

 

 

"The Chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. Just no Character."

"He...had gone down in flames...on the seventh day, while God was resting"

"You have no respect for excessive authority or obsolete traditions. You should be taken outside and shot!"


D33PPURPLE
atheist
Posts: 71
Joined: 2009-07-23
User is offlineOffline
gramster wrote:When we read

gramster wrote:

When we read the accounts in the old testament about God destroying people, men, women, children, babies etc, we usually make the mistake of making assumptions that are not necessarily true. We assume a normal, happy, healthy culture with somewhat reasonable behaviors. Maybe those cultures that God commanded to be destroyed were so totally degenerated by incest and disease that their very existence was a danger to those around them? What if they were so depraved that to allow them to continue would be more horrible than to wipe them out? There could be good reasons that we don't know about. We cannot assume that since we do not understand that there is no good explanation.

As for the subject of "torture", punishment is not monstrous so long as it is just. If you can't swallow that you would get along just fine in San Quentin. They also believe that they should not be punished justly for crimes committed. To burn one in "Hell" for ceaseless ages of eternity could never be just. That would indeed beyond question be truly monstrous. I think that we can both agree on that.

Countless millions of people have been victimized and brutally treated and it looks like those who have victimized them will not ever have to give account for or pay for what they have done. God simply tells us that "all" will give account one day for their horrific deeds. Victims can have the assurance that justice will prevail in the end. Not everlasting torture, but true and fair justice.

As for evil, I do not believe that God is it's author. That in itself is a whole other subject. I will try to address this one later when I have a little more time.

 

>Killing people goes against their free will

 

Therefore, we can conclude that God does not care about free will, or, at the very least, not when dealing with the free will of depraved people. Now, based on how God acts in the OT, we see that he is willing to interfere in human affairs and even influence human conduct--so why not reason with this perverse culture in a CONVINCING manner? We have an omnipotent God here, one with infinite wisdom and knowledge. He should be able to convince anyone that his morals are correct, not through coercion or the like, but through reasoned talk. It is the same as meeting a Nazi, confronting him with WHY his views are objectionable, and converting him into a humanitarian. No free will is infringed, and, even if we suppose that some breach of free will had to be made to purify this perverse culture, it would be infinitely better than killing people, which is ALSO against free will. A benevolent being would choose the option that DOES THE LEAST damage, yet the OT God chose the one that did the MOST.

 

"The Chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. Just no Character."

"He...had gone down in flames...on the seventh day, while God was resting"

"You have no respect for excessive authority or obsolete traditions. You should be taken outside and shot!"


D33PPURPLE
atheist
Posts: 71
Joined: 2009-07-23
User is offlineOffline
gramster wrote:Enoch - The

gramster wrote:

Enoch - The bible says that he walked with God. He was so close to God, that God translated him to heaven. Is it too much of a stretch to believe Enoch had good evidence and reason to believe?


 

 

The website that you linked us to, Helltruth.com, holds that no one goes to Heaven or Hell until AFTER judgment day. How can Enoch be translated into Heaven if this is so?

"The Chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. Just no Character."

"He...had gone down in flames...on the seventh day, while God was resting"

"You have no respect for excessive authority or obsolete traditions. You should be taken outside and shot!"


gramster
Theist
Posts: 501
Joined: 2010-05-15
User is offlineOffline
The Maccoby Myth

Yes, Gramps has read the book and has it in front of him right now.

Galatians 1:6-11 when read without the Maccoby bias says nothing about opposition between Paul and the Jerusalem church. It merely calls attention to some who would pervert the gospel or teach a different gospel. One has to read a lot into this that is not there to make any other conclusion. Something that Maccoby is very liberal with doing.

Galatians 2: 1-14 is only about Paul confronting Peter's reverting back to long held Jewish bigotry in separating himself from the Gentiles when the more traditional Jews come. Too much is read into this as well. The whole concept of Gentile converts was a relatively new concept and would have been difficult for traditional Jews to relate to. Peter was well aware of the issue here but did what is common to human nature. He separated from the Gentiles and hung out with the Jews. Naturally being the apostle to the Gentiles Paul pointed this out. There is not hint of this becoming the start of a long standing bitter battle.

Acts 15:39 Here all we have is a disagreement about whether to take John Mark with them on their 2nd missionary journey after he had abandoned them on their 1st. There is no hint of any theological differences here. This is also read into the passage.

As for reconciliation, have you read 2 Timothy 9-11. Here near the end of Paul's ministry he asks for Mark to be brought to him. "Pick up Mark and bring him with you for he is useful to me for service". If there were significant theological rifts between Paul and Barnabas, John Mark would have been sure to know. After traveling with Barnabas on a long missionary journey Mark would have been deeply influenced by him in regards to this "deceiver" Paul and his unsavory ways and heretical teachings. But that was not the case. It appears that in the end Paul and Mark were very close. It is not unlikely at all that Paul and Barnabas remained good friends as well.

Acts 15 Maccoby also reads a lot into this that just is not there. Here is an account of church leaders discussing the issue of whether Gentiles needed to comply with Jewish laws and traditions. Rather than opposing one another they come to agreement and are united in their thinking.

Acts 21:18-26 This is another passage where Maccoby reads his own bias into the text. There is nothing here about James confronting Paul but rather warning and protecting him.

You have allowed yourself to be blinded by the Maccoby Myth. I have never seen so much fabrication and unsupported speculation. Maccoby is indeed brilliant. He can even read Paul's thoughts. And that after he has been dead 2000 years.

Like I have said before. Gramps is not much for fiction, and this one is a doozy.


jcgadfly
SuperfanBronze Member
Posts: 6789
Joined: 2006-07-18
User is offlineOffline
gramster wrote:Yes, Gramps

gramster wrote:

Yes, Gramps has read the book and has it in front of him right now.

Galatians 1:6-11 when read without the Maccoby bias says nothing about opposition between Paul and the Jerusalem church. It merely calls attention to some who would pervert the gospel or teach a different gospel. One has to read a lot into this that is not there to make any other conclusion. Something that Maccoby is very liberal with doing.

Galatians 2: 1-14 is only about Paul confronting Peter's reverting back to long held Jewish bigotry in separating himself from the Gentiles when the more traditional Jews come. Too much is read into this as well. The whole concept of Gentile converts was a relatively new concept and would have been difficult for traditional Jews to relate to. Peter was well aware of the issue here but did what is common to human nature. He separated from the Gentiles and hung out with the Jews. Naturally being the apostle to the Gentiles Paul pointed this out. There is not hint of this becoming the start of a long standing bitter battle.

Acts 15:39 Here all we have is a disagreement about whether to take John Mark with them on their 2nd missionary journey after he had abandoned them on their 1st. There is no hint of any theological differences here. This is also read into the passage.

As for reconciliation, have you read 2 Timothy 9-11. Here near the end of Paul's ministry he asks for Mark to be brought to him. "Pick up Mark and bring him with you for he is useful to me for service". If there were significant theological rifts between Paul and Barnabas, John Mark would have been sure to know. After traveling with Barnabas on a long missionary journey Mark would have been deeply influenced by him in regards to this "deceiver" Paul and his unsavory ways and heretical teachings. But that was not the case. It appears that in the end Paul and Mark were very close. It is not unlikely at all that Paul and Barnabas remained good friends as well.

Acts 15 Maccoby also reads a lot into this that just is not there. Here is an account of church leaders discussing the issue of whether Gentiles needed to comply with Jewish laws and traditions. Rather than opposing one another they come to agreement and are united in their thinking.

Acts 21:18-26 This is another passage where Maccoby reads his own bias into the text. There is nothing here about James confronting Paul but rather warning and protecting him.

You have allowed yourself to be blinded by the Maccoby Myth. I have never seen so much fabrication and unsupported speculation. Maccoby is indeed brilliant. He can even read Paul's thoughts. And that after he has been dead 2000 years.

Like I have said before. Gramps is not much for fiction, and this one is a doozy.

You're not much for fiction but you read the Bible...I forgot you take that as divine truth from an invisible being. My bad.

There was no other Gospel at the time other than what Jesus taught. There were and are other versions of what Paul taught. Which gospel is Paul defending? Not Jesus' - his writings show he stands against Jesus' teachings. there was no Jerusalem church - Jesus never started one (unless you believe Paul's converts in their writing of the Gospels - they needed to give Paul credence).

Paul "withstanding Peter to his face" likely never happened. The only time an observant Jew would have to worry about ritual purity is if he took a vow or it was a holy day. Oh, and the only people to call Paul "the apostle to the Gentiles" were Paul himself and his converts (past and present)

Of course there was no theological difference between Paul and John Mark. John Mark was one of his converts. And as you can see from reading Mark's gospel (likely written with Paul's letters in front of him) he repaid Paul nicely.

Who was James warning Paul from? The Pharisees paid no mind to the Jesus movement or Paul (why attack a brother Pharisee (Jesus)?, The only ones who had a man on against Paul were Jews that the disciples of Christ brought into the movement and the Sadducee high priest Paul bailed on. No one else had an axe to grind.

In the agreement that the Jerusalem movement was discussing with how to handle the Gentiles - they came to an agreement that the Gentiles were to be bound by the Laws of the Sons of Noah (no blood in food, non eating sacrifices from the altar of false gods). Paul was offended that they didn't consult him so he forced the split.

You're doing a whole lot of gymnastics to save Paul with your own interpretations and bias. Maccoby has Paul's writings, Pharisee texts and Jewish history on his side.

Gramps, you're going to an awful lot of trouble to save Paul the attention whore.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin