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

gramster
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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.

 


gramster
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Maccoby the real mythmaker

Indeed, Maccoby himself went to a lot of trouble to villainize Paul the apostle. Gymnastics, bias, speculation, and his own interpretations are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Maccoby "tool box" of tricks.

What other gospel was Paul defending against? This is easy and obvious. Tens of thousands of Jews were likely to have been converted to Christianity. It would be reasonable that most of them were not involved in the Gentile question. The question of just what Gentiles needed to observe was a new one relative to the gospel of Christ. It would be most unlikely that at least some of them would take it upon themselves to go and "straighten out" the Gentiles in regard to Jewish laws and customs. The other gospel would be that of salvation through the keeping of the Jewish laws and customs. This does not necessitate the sanction of the elders. This is just one of numerous Maccoby fabrications.

I do not see a conflict between Paul's teachings and the teachings of Jesus.

As to the confrontation between Paul and Peter, somebody needs to get their story straight. One claims that this indicates a rift between them. Another claims this indicates the Gentles were eating non-kosher foods, and now you claim it never happened. I can not answer such convoluted confusion.

The same is true with John Mark and Barnabas. First the claim is made that Paul and Barnabas had a big "falling out" and there was no evidence of their ever reconciling. I make the point that if at the end Paul and Mark (Barnabas' traveling companion) were "best buds" in the end, there was likely not a problem with Barnabas either. Just another example of how mass speculation confuses things.

As for who attacked Paul. The claim that the Pharisees had nothing against Jesus or his followers can only be made by reinterpreting much of the new testament scripture. If you reinterpret half of it, and throw out the rest than and only than can you re write history to fit your own bias.

The thing about Paul being offended by not being consulted about the decision concerning the gentiles is just one more McCoy fabrication.

There is nothing more here than one man's effort to villainies Paul and re write new testament history.

And by the way, you left out one major tool that Maccoby had in front of him. An imagination. A very vivid one.

 


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gramster wrote:Indeed,

gramster wrote:

Indeed, Maccoby himself went to a lot of trouble to villainize Paul the apostle. Gymnastics, bias, speculation, and his own interpretations are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Maccoby "tool box" of tricks.

What other gospel was Paul defending against? This is easy and obvious. Tens of thousands of Jews were likely to have been converted to Christianity. It would be reasonable that most of them were not involved in the Gentile question. The question of just what Gentiles needed to observe was a new one relative to the gospel of Christ. It would be most unlikely that at least some of them would take it upon themselves to go and "straighten out" the Gentiles in regard to Jewish laws and customs. The other gospel would be that of salvation through the keeping of the Jewish laws and customs. This does not necessitate the sanction of the elders. This is just one of numerous Maccoby fabrications.

I do not see a conflict between Paul's teachings and the teachings of Jesus.

As to the confrontation between Paul and Peter, somebody needs to get their story straight. One claims that this indicates a rift between them. Another claims this indicates the Gentles were eating non-kosher foods, and now you claim it never happened. I can not answer such convoluted confusion.

The same is true with John Mark and Barnabas. First the claim is made that Paul and Barnabas had a big "falling out" and there was no evidence of their ever reconciling. I make the point that if at the end Paul and Mark (Barnabas' traveling companion) were "best buds" in the end, there was likely not a problem with Barnabas either. Just another example of how mass speculation confuses things.

As for who attacked Paul. The claim that the Pharisees had nothing against Jesus or his followers can only be made by reinterpreting much of the new testament scripture. If you reinterpret half of it, and throw out the rest than and only than can you re write history to fit your own bias.

The thing about Paul being offended by not being consulted about the decision concerning the gentiles is just one more McCoy fabrication.

There is nothing more here than one man's effort to villainies Paul and re write new testament history.

And by the way, you left out one major tool that Maccoby had in front of him. An imagination. A very vivid one.

 

It's not surprising that you wouldn't find conflicts between Paul's teachings and the words of Jesus - Paul's converts put the (pro-Paul's religion) words in Jesus mouth.

It's the same with the Pharisees going after Jesus - the words you have were written to make the Pharisees anti-Jesus and sets Paul (the self-proclaimed former Pharisee) as the new prophet of God. You failed to answer why the Pharisees would attack Jesus for (in the parts that the gospel writers forgot to change) the crime of ...being a Pharisee teacher. If you mean by "re-interpreting NT scripture" putting it in its proper light and context, you're right.

I don't believe the Peter and Paul incident happened because I don't believe the problem existed. Gentile god-fearers wouldn't offer food to a Jew that he wouldn't have been able to eat. I believe the incident was contrived to give Paul a position he never had.

If you had bothered to read that part, you would have understood that I never said that Paul, Barnabas and Mark had a falling out over theology. Over power maybe but not so much over theology.

NT history does need to be re-evaluated. I never was a fan of history being decided by popular vote (as happened with the canon).

I don't know whether Maccoby holds the "Paul was left out" view. I determined that from Paul[s vanity in the epistles.

As for Maccoby's imagination - not so sure. He had documents to work from. Paul had other myths and his mind's eye.

Oh, by the way, how do you reconcile these self-contradictory tidbits attributed to Paul?

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

"Slaves, obey your earthlymasters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart."

Just an "oopsie" or Paul's "let's be subservient to the Romans" religion? It makes me wonder if the Christians that were persecuted during the latter Roman empire were followers of Jesus' real disciples. Hmmm.

"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


pauljohntheskeptic
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gramster wrote:Yes, Gramps

gramster wrote:

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

 

In that case what is it that Maccoby says  regarding Paul's advocacy of how the Torah was given?

 

gramster wrote:

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.

 

The letter is addressed to the church in Galatia not Jerusalem. Paul would gain little by speaking of possible issues with Jerusalem to his converts. Where did I suggest that the other Gospels that might be "out in the wild" were from Jerusalem? My point was there were many different "Gospels" being preached in regards to the "Christ". This is well supported in Church History. Do you deny that there were multiple sects preaching far different "Gospels" in the 1st and 2nd century? An example I gave earlier was in regard to John in 3 John 9-10 where he is not received by Diotrephes. In 2 John 7 he also mentioned there are false teaching in regard to the Christ. 

Well documented are various sects in Judaism as well as Jesus believers that have many divergent "Gospels".

gramster wrote:

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.

When I brought up this event, I took no position on it in regards to it being reality based or fiction. As with Jcgadfly, I consider this claim by Paul in regards to Peter to be highly suspect and likely not true. Peter in Acts in regards to Cornelius and his vision has the understanding that he is not to consider any man unclean or common. This is in complete opposition to what Paul claims Peter does in Galatians. 

If you think Peter and Paul were reconciled sometime after the supposed event, please quote your source or provide some evidence that this indeed happened. I have never seen anything in the NT to indicate any further contact between the two.

gramster wrote:

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.

KJV uses the following "And the contention was so sharp between them they departed from one asunder one from the other....." Douay Rheims says"And there arose a dissension, so that they departed one from another; and Barnabas indeed taking Mark, sailed to Cyprus." and the  NIV says "They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus,"...

It seems one can minimally conclude they had a very upsetting argument and parted ways. In regard to exactly what the issue between Barnabas and Paul as to John Mark's qualifications or not there is nothing.

 

So where did Barnabas and Paul get back together????????????????

gramster wrote:

 

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.

This letter dated to about 63 CE was written about 10 years earlier than Acts.

 

It does not discuss reconciliation between Barnabas and Paul.

Who said there was theological differences between Barnabas and Paul, I said they "broke up" and were not reconciled. 

Mark being mentioned as being "profitable to me for the ministry" - Douay-Rheims may only mean he talks fast, tells a good story, or generates more donations. As to what Paul means by this statement is but conjecture.

Acts 15 never indicated Mark and Paul had a contention, only Barnabas and Paul.

 

gramster wrote:
 

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.

Yes they came to the agreement as per James that the God fearing Jesus believers only had to follow the Noahide Laws in Genesis 9. This did not make them full Jews and was no different than the position taken for  Gentiles who believed in Yahweh for years.

However, Paul never mentions the details of this agreement in Galatians 2:9-10, in fact it is distorted by omission as to what was agreed. He says that they were to only remember the poor. That is not what is said in Acts 15:19-20 which says, "For which cause I judge that they, who from among the Gentiles are converted to God, are not to be disquieted. [20] But that we write unto them, that they refrain themselves from the pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood." -Douay-Rheims.

So Paul further exhibits disregard for this agreement in 1 Corinthians 8:4-9 where he says in contrast to James that it is alright to eat food sacrificed to idols.

gramster wrote:
 

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.

Yes he is warned and is confronted.

James wins this exchange no matter what Paul does. There are thousands of Jesus Believing Jews in Jerusalem at the time that are zealous for the law. They have heard Paul teaches the Jews among the gentiles should forsake the law. Whatever Paul does here he has been called on the carpet. If he does the ritual, he indicates to his converts he is a hypocrite. If he doesn't do it, he will lose all support from Jerusalem.

When Paul agreed to the ritual, he indicates that he is subservient to James and Jerusalem. 

After Paul is put into "protective custody" when he is identified as a Roman, no further contact is mentioned with the pillars of the Church or Jerusalem.

gramster wrote:

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.

I don't need Maccoby to see Paul as the tricky one he demonstrates that quite well on his own in his own writing and so does his propaganda agent Luke.

For example:

When Paul comes over to the Jesus way, (I don't call it conversion)

1-Acts 9 version - Paul's companions heard a voice & saw no one. Paul went blind & Ananias has a vision to heal him.

2-Acts 22 version - Paul's companions see the light & hear no voice. Paul went blind & Ananias heals him, no vision is mentioned.

3-Acts 26 version - Bright light seen by Paul, not clear if companions saw it. They all fell to the ground. He hears the voice and doesn't say if the companions heard it. Jesus statements are different to Paul, even discussing Satan. Ananias, his vision, and blindness are not included.

4-Paul does not detail this encounter in any of his own letters in regard to his "conversion"- See Galatians 1:11-16, 1 Corinthians 9:1, and 1 Corinthians 15:3-8

Then when Paul flees Damascus:

He says in 2 Corinthians 11:32-33 "At Damascus, the governor of the nation under Aretas the king, guarded the city of the Damascenes, to apprehend me. [33] And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and so escaped his hands." Douay-Rheims

Sci-Fi Luke writes in Acts 9:23-25 - "And when many days were passed, the Jews consulted together to kill him. [24] But their laying in wait was made known to Saul. And they watched the gates also day and night, that they might kill him. [25] But the disciples taking him in the night, conveyed him away by the wall, letting him down in a basket." - Douay-Rheims

So which was it? Aretas wanted to seize him or the Jews wanted to kill him?

gramster wrote:

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

My mistake, I thought you read the Bible.

 

____________________________________________________________
"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
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gramster wrote:Indeed,

gramster wrote:

Indeed, Maccoby himself went to a lot of trouble to villainize Paul the apostle. Gymnastics, bias, speculation, and his own interpretations are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Maccoby "tool box" of tricks.

You want to get more specific on this. Give me page numbers where you think he did this. Your generalization here is lacking anything informative to support your opinions.

gramster wrote:

What other gospel was Paul defending against? This is easy and obvious. Tens of thousands of Jews were likely to have been converted to Christianity. It would be reasonable that most of them were not involved in the Gentile question. The question of just what Gentiles needed to observe was a new one relative to the gospel of Christ. It would be most unlikely that at least some of them would take it upon themselves to go and "straighten out" the Gentiles in regard to Jewish laws and customs. The other gospel would be that of salvation through the keeping of the Jewish laws and customs. This does not necessitate the sanction of the elders. This is just one of numerous Maccoby fabrications.

Easy and obvious, not so gramps.

There were the Nazarenes or Nazareans sometimes called the Jesseans they were said to be among the first followers of Jesus. They were true Jews who followed Torah but believed Jesus was the messiah. They are alleged to have been anti-Herodian seeking a return to true Judaism without Hellenistic corruption.

In Acts it is specific that the Jews were Zealous for the Law, something also said of James the Just, supposedly Jesus' brother. Why do you suppose they thought Paul was teaching Torah did not have to be observed?

All Jews who followed and understood Torah were aware Gentiles could be God Believers and only follow the Noahide Laws and not do the ritual conversion.

Your assumption the other "Gospel" was following Torah is supported in what way?

20 or 25 years after the book of Acts and Paul we have Clement, the bishop of Rome and supposedly the 4th pope. He does not write about Jesus being divine as Paul did. He wrote 1 Clement and possibly 2 Clement though there is controversy regard the 2nd. In 1 Clement, he discusses sedition in the church in Corinth or a schism. He paraphrases Paul's letters to the Corinthians in places. He does not use any Gospels to drive home his points but rather uses OT scripture. He tells them to follow the examples of Elias, Ezekiel and Elisaeus not James, Peter, John or Paul. In his arguments he uses observations of nature and even pagan ideas. Clement does not seem to know the story as propagated, such as the Passion story or many of the hard core Pauline beliefs. He says Christ was resurrected from the dead but compares it to the Sun rising and setting or even the legend of the Phoenix bird. And Clement seems to use a version of the Torah that has a plural god as well.

Clement explains how to be one of those who are rewarded with immortality in 1 Clement 17 doing so again without the gospels. He says to have faith in God, follow the way of truth, cast aside unrighteousness and all evil manner. This way he says, we will find Christ the defender and helper of our weakness. He says through Christ we look to the heavens with open eyes and our darkened understanding rejoices in his wonderful light. 

No where does he say, he that believes and is baptized shall be saved.

So exactly what gospel was it Clement was using to gain these beliefs gramps?

gramster wrote:

I do not see a conflict between Paul's teachings and the teachings of Jesus.

You have an actual copy of Jesus' teaching?

 Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John & even Thomas are opinionated biased views which differ substanially from one another. Whatever claim they make is the claim of the author and can't be shown to be based on the actual teaching of a figure called Jesus. Since they differ considerably it is a hard sell that they document anything other than opinions.

gramster wrote:

As to the confrontation between Paul and Peter, somebody needs to get their story straight. One claims that this indicates a rift between them. Another claims this indicates the Gentles were eating non-kosher foods, and now you claim it never happened. I can not answer such convoluted confusion.

See my previous post. We only have Paul's side of this story and even Jews at the time required 2 witnesses besides the claimant. Was there a rift? If we go by Paul's story, he made  unsupported slanderous statements against Peter that don't agree with the version of Peter portrayed in Acts (is that too much to ask, agreement). Peter is not mentioned in the episode in Acts 21 only James and the ancients (or elders). These 2 events were about 8 to 10 years apart. The agreement in Acts 15 was supposedly around 51 CE. The confrontation in Acts 21 was in about 60 CE. The incident with Peter had to come after Acts 15 and is suggested by scholars to have been in about 52 CE. Absence of discussion supports neither that Paul and Peter had a rift nor that they were reconciled. Paul does not have support from even Sci-Fi Luke either way.

Paul, makes it clear in 1 Cor 8:3-9 eating food consecrated to pagan gods was OK. This is not what was told to Paul by James in Acts 15.  

Acts by Sci-Fi Luke has many issues and Paul and Luke disagree many times. 

Since there is so much smoke and mirrors involved with Paul it's not surprising you can't answer the confused mess in regards to Paul.

gramster wrote:

The same is true with John Mark and Barnabas. First the claim is made that Paul and Barnabas had a big "falling out" and there was no evidence of their ever reconciling. I make the point that if at the end Paul and Mark (Barnabas' traveling companion) were "best buds" in the end, there was likely not a problem with Barnabas either. Just another example of how mass speculation confuses things.

How do you know Paul & Mark were "best buds"? Your one quote? Was it time stamped? Please detail how you can tell? How can you then take this to indicate Barnabas and Paul got back together? If the disagreement between them was considered important enough to be included why would reconcilation not be? And if they were reconciled why not mention it especailly since Luke continued to write about Paul until he fades from the scene. I can't conclude they got back together from the NT, it's not there and is conjecture on your part.

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"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
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The Maccoby Myth

Once again, it all makes perfect sense if one doesn't read into scripture the Maccoby Myth. If one assumes that most of the NT were written by Paul and his converts who were intentionally lying, than just about anything is possible. It doesn't make much sense for those who follow a pro-Paul religion that teaches strongly against lying would be doing so much of it.

If one doesn't throw out or discount most of the NT it is clear to see why the Pharisees would attack Jesus. First of all the bible makes it clear that Jesus did not "grovel at the feet" of the religious leaders like most of the Jews. He pointed out their hypocrisy and blasted their pious legalism, he claimed to be God and that he could forgive sins, he was from their prospective a law breaker, he was becoming very popular. The scripture points out that the religious leaders were intensely jealous of Jesus and concerned for their positions of influence.

You are right. God-fearers would not offer a Jew food he would not eat. This was also read into the text. There is nothing in this passage that hints at Peter being offered food he wouldn't eat or any other offense. He simply separated himself from them when the influential Jews were there. That's all. Nothing more is said about this. Much is speculated though.

My point about Paul and Barnabas falling out is simply was a disagreement about whether or not to take Mark with them. Nothing else is stated or implied. Since Mark went with Barnabas it would not be unlikely that he would have been significantly influenced by him concerning Paul. Since in the end Paul and Mark were apparently on good terms it would not be unlikely that Barnabas and Paul were also. It is a mistake and highly speculative to make more out of this "falling out" than what has been written.

Paul being angry about being left out is also just wild speculation. When speculation takes place of text one can "prove" just about anything they want to.

Yes, Maccoby had plenty of documents to "work with", and that gave him all the more opportunity to fabricate a fantastic myth.

Self contradictory tidbits. Thanks for giving me a classic example of how people like Maccoby think. Or not. Let's take a look at these "blatant contradictions". "Neither Jew nor Greek", "slave nor free", "male nor female", "all one in Jesus". All Paul is saying here is that God is not bias. Christians should not be bias either. He is not advocating civil disobedience. Christianity has never been about disobeying laws and unnecessarily causing discord, but within the church we are to treat each others as equals. When Paul tells slaves to obey their masters it is in perfect harmony with the above statements that do not give any instructions to the contrary.

Maccoby has nothing. Read on page 150 where he states "There is ample evidence in Paul's Epistle to the Galatians, and ... Corinthians ... following his quarrel with Peter, he had to face continual opposition from emissaries of the "Jerusalem Church", who were sent out by James and Peter to counteract Paul's teaching about the abrogation of the Torah. Than read those books in their entirety. Without liberal speculation the "evidence" is just not there. What Maccoby calls evidence is nothing more than wild, cheap, speculation.

It would probably be much easier to make the case that Maccoby was never a Talmudic scholar and indeed the creator of a myth than to make that case against Paul. Indeed the other "real" Talmudic scholars must be embarrassed by this guy. If they have any standards at all I am sure Maccoby falls far short.


gramster
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Yes, Gramps has the book

In answer to your test question. On pages 188 and 189 Maccoby alleges that Paul alleges the Torah was given not by God, but by angels. He does this while trying to make it look like Paul came up with ideas for his religion from other sources including Gnosticism.


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gramster wrote:Once again,

gramster wrote:

Once again, it all makes perfect sense if one doesn't read into scripture the Maccoby Myth. If one assumes that most of the NT were written by Paul and his converts who were intentionally lying, than just about anything is possible. It doesn't make much sense for those who follow a pro-Paul religion that teaches strongly against lying would be doing so much of it.

If one doesn't throw out or discount most of the NT it is clear to see why the Pharisees would attack Jesus. First of all the bible makes it clear that Jesus did not "grovel at the feet" of the religious leaders like most of the Jews. He pointed out their hypocrisy and blasted their pious legalism, he claimed to be God and that he could forgive sins, he was from their prospective a law breaker, he was becoming very popular. The scripture points out that the religious leaders were intensely jealous of Jesus and concerned for their positions of influence.

You are right. God-fearers would not offer a Jew food he would not eat. This was also read into the text. There is nothing in this passage that hints at Peter being offered food he wouldn't eat or any other offense. He simply separated himself from them when the influential Jews were there. That's all. Nothing more is said about this. Much is speculated though.

My point about Paul and Barnabas falling out is simply was a disagreement about whether or not to take Mark with them. Nothing else is stated or implied. Since Mark went with Barnabas it would not be unlikely that he would have been significantly influenced by him concerning Paul. Since in the end Paul and Mark were apparently on good terms it would not be unlikely that Barnabas and Paul were also. It is a mistake and highly speculative to make more out of this "falling out" than what has been written.

Paul being angry about being left out is also just wild speculation. When speculation takes place of text one can "prove" just about anything they want to.

Yes, Maccoby had plenty of documents to "work with", and that gave him all the more opportunity to fabricate a fantastic myth.

Self contradictory tidbits. Thanks for giving me a classic example of how people like Maccoby think. Or not. Let's take a look at these "blatant contradictions". "Neither Jew nor Greek", "slave nor free", "male nor female", "all one in Jesus". All Paul is saying here is that God is not bias. Christians should not be bias either. He is not advocating civil disobedience. Christianity has never been about disobeying laws and unnecessarily causing discord, but within the church we are to treat each others as equals. When Paul tells slaves to obey their masters it is in perfect harmony with the above statements that do not give any instructions to the contrary.

Maccoby has nothing. Read on page 150 where he states "There is ample evidence in Paul's Epistle to the Galatians, and ... Corinthians ... following his quarrel with Peter, he had to face continual opposition from emissaries of the "Jerusalem Church", who were sent out by James and Peter to counteract Paul's teaching about the abrogation of the Torah. Than read those books in their entirety. Without liberal speculation the "evidence" is just not there. What Maccoby calls evidence is nothing more than wild, cheap, speculation.

It would probably be much easier to make the case that Maccoby was never a Talmudic scholar and indeed the creator of a myth than to make that case against Paul. Indeed the other "real" Talmudic scholars must be embarrassed by this guy. If they have any standards at all I am sure Maccoby falls far short.

You mean the way Paul was embarrassed when he didn't have the smarts to be a Pharisee and began working with the enemy? Or the embarrassment he suffered when the Pharisees of the Sanhedrin saved the members of the Jesus movement and he had to arrange for Roman soldiers for protection? Wait, he wasn't embarrassed by the Romans - he was too busy sucking up to 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


gramster
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Issues concerning Paul

So much speculation. So many so-called problems. Gramps will attempt to address as many of these as possible. Hopefully I won't miss any "important" points.

Concerning many different gospels here we agree at least in part. Yes, there were many who were distorting the gospel. That is my point exactly. That is why it is not rational to assume that the opposition was coming from James and the "Jerusalem Church". That's all. Nothing more.

Yes, Peters dream was about not calling any man unclean. It was not about food. Peter must have had a problem with this. No, there is no mention of Peter an Paul being reconciled. There is also no evidence that reconciliation was needed. Just unfounded speculation.

Once again, there is no account of Paul and Barnabas being reconciled. There is also no evidence that there was any need for it. More unfounded speculation. And yes, the text does indicate the disagreement was about Mark and that he had previously abandoned them. Nothing more. Period.

We must remember why Paul went to Jerusalem. The issue was originally about circumcision. It was not about food.

1 Cor 8:4-9 Paul points out that idols are nothing and it is not food that makes us good or bad. Just good common sense.

So much speculation. So little evidence.


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gramster wrote:So much

gramster wrote:

So much speculation. So many so-called problems. Gramps will attempt to address as many of these as possible. Hopefully I won't miss any "important" points.

Concerning many different gospels here we agree at least in part. Yes, there were many who were distorting the gospel. That is my point exactly. That is why it is not rational to assume that the opposition was coming from James and the "Jerusalem Church". That's all. Nothing more.

Yes, Peters dream was about not calling any man unclean. It was not about food. Peter must have had a problem with this. No, there is no mention of Peter an Paul being reconciled. There is also no evidence that reconciliation was needed. Just unfounded speculation.

Once again, there is no account of Paul and Barnabas being reconciled. There is also no evidence that there was any need for it. More unfounded speculation. And yes, the text does indicate the disagreement was about Mark and that he had previously abandoned them. Nothing more. Period.

We must remember why Paul went to Jerusalem. The issue was originally about circumcision. It was not about food.

1 Cor 8:4-9 Paul points out that idols are nothing and it is not food that makes us good or bad. Just good common sense.

So much speculation. So little evidence.

We must also remember that being around uncircumcised people was not an issue for a Jew except in times when he had to keep ritual purity. Why would they write about an incident that was a non-issue unless it was to give Paul some clout he didn't have?

The text says that Mark abandoned them - doesn't claim it to be a theological split. Quit defending against a position I'm not taking.

There is a lot of speculation. I'm still wondering why you're using it as a source.

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Paul Issues Continued

I will continue to answer more speculation.

The text detailing Paul,s being warned by James about going to the temple states or implies nothing about a rebuke or disagreement between the two. That is all just more speculation. This text just gives an account of James giving Paul wise counsel and Paul agreeing. To avoid trouble Paul agrees to the "ritual". There is no mention of Paul undergoing any test by the disciples. There is no conflict here with Paul's beliefs. He is simply avoiding trouble. Anything else is mere speculation. 

Now concerning the accounts of Paul's conversion. I am glad you brought this up. This is a classic example of people trying to find disharmony in the bible.

1. Acts 9 Paul's companions hear a voice but see no one.

2. Acts 22 Paul's companions see a bright light but don't "understand" or "hear" a voice. It depends on the translation.

3. Acts 26 They all fell to the ground.

This is just three separate accounts of this event. There is no disharmony here. Any problems exist only in the minds of the reader. Just one more example of making something out of nothing.

Why don't Paul's letters detail his conversion? Duh! It stands to reason that Paul would have already told his converts about this life changing event in person. Why waste time writing to someone about something they already know. This is a good one.

Now just who wanted to kill Paul in Jerusalem? The text mentions both the Jews, and Aretas. Paul was probably unpopular with both. With all these people wanting to kill Paul it is no wonder the disciples had to help him sneak him out of the city. Once again there is no problem here. There is only a perceived problem by those looking for one.

I also find your use of the Dewey-Rheems bible interesting since it is neither the most accurate or the most readable translation. Once referred to as a translation of a translation of a translation. That being said I don't really care what version you prefer. I just find it interesting. I would think you could come up with something better than speculation upon unfounded speculation. Maybe something real?

 

 


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gramster wrote:I will

gramster wrote:

I will continue to answer more speculation.

The text detailing Paul,s being warned by James about going to the temple states or implies nothing about a rebuke or disagreement between the two. That is all just more speculation. This text just gives an account of James giving Paul wise counsel and Paul agreeing. To avoid trouble Paul agrees to the "ritual". There is no mention of Paul undergoing any test by the disciples. There is no conflict here with Paul's beliefs. He is simply avoiding trouble. Anything else is mere speculation. 

Now concerning the accounts of Paul's conversion. I am glad you brought this up. This is a classic example of people trying to find disharmony in the bible.

1. Acts 9 Paul's companions hear a voice but see no one.

2. Acts 22 Paul's companions see a bright light but don't "understand" or "hear" a voice. It depends on the translation.

3. Acts 26 They all fell to the ground.

This is just three separate accounts of this event. There is no disharmony here. Any problems exist only in the minds of the reader. Just one more example of making something out of nothing.

Why don't Paul's letters detail his conversion? Duh! It stands to reason that Paul would have already told his converts about this life changing event in person. Why waste time writing to someone about something they already know. This is a good one.

Now just who wanted to kill Paul in Jerusalem? The text mentions both the Jews, and Aretas. Paul was probably unpopular with both. With all these people wanting to kill Paul it is no wonder the disciples had to help him sneak him out of the city. Once again there is no problem here. There is only a perceived problem by those looking for one.

I also find your use of the Dewey-Rheems bible interesting since it is neither the most accurate or the most readable translation. Once referred to as a translation of a translation of a translation. That being said I don't really care what version you prefer. I just find it interesting. I would think you could come up with something better than speculation upon unfounded speculation. Maybe something real?

 

 

Douay-Rheims? Don't have one. The Bible reference I was using are NIV or KJV depending on my mood.

If the disciples were going to help him out of the city, why arrange for Roman centurions?

So, you're saying that the convert of Paul who wrote Acts (and, according to you, must have heard the conversion story straight from Paul) wrote three versions to show how accurate the story was?

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Clement

What can I say about the writings and opinions of Clement? Well, according to your brilliant and reliable scholar Maccoby the Pseudo-Clementine writings were not even written by Clement. See pg 180. It seems as though nobody really knows who wrote them at all. That being said I would not be able to give you an answer as to what Clement believed or why.

Just more fiction I guess?

It looks like we could go on forever debating issues of speculation, and examining factitious writings. Yawn! Gramps would like to get to the evidence provided to us that there is a creator God, and that is the God of the bible. It will be interesting to see just what fictional writings and speculative counter evidences will be dug up when we get into this. Hopefully it will be better than what has been put forward lately.


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gramster wrote:What can I

gramster wrote:

What can I say about the writings and opinions of Clement? Well, according to your brilliant and reliable scholar Maccoby the Pseudo-Clementine writings were not even written by Clement. See pg 180. It seems as though nobody really knows who wrote them at all. That being said I would not be able to give you an answer as to what Clement believed or why.

Just more fiction I guess?

It looks like we could go on forever debating issues of speculation, and examining factitious writings. Yawn! Gramps would like to get to the evidence provided to us that there is a creator God, and that is the God of the bible. It will be interesting to see just what fictional writings and speculative counter evidences will be dug up when we get into this. Hopefully it will be better than what has been put forward lately.

Would you like to answer pjts' question now? Clement's view doesn't agree with Paul's but you claim both positions are consistent? That is, once we figure out which Clement wrote them.

At some point, I would love to get to the evidence that you have that the Canaanite sky god Yahweh (the god of the Bible) is the creator god. I'm sure you'll bring enough fiction to that party as well.

"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."
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jcgadfly

jcgadfly wrote:

 

Douay-Rheims? Don't have one

He means me in this case. He's not very clear exactly which of us he is answering and sometimes answers both of us (or tries) in the same post.

I use Douay-Rheims because it is based on the latin Vulgate only for the NT and the Hebrew JPS 1917 for the OT but have access to many.  No real prefernce, blame the Jesuits.

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

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


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gramster wrote:What can I

gramster wrote:

What can I say about the writings and opinions of Clement? Well, according to your brilliant and reliable scholar Maccoby the Pseudo-Clementine writings were not even written by Clement. See pg 180. It seems as though nobody really knows who wrote them at all. That being said I would not be able to give you an answer as to what Clement believed or why.

Just more fiction I guess?

It looks like we could go on forever debating issues of speculation, and examining factitious writings. Yawn! Gramps would like to get to the evidence provided to us that there is a creator God, and that is the God of the bible. It will be interesting to see just what fictional writings and speculative counter evidences will be dug up when we get into this. Hopefully it will be better than what has been put forward lately.

Actually 1 Clement has been pretty well established as being written by Clement the 4th Pope and was in most Bibles until the Canons were adopted in the 4th Century. 

As to the creator gods, I give the Sumerians more probably for basis with An and Ki than the morphed Canaanite god Yahweh. You will have to show that Yahweh is not just another name for the same god the Canaanites worshipped that is another name for gods imported from Sumer.

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

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


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gramster wrote:Once again,

gramster wrote:

Once again, it all makes perfect sense if one doesn't read into scripture the Maccoby Myth. If one assumes that most of the NT were written by Paul and his converts who were intentionally lying, than just about anything is possible. It doesn't make much sense for those who follow a pro-Paul religion that teaches strongly against lying would be doing so much of it.

I don't think I have ever said Paul was lying, I just call him Paul the Deceiver for short. He could have been in need of Prozac, Zoloft, or treatment for schizophrenia.

gramster wrote:

If one doesn't throw out or discount most of the NT it is clear to see why the Pharisees would attack Jesus. First of all the bible makes it clear that Jesus did not "grovel at the feet" of the religious leaders like most of the Jews. He pointed out their hypocrisy and blasted their pious legalism, he claimed to be God and that he could forgive sins, he was from their prospective a law breaker, he was becoming very popular. The scripture points out that the religious leaders were intensely jealous of Jesus and concerned for their positions of influence.

Talk about speculation, gramps, Jesus claimed nothing I have ever read. Writers claimed all sorts of conflicting things about him, but he wrote nada himself.

gramster wrote:

My point about Paul and Barnabas falling out is simply was a disagreement about whether or not to take Mark with them. Nothing else is stated or implied. Since Mark went with Barnabas it would not be unlikely that he would have been significantly influenced by him concerning Paul. Since in the end Paul and Mark were apparently on good terms it would not be unlikely that Barnabas and Paul were also. It is a mistake and highly speculative to make more out of this "falling out" than what has been written.

Paul being angry about being left out is also just wild speculation. When speculation takes place of text one can "prove" just about anything they want to.

Once more you read in between lines and decide all was hunky dory. Whatever terms Paul & Barnabas were on after this event are not known. 

Stop making stuff up. They had a disagreement and separated and NEVER are discussed together EVER AGAIN.

gramster wrote:

Yes, Maccoby had plenty of documents to "work with", and that gave him all the more opportunity to fabricate a fantastic myth.

You do pretty good at this with even less.

gramster wrote:

Maccoby has nothing. Read on page 150 where he states "There is ample evidence in Paul's Epistle to the Galatians, and ... Corinthians ... following his quarrel with Peter, he had to face continual opposition from emissaries of the "Jerusalem Church", who were sent out by James and Peter to counteract Paul's teaching about the abrogation of the Torah. Than read those books in their entirety. Without liberal speculation the "evidence" is just not there. What Maccoby calls evidence is nothing more than wild, cheap, speculation.

There are many places in the NT discussing false teachers, anti-christs and such. You can gloss over that if you choose but you have no way of attributing them to a specific group. There was much dissension and disagreement overall in regards to what the "true gospel" was and this continues with Marcion in the 2nd century as well as the gnostics.

 

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

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


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gramster wrote:I will

gramster wrote:

I will continue to answer more speculation.

The text detailing Paul,s being warned by James about going to the temple states or implies nothing about a rebuke or disagreement between the two. That is all just more speculation. This text just gives an account of James giving Paul wise counsel and Paul agreeing. To avoid trouble Paul agrees to the "ritual". There is no mention of Paul undergoing any test by the disciples. There is no conflict here with Paul's beliefs. He is simply avoiding trouble. Anything else is mere speculation. 

Now concerning the accounts of Paul's conversion. I am glad you brought this up. This is a classic example of people trying to find disharmony in the bible.

1. Acts 9 Paul's companions hear a voice but see no one.

2. Acts 22 Paul's companions see a bright light but don't "understand" or "hear" a voice. It depends on the translation.

3. Acts 26 They all fell to the ground.

This is just three separate accounts of this event. There is no disharmony here. Any problems exist only in the minds of the reader. Just one more example of making something out of nothing.

Why don't Paul's letters detail his conversion? Duh! It stands to reason that Paul would have already told his converts about this life changing event in person. Why waste time writing to someone about something they already know. This is a good one.

Now just who wanted to kill Paul in Jerusalem? The text mentions both the Jews, and Aretas. Paul was probably unpopular with both. With all these people wanting to kill Paul it is no wonder the disciples had to help him sneak him out of the city. Once again there is no problem here. There is only a perceived problem by those looking for one.

I also find your use of the Dewey-Rheems bible interesting since it is neither the most accurate or the most readable translation. Once referred to as a translation of a translation of a translation. That being said I don't really care what version you prefer. I just find it interesting. I would think you could come up with something better than speculation upon unfounded speculation. Maybe something real?

 

There's more to Luke's telling of Paul's conversion you have conveniently ignored. He went blind or he didn't. Anaias had a dream and gave him back his sight or not. All sorts of Satan related info in the Acts 26 version but not in the others.

As to Paul's escape from Damascus, not Jerusalem by the way, there are 2 versions, Luke and Paul They are not the same. You seem to have merged 2 events here by discussing who in Jerusalem wanted to kill Paul and the event years earlier in Damascus.

In the event in Jerusalem when Paul is arrested or taken into protective custody, depending on which part of Luke you read, there were pretty of Zealous Jews that were Jesus believers that thought Paul was a blasphemer.

In the case of Damascus, Paul/Saul was supposedly en route to arrest Jews that were Jesus believers and they would be the likely candidates for the statement by Luke the Jews sought to kill him. As the Herodian Jews and priests did not know at this point Paul/Saul had turned on them it could be no other.

In the case of Paul's own statement in regard to Damascus, Aretas wanted to arrest him because Paul was illegally entering his city to harass his citizens without permission. It's like the FBI going into Mexico and seizing someone without extradition.

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

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


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Was Paul lying? Don't know

Was Paul lying? Don't know (don't think so).

Did he believe passionately in his product? Yes. One could almost call him the Billy Mays of religion.

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Clement

I made no such claim about Clement. If you look above you will see that I did answer pjts' question. Since it seems unlikely that Clement actually wrote the works attributed to him I would not know what he believes or why. It is interesting that Maccoby is promoted as such a respected scholar with much knowledge about ancient texts when it is convenient, but when it is not he is completely ignored. Is Maccoby a scholar who's works can be trusted??? If so than we can believe him when he says Clement did not write this. If not than why is he promoted so avidly as such on this site??? Once again I find the arguments on this site to be conflicting and confused. Gramps can not give good answers to incoherent babbling.

As for the evidence that the Cananite God Yahweh is the creator God, I would love to get on with that. We will try to wrap up this non-sense about the Maccoby Myth and get to the evidence.


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Clement/Sumerians

As for the "writings of Clement", pretty well established doesn't say too much about the trustworthiness of a document. Being that the writings seem to contain such a convoluted mix of writings from different sources including paganism there was probably good reason not to include them into the Cannon. I would tend to agree with Maccoby on this one. This probably was written by someone else. That being said Gramps does not know or care what some document claims Clement believed when we can not have good reason to trust it's authenticity. Enough wild goose fiction chasing.

Some claim the Canaanite's got much of their ideas about God from the Sumerians who pre dated them. It seems more likely that the Sumerian's ideas about the god's came down to them from those who worshiped the true God and creator (who predated the Sumerians). With time these views would likely have become quite distorted. Hence, both the Canaanite's and the Sumerians could very easily be using the same term Yahweh. Nobody knows for sure since it was so long ago and as has been pointed out before, history is not usually so kind as to give us all the info we would like.

That being said, Gramps might be interested in what the Sumerains believed if it could be demonstrated that "their" god could see and foretell the future.


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Back to Paul

1. Gramps does not see the work of a nut in Paul's writings. I'm sure you disagree. That's OK, I can agree to disagree.

2. If you throw out most of the NT your claim about Jesus is true. I'm not ready to do that. I do not buy into the Maccoby Myth. It is too much unsubstantiated speculation.

3. Once again, in regards to Paul and Barnabas. I am not saying they ever reconciled. I am saying there is no evidence they needed to. Just more speculation, making much to do about nothing.

4. I agree there are many places in the NT discussing false teachers, anti-Christs etc. That's my point exactly. You cannot attribute them to a specific group. Maccoby states that there is ample evidence in Galatians and Corinthians proving a his claims about dissension between Paul and James etc. It is not there. It is only in the warped mind of Maccoby. I was merely giving one of many examples of how Maccoby speculated without any basis and misapplies text. He can not be trusted to properly interpret any text given how he so sloppily handles scripture.

Now if we can put this Maccoby garbage behind us we can get on to discussing the evidence about God.


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gramster wrote:1. Gramps

gramster wrote:

1. Gramps does not see the work of a nut in Paul's writings. I'm sure you disagree. That's OK, I can agree to disagree.

2. If you throw out most of the NT your claim about Jesus is true. I'm not ready to do that. I do not buy into the Maccoby Myth. It is too much unsubstantiated speculation.

3. Once again, in regards to Paul and Barnabas. I am not saying they ever reconciled. I am saying there is no evidence they needed to. Just more speculation, making much to do about nothing.

4. I agree there are many places in the NT discussing false teachers, anti-Christs etc. That's my point exactly. You cannot attribute them to a specific group. Maccoby states that there is ample evidence in Galatians and Corinthians proving a his claims about dissension between Paul and James etc. It is not there. It is only in the warped mind of Maccoby. I was merely giving one of many examples of how Maccoby speculated without any basis and misapplies text. He can not be trusted to properly interpret any text given how he so sloppily handles scripture.

Now if we can put this Maccoby garbage behind us we can get on to discussing the evidence about God.

1. No one ever said Paul was a nut. Stop building this straw man.

2. Given how late the NT was written after Jesus - throwing it out is the safest thing to do. One shouldn't handle poison without expertise.

4. Interesting how Maccoby cites chapter and verse while you simply post "it's not there". Who's speculating?

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BiG MaC

Chapter and verse?? Read my post above #205. I quoted Maccoby referring to speculation as "ample evidence". This is just one example. He also alleges Paul used donation money to purchase his citizenship. I did not see a quote for chapter and verse on this or any other reference. Yes, he is just pulling this stuff out of his yang. If I were to go through and list all of the numerous speculative statements in this book, I would be quoting most of it. Therefore I just put forward a couple of examples. This book is fiction. Nothing more.


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gramster wrote:Chapter and

gramster wrote:

Chapter and verse?? Read my post above #205. I quoted Maccoby referring to speculation as "ample evidence". This is just one example. He also alleges Paul used donation money to purchase his citizenship. I did not see a quote for chapter and verse on this or any other reference. Yes, he is just pulling this stuff out of his yang. If I were to go through and list all of the numerous speculative statements in this book, I would be quoting most of it. Therefore I just put forward a couple of examples. This book is fiction. Nothing more.

You mean it's on even footing with the Bible? I can live with that.

As to your post - if you don't throw out the NT you have the problem of Peter and others of the Jesus movement being saved by the Pharisees of the Sanhedrin. Why would they save these guys if they were against the Jesus movement. Either they didn't care or they didn't want to stand against a brother Pharisee (Jesus).

It appears Paul and his acolytes weren't above throwing things out when it suited them.

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gramster wrote:As for the

gramster wrote:

As for the "writings of Clement", pretty well established doesn't say too much about the trustworthiness of a document. Being that the writings seem to contain such a convoluted mix of writings from different sources including paganism there was probably good reason not to include them into the Cannon. I would tend to agree with Maccoby on this one. This probably was written by someone else. That being said Gramps does not know or care what some document claims Clement believed when we can not have good reason to trust it's authenticity. Enough wild goose fiction chasing.

Some claim the Canaanite's got much of their ideas about God from the Sumerians who pre dated them. It seems more likely that the Sumerian's ideas about the god's came down to them from those who worshiped the true God and creator (who predated the Sumerians). With time these views would likely have become quite distorted. Hence, both the Canaanite's and the Sumerians could very easily be using the same term Yahweh. Nobody knows for sure since it was so long ago and as has been pointed out before, history is not usually so kind as to give us all the info we would like.

That being said, Gramps might be interested in what the Sumerains believed if it could be demonstrated that "their" god could see and foretell the future.

Gramps, you can't demonstrate that your God could see or foretell the future.

I'll save some steps here. You'll talk about the messianic prophecies in Isaiah and other places being brought forth in the Gospels. I'll say that as late as the Gospels were written, it's not hard to believe that they were good enough researchers to go back through the prophets and find things that they could fit to Jesus.

Where next?

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gramster wrote:I made no

gramster wrote:

I made no such claim about Clement. If you look above you will see that I did answer pjts' question. Since it seems unlikely that Clement actually wrote the works attributed to him I would not know what he believes or why. It is interesting that Maccoby is promoted as such a respected scholar with much knowledge about ancient texts when it is convenient, but when it is not he is completely ignored. Is Maccoby a scholar who's works can be trusted??? If so than we can believe him when he says Clement did not write this. If not than why is he promoted so avidly as such on this site??? Once again I find the arguments on this site to be conflicting and confused. Gramps can not give good answers to incoherent babbling.

Perhaps you should spend a little more time understanding the subject matter under discussion before taking a position that is in opposition to well established scholarly research.

There are 2 books bearing Clement of Rome's name. The 1st, 1 Clement is overwhelming supported by scholars as being authored by Clement. 

See for example, Wiki 1 Clement or go to the Catholic web site New Advent - Clement I.

As to 2 Clement, this is what is referred to by Maccoby as Pseudo-Clementine writings. 2 Clement is disputed by scholars as being authored by Clement and is generally attributed to a follower. 

So, no, I don't think you answered my question regarding 1 Clement at all, I think you paraphrased Maccoby and didn't even read 1 Clement or spend any time at all researching what scholars have to say in it's regard.

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


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Alleged Contradictions

Even though you have not made your argument very clear or given reference to most of the passages, gramps will answer your "issues".

1. Did Paul go blind or not? Yes, according to Acts 9 Paul went blind. I have not read any account that disputes this.

2. Did Ananias have a dream and give Paul his sight back? Again yes, Acts 9 makes this clear. Still no passage that disputes this.

3. Satan related info in Acts 26?? I can't answer something as muddled as this.

4. Paul's escape from Damascus. I read both accounts. Luke mentions the Jews that wanted to kill Paul, and Paul mentions Aretas the king guarding the gates of the city. It is not unlikely that Paul angered both groups. The Jews that wanted to kill Paul would be seeking him within the city, and the king would have his soldiers watching for him to escape at the gates. There is only a problem here if you read into the text what is not there. There would be a problem if one text said that the Jews wanted to kill Paul and the king was protecting him. You are guilty of faulty reasoning based upon bias assumption.

5. As for the event in Jerusalem, I already made it clear that Jesus believers could have been involved in this since there were so many of them and they would not likely have been involved in any discussions about just what the Gentiles should do or not. This does not necessitate a rift between Paul and the leaders of the "Jerusalem Church". That is just more speculation read into the text.

6. Your statement that the Herodian Jews and priests did not know Paul had turned on them is faulty logic. The text clearly stated that Paul went right into the synagogues proclaiming Jesus. This seemed to create quite a stir, and it would be highly likely that the Herodian Jews and priests would have known very quickly about Paul's turn around. I can't imagine that they did not.

7. Your last statement just gives motive for Aretas wanting to arrest Paul.

You fit the same mold and follow the same folly as all the other critics that try to find disharmony in scripture. It's always pretty much the same. Eisegesis and speculation abound. Unless one reads into the text what is not there imposing ones own opinions and ideology, the contradictions just are not there.


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???

I'm not sure what incidents you are referring to here since you did not give any reference.


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Prophecy

The clearest evidence that God can see and foretell the future is in the book of Daniel. In this book we find a clearly detailed account of future events prophesied well in advance of their taking place. Only God can see the future.


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gramster wrote:The clearest

gramster wrote:

The clearest evidence that God can see and foretell the future is in the book of Daniel. In this book we find a clearly detailed account of future events prophesied well in advance of their taking place. Only God can see the future.

I agree that the prophecies in the book of Daniel are 100 percent accurate. When you prophesy about events after they happen it's a given.

From the wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Daniel#cite_note-47

"Modern critical biblical scholarship dates the Book of Daniel to the second century BCE, There is general agreement among scholars that Daniel's revelations are actually vaticinia ex eventu or prophecies after the event and the traditionalist view which dates it to the 6th century has been rejected by the scholarly community since the end of the nineteenth century. In the Roman Catholic community it has been the norm since World War II. Evangelical Old Testament scholar John Goldingay argues that many of the prophecies in Daniel, in particular the prophecies of Daniel 11, were written after the fact (ex eventu). But, says Goldingay, this was not a deceptive ploy, or a "pious fraud" (Porphyry of Tyros). Rather, the author/redactor of Daniel was employing a then common literary genre, which Goldingay describes as "quasi-prophecy", and so the author's original readers would have recognized this genre and therefore not been led to believe that the quasi-prophecies were actual prophecies (one might add that the readers would have doubtless known that the piece of literature being read to them had just been written, i.e. had been written in the 2nd century; or put differently, they would have realized that the piece of literature had not been written in the 6th century).

"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."
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Comments on Clement

JTPS, I read I Clement in it's entirety. I enjoyed it and found it quite interesting and quite in line with the gospels and Paul's writings. Here are my observations about this document.

1. You are right. Clement does not outright state that Jesus was divine. In his references he does seem to come pretty close. In 7:4 he calls God Jesus' father and that Jesus' blood was shed for our salvation. Many times he calls Jesus Lord. 21:13 Clement states that Jesus knows our thoughts. More than once states "to whom be the glory and majesty forever" 20:11, 50:6 ... . And he calls Jesus the "Son of God" 59:2, 59:4. He uses the term son of God singular not as if he were referring to Jesus as one of God's children like us, but as God's unique Son. This is all very compatible with the NT view of a divine Jesus. There is nothing in this document that indicates otherwise.

2. Clement here is indeed addressing a schism in the church of Corenth. More precisely the dismissal of some presbyters that Clement seemed to think was unjustified. The main focus of this letter was addressing the issue of jealousy that appears to have been behind the dismissal. It is good to keep this in mind when examining this letter.

3. You are right. Clement paraphrases Paul's letters to the Corinthians. He speaks very highly of Paul, and places him alongside the other apostles. 5:3 "let us set before our eyes the good apostles" mentioning Peter and Paul by name. He goes on to call them "men of holy lives" and "victims of jealousy". 47:4 Clement says "take up the epistle of the blessed Paul the apostle".

4. Clement also gives a lengthy example of OT patriarchs and prophets that lived Godly lives that parallels very much like the one on faith found in Hebrews 11. 5:3 Clement says "let us set before our eyes the good apostles", thus including them as examples.

5. Observation of nature and pagan ideas??

6. It does seem that Clement was familiar with the passion story. 7:4 "fix our eyes on the blood of Jesus - precious to His father, shed for our salvation". 16:7 "Lord delivered him over for our sins". This is completely compatible with someone familiar with these teachings.

7. Clement comparing Christ's resurrection to the rising and setting sun, and the legend of the Phoenix bird seems a bit odd. It is not at all problematic though. It seems to indicate that Clement was familiar with this legend and quite likely even believed it to be true. Thus he used it as an example much like modern pastors often use lines out of movies or popular song lyrics. Since there is no claim of inspiration from God, this just shows the fallacy of man.

8. Using the Torah that refers to a plural God is also compatible. The plural indicates that there is more than one entity in the Godhead. This adds to the probability that Jesus could indeed be divine. Who else could have been referred to in Genesis "let US create man in OUR image". Was God talking to himself??

 


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Comments on Clement continued

Continuing my comments on Clement.

9. The path to Immortality being Faith in God, following the truth, casting aside evil, through Christ our defender and helper of our weakness is in no way incompatible with Pauline doctrine. And why would Clement call on the Corinthians to be baptized when they had already done so long ago??

10. Clement also seems to give some hints about how the gospels came about. 42:1 "apostles received the Gospels for us from Jesus Christ. "Jesus Christ was sent forth from God".

More references of interest: 13:2 Jesus being quoted "have mercy...receive mercy...forgive...be forgiven...as ye do...done to you...judge...be judged...show kindness...shown to you... is very similar to texts in the gospels. 16:4 Jesus bears our sins and suffers pain for us. 16:16 Jesus being mocked "he hoped on the Lord, let him deliver him... . Much like the gospel's account of the cross. 20:11 take refuge in God's mercies through our Lord Jesus. 21:1 Jesus' benefits and judgments "do what is pleasing in His sight". 21:3 speaks of how near He (Jesus) is to us "knows our thoughts".

I fail to see an issue here. For a letter specifically written to address a problem of jealousy this says much that backs the traditional Christian views and is completely compatible with Pauline doctrine and the Gospels.

I am not sure just what you are reading into this letter??? I found it enjoyable and completely in line with the whole NT.


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Daniel

Gramps does not believe that the book of Daniel was written in the 2nd century BC as those of higher criticism like to say. I believe the entire book was written back in the time of ancient Babylon as the text says. For the sake of argument, I will give you the benefit of considerable doubt and go with the later date. Later I will prove the earlier date for the writing. Right now Gramps looks forward to examining the prophecies of Daniel and what this book proves about God.

This will be a nice change of pace from all the fiction and speculation we have been discussing lately.


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gramster wrote:Gramps does

gramster wrote:

Gramps does not believe that the book of Daniel was written in the 2nd century BC as those of higher criticism like to say. I believe the entire book was written back in the time of ancient Babylon as the text says. For the sake of argument, I will give you the benefit of considerable doubt and go with the later date. Later I will prove the earlier date for the writing. Right now Gramps looks forward to examining the prophecies of Daniel and what this book proves about God.

This will be a nice change of pace from all the fiction and speculation we have been discussing lately.

This could be interesting. Your arguments against Maccoby boiled own to "Maccoby's wrong because...well, he's just wrong!"

"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."
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gramster wrote:Right now

gramster wrote:

Right now Gramps looks forward to examining the prophecies of Daniel and what this book proves about God.

This will be a nice change of pace from all the fiction and speculation we have been discussing lately.

Unintentional comedy gold.


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Right

Not so. You are blind and don't seem to be comprehending what I have said. I have clearly demonstrated Mac's bad habit of gross speculation. See above. But not to get back into all of that again I will leave it at that.


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Let's talk about Daniel

As we go forward and discuss the prophecies of Daniel it will be Gramps will be making every attempt to remain focused and precise. Attempting to demonstrate the proper application of predictions and fulfillment of prophecy in a clear and understandable manner in a blog is quite a task. We will see if you are capable of following logical thought.

Since the date of 2ND century BC has been suggested and is the latest date generally recognized as feasible for the writing of Daniel I am willing to go with that. That will be giving you the benefit of the doubt.

That being said, the prophecies that refer to events clearly fulfilled prior are relevant only in establishing sound eschatological hermeneutics. The other narratives that are not prophetic in nature are also generally irrelevant to our discussion. That will help us stay focused and "cut to the chase".

I do not wish to type out whole chapters of Daniel and don't expect you to either. Therefore we will assume that the reader has his/her bible open to those passages and has read them or can do so for themselves. This will also be a big help in our discussions.

Since there are many schools of thought when it comes to prophecy Gramps will be detailing what he believes to be valid and what is not and supporting this with solid logic and evidence. We will start with the basics. We will first nail down certain principles of prophetic interpretation that hopefully we can all agree on. This is the simple principles universally held to be valid. Than we will move on to the more debatable principles. So let's get started.

Gramps will be referencing what is said earlier using the blog numbers on this site. That way it will be easy for all to find without unnecessary searching. It will be helpful if we all do that.

 


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Daniel pt 1

The first relevant passage in Daniel is in regards to Nebuchadnezzar's dream. We will go to Daniel's interpretation of that dream in chapter 2. Note Daniel states that "there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. This is the claim we will be discussing. Can God accurately predict the future. If so than He is real and supernatural. If not than he is neither real or supernatural. It's just that simple.

This dream is about a great image made up of different metals for various body parts. The first thing I believe we can all agree on is that each body part starting with the head represents a nation or world power that is to be dominant in ruling that part of the world. These are given in the order in which they would be rising to power. This could not be more clear.

The first kingdom being Babylon is universally agreed upon as Babylon. The second kingdom is believed to be Medo-Persia, but some split these up into the second and third. Gramps believes that splitting them into two separate ruling kingdoms is not valid and will demonstrate why later. Thus we will mark this at a point to verify at a later date. The third kingdom would be Greece, and the fourth Rome which would relate to the legs of iron. The feet of iron and clay would than be the powers that follow the breakup of Rome. At this point we probably already have some disagreement.

Now some points on the dividing of Media and Persia into two separate ruling powers. If one does that than Greece would be the fourth kingdom (legs of iron) and the feet of Iron and clay would be Rome. This clearly does not work. The Roman empire ruled as a world power from 168 B.C. to 476 A.D. It was a strong and unified world power. It would not be seen in history as a fragmented mix made up of diverse kings. Also in verse 44 Daniel says "in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed". The Roman empire is long gone, and this clearly has not happened yet. The feet of Iron and clay must be a reference to what was to follow the fall of Rome. That clearly puts this as a future event from the standpoint of having been written in the second century B.C.

There is more evidence to this Gramps will be pointing out later. For now let's take a look at this last power. The one that is to stand until the coming of the kingdom of God. One would think that someone trying to foretell the future from the 2ND century B.C. would follow the example of history and have Rome be conquered by another single rising power. That however was not the case. The reality is that the book of Daniel predicted that Rome would be "divided" up into separate kingdoms. It goes on to say that "they" (the divided kingdoms) would "mingle with the seed of men" referring to the numerous attempts to unify Europe through royal marriages. And "will not adhere to one another" is a prophecy that Europe will not be united as a single kingdom.

At least seven attempts have been made to prove this prophesy wrong. Charlemange, Charles V, Louis XIV, Napoleon, Kaiser Wilhelm, Hitler and Moussolini all set out to unify Europe. Several of these attempts had all of the elements to succeed but did not. Any future attempts will fail as well. God's word stands the test of time.

In the days of these kings (modern Europe) God will come and set up His kingdom. What God has prophesied will not fail. In part 2 we will discuss the "little horn". This will give further evidence that the above is accurate and based on sound hermaneutics. It will also take us further down in history.

 


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gramster wrote:Not so. You

gramster wrote:

Not so. You are blind and don't seem to be comprehending what I have said. I have clearly demonstrated Mac's bad habit of gross speculation. See above. But not to get back into all of that again I will leave it at that.

I'm still working on your Daniel stuff but to go briefly to the Maccoby again...

You often posted sentences that started with "If you throw out the entire NT..." I think that was the point. You can't look at the New Testament as anything other than the founding tenets of a new religion. It's not a historical piece nor does it support Judaism except accidentally. 

The strongest piece of evidence that supports the "new religion" position (in my view) is in John 20:30-31: 

Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

 

 

"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."
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On Daniel

Or it could have been that the writers of Daniel wanted to set the story in Babylon and saw that Jeremiah had written comparing Babylon to gold.

For the statue itself, this seemed interesting (yes Wikipedia again):

"Another view has been more popular among Jewish scholars, at least as far back as Flavius Josephus, and has support from 20th century Biblical scholars such as John J. Collins[4] as well as conservative Christian scholars such as H. H. Rowley, Gurney, Lucas, and Walton.[5][6][7] The proposed sequence is:

  1. The gold head - Babylon
  2. The silver breast and arms - Media
  3. The copper belly and thighs - Persia
  4. The iron legs - Greece
  5. The feet partly of iron and partly of molded clay - The Seleucids and the Ptolemies

Daniel 2:43("they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another&quotEye-wink in the second view refers to the unsuccessful marriage alliances between the Seleucids and Ptolemies.(Daniel 11:6, 11:17)[7][8] According to scholars who hold to this view, only these two successors to the Greek Kingdom were of interest to the author and his Jewish readers since these 2 dynasties had direct relation to Jewish affairs. They often fought over the ownership of Judea and the control of Jews in the second century BC(Daniel 11:2-35)."

 

It makes more sense to me to have kingdoms listed that actually fought over the land of Israel as opposed to having groups that didn't care for the territory. The writers of Daniel didn't know of Europe so it makes more sense to believe that they wrote about what they knew as opposed to adding magic and hindsight to create "prophecy".

"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."
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Sorry for my delayed

Sorry for my delayed responses to your posts, I too am a Grandpa and had Grandpa things to do.

gramster wrote:

Even though you have not made your argument very clear or given reference to most of the passages, gramps will answer your "issues".

OK, I'll walk you tediously through the differences since you seem to be overlooking them. Since you seem to like the poorly based translations of KJV and  and the manipulative NIV version I'll  use those.

gramster wrote:

1. Did Paul go blind or not? Yes, according to Acts 9 Paul went blind. I have not read any account that disputes this.

Acts 9:3-22 - claims Paul went blind.

Acts 22:6-16 - claims he was blinded by the light

Acts 26:12-32 - Does not indicate he was blinded.

All of Paul's own writing - Never discusses this incident at all and does not ever suggest he was afflicted by blindness. Given Paul's incessant whining in his Epistles if he had even incurred a hang nail he would have at length whined about, he didn't.

gramster wrote:

2. Did Ananias have a dream and give Paul his sight back? Again yes, Acts 9 makes this clear. Still no passage that disputes this.

Acts 9:3-22 - Ananias has a vision in a dream supposedly from the Lord. Acts 9 (NIV) does not indicate Saul was told about Ananias rather when Ananias is talking to the Lord in his dream he is told Saul had seen Ananias in his own vision curing him of his blindness.

Acts 22:6-16 -Ananias comes to see Saul and cures him of his blindness (NIV). There is no mention either one had a vision of the other and no indication of why Ananias came to see Saul.

Acts 26:12-32-The blindness claim is not in Acts 26 nor is Ananias.

Paul's Writing - No mention of this at all. See above comment.

gramster wrote:

3. Satan related info in Acts 26?? I can't answer something as muddled as this.

Specifically in Acts 26:17 - "I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me."

Satan is not mentioned in the other versions.

gramster wrote:

4. Paul's escape from Damascus. I read both accounts. Luke mentions the Jews that wanted to kill Paul, and Paul mentions Aretas the king guarding the gates of the city. It is not unlikely that Paul angered both groups. The Jews that wanted to kill Paul would be seeking him within the city, and the king would have his soldiers watching for him to escape at the gates. There is only a problem here if you read into the text what is not there. There would be a problem if one text said that the Jews wanted to kill Paul and the king was protecting him. You are guilty of faulty reasoning based upon bias assumption.

What Jews in Damascus would want to kill Saul/Paul. As Saul was a Bounty Hunter for the Herodian priests it could only be Jesus believing Jews not Herodian Jews at this point as they had no idea he had changed sides.

The Chief Priests in Jerusalem 5 days journey away (154 miles) had no idea Saul had changed sides at this point.

Aretas on the other hand was well aware that the Bounty Hunter Saul was planning on entering his city and kidnapping his citizens.

Are you suggesting that King Aretas was a Jesus believing Jew" Or are you suggesting Aretas was helping the Jews? Neither is supported by Paul's own words or the situation. Aretas was miffed that the Herodian Priests in a foreign city had sent an agent to harass his citizens.

Side Note : See Wiki - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aretas_IV_Philopatris

Aretas IV was at odds with Judea at the time of the event of Saul. Saul as an agent of the Herodian Priests would have been seen as a spy or a terrorist. See http://www.formerthings.com/king_aretas.htm

also See Josephus Antiquities of the Jews 18.5.1 - where there are disagreements between Herod and Aretas IV.

In conclusion, Paul's own words indicate he was being sought by Aretas' governor's guards. Aretas was at the time at odds with Herod.

Jews in  Jerusalem at the point of this story would not know of this incident. The Jews in Damasus knew Paul was a Bounty Hunter for the Herodian priests at the beginning of this story. This is so indicated in Acts 9:13 as well, that Saul was an agent of Herodian priests. As the story progressed Saul goes into synagogues and preaches Jesus is the One. As Herodian Jews were not in the Kingdom of Syria in any power positions nor would they have been much welcome by the Nabteans at this point it is unrealistic to claim Herodian Jews were those trying to kill Saul.

It was 5 days journey each direction from Damascus to Jerusalem and only the Jesus believing Jews would have been eager to kill Saul at the beginning of this incident, not Herodian Jews. What Jews sought to kill him as indicated in Acts 9:23 is not indicated but to suggest thet are Herodian Jews is illogical given the political situation between Aretas and Herod at the time. Any Herodian Jews in Damascus more than likely would have been picked up by Aretas' guards and held as spies or terrorists given the situation. There is nothing to indicate that the Herodian Jews had left their power base in Jerusalem at all, rather they had sent Saul as a Bounty Hunter.

Do you see this yet?

gramster wrote:

5. As for the event in Jerusalem, I already made it clear that Jesus believers could have been involved in this since there were so many of them and they would not likely have been involved in any discussions about just what the Gentiles should do or not. This does not necessitate a rift between Paul and the leaders of the "Jerusalem Church". That is just more speculation read into the text.

Since that is what the story indicates, Jesus believing zealous Jews had issues with Paul you would be hard pressed to ignore it.

Again, you have totally missed the point of contention between what "Zealous Jews" had as an issue and what Paul supposedly was doing. The Zealous Jews would have stoned him for his actions, as so indicated in the text of Acts right before he is taken into protective custody by the Romans. You lack an understanding of Judaism which is quite apparent and is so evidenced in much of your effort to justify Christianity. I can only suggest you seek a knowledgeable Rabbi or take a comparative religion class at a Jesuit University to help you grasp some understanding. I don't have the time to teach you.

gramster wrote:

6. Your statement that the Herodian Jews and priests did not know Paul had turned on them is faulty logic. The text clearly stated that Paul went right into the synagogues proclaiming Jesus. This seemed to create quite a stir, and it would be highly likely that the Herodian Jews and priests would have known very quickly about Paul's turn around. I can't imagine that they did not.

True, the Jews in Damascus would have known he was preaching Jesus is the One, but it still would be over 10 days for Herodian Chief Priests in Jerusalem to so respond in an action to kill him. The text of Acts 9:23 says after many days had gone by the Jews in Damascus sought to kill him. The Herodian Priests were not in Damascus but in Jerusalem. Synagogues do not require a priest rather a Rabbi or learned master. Levite priests purpose was the Temple in Jerusalem not the operation of synagogues.

gramster wrote:

7. Your last statement just gives motive for Aretas wanting to arrest Paul.

Again, Herod and Aretas were at odds over their borders during this time and were in a warlike state.

gramster wrote:

You fit the same mold and follow the same folly as all the other critics that try to find disharmony in scripture. It's always pretty much the same. Eisegesis and speculation abound. Unless one reads into the text what is not there imposing ones own opinions and ideology, the contradictions just are not there.

Your blindness of understanding in regards to history and Jewish belief seems to lead you into grasping at straws to support Christianity and Paulinity. Again, I suggest you learn far more about Judaism especially in the 1st century CE. Perhaps you also need to study ancient history as well based on some of what I have read in your claims in regard to Daniel, I'll be specific when I respond to those posts.

 

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Gramps has Modified his Position a Bit??

 

 

gramster post #220 wrote:

Being that the writings seem to contain such a convoluted mix of writings from different sources including paganism there was probably good reason not to include them into the Cannon. I would tend to agree with Maccoby on this one. This probably was written by someone else. That being said Gramps does not know or care what some document claims Clement believed when we can not have good reason to trust it's authenticity. Enough wild goose fiction chasing.

First you claim Clement is convoluted mix of writings, next you claim it's in-line with Paul and Christianity. Interesting change of position Gramps.

gramster wrote:

JTPS, I read I Clement in it's entirety. I enjoyed it and found it quite interesting and quite in line with the gospels and Paul's writings. Here are my observations about this document.

I find it quite interesting that you changed your views suddenly after perusing 1 Clement.

gramster wrote:

1. You are right. Clement does not outright state that Jesus was divine.

In the 1st century Jesus a divine was not generally accepted and is a later development after Constantine. Clement shows this was indeed the case for beliefs in his time period.

gramster wrote:

In his references he does seem to come pretty close. In 7:4 he calls God Jesus' father and that Jesus' blood was shed for our salvation. Many times he calls Jesus Lord. 21:13 Clement states that Jesus knows our thoughts. More than once states "to whom be the glory and majesty forever" 20:11, 50:6 ... . And he calls Jesus the "Son of God" 59:2, 59:4. He uses the term son of God singular not as if he were referring to Jesus as one of God's children like us, but as God's unique Son. This is all very compatible with the NT view of a divine Jesus. There is nothing in this document that indicates otherwise.

You should have indicated who was the translator of the version you used, though I did find it.

There are variable translations of 1 Clement and you picked one that in 7:4 calls god Jesus' father others don't such as newadvent's version which says instead "Let us look steadfastly to the blood of Christ, and see how precious that blood is to God which, having been shed for our salvation, has set the grace of repentance before the whole world."

From the beginning, Clement does call Christ Lord, and does so throughout.

He indicates Christ shed his blood but never indicates how this occurred. The passion story is not in 1 Clement.

In 20:11 - again, he calls him the Lord Jesus Christ. In 50:6 - I don't see what you mean. It says' "blessed are they who the Lord will not count sin...." I don't get how this supports anything for you.

In 59:2 - "For as God lives, and as the Lord Jesus Christ lives, and the Holy Spirit, the faith and the hope of the chosen ones, that He who did the righteous deeds and commandments given by God in humble-mindedness, eager with kindness, and without regret..." How does this indicate any divinity???

In 59:4 - " You alone are God,” and Jesus Christ is Your Child, and we are Your people and the sheep of Your pasture...." And as all Jews were Sons of God, this indicates what???

Even if Clement saw Jesus as the mashiarch, it doesn't make Jesus divine or part of God,  rather the mashiarch who had come to bring Israel back to the pure law and institute the kingdom of god on earth.

gramster wrote:

2. Clement here is indeed addressing a schism in the church of Corenth. More precisely the dismissal of some presbyters that Clement seemed to think was unjustified. The main focus of this letter was addressing the issue of jealousy that appears to have been behind the dismissal. It is good to keep this in mind when examining this letter.

I agree the primary purpose was indeed the address of a schism in Corinth.

As Christians of today can't go without making the claim Jesus died for you and me to save us from our sins and he that believes and is baptized shall be saved Clement is no where near this intensity.

gramster wrote:

3. You are right. Clement paraphrases Paul's letters to the Corinthians. He speaks very highly of Paul, and places him alongside the other apostles. 5:3 "let us set before our eyes the good apostles" mentioning Peter and Paul by name. He goes on to call them "men of holy lives" and "victims of jealousy". 47:4 Clement says "take up the epistle of the blessed Paul the apostle".

Exactly, however whatever the gospel that is preached is not mentioned is it?

gramster wrote:

4. Clement also gives a lengthy example of OT patriarchs and prophets that lived Godly lives that parallels very much like the one on faith found in Hebrews 11. 5:3 Clement says "let us set before our eyes the good apostles", thus including them as examples.

If the Gospels existed, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, where are any references to them?

Since Christians today believe the Gospels contain the teachings of Jesus it is very odd that they are not mentioned especially in a discussion in regards to a schism by Clement.

Clearly he mentioned Peter and Paul, Clement was either the 4th bishop or the 2nd of Rome, depends on source. Clement knew Peter according to one source and was directed ordained by him, making him his successor in that source.

gramster wrote:

5. Observation of nature and pagan ideas??

What is it you want? Repetition?

The examples of the Phoenix, plants and seeds, the Sun rising and setting.

He erred in calling the oceans impassable, though he claimed there were worlds beyond them, his idea that god orchestrated a complex display of stars & planets is clearly wrong.

His idea that even the smallest creatures live in harmony with each other, unless harmony is a small creature being eaten by a predator.

gramster wrote:

6. It does seem that Clement was familiar with the passion story. 7:4 "fix our eyes on the blood of Jesus - precious to His father, shed for our salvation". 16:7 "Lord delivered him over for our sins". This is completely compatible with someone familiar with these teachings.

Gramps, that is a very hard stretch. Jesus could have been run over by a runaway cart and shed his blood. Though it is claimed he was killed by his own people, so a Jew could have cut loose the cart. Where is the story how he died on the cross and was brought back to life???

In 42.3" So, having received orders and having been fully assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and having believed in the Word of God, with the full assurance of the Holy Spirit, they went out proclaiming the good news that the Kingdom of God was about to appear."

Which indicates only he was resurrected, not how and is in line with Jesus believing Jews that considered him to be the mashiarch bringing about the Kingdom of God. However, it did not so appear as claimed in Jewish prophecy therefore the claim he was the mashiarch was shown as false per Jewish scripture.

And still no Passion Story.

gramster wrote:

7. Clement comparing Christ's resurrection to the rising and setting sun, and the legend of the Phoenix bird seems a bit odd. It is not at all problematic though. It seems to indicate that Clement was familiar with this legend and quite likely even believed it to be true. Thus he used it as an example much like modern pastors often use lines out of movies or popular song lyrics. Since there is no claim of inspiration from God, this just shows the fallacy of man.

However, it also shows Clement didn't seam to have the Passion Story down pat from Peter. If he actually was converted and ordained by Peter and knew the Passion story why use pagan comparison???

gramster wrote:

8. Using the Torah that refers to a plural God is also compatible. The plural indicates that there is more than one entity in the Godhead. This adds to the probability that Jesus could indeed be divine. Who else could have been referred to in Genesis "let US create man in OUR image".

It does not necessitate your trinity, only that his version of the Torah had multiple gods. There were believers, such as the agnostics that held the creator god and the one that sent Jesus were different.

Was God talking to himself?? 

In Genesis, based early on in Jewish belief when many gods were claimed all about them it may refer to the other gods supposedly of the pantheon especially if Yahweh was an outgrowth of Canaanite mythology. We can discuss this in the creator god discussion along with Egyptian, Canaanite and Sumerian gods.

gramster wrote:

Continuing my comments on Clement.

9. The path to Immortality being Faith in God, following the truth, casting aside evil, through Christ our defender and helper of our weakness is in no way incompatible with Pauline doctrine. And why would Clement call on the Corinthians to be baptized when they had already done so long ago??

Jesus claimed in the Gospels only that one has to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself.

Also in the Gospels, he that believes in me and is baptized will be saved, he that believes not will be damned.

Clement however only says to achieve immortality we are to have faith in God and follow the way of truth while casting aside unrighteousness, inequity, and all evil manners. Then we will find Christ our savior the high priest of all offerings & the defender, helper of our weakness. Through Christ we look to the heavens (skies) with our eyes open and our foolish & darkened understanding rejoices in his wonderful light.

If Jesus' word is to be taken as the truth, Clement doesn't speak of what is attributed to him.

Even if you had been baptized, which was a sign that one had taken off the pagan ways of the Hellenistic influences and washed oneself to accept the pure law one still needed to follow the words of Jesus in the Gospels or one would not be saved. That is the point.

gramster wrote:

10. Clement also seems to give some hints about how the gospels came about. 42:1 "apostles received the Gospels for us from Jesus Christ. "Jesus Christ was sent forth from God".

This only is a development of the hierarchy, no more. Most versions translate 'gospels' as good news and do not mean a written book.

gramster wrote:

More references of interest: 13:2 Jesus being quoted "have mercy...receive mercy...forgive...be forgiven...as ye do...done to you...judge...be judged...show kindness...shown to you... is very similar to texts in the gospels.

And is fully compatible with Torah and Jewish beliefs as well. One can not have a pure soul if you are given forgiveness or kindness and in turn treat others with unjustness and unfairness.

gramster wrote:

16:4 Jesus bears our sins and suffers pain for us.

Other versions say this differently as in "He bears our iniquities, and is in sorrow for our sakes; yet we supposed that [on His own account] He was exposed to labour, and stripes, and affliction"

Even as only the mashiarch he would carry the burden of Israel in his attempt to bring the Kingdom of God to Earth. Though he failed as it didn't happen per Jewish scripture.

gramster wrote:

16:16 Jesus being mocked "he hoped on the Lord, let him deliver him... . Much like the gospel's account of the cross.

Once more you try to read in between the lines. And again there are many translations.

As for instance - "He was exposed to labour, and stripes, and affliction. But He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities."

How does this compare to the Passion story, which has 4 differing versions anyway.

Still it requires you to have the detailed Passion Story to make any attempt at correlating the two, which requires major interpolation to do so.

gramster wrote:

20:11 take refuge in God's mercies through our Lord Jesus. 21:1 Jesus' benefits and judgments "do what is pleasing in His sight".

This is again a perspective and is subject to translation - "He (God) does good to all, but most abundantly to us who have fled for refuge to His compassions through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be glory and majesty for ever and ever." Clement says the God does good to all but more to those who have fled to him (God) for his refuge and compassion. He ends the paragraph with a traditional through Jesus .....ending.

In 21:1 - "Take heed, beloved, lest His many kindnesses lead to the condemnation of us all.." This refers to God, not Jesus. And again, there are many translations.

gramster wrote:

21:3 speaks of how near He (Jesus) is to us "knows our thoughts".

And again you misunderstand-" Let us reflect how near He is (God), and that none of the thoughts or reasonings in which we engage are hid from Him."

This does not mean Jesus.

gramster wrote:

I fail to see an issue here. For a letter specifically written to address a problem of jealousy this says much that backs the traditional Christian views and is completely compatible with Pauline doctrine and the Gospels.

I am not sure just what you are reading into this letter??? I found it enjoyable and completely in line with the whole NT.

When  all of your misunderstandings and interpolations are shown it's fairly obvious why you'd see no issue as you have whitewashed over it and failed at comprehension of the text.

You cannot read Jesus into the text as you have done, it is not what is said.

 

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

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


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gramster wrote:Gramps does

gramster wrote:

Gramps does not believe that the book of Daniel was written in the 2nd century BC as those of higher criticism like to say. I believe the entire book was written back in the time of ancient Babylon as the text says. For the sake of argument, I will give you the benefit of considerable doubt and go with the later date. Later I will prove the earlier date for the writing. Right now Gramps looks forward to examining the prophecies of Daniel and what this book proves about God.

This will be a nice change of pace from all the fiction and speculation we have been discussing lately.

Now we go into Sci-Fi Fantasy

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

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


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gramster wrote:As we go

gramster wrote:

As we go forward and discuss the prophecies of Daniel it will be Gramps will be making every attempt to remain focused and precise. Attempting to demonstrate the proper application of predictions and fulfillment of prophecy in a clear and understandable manner in a blog is quite a task. We will see if you are capable of following logical thought.

Since the date of 2ND century BC has been suggested and is the latest date generally recognized as feasible for the writing of Daniel I am willing to go with that. That will be giving you the benefit of the doubt.

That being said, the prophecies that refer to events clearly fulfilled prior are relevant only in establishing sound eschatological hermeneutics. The other narratives that are not prophetic in nature are also generally irrelevant to our discussion. That will help us stay focused and "cut to the chase".

I do not wish to type out whole chapters of Daniel and don't expect you to either. Therefore we will assume that the reader has his/her bible open to those passages and has read them or can do so for themselves. This will also be a big help in our discussions.

Since there are many schools of thought when it comes to prophecy Gramps will be detailing what he believes to be valid and what is not and supporting this with solid logic and evidence. We will start with the basics. We will first nail down certain principles of prophetic interpretation that hopefully we can all agree on. This is the simple principles universally held to be valid. Than we will move on to the more debatable principles. So let's get started.

Gramps will be referencing what is said earlier using the blog numbers on this site. That way it will be easy for all to find without unnecessary searching. It will be helpful if we all do that.

 

Clearly Daniel was written in the 2nd century BCE by someone who had a poor copy of Babylonian and Persian history.

If it was a person living at the time of Babylon the many errors in regard to Babylon and Persia would likely not have ocurred.

I'd love to see you date this to the 6th century BCE.

____________________________________________________________
"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
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Let's Talk About Daniel - response

gramster wrote:

As we go forward and discuss the prophecies of Daniel it will be Gramps will be making every attempt to remain focused and precise. Attempting to demonstrate the proper application of predictions and fulfillment of prophecy in a clear and understandable manner in a blog is quite a task. We will see if you are capable of following logical thought.

Before you wrap yourself in knots on the prophecies, I think you need to explain exactly why Daniel is so confused in regards to basic Babylonian and Persian history.

Daniel was allegedly taken captive in 605 BCE in the 3rd year of the reign of King Jehoiakim. But really it was in 597 BCE in the reign of King Jehoiachin if we are to believe it was Nebuchadnezzar. In 597 BCE is when Nebuchadnezzar 1st attacked Judah. So Daniel must have spent the next 59 years in Babylon as he reports on the invasion by the Persians in 538 BCE.

He wrongly claimed Darius the Mede invaded in Daniel 5:31-KJV or Daniel 5:30 NIV.

It however was Cyrus II of Persia.

He also wrongly claimed Babylon was taken from Belshazzar but it was in fact Nabonidius.

In Daniel 4:30-37 - KJV he claims that Nebuchadnezzar had a mental illness, however this actually refers to Nabonidus who was smeared in the "Verse Account of Nabonidus" and said to be mad.

Nabonidus is not even mentioned at all in  Daniel though he was King from 562 BCE until 538 BCE when Cyrus not Darius invaded.

Belshazzar was the son of Nabonidus who had been spending most of his time in Tema. Belshazzar was never king as the he never attended the New Year's ceremony as only the king could do so. While Nabonidus was away in Tema it was not held.

Daniel's Sci-Fi continues with the disembodied hand writing on the wall in Hebrew. In 5:10 NIV it claims, "In the time of your father he was found to have insight and intelligence and wisdom like that of the gods. King Nebuchadnezzar your father—your father the king, I say—appointed him chief of the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners." However, Nebuchadnezzar's son was Amel-Marduk or in the Bible the evil Merodach who reigned only 2 years. Apparently Amel-Marduk (Merodach) was killed by his sister's husband Neriglisaros who ruled only 4 years. His son, Labashi-Marduk ruled only 9 months before he too died. He was only a child but was said to rule ruthlessly and was tortured to death by a group of conspirators. The leader of the conspirators was Nabonidus who became king and ruled until Cyrus conquered Babylon. Neither Nabonidus or his son Bel-shar-usur (Belshazzar) were related to Nebuchadnezzar.

So, this verse is made up fiction in regards to who was king and the supposed queen's narrative. Why give credibility to anything else claimed when the narrative in regards to the people is made up fiction.

I refer you to a really good book on ancient Akkad, Assyrian, and Babylonian history titled "Ancient Iraq" by Georges Roux. Also, the web site ETCSL which has many of the clay tablets translated and available online. The site can be very difficult to utilize however. ETCSL is the electronic corpus of sumerian literature, type etcsl in google. I would however suggest the book by Roux to give you basic understanding of Ancient Iraq.

 

 

 

 

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"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
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Faulty Logic

Same old crap. Different day. Promoters of higher criticism seem to always use this same faulty logic. The argument inferred to here is that if one account doesn't exactly match a different one than they are some how in disharmony. If they do exactly match than someone copied. You can't have it both ways. Usually when a story is told more than one time whether by the same person or more than one person, each separate account will differ somewhat in the details.

THE OMISSION OF SOMETHING IN ONE ACCOUNT THAT IS INCLUDED IN ANOTHER IS NOT A PROBLEM. THERE IS NOTHING CONFLICTING IN THESE ACCOUNTS. STOP TRYING TO MAKE SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING. THIS ARGUMENT IS PATHETIC. IT IS NOT LOGICAL. Being a skeptic and free thinker gramps can hardly accept something based on such flawed logic.

If one writer says that Paul had not gone blind, that would be a problem. If one writer says that Ananias did not cure Paul, that would be a problem. No mention of.........??? not problems. Just omissions.

Now as for Paul's "incessant whining about a hang nail", let's take a look at these "hang nail" incidents. In 2 Corinthians 11:24 Paul says that he was imprisoned, beaten with rods, in danger of death, shipwrecked 3 times, spent a day and a night in the deep, in danger from rivers, robbers, his countrymen, gentiles, hungry, thirsty, and exposed to the cold. If you call these "hang nail" experiences I would sure like to hear your life story. You should write a book.

Once again Paul's not writing to previous converts of his conversion experience is not problematic. They would likely have already known about this. I would not waste time and space writing to someone about something they already know. Most of Paul's writings are either addressing specific problems in a particular church, or about doctrine. There are a couple of brief accounts of Paul's own personal experience. These are far from being complete autobiographies. This is just one more example of using faulty logic to try to make a point based on omission.


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Paul

Satan related incidents? I am still not sure what point you are trying to make. to "turn people from the power of Satan to God". This quite naturally seems to be the whole purpose of ministry. By "muddled", I mean that I fail to see a problem here. Yes, Paul does mention Satan. He certainly was not the first to do so, and also was not the last. You will have to point out specifically just what perceived problem is hiding in this text.

Once again. I am not saying that the Herodain Jews were the ones wanting to kill Paul. Yes, it is likely as you say the "jealous Jews" that tried to kill him. This could have included the Jesus Jews but that seems unlikely to me since Paul had just been converted, the local Jesus Jews seemed to be happy about this, and it is not likely that Paul had yet the time to "make up" an alternative gospel. That being said, have it your way. If you want to believe the Jesus Jews were involved that's alright with me. One can not prove this either way. All Jealous Jews were not necessarily Jesus Jews.

I am not saying that Aretas was a Jesus Jew, or in "cahoots" with any Jews. Aretas could likely be acting as you say on his own trying to catch Paul the "trouble maker". This would account for the two different versions of this story. One account focuses on the Jealous Jews, and the other on Aretas. I am inclined to agree with you on this.

As to the Herodian Jews, it is not unlikely that they may have had their hopes on Saul's arrival and his help in "taking care" of those "pesky" Jesus Jews. When he switched sides they may have been a bit miffed as well. There is really no way of knowing if they were involved in this or not. It really doesn't matter. There are plenty of options already that could account for who it was that was "after Paul".

Now as to Paul's numerous incidents of "persecution", this is not a problem in light of the rest of the NT. There are also accounts of Jesus' unpopularity with the Jewish leaders, and Him stirring up "mobs". There are also accounts of the disciples getting themselves into plenty of trouble over preaching the gospel. I am amazed at what lengths speculation is built upon speculation in attempts to discredit the bible.


pauljohntheskeptic
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gramster wrote:Same old

gramster wrote:

Same old crap. Different day. Promoters of higher criticism seem to always use this same faulty logic. The argument inferred to here is that if one account doesn't exactly match a different one than they are some how in disharmony. If they do exactly match than someone copied. You can't have it both ways. Usually when a story is told more than one time whether by the same person or more than one person, each separate account will differ somewhat in the details.

Not if the person is telling the truth or from an event he actually witnessed.

When the police or investigators question suspects they repeatedly have to tell their story. When differing versions come forth it is a reason to suspect there is something else going on.

gramster wrote:

THE OMISSION OF SOMETHING IN ONE ACCOUNT THAT IS INCLUDED IN ANOTHER IS NOT A PROBLEM. THERE IS NOTHING CONFLICTING IN THESE ACCOUNTS. STOP TRYING TO MAKE SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING. THIS ARGUMENT IS PATHETIC. IT IS NOT LOGICAL. Being a skeptic and free thinker gramps can hardly accept something based on such flawed logic.

Why would you even consider a possibility that you have been accepting legends or stories as real, it might cause your whole view of life to change and you might have to face reality. That might be too Earth shattering.

The omission of the items in the story by Paul compared to Luke is something that should be noted and questioned.

Luke the writer of Acts should be considered suspiciously due to many errors he has made throughout both Acts and the book attributed to him.

In his nativity story, he has the census tax supposedly decreed by Caesar while Herod was alive. This occurred about 6 CE after Herod's death in 4 BCE. It also has drivel in regards to the people all had to go to the place of their ancestors to be counted, not supported by history.

Luke and Matthew differ in what occurred after the birth of Jesus as well. Matt says they fled Herod's soldiers to Egypt and Luke says they went home to Nazareth after the Temple ceremony for circumcision.

Luke has Satan tempting Jesus in the desert, a possible reality ending situation for him if Jesus was part of God and stupid as well. Jesus could have had a value meal zapped from the future to eat if he was god and eradicated Satan out of this dimension into the land of never was.

Luke's fishing miracle and disciple recruitment differs from other accounts.

The centurions servant is healed when the Jewish elders ask Jesus by Luke, yet in Matthew he goes himself.

John the baptist sends 2 disciples to ask Jesus if he is the one, someone must have forgot what happened on the day Jesus was supposedly baptized.

In Acts, Paul was arrested by the Romans and then about to be tortured he tells them he is a roman. Yet only a few verses later Luke writes the Romans knew Paul was a Roman and went to save him from the Jewish mob.

In Acts, the Pentecost event in receiving the Holy Ghost seems unneeded as in they had already received it from Jesus in John 21.

There are many other problems with Luke the writer including his version of the passion story.

All in all, Luke's writing should be suspiciously studied.

 

gramster wrote:

If one writer says that Paul had not gone blind, that would be a problem. If one writer says that Ananias did not cure Paul, that would be a problem. No mention of.........??? not problems. Just omissions.

Now as for Paul's "incessant whining about a hang nail", let's take a look at these "hang nail" incidents. In 2 Corinthians 11:24 Paul says that he was imprisoned, beaten with rods, in danger of death, shipwrecked 3 times, spent a day and a night in the deep, in danger from rivers, robbers, his countrymen, gentiles, hungry, thirsty, and exposed to the cold. If you call these "hang nail" experiences I would sure like to hear your life story. You should write a book.

Once again Paul's not writing to previous converts of his conversion experience is not problematic. They would likely have already known about this. I would not waste time and space writing to someone about something they already know. Most of Paul's writings are either addressing specific problems in a particular church, or about doctrine. There are a couple of brief accounts of Paul's own personal experience. These are far from being complete autobiographies. This is just one more example of using faulty logic to try to make a point based on omission.

If you suspend judgment from the beginning as a "skeptic" and a "freethinker" and look at these events, the differences give a reason to further investigate.

However, you have already shown a bias in accepting the stories that support your viewpoint, so as far as you are concerned you see nothing at all to question. Paul may or may not have experienced blindness but you seem to have blind spots. A skeptic questions everything, this is something you are not doing.

 

____________________________________________________________
"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
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More on Clement

To clarify Gramps position on Clement. At first I was reluctant to read it since you pointed out the mix of pagan and christian ideas, and your beloved author denied it's authenticity. There are many writings recommended for Gramps to read. I have not the time to read them all. Once you had convinced me to read Clement I was glad that I did. I found it quite interesting, and in no way conflicting with the rest of the NT. My reference to a "convoluted mix" came from what I was told about Clement by you.

Once again most of your points about Clement are arguments of omission. Clement does not say one thing that disputes anything in the entire NT. Throughout the NT some writers focus more on grace, other on doing good works, another on faith, another on baptism. The focus on one of these aspects does not nullify the importance of the others. So long as we are using this irrational and faulty logic we will be finding "false problems" everywhere.

Now concerning Jesus' divinity. Clement does not say Jesus was divine. He does not say He was not. I find his writings to be in complete harmony with a divine Jesus. His writings could also be in harmony with a non divine Jesus. He does not address this issue at all. That is not what he is writing about.

Now as for Clement not quoting the gospels. I do not find it odd that Clement does not quote from them. This is just one letter of antiquity that was written apparently by Clement. We don't know how many letters he wrote or what he may have said in them. This is just another faulty argument of omission.

As for the pagan ideas I tend to agree with you. The writer of Clement does seem to have some elements of pagan beliefs here. I certainly do not have a problem with this. There is no reason to believe that the writings of Clement are in any way "inspired scripture". Therefore they are only the writings of mortal man. Since is appears that much paganism crept into the church over time it is not "shocking" to see elements of it in this writing. I just don't see this as a problem.

The trinity, the passion story, salvation... Your point? There is nothing here. Just speculation based on omission. As you say, by reading this letter one would not know how Jesus died. One would not have much but sketchy fragments of any theology at all. I find the overwhelming majority of the letter quite in harmony with the rest of the NT. Certainly not in any way in dispute. Let me know if you find any real issues. Issues that are not based on omission and speculation.


pauljohntheskeptic
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gramster wrote:Satan related

gramster wrote:

Satan related incidents? I am still not sure what point you are trying to make. to "turn people from the power of Satan to God". This quite naturally seems to be the whole purpose of ministry. By "muddled", I mean that I fail to see a problem here. Yes, Paul does mention Satan. He certainly was not the first to do so, and also was not the last. You will have to point out specifically just what perceived problem is hiding in this text.

It was Luke not Paul who wrote Acts remember. Luke in his writing mentions Satan a lot. Jews and Christians look at Satan in very different ways. Don't get hung up here gramps.

gramster wrote:

Once again. I am not saying that the Herodain Jews were the ones wanting to kill Paul. Yes, it is likely as you say the "jealous Jews" that tried to kill him. This could have included the Jesus Jews but that seems unlikely to me since Paul had just been converted, the local Jesus Jews seemed to be happy about this, and it is not likely that Paul had yet the time to "make up" an alternative gospel. That being said, have it your way. If you want to believe the Jesus Jews were involved that's alright with me. One can not prove this either way. All Jealous Jews were not necessarily Jesus Jews.

Agreed, it could have been either group.

And it's not Jealous Jews but Zealous. Are you a bit anti-Jewish?

The Jews who were Zealous in regards to the Law were found as both Jesus and Jewish only Jews, agreed.

gramster wrote:

I am not saying that Aretas was a Jesus Jew, or in "cahoots" with any Jews. Aretas could likely be acting as you say on his own trying to catch Paul the "trouble maker". This would account for the two different versions of this story. One account focuses on the Jealous Jews, and the other on Aretas. I am inclined to agree with you on this.

Luke as I mentioned in my last post is not always very consistent in regards to other books of the NT.

gramster wrote:

As to the Herodian Jews, it is not unlikely that they may have had their hopes on Saul's arrival and his help in "taking care" of those "pesky" Jesus Jews. When he switched sides they may have been a bit miffed as well. There is really no way of knowing if they were involved in this or not. It really doesn't matter. There are plenty of options already that could account for who it was that was "after Paul".

True, Paul was not liked by many at this point.

gramster wrote:

Now as to Paul's numerous incidents of "persecution", this is not a problem in light of the rest of the NT. There are also accounts of Jesus' unpopularity with the Jewish leaders, and Him stirring up "mobs". There are also accounts of the disciples getting themselves into plenty of trouble over preaching the gospel. I am amazed at what lengths speculation is built upon speculation in attempts to discredit the bible.

What independent writer of the time period from 30 to 60 CE outside of the NT accounts wrote anything in regard to Jesus and the disciples?

Source, name of author, approximate date?

____________________________________________________________
"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.