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.

 


pauljohntheskeptic
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gramster wrote:To clarify

gramster wrote:

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.

Maccoby is but one of many authors I have read, this does not mean I agree with 100% of his conclusions just because I have read his work. He has many good points but also has some conflicting thoughts as well. A good "skeptic" considers aspects from as many angles as possible and Maccoby is but one.

I'm sorry you misunderstood Clement at first, though you should have been willing to read it anyway to get perspective regardless.

gramster wrote:

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.

As an engineer and an accountant, I piece together an audit trail as I investigate anything. The pieces are all evidence in one way or the other.

From Clement we learn that a lot of the Pauline influence is not as prevalent in 95 CE when it was written. It is a snapshot of the times and contains an important look, though not the only one.

gramster wrote:

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.

Whether or not Jesus was divine was argued in the early church for 100s of years among different factions and indicates widespread agreement had not been reached.

gramster wrote:

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.

It is another piece to add to the investigation is what it is. Lack of mention is interesting. When the author is questioning the Church in Corinth in regard to dissension, a unifying force of the Gospels could have been all he needed. Since he did not, it adds to the wonderment of just how much exposure the Gospel books had at the time.

gramster wrote:

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.

Paganism is still in the Church.

gramster wrote:

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.

As Clement is a writer of the period it gives a look from another angle. It is interesting to note his approach is not much different than a regular Jew of the time except in the occasional reference to Jesus.

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

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


gramster
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Back to Daniel

As for the apparent "confusion" regarding the ancient history of Babylon and Persia, we need to take a closer look. All of the arguments you are using here are outdated and have been invalidated by the bibles best friend (archeology).

First about the captivity of Daniel. The first raid by Nebuchadnezzar taking Jewish captives was on his way to do battle with Egypt, Persia, and Coele Syria. See Josephus quotes from Berosus who states that Nebuchadnezzar was ordered by Nabopolassar to wage war with the above countries. Having completed his mission he received word of the death of his father Nabopolassar. Leaving the captives with his generals, among whom Jews are mentioned, he hurried back to take the throne. These Jewish captives came from somewhere. The death of Nabopolassar is dated to be July or early August 605 BC. Sources come from ancient clay tablets or just go to wickipidia if you please.

As for Daniel claiming that Darius the Mede invaded Babylon you are mistaken. Daniel 5:30 "In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldians slain" vs 31 "And Darius the median took the kingdom being about threescore and two years old." There is no mention of Darius from secular sources so far discovered. However until fairly recent the existence of Belshazzar was also questioned and now is no longer questioned.

The text "And Darius the median took the throne" suggests that Darius took the throne sometime following the invasion by Cyrus. His short reign over Babylon is probably due to his advanced age at that time. It would also account to why his existence would be difficult to verify in history. He is only mentioned in the bible Ezra 4:24 (as the king of Persia).

As for the reign of Belshazzar recent history has also confirmed this. Nabonidus and Belshazzar were coregents. Many cuneiform texts have been discovered that shed light on this. a collection of which came to light in 1929 under the title Nabonidus and Belshazzar. (New Haven, 1929, 216 pp.). 

There is also much information about the somewhat confusing geneologies in regards to Belshazzar. A good study into this also clears up much of the so called problems sometimes associated with the texts in Daniel. The exact relation that existed between Belshazzar and Nebuchadnezzar is still not clear. Some of the possible explanations that have been promoted are Belshazzar being another name used by Evil-Merodach, a brother of Evil-Merodach, a son of Evil-Merodach (therefore being the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar), another name for Nergal-shar-usur, Neb's son in law, another name for Labashi-Marduk, Nergal-shar-usur's son, another name for Nabonidus, and the son of Nabonidus and a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar. It must be noted that the term commonly interpreted as son could easily refer to an ancestor or other relative. He could even have been a son in law.

There is more of a problem in how a 2nd century writer would have known so much of those times that we are just now uncovering. It would seem likely that a 2nd century writer would have inserted different names for the rulers of that time that would have been universally recognized in that era.

Hopefully we won't spend weeks arguing the fragmented points of ancient history. Let's move forward to the content of this prophetic book.

 


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gramster wrote:As for the

gramster wrote:

As for the apparent "confusion" regarding the ancient history of Babylon and Persia, we need to take a closer look. All of the arguments you are using here are outdated and have been invalidated by the bibles best friend (archeology).

First about the captivity of Daniel. The first raid by Nebuchadnezzar taking Jewish captives was on his way to do battle with Egypt, Persia, and Coele Syria. See Josephus quotes from Berosus who states that Nebuchadnezzar was ordered by Nabopolassar to wage war with the above countries. Having completed his mission he received word of the death of his father Nabopolassar. Leaving the captives with his generals, among whom Jews are mentioned, he hurried back to take the throne. These Jewish captives came from somewhere. The death of Nabopolassar is dated to be July or early August 605 BC. Sources come from ancient clay tablets or just go to wickipidia if you please.

As for Daniel claiming that Darius the Mede invaded Babylon you are mistaken. Daniel 5:30 "In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldians slain" vs 31 "And Darius the median took the kingdom being about threescore and two years old." There is no mention of Darius from secular sources so far discovered. However until fairly recent the existence of Belshazzar was also questioned and now is no longer questioned.

The text "And Darius the median took the throne" suggests that Darius took the throne sometime following the invasion by Cyrus. His short reign over Babylon is probably due to his advanced age at that time. It would also account to why his existence would be difficult to verify in history. He is only mentioned in the bible Ezra 4:24 (as the king of Persia).

As for the reign of Belshazzar recent history has also confirmed this. Nabonidus and Belshazzar were coregents. Many cuneiform texts have been discovered that shed light on this. a collection of which came to light in 1929 under the title Nabonidus and Belshazzar. (New Haven, 1929, 216 pp.). 

There is also much information about the somewhat confusing geneologies in regards to Belshazzar. A good study into this also clears up much of the so called problems sometimes associated with the texts in Daniel. The exact relation that existed between Belshazzar and Nebuchadnezzar is still not clear. Some of the possible explanations that have been promoted are Belshazzar being another name used by Evil-Merodach, a brother of Evil-Merodach, a son of Evil-Merodach (therefore being the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar), another name for Nergal-shar-usur, Neb's son in law, another name for Labashi-Marduk, Nergal-shar-usur's son, another name for Nabonidus, and the son of Nabonidus and a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar. It must be noted that the term commonly interpreted as son could easily refer to an ancestor or other relative. He could even have been a son in law.

There is more of a problem in how a 2nd century writer would have known so much of those times that we are just now uncovering. It would seem likely that a 2nd century writer would have inserted different names for the rulers of that time that would have been universally recognized in that era.

Hopefully we won't spend weeks arguing the fragmented points of ancient history. Let's move forward to the content of this prophetic book.

 

If the history is dubious, it is likely the prophecies will be more so.

I've already put up some stuff on Daniel's "dream". I guess you weren't through having PJTS slap you around on Paul and Clement.

Why go to Josephus if there is information from the time period? If there is proof that the book was written prior to the 2nd century BCE, why use a document from the late 1st century CE (especially one that is admittedly using Scripture as its base ?

"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:As for the

gramster wrote:

As for the apparent "confusion" regarding the ancient history of Babylon and Persia, we need to take a closer look. All of the arguments you are using here are outdated and have been invalidated by the bibles best friend (archeology).

So please quote the archealogy that so out dates Roux for example, published in 1992, 3rd edition. Using Wisemen-Chronicles, 1985, Boyd & Boase-Nebuchadnezzar,1972, Wiseman-Nebuchadnezzar & Babylon, 1985 in regards to Babylon. 

gramster wrote:

First about the captivity of Daniel. The first raid by Nebuchadnezzar taking Jewish captives was on his way to do battle with Egypt, Persia, and Coele Syria. See Josephus quotes from Berosus who states that Nebuchadnezzar was ordered by Nabopolassar to wage war with the above countries. Having completed his mission he received word of the death of his father Nabopolassar. Leaving the captives with his generals, among whom Jews are mentioned, he hurried back to take the throne. These Jewish captives came from somewhere. The death of Nabopolassar is dated to be July or early August 605 BC. Sources come from ancient clay tablets or just go to wickipidia if you please.

If you go with the 605 date as the origin and Cyrus' degree in 537 BCE that they could return, Jeremiah's 70 year captivity is still only 68 years.

My point of 597 was that was when Jerusalem was sacked and captives taken. 

Not to be overlooked is in 604 BCE Nebuchadnezzar returned to Syria-Palestine and took tribute from Jerusalem, Damascus, Tyre, and Sidon. Daniel could have been part of the booty I suppose.

gramster wrote:

As for Daniel claiming that Darius the Mede invaded Babylon you are mistaken. Daniel 5:30 "In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldians slain" vs 31 "And Darius the median took the kingdom being about threescore and two years old." There is no mention of Darius from secular sources so far discovered. However until fairly recent the existence of Belshazzar was also questioned and now is no longer questioned.

You have written some confusing stuff here.

There is plenty of mention of Darius from secular sources- 

See Wiki yourself - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behistun_Inscription and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darius_I_of_Persia

The Behistun Inscriptions in Iran is a very substantial mention of Darius near the city of Kermanshah in western Iran. Pretty hard to miss.

Darius was born in 550 BCE and became king in 522 BCE when he was 28 years old. He ruled until 486 BCE or for about 36 years.

So I don't get this below where you say he had a short reign due to his advanced age. The age quoted in Daniel 5:31 is erronous.

gramster wrote:

The text "And Darius the median took the throne" suggests that Darius took the throne sometime following the invasion by Cyrus. His short reign over Babylon is probably due to his advanced age at that time. It would also account to why his existence would be difficult to verify in history.

Cyrus the Great ruled the Persian Empire for 30 years, 560 to 530 BCE. He was born in either 600 or 576 BCE, some doubt on his birthday. After Babylon was captured in 539 he ruled 8 more years which is not a short period as you claim. His son was Cambyses II who ruled for almost 8 years. According to Herodotus, 7 years and 5 months.

You can easliy see this in wiki - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_the_Great and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambyses_II

gramster wrote:

He is only mentioned in the bible Ezra 4:24 (as the king of Persia).

But he is mentioned in secular writing in many places including the major inscription mentioned above.

gramster wrote:

As for the reign of Belshazzar recent history has also confirmed this. Nabonidus and Belshazzar were coregents. Many cuneiform texts have been discovered that shed light on this. a collection of which came to light in 1929 under the title Nabonidus and Belshazzar. (New Haven, 1929, 216 pp.).

Many tablets and cylinders confirm Nabonidus was king. Belshazzar was ruling as a regent for his father in Babylon but was not king.  And again you spread only that which you think supports your scripture.

Nabonidus is well documented but there is doubts in regard to his end - See wiki again - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nabonidus His son Belshazzar did rule in babylon but not as king, possibly as a regent. Since he wasn't the king the New Years Festival for Marduk was not held in Nabonidus' absence, see - The Chronicle of Nabonidus - http://www.livius.org/ct-cz/cyrus_I/babylon02.html#17

gramster wrote:

There is also much information about the somewhat confusing geneologies in regards to Belshazzar. A good study into this also clears up much of the so called problems sometimes associated with the texts in Daniel. The exact relation that existed between Belshazzar and Nebuchadnezzar is still not clear. Some of the possible explanations that have been promoted are Belshazzar being another name used by Evil-Merodach, a brother of Evil-Merodach, a son of Evil-Merodach (therefore being the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar), another name for Nergal-shar-usur, Neb's son in law, another name for Labashi-Marduk, Nergal-shar-usur's son, another name for Nabonidus, and the son of Nabonidus and a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar. It must be noted that the term commonly interpreted as son could easily refer to an ancestor or other relative. He could even have been a son in law.

Lots of conjecture and nothing to back it up. What's your source? Because this is not what is generally accepted from the translation of the tablets. I 'm tiring of your misrepresentations gramps.

Belshazzar and Nabonidus - see Ancient Iraq - Georges Roux pp381-387, p402. 

See - The Chronicle of Nabonidus above. See Nabonidus at http://www.livius.org/na-nd/nabonidus/nabonidus.html

 

gramster wrote:

There is more of a problem in how a 2nd century writer would have known so much of those times that we are just now uncovering. It would seem likely that a 2nd century writer would have inserted different names for the rulers of that time that would have been universally recognized in that era.

Hopefully we won't spend weeks arguing the fragmented points of ancient history. Let's move forward to the content of this prophetic book.

 

You do mean 2nd century BCE right?

You may be right that Darius who was much more well known than Cyrus to the Jews may have been used by the writer of Daniel erronously.

No we won't spend weeks arguing, I'm tiring of your misrepresentations already.

____________________________________________________________
"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:The first

 

gramster wrote:


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.


 
Or he is the Mothman and has an angle from another dimension.
 
Or this is all Apocalyptic drivel.
 
gramster wrote:

 
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.


 
Since this story is set in the Babylonian period that's a good guess.
 
gramster wrote:

 
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.

 
There are several other choices as well for the 6th century BCE.
 
Egypt - As this dream supposedly occurred in about 603-4 BCE, Egypt was still quite powerful. In 609 Egypt campaigned up to the Euphrates. In 605 BCE they were defeated by Nebuchadnezzar at Carchemish but not invaded or conquered.  In the 580s BCE, they were invaded by Babylon. Egypt continued thereafter until Persia invaded them in 525 BCE.
 
Lydia - Located in what is now western Turkey it survived until defeated by Cyrus II in 546 BCE. - see - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lydia
 
Sparta - One of the most powerful Greek City States - beginning its ascent o power in about 650 BCE it was one of the 4 major powers that opposed Persian ambition in the 6th century BCE along with Lydia, Egypt and Babylon. When Lydia fell in 546 BCE the coalition came apart.
 
If the book of Daniel was written in the 2nd century BCE the history of the time would have the Persian Empire, followed by Alexander, which separated into the Seleucid and Ptolemies and were both quite substantial world powers.
 

 
gramster wrote:

 
The third kingdom would be Greece,

 
I assume you must mean Alexander and Macedonia unless you consider the alliance of Greek City States to be a country called Greece when they fought against the Persians in the 5th century BCE, which it wasn't
 
gramster wrote:

 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.

 
Already by this point I find complete disagreement with all you have claimed and your simple analysis of complex history and politics.
 
gramster wrote:

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.

 
As some form of the Roman Empire remained until the Crusaders sacked Constantinople in 1204, I'd disagree with your dating. Formally the Roman Empire ends in 1461 when the Ottoman Turks that you also ignore conquered it.
 
gramster wrote:

 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 Roman Empire endured from about the 3rd century BCE until 1461 CE a very long time.
 
Daniel's kingdom that won't be destroyed is part of the kingdom of God on Earth idea.
 
gramster wrote:

 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.

 
Since you choose to ignore all history in regards to the Byzantines and Muslim Caliphs you have created yourself a story to fit you perceived understanding.
The Muslims which you ignored,  created a vast area of influence from Indonesia to Spain. Yet, you don't see it as anything of significance as it doesn't fit too well into your prophecies that your perceive from Daniel.
 
gramster wrote:

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.

 
This could also be discussing the breakup of Alexander of Macedonia's Empire into multiple kingdoms, easily done, as it had already occurred when this historical prophecy had been written.
 
The reality is in either the 6th century BCE or in the 2nd century BCE, the writer did not use the word Rome, you did in your attempt to stuff puzzle pieces into your perception of a supposed prophecy.
 
Why can't this be the breakup of Alexander's empire, which exceeded all of Caesar's conquests.
 
Or the breakup of the Muslim conquests, which are divided into many counties.
 
Or we can go New World, the breakup of the Spanish Empire's conquests into many dozens of countries.
 
Or the breakup of the British Empire.
 
gramster wrote:

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.


 
You think Kaiser Wilhelm fought to unify Europe?
 
You think the me too Italian wanna be Mussolini wanted to unify Europe?
 
The Kaiser's aim in WWI was to support his treaty obligations not conquer the world.
 
See Wiki - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_II,_German_Emperor
 
Mussolini goals were to rebuild the empire - see wiki at least - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benito_Mussolini
 
 
Hitler didn't fight to unify Europe but to dominate the world. Please read Mein Kamp at least to see what the madman really advocated.
 
gramster wrote:

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.


 
Your avoidance of the Muslim conquests, China, and the major powers at the time these supposed prophecies were made enables you to

custom fit your perceptions into your version of reality to make false claims of prophecy.
 
China, overlooked by most Westerners, including you obviously was one of the largest empires at various times.

- see history of China  for a minimal understanding - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_China
See wiki for the size of the Muslim Empire - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_conquests
 

____________________________________________________________
"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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Apology

My apologies.

Yes, I know you posted in regards to Daniel. I was not ignoring you. As you say, I was not yet through "slapping" PJTS around on Paul and Clement.

Every point brought up by PJTS in regards to Paul and Clement were shown clearly to be nothing more than speculation and the faulty logic of omission. At least Gramps has finally learned what "uncommon" sense actually means. I speculate therefore I win. Evidence is replaced by fiction, and arguments of omission are considered to be a force to be reckoned with. Now that was quite a thrashing. Uncommon sense is no sense at all. As for me I will stick to common sense.

PJTS did bring up some points to think about. But that's all. He proved nothing. His last post on this subject brought up a new laundry list of alleged problems. I have not yet answered this since I have so much to tackle in Daniel. I guess I will have to get back to that later. Otherwise we will never get to Daniel.

As for your post and Daniel I will be getting to that shortly. I will be returning the Macobby Myth, and checking out some of the sources recommended on the history of Iraq etc. Than we will go point by point and sort out fact from fiction or speculation.

Gramps


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gramster wrote:PJTS did

gramster wrote:

PJTS did bring up some points to think about. But that's all. He proved nothing. His last post on this subject brought up a new laundry list of alleged problems. I have not yet answered this since I have so much to tackle in Daniel. I guess I will have to get back to that later. Otherwise we will never get to Daniel.

Lol, that's the most arrogant admission of defeat I've ever read on this forum.

 


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Let's get started

Dear Mr Gadfly,

The last post was in answer to this one. I hope it shows up. I highlighted and replied but somehow this did not show up. I will be going down the Daniel related posts in order and examining each point. We could all save a lot of time if those posting would refrain from throwing out garbage they know is based on speculation and faulty logic like so much of the Paul stuff. I know that is probably too much to ask.

This post is in response to your post #230. This one pretty much just helps us to "set the stage" and clarify the debate. You mentioned the Modern Critical Bible Society which originated out of rationalism and attempts to prove the bible is just a human document. You also refer to "the majority of bible scholars".

When references like these are made Gramps will interpret this to mean "those bible scholars who have an agenda to debunk the notion of God's hand in the writing of the bible" and "those bible scholars who happen to agree with your world view". These are the ones who place the writing of Daniel in the 2nd century BC. And there's no point in trying to make a distinction between BC and BCE since the only real difference is in reference in whether or not you believe in God. Since Gramps does he uses BC.

As for Vaticinia ex eventu - I find this a very interesting piece of speculation. This is the kind of stuff people come up with when they are grasping at straws and have nowhere else to go. The whole concept seems absolutely absurd. I can just imagine the gymnastics he must have done to come up with this one. But since there is as of yet no reason to take this as anything but speculation I will let it go at that.

It looks like a good examination of the book of Daniel and the claims of it's historical inaccuracy is the place we will begin since so many claims have been made. I will pick up there when we continue.

See you than.

Gramps

 


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gramster wrote:Dear Mr

gramster wrote:

Dear Mr Gadfly,

The last post was in answer to this one. I hope it shows up. I highlighted and replied but somehow this did not show up. I will be going down the Daniel related posts in order and examining each point. We could all save a lot of time if those posting would refrain from throwing out garbage they know is based on speculation and faulty logic like so much of the Paul stuff. I know that is probably too much to ask.

This post is in response to your post #230. This one pretty much just helps us to "set the stage" and clarify the debate. You mentioned the Modern Critical Bible Society which originated out of rationalism and attempts to prove the bible is just a human document. You also refer to "the majority of bible scholars".

When references like these are made Gramps will interpret this to mean "those bible scholars who have an agenda to debunk the notion of God's hand in the writing of the bible" and "those bible scholars who happen to agree with your world view". These are the ones who place the writing of Daniel in the 2nd century BC. And there's no point in trying to make a distinction between BC and BCE since the only real difference is in reference in whether or not you believe in God. Since Gramps does he uses BC.

As for Vaticinia ex eventu - I find this a very interesting piece of speculation. This is the kind of stuff people come up with when they are grasping at straws and have nowhere else to go. The whole concept seems absolutely absurd. I can just imagine the gymnastics he must have done to come up with this one. But since there is as of yet no reason to take this as anything but speculation I will let it go at that.

It looks like a good examination of the book of Daniel and the claims of it's historical inaccuracy is the place we will begin since so many claims have been made. I will pick up there when we continue.

See you than.

Gramps

 

Put simply, you have your own interpretation and screw anything else that could possibly raise a question.

Thank you for revealing that discussion is pointless with you. I guess it can be safely concluded that thinking scares you. Don't worry, I'll try not to make you do too much more of it.

As for the BC/BCE thing, one of your posts gave the impression that you meant that Daniel was written in the 2nd century CE (AD if you will). Just wanted to make sure you weren't attacking a position no one was taking.

If you are going to continue, may I ask two things?

1. Would you mind using legitimate examples this time? Not like you did with Maccoby when what you wrote could be distilled into "So Paul and the writer of Acts couldn't get their stories straight! Both accounts are in the Bible so they both must be true!"

2. I see you slipping out of it in this post but I'd really like you to stop referring to yourself in the third person. All you really do is come off as a pretentious twat.

"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


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Legitimate examples

First I want to clarify what post I had been answering to above. I had highlighted it for a reply but it did not show up. It was your short post #253.

Thinking doesn't scare me. Accepting gross speculation and arguments of omission as evidence and fact however is not something I am going to do. Maybe that scares you since so much of the arguments thus far have been based on this. If you go too far into speculation you leave reality altogether. You can create your own reality and rewrite history. That is what I have a problem with.

You do not seem to have the mental ability to understand the simple and basic principles of good logic. I have never contended that anything is true because it is in the bible. You however seem to contend that if it is in the bible it is not. My points about the Paul controversy were plain, consistent and logical. There was not one example of supposed problems regarding Paul that was not based on either speculation or faulty arguments of omission. Speculation can give one something to think about but that is all. Arguments of omission are not rational. When it comes to proving something this just does not cut the muster.

As for referring to myself in the third person grandparents do it all the time. There sure must be a lot of pretentious twats out there. But if it bothers you so much I will try to refrain.

BC BCE CE AD not a problem. I will use only AD and BC. You can use whatever you like.


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Let's try again

For some reason the posts I have been responding to are not showing up. I am doing what I always have. I highlight a section of text to respond to, click on respond, write my response, and post. I will try again. If this does not work I will have to try another computer. This problem makes it more difficult to follow logical discussion. Well here we go.


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gramster wrote:First I want

gramster wrote:

First I want to clarify what post I had been answering to above. I had highlighted it for a reply but it did not show up. It was your short post #253.

Thinking doesn't scare me. Accepting gross speculation and arguments of omission as evidence and fact however is not something I am going to do. Maybe that scares you since so much of the arguments thus far have been based on this. If you go too far into speculation you leave reality altogether. You can create your own reality and rewrite history. That is what I have a problem with.

You do not seem to have the mental ability to understand the simple and basic principles of good logic. I have never contended that anything is true because it is in the bible. You however seem to contend that if it is in the bible it is not. My points about the Paul controversy were plain, consistent and logical. There was not one example of supposed problems regarding Paul that was not based on either speculation or faulty arguments of omission. Speculation can give one something to think about but that is all. Arguments of omission are not rational. When it comes to proving something this just does not cut the muster.

As for referring to myself in the third person grandparents do it all the time. There sure must be a lot of pretentious twats out there. But if it bothers you so much I will try to refrain.

BC BCE CE AD not a problem. I will use only AD and BC. You can use whatever you like.

No, I contend that if there is conflicting information in the Bible there is cause to question it. You often prefaced your contra Maccoby stuff with "If we throw out the whole NT..." as though you were claiming it as history and using no other sources. The problem yo have is that you don't want to accept speculation and arguments that aren't your own. In case you haven't noticed, you've brought less to the table than Maccoby did.

"There was not one example of supposed problems regarding Paul that was not based on either speculation or faulty arguments of omission." And somehow you failed to list them - why is that? You tended to say things like "Maccoby is wrong because Paul wrote <x>" while forgetting that the writer of Luke/Acts wrote differently. When that's brought to your attention somehow it magically doesn't matter to you. it becomes an "error of omission" not "The writer of Acts couldn't get the story straight with the source material in front of him. Paul had issues remembering this miraculous event himself" There aren't just arguments of omission - there are also flat out contradictions that you have to lie about as well. You're doing well at that. Paul's Jesus would be proud.

As you are not my grandparent (Mine are either dead or don't know who I am thanks to the Alzheimer's your god was kind enough to create). It makes you sound pretentious, as though you are here to teach when you should be learning.

Oh, and fuck off. Congratulations, there aren't many people who manage to get that out of me. You've managed to not think enough to achieve that goal.

 

"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


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gramster wrote:First I want

gramster wrote:

First I want to clarify what post I had been answering to above. I had highlighted it for a reply but it did not show up. It was your short post #253.

Thinking doesn't scare me. Accepting gross speculation and arguments of omission as evidence and fact however is not something I am going to do. Maybe that scares you since so much of the arguments thus far have been based on this. If you go too far into speculation you leave reality altogether. You can create your own reality and rewrite history. That is what I have a problem with.

You do not seem to have the mental ability to understand the simple and basic principles of good logic. I have never contended that anything is true because it is in the bible. You however seem to contend that if it is in the bible it is not. My points about the Paul controversy were plain, consistent and logical. There was not one example of supposed problems regarding Paul that was not based on either speculation or faulty arguments of omission. Speculation can give one something to think about but that is all. Arguments of omission are not rational. When it comes to proving something this just does not cut the muster.

As for referring to myself in the third person grandparents do it all the time. There sure must be a lot of pretentious twats out there. But if it bothers you so much I will try to refrain.

BC BCE CE AD not a problem. I will use only AD and BC. You can use whatever you like.

What I get from this is you are unwilling to detach yourself from your beliefs to examine them objectively. You assume that your beliefs are true instead of taking the position of neutrality and evaluating the information and developing an audit trail. If you take a biased position as you have done, you can't see anything objectively and do as you have shown in regards to Paul, Clement, and now Daniel. 

When Paul and Luke disagree, you whitewash it with there must have been 2 groups trying to kill Paul. When Clement doesn't support Paulinity's divinity or uses OT arguments, you see no problems. When the accuracy of Daniel is called into question in regards to  errors of history you deny that is the case and try to paint over it.

Instead you should have launched an in depth investigation into the many issues that were mentioned and made a chart of the problems. Then each issue should be critically examined as to origins. But, no, you instead misrepresent and continue to wear your blinders and demonstrate your inability as a skeptic or a critical auditor. What you have shown is you are a hard core believer who won't think for yourself. You are most welcome to do that but that certainly isn't objective research or thinking.

The approach should be in examination of these documents is it may or may not be true. In examining Daniel versus Nabonidus, Cyrus, Darius one must consider what was gained or lost by each account. In other words, what was Daniel trying to accomplish with his story in regard to Nebuchadnezzar and Belshalzzar? Why would inscriptions in Iran in regard to Darius not agree with Daniel? What did Darius have to gain? Naboniidus and Cyrus accounts differing with Daniel in many ways gains what for Cyrus and Nabonidus versus what it does for Daniel. You seem unable to understand how to critically examine ancient documents to determine which to accept when they are in conflict. Instead you misrepresent and dodge. This will get you nowhere. In the end, you are lying to yourself. Your choice Gramps.

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

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


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

gramster wrote:

First I want to clarify what post I had been answering to above. I had highlighted it for a reply but it did not show up. It was your short post #253.

Thinking doesn't scare me. Accepting gross speculation and arguments of omission as evidence and fact however is not something I am going to do. Maybe that scares you since so much of the arguments thus far have been based on this. If you go too far into speculation you leave reality altogether. You can create your own reality and rewrite history. That is what I have a problem with.

You do not seem to have the mental ability to understand the simple and basic principles of good logic. I have never contended that anything is true because it is in the bible. You however seem to contend that if it is in the bible it is not. My points about the Paul controversy were plain, consistent and logical. There was not one example of supposed problems regarding Paul that was not based on either speculation or faulty arguments of omission. Speculation can give one something to think about but that is all. Arguments of omission are not rational. When it comes to proving something this just does not cut the muster.

As for referring to myself in the third person grandparents do it all the time. There sure must be a lot of pretentious twats out there. But if it bothers you so much I will try to refrain.

BC BCE CE AD not a problem. I will use only AD and BC. You can use whatever you like.

What I get from this is you are unwilling to detach yourself from your beliefs to examine them objectively. You assume that your beliefs are true instead of taking the position of neutrality and evaluating the information and developing an audit trail. If you take a biased position as you have done, you can't see anything objectively and do as you have shown in regards to Paul, Clement, and now Daniel. 

When Paul and Luke disagree, you whitewash it with there must have been 2 groups trying to kill Paul. When Clement doesn't support Paulinity's divinity or uses OT arguments, you see no problems. When the accuracy of Daniel is called into question in regards to  errors of history you deny that is the case and try to paint over it.

Instead you should have launched an in depth investigation into the many issues that were mentioned and made a chart of the problems. Then each issue should be critically examined as to origins. But, no, you instead misrepresent and continue to wear your blinders and demonstrate your inability as a skeptic or a critical auditor. What you have shown is you are a hard core believer who won't think for yourself. You are most welcome to do that but that certainly isn't objective research or thinking.

The approach should be in examination of these documents is it may or may not be true. In examining Daniel versus Nabonidus, Cyrus, Darius one must consider what was gained or lost by each account. In other words, what was Daniel trying to accomplish with his story in regard to Nebuchadnezzar and Belshalzzar? Why would inscriptions in Iran in regard to Darius not agree with Daniel? What did Darius have to gain? Naboniidus and Cyrus accounts differing with Daniel in many ways gains what for Cyrus and Nabonidus versus what it does for Daniel. You seem unable to understand how to critically examine ancient documents to determine which to accept when they are in conflict. Instead you misrepresent and dodge. This will get you nowhere. In the end, you are lying to yourself. Your choice Gramps.

I figure that about now he'll claim "persecution" and run off to his friends to talk about how he handled the "big bad scary atheists".

"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


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jcgadfly wrote: I figure

jcgadfly wrote:

 

I figure that about now he'll claim "persecution" and run off to his friends to talk about how he handled the "big bad scary atheists".

Or his computer is broken and he'll disappear.

If he stays, I'd really like to see him learn how to critically examine the issues and documents, though that may be to much to hope for.

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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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Conflicting Information

Just in case the highlighted text I am responding to does not show up this is in response to Mr Gadfly's #262. I am at a different computer so we will see.

I fully agree. IF there is CONFLICTING information in the bible there is indeed cause to question it. The problem is that nobody has of yet pointed out CONFLICTING information. It is not RATIONAL to argue that if two different accounts are not identical that makes them conflicting, but if they are identical than one has been copied. You don't understand the meaning of the term conflicting. It does not mean slightly different.

When attempting to PROVE a document has ERRORS and is therefore FLAWED one has to have good solid standards to go by. SPECULATION will not do. If all you are trying to point out is that the bible "might" not be accurate than speculation is good enough. It is true that there are examples in the bible that may fit that "might not" category. You are the one trying to PROVE contradiction. YOU need to give at least one solid example that is better than a might or might not. Thus far you have FAILED. That is probably why you are getting so frustrated.

As for not bringing near as much BS to the table as Maccoby, that is correct. He wrote a whole book of it. I do not need to write a book. I am simply waiting for some solid evidence of CONTRADICTION which I have yet to see. It does not matter what I believe or do not. The standard is the same.


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gramster wrote:Just in case

gramster wrote:

Just in case the highlighted text I am responding to does not show up this is in response to Mr Gadfly's #262. I am at a different computer so we will see.

I fully agree. IF there is CONFLICTING information in the bible there is indeed cause to question it. The problem is that nobody has of yet pointed out CONFLICTING information. It is not RATIONAL to argue that if two different accounts are not identical that makes them conflicting, but if they are identical than one has been copied. You don't understand the meaning of the term conflicting. It does not mean slightly different.

When attempting to PROVE a document has ERRORS and is therefore FLAWED one has to have good solid standards to go by. SPECULATION will not do. If all you are trying to point out is that the bible "might" not be accurate than speculation is good enough. It is true that there are examples in the bible that may fit that "might not" category. You are the one trying to PROVE contradiction. YOU need to give at least one solid example that is better than a might or might not. Thus far you have FAILED. That is probably why you are getting so frustrated.

As for not bringing near as much BS to the table as Maccoby, that is correct. He wrote a whole book of it. I do not need to write a book. I am simply waiting for some solid evidence of CONTRADICTION which I have yet to see. It does not matter what I believe or do not. The standard is the same.

Or it's just that you don't (and won't) SEE it.

Now that I see facts and exposition = BS to you (especially when we see the rampant speculation you brought), why should I continue to talk to you, silly boy?  I mean, really, can you call it anything but BS when all you bring to counter Maccoby is Paul's accounts and the accounts in Acts (the accounts that are under dispute)?

I appreciate that you take the time to play with me. I guess it's because you know that PJTS has you beaten.

"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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Conflictiing Information

Instead of just blubbering and posting why can't you give me at least one example of CONFLICTING INFORMATION in the writings concerning Paul? It was not me that brought up Paul. I was simply responding to claims made that have not as of yet been backed up by anything more than speculation and faulty logic. You might want to look up the word conflict in the dictionary since you don't seem to know what it means.

Conflict: 1. fight, struggle 2. direct opposition, disagreement, clash 3. be directly opposed, disagree, clash

First the accounts of Paul are brought up as being conflicting. Now when you and PJTS are unable to back up those claims you say that I brought this to the counter and they are under dispute. Before you or PJTS make a claim keep in mind that I am going to challenge you to back these claims up. And if that causes you to cut and run what can I say.

I suppose that my refusing to accept speculation and faulty logic as fact or proof constitutes rampant speculation. I hold myself to the same standards that I expect of you. If you can't handle that than go ahead and run.


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gramster wrote:Instead of

gramster wrote:

Instead of just blubbering and posting why can't you give me at least one example of CONFLICTING INFORMATION in the writings concerning Paul? It was not me that brought up Paul. I was simply responding to claims made that have not as of yet been backed up by anything more than speculation and faulty logic. You might want to look up the word conflict in the dictionary since you don't seem to know what it means.

Conflict: 1. fight, struggle 2. direct opposition, disagreement, clash 3. be directly opposed, disagree, clash

First the accounts of Paul are brought up as being conflicting. Now when you and PJTS are unable to back up those claims you say that I brought this to the counter and they are under dispute. Before you or PJTS make a claim keep in mind that I am going to challenge you to back these claims up. And if that causes you to cut and run what can I say.

I suppose that my refusing to accept speculation and faulty logic as fact or proof constitutes rampant speculation. I hold myself to the same standards that I expect of you. If you can't handle that than go ahead and run.

No, your speculation that the Bible is right because you say it is is all I need for that.

Since you gloss over the author contradictions as "errors of omission" (note: you don't deny that those are errors, just that you don't think they're worth your time), let's look at a big problem - forgiveness.

In the OT, forgiveness came with a cost. I don't mean sacrifices. In this case, I mean repentance and restitution. Admittedly the restitution often didn't fit the offense ("forcing" a rapist to marry his victim) but it was there. Jesus preached an active gospel of repentance accompanying forgiveness.

Paul, I guess, got lazy. He replaced repentance and restitution with asking God for forgiveness and believing that you got it. One didn't even have to be sincere in the asking because Paul changed it from "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." to "You are under grace and not under law...where there is no law there is no transgression". This even contradicts what Paul wrote later in Romans...wow two birds with one stone.

Did Paul just "omit repentance?

 

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gramster wrote:Instead of

gramster wrote:

Instead of just blubbering and posting why can't you give me at least one example of CONFLICTING INFORMATION in the writings concerning Paul? It was not me that brought up Paul. I was simply responding to claims made that have not as of yet been backed up by anything more than speculation and faulty logic. You might want to look up the word conflict in the dictionary since you don't seem to know what it means.

Conflict: 1. fight, struggle 2. direct opposition, disagreement, clash 3. be directly opposed, disagree, clash

First the accounts of Paul are brought up as being conflicting. Now when you and PJTS are unable to back up those claims you say that I brought this to the counter and they are under dispute. Before you or PJTS make a claim keep in mind that I am going to challenge you to back these claims up. And if that causes you to cut and run what can I say.

I suppose that my refusing to accept speculation and faulty logic as fact or proof constitutes rampant speculation. I hold myself to the same standards that I expect of you. If you can't handle that than go ahead and run.

Gramps,

I don't have time this morning to meticulously detail for you the errors you make in critical analysis, though I will later today and tomorrow.

Don't worry Gramps I have no intention of running from your speculation and interpretations. I have been here a long time and I'll be here long after you turn tail and run.

You are admittedly very biased as too am I. The difference is the approach we take in analysis. I make no assumption that something is necessarily true based solely on it's content. You on the other hand seem to think IMHO, that because it is written in a book you think was given by a god it is true.

For now, read again what I said in Post #263.

PJTS

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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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Back to Daniel

Mr Gadfly, This is in response to your post #240 on Daniel. As I promised to get back to you on this.

I am well aware that there are a number of scholars that separate the Median and Persian Empires trying to make this prophecy fit their own interpretations. The problem is that this just can not be the case. The Median Empire existed 612 to 549 BC. It was conquered by Cyrus of Persia thus establishing the Medo-Persian Empire which existed 550-330 BC. Babylon fell to Cyrus in 539 BC. This was clearly after the fall of the Median Empire. Therefore Media never succeeded Babylon.

Further support of this is found in Daniel 8:20 "The ram which you saw, having the two horns, they are the kings of Media and Persia". This makes it clear that in this prophecy the kingdoms of Media and Persia were viewed as one Medo-Persian power.

As to the reasons why these scholars hold these faulty views one can only speculate. Yes, I said speculate. I do not have proof of their motives. So this is where speculation comes in. This makes sense to me but maybe not to you. When I speculate I will call it that.

Writers around the 2nd century BC would likely make this mistake trying to force this prophecy to fit what they already knew. They would not as of yet known of the breakup of Rome which to them was in the future. More modern writers use this faulty interpretation to make prophecy fit their own theologies.

Here I have offered PROOF that the eschatology based on separating the two kingdoms is not valid. I speculated as to the reason why some hold to this faulty view.

Therefore if the head of gold is Babylon, the breast and arms are Medo-Persia, than the belly and thighs are Greece, and the legs are Rome. In which case the feet would have to be kingdoms that follow the breakup of Rome. This is not speculation. It is history.

There is no reason to examine the Seleucids and Ptolemies since they did not follow the break up of Rome.


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More clarity please

Mr Gadfly, this is in response to your post #269. Once again, I have never contended that the bible is right because I say so. I examine what has been claimed in these post's point by point. Once again I am glossing over nothing. Read the definition of contradiction. I am not saying the argument is not worth my time. I am clearly denying that omissions are contradictions. They can be speculated as being suspect, but that's all.

As to the issue of forgiveness the OT does mandate restitution. This was part of the theocracy that was set up in that time. The sacrificial system was also set up in that time.

After the sacrificial death of Christ a new system came into existence. Paul preached a gospel of forgiveness not on what man does but on what Jesus already did for us.

As for your chopped up quote from Paul contradicting something he wrote later you couldn't have been more muddled. I can not answer something as ill defined as this.


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gramster wrote:Mr Gadfly,

gramster wrote:

Mr Gadfly, this is in response to your post #269. Once again, I have never contended that the bible is right because I say so. I examine what has been claimed in these post's point by point. Once again I am glossing over nothing. Read the definition of contradiction. I am not saying the argument is not worth my time. I am clearly denying that omissions are contradictions. They can be speculated as being suspect, but that's all.

As to the issue of forgiveness the OT does mandate restitution. This was part of the theocracy that was set up in that time. The sacrificial system was also set up in that time.

After the sacrificial death of Christ a new system came into existence. Paul preached a gospel of forgiveness not on what man does but on what Jesus already did for us.

As for your chopped up quote from Paul contradicting something he wrote later you couldn't have been more muddled. I can not answer something as ill defined as this.

Let me clarify since those words of Paul confuse you mightily. I still don't expect you will be able to answer this. After all, I'm using speculation and faulty logic (from the Bible) and not real evidence (from your mind).

Romans 4:13-15

It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless, 15because law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.

Romans 6:14

For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

Contradiction-  Romans 6:15

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!

Paul got rid of sin for the believer - why even bother with forgiveness at all?

 

"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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Righteousness by faith

I see you have rightly given up on the previous attempts at finding contradictions in the accounts of events in the life of Paul. Now you are looking for contradictions in his theology. I appreciate that you are back to examining text and not just name calling and posting. Now let's take a look at what you are saying.

"where there is no law there is no transgression" That is correct. Transgression (sin) is breaking the law of God. If there is no law to break than there can be no breaking of the law. Thus no sin. I have never accepted the faulty theology that the law was done away with.

"For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law but grace". That is also true. We are not under the control of sin (shall not be your master), and we are not under the condemnation of the law. We are under grace. Grace being unmerited favor is something we do not earn by our actions. It is the gift of God. If we sin, because of the sacrifice of Jesus we have forgiveness and therefore are no longer condemned. We are no longer under the condemnation of the law.

The law was not done away with. Neither was sin. Our sins have been paid for by Jesus. Therefore we are no longer under the condemnation of the law. Paul did not get rid of sin for the believer. He pointed out that through grace our sins are covered. Nowhere does Paul teach that the law or sin has been done away with. Nowhere does Paul teach that we are to disregard the law. He does teach that we can keep the law more perfectly through the grace and power of Jesus.

The conflict that you see here is merely the assumption that the phrase not under the law means that the law in no longer in effect. The text does not say that. That, like other examples we have examined, has been read into the text.

If Paul had said at some point that the law has been done away with or nullified than you would have a point. But he didn't. Nice try though.

 


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gramster wrote:I see you

gramster wrote:

I see you have rightly given up on the previous attempts at finding contradictions in the accounts of events in the life of Paul. Now you are looking for contradictions in his theology. I appreciate that you are back to examining text and not just name calling and posting. Now let's take a look at what you are saying.

"where there is no law there is no transgression" That is correct. Transgression (sin) is breaking the law of God. If there is no law to break than there can be no breaking of the law. Thus no sin. I have never accepted the faulty theology that the law was done away with.

"For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law but grace". That is also true. We are not under the control of sin (shall not be your master), and we are not under the condemnation of the law. We are under grace. Grace being unmerited favor is something we do not earn by our actions. It is the gift of God. If we sin, because of the sacrifice of Jesus we have forgiveness and therefore are no longer condemned. We are no longer under the condemnation of the law.

The law was not done away with. Neither was sin. Our sins have been paid for by Jesus. Therefore we are no longer under the condemnation of the law. Paul did not get rid of sin for the believer. He pointed out that through grace our sins are covered. Nowhere does Paul teach that the law or sin has been done away with. Nowhere does Paul teach that we are to disregard the law. He does teach that we can keep the law more perfectly through the grace and power of Jesus.

The conflict that you see here is merely the assumption that the phrase not under the law means that the law in no longer in effect. The text does not say that. That, like other examples we have examined, has been read into the text.

If Paul had said at some point that the law has been done away with or nullified than you would have a point. But he didn't. Nice try though.

 

Mostly because I got tired of pointing out contradictions that you ignored in favor of rampant speculation from Paul and Luke's writings (the veracity of which is still under dispute as you have brought nothing contrary save "You have to throw out the whole NT to make your position work" - just like you have to throw out the OT and other evidence in an effort to salvage yours).

Did you ever think that you're the one reading things into the text? I ask that because I seem to be using the words of the text and you're the one dancing around to find an interpretation that feels good.

Did I call you a name? Or are you changing your name to "fuck off"? Oh , the "pretentious twat" thing. Well, you have been kind enough to use first person pronouns around me so it must have had an effect. Thank you.

"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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Interpretations

At issue here is how one interprets the text. I had to guess at how you were interpreting the text in order to see a contradiction. I think I came close to figuring it out. I can see how one could interpret the text that way. That is not what I have ever understood the text to mean. It would not make sense to me. In your mind there is a contradiction. In my mind I see no problem. Often a problem is in the mind of the reader. I am content to agree to disagree. One can interpret the text in a way in which there would be a problem. Other interpretations would not be problematic. When taken alone either one could be valid.

To you Paul's writings are in doubt. Some points have brought up that could give one something to think about. For me it is far from being problematic. It would probably take a whole book to make a proper reply to all that Maccoby has alleged. It will be interesting to see where Daniel will take us. I am sure we will disagree plenty. I will try to be clear and use good logic and reason. I am sure that you will not see it that way. That's OK. I guess that's what it is all about.


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Reply to JPTS #254 part 1 Captivity Timeline

This is in reply to JTPS #254 part 1 on the time reference to 70 years of captivity. When looking at ancient history one must keep in mind that other far removed cultures did not necessarily follow the same processes of reckoning time as we do. Among other possibilities is the ancient practice of rounding time periods to the nearest 10, and counting partial years as whole years. The Babylonians and Persians also counted the regional reign of a king as beginning at the then new year following. This also can muddy up the picture a bit. Another aspect to consider is the time it quite possibly could have taken for the decree to be acted upon, and the time to prepare and travel back to Judah. The time period of the prophecy does not necessarily end with the decree itself.

When you are looking at a prophecy so far back in antiquity that is accurate with the possible but disputable exception of a small time discrepancy, it does not pan out to anything very significant. That is why I prefer to focus on the content and not the historicity. Not because the later is not defensible but due to the complications involved in doing so. I would prefer to focus on something that can feasibly be addressed in my lifetime. 


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Reply to JPTS #254 part 2 Darius

This is in reply to JTSP #254 part 2 on Darius. There are some interesting thoughts that have been suggested as to the true identity of this figure mentioned in Daniel.

One has been proposed by Donald Wiseman. I am sure you will claim he is biased and likely you are correct. What he says is worth consideration either way. He suggests that Daniel 6:28 should be translated "Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius even the reign of Cyrus the Persian" thus taking the former name as the throne name - so that Darius the Mede is, in fact, Cyrus the Persian. Cyrus was born somewhere between 600 to 575 BC. 539+62=601. That would make him about 62 years old when he took the throne in Babylon. That is reasonably close considering possible uncertainties in partial years etc.

Another proposed answer to this is that Darius the Mede was identified with Gubaru. Not to be confused with Ugbaru who has sometimes been thought to be the same person. This also fits the prophecy Like it has been stated before, in context with evolutionary archaeology, history is not always so kind as to give us a complete and accurate detailed account of events that happened long ago. Like other questions that have appeared to be insurmountable problems in the past, and now are clear, future finds may shed further light on this as well.

With so many various names given to figures in antiquity and titles such as king being applied to those of lesser domain, it can often make it next to impossible to be certain.


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Analysis of texts

 Gramps,

Throughout this thread I have pointed out your inability to critically analyze and approach the text from a position of neutrality. Perhaps you are too close to the subject matter and require an example that you won't have a bias to automatically accept as true,

Approach to analyze any ancient text.

In determining the claims of texts one must approach them with what we know and understand:

1-Scientifically proven laws and theories apply unless one can show them to be suspended.

Example - If youdrop a rock it will fall back to the ground. However, this is suspended or altered when the object has other forces applied to it such as when an object is in orbit in a space ship or an airplane is in a parabolic arc. In this case the rock does not fall in an observable manner.

Thus, a claim a person can walk on water is unrealistic. The claim lead can be made into gold is also unlikely to be possible. A claim water was made into wine is not likely. A claim that a sea is parted and thousands walk through on dry land and it is suddenly closed killing an opposing army is not probable in our reality.

In order to accept claims such as these proof the laws of nature and physics have been suspended must be shown. This proof must detail exactly how this was accomplished. If there is no proof, the claim is unwarranted and should be considered false.

2-In the text exactly what is the writer trying to accomplish with his work? Is he vested in the outcome in some way. What does the content suggest? Does the content create unrealistic situations that are contrary to normally understood reality. If the content does fly in the face of normal reality how does it do so? What is the purpose of the unrealistic claim?

3-Are there other sources in regards to the claims, story, history or events described in the writing? Are they in conflict in any way? If they are in conflict, do the other versions contain unrealistic events? What is the purpose of the writing that contradicts the writing in question? 

4-If there are no other sources on the story and the claims contradict reality they should be considered unlikely until proven otherwise.

Example that  in which you  probably will  have no investment:

From Homer - . Tell me now, Muses who dwell on Olympus -- for you are goddesses, 

you are there, you know everything, while we hear only repute and know
nothing -- tell me who were the leaders and princes of the Danaoi. Their
number I could not tell or name, no, not if I had ten tongues and ten
mouths, a voice that would not tire, a heart of bronze, if the Olympian
Muses, daughters of aegis-bearing Zeus, did not tell me how many
there were who went to Troy. ( Iliad 2. 484-92)

 

We have characters introduced called Muses that supposedly live in Olympus. They apparently know everything. They are daughters of Zeus.

From all sources we find claims that their were Muses. As for example: in Plutarch's Quaestiones Conviviviales (9.I4.2-4, he claims there were 3. The Roman scholar Varro relates that there are only three Muses: one who is born from the movement of water, another who makes sound by striking the air, and a third, who is embodied only in the human voice. However the Classical understanding of the muses tripled their triad, set at nine goddesses, who embody the arts and inspire creation with their graces through remembered and improvised song and stage, writing, traditional music, and dance. - from wiki.

However, no one in the modern world has spotted one of these goddesses. They have not made their presence known in any physical form. The claims made are unrealistic in that the Muses supposedly inspire men with knowledge and inspiration. Yet, no Muse has been thoroughly documented in the lab. Knowledge and inspiration have been demonstrated not to require a deity or goddess.

Another claim Homer made was they are daughters of Zeus. Is there anything that actually supports this is the case? Zeus is mentioned in many stories, far too numerous to detail. Yet once more, Zeus has not made his presence known in our modern world. There are many claims in the ancient world in his regard but there is nothing one can actually put on a lab table. Claims abound as do many stories, though none of them have substantial proof Zeus was a god. He is claimed for example to be the father of Hercules and many other gods that have not been seen in the modern world. We cannot prove Zeus fathered the Muses or not and we cannot prove Zeus existed or not.

The claim Zeus, the Muses and the gods lived on Mt Olympus is made throughout. So is there any archeology to support they lived there? No. Mount Olympus consists of 52 peaks in very rugged terrain. No palaces of the gods have been found.

At this point, Homer's claims should be considered to be not real as nothing we know today substantiates them.

Example 2-

From the Sumerian Tablets - Enki and the World Order:

250-266. After he had turned his gaze from there, after Father Enki had lifted his eyes across the Euphrates, he stood up full of lust like a rampant bull, lifted his penis, ejaculated and filled the Tigris with flowing water. He was like a wild cow mooing for its young in the wild grass, its scorpion-infested cow-pen. The Tigris …… at his side like a rampant bull. By lifting his penis, he brought a bridal gift. The Tigris rejoiced in its heart like a great wild bull, when it was born ……. It brought water, flowing water indeed: its wine will be sweet. It brought barley, mottled barley indeed: the people will eat it. It filled the E-kur, the house of Enlil, with all sorts of things. Enlil was delighted with Enki, and Nibru was glad. The lord put on the diadem as a sign of lordship, he put on the good crown as a sign of kingship, touching the ground on his left side. Plenty came forth out of the earth for him.

 

This is an excerpt from a very long story regarding Enki one of the Sumerian gods. In this excerpt we have the claim Enki filled the Tigris river with water by ejaculation. Enlil, the chief god of the Sumerians was delighted with Enki's actions. All things became abundant and plentiful in the land as a result of Enki's action.

There are thousands of clay tablets which discuss the gods Enki, Enlil, Nibru in the lands of Sumer. Claims are made throughout these texts as to their abilities and powers. In this particular text we have the claim the god filled the Tigris by ejaculating. This would seem to contradict what we know in regards to rivers and specifically the Tigris which has it's origin in the Taurus Mountains in Turkey. This event would seem to not be true as claimed. That there is abundant writing and stories in regard to the Sumerian gods only proves the Sumerians considered them to be the cause or origin of the world. This does not in any way prove that they were.

If you can follow these methods perhaps we can consider for example parts of Daniel now:

In Daniel 2 we have the story of Nebuchadnezzar and his dream. This dream disturbed the king though he could not remember it upon waking. None of his servants or wise men could tell him what his dream was or interpret it. Along comes Daniel who tells the king what his dream was about and then details to him what it meant.

There was a king of Babylon called Nebuchadnezzar, proven by many sources. He probably had dreams as he was a human and that is normal. The demand that others tell him what the dream was however is unrealistic and outside of the possibilities of reality. The claim that Daniel could do so is also unlikely in the reality that we occupy. Was there a man named Daniel that existed in history of Israel and Babylon? It can't be shown to be true except in the text we are examining. What was the purpose of the writing containing the claims? The claims are part of a religious group that worship a particular god. The claims are an attempt to show that Daniel communicated with the god and was a prophet for the god. Does Babylonian history support this claim? No, it's not been found. What does acceptance of these claims do? It legitimizes the writer as a prophet of the god mentioned.

Conclusions: As knowing another person's dreams is not a real possibility in the reality we occupy this story is unlikely to be true. The purpose would seem to be an effort to legitimize and insert Daniel into the events in Babylon and to justify his presence on a continuing basis until the Persians conquer Babylon.

____________________________________________________________
"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:At issue here

gramster wrote:

At issue here is how one interprets the text. I had to guess at how you were interpreting the text in order to see a contradiction. I think I came close to figuring it out. I can see how one could interpret the text that way. That is not what I have ever understood the text to mean. It would not make sense to me. In your mind there is a contradiction. In my mind I see no problem. Often a problem is in the mind of the reader. I am content to agree to disagree. One can interpret the text in a way in which there would be a problem. Other interpretations would not be problematic. When taken alone either one could be valid.

To you Paul's writings are in doubt. Some points have brought up that could give one something to think about. For me it is far from being problematic. It would probably take a whole book to make a proper reply to all that Maccoby has alleged. It will be interesting to see where Daniel will take us. I am sure we will disagree plenty. I will try to be clear and use good logic and reason. I am sure that you will not see it that way. That's OK. I guess that's what it is all about.

makes sense. some folks are less apt to buy a horse wearing a blanket than others.

"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:This is in

gramster wrote:

This is in reply to JTSP #254 part 2 on Darius. There are some interesting thoughts that have been suggested as to the true identity of this figure mentioned in Daniel.

One has been proposed by Donald Wiseman. I am sure you will claim he is biased and likely you are correct. What he says is worth consideration either way. He suggests that Daniel 6:28 should be translated "Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius even the reign of Cyrus the Persian" thus taking the former name as the throne name - so that Darius the Mede is, in fact, Cyrus the Persian. Cyrus was born somewhere between 600 to 575 BC. 539+62=601. That would make him about 62 years old when he took the throne in Babylon. That is reasonably close considering possible uncertainties in partial years etc.

Yes I disagree with you and your source Wiseman. 

In the Cyrus Cylinder the name used is Cyrus, son of Camyses, grandson of Cyrus etc.... see http://www.iranchamber.com/history/cyrus/cyrus_charter.php

In the Nabonidus Chronicle - "  In the month of Arahsamna, the third day [29 October], Cyrus entered Babylon, [unidentified objects] were filled before him - the state of peace was imposed upon the city. Cyrus sent greetings to all Babylon. Gobryas, his governor, installed subgovernors in Babylon. " from the Nabonidus Chronicle 17th year (539-538 BCE) see - http://www.livius.org/ct-cz/cyrus_I/babylon02.html

The name Cyrus is used throughout the Nabonidus chronicle.

 

gramster wrote:

Another proposed answer to this is that Darius the Mede was identified with Gubaru. Not to be confused with Ugbaru who has sometimes been thought to be the same person. This also fits the prophecy Like it has been stated before, in context with evolutionary archaeology, history is not always so kind as to give us a complete and accurate detailed account of events that happened long ago. Like other questions that have appeared to be insurmountable problems in the past, and now are clear, future finds may shed further light on this as well.

With so many various names given to figures in antiquity and titles such as king being applied to those of lesser domain, it can often make it next to impossible to be certain.

I see where you are getting your conjecture now, from biblehistory.net and bibleencyclopedia.com. which both make the claim Gubaru and Darius the Mede were the same person.

However, scholars don't agree with this assessment. You will have to prove that Darius was a title not the name of a king which is not supported in Persian history.

As to Gubaru and Ugbaru the Nabonidus Chronicle is clear they are 2 individuals.

As to your name confusion I refer you to the following link which should adequately show you how you are confused- See -http://www.theskepticalreview.com/JFTDanielSonofAhash.html

____________________________________________________________
"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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Critical Analysis - Unreal Claims

This is in response to PJTS #279.

You are right about critical analysis. Without miracles and prophecy the bible is just a book of history and stories. With miracles but no prophecy the bible is difficult if not impossible to substantiate. Therefore a lot rides on prophecy. It is up to the analysis of prophecy to verify whether or not it is reasonable to believe that the proven laws and theories can be suspended. That is by the God of the bible.

As with the claims of Homer, and Enki and the world order, without prophetic verification much of the bible would by reason and logic, have to be thrown out. The rest would not mean very much.

I am looking over the skeptical information on the historicity of Daniel. There are many interesting points and perspectives to evaluate. I will get back to you on this shortly.


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gramster wrote:This is in

gramster wrote:

This is in response to PJTS #279.

You are right about critical analysis. Without miracles and prophecy the bible is just a book of history and stories. With miracles but no prophecy the bible is difficult if not impossible to substantiate. Therefore a lot rides on prophecy. It is up to the analysis of prophecy to verify whether or not it is reasonable to believe that the proven laws and theories can be suspended. That is by the God of the bible.

As with the claims of Homer, and Enki and the world order, without prophetic verification much of the bible would by reason and logic, have to be thrown out. The rest would not mean very much.

I am looking over the skeptical information on the historicity of Daniel. There are many interesting points and perspectives to evaluate. I will get back to you on this shortly.

As there is no prophetic verification, are you admitting that we can pitch the Bible?

Or are you "verifying" by shoehorning the prophecy to your world view?

"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:This is in

gramster wrote:

This is in response to PJTS #279.

You are right about critical analysis. Without miracles and prophecy the bible is just a book of history and stories. With miracles but no prophecy the bible is difficult if not impossible to substantiate. Therefore a lot rides on prophecy. It is up to the analysis of prophecy to verify whether or not it is reasonable to believe that the proven laws and theories can be suspended. That is by the God of the bible.

So I'm right that you do not do critical analysis of scripture and approach it from a neutral observation?

Or I'm right that when  critical analysis is utilized scripture is found to fail in our dimension of reality?

gramster wrote:

As with the claims of Homer, and Enki and the world order, without prophetic verification much of the bible would by reason and logic, have to be thrown out. The rest would not mean very much.

You quickly recognize the failure in the Greek stories as with Homer and in the Sumerian in regard to Enki.

However, you can't see the correlation between these stories and your scriptures and claim there is somehow a verification of prophecy.

I look forward to your attempt to fit puzzle pieces together to create the supposed reality that verifies your god and scriptures.

gramster wrote:

I am looking over the skeptical information on the historicity of Daniel. There are many interesting points and perspectives to evaluate. I will get back to you on this shortly.

OK, I'd love to hear your views on this.

PJTS

____________________________________________________________
"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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Critical Analysis of Scripture

As you say, one must believe that stories that are not scientifically realistic must be regarded as untrue, unless there is a reason to believe that the natural laws of science have been somehow suspended. This is part of your definition of critical analysis. If the God of the bible does exist, He would have the ability to do things that we can not do or even explain. If He can not. "Why call Him God?".

My ability to do critical analysis than depends upon the existence of God. If God does exist than I am correct in believing that the stories in the bible are in deed believable. If He does not exist they are nonsense. Much like the stories of Homer. I do see the correlation between the stories of Homer and that of the bible if indeed God does not exist.

In answer to Mr Gadfly's question does that mean we can throw out the bible? The answer is we shall see.

This is why we are now taking a closer look at Daniel.

I think it is probably best to start by analyzing the powers or kingdoms you and Mr Gadfly have suggested may fit the Daniel prophecies one by one and see if they fit.

I believe the first of these possibilities is Egypt as a possible kingdom that succeeded Nebuchadnezzar's Babylonian kingdom. I have been looking at ancient Egypt, it's rulers, conquests, and territories during the time just before to just after the fall of Babylon. Amasis II of Egypt ruled 570 BC to 526 BC. Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom ended 539 BC when Cyrus of Persia took over control. Egypt did not succeed Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom. Medo-Persia did. Egypt also does not fit the demographics. If you believe this one fits I will need to see how.

 


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gramster wrote:As you say,

gramster wrote:

As you say, one must believe that stories that are not scientifically realistic must be regarded as untrue, unless there is a reason to believe that the natural laws of science have been somehow suspended. This is part of your definition of critical analysis. If the God of the bible does exist, He would have the ability to do things that we can not do or even explain. If He can not. "Why call Him God?".

My ability to do critical analysis than depends upon the existence of God. If God does exist than I am correct in believing that the stories in the bible are in deed believable. If He does not exist they are nonsense. Much like the stories of Homer. I do see the correlation between the stories of Homer and that of the bible if indeed God does not exist.

In answer to Mr Gadfly's question does that mean we can throw out the bible? The answer is we shall see.

This is why we are now taking a closer look at Daniel.

I think it is probably best to start by analyzing the powers or kingdoms you and Mr Gadfly have suggested may fit the Daniel prophecies one by one and see if they fit.

I believe the first of these possibilities is Egypt as a possible kingdom that succeeded Nebuchadnezzar's Babylonian kingdom. I have been looking at ancient Egypt, it's rulers, conquests, and territories during the time just before to just after the fall of Babylon. Amasis II of Egypt ruled 570 BC to 526 BC. Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom ended 539 BC when Cyrus of Persia took over control. Egypt did not succeed Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom. Medo-Persia did. Egypt also does not fit the demographics. If you believe this one fits I will need to see how.

 

It depends on your meaning of "succeed".

If you mean "directly take over the territory", you are correct. Egypt did not conquer Babylon. You also can't include Greece and Rome in your story.

If you mean"become the next world power", Medo-Persia didn't do that.

"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


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gramster wrote:As you say,

gramster wrote:

As you say, one must believe that stories that are not scientifically realistic must be regarded as untrue, unless there is a reason to believe that the natural laws of science have been somehow suspended. This is part of your definition of critical analysis. If the God of the bible does exist, He would have the ability to do things that we can not do or even explain. If He can not. "Why call Him God?".

So in ever instance of unrealistic occurrence you have to show the claimed event actually did occur and exactly how the laws of physics and science were suspended.

There is the possibility of course we live in a "Matrix" and laws can be suspended just as "Neo" found in the movies. "There is no spoon".

gramster wrote:

My ability to do critical analysis than depends upon the existence of God. If God does exist than I am correct in believing that the stories in the bible are in deed believable. If He does not exist they are nonsense. Much like the stories of Homer. I do see the correlation between the stories of Homer and that of the bible if indeed God does not exist.

So, you approach the analysis with the bias that God exists and the stories are true, not from a neutral position. What this does Gramps is cause you to puzzle piece fit to show it is true and not take paths which might show a different possibility. Since, we are working with accounts where the witnesses and writer can't be brought into to be questioned it means actual physical proof that has survived must also be found to move us in any direction from neutrality. 

gramster wrote:

In answer to Mr Gadfly's question does that mean we can throw out the bible? The answer is we shall see.

This is why we are now taking a closer look at Daniel.

I think it is probably best to start by analyzing the powers or kingdoms you and Mr Gadfly have suggested may fit the Daniel prophecies one by one and see if they fit.

I believe the first of these possibilities is Egypt as a possible kingdom that succeeded Nebuchadnezzar's Babylonian kingdom. I have been looking at ancient Egypt, it's rulers, conquests, and territories during the time just before to just after the fall of Babylon. Amasis II of Egypt ruled 570 BC to 526 BC. Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom ended 539 BC when Cyrus of Persia took over control. Egypt did not succeed Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom. Medo-Persia did. Egypt also does not fit the demographics. If you believe this one fits I will need to see how. 

You are correct that Egypt did not conquer  the exact physical territory of Babylon or of the Achaemenid Empire.

Greece was not a country after the Persians, specifically it was Alexander of Macedonia who is the only one that was a world power. Macedonia is not Greece.  He did conquer all of Babylon's and the Persian Empire physical territory.

No one else has since, other than the Muslims and the Ottoman Empire that came close.  Rome did not push it's eastern frontier through Mesopotamia to the borders of Iran.

And again, if we are just talking about largest world powers you can't ignore the Chinese, that rivaled the population of the Persians under the Zhou Dynasty.

*Edit* As to Rome, the Han Empire in China in the 1st century CE rivaled the Roman Empire in Population each having about 26.5% (59.6 million) of the world's population at the time (226 million).

See - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Han_Dynasty

and - http://www.paulnoll.com/China/Dynasty/dynasty-Han.html

 

 

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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.


freeminer
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the 4 empires

I'm just trying to get up to speed with this thread.

 

the common acceptation of the 4 empires are:

1] 626 BC - 539BC Babylonia

2] 539BC - 330 BC Medo- Persia

3] 330 BC - 63 BC Greece - [Ptolemies/Seleucids  Macabees/Hasmoneans]

4] 63 BC - 70 AD Rome

I gather someone has a problem with this.  Daniel gives the interpretation himself of course.

The kingdom without end set up in the Roman period relates, in Reformed eschatology, to the Kingdom of God, Jesus being the "Anointed One" who is "cut off" in this period. Daniel 9 deals with the "seventy sevens", the 70th being still awaited and relating, again in Reformed eschatology, to the 7yr Tribulation under a restored Roman empire. 

 The Bible does not concern itself with modern empires apart from the restored Roman, for the simple reason they're not relevant.

 

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


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Quote:So, you approach the

Quote:
So, you approach the analysis with the bias that God exists and the stories are true, not from a neutral position. What this does Gramps is cause you to puzzle piece fit to show it is true and not take paths which might show a different possibility. Since, we are working with accounts where the witnesses and writer can't be brought into to be questioned it means actual physical proof that has survived must also be found to move us in any direction from neutrality. 

 

this seems to contain an implied claim to "neutraliity" on your part; you will permit some doubt regarding this? People have always had agendas. Why is the Bible to be regarded [apparently exclusively] as non-history? This is just a form of mysticism.

 

Quote:
As you say, one must believe that stories that are not scientifically realistic must be regarded as untrue, unless there is a reason to believe that the natural laws of science have been somehow suspended. This is part of your definition of critical analysis. If the God of the bible does exist, He would have the ability to do things that we can not do or even explain. If He can not. "Why call Him God?".

 

yes, this is a common approach among atheists.........the attempt to re-define the question in their terms from the outset. There are those here who are more objective.

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.


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freeminer wrote:I'm just

freeminer wrote:

I'm just trying to get up to speed with this thread.

 

the common acceptation of the 4 empires are:

1] 626 BC - 539BC Babylonia

2] 539BC - 330 BC Medo- Persia

3] 330 BC - 63 BC Greece - [Ptolemies/Seleucids  Macabees/Hasmoneans]

4] 63 BC - 70 AD Rome

I gather someone has a problem with this.  Daniel gives the interpretation himself of course.

The kingdom without end set up in the Roman period relates, in Reformed eschatology, to the Kingdom of God, Jesus being the "Anointed One" who is "cut off" in this period. Daniel 9 deals with the "seventy sevens", the 70th being still awaited and relating, again in Reformed eschatology, to the 7yr Tribulation under a restored Roman empire. 

 The Bible does not concern itself with modern empires apart from the restored Roman, for the simple reason they're not relevant.

 

As the prophecies were written after they occurred (great way to maintain accuracy), this is a more likely sequence. From wikipedia:

"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

"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


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freeminer wrote:Quote:So,

freeminer wrote:

Quote:
So, you approach the analysis with the bias that God exists and the stories are true, not from a neutral position. What this does Gramps is cause you to puzzle piece fit to show it is true and not take paths which might show a different possibility. Since, we are working with accounts where the witnesses and writer can't be brought into to be questioned it means actual physical proof that has survived must also be found to move us in any direction from neutrality. 

 

this seems to contain an implied claim to "neutraliity" on your part; you will permit some doubt regarding this? People have always had agendas. Why is the Bible to be regarded [apparently exclusively] as non-history? This is just a form of mysticism.

 

Quote:
As you say, one must believe that stories that are not scientifically realistic must be regarded as untrue, unless there is a reason to believe that the natural laws of science have been somehow suspended. This is part of your definition of critical analysis. If the God of the bible does exist, He would have the ability to do things that we can not do or even explain. If He can not. "Why call Him God?".

 

yes, this is a common approach among atheists.........the attempt to re-define the question in their terms from the outset. There are those here who are more objective.

No, the Bible is to be regarded as a non-historical book because it doesn't square with history. The Egyptians were building pyramids and the Babylonians were brewing beer during the time the Bible says they were underwater. Either the flood didn't happen or aliens gave these civilizations scuba gear.

"More objective" as in believing that "Magic man done it all"? "Redefine the question" as in show where critical analysis was lacking on Gramps' part and having basically acknowledge that he can't do it?

Gotcha.

"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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freeminer wrote:Quote:So,

freeminer wrote:

Quote:
So, you approach the analysis with the bias that God exists and the stories are true, not from a neutral position. What this does Gramps is cause you to puzzle piece fit to show it is true and not take paths which might show a different possibility. Since, we are working with accounts where the witnesses and writer can't be brought into to be questioned it means actual physical proof that has survived must also be found to move us in any direction from neutrality. 

 

this seems to contain an implied claim to "neutraliity" on your part; you will permit some doubt regarding this?

Nice of you to jump in. with your completely objective views of reality.

 

freeminer wrote:

People have always had agendas.

You have made yours quite clear.

freeminer wrote:

Why is the Bible to be regarded [apparently exclusively] as non-history?

Perhaps you should read the rest of what I wrote to Gramps. I don't consider any ancient document as completely historical without validation.

If I did as you suggest and not require validation, I should completely accept the Sumerian Kings list as history of 100s of thousands of years.

freeminer wrote:

This is just a form of mysticism.

What is mysticism? Validating information? Requiring proof? Disputing claims that are unrealistic and unlikely in the reality we are in?

 

freeminer wrote:

Quote:
As you say, one must believe that stories that are not scientifically realistic must be regarded as untrue, unless there is a reason to believe that the natural laws of science have been somehow suspended. This is part of your definition of critical analysis. If the God of the bible does exist, He would have the ability to do things that we can not do or even explain. If He can not. "Why call Him God?".

 

yes, this is a common approach among atheists.........the attempt to re-define the question in their terms from the outset. There are those here who are more objective.

Gramps came here to show us how we error in our thinking and approach. He needs to understand what that approach is if he is to discuss his claims. Neutrality as an approach is the only fair way to analyze any information. That you consider neutrality as redefining the question shows you are unable to take such a position yourself.

Cypher: You know, I know this steak doesn't exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize?
[Takes a bite of steak]
Cypher: Ignorance is bliss.

You are most welcome to believe that you are eating steak if you want. So you think the spoon and steak are real. Your choice. 

or Believe whatever you so choose. Have a good day. Thanks for sharing. Y'all come back now y' hear.

____________________________________________________________
"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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when is Gramps going to get to 1844?I

 I keep looking for it. Tell us about 1844 and how Daniel and Revelations points to it?

Religion Kills !!!

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

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


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Kingdoms and Empires

This is in response to PJTS #287 since the posts I respond to no longer show up.

No, I have not considered China as a possibility. I have also not considered the Aztec's, civilizations of Peru, or the possibility that the prophecies are referring to life on another planet. Let's not be ridicules.

You are not following your own rules of critical analysis "motive, purpose, context". Taking into account the prospective of the writer, and the audience, it logically follows that the kingdoms would be relevant to the people involved, and in the same general region.

As for taking over the exact region or territory, that is not how empires form.

As for the terminology using the name "Greece" you are right in a sense. Alexander of Macedonia of Greek origins, having expanded upon the alliance of the Greek city states, continued to build an empire. This empire spread "Greek" culture throughout vast areas in the surrounding regions. Hence "Greece" would be a pretty good description of that power.

Quibble over the name if you wish. I am ok with Macedonian Empire, Achaemenid Empire, Medo-Persia, Greece or any other name that fits. Cyrus overthrew Babylon and Medo-Persia became the next kingdom following Babylon.


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Media and Persia

In response to jcGadfly #290.

As I pointed out earlier Media and Persia can not have been two distinct kingdoms mentioned in Daniel 2. Cyrus established the Achaeimenid Empire by defeating Astyages King of Media in 549 BC. At that time he ascended the throne of Media making him the king of both Media and Persia. Media no longer existed as a separate kingdom. Cyrus conquered Babylon 10 years later in 539 BC. Media never followed Babylon as a kingdom.

There is only one kingdom that followed Babylon. It was Medo-Persia. The next kingdom was the Achaemenid Empire of Alexander the Great or "Greece".


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Greece

First my bad. Must be a senior moment. I  incorrectly inserted the Achaemenid Empire in my references to Greece. I will try not to make those mistakes.

Medo-Persia went into decline and by 331 BC was under the control of Alexander the Great. Hence Greece or Macedonia became the third kingdom in Daniel 2. This empire was vast in scope and influence. It encompassed pretty much all of the former Medo-Persian empire and much more. There is no other kingdom that can possibly fit this portion of the prophecy.

This takes us now down to the fourth kingdom. More on this kingdom later.


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gramster wrote:In response

gramster wrote:

In response to jcGadfly #290.

As I pointed out earlier Media and Persia can not have been two distinct kingdoms mentioned in Daniel 2. Cyrus established the Achaeimenid Empire by defeating Astyages King of Media in 549 BC. At that time he ascended the throne of Media making him the king of both Media and Persia. Media no longer existed as a separate kingdom. Cyrus conquered Babylon 10 years later in 539 BC. Media never followed Babylon as a kingdom.

There is only one kingdom that followed Babylon. It was Medo-Persia. The next kingdom was the Achaemenid Empire of Alexander the Great or "Greece".

You don't get out that easily. Macedon was not "Greece". They ruled Greece. If you called a Macedonian a Greek he'd slap the taste out of your mouth.

Is there a particular reason you skip over Darius when the writer of Daniel does not?

"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:This is in

gramster wrote:

This is in response to PJTS #287 since the posts I respond to no longer show up.

I don't know what OS you have, I'll assume you have windows xp or windows 7.

 

If so, make sure you have the latest updates from microsoft installed. I would assume you know how to do this, if not ask, click windows update from tools in your Internet Explorer browser.

If you are running Internet Explorer and don't have IE8, go to microsoft.com and download the latest version. You can do this from your browser. Click windows update under tools. If it doesn't automatically ask you to update to IE 8 type internet explorer in the search box. In the results find the one marked internet explorer home page. Download the latest version there.

If you are using firefox, under tools click help. Click check for updates.

If your browsers are current, check to see if your java is uplevel. Go to http://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp  This is Oracle's main site, formerly Sun. It should automatically install the latest version based on your OS. RRS uses java for several functions. Your problem is likely caused by downlevel java.

Hope this helps you to be able to see the posts.

 

gramster wrote:

No, I have not considered China as a possibility. I have also not considered the Aztec's, civilizations of Peru, or the possibility that the prophecies are referring to life on another planet. Let's not be ridicules.

You are not following your own rules of critical analysis "motive, purpose, context". Taking into account the prospective of the writer, and the audience, it logically follows that the kingdoms would be relevant to the people involved, and in the same general region.

Actually, I am following critical analysis. You claim the writer of Daniel wrote inspired scripture and prophecy. If your god inspired the writer, your god would know about China and it's Empires as just as large and formidable as any in the ancient world. Since as you admit, the writer's perspective is such that the writer does not know about China, this indicates that there is little evidence for inspiration from a god that is all knowing.

gramster wrote:

As for taking over the exact region or territory, that is not how empires form.

I know, that's why I brought up Lydia, and the Chinese as well as Empires of the muslims and Turks.

gramster wrote:

As for the terminology using the name "Greece" you are right in a sense. Alexander of Macedonia of Greek origins, having expanded upon the alliance of the Greek city states, continued to build an empire. This empire spread "Greek" culture throughout vast areas in the surrounding regions. Hence "Greece" would be a pretty good description of that power.

Quibble over the name if you wish. I am ok with Macedonian Empire, Achaemenid Empire, Medo-Persia, Greece or any other name that fits. Cyrus overthrew Babylon and Medo-Persia became the next kingdom following Babylon.

I agree with Greece if that is what you consider  to be Alexander's Empire. Though Macedonia is not Greece as should be obvious, but I'll  allow your definition for discussion. Macedonia ruled Greece just as Rome would do later. Greece was still Greece and Macedonia was Macedonia, not the same. Just trying to be specific and insure we weren't talking about individual Greek-City States. If Daniel was from the 6th century BCE, the Greek Cities generally would have been known  as Sparta and Athens for example as it was not unified.

____________________________________________________________
"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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Darius and Macedonia

First I appreciate your advice on my OS problems. My version was working than quit. Maybe it became corrupted. I will do the update thing and see if it helps. What threw me was the same problem happening when I tried a different computer. Maybe both have similar issues.

I did not mean to skip over Darius. Darius I was the son of Hystaspes, a leading figure in Persis the homeland of the Persians. He was also possibly a spear man for Cambyses II the than Emperor of Persia. He became the third king of the Achaemenid Empire (Medo-Persia). In Daniel he is referred to as Darius the Mede possibly referring to an ancestral link. In any event Media as a separate kingdom was no longer. That was my point. Darius was, like Cyrus a Medo-Persian king. Not just one or the other.

As for God knowing about China, of course he did. If you employ critical analysis an obvious conclussion is that China was not relevant at that time. It would not have made sense for God to go into the existence of kingdoms elsewhere of no significance.

The other kingdoms you mentioned I will address later.


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Quote:As the prophecies were

Quote:
As the prophecies were written after they occurred (great way to maintain accuracy), this is a more likely sequence. From wikipedia:

"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

 

I wouldn't put too much store by 20th century scholars unless you know them not to be liberal.

Secondly the prophecies run into the future and so have not yet all occured yet.

 

Thirdly the Septuagint was completed by 132BC so Daniel was clearly already part of the Masoretic text.

'It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this: that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted it within themselves and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others.' Francis Bacon.