Question on the Pagan Parallels for the Jesus Mythicist

Kabane52
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Question on the Pagan Parallels for the Jesus Mythicist

Hello everyone. I am Kabane52 from YouTube. I think the Jesus Myth theory is nonsense that was righly abandoned by scholars in the 19th century. But apparently Bad Boy Flemming read too much of Earl Doherty and produced the "documentary" The God Who Wasn't There" which uses the hilarious "16 Crucified Saviors" list, which includes figures like Beddru. Do you know who Beddru is? He is made up. Never worshipped. But Bad Boy Flemming forgot to do his research.

 My question is as follows.

What is the evidence for the following pagan parallels regarding Mithra.

Born of a virgin

Had 12 disciples

Crucified

Resurrected

 

I have seen these parallels parroted everywhere, but have not seen any evidence for it. So, your evidence that people thought Mithra had these four attributes is?

 

Oh, and by the way, the evidence has to predate Christianity. Take your best shot. 


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All of those are apologists

All of those are apologists books and hardly worth anyone's time.  If you really want to know what is real I highly recommend the scholars at Westar:  http://www.westarinstitute.org/Westar/westar.html

Mriana

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Quote: All of those are

Quote:
All of those are apologists books

 

I am sooooo tired of this line.  You cannot dismiss a work on the basis of it being apologist. EVERY book is written from a biased point of view, and every scholar has something he/she wants to prove.  There is no such thing as an unbiased historian. 


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irrespective

irrespective wrote:

Quote:
All of those are apologists books

I am sooooo tired of this line. You cannot dismiss a work on the basis of it being apologist. EVERY book is written from a biased point of view, and every scholar has something he/she wants to prove. There is no such thing as an unbiased historian.

I'm sooooooooo tired of your ignorance. The garbage Spyridon listed can be and is dismissed as bullshit apologetics. Apologetics is by definition a DEFENSE of a belief, period.

It is not an argument based on fact. Apologetics by definition has nothing to do with truth. It's sole function is to defend BELIEF. It's only purpose is to justify theological tenets, whether they are fact or not, against critical attack.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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Thank you, aiia.  aiia is

Thank you, aiia.  aiia is very correct with this statement.


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Rook's not a historian. He

Rook's not a historian. He is a high school graduate who likes reading books by a fringe minority. The only Jesus Mythist who I respect is Price.


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Kabane52 wrote: Rook's not

Kabane52 wrote:
Rook's not a historian. He is a high school graduate who likes reading books by a fringe minority. The only Jesus Mythist who I respect is Price.

You came back just to post an ad hominem attack? Alright then.

You're a kid who's still in high school, reads Alister McGrath, and thinks Adam and Eve were australopithecines.


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And Kabane52 is definitely

And Kabane52 is definitely not a historian.


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Quote:The garbage Spyridon

Quote:
The garbage Spyridon listed can be and is dismissed as bullshit apologetics.

Where has it been disproven?  Not merely dismissed as apologetics, but actually disproven point by point...

Quote:
Apologetics is by definition a DEFENSE of a belief, period.

According to what dictionary? 

Apologist: "A person who defends or justifies something, such as a doctrine, a policy, or an institution."

Apologetics: "Formal argumentation in defense of something, such as a position or system." (AHD, 3rd Ed.)

By these definitions, atheists like you could be dismissed as apologists who engage in apologetics.

 

My point is that you cannot dismiss what a Christian scholar has to say purely because he/ she is a Christian.  Are there Christian apologists out there who will say anything to defend Christianity? Sure.  But to suppose that atheists are the only people who can look at historical data  unbiasedly is naivete to an extreme.  Atheists have just as much reason to disprove Christ as Christians do to prove his existence.


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irrespective

irrespective wrote:

Quote:
The garbage Spyridon listed can be and is dismissed as bullshit apologetics.

Where has it been disproven?  Not merely dismissed as apologetics, but actually disproven point by point...

Quote:
Apologetics is by definition a DEFENSE of a belief, period.

According to what dictionary? 

Apologist: "A person who defends or justifies something, such as a doctrine, a policy, or an institution."

Apologetics: "Formal argumentation in defense of something, such as a position or system." (AHD, 3rd Ed.)

By these definitions, atheists like you could be dismissed as apologists who engage in apologetics.

 

My point is that you cannot dismiss what a Christian scholar has to say purely because he/ she is a Christian.  Are there Christian apologists out there who will say anything to defend Christianity? Sure.  But to suppose that atheists are the only people who can look at historical data  unbiasedly is naivete to an extreme.  Atheists have just as much reason to disprove Christ as Christians do to prove his existence.

If it takes on that appearance, it's because we, as the minority, are forced to address the majority on their terms. A position of rejection bordering indifference to an unsubstantiated claim isn't one that, in a neutral culture, would need defending. Culture isn't neutral, so a default position of unbelief-until-any-kind-of-evidence-manifests is contrary to the normal, and generally unsupported, position of faith. But the majority rejects minority positions all the time without seeing themselves as committed advocates of a contrary view. As an example, the majority of Americans probably reject the tikbalang outright. Oh, you've never heard of the Filipino myth of the tikbalang? It can be described as a reverse centaur; a dude with a horse's head. You may not have known about it, so now that you do, you can decide whether you're a believer or not, and proceed to defend that position; become an "apologist" against tikbalang if you disbelieve.


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Irrespective, I'm

Irrespective, I'm responding to this because I really want to like you. 

 The problem here is not that they are apologists - it is that they are apologists under the ruse of honest scholarship.  They are, in effect, pretending to be something they are not.  This is NOT a Christian vs. atheist thing, concerning Jesus.  There are plenty of Christian scholars who do not believe that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history.  John Dominic Crossan, Albert Schweitzer, Rudolf Bultmann, John M. Robinson, and Geza Vermes are a few who consider themselves religious, and even Christians, who still held that Jesus was not the Jesus of the Gospels.  The idea of redaktiongeschicthe (or, redaction criticism) and demythologizing the Gospels has been around for 300 years, and actually started in the religious community at the dawn of the age of enlightenment.  The first people to doubt the historicity of the Gospel Jesus were very strong Christians who realized that the facts did not support the beliefs they held.  They wanted to better understand their faith, which was why the first historical Jesus quest started.  It wasn't to destroy it, but to change and enlighten, to make firmer their beliefs.

Too many Christians do not know that, and they thjink that a bunch of angry evil atheists started the whole movement against Jesus, when it was never about atheism in the first place.  Certainly the most avowed Christian, Rudolf Bultmann, was also the harshest critic concerning the existence of Jesus.  ANd his students followed him into a second quest for a historical jesus shortly after the first one ended.  

This is the nugget of what scholarship tries to do - they attempt to find the facts, and adjust their faith or opinions to fit the facts. That is what makes them, and keeps them, honest. It is also why, even if Crossan and I disagree, I will always respect him.  Hands down, however, this is the very opposite of apologists.

Apologists adjust the facts to fit their conclusions and faith, and twist and lie and bend the truth to make it so.  Compare N.T. Wright to John Dominic Crossan or a Bart Ehrman - when it comes to honest scholarship, he loses.  And he has to, because of there was (and there wasn't) a Jesus, he certainly was not the one presented in those apologists books.  He would have been a man.  Apologists will never understand that, nor do they want to, and they will keep lying and telling others to lie, and teaching others to lie, for the sake of their own religious insecurities.  I hope you are beyond that, and capable of moving past that.

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Rook thank you for your

Rook thank you for your kind response.  I'm glad you're trying hard to like me.  I live for that.....lol  jk.

 

I agree with you that there are Christian apologists out there who are less than "scholars".  But what I see here too often is a summary dismissal of any Christian scholar as an apologist who suggests that the gospels can be taken at least in some measure as  historical. 

 

What I would rather see is a critique of their arguments, or a reference to a published critique of their arguments.

 

The bottom line is that every scholar has an agenda.  Every scholar wants to prove a point.  Every historian is biased in one way or another.  To completely dismiss a class of scholars merely because they accept the Bible as historically valid is inconsistent in my opinion.

 

Concerning Wright, what books have you read by him?  I'm just curious.

 

 


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irrespective wrote: Rook

irrespective wrote:

Rook thank you for your kind response. I'm glad you're trying hard to like me. I live for that.....lol jk.

=D 

Quote:
I agree with you that there are Christian apologists out there who are less than "scholars". But what I see here too often is a summary dismissal of any Christian scholar as an apologist who suggests that the gospels can be taken at least in some measure as historical.

That is already a huge claim.  Many apologists from my own reading (Strobel, McDowell, Stuart, Gleason, Geisler, et al) have all succumbed to very old scholarship, some as old as centuries.  I can recall one apologist stating that it was Gods will that only in the 70's man had breached the "70" year old age limit, and previously God had set the age of man at 70.  Say what?    No lie, the book was called The Bible as a Scientific Book (Author is apologist Gordon Lindsey).  This is the standard apologist, using poor scholarship (many use John A.T. Robinson or Bill Albright).  The idea that the Gospels are historical in any nature has since been refuted by many scholars, and more to come.

Quote:
What I would rather see is a critique of their arguments, or a reference to a published critique of their arguments.

Perhaps it is just impatience on our part, the freethinkers.  I really hate having to repeat myself over and over again.  Please read the following books on the subject of genre:

Thomas L. Thompson, The Messiah Myth

Charles H. Talbert, What is a Gospel; Reading Luke

Dennis R. MacDonald, The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark

Most recently, compare the Gospels with other Hellenistic and late antiquity works (Both scholarly monographs):

Hellenistic Constructs, Erich Gruen

Heritage and Hellenism: The Reinvention of Jewish Tradition, Erich Gruen 

Jews have a long history of inventing the past and reinterpreting their scripture to do so:

Thomas L. Thompson, The Mythic Past; The Early History of the Israelite People; The History of the Patriarchal Narratives

Niels P. Lemche, The Israelites in History and Tradition

John Van Seters, The Life of Moses 

That should help give you a starting point for the time being. 

 

Quote:
The bottom line is that every scholar has an agenda. Every scholar wants to prove a point. Every historian is biased in one way or another. To completely dismiss a class of scholars merely because they accept the Bible as historically valid is inconsistent in my opinion.

What would you say about a roman scholar?  What agenda would they push?  Are they trying to push SPQR to be placed in every public building?  Do they want to deify the president and vice president?  Are they lobbying at congress to get Romulus statues put into every school building for kids to pray to before class? 

That's a naive way of putting it.  What if a scholar's agenda was to present the truth in the most honest fashion he could, would that be bad?  WHat is so negative about proving a point?  Most scholars publish in monograph journals, on what a specific phrase or word means in an ancient manuscript, sometimes on the theology of a passage, or on a group of people within a very specific cultural framework.  What possible agenda could exist there?   People who ridicule the scholarly community, or put them in a general light like this are generally speaking from a position outside the community.  Coming from somebody who spends a lot of time working and reading in the community, I can tell you the vast amount of scholars got involved because of their love for the past. 

Agenda only plays into a person's mind when very strong beliefs are held, like apologists.  Another reason why they shouldn't be trusted, as the same people who publish these books no doubt are trying to get the bible in school rooms, Jesus statues and religious symbols in public facilities, and they've already taken over our money.  The very thing your criticising is the very thing you're also defending.  Secular scholarship is about looking at things without a specific agenda, or, an agenda to find the truth, regardless of faith, creed or belief.

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When did an agenda become a

When did an agenda become a bad thing? I always hear conservatives talking about the liberal agenda and liberals talking about the conservative agenda like any agenda is inherently bad. Now, I'm not necessarily pro-agenda myself, and I am definitely not a fan of schedules, but I am certainly not anti-agenda. I am quite upset with those who have an agenda-agenda. In fact, the only agenda I have myself is against the anti-agenda crowd. My agenda is the anti-anti-agenda-agenda.

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I was merely pointing out

I was merely pointing out that all historians have an agenda because a standard critique of Christian scholars is that they have an agenda and therefore cannot be trusted.


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Thank you Rook for those

Thank you Rook for those book references.  I will try to get hold of them and read them.

 

One thing I would say is that one of the agendas that many secular scholars have (and even some professing Christian ones) is a prejudice against the supernatural.  The presumption is that the supernatural just can't possibly exist and so therefore any supernatural happenings recorded in the Bible must be regarded with an extremelly sceptical eye.  This agenda colors their scholarship and taints their findings.

 

As a specific example, let's consider Dr. Pagels, one of the foremost Gnostic scholars.  She has admitted a bad experience within traditional Christianity which left her disillusioned about Christianityi as we knkow it.  Is it any wonder then, that one of her goals is to prove that gnostic Christianity was one of many competing forms of Christianity before the big, bad, mean traditionalists persecuted everybody else into submission?  She finds gnostic Christianity much more sympathetic to her own personal views about God and hence her results are skewed in a certain direction.


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irrespective wrote: Thank

irrespective wrote:

Thank you Rook for those book references. I will try to get hold of them and read them.

 

One thing I would say is that one of the agendas that many secular scholars have (and even some professing Christian ones) is a prejudice against the supernatural. The presumption is that the supernatural just can't possibly exist and so therefore any supernatural happenings recorded in the Bible must be regarded with an extremelly sceptical eye. This agenda colors their scholarship and taints their findings.

 

As a specific example, let's consider Dr. Pagels, one of the foremost Gnostic scholars. She has admitted a bad experience within traditional Christianity which left her disillusioned about Christianityi as we knkow it. Is it any wonder then, that one of her goals is to prove that gnostic Christianity was one of many competing forms of Christianity before the big, bad, mean traditionalists persecuted everybody else into submission? She finds gnostic Christianity much more sympathetic to her own personal views about God and hence her results are skewed in a certain direction.

Discarding the concept of the "Supernatural" is something YOU do so dont give us any guff about us doing it. Certainly you discard the super natural claim of Thor(which was once litterally believed by people to be true) about this god making lighting. Yet you rightfully discard that.

Our view is not tainted. It is rational. In the past century tons of things once thought to be outside nature were discovered to be simply explaind by natural process.

I think theists are simply having a hard time letting go of the past.

Some new age claims attempt to avoid bearded man myth by calling the universe a giant conciousness. That is a super natural claim as well and just as credible as Thor. All one has to do to see this is take a slice of cadaver brain and put it under a microscope and compare it to a Hubble picture of deep space. The two are completely dissimalure.

What people, both the mythers and new agers fail to consider is that a "what" not a "who" is what is going on. Whatever went into what we have is natural, but some of this is merely unexplained at this point.

There is nothing wrong with discarding the concept of "super natural" you are simply arbitrary about which super natural claims you reject. Atheists simply reject one more super natural claim than you do.

Reality can be explained without inserting absurd naked assertions into it, especailly ones from a bunch of competing polytheistic and monotheistic tribes.

Did it ever occure to you that the reason that we can find similarities in stories, is not because we can prove one was directly pulled from another, but because the idea got filtured through multiple cultures down through time and many different influances caused the story to morph over time and eventually made its way into your myth?

I see religion as just as human in its marketing and competitive nature as I do Coke and Pepsi. Modern monotheism is a result of multiple cultures and inputs and filtrations through multiple prior generations. Your generation of myth simply out marketed the others by adaptation and good sales pitches. 

What theists do today is shout, "My deity(incert label here) is original. To me that is like saying Coke was the first beverage because it's can was red".

The core motif of religion is that a super hero will swoop down and save the day for the chosen people. Re arrange the packaging all you want, change the colors and details and you still have the same core motif. 

 

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Quote: Discarding the

Quote:
Discarding the concept of the "Supernatural" is something YOU do so dont give us any guff about us doing it. Certainly you discard the super natural claim of Thor(which was once litterally believed by people to be true) about this god making lighting. Yet you rightfully discard that.

 

Ah yes...the Sam Harris argument.  In the first place I'm not denying you or any other Bible-disbeliever the right to reject the supernatural.  If you feel so compelled, more power to ya.  What I AM saying is that anti-supernaturalism is a lens through which certain historians view history and it affects their conclusions just as much as supernaturalism affects the conclusions of Christian historians.  There are no historians immune from bias, and hence one cannot reject certain historians, PURELY and SOLEY on the basis that they are in some way biased or influenced by presuppositions or prior committments.

 

Secondly, it is one thing to allow for the existence of the supernatural in one's worldview, while at the same time disbelieving some or even many claims of supernaturalism.  It is a completely different thing to deny the possibility of supernatural events altogether, which is what atheists do.  There is a huge difference between discerning supernaturalism and naturalism. 


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irrespective

irrespective wrote:

Quote:
Discarding the concept of the “Supernatural“ is something YOU do so dont give us any guff about us doing it. Certainly you discard the super natural claim of Thor(which was once litterally believed by people to be true) about this god making lighting. Yet you rightfully discard that.

Ah yes...the Sam Harris argument.  In the first place I'm not denying you or any other Bible-disbeliever the right to reject the supernatural.  If you feel so compelled, more power to ya.  What I AM saying is that anti-supernaturalism is a lens through which certain historians view history and it affects their conclusions just as much as supernaturalism affects the conclusions of Christian historians.  There are no historians immune from bias, and hence one cannot reject certain historians, PURELY and SOLEY on the basis that they are in some way biased or influenced by presuppositions or prior committments.

Secondly, it is one thing to allow for the existence of the supernatural in one's worldview, while at the same time disbelieving some or even many claims of supernaturalism.  It is a completely different thing to deny the possibility of supernatural events altogether, which is what atheists do.  There is a huge difference between discerning supernaturalism and naturalism. 

You make the decision sound so arbitrary. I think we can get an idea of what general acceptance of the supernatural, or 'magical' thinking, looks like in practice from the behavior of schizophrenics, or other people similarly ill-equipped to sort through the logic of cause and effect or probability. And ultimately, what basis is there to regard one claim of the supernatural over another -- over all of them? For hearsay 'evidence' we must defer to probabilities, precedent, what's been demonstrated, repeated, corroborated independently. We make tons of probability evaluations in our daily lives, and unless we're mentally ill, feel no compulsion to accept the absurd and unproven; why should this be less so for absurd claims legitimated only by antiquity and tradition?


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Never said you don't have a

Never said you don't have a right to be a non-supernaturalist.  I'm not arguing for supernaturalism and against non-supernaturalism in this discussion, so your post is neither here nor there.


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irrespective wrote: Never

irrespective wrote:
Never said you don't have a right to be a non-supernaturalist.  I'm not arguing for supernaturalism and against non-supernaturalism in this discussion, so your post is neither here nor there.

Rights? Not sure where you're going there.

I was saying that we have more reason to disregard claims of the supernatural than we do not to. First because they haven't been demonstrated; and second because our methods of testing rely on identifying causes. A (hypothetical) supernatural event is so because it admits no such traceable cause, meaning it could never be considered above correlation or coincidence from a rational perspective. It would be functionally identical to something we simply don't know the answer to, and unless we can somehow know we can't know the answer because there isn't one in causal terms, any subscription to it would default to an argument from ignorance; unless an alternative framework for logic is made around the supernatural cause -- I don't know how it could be, since it would again be defined by its defiance of a logical concept of reality. Admittedly, I'm speaking in terms of identifying supernatural causes, not their actual existence -- which, for the reasons given, I don't know to be resolvable. Ultimately, my objection is to making the choice to deny the supernatural seem equally weighted to an assumption of it.


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Sound Treatises on Pagan and Christian Parallels

I recently came across your site, while debating a religious issue on a local website.  I plan to read some of the books you've listed here, but I was wondering if you have ever read Bible Myths and their Parallels in Other Religions, Being a Comparison of the Old and New Testament Myths and Miracles with Those of Heathen Nations of Antiquity, by T.W. Doane, copyright 1882?  I only ask because it is available on the web for free, and it seems like a thorough study, from what I have read so far.  Further, it seems like the belief in Christianity was much more prevalent in the late 19th century, so it's interesting to find such a book from this time period.

Any thoughts on this book?

 

 


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Hi Infidel, and welcome! Why

Hi Infidel, and welcome!
Why not make an account? It makes it easier for everyone. Yourself included. No more captchas, and you won't have to wait for your post to be approved before everyone can see it. Smiling

Unfortunately, this topic hasn't seen activity in about 5 years, and most or all of the people who took part in the discussion no longer frequent the forum. So an answer to your question will not likely be forthcoming.

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Very old

Infidel II wrote:

I recently came across your site, while debating a religious issue on a local website.  I plan to read some of the books you've listed here, but I was wondering if you have ever read Bible Myths and their Parallels in Other Religions, Being a Comparison of the Old and New Testament Myths and Miracles with Those of Heathen Nations of Antiquity, by T.W. Doane, copyright 1882?  I only ask because it is available on the web for free, and it seems like a thorough study, from what I have read so far.  Further, it seems like the belief in Christianity was much more prevalent in the late 19th century, so it's interesting to find such a book from this time period.

Any thoughts on this book?

 

I'm no expert and don't know about that book, but from what I've read on this topic, I get the impression that research has moved on from then.

From what I can gather Earl Doherty, Richard Carrier, Thomas L Thompson, GA Wells and Robert M Price are some of the more respectable contemporary authors on this topic and one can find free online stuff via searches for them.


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I made a video on the

I made a video on the pagan-parallel thesis. This stuff was refuted by scholars in the first half of the 20th century.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqxablkVu0g&list=UUh074oPigJcEGkWbj7j7zKQ&index=5&feature=plcp

 

Concerning the Historical Christ, read these books:

THE HISTORICAL JESUS, by Habermas;
REINVENTING JESUS, by Komoszewski;
SHATTERING THE CHRIST MYTH, by Holding;
THE HISTORICAL RELIABILITY OF THE GOSPELS, by Blomberg;
THE CASE FOR THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS, by Habermas and Licona;
ASSESSING THE NEW TESTAMENT EVIDENCE FOR THE HISTORICITY OF THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS, by Craig;
DEFENDING THE RESURRECTION, by Holding;
THE RESURRECTION OF THE SON OF GOD, by Wright.

Be sure to read the Apostolic Fathers (eleven volumes).

MORE ON THE HISTORICAL JESUS

 

http://www.christiancadre.org/topics/historicaljesus.html

Understand that unless you are chosen, one of the Elect and a sheep of Christ, you will always be confused about the Scriptures. The message of Scripture and the Gospel are for the Elect. The Gospel is embedded with certain activation codes to stimulate faith and a proper response from the Elect. If there are small errors or typos within the New Testament today, it is irrelevant because the message is 100% accurate, and the overall message is meant for the Elect to stimulate faith and activate a response. The Bible is a spiritual book.

 

 


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The christian god is elitist

The christian god is elitist eh? Haven't heard that one before.

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