The Bible Thread: Help Fight Redundancy

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Lord Bane, Apr 10, 2002.

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  1. Kerr_Plunk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2002
    star 6
    i'm sorry, Wylding, that i didn't make it more clear that i was just kidding :)

    i don't believe in "hell" - it is, IMO, just a fear-based manipulation to provoke conformity and obedience - a scare tactic, a threat of "ultimate" and "eternal" punishment.

    of course, this tactic is not unique to Christianity... terrorists use scare tactics

    my soul is already "saved," though it has never truly been in danger... :)
  2. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
  3. Kerr_Plunk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2002
    star 6
    :D i just saw your thread on Zen and Taoism, and realized "phew! he wasn't trying to save my soul" :)

    i guess it was one of those confusion things ;)
  4. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    I think your soul is already saved.

    :)
  5. Fat_Fett Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 24, 2001
    star 4
    Well, this thread has become much less heated....and I've cooled down as well. I think I'll resume posting now.

    Let's keep it this way.

    That way I don't get stress headaches. ;D
  6. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    Would a historian write about JUST ONE PERSON they thought was crazy for the sake of history?

    I'm almost positive that Osama bin Laden, David Koresh and Ted Kaczynski are going to be added to the history books... along with the likes of Adolf Hitler, Jack the Ripper, Lizzie Borden, Vlad the Impaler... in addition, I'm certain there are biographical books that each deal solely with the lives of the aforementioned individuals, respectively.

    Also, the idea that the Hebrews and Romans had nothing to do with the chronicling of Jesus Christ is a bit odd... considering he was the instrument which many Hebrews (before they were called Christians) used to divide themselves and their claim to the fertile crescent against other Hebrew factions... and he was also the martyred instrument by which the Roman Empire managed to maintain power despite the emergence of othre religious cults such as Mithraism. The point is there were many Hebrews and Romans at one time or another who used Christ to their benefit.

    This is not to say Christ wasn't a good, benevolent man... but I don't believe that his benevolence is accurately represented in the Bible... nor is it exclusive to whom we call Christians today, whose faith is more a byproduct of those who used Christ as their "messiah" (or "scapegoat", depending on how you look at it) than of Christ himself.

    If you don't believe me, then why do so many Christians say he died for our sins, but few can coherently explain what this means without referring to Adam & Eve... a construct with numerous historical and logical flaws if it is to be taken literally.

    Jesus died as a result of the sins of the people who used his likeness and his existence, and ultimately his death, to serve their benefit. I believe the religion that emerged from the hands of these individuals is what is left of Christ's teachings today. If it were not for his death, the Hebrews who mounted against him could not have preserved the commercial status quo which he so boldly challenged, nor could the Romans have maintained power for at least a few more centuries when numerous religious cults were posing threats to their power structure. Christ was used... used as the scapegoat of the Hebrews and the opiate of the Romans.
  7. sleazo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 4
    I guesss no one else sees paralells in the exodus story and that of jesus death ressurection, or that of genesis and his life
  8. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    It is interesting to note that most people here that are arguing that Jesus did not exist historically don't seem to be aware the there are prophecies predicting this behavior/rejection.

    Whether or not you believe he existed, it can't be denied that there was predictive literature indicating this would happen.

    Quite interesting.

    Isaiah 53


    1 Who has believed our report?
    And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
    2For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
    And as a root out of dry ground.
    He has no form or comeliness;
    And when we see Him,
    There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
    3He is despised and rejected by men,
    A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
    And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
    He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.


    4Surely He has borne our griefs
    And carried our sorrows;
    Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
    Smitten by God, and afflicted.
    5But He was wounded for our transgressions,
    He was bruised for our iniquities;
    The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
    And by His stripes we are healed.
    6All we like sheep have gone astray;
    We have turned, every one, to his own way;
    And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.


    7He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
    Yet He opened not His mouth;
    He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
    And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    So He opened not His mouth.
    8He was taken from prison and from judgment,
    And who will declare His generation?
    For He was cut off from the land of the living;
    For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
    9And they[1] made His grave with the wicked--
    But with the rich at His death,
    Because He had done no violence,
    Nor was any deceit in His mouth.


    10Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
    He has put Him to grief.
    When You make His soul an offering for sin,
    He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
    And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
    11He shall see the labor of His soul,[2] and be satisfied.
    By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
    For He shall bear their iniquities.
    12Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
    And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
    Because He poured out His soul unto death,
    And He was numbered with the transgressors,
    And He bore the sin of many,
    And made intercession for the transgressors.




  9. Kerr_Plunk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2002
    star 6
    it could be argued that this is an example of "self-fulfilling prophecy"

    factual Jesus would have had access to and studied the Hebrew biblical texts, therefore he would know what the circumstances surrounding the Messiah's life would be, and as such he could either consciously or subconsciously create the conditions to fulfill the "prophecy" - does an actor study a script and then try to become the character in order to be more convincing? yes.. the good ones do... the memorable ones do.

    mythical Jesus would have been imbued with all of the presumptions, expectations, descriptions, and predetermined conditions of the Savior.

    calling Isaiah 53 a "prophecy" lends credence to the infallibility of the Christian bible, however it is arguable that it could simply be a guideline, a poetic script, an ideal, a projection of the expectations of the Messiah...

    for that matter, if you were to read Isaiah 53 and imagine that instead of Jesus the text is referring to Mohandas 'Mahatma' Gandhi, who was also "despised" and "rejected", it would be difficult to not admit the parallel! (of course, being familiar with the life and deeds of Gandhi are required in order to make the correlation)

    Gandhi suffered. he was abused. he was educated. he was religious. he renounced his profession in order to live a life of servitude. he promoted peace and practiced peacefull resolutions to conflict. he truly loved every individual. was selfless. he gave to the poor. he lived in an oppressed country. he gave "sermons" to large gatherings of people. he made many sacrifices of himself, the least of which through fasting. he was afflicted with poor health due to his selfless acts. he was scorned by Muslims and Hindus who were eager for war. he would not compromise his beliefs and vigilance for equal human rights and as a result he was a political liability. he was jailed for his beliefs. he was murdered.

    his last word on this earth was "God"

    2, out of many, examples of comparison:
    Isaiah
    2 "For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground."

    Gandhi was a "tender" plant, who grew, with love and compassion, out of India... dry ground!

    Isaiah
    7 "He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
    Yet He opened not His mouth"

    Gandhi was beaten regularly by his jailers, yet he did not fight back, he did not cry out for help, he practiced passive resistance - he did not open his mouth.

    "Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth." -Albert Einstein

    "Gandhi was inevitable. If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable. He lived, thought and acted, inspired by the vision of humanity evolving toward a world of peace and harmony. We may ignore Gandhi at our own risk." -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    M.K.Gandhi
  10. Insane Anakin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 1999
    star 4
    How did I know I'd find the Ban man here.
  11. Lord Bane Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 26, 1999
    star 5
    Because I'm the moderator of the forums, slick.

    Want to talk Bible?
  12. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    Excellent points, Kerr_Plunk. I'm always mortified by people who don't see the self-fulfilling nature of most "prophecies".

    Example: In the Bible, correct me if I'm wrong, it is written that for a time the Jews will suffer and then they will claim a land of their own and call it Israel.

    This is perhaps one of the most blindingly obvious self-fulfilling prophecies that anyone's ever attempted to pass on to me as though it were a miraculous feat.

    So they settle in a land nearly 2000 years later (timing is an issue with self-fulfilling prophecies, but I'll get back to that later) and, whaddya know, they decide to call it Israel... since they already know the prophecy and decide to fulfill it by naming it what it's been "divinely" predicted to be. That would be like me saying that 25 years from now I'm going to move to a place in Florida and name it after my dog.

    Prophecies are the worst proof one can give of the Bible's legitimacy. Here's why:

    1. Vague explanations with multiple interpretations, especially considering the multiplicity of ways in which ancient Hebrew can be translated... though some will argue the definition changes depending on the context, who decides what those contextual definitions are?

    Literacy was developed and preserved initially by commerce... and merchants who liked to maintain their status quo were definitely not Jesus' fondest of friends. Secondly, for centuries afterward, literacy was limited to the Church.

    No one outside the Church could see, touch, translate or understand any of these documents for hundreds of years. Who's to say that the Dead Sea Scrolls themselves aren't a 2000-year old fabrication? Is anyone who was there at the time they were written still alive? Forensic evidence of history is more telling than written history. Finding Jesus' skeleton or Adam's DNA would be a lot more conclusive than written documents alone.

    Furthermore, the vagueness of the prophecies is astounding... as in Kerr_Plunk's example, there are many people who could fit the description of Christ prophesied in the Bible.

    2. Time. If you say something is going to happen and aren't extremely specific about the time and date... Well, I'd say you're out of luck, this is no prophecy... it's called playing the averages. That it took nearly 2000 years for Israel to come into being is just an example that almost anything can happen--given enough time. I could say that the Middle East is going to sink into the ocean... well, in 3,456,000 years who knows... as long as I'm vague about the time in which it will happen, my prophecy's chances of coming true become inordinately more likely.

    3. Self-referential history. Much of the assumed history of the world, as written in the Bible, which has not been verified by forensic, archaeological and other scientific evidence serves as a basis for presupposing the validity of the prophecies. If, for example, there's a prophecy that depends upon the existence/occurrence of Noah's Ark, Genesis or the garden of Eden to be true... then only by assuming the occurrence or existence of these events as being true does that prophecy actually hold weight in its context.

    Let's say something catastrophic happens... ever notice how Biblical fundamentalists clamor every few years or so at the occurrence of a catastrophic event to associate it with the apocalypse or armageddon as written in the Bible? They search for vague passages to which they can compare current events... but then everything settles down and we're back to square one until the next major catastrophe.

    Well, the apocalypse didn't happen, the world's not over yet, and there are plenty of other events that will happen over the course of time which Biblical fundamentalists will somehow, by one way or another, make shaky inferences that attribute those events as being a result of the apocalypse, and our "sins" being the cause of them. Ever hear of the expression, "grasping at straws?"

    Remember how Jerry Falwell was pretty damn qu
  13. jinky32 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 22, 2002
    star 2
    ah, good this thread's really taken off!

    I agree about the self fulfilling prophecies. Isaiah is not a Messianic prophet, and (to reinforce myearlier point (much earlier) there is no such thing as Jewish Messianic expectation.
    There are 38 references on the OT to a Messiah, all of which refer to an annointed priest or similar, never an eschatological redeeming figure.

    So called Messianic prophecies like this from Isaiah are an example of Christianity trying to find a way to define Jesus.
  14. Chris2 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 4
    You know, one of the stranger arguments about the bible is that the "Kings James version" is the only true version-everything else is heretical. I suppose that means all those with bibles translated into other laungauges are in serious trouble ;)
    Also, I'm curious about thoughts about Fundamentalism. While it's OK to take some parts of the bible literally, everyone has their own interpetation. The problem with Fundies, mainly, is that they try to push many of their interpetations on others(Since they feel it's righteous, but it's really kind of self-righteous-which is a sin) and tend to judge, when one of the principal lessons of Jesus is not to judge-even the sinners("Judge not lest you be judged" "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone"). Although the scriptures say scriptures are not for private interpetation, many people have used the bible to advocate slavery, chauvanism, and other things. Most fundamentalism is actually based on the messages on Paul's letters, which, IMO, is the least god-inspired parts of the bible. Nowhere in Paul's letters does he qoute the Lord/Jesus directly, as mentioned in other texts. Paul's main beef is with the Hellenization of Jewish society-Greek influence. Homosexuality, for instance, was popular in Greece and Rome-I mean, people played games naked and stuff! So IMO the "Canonization" of Paul is a little iffy, whereas the other post-Gospel NT writers-Peter, John, James- were actually witnesses to Jesus's ministry. Interestingly they even contradict Paul at times--Paul says one attains salvation by faith, and not by the works he does. However James says that faith is useless without works...also, apparentally there is evidence that while Paul was supported by Peter, the other Apostles-including Jesus's own half-brother, James-didn't trust him at all.

    Any thoughts?

  15. jinky32 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 22, 2002
    star 2
    James. Pah an epistle of straw!

    SOLA FIDE
  16. Grand_Moff_Monkey Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 3
    Interestingly they even contradict Paul at times--Paul says one attains salvation by faith, and not by the works he does. However James says that faith is useless without works

    Paul and James don't contradict at all. Paul (in Ephesians 2 specifically) says that we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, and not by works. James (in James 2) says that faith is proved genuine if it's accompanied by works. It's not the work themselves that save you, but faith in Jesus. But genuine faith will always produce good works. Paul acknowledged this as well. In Romans (Chapter 1:5) he mentions the obedience that comes from faith. So neither of them contradict each other.


    also, apparentally there is evidence that while Paul was supported by Peter, the other Apostles-including Jesus's own half-brother, James-didn't trust him at all.

    Many of the apostles didn't trust Paul to begin with - and who could blame them? They knew him as a heavy-weight persecutor of the church. So they were naturally cautious about him to begin with. But in due time, Paul proved himself. Whether or not James remained suspicious about him is not discussed in the Bible, so we can only speculate.

    James. Pah an epistle of straw!

    I love James' epistle. I've read it dozens of times and there's so much in there. Joy through persecution, faith producing works, being careful about what we allow to come out of our mouths. When I was in Africa last year, one of the churches I was involved with were sharing about all the persecution they had faced. And they said that it was James' epistle that really helped them through.

  17. jinky32 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 22, 2002
    star 2
    that was only me pretending to be Martin Luther :)
  18. Grand_Moff_Monkey Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 3
    Ooops. Don't I feel stoopid. [face_blush]

  19. Chris2 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 4
    Still, regardless of Paul's canonity, I feel that many of his opinions-His feelings towards Jews and women, for instance-sort of reflect the times he was in. Same with the book of Leviticus.
  20. Grand_Moff_Monkey Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 3
    Still, regardless of Paul's canonity, I feel that many of his opinions-His feelings towards Jews and women, for instance-sort of reflect the times he was in.

    What were Paul's feelings about Jews? Let's not forget he was a Jew himself. He worshipped Jesus (a jew) and quoted from and applied the Jewish scriptures - written entirely by Jews. Paul's main ministry, however, was to the Gentiles. So he did stress that if anyone, Jew or non-Jew, comes to believe in Christ, he is one of God's people. That all believers are spiritual children of Abraham. But he doesn't put the Jews down. In chapters 9 to 11 of his letter to the Romans, he states that the Jews are still blessed and there is much advantage to being a Jew.

    As for his view on women, Paul gets a lot of flack about this. (If there are any verses in particular which are on your mind, please post them, and we can look at them in detail) But in many ways, his view on women was ahead of its time. Consider this verse from Paul:
    There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
    To speak of men and women having the same standing, in any sense, was completely unheard of at that time.


    Same with the book of Leviticus.

    Again, in many ways Leviticus was a new thing for the people of that time. It wasn't just reinforcing the status-quo. Many of the people struggled with the new things being taught, and we can see their rebellion against Moses and against the teachings of Leviticus in the very next book of the Bible (the book of Numbers).

  21. Ree Yees Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 2000
    star 5
    I don't know why I bother coming here, as statements such as ...

    Aaargh....must....not....read.....stupid arguments.....against Jesus'.....existence.........


    ... are extremely provoking in all their blissful ignorance...

    ...but a few cents:

    Of course he existed. Doesn't mean he was a deity.


  22. Chris2 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 4
    A few questions for bible believers-particuarly some old testament stuff that's hard to make out:

    1)Unicorns, centaurs, and dragons are in the bible...how can you explain this?

    2)How could Noah have honestly had two of every creature? There are millions of species in the world, the Ark was probably very, very, very big...has satan "mutated" the initial species in the ark?

    3)What about Dinosaurs and other fossils? Real or satanic deception?

    4)What are the other planets and stars for? Light?

    5)Why would god be offended by a Ziggauraut when other structures in the world were much larger?

    6)The knowledge of Earth's nature in the bible doesn't seem to jive with what we now know:


    Sam 2:8-The Earth rests on pillars.
    1 Chron 16:30-The Earth does not rotate.
    Job 37:3-The Earth has edges.
    Isa 11:12-The Earth has corners.


    --Just wondering how this all fits....





  23. Chris2 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 4
    Also, if we're all born children of Satan, what of babies who die? Do they go to hell?
  24. sleazo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 4
    only if they werent baptised ;)
  25. Chris2 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 4
    'I have come to set
    daughter against mother, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law and son
    against father?"

    Yep, Jesus was a nice guy. WRONG.
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