Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Lord Bane, Oct 28, 2001.
Ok... so you're saying that there were books of the Bible that should have been included even though they blatantly contradicted the whole message of the Bible? The whole point of the Bible is for Christians to be able to have God's Word with them. I can understand the desire for tolerance, but this is just ridiculous. Does the Koran talk about my God? No? Oh, well, then it must be corrupt and flawed and oppressive and... Do you see where I'm going here? The Christian Bible is for Christians - why would it include books that contradict fundamental Christian beliefs?
The Bible is the basis for Christian beliefs? So what basis did the creators have for what was and what was not to be included? Only their own beliefs. The Fundamental Christian values were decided by people, not God. And because these people decided not to include certain things, the entire religion has been shaped that way.
And we're not talking about the Qur'ran, we're talking about the Book of Thomas.
Just an example here, if the book of Thomas was included and one of the others was not, how would that change Christian beliefs? Interesting to think about.
...where do I start...
When deciding what the New Testament was going to look like, they had to make BILLIONS of decisions. The early church did not have a 'convention' as most denominations do today, to tell unite each church under a flag of common thesis...they instead only had the copies of the letters of the Apistolic writers. The fragment of a copy of any gospel found is called P72. dates back to 100 A.D. it is 6 verses of the Book of John, (who wrote in A.D 90)and as far as we know, it is the earliest manuscript. During the Early church, MANY people wrote...there were many Aural traditions that the early church began to put down into writing, and they did so. The scribes who wrote these down, did so under a cover of secrecy, because Christianity was illegal. These amateur scribes wrote in Uncial Greek, which is all caps, no punctuation and no spaces. it would look like this GODISNOWHERE. how do you divide that?? GOD IS NOW HERE, OR GOD IS NO WHERE. ? So the council had many things to decide, not to mention sifting out the copies of manuscripts that didn't belong in the Bible. there are over 15,000 peices of evidence pointing to both Biblical principles and the Arual traditions of Jesus. So my question is...how do you sift through 15,000+ pieces of written evidence, and using that, decide on just what books are going into the Bible? Here's what they did.
They first looked at the Ancient Lectionaries. These are old "sunday school" lessons that were used by the early church. These were used to see what books were usefull for devotional purposes. They also had a criteria to determine just What they were making when they were putting the New Testament together. There had to be an Apistolic witness to it, it had to be widely circulated, used for public Chritian Devotion, and like I said...if the Heritics used it, it was out. One of the first canons accepted was the Canon of Origen, in 230 A.D. with 21 books. The next was the Muratorian Canon, which was "found" in the 18th Century, and belived to be the next oldest. The third is the Eusebius canon, which is the Origen, plus one book, the book of Hebrews. He dates in at 350 A.D, and is closely followed by his friend Athanasius the Bishop of Alexandria, who completes his canon by writin the Easter letter, and naming the current 27 books of the New Testament. the Period of Conformation began in 393, with the Synod of Hippo, where they brought the canons together, and discussed them amongst themselves. they had problems with 2 Peter and Revelation, but finally in 397, at the Council of Carthage, the Canon was completed and closed. The Gospel of Thomas was found in the 1800's, 1400 years after the closing of the canon. The Gospel of Thomas was not widely circulated, and is not belived by most scholars to have been written before the 2nd Century. That is why it is not in the New Testament. Also, you must understand that the Apocraphal New Testament books have never been used in the Church, so obviously they are not scripture. One last thing. Someone had problems with the Bishops getting together and throwing out anything that contridicted the message of the Bible. What is wrong with that? How would you like it if someone vehemiantly insisted that Star Trek, DS9 belonged in GFFA?
Though the Gospel of Thomas is not Historical, nor Divine, it is very good reading. In fact, some of the quotes in it can be found in the 4 Gospels. However, my favorite is the Star Wars one.
103. Jesus said, "Congratulations to those who know where the rebels are going to attack. [They] can get going, collect their imperial resources, and be prepared before the rebels arrive."
The gospel of thomas was discovered in 1945 in Egypt, and is part of the Nag Hammadi library. What are you talking about with the 1800's? I've never come across that.
Some people do think it was written in 2nd Centrury AD, and others think it was written before any of the other gospels, and if so would be the true, or closest to true at least, words of Jesus.
"the Apocraphal New Testament books have never been used in the Church, so obviously they are not scripture."
I know they aren't scripture, that's kind of the point. Why aren't they? It seems because a bunch of church leaders got to pick and choose whatever they fancied being in the bible.
Sorry, I jumped in here late, but very interesting stuff here. Quick question, is there anything preached in the Book of Thomas that would fundamentally change the way we look at Christianity? Did it have like 5 forgotten commandments or something, or is it just more religous rhetoric?
I'm basically a godless bastard, so I just want to take a crash course here just in case...
These are some of the more striking sayings. Notice the first one, (113) and how heaven is almost exclusively referred to as here and now.
113. His disciples said to him, "When will the kingdom come?"
"It will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, 'Look, here!' or 'Look, there!' Rather, the Father's kingdom is spread out upon the earth, and people don't see it."
11. Jesus said, "This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away.
The dead are not alive, and the living will not die. During the days when you ate what is dead, you made it come alive. When you are in the light, what will you do? On the day when you were one, you became two. But when you become two, what will you do?"
12. The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you are going to leave us. Who will be our leader?"
Jesus said to them, "No matter where you are you are to go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."
13. Jesus said to his disciples, "Compare me to something and tell me what I am like."
Simon Peter said to him, "You are like a just messenger."
Matthew said to him, "You are like a wise philosopher."
Thomas said to him, "Teacher, my mouth is utterly unable to say what you are like."
Jesus said, "I am not your teacher. Because you have drunk, you have become intoxicated from the bubbling spring that I have tended."
And he took him, and withdrew, and spoke three sayings to him. When Thomas came back to his friends they asked him, "What did Jesus say to you?"
Thomas said to them, "If I tell you one of the sayings he spoke to me, you will pick up rocks and stone me, and fire will come from the rocks and devour you."
18. The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us, how will our end come?"
Jesus said, "Have you found the beginning, then, that you are looking for the end? You see, the end will be where the beginning is.
Congratulations to the one who stands at the beginning: that one will know the end and will not taste death."
19. Jesus said, "Congratulations to the one who came into being before coming into being.
If you become my disciples and pay attention to my sayings, these stones will serve you.
For there are five trees in Paradise for you; they do not change, summer or winter, and their leaves do not fall. Whoever knows them will not taste death."
22. Jesus saw some babies nursing. He said to his disciples, "These nursing babies are like those who enter the (Father's) kingdom."
They said to him, "Then shall we enter the (Father's) kingdom as babies?"
Jesus said to them, "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter [the kingdom]."
30. Jesus said, "Where there are three deities, they are divine. Where there are two or one, I am with that one."
37. His disciples said, "When will you appear to us, and when will we see you?"
Jesus said, "When you strip without being ashamed, and you take your clothes and put them under your feet like little children and trample then, then [you] will see the son of the living one and you will not be afraid."
46. Jesus said, "From Adam to John the Baptist, among those born of women, no one is so much greater than John the Baptist that his eyes should not be averted.
9. Jesus said, "Congratulations to those who are alone and chosen, for you will find the kingdom. For you have come from it, and you will return there again."
50. Jesus said, "If they say to you, 'Where have you come from?' say to them, 'We have come from the light, from the place where the light came into being by itself, established [itself], and appeared in their image.'
If they say to you, 'Is it you?' say, 'We are its children, and we are the chosen of the
So basically your argument is that just because the gospel of thomas claims to have the words of Jesus, it should automatically be accepted as truth? ?
it should automatically be accepted as truth?
No. Just that it shouldn't be discounted entirely.
Jesus said, "I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained.
Split a piece of wood; I am there.
Lift up the stone, and you will find me there."
Hmmm... sounds like Jesus did visit India during those 18 unaccounted-for years of his life. Some scholars believe that it was during this time that he was initiated under a Buddhist Monk in Ladakh and himslef became a Buddhist monk. On his way back to Israel, he preached Buddhism and established Buddhist monstaries all over the middle east. Apparently, several middle eastern countries accepted Buddhism as the state religion and continued to practice Buddhism until they fell to Islamic encroachment in 6-7th century AD. There are numerous archaeological, biblical, historical facts, and the contemporary Hindu scriptures in support of this hypothesis. In the Puranas there is clear mention of the Jesus's sojourn to India. In Kashmir, there is a town who's name can be literally translated as "Jesus died here". (there are some claims that Jesus had not died on the cross, and was brought back to India by his disciples. There, Jesus spent rest of his life - about 30 years - mostly in Kashmir, and died there.)
The Hindus venerate Christ as an Incarnation, and they see that his essential message is that of the Sanatana Dharma (the Eternal Religion). The special ethical and religious ideas contained in the teachings of Christ have no antecedents in the religious tradition in which he was born. Non-resistance to evil, love of enemies, monasticism, love of death, the assertion of man's innate perfection (the kingdom of heaven is within you), universalism are principles not to be found in the religion into which he was born.
Some interesting food for thought.
Portions of three Greek copies of the Gospel of Thomas were found in Oxyrhynchus Egypt about one hundred years ago. They are known as Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 1 (Oxy P 1) probably written not much later than the year 200, Oxy P 654, which can be dated to the middle or end of the third century, and Oxy P 655 dated not later than A. D. 250 (dating according to Grenfell and Hunt). A complete version in Coptic (the native Egyptian language written in an alphabet derived from the Greek alphabet) was found in Nag Hammadi Egypt in 1945. That version can be dated to about 340 A.D. The Coptic version is a translation of the Greek version. Most scholars believe that the Gospel of Thomas was originally written in Syria in the Greek language.
This is from a website that I have visited.
As to the Formation of the New Testament, tell me this...Did Paul, when he was writing his letters, know that he was writing scripture? Do you think that he knew that his writing would be what every chirstian would base their theology on 2000 years later? Did God order the New Testament? No, the New Testament was formed around letters that Paul Wrote, the Biographies of Jesus called Gospels, and a couple of letters by un-named people. When these works were written, they were NOT meant to be scripture, but they were mostly Helenistic letters to address problems in the early church. They became usefull for teaching, rebuking and the like. Only after centuries of use, people began to put the New Testament together. Of Course the council would pick which books belonged in the Bible. Can you imagine how many churches there were out there, not to mention all the letters being written, the false theologies being taught? Man DID order the New Testament, he did throw out apocyraphal books that did not fit in with the rest of the scriptures, written through apistolic wittness, and the "classics" that were used in the church. by the way, the 113th verse of Thomas does not contradict Jesus. If I remember right, Jesus said that "Even Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but my words will never pass away." Matthew 24:35.
As for the rest of the Gospel of Thomas, I can not disprove that it might be words of Jesus, and many things that he says in it sound like Jesus could have said it. I trust that God has had the New Testament formed in the way that it was. I do not worship the New Testament, I worship the God that it is about.
Ender, about Yeshu...that name is not Hebrew...it's Greek, so it wouldn't be common for Hebrew literature.
As for the previous posts...I know of no historical or biblical sources to back up any thing of the sort. Jesus spent the first part of his life in Egypt, then when he was young, he moved back to palestine. His adult life was spent mostly in the area of Gallilee, then later, his ministry moved to Judea. As for the Univeralistic principles, if you believe that, you still have to look at what Jesus says. The Buhdist religion says nothing about Jesus, nor does the Hindu religion. Jesus said, "I am the way, the Truth and the Life, no man will go to the father but by me." If Jesus was a Buhdist monk, then WHY would he not teach Buhdist philosopy? Jesus preaches that there is ONE way to heaven...it is not enlightenment or the balancing of chi, but through the living sacrifice of Jesus. Jesus DID die on the Cross, it is historic.
The Roman historian and orator Tacitus (c.55-120 AD) is acknowledged as one of the best historians of his time. He writes of the sequel to the Fire of Rome in 64 AD:
"Therefore to squelch the rumour that Nero had started the Great Fire of Rome, Nero created scapegoats and subjected to the most refined tortures those whom the common people called "Christians," (a group) hated for their abominable crimes. Their name comes from Christ, who, during the reign of Tiberius, had been executed by the procurator Pontius Pilate. Suppressed for the moment, the deadly superstition broke out again, not only in Judea, the land which originated this evil, but also in the city of Rome, where all sorts
Wow, Cydonia, those quotes are really cool, they remind me of things the Giant said to Cooper in Twin Peaks...
Babysith, I feel like we have gotten in this argument before, but here goes again: While I do agree with you that there is indication that if Jesus did exist, he went to India for a while, especially all the stuff about the holy trinity, that seems ripped off straight from Hinduism. But I don't believe that most Hindus believe that Jesus was an avatar. Why? Hinduism is way way way older than Christianity, as old if not older than Judaism. Although I'm pretty secular and not quite athiest, I still consider myself a learned Hindu and I never read anything in the sacred texts about Jesus (isn't he called Yeshu-Christa or something?)
Plus, Hinduism isn't like Catholacism or even Protestantism, Hinduism is broken into like millions of little sects. Maybe some of them believe Jesus an Avatar, but I know most don't.
But please, carry on with this book of Thomas stuff, the gospel seems way more cryptic and intersting than the bible!
Krishna is very similar to Jesus. He was born of a virgin and visited while still an infant by wise men who were guided to him by a star. An evil ruler tried to kill him before he attained power. His parents were warned by a heavenly messenger and he was taken to a different area for safety. When he grew up he performed many miracles.
He was around way before Jesus of course.
Maybe some of them believe Jesus an Avatar, but I know most don't.
Well, all I know is that my husband is from Kashmir, is a Hindu, and was taught that Jesus could possibly be an Avatar of god (his parents let him choose what to believe, rather than dictate. He views his religion as more of a philosophical construct than a rigid doctrine).
I also know that his family isn't the only one that told their children of Jesus' identity as an Incarnation.
Right, that's totally valid. But since Hinduism is not a centralized religion it's really up for theological debate. I mean, it's kinda like the mormons who believe in that supplemental book to the bible, some Hindus may believe Jesus an avatar but I'm pretty sure most do not, but rather as an enlightened man who did good works.
The idea exists that a polytheistic outlook of God is actually the proper way to go about things. He is infinite, with no set face, no image to limit him or define him. India has 330 million gods, all are different versions of one, whose full name escapes me. The Christian God is composed of three parts. The Hand or Word of God can be seen as a separate entity.
This whole God thing...bigger than we thought, not?
Lord Bane, you threadkiller...
Well, the Hindu "God" is also represented by a holy trinity, Brahma, the creator, Vishnu, the preserver (he's the regular 'everyday' style "GOD,"), and Shiva, the destroyer.
But yeah, there's lots of gods for Hindus, but in reality Hindu's believe in one singular divine entity.
Basically, when it all comes down to it, believing in God requires Faith. Faith is essential. So, obviously, nobody has 100% proof that God exists. If so, one wouldn't need faith in the first place. (I'm pretty sure all religious types would agree with me so far.)
So anyways, God, in addition to knowing the future anyway (and thus knowing who will end up in heaven and who will spend the rest of eternity in hell -- wait, that's a whole other debate), would have been completely naive to think that EVERY one of his creations would have this necessary Faith to end up in heaven (Yet he never intended Hell for humans... *cough*).
I don't have the required faith -- he knew I wouldn't. Does that mean I deserve to be punished for the rest of eternity because some things I've learnt don't (seemingly) line up with eachother, and I've chosen, using my intelligence (God-given intelligence, of course), that other scientific models hold more validity (at least in my own eyes) than what religion offers? Of course not! And if it does -- then, hell, it's not the kind of god I would want to believe in in the first place.
The "GOD" question: DUM DUM DUMMMMMM (Sorry Mr. Bane. Had to do it).
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Thou art God?