Originally Posted by UtahHopeful
Because we're talking Bible, let's keep the conversation accurate. Old Testament is the 'old testimony'...This is historical in nature, and is context for the 'New Testimony'...
Dear Mr Christo-Pagan preacher,
The Tanakh is not historical, except for certain things written post 700 BCE. The entire Torah is myth, full of heroes from a magical realm, complete with holy mountains and magical waters. There is absolutely no evidence anything written there ever happened, no evidence any of the heroes lived (Noah, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, et al). There is some evidence David and Solomon lived, but not in the splendour of wealth and "wisdom" as depicted.
However, early Christians co-opted the Hebrew Scriptures (in their Greek written form) to add panache to their new religion. Your Jesus is a typical mythological god, as are the 2 Marys. Jesus' story is a gnostic retelling (midrash) of the story of Moses leading his enslaved tribe out of Egypt. Moses is called by his new god to lead people out of slavery, as Jesus is called to lead his people away from the strictures of Hebrew Law, and to free them from Roman rule along the way. Moses then spends 40 years in the desert (though if you read it carefully, the Hebrews were settled at an oasis much of that time... and historically there is no evidence this supposedly huge tribe ever wandered or settled anywhere as claimed). Jesus only spends 40 days in the desert-- he gets a break! Moses then dies (as Jesus did), and his right hand man/alter ego, Joshua (same name as Jesus, no coincidence) crosses the Jordan. Your Jesus is baptised in the Jordan. They both then lead their followers to a new land of milk and honey, Israel, or the kingdom of "god, the father."
I wouldn't discount the OT as mere history. There is much wisdom in Proverbs (which are taken from ancient Egyptian culture) and in the existential, personal ramblings of the historical so-called prophets (Elijah and Elisha however, were mythological heroes). Also, the Song of Songs is really hot and was extremely popular in its day, being sung as a drinking song at orgiastic goddess celebrations/rituals. It's entirely pagan. (It is not as graphically sexy as a song of the courtship of the goddess Innana though... check that one out!)
Christ, His removal of all sin, His example of the Spiritual path, and His sacrifice to change the laws of the physical plane for all spirits coming here should be the conversation.
It is not really up to you to determine what our conversation "should" be... however, I don't acknowledge sin, so therefore do not need it forgiven or "removed" for me by someone who lived (or didn't) 2000 years ago.
To execute this self governing law in Christ's spiritual path example is the plan of Creation. Do unto others - because they are you. Love all things as Creator - because all things are part of the Creator.
I agree love is important, communication, respect for others and for oneself, but I do not swallow that there is a thinking creator who has planned this for me, for other humans, or for other beings in the universe, be they animals or those with more highly developed thinking processes and nervous systems. That just smacks of anthropomorphism in too many ways for my comfort, much less belief.
"Holy matrimony," or as the ancient Greeks called it "heiros gamos," is shown when Mary ritualistically anoints Jesus and sensuously, intimately wipes his feet with her hair. What the heck is a woman
doing anointing a male for kingship in patriarchal Jewish culture?? Anointing a new leader had been strictly the provenance of men for hundreds of years at that point. Then Mary finds Jesus (as John tells it) outside his tomb in a garden. The idea it was a garden completes the cycle of Adam and Eve being rejected from one, way back in Genesis. Mary even mistakes Jesus for a gardener, perhaps because of his big straw hat and the garden tools in his hand (hehe), as Adam was called to be gardener of the earth.
So, to sum up, dismissing the OT as mere history is a mistake for any Christian. Much or most of the Bible is a myth. Myths can tell us a lot about ourselves. Don't worry about sin, there is no Creator either leading us into temptation or forgiving us when we succumb. Jesus believed in demons. Sheesh, that's Stephen King territory.
A close reading shows us there is evidence the Jesus character was married to both Mary (of Bethany or the Magdalene) as well as her sister Martha. If you can't see that, it is because the Catholic Church leaders of the early centuries CE cut it out, making gnostic books illegal, and hiding the importance of Mary M in the canonical literature. The later writings of the doctors of the church (I'm looking at you Augustine!) clearly showed women their place in Christianity as it came to be practiced quite early on.
I always thought it was so weird that the Trinity was all male! Once I figured out the "Holy Spirit" was female (as evidenced by her appearance as a dove, a well known goddess symbol of the time) a trinity of father, mother and son (or really a quad, once we acknowledge Jesus had a consort in Mary) made a lot more sense.