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  #71  
Old 02-15-2014, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by london View Post
The earliest gospel is said to have been written about twenty five years after the death of Jesus.
"Said" by whom? This article, which is actually quite conservative as historical criticism goes, disputes your claim. The article is based on research from the 1980 and 90s, much work has been done since then which places the Gospels much later.

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...e-bible-part-4

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The existence of Jesus Christ as a bloke who lived and was crucified isn't disputed by many historians.
hehe, yeah, Christian historians.

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His existence does not warrant much debate, it's the Son Of God thing that is more than a little debatable.
There is actually much debate about whether Jesus ever existed as a historical person, and wasn't just one of thousands of dying and rising gods of ancient times, starting, as far as historical documentation goes, with Osiris, going on to Tammuz, Attis, Dionysus and so many others. Even the early Brits had one: John Barleycorn.

Of course, Jesus can't be the son of Yahweh, because in Jewish tradition, Yahweh never manifests materially. In fact, the Goddess Ishtar of Babylon (which had great influence when the OT was being written), was the undying mourning lover of her dying and rising husband, Tammuz. You can see vestiges of Her and Her Lover in Jesus' relationship with Mary Magdalene.

Some extra-Biblical evidence exists that the goddess of Israel, Asherah, was considered a consort of Yahweh. You can however, read in the OT the hatred the Biblical authors had for this female deity. I consider the entire OT to be a diatribe against worship of a female deity (only exception being the Song of Songs).

In Judaism, the idea that Yahweh El would mate with a young woman and impregnate her, is the deepest heresy, just plain ridiculous. However, in Greek and Roman culture of that time, gods mated with human women, who gave birth to demi-gods, all the time.

So, look at the big picture and you can see how Jesus is just one more of this seasonal corn gods, who accrued a "healer/savior [Greek: soter] type" persona over time.
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  #72  
Old 02-15-2014, 05:37 PM
seakinganswers seakinganswers is offline
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Just out of curiosity would you also question whether Moses, Muhamed, Buddha, etc existed at all? I've also assumed they were real people that were just possibly made to be more than they really were as opposed to make believe people.
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  #73  
Old 02-15-2014, 05:41 PM
seakinganswers seakinganswers is offline
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Also, do you think the fact that humans have always made up or corrupted the original story means that God doesn't exist? Corruption doesn't really prove that something doesn't exist. Especially when the overall theme of Christianity in my opinion is that we are all selfish and corrupt pretty much everything me get our hands on.
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  #74  
Old 02-15-2014, 05:55 PM
seakinganswers seakinganswers is offline
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I wouldn't say that Jesus was made up by Jews. Most of them don't believe in him to this day. And the story as its presented in the current Bible doesn't exactly paint Hews in the best light. It's possible the Romans did as a way to control the population but even that doesn't hold water because at first the Romans persecuted the early Christian church until they finally "converted" and started using it to control people. So they didn't make it up either. I always assumed it was the Romans who corrupted it into what we know today as a system where people burn in hell for all eternity if they don't believe.

Also, I don't think the other books that didn't make it in the Bible were considered heretical. They were just not considered to be the perfect word of God. And thanks to Martin Luther who took books out of the catholic Bible he thought told the wrong story too.

All of this is reason enough for me to say as a Christian that the Bible is imperfect. It's currently the best book we have so I read it. But I try to see the overall theme and see how it compares to my worldview, science, philosophy, and psychology. The hardest part is being raised in a evangelical Christian home and then trying to take off the glasses I've always had on. And read the Scripture as if you are reading it for the first time. It's almost impossible.
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  #75  
Old 02-15-2014, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by seakinganswers View Post
Just out of curiosity would you also question whether Moses, Muhamed, Buddha, etc existed at all? I've also assumed they were real people that were just possibly made to be more than they really were as opposed to make believe people.
I know Moses is a myth, as there is absolutely no extra-biblical evidence he ever existed or that the exodus happened. About the others, I pass, since I have not made an in depth study.

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Originally Posted by seakinganswers View Post
Also, do you think the fact that humans have always made up or corrupted the original story means that God doesn't exist? Corruption doesn't really prove that something doesn't exist. Especially when the overall theme of Christianity in my opinion is that we are all selfish and corrupt pretty much everything me get our hands on.
Corrupted WHAT original story? I think humans are story tellers and myth makers. We had little to no science back in pre-Greek days, and then we destroyed much of Greek science in around 400 AD. Without science, all we have are myths and fairy tales and superstition. And hallucinations from fasting and drugs!

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I wouldn't say that Jesus was made up by Jews. Most of them don't believe in him to this day.
Right. The story was made up by people who might have been Judean by birth but were heavily influenced by the presiding culture of the day, which was all Greek, all over the Mediterranean region.

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And the story as its presented in the current Bible doesn't exactly paint Hews in the best light. It's possible the Romans did as a way to control the population but even that doesn't hold water because at first the Romans persecuted the early Christian church
Actually, since Roman culture was polytheistic, the early Christians were not as persecutd as modern myths would have us believe. There was some, but it was not continuous.

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... until they finally "converted" and started using it to control people. So they didn't make it up either. I always assumed it was the Romans who corrupted it into what we know today as a system where people burn in hell for all eternity if they don't believe.
It wasn't corrupted. Early Christians had no accepted dogma, so there were many Christian tales about "Christ" and salvation that you'd probably find very foreign. "Thunder, Perfect Mind." "The Shepherd of Hermas."

http://gnosis.org/naghamm/nhl.html


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Also, I don't think the other books that didn't make it in the Bible were considered heretical.
Oh yes, they were. Do some research.

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All of this is reason enough for me to say as a Christian that the Bible is imperfect. It's currently the best book we have so I read it.
Huh, best? Try reading the Gnostic writings, Apocrypha, early Kabbalah. I find them to be much more enlightening. A good collection is The Other Bible. Also read Elaine Pagels' commentary in her book The Gnostic Gospels. Also, read anything you can by Bart Ehrman and Rev Spong.

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...But I try to see the overall theme and see how it compares to my worldview, science, philosophy, and psychology. The hardest part is being raised in a evangelical Christian home and then trying to take off the glasses I've always had on. And read the Scripture as if you are reading it for the first time. It's almost impossible.
I was raised in a nearly fundamentalist Lutheran church. I made a study of Biblical historical criticism for 7 years in later adulthood and finally felt I found the key to why Christianity just never made sense to me!
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me: Mags, 59, living with:
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Last edited by Magdlyn; 02-15-2014 at 06:35 PM.
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  #76  
Old 02-15-2014, 06:45 PM
seakinganswers seakinganswers is offline
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I'll try to make some times to read those. Do you consider yourself to be gnostic or atheist? Or undecided?
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  #77  
Old 02-16-2014, 12:10 AM
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Forgot to comment on this:

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Also, do you think the fact that humans have always made up or corrupted the original story means that God doesn't exist?
Define "God." Do I believe in the Christian God, the Trinity? No. But "corruption" has nothing to do with it. I find other gods more appealing. Or should I say goddesses. However, I do not "believe" in them as actual supernatural beings, rather as psychological archetypes, as Jung thought of them. I also see the Holy Spirit, coming down as a dove, as a goddess, which the gnostics called Sophia (wisdom). She was also represented by the Marys in the Gospels, the mother, and the consort, Magdalene and sister of Martha. A dove was a common goddess avatar back in those days.

I reserve the right to post on Christian oriented threads such as this, since I have done more Bible study than most Christians. If that sounds arrogant, so be it.
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Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

me: Mags, 59, living with:
miss pixi, 37

Last edited by Magdlyn; 02-16-2014 at 12:15 AM.
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  #78  
Old 02-16-2014, 12:13 AM
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I'll try to make some times to read those. Do you consider yourself to be gnostic or atheist? Or undecided?
I can't really religiously categorize myself. I guess I could say I am a Seeker and a Friend of God. If there is anything god-oriented about me, it's similar to what loveboston said: "His Spirit lives in me. His Spirit is Love." Only I wouldn't gender it as male, that's for sure.
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  #79  
Old 02-16-2014, 12:52 AM
seakinganswers seakinganswers is offline
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Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
I can't really religiously categorize myself. I guess I could say I am a Seeker and a Friend of God. If there is anything god-oriented about me, it's similar to what loveboston said: "His Spirit lives in me. His Spirit is Love." Only I wouldn't gender it as male, that's for sure.
I could care less if God is male or female. Wouldn't be surprised at all if he is neither. And I wasn't asking about the "Christian" God. I personally believe we are all worshipping the same God. He or she just may have manifested himself differently to different people and when he does most people find a way to corrupt the story to fit their agenda. I consider myself Christian but I don't believe in Hell. My Christian viewpoint would look VERY different from the traditional narrative and I think for the most part scripture actually backs up my views. Even though I don't believe in the perfection of them.
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  #80  
Old 02-16-2014, 02:15 AM
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I could care less if God is male or female. Wouldn't be surprised at all if he is neither. And I wasn't asking about the "Christian" God. I personally believe we are all worshipping the same God.
Ultimately? All is One. But then we really have nothing to talk about, reducing it to that. If all is one, there is no gender, there is no individuality, we wouldn't be having any trouble trying to be poly.

However, there is the sacred sexuality concept, heiros gamos, yin yang. That's another topic all together... the gnostics did address it, but it's avoided in the canonical Bible (except again, in the Song of Songs, which is pretty damn hot).
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