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Old 07-31-2014, 09:39 AM   #5071
mostlyharmless
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@sundialsvcs: +1
 
Old 08-02-2014, 11:53 AM   #5072
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Now, as I have said before in this vast thread, I am fascinated by topics such as "The Quest for the Historical Jesus." Who was this guy, that normally very-attentive historians barely (if ever) mention? Why does he talk sometimes like an Essne, and a few pages later like a Roman? We can clearly see that these are an amalgamation of sources, but which conflicting picture is "the historical person?" No one knows.

We can be pretty sure that he was crucified for ordinary political reasons, not at the behest of the Jews who hated him. Romans didn't get involved with the squabbles of their conquered subjects. But they did kill anyone who they saw as a threat to their power – as someone riding into town in apparent fulfillment of a religious prophecy targeting the Roman state, certainly would be. (Especially if he trashed the Temple.)

Likewise, for instance, Paul of Tarsus. Claims to be the ultimate Pharisee, although he doesn't talk like one, and then, when the going gets tough, he yanks out his Roman Citizen suit and demands to be taken to the presence of Caesar, himself! When he writes about "the scriptures," what documents are he referring to? (Surely not his own letters?) He claims to be "an apostle," which definitely got him into more than one argument with Peter, who actually was. And, based on a few historical-landmarks references that we can date, his reported lifespan would have had to be more than a hundred years as he took all those journeys. He's a self-described, self-authority on matters of religion and power ... his way. And, he is certainly Roman, through and through.

The Holy Bible, in its (two ...) present incarnation(s), is one of the most-curious of the religious texts, because it blends "the juiciest bits" of the Judaic religion that it claims to spring from, with unmistakable Roman Imperical influences. Yet, it does not reflect the Judaic traditions that were known to be prevalent in those times. It is positively drenched in Roman philosophy in the New Testament portion ... but why, if it claims to spring from Judaism and to have, indeed, been the fulfillment of it? It's very difficult to say just where it did come from. It is, as has been said, "an etiological mystery." And yet it's one of the most-influential religious foundation-texts in the modern world.

As Judas sings in Jesus Christ Superstar, "I only wanna know."

And for me, "here's the rub." It doesn't bother me to ask these kinds of questions and to make these kinds of observations, and to engage my process of critical thought. I think that it's a good and important thing to be doing, no matter what you do or don't believe. It actually says nothing about what I personally do or don't believe. You're given a brain to think with, and I suggest using it. And, if that should send me to the great celestial boiler-room, well, just remember who's keeping the lights on for you as you enjoy your singing lessons. "An unexamined religion is not worth having."

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 08-02-2014 at 12:01 PM.
 
Old 08-02-2014, 12:26 PM   #5073
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Studying "religious" bibles and studying "religious" bibles are infinitely different. Being a history lover seems to do little good for the whole... Silly ♪hu♪?
 
Old 08-02-2014, 12:38 PM   #5074
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
{...}"The Quest for the Historical Jesus."{...}
This actually works both ways. Sure it suggests that there is something wrong with people who are too much obsessed with searching for them Or they want it that way(jamison will like this article ) OR that "holy book" characters actually existed which can be problem for resistance forces.
 
Old 08-02-2014, 05:27 PM   #5075
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Quote:
As Judas sings in Jesus Christ Superstar, "I only wanna know."
Perhaps not the best person to emulate; and while the music is nice, Yvonne Elliman's refrain of "he's just a man" isn't really consistent with the Nicene Creed, which is the basis for most Christians to call themselves followers of Christ.

Anyone can label themselves as whatever they want of course, but it does help to agree on definitions. Many people in the world equate "Christian" with "war-mongering right-wing capitalist North American", but clearly such a description isn't consistent with a follower of Christ as depicted in the Gospel, particularly not as being known as a follower of Christ because of love for one another.

Paul got in the same problem with religious definitions. I could go to the synagogue since I might consider myself Jewish (by Paul's definition) but that definition is not accepted by the modern Jewish faith. Similarly, many members of the LDS church are not considered Christians by mainline and evangelicals because of the Nicene Creed, among other things, for example, their rejection of the New Testament other than the Gospels. They certainly consider themselves Christians, however.

I used to like things like "The Quest for the Historical Jesus" until I met the real living One.
Quote:
"An unexamined religion is not worth having."
A relationship with God is better than any religion.
 
Old 08-02-2014, 06:04 PM   #5076
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mostlyharmless View Post
I used to like things like "The Quest for the Historical Jesus" until I met the real living One.

A relationship with God is better than any religion.
Well said, but ... I am still fascinated by the subject, because I like to know where things came from. I also like history. And here we have people about whom, even though their names are household names, almost nothing is actually known. We know a lot about the Roman (and Jewish) figures that these people interacted with, yet we know almost nothing, objectively speaking, about them. So, "I (still ...) wanna know." I don't find the two pursuits to be at odds with each other.
 
Old 08-02-2014, 08:46 PM   #5077
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At odds, no, though it wouldn't do to find out a lot about God without getting to know Him. You clearly know this, but it bears saying nonetheless. For a similar clarification, the "warnings" in the NT posted earlier are not warnings in the sense of danger signs to be feared, as they are instructions, as in RTFM.
 
Old 08-02-2014, 09:38 PM   #5078
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"Instructions to turn my brain off?" Don't think so. "I don't 'know Him?'" How presumptuous you be.

I will quite-categorically reject out-of-hand any "warnings" (or, if you call it, "instructions") ... especially given that it is entirely uncertain exactly what "scriptures" the author was referring! "The official (Roman Empire) canon," of course, is that "Paul's Letters are 'Scripture.'" However ... how, possibly, could the aforesaid author have possibly known this, at the time that he writ? Bzzztt... he obviously couldn't have.

The bottom-line here is that somebody else packaged-up these letters, "well after the fact," and (by some authority ...) deemed decreed them to be 'canonical.™' It's nonsensical to suppose that the author, himself, presumed that he was writing "scripture." (After all: "exactly what is 'scripture,' anyway?" Inquiring minds do want to know ...)

These, unfortunately, are "serious holes" that exist ... that always have existed ... in the "canonical" belief-systems that (natcherly ...) hold themselves to be Above Reproach.™

You see, "[Emperor] Constantine's Triumph™" was to realize that religion, even a co-opted variety of it, could be used as a powerful and effective means of control for The State. All that you really needed to do, in order to make this work, is to persuade people never to ask questions.

And so ... I embrace "questions." And, I fairly reject "canonical." I summarily ignore "threats" for asking the questions that I do, as well as "guidances" that I ought not to be asking them. "C'mon! Put up your dukes! Let's have it out!"

No, this doesn't make me an "athiest" or a "non-believer." It simply makes me ... questioning. Skeptical.

I like that.
 
Old 08-02-2014, 11:27 PM   #5079
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Today in Milwaukee on the way to a grate lake with some kayaks, a windsurfer and family I caught a glimpse of a huge billboard advertising against evolution. It had a ghost busters style red circle plus slash over a fish to monkey to man and then earth with something like who really made it all (went by quick on the interstate?) LOL how truth trembles to pieces in the light of truth!

Last edited by jamison20000e; 08-03-2014 at 12:36 AM.
 
Old 08-02-2014, 11:46 PM   #5080
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"No problem can be solved by the same kind of thinking that created it."

Last edited by jamison20000e; 08-02-2014 at 11:48 PM.
 
Old 08-03-2014, 10:08 AM   #5081
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mostlyharmless View Post
At odds, no, though it wouldn't do to find out a lot about God without getting to know Him.{...}
Again this argument? Watch video for it
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0A_iF1B3k0
However this still does not explain why holy books exist nor that there was|were no force(s) from which humans and other life originated. If it was Aliens then it makes perfect sense why we don't understand ancient scripture...yet.
 
Old 08-03-2014, 10:31 AM   #5082
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Quote:
["Instructions to turn my brain off?" Don't think so. "I don't 'know Him?'" How presumptuous you be.
Huh? I presumed you did know Him from what you said. If that isn't correct, sorry for the mistake. Regardless of that, the warnings from Paul are not, in my opinion, instructions to turn your brain off. How could they be: worship The Lord with your heart soul strength and mind. It's all of the above, not multiple choice. I've always understood the warnings to mean, "don't run little-endian code on a big-endian machine, you'll just have gibberish."

As far as scripture is concerned, Paul was presumably referring to the Torah, though I believe what he writes applies to any scripture. Whether or not you accept his writings as such is your choice.

@Arcane, sorry, no videos for me, not for computer instructions, toaster recipes or anything else. I'd be delighted to respond to your written words, though from most of what you write, I think we'll have a hard time communicating.

Last edited by mostlyharmless; 08-03-2014 at 10:33 AM.
 
Old 08-03-2014, 10:56 AM   #5083
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mostlyharmless View Post
{...}@Arcane, sorry, no videos for me, not for computer instructions, toaster recipes or anything else. I'd be delighted to respond to your written words, though from most of what you write, I think we'll have a hard time communicating.
As i said before - my writing english(grammar or whatever) s*x(even in school years) so i am trying to use native english material to illustrate my point(s). So unless you speak my home language we will have miscommunication much.
 
Old 08-03-2014, 11:57 AM   #5084
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@Arcane Well, your English is far better than my Latvian... since I neither speak nor read a single word of it. Perhaps if you quoted some written materials in English (sparsely, not a whole encyclopedia) with some commentary of your own, we might have some success. Since you recommended the video, I'll presume you liked what it had to say. Perhaps you could start by saying what it said that you liked, in a sentence or two..

@jamison20000e I saw an amusing billboard recently too, for a local jewelry store. An attractive young woman had her left hand raised, closed with dorsum facing the viewer, with a single digit raised upwards. The caption read "Tu m'a promis!", roughly, "You promised me!". Curious in that the billboard was in an area of town where there are probably no French speakers or readers, closer inspection the second time passing the billboard revealed that the digit in question was the ring finger, not the middle one. It did not inspire me to buy jewelry, though perhaps it might have that desired effect for someone else. Perhaps the same ad agency was responsible for your experience.

Last edited by mostlyharmless; 08-03-2014 at 11:59 AM.
 
Old 08-04-2014, 12:21 AM   #5085
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This might not be much to rant about but today I almost got stopped by a (according to my dad) Presbyterian Church's crosswalk, it annoyed me being 15 feet away from the actual crosswalk; had they of stopped me I'd have to hit the horn and rant my protest, lazy and married to the state!
 
  


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