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AuthorTopic: Man or God
Infiltrator
Member # 10578
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quote:
Originally written by Synergy:

How exactly did anyone know this, and how do you know that they knew? The consensus is that most of the writings of the NT except, possibly, for Paul's letters, were written by people whose names are not on the book.

The only book I can think of that that applies to is Hebrews. If you research the history of the Council of Nicaea you will find that the various "canons" in almost every case were almost identical with the canon they settled on. Only a small handful of books were debated at all by the vast majority of people at the time, which, I believe,is your definition of consensus.

As opposed to just how silly some of the fake stuff is in the books that were retained?

Care to give some examples?

Again, I'd sure like to know how you think you know that. Considering my opinion of majority opinion, I'd be especially interested to see what the chosen agents of an institutionalized Church-state deemed too dangerous or unGodly or frivolous to make it into the "official canon."

As I have already stated, there was less confusion on this issue back then than you would like to think. The big exception that comes to mind is the canon of Marcion, who threw out almost everything in the entire Bible, keeping only most of Paul's epistles and some of the Gospel of Luke.




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"I intend to find out who has the most treasure, kill them, take it, and repeat the process."
Posts: 432 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2007 07:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
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Take me far away from this mucky muck.

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Synergy, et al - "I don't get it."

Thralni - "a lot of people are ... too weird to be trusted"
Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
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Every finite event/object has a cause, infinite events don't need a cause. The universe is finite it needs a cause. Therefore somewhere along the line something infinite set something into motion that created the universe. Going by that same line of logic what ever created the universe exists outside of space and time, then this being(assuming it is a being) would not be bound by space or time. So we have a being that exist at all points in space and time. For something at the level too function it would have to be at infinite in power, intellegence, and attention span.

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A rock has weight whether you admit it or not
Posts: 479 | Registered: Wednesday, July 12 2006 07:00
...b10010b...
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quote:
Originally written by Safey:

Every finite event/object has a cause, infinite events don't need a cause.
Do you have any evidence for either of these assertions?

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #154
It is not clear whether the universe is spatially finite or infinite. Either way, it currently appears that it probably had a beginning. In principle, though, an eternal finite universe and an infinite universe with a beginning are both possible.

A passage from the Bible has infallible authority on one question only in this discussion: the question of how that passage reads.
The other fine reason to quote scripture is that you like the way the Bible puts something. If you like how Homer Simpson put something, you can quote him too.

Anyone can google the NT canon and learn the status of our knowledge about how it was formed. The picture seems pretty clear, since we have quite a few relevant documents. In general the official decision represented a very solid consensus, but there were a few borderline cases. As has been mentioned, the epistle to the Hebrews was one such. The book of Revelation was also very controversial. There was even some argument about the gospel of John. The epistle of Jude suffered suspicion because it quotes an apocryphal OT book (Enoch). There were also a few books that some people wanted to include in the canon, but didn't make it.

The fact that we now doubt the traditional authorship theories for many NT books is not really a big deal. The important question back in the day was not who contributed the exact words, but rather who was the source for the content of the book. Whose teaching did the book convey? So a book whose authority traced back to Peter would be attributed to Peter; nobody really cared whether or not Peter himself wrote or dictated the final text.

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
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quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

quote:
Originally written by Safey:

Every finite event/object has a cause, infinite events don't need a cause.
Do you have any evidence for either of these assertions?

For every action their is an equal but opposite reaction.

However if something is infinite it has always existed and therefore nothing could have created it. If the universe had always existed then that means nothing came before the universe. However scientist all agree the universe has an age. They don't agree on exactly how old it is but they do believe it has an age. Simply this means something created the universe. Now what that something is you can argue and debate over but you know something that is infinite is responsible for the creation of the universe.

Things science can't quite explain:
The first fraction of a second of the universe (our laws physics seem to break down at those tempatures)

The event horizon of a black hole because space and time have been folded into nothing

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A rock has weight whether you admit it or not
Posts: 479 | Registered: Wednesday, July 12 2006 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #156
quote:
Originally written by Safey:

For every action [there] is an equal but opposite reaction.

However if something is infinite it has always existed and therefore nothing could have created it. If the universe had always existed then that means nothing came before the universe. However scientist all agree the universe has an age. They don't agree on exactly how old it is but they do believe it has an age. Simply this means something created the universe. Now what that something is you can argue and debate over but you know something that is infinite is responsible for the creation of the universe.

This is confusing because it's not clear what Newton's Second Law has to do with this question. And first you say that nothing infinite can ever have a beginning, but then you seem to say that it can if it is created by another infinite thing.

quote:

Things science can't quite explain:
The first fraction of a second of the universe (our laws physics seem to break down at those tempatures)

The event horizon of a black hole because space and time have been folded into nothing

The first is indeed a puzzle, but the spacetime geometry of event horizons is very well understood. Space and time are not folded into nothing at a horizon. You may be thinking of the metric singularity at the 'center' of a black hole, well inside the event horizon. It is similar in some ways to the Big Bang singularity, and it is not understood either.

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #157
quote:
Originally written by Safey:

For every action their is an equal but opposite reaction.
The fact that Newton's Third Law has been co-opted for causality does not mean it in fact says anything more than A exerting a force F must also experience a force -F.

quote:
However if something is infinite it has always existed and therefore nothing could have created it. If the universe had always existed then that means nothing came before the universe. However scientist all agree the universe has an age. They don't agree on exactly how old it is but they do believe it has an age. Simply this means something created the universe. Now what that something is you can argue and debate over but you know something that is infinite is responsible for the creation of the universe.
You know no such thing. Another finite entity could have created the universe after having itself been created. The universe could have spontaneously sprung into being; as you say, there is no complete understanding of early-universe physics, and I don't think spontaneous generation violates Newtonian physics anyway.

More importantly, time can only occur if there is a universe in which it can occur. Augustine addressed this theologically, but from a physical perspective time began with the universe and talking about what came before the universe is meaningless. Creation couldn't happen in a physical sense, and some spiritual creation doesn't necessarily require causality.

quote:
Things science can't quite explain:
The first fraction of a second of the universe (our laws physics seem to break down at those tempatures)[

Science can explain this, but it hasn't. Our laws of physics don't break down, but we lack the evidence to come up with theories that account for the early time that we can't observe.

quote:
The event horizon of a black hole because space and time have been folded into nothing
The event horizon of black holes has been well described, I believe. Black holes certainly have their questions left, particularly at the point of singularity, but those aren't unanswerable questions. They're still just unanswered or contested questions.

—Alorael, who should probably turn the questions of physics over to a physicist. Or, rather, he should accept that a physicist beat him to the post.

[ Monday, September 24, 2007 05:26: Message edited by: Mist Among the Imbeciles ]
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
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quote:
For every action their is an equal but opposite reaction.
As you've stated this here, it has very little meaning. What, physically speaking, is an 'action'? This phrase is usually used as a simple means of describing Newton's third law and the behavior of forces. It's rather a stretch to claim that it somehow describes creating universes. I really also don't think that you've actually made any progress in defending your earlier claim. Nothing you've argued seems to rule out either of SoT's suggested possibilities.

I don't find at all convincing your jump to saying that the universe must have been created by something 'infinite', either. First what does infinite mean in this context? Using that word to describe the universe we have used it to refer to physical extent, that is to say, to size. If that meaning is retained then you're arguing that whatever created the universe just had to be really, really big, which I'm guessing is not actually what you mean. Furthermore, why can't the universe have been created by something else of finite temporal/spacial extent? Say, the a big crunch of another universe, or something like that.

Lastly, it seems rather irrelevant that there are portions of the universe that science cannot yet explain. It's not as though science is done, a complete work that won't be expanded. The problems you cite are difficult ones, but there are thousands of people working on solving them. Even if they fail now or for the foreseeable future, what would that prove?

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Überraschung des Dosenöffners!
"On guard, you musty sofa!"
Posts: 627 | Registered: Monday, March 7 2005 08:00
Electric Sheep One
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It may be worth explaining the challenge singularities pose to our current theories. Strictly speaking what we have now are two separate theories: general relativity describes gravity, and renormalizable relativistic quantum field theory describes everything else (in fact, one specific such theory, the so-called 'Standard Model'). These two theories seem to be incompatible. Trying to fit them together is a lot like the kind of argument one often sees on a forum like this one, in which each participant has a lot to say about their own pet perspectives but simply ignores those of the others.

Quantum field theory keeps wanting to talk about quantum states, which are vectors in an abstract space of staggeringly large dimension. General relativity knows nothing about that space or the vectors that live in it; as far as it is concerned, everything exists in good ol' four-dimensional spacetime. GR is keen to talk about the possibly complicated geometry of spacetime, and how tricky it can be to define the 'flow' of time, or the concept of energy. QFT totally ignores these issues.

Attempts to express either GR in the language of QFT, or QFT in the language of GR, have been total failures despite decades of effort from very brilliant people. The resulting theories have all either been absurdly inconsistent, or else so abstract and vague as to yield no implications for any observable phenomena.

So from a philosophical point of view contemporary physics is simply bankrupt. Pragmatically speaking, though, we are doing all right. We assume that our two incompatible current theories are like blind men's views from different sides of the elephant which is the ultimate theory. Each view is very good, within a limited range. Using one or the other we can answer any question which does not require a view of the elephant as a whole.

Unfortunately the early universe and the cores of black holes are just such places. Gravity and quantum mechanics would seem to be important simultaneously in these cases, so we really have no idea what is going on.

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Off With Their Heads
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It's worth noting that part of the problem, as I understand it, is getting good data in the relevant regimes. It's pretty hard to get good data on the singularity of a black hole, because it's well inside the event horizon, and pretty much nothing gets out of the event horizon. It's also pretty hard to get good data on the first few tiny fractions of a second after the Big Bang, because most of our good data on the early universe comes from stuff like the CMB radiation, which is from hundreds of thousands of years after the Big Bang. Also, it's pretty hard to get into a lab and test the circumstances under which GR and QFT would have to work together, because the relevant energy scales are enormous.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

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The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
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You all are always derailing spiritual threads with this science mumbo-jumbo!… joking. I find the scientific perspective interesting, although I don’t have much to add, except this: If one tries to escape the universe being linked to an eternal cause by assuming a finite one, this seems to beg the question. At some point you either come to an infinite cause or an infinite progression of finite ones, which is still brings you to eternity.

quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

[F]rom an examination of Jesus use of “this generation” and other uses of that phrase (Ge 7:1) we think a better understanding is that it refers to people who witness the sign of Christ presence but fail to respond favorably.
And from the fact that we're all still here. Let's be honest: there seemed no reason to re-examine 'this generation' in this way, until it became apparent that the world wasn't ending fast enough. And a re-examination based on relating Greek and Hebrew words from opposite ends of the Bible is hardly the most immediate contextualization. This is one of those tight corners.

The world not ending was probably a factor. As far as examining Jesus words in view of Noah’s days, Jesus himself did that, so it is in context. But, as I said before on this thread, no one knows it all. My faith will admit that its interpretations aren’t infallible. We’ve had to make quite a few changes and adjustments to our beliefs and practices as time goes by and the picture becomes clearer.

quote:
Originally written by Synergy:

He Who subjected the creation to futility refuses to take any particular means to make His creation worthy or able to receive the remedy.
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

The cool thing to me is that he provides help for those that want it before he takes action.

Mat 24:14 And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.

This preaching work is not to confuse, but to warn and draw people to God.
quote:
I also again contend that how the religious define "free will" makes a joke of the term. Free will means you are truly free to make any choice you like and not fear that God will string you up you for exercising it, as you choose.
That’s your definition based on the God who doesn’t seem to care much what his creation does. It’s like the parents who let their children run wild at the store disrupting everyone and everything else. Everybody wants to smack them and their parents. On the flip side, people respect firm, but loving parents who’s children are happy and express themselves, but are well-behaved. The children are a joy to be around. In fact, the well-behaved children are happier than the unrestrained.

Man was not created with absolute freedom. There were always laws and there always will be. Your body has law. You don’t have freedom to not eat. If you don’t eat your body warns you. If you don’t obey, what happens? What about breathing? What if you disregard gravity? The same one that made the body is the source of morality. When he wants something done it’s for the best. When people don’t follow they end up dead. And that’s also for the best. Who wants to live with murder, rape, and war forever? I know I don’t.

Ps 37:9-11And just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more;
And you will certainly give attention to his place, and he will not be.
But the meek ones themselves will possess the earth,
And they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.


I respect a God who says, “I love you and I want you to have a good time, but respect and love me and your brothers and sisters while you do it or I will stop you. I won’t allow you to continue hurting me and others.”

De 30:19, 20 I have put life and death before you, the blessing and the malediction; and you must choose life in order that you may keep alive, you and your offspring, by loving Jehovah your God, by listening to his voice and by sticking to him; for he is your life and the length of your days, that you may dwell upon the ground that Jehovah swore to your forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to give to them.”

quote:
He is within us to help us remember from whence we came, should we stray too far from our intention for this life in our chosen and necessary forgetfulness in order to have this voluntary, contrived experience of duality to begin with.
Can you give me an example of what ‘straying too far’ is? What if someone “remembers from whence they came” but they don’t care what God or anybody feels?

quote:
It is important also to point out that suffering is not the result of our circumstance. It is the result of our perception of, belief regarding, and attitude towards our circumstance.
An 11 yr old girl is sold into slavery by her father for $14US and forced to provide sexual favors for six men per day. Are you cool with this since any suffering is just her perception? Is God?

I like what you said about the Master, Jesus, rising above pain to do what needed to be done. But he felt it nonetheless.

Luke 22:43, 44 Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. But getting into an agony he continued praying more earnestly; and his sweat became as drops of blood falling to the ground.

John 11:33-35 Jesus, therefore, when he saw her weeping and the Jews that came with her weeping, groaned in the spirit and became troubled; and he said: “Where have YOU laid him?” They said to him: “Lord, come and see.” Jesus gave way to tears.


Jesus said to see him was to see his Father, so if he feels disturbed or saddened by human suffering or wrongdoing, God does as well. There is a great danger in minimizing others pain, I think.

quote:
is it or is it not a fact, that because of their use of the Bible and Christianity, people have created many opposing sects of belief?
No, it’s not a fact. It’s because of not following the Bible that sects arose and wars were started. The Bible actually foretold these things so that we don’t have to be puzzled. What would be puzzling is if Christianity didn’t apostasize.

Mt 13:24, 25 The kingdom of the heavens has become like a man that sowed fine seed in his field. While men were sleeping, his enemy came and oversowed weeds in among the wheat, and left... the field is the world; as for the fine seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; but the weeds are the sons of the wicked one.

2 Ti 4:3, 4 For there will be a period of time when they will not put up with the healthful teaching, but, in accord with their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves to have their ears tickled; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, whereas they will be turned aside to false stories.

2 Pe 2:1 However, there also came to be false prophets among the people, as there will also be false teachers among YOU. These very ones will quietly bring in destructive sects and will disown even the owner that bought them, bringing speedy destruction upon themselves.


quote:
Christendom sure failed to be the light in the world for many centuries to pull the world out of such a miserable condition, as they continued to hold a monopoly on God’s Word through the Latin Vulgate, with which they instructed the peasants and kings alike in all the ways they were obligated to live. Those who hold the reins of power are highly accountable for the condition of society, would you not agree?
I would. If you’re claiming the Bible as God’s word, yet doing things and making rules in direct opposition to the Bible of course you don’t want people to actually read one. That would undermine your “divine” authority.

quote:
Please enlighten me how I, as a wicked Chinaman in 3-4,000 B.C. am to see a worldwide flood coming, when God only warned Noah in Mesopotamia
God always gives fair warning before he acts. Lot’s wife had warning, as I have repeatedly shown, the Israelites had abundant warning, and the Canaanites had warning, some of them even acted on it, like Rahab and her family and the Gibeonites.

Noah was a “preacher of righteousness.” (2 Pe 2:5) His great-grandfather, Enoch, was as well. Assuming people were in what we now know as China, both of them could have made contact with people there. There could have even been a mass repentance in which God may have altered his course as in the case of Nineveh, Assyria when one prophet’s warning meant salvation for hundreds of thousands.

Jonah 3:4, 10; 4:11 Finally Jonah started to enter into the city the walking distance of one day, and he kept proclaiming and saying: “Only forty days more, and Nineveh will be overthrown…”
And the men of Nineveh began to put faith in God…And the true God got to see their works, that they had turned back from their bad way; and so the true God felt regret over the calamity that he had spoken of causing to them; and he did not cause it…
“And, for my part, ought I not to feel sorry for Nineveh the great city, in which there exist more than one hundred and twenty thousand men who do not at all know the difference between their right hand and their left, besides many domestic animals?”


They had forty days. Noah’s contemporaries apparently had over a century. (Ge 6:3)

quote:
you cannot claim by your theology that we are not all in mortal peril that at any moment wise, mighty, loving Jehovah might do just about anything to us when we fail to be obey Him perfectly, which I daresay anyone you know, yourself included, fails to do daily
Ps 103:10 He has not done to us even according to our sins;
Nor according to our errors has he brought upon us what we deserve.

Prov 28:13 He that is covering over his transgressions will not succeed, but he that is confessing and leaving them will be shown mercy.

1 Jo 1:7 However, if we are walking in the light as he himself is in the light, we do have a sharing with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.


This is what I believe. I don’t see any indication in scripture that Jehovah’s anger causes him to lose control and act contrary to this. In fact, he acts far more patiently than what I imagine I ever could. The random, hot-tempered God that you paint is not the one presented in the Bible. I’ll grant he’s not lax. But lax does not mean good or loving. In fact, it indicates the opposite.

quote:
Originally written by upon mars:

Why does the Bible illustrate most violent stories about cannibalistic rituals,horrible deaths,fratricides,incest and rape.
Listen to a global news report and tell me why it presents these things. This is what people do. That being said, the Bible is about much more than these things. It’s just what the anti-Bible folks tend to focus on. The Bible is about the end of all these things.
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #162
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

If one tries to escape the universe being linked to an eternal cause by assuming a finite one, this seems to beg the question. At some point you either come to an infinite cause or an infinite progression of finite ones, which is still brings you to eternity.
Eh, or you redefine time, which seems to be the real way to escape the problem. (I'm reminded here of what statistical mechanics does to the concept of "temperature," which is kind of the same thing that serious cosmology has to do to the concept of "time.")

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Infiltrator
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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

If one tries to escape the universe being linked to an eternal cause by assuming a finite one, this seems to beg the question. At some point you either come to an infinite cause or an infinite progression of finite ones, which is still brings you to eternity.
Eh, or you redefine time, which seems to be the real way to escape the problem. (I'm reminded here of what statistical mechanics does to the concept of "temperature," which is kind of the same thing that serious cosmology has to do to the concept of "time.")

Time's hard to define in any case. If I understand correctly, on small scales, relativistic equations can't even assign a 'direction' to it. Oddly enough its supposed to become very related to entropy, just like temperature, so perhaps Kel's 'remind' isn't so off the wall.

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"Let's just say that if complete and utter chaos was lightning, he'd be the sort to stand on a hilltop in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armour and shouting 'All gods are false'."
Posts: 564 | Registered: Wednesday, April 14 2004 07:00
? Man, ? Amazing
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quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

We’ve had to make quite a few changes and adjustments to our beliefs and practices as time goes by and the picture becomes clearer.

Having the benefit of hindsight certain does help , but given the track record of the JW, how would you assess the likelihood that any of the dogma will survive the test of time?
quote:
Originally written by Stillness:

That’s your definition based on the God who doesn’t seem to care much what his creation does. It’s like the parents who let their children run wild at the store disrupting everyone and everything else. Everybody wants to smack them and their parents. On the flip side, people respect firm, but loving parents who’s children are happy and express themselves, but are well-behaved. The children are a joy to be around. In fact, the well-behaved children are happier than the unrestrained.

The italicized words represent your opinion, not fact. Please don't presume to tell me that I respect certain people and not others. You may prefer the company of well-behaved children, but that may not be so for everyone. And your comparison of the world to a supermarket I find baffling. Could you explain why you chose that scenario rather than another? It seems to not fit what Synergy is saying at all, and I just want to stay clear.

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Synergy, et al - "I don't get it."

Thralni - "a lot of people are ... too weird to be trusted"
Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Shaper
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Profile #165
Originally written by Khyryk's Brother:
quote:
Originally written by Synergy:

As opposed to just how silly some of the fake stuff is in the books that were retained?
Care to give some examples?

Well, the fact that the four gospels disagree on various basic facts and numbers show that something somewhere is not genuine/true/accurately recollected or remembered/was made up/somehow otherwise faked or approximated.

there was less confusion on this issue back then than you would like to think.

I see. So might makes right, and majority opinion implies reliability. I have no such faith in consensus, even if it did exist.

-S-

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A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
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Originally written by Synergy:

Well, the fact that the four gospels disagree on various basic facts and numbers show that something somewhere is not genuine/true/accurately recollected or remembered/was made up/somehow otherwise faked or approximated.

Sorry if I was unclear, but I was looking for specific examples.

I see. So might makes right, and majority opinion implies reliability. I have no such faith in consensus, even if it did exist.

The reason those false books were discredited immediately was because the church already had a canon by the time they appeared. Bear in mind that (look this up if you don't believe me) the acknowledged canon was all finished before 100 AD, and the earliest possible date for the New Testament apocrypha is about a hundred years later. It's not like the Council of Nicaea was working from scratch, you know. (Again, look up the history before critizing that!) The only debated books that were removed were Old Testament Apocrypha written in the intertestamental period, which were still considered useful and the church was encouraged to read them, interestingly enough. The debated books that were kept were either debated for authenticity, like the anonymous Hebrews, or (rarely) on teaching, such as James. James was challenged by those people who thought works were unnecessary for salvation. However, it was written to assert the importance of living a godly life to back up your faith ("faith without works is dead"), whereas Paul wrote to an audience who considered good works to be the central aspect of salvation. If you're not sure what I mean, please ask me. I mentioned it because it is a commonly cited "contradiction."

It is difficult for someone who discredits the whole Bible to distinguish between what the Bible is, and what it is not. This being so, I am most likely wasting my time. But, as I told Jame2, only God can change hearts. And he can, too. I won't speculate on why you left the church, because I'm sure you had your reasons. After all, everyone is a sinner and has problems, no matter how good they are. I will pray for you too, and I don't mean that in a self-righteous way.

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"I intend to find out who has the most treasure, kill them, take it, and repeat the process."
Posts: 432 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2007 07:00
Shaper
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Profile #167
Originally written by Khyryk's Brother:
Sorry if I was unclear, but I was looking for specific examples.

Do your own research. They are not hard to unearth. Any Christian would do well to challenge their own faith thusly.

Your extra-Biblical explanation for why Peter and the other 11 apostles taught a mixed gospel of works, while Paul taught one solely of grace (as well as universal salvation and restoration) is a retroactive apologetic explanation for why God can’t divinely inspire a coherent, unified message of salvation in His own Bible. I don’t buy it. The gospels are significantly different. Peter and Paul were at controversy with one another. The Church was divided upon itself from day one. And you expect me to think that many years later, consensus is sufficient to rightly divide truth?

It is difficult for someone who discredits the whole Bible

I never have. I love the Bible and love to quote many worthy things from it. I just don’t assume it is weighted equally or that its understanding saw past the capacity of its own day. I don’t believe it was ever intended or needed to be a Divine Textbook for all time and place, and that the evidence of itself makes this clear.

only God can change hearts.

I thank God that my heart was changed to look beyond the boxes (coffins) and the words of dead men to seek and find the living God of right here right now right in me and in this world. You’re right, my heart has been changed, and I am thrilled about it. It continue to change daily. This is the nature of God...neverending unfolding and growth. It’s fantastic. I highly recommend it.

I won't speculate on why you left the church, because I'm sure you had your reasons.

My soul finally vomited it up one day and it would not let me return. It instead drove me to seek something much much more, and God has not given me stones when I asked for bread. I appreciate your concern for my peril.

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Stillness:

You still don’t clarify the one thing I keep asking you to clarify. Why...why? Aggravating.

That’s your definition based on the God who doesn’t seem to care much what his creation does.

Care much? I’d see God as riveted with the rush of experience God is getting through all of us, and what we as co-creators with him are in the process of creating. You haven’t seen where it’s headed yet. Who are you to judge it?

You are using the God as Father/humans as children paradigm, which I used most of my life to understand God too. It casts humans as wayward children in need of Daddy’s direction and punishment. More bafflingly, it also ultimately depicts his casting them aside or torturing them or obliterating them, because He can’t ultimately secure their love, faith, and devotion, though this is far from the model of even what “good” earthly parents are able to do with their children. If we are not wayward children, but infinite pieces of God housed in three part beings of Body-Mind-Soul, then God cares as much as you care and as I care, because our soul is a part of God and the heart of God.

God in us as us cares as we care out of Love. As we continue to experience and become increasingly aware of Who We Really Are, we more and more decide to become someone in harmony with Whose nature we are. We continue to strive to recreate ourselves in the image of God as our vision unveils. He doesn’t have to push us or correct us. His nature is in us to get us there ultimately. God is a lateral collaboration, not a vertical heirarchy. We’re all in this thing together by agreement. If we are not God’s children, but parts of Him, then the analogy of whipping your rebellious little rugrats into shape becomes irrelevant. The Bible very patriarchally, as was the flavor of the day, paints God as Father. That’s the best they could grasp of the divine experience and experiment we are sharing. Our awareness and understanding grows, and we can put away childish things, including childish concepts of our childishness.

Man was not created with absolute freedom.

That’s your opinion, and you have the autonomy to decide for yourself that this is the truth you will live this life by. I now believe otherwise. Man, as you limit him, really has no freedom. Either he submits to god or the devil, and one or the other collects him as due reward. What if you don’t care for either choice? There is really no freedom of choice or creative ability here at all. It is subjugation to the whims and demands of the gods.

There were always laws and there always will be.

Agree. The nature of God is love. Because we are one with God, everything we are doing ultimately leads to the fulfillment of this principle and quality in us. It is a law of Life that will see out, and cannot fail to do so. No one has been coerced into this situation. All are willing and enthusiastic participants on the level of the Soul, which is not in the dark. We are all growing up through a most remarkable unfolding collective and individual experience together. And we have chosen an experience which enables love to be expressed. Love is needed where there is suffering and perceived lack. How wonderful that we get to experience being loved and needed, that we get to experience having appreciated gifts, because we have something another lacks? In the Absoluteness of God, there is no lack. In the garden of Eden, love is meaningless.

Who wants to live with murder, rape, and war forever? I know I don’t.

That value reflects the highest concept of yourelf in God that you have at this time, and you are accountable to promote it in every way. Hooray. I feel much the same, so how about that? I see God in you. I see God in me. Meanwhile, I said nothing about forever or stagnation. Everything is forever unfolding, and the nature of God, like the universe itself, is a rush of expansion, re-creation, and increase. And yet, the day we all become perfect in love is the day that love no longer has a means of being experienced and expressed, for there is no more need. What do you think we and our Souls which crave the experience of God, will do on that day?

There is a great and weighty paradox here to ponder. In our limited vision and human sympathies, we would put an end to all suffering immediately...and immediately end all joy and capacity to experience it at the same time. We can’t be so quick to judge the process we have chosen to undergo. It is a patient one. I can see that much. There is nothing passive or impassionate about God. God is in us, and we are here to experience and create and do perpetually, to transform our reality to an ever greater concept and glory. God is Creator and Lover, and so are we.

Ps 37:9-11And just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more;

I can’t vouch for David’s perception and intention, when penning these words, if he did so indeed, but either way, I can agree with the promise, as I might read it. What we, in our current obsession with the knowledge of good and evil, see as wicked, will be no more, because we are all going to change ourselves, and the selves we were will be no more. What’s your point...that God has to step in and obliterate it and the evil ones? It’s all a matter of your perspective on Who God is, Where God is, and how God works. The happy fact is that neither your present understanding of these things nor mine is sufficient to change the simple reality of the kind of universe God actually did unfurl in His incomprehensible vastness of Love and Purposefulness.

I respect a God who says, “I love you and I want you to have a good time, but respect and love me and your brothers and sisters while you do it or I will stop you. I won’t allow you to continue hurting me and others.”

I respect a God who says these things won’t go on perpetually as well. If God is in you and me, then we are the ones to create a new world, so let’s get to it. There is no God out there Who is going to step in and do it for us. He is doing it as us, for us is where God is found in the material universe. In the realm of the absolute, where there is no duality, only singularity, God is all in all, as ever. The law of Love is already engraved upon our Souls, and it will carry out its will.

My question to you and anyone who seeks to live by ancient writings from millennia past is...where is your God today? What is God speaking today? Has our understanding progressed today? We can subscribe to the ancients’ smaller understanding of God and live according to their tinier vision. We can suffer what they suffered for their lack of vision. We can see ourselves as lowly wicked children deserving of punishment and forever imprint our precious little ones of each new generation with crippling beliefs of shame and guilt and unworthiness. We can continue to strive to recreate the world in their image, rather than believing and following the principle of expansion and increase. The Bible is a whited sepulchre, full of dead men’s bones. I don’t care to converse with the dead any longer. I want to hear the God of the living, right here, right now. Who has ears to hear? God is always speaking to everyone...if only we would all listen and hear, look and see, feel and realize, experience and know.

quote:
He is within us to help us remember from whence we came, should we stray too far from our intention for this life in our chosen and necessary forgetfulness in order to have this voluntary, contrived experience of duality to begin with.
Can you give me an example of what ‘straying too far’ is? What if someone “remembers from whence they came” but they don’t care what God or anybody feels?

These are questions to ask God. I was hesitant to even use the phrase “straying too far,” because it is probably a non-sequitor anyway. We can’t really stray. We knew what we were choosing before we came into this life. Our Soul still knows and continues to create the circumstances we have invited, despite our conscious lack of much awareness. The point is that God is ever in us, speaking to us, guiding us on the chosen task of our Soul in this life. We can’t actually separate our Soul and its will from God and God’s will. Yet, one of the great paradoxes of God is that God divides Itself and makes many of Itself, being both one and many. God promised we would always have our discrete Self in this bargain...with a body, mind, and soul. Methinks there is no end to the experience and expansion we will seek and create together as one.

quote:
It is important also to point out that suffering is not the result of our circumstance. It is the result of our perception of, belief regarding, and attitude towards our circumstance.
An 11 yr old girl is sold into slavery by her father for $14US and forced to provide sexual favors for six men per day. Are you cool with this since any suffering is just her perception? Is God?

I am as revulsed and sympathetic about her suffering as any other. I also believe her Soul has chosen this experience for her life and is in no ultimate peril. Yet, it is my duty to act on my conviction of my present understanding, based on my highest belief about myself and of love, to do what I think must be done for the highest good of us all. I would have no problem putting a bullet through someone’s forehead if he came through my front door to harm me or my family. My knowing of the greater good demands it. Suffering is not quite the real tragedy we often assign though. Remember Data from Star Trek? How he yearned to have but one moment’s experience of a real human emotion. You know he would have relished feeling fear or loneliness for the first time, and then know what it is to be assuaged or loved or enjoined. To remain in the garden of Eden or to “go to heaven” as so many yearn for, is to become as Data, without feeling or real experience.

I like what you said about the Master, Jesus, rising above pain to do what needed to be done. But he felt it nonetheless.

I don’t know what he felt, and I don’t know what the real truth is beyond the Bible stories we now are forced to rely upon. There have been many others throughout time who have become masters who have transcended pain. Have you seen the war-protesting monk from the 20th century who set himself on fire with gasoline and sat perfectly still while he was consumed?

http://www.discogs.com/viewimages?what=R&obid=81662

Jesus said to see him was to see his Father, so if he feels disturbed or saddened by human suffering or wrongdoing, God does as well. There is a great danger in minimizing others pain, I think.

I am not minimizing pain. I am saying pain is what we have chosen, and it is temporal. We craved the experience of pain so that we might know the joy healing. We craved alienation, so that we might experience the joy of love reuniting. It takes pain to know love. God experiences all we are feeling and suffering. God is not saddened by it, as I believe you are assigning sadness. To do so would be to suggest that God is disappointed in us, and we are his beloved “Son” in Whom He is well-pleased, and by Whom He gets to experience all the ultimate joys of being a God of Love, in, to, and through us. Note that Jesus did not heal everyone, though He could have. He healed those whose Souls reached out for healing and were ready for that experience. We are accountable to be sensitive to when it is appropriate to administer our Love and our gifts. It is not all the time, everywhere, the same.

quote:
is it or is it not a fact, that because of their use of the Bible and Christianity, people have created many opposing sects of belief?
No, it’s not a fact. It’s because of not following the Bible that sects arose and wars were started. The Bible actually foretold these things so that we don’t have to be puzzled. What would be puzzling is if Christianity didn’t apostasize.

The God Whom you claim wrote your Bible did not make a Bible clear enough (or a means of understanding accessible and consensual enough) to prevent these abominations in the earth. Either way, this God is an ineffectual joke or a cruel jokester. I cannot admire or love such a God. The Bible itself predicting apostasy to come would only make it clear that the Bible was never meant to be clearly understood and God intended apostacy to come, for God is God and God does all His pleasure in heaven and earth. An alternate explanation is that the Bible is not the ultimate truth about God and reality, and was never meant to be.

Your explanation how God must have warned the Chinamen before the Noah flood or the Canaanites before the Israelites slaugthered them is simply extra-Biblical and speculative. There is no evidence to support these wishes and fantasies. I find it highly unlikely that Noah or his family traveled to China to warn them of a flood. If someone from China came over to America today and told you their god had warned you of a soon to occur worldwide flood, would you do anything, but snicker? Tell me who traveled to Australia or North America and South America to warn the natives there?

The random, hot-tempered God that you paint is not the one presented in the Bible.

Unpredictable, angry at those who fail to bow to him and obey him, and retributionary then...how about those words? “If you serve me, I will bless you. If you do not, I will punish you.” These are ever only the words of tyrants. The heart of any person knows it. Tyrants cannot be served out of love, only fear. I made my point, and I stand by it.

-S-

[ Monday, September 24, 2007 19:18: Message edited by: Synergy ]

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A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 5246
Profile #168
A thread such as this will never work on a public forum.

It will ALWAYS spiral into an argument. It always starts with a gentle debate, and moves more and more towards the argument.

Too many keyboard warriors love to debate on things, especially ones as controversial as this. Their goal is not to enlighten just to enrage.

If you don't want something you post to be ridiculed, don't post it.
Posts: 24 | Registered: Friday, December 3 2004 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7723
Profile #169
quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Eh, or you redefine time, which seems to be the real way to escape the problem.
That is of course assuming you have the problem with the eternal. And also making the big fat assumption that the universe we think is expanding is the universe and there is nothing else.

quote:
Originally written by Jumpin' Salmon:

Having the benefit of hindsight certain does help , but given the track record of the JW, how would you assess the likelihood that any of the dogma will survive the test of time?
I guess time will tell.

quote:
And your comparison of the world to a supermarket I find baffling. Could you explain why you chose that scenario rather than another? It seems to not fit what Synergy is saying at all, and I just want to stay clear.
Being irritated by unruly kids that have lax parents is fairly universal. Unless I’m misunderstanding Synergy, he seems to be of the opinion that we are all God’s children and he planned for us to be unruly or we are such because of his sloppy parenting. I try to use a lot of illustrations, because I find that we all tend to have a disconnect reasoning when it comes to God and they help bring things down to earth. Maybe they’re not all perfect illustrations. Can’t win ‘em all.

quote:
Originally written by Synergy:

the four gospels disagree on various basic facts
Nope.

quote:
The gospels are significantly different… The Church was divided upon itself from day one.
No it wasn’t. Division came later with the apostasy. You see differences that don’t exist.

2 Pe 3:15, 16 Furthermore, consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul according to the wisdom given him also wrote YOU, speaking about these things as he does also in all his letters. In them, however, are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unsteady are twisting, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

The whole congregation viewed Paul’s writings as holy scriptures, wisdom given to him by God. There is no disharmony. The whole Bible, every single book, encourages faith and works. They’re also all clear that bad works are not acceptable.

Heb 10:24-26 And let us consider one another to incite to love and fine works, not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as YOU behold the day drawing near.
For if we practice sin willfully after having received the accurate knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins left…


quote:
You still don’t clarify the one thing I keep asking you to clarify. Why...why? Aggravating.
Please be patient with me. I think I am answering you, but you’re missing it. Your very valid concern is that the Bible can be difficult to understand and Christ himself couched his message in illustrations that were missed by the majority, right? The reason this is dangerous is that understanding is a matter of life and death. You’re asking how I reconcile this with a loving God that wants to help all mankind, correct? I’ve responded a few times to this.

quote:
Originally written by Stillness:
If you want to understand then you might do actual research or ask someone who knows, instead of getting information from people who hate the Bible and/or don’t have a clue about it themselves.

You would also not be critically searching for disharmony. If you and I are having a conversation and I’m hanging on your every word with the intent of catching a contradiction, I’ll miss your meaning. You also may not care to share your meaning with me since I’m not listening anyway. Which brings us to the most important factor in understanding – God himself. The Bible is clear that his spirit and his representatives are always involved in understanding his message. If you don’t have the right attitude he simply will not bother with making you understand.

Acts 8:29-31 So the spirit said to Philip: “Approach and join yourself to this chariot.” Philip ran alongside and heard him reading aloud Isaiah the prophet, and he said: “Do you actually know what you are reading?” He said: “Really, how could I ever do so, unless someone guided me ?” And he entreated Philip to get on and sit down with him.

Mat 13:10-15 So the disciples came up and said to him: “Why is it you speak to them by the use of illustrations?” In reply he said: “ To YOU it is granted to understand the sacred secrets of the kingdom of the heavens, but to those people it is not granted…For the heart of this people has grown unreceptive, and with their ears they have heard without response, and they have shut their eyes; that they might never see with their eyes and hear with their ears and get the sense of it with their hearts and turn back, and I heal them.’


The cool thing to me is that he provides help for those that want it before he takes action.

Mat 24:14 And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.

This preaching work is not to confuse, but to warn and draw people to God.

God always gives fair warning before he acts. Lot’s wife had warning, as I have repeatedly shown, the Israelites had abundant warning, and the Canaanites had warning, some of them even acted on it, like Rahab and her family and the Gibeonites.
READ THIS--->***So, concisely, the Bible can be understood. You can know what he requires of us. God himself will help you and he will send his servants to help you. But he will not force you if you don’t want it.***[/concise answer]

Notice that the eunuch’s attitude was that he wanted help to understand. Notice Jesus disciples questioned him about his teaching. Notice why the others did not: Their hearts were “unreceptive,” they “heard without response,” they “shut their eyes.” They did not want to listen. They didn’t want the truth.

I think the reason you’re don’t understand my response is because of a difference in worldview. You think everyone will be saved. I think some people are hardheaded and want to do things their way regardless of who they hurt, including themselves.

And let me add, “there will be a resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Acts 24:15) The “unrighteous” who have not made a name with God, maybe due to ignorance or confusion, will get another shot. (John 5:28, 29; Re 20:12, 13) Such is the extent of God’s love and mercy.

quote:
You are using the God as Father/humans as children paradigm
Not just that, but the God as Creator/King/Legislator/ Judge – humans as subjects paradigm. He is not just Father. This is where I think you don’t get me. When God punishes, disciplines, and kills he is acting in his role as the Head of Universe. You seem to ignore that position as indicated by statements like this

quote:
“If you serve me, I will bless you. If you do not, I will punish you.” These are ever only the words of tyrants.
Those are not the words of tyrants, but of every government. It has to be. Here’s an experiment for you: Pick the most loving, liberal, free government you can think of on this planet. Go there and break a law…maybe go into a bank and demand the manager open the safe and hand over its contents. Afterwards, wait outside the bank and see if you are punished. Or refuse to pay taxes because you won’t “serve” any government and see how it’s IRS views you.

Why do we have laws and punishment for those that disobey them? What do you think the world would be like if there were none?

quote:
The God Whom you claim wrote your Bible did not make a Bible clear enough (or a means of understanding accessible and consensual enough) to prevent these abominations in the earth.
And when those same abominations occur in an Islamic state, a secular state, or one where religion is banned is the Bible to blame there as well, or is it the human doing them?

quote:
Your explanation how God must have warned the Chinamen before the Noah flood or the Canaanites before the Israelites slaugthered them is simply extra-Biblical and speculative.
You asked a theoretical question about a person we don’t even know exists. We don’t know for sure what the population of the earth was or how it was distributed. What we do know, of course assuming the Bible is accurate, is that God always warns before he acts. We also know that Noah was a preacher. So if there were people located in the land we now call China they were warned. We also know that they were very violent, because only Noah distinguished himself from the rest of the world. (Ge 6:9-12) Any Chinese or Americans did not. That’s not speculative.

quote:
Have you seen the war-protesting monk from the 20th century who set himself on fire with gasoline and sat perfectly still while he was consumed?
This is exactly where disregard for human life and pain gets you. That’s part of the danger I was talking about. God’s servants never hurt themselves or take their own lives. The flip side is that other people’s suffering and life is minimized and they become easy to kill too.

quote:
where is your God today? What is God speaking today? Has our understanding progressed today?
He’s alive and active as always directing and guiding his servants and telling people to abandon this world before he ends it and not to look back so that they don’t go down with it. Mankind’s understanding has not progressed as a whole. If it has, I don’t see it reflected in action. The same things are going on today that were going on thousands of years ago. In fact, the scale of badness has increased. God’s people on the other hand have progressed a great deal in understanding.

P.S. While looking over my responses to see where I responded to Synergy I came across this.

“The truth of the matter is you still aren’t going to get it unless someone shows you and you want to be shown. And there is something to be shown. And it’s definitely not the scattered thoughts of patriarchal shepherds over 1600 expressing their spirituality. And you have definitely missed it. You’ve got the puzzle pieces. You even have a few of them stuck together properly, but not enough to see the big picture.”

I thought I was responding to Synergy, but I now see that it was SoT. I remembered being puzzled by “Synergy’s” style and content when I read it. If I’m not mistaken, SoT is Christian and believes in the Bible, so my response doesn’t exactly apply. Sorry.
Posts: 701 | Registered: Thursday, November 30 2006 08:00
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #170
Stillness, you simply ignore so many of the points of my challenge. You appear to be saying that it takes God to interpret Scripture right for anyone, and it requires a proper attitude or desire by each person for God to do so. I already elaborated on this angle recently, if that is to be the whole sum of your argument about how Scripture “works,” but you didn’t respond to my points in any significant way. I am not going to reiterate them in whole. But I will state again, that apparently the huge majority of believers who have sought God and to understand Scriptures have had a wrong heart by your definition, considering all the error, conflicting sects, and apostasy of the last two millennia. This makes God a favortist of an elite few. This god has the ability, but does nothing to awaken, correct, or enlighten the myriad others, who simply seem unable to generate quite the right formula of attitude to be worthy to understand the perfect Bible, despite their apparent seeking and efforts. Again, what a wimp of a God, Who loses such a lion’s share of His own creation to His own created adversary. It is unbelievable to me that people can embrace this thinking and still call it God.

It is clearly demonstrable that Paul taught a gospel different from the 12 and from what Jesus taught, but I won’t attempt to convince you. You see what you want. You believe what you need to believe, even when it flies in the face of all fact and reason. This is what religion does.

All governments do not kill or torture forever their disobedient subjects. Tyrants do, except you will eventually perish and be relinquished from your torture under a tyrant. Under the Kingdom of God, one punishment fits all crime: eternal death/obliteration/or eternal torment.

quote:
Originally written by Stillness:
quote:
Originally written by Synergy:

the four gospels disagree on various basic facts
Nope.
Here are some, of many, New Testament contradictions or errors, taken from online. There are plenty more. The one who can dismiss all of these to show there is no error or ignorance or contradiction in the NT, wlll be a god(dess.)

Thirty pieces of silver
According to Matthew 26:15, the chief priests "weighed out thirty pieces of silver" to give to Judas. There are two things wrong with this:

a. There were no "pieces of silver" used as currency in Jesus' time - they had gone out of circulation about 300 years before.
b. In Jesus' time, minted coins were used - currency was not "weighed out."
By using phrases that made sense in Zechariah's time but not in Jesus' time Matthew once again gives away the fact that he creates events in his gospel to match "prophecies" he finds in the Old Testament.

Who bought the Field of Blood?
a. In Matthew 27:7 the chief priests buy the field.
b. In Acts 1:18 Judas buys the field.

How did Judas die?
a. In Matthew 27:5 Judas hangs himself.
b. In Acts 1:18 he bursts open and his insides spill out.
c. According to the apostle Paul, neither of the above is true. Paul says Jesus appeared to "the twelve" after his resurrection. Mark 14:20 makes it clear that Judas was one of the twelve.
In Matthew 19:28, Jesus tells the twelve disciples, including Judas, that when Jesus rules from his throne, they will sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

How did the Field of Blood get its name?
a. Matthew says because it was purchased with blood money (Matthew 27:6-8).
b. Acts says because of the bloody mess caused by Judas' bursting open (Acts 1:18-19).

Where was Jesus taken immediately after his arrest?
a. Matthew, Mark and Luke say that Jesus was taken directly to the high priest (Matthew 26:57, Mark 14:53 and Luke 22:54).
b. John says that Jesus was taken first to Annas, the father-in-law of the high priest (John 18:13) who, after an indeterminate period of time, sent Jesus to the high priest (John 18:24).

When did the priests and scribes gather together to question Jesus?
a. Matthew 26:57 says that on the night Jesus was arrested the priests and scribes were gathered together prior to Jesus being brought to the high priest.
b. Mark 14:53 says the priests and scribes gathered together on the night of Jesus' arrest after Jesus was brought to the high priest.
c. Luke 22:66 says the priests and scribes assembled the day after Jesus was arrested.
d. John mentions only the high priest - no other priests or scribes play a role in questioning Jesus.

Was Jesus questioned by Herod?
a. Luke says that Pilate sent Jesus to Herod who questioned Jesus at length and then returned Jesus to Pilate (Luke 23:7-11).
b. Matthew, Mark and John make no mention of Herod. This, in itself, means nothing, but it brings about another contradiction later.

Who was responsible for Jesus' death, Pilate or the Jews?
The gospel writers go to every conceivable length to absolve the Romans in general, and Pilate in particular, of Jesus' crucifixion and to blame it on the Jews. The reason, of course, was that Christianity was going to have to exist under Roman rule for many years, which is why the New Testament contains nothing critical of the Romans, even though they were hated for their heavy taxation, and Pilate was hated for his brutality.
For the church, the Jews made an appropriate scapegoat because the Jews were a thorn in side of the early church. The Jews, of course, had far greater knowledge of Jewish laws and traditions than the largely gentile church, and were able to call attention to some of the errors being taught by the church.

The Biblical account of Pilate's offer to release Jesus but the Jews demanding the release of Barabbas is pure fiction, containing both contradictions and historical inaccuracies.

a. What had Barabbas done?
1. Mark 15:7 and Luke 23:19 say that Barabbas was guilty of insurrection and murder.
2. John 18:40 says that Barabbas was a robber.
b. Pilate's "custom" of releasing a prisoner at Passover.
This is pure invention - the only authority given by Rome to a Roman governor in situations like this was postponement of execution until after the religious festival. Release was out of the question. It is included in the gospels for the sole purpose of further removing blame for Jesus' death from Pilate and placing it on the Jews.
c. Pilate gives in to the mob.
The gospels have Pilate giving in to an unruly mob. This is ridiculous in light of Pilate's previous and subsequent history. Josephus tells us that Pilate's method of crowd control was to send his soldiers into the mob and beat them (often killing them) into submission. Pilate was eventually recalled to Rome because of his brutality.

Who put the robe on Jesus?
a. Matthew 27:28, Mark 15:17 and John 19:2 say that after Pilate had Jesus scourged and turned over to his soldiers to be crucified, the soldiers placed a scarlet or purple robe on Jesus as well as a crown of thorns.
b. Luke 23:11, in contradiction to Matthew, Mark and John, says that the robe was placed on Jesus much earlier by Herod and his soldiers. Luke mentions no crown of thorns.

THE CRUCIFIXION
1. Crucified between two robbers
Matthew 27:38 and Mark 15:27 say that Jesus was crucified between two robbers (Luke just calls them criminals; John simply calls them men). It is a historical fact that the Romans did not crucify robbers. Crucifixion was reserved for insurrectionists and rebellious slaves.
2. Peter and Mary near the cross
When the gospel writers mention Jesus talking to his mother and to Peter from the cross, they run afoul of another historical fact - the Roman soldiers closely guarded the places of execution, and nobody was allowed near (least of all friends and family who might attempt to help the condemned person).

Who found the empty tomb?
a. According to Matthew 28:1, only "Mary Magdalene and the other Mary."
b. According to Mark 16:1, "Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome."
c. According to Luke 23:55, 24:1 and 24:10, "the women who had come with him out of Galilee." Among these women were "Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James." Luke indicates in verse 24:10 that there were at least two others.
d. According to John 20:1-4, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb alone, saw the stone removed, ran to find Peter, and returned to the tomb with Peter and another disciple.

Who did the women tell about the empty tomb?
a. According to Mark 16:8, "they said nothing to anyone."
b. According to Matthew 28:8, they "ran to report it to His disciples."
c. According to Luke 24:9, "they reported these things to the eleven and to all the rest."
d. According to John 20:18, Mary Magdalene announces to the disciples that she has seen the Lord

THE ASCENSION
According to Luke 24:51, Jesus' ascension took place in Bethany, on the same day as his resurrection.
According to Acts 1:9-12, Jesus' ascension took place at Mount Olivet, forty days after his resurrection.

THE APOSTLE PAUL'S CONVERSION
The Book of Acts contains three accounts of Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus. All of three accounts contradict each other regarding what happened to Paul's fellow travelers.
1. Acts 9:7 says they "stood speechless, hearing the voice..."
2. Acts 22:9 says they "did not hear the voice..."
3. Acts 26:14 says "when we had all fallen to the ground..."
Some translations of the Bible (the New International Version and the New American Standard, for example) try to remove the contradiction in Acts 22:9 by translating the phrase quoted above as "did not understand the voice..." However, the Greek word "akouo" is translated 373 times in the New Testament as "hear," "hears," "hearing" or "heard" and only in Acts 22:9 is it translated as "understand." In fact, it is the same word that is translated as "hearing" in Acts 9:7, quoted above. The word "understand" occurs 52 times in the New Testament, but only in Acts 22:9 is it translated from the Greek word "akouo."
This is an example of Bible translators sacrificing intellectual honesty in an attempt to reconcile conflicting passages in the New Testament.

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/paul_carlson/nt_contradictions.html

For an even longer list, go here:

http://skeptically.org/bible/id6.html

-S-

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A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 5246
Profile #171
It's hard to argue Bible discprenacies without mentioning what version you are using.

That right there should be a problem for anyone. Why is there 3 billion different versions of the bible? (that number is an exageration)

Now while I say that I'm not saying the Bible is not special.

What I am saying is that, man has interferred with it too much.

That does not mean the original was not divinely inspired. I'm just saying it is possible that the real un-altered unchanged bible might be lost.

As for the discrepancies, you might want to ask the individuals who translated them. They coudl probably tell you why they felt the need to change things. (read: there is no reason, but they did it anyway)
Posts: 24 | Registered: Friday, December 3 2004 08:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #172
There are indeed a lot of little contradictions like these in the Bible, and they do rather undermine the theory that it is a preternaturally accurate and coherent document. If one views the New Testament as an ordinary historic document, however, they actually strengthen its claims to be an accurate record of the important things. A perfectly harmonious document would be either a miracle, or a carefully composed fiction. The Bible is not that kind of miracle, but neither is it that kind of fiction.

Parallel passages in the Bible typically do differ, and not just in ways that seem attributable to clerical errors; but they agree on the basic outline of events. This suggests that the parallel passages do come from independent sources, which were faithfully preserved in parallel, and which agree on the important points.

That is generally the best one can get, even today, from eyewitness testimony. I was once assisting officer at the military summary trial of a reservist charged with offering violence to a superior. Between some hesitation by the accused over whether he wanted to elect for court martial, and the slow pace of administration in a part-time organization, the trial finally took place a year after the events had occurred.

There were four or five eyewitnesses present at the trial. Everyone agreed that the accused and the officer had been drinking in the same group, that an argument had developed, and that the accused had thrown a glass object. Nobody claimed that the officer had been injured. But each of the witnesses claimed under oath to have a clear and detailed recollection of exactly what had happened, and none of the stories matched. One guy said the accused had pitched a beer bottle over the officer's head, the bottle had smashed in a corner of the room, and he himself had later swept up the pieces. Another said that the accused had hurled a beer glass onto the table, and pieces of it had hit him, the witness, in the arm. And so on.

Despite the confusion, it was clear from all the accounts that no deliberate attack had been made. So the accused was found not guilty of the serious charge. It was also clear, though, that he had flung some glassware around while conversing with a superior officer, and that made him clearly guilty of a lesser charge. Military justice being severe, that was enough to get him demoted to private and hauled off to jail that very night. But only for two weeks; for offering violence he could have gone away for a year or more.

There were quite a number of bad things about this episode and the way it was handled, but in my opinion the CO's assessment of the eyewitness testimony was good. Minor discrepancies are inevitable given how human memories work, but they need not invalidate the essential story.

[ Tuesday, September 25, 2007 10:30: Message edited by: Student of Trinity ]

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Agent
Member # 2759
Profile Homepage #173
quote:

Originally written by Jumpin' Salmon:
Take me far away from this mucky muck.


What he said.

[ Tuesday, September 25, 2007 10:48: Message edited by: Micawber ]

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Espresso - as close as you're going to get to an intravenous caffeine shot.

Geneforge 4 stuff. Also, everything I know about Avernum | Avernum 2 | Avernum 3 | Avernum 4
Posts: 1104 | Registered: Monday, March 10 2003 08:00
Councilor
Member # 6600
Profile Homepage #174
Is there some reason why people can't just ignore a thread that doesn't involve them and that they find uninteresting?

Dikiyoba.

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Episode 4: Spiderweb Reloaded
Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00

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