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Old 30 Nov 2017, 01:49 PM   #681503 / #51
DrZoidberg
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Conspiracy? Who mentioned conspiracy? I simply pointed out that the "regular people" were not merely not supposed to read the Bible - they were not meant to understand what was written in it either. At best they were meant to listen to and accept the interpretations offered by the clergy. In short, justme has no idea what she is talking about.
That sounds like a conspiracy to me. Your causality is off. The number one major headache for the Christian church was to keep the Bible from getting corrupted through copying error. It still happened. Hand copying manuscripts lead to a lot of errors. Even if done by masters. I'd argue that they did it this way was by necessity. I don't think the reason was to keep the people ignorant. Rather the opposite.

I think the church took their role in spreading the true word of God very seriously. I think they'd love for it to be copied into local languages. But before the printing press, that was simply unpractical. That would very rapidly lead to the kind of rifts we did see in the first 500 years of the church. With wars and other mayhem as a result.

People very often forget the quite practical problems that the early church faced. Bart Ehrman has a great book called "Misquoting Jesus". While the topic is the Bible specifically, it's a great walk through about practical problems of ancient communication and disseminating information. We take so much for granted today, that they couldn't. That lead to some pretty extreme measures. One was keeping it in Latin. I promise that it helped reduce errors in the spreading of the information.
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Old 30 Nov 2017, 02:06 PM   #681508 / #52
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It’s funny that they took such great care and yet every Christian apologist always falls back on the “they had to change the story to be more Roman friendly so as to avoid persecution” dodge whenever you point out that there was no way in hell Pilate would have ever held a “tradition” of letting Jews decide which convicted murderer/insurrectionist leader gets to just go free (while also dictating which publicly declared innocent man gets brutally tortured and crucified for no reason other than to sate their San Hedrin whispered bloodlust) or any of the numerous pro-Roman instructions by Jesus.

And of course they took such great care not to correct the changes to the story that are alleged once it was safe to do so. And all in spite of the fact that Jesus repeatedly told them to rejoice in their persecution on his behalf because it confirmed they were blessed.

Oh those crazy super diligent priests and scribes who evidently didn’t care that they were diligently copying a false cover story still, never to correct it for prosperity once it was no longer necessary to hide the true story and in spite of the fact that it was never necessary to hide the true story or acknowledging that the alleged modified story not only makes no historical sense, but is actually far more damning of Pilate (painting him to be a traitor no less) and if true would have resulted in his own capital punishment from Rome.

So we have a super diligently copied false story—in Latin, no less, so nobody but the priests and scribes would ever know it was false to begin with—that just kept being copied over and over and over again, never once being corrected back to the real story.

But I digress.
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Old 30 Nov 2017, 03:57 PM   #681520 / #53
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Conspiracy? Who mentioned conspiracy? I simply pointed out that the "regular people" were not merely not supposed to read the Bible - they were not meant to understand what was written in it either. At best they were meant to listen to and accept the interpretations offered by the clergy. In short, justme has no idea what she is talking about.
That sounds like a conspiracy to me. Your causality is off. The number one major headache for the Christian church was to keep the Bible from getting corrupted through copying error. It still happened. Hand copying manuscripts lead to a lot of errors. Even if done by masters. I'd argue that they did it this way was by necessity. I don't think the reason was to keep the people ignorant. Rather the opposite.

I think the church took their role in spreading the true word of God very seriously. I think they'd love for it to be copied into local languages. But before the printing press, that was simply unpractical. That would very rapidly lead to the kind of rifts we did see in the first 500 years of the church. With wars and other mayhem as a result.

People very often forget the quite practical problems that the early church faced. Bart Ehrman has a great book called "Misquoting Jesus". While the topic is the Bible specifically, it's a great walk through about practical problems of ancient communication and disseminating information. We take so much for granted today, that they couldn't. That lead to some pretty extreme measures. One was keeping it in Latin. I promise that it helped reduce errors in the spreading of the information.
Firstly, "the true word of God" has never not been a matter of contention. Gospels were added and omitted. Interpretations were disputed. Both councils of Nicaea were broiling with fights over what was canonical and what was not.

Secondly, the early churchmen paid lip service to "truth" while busily interpolating stuff into the scriptures and creating outright forgeries shaped to suit their various political ends.

Thirdly, the moment Christianity became a church the Bible ceased to be regarded as the unmediated truth and became a political tool. I take it you know that early on there was a rather large number of translations available in the local vernacular of various regions. Someone calling himself Boniface Muggli, Monk posted this at Quora:
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A Gothic Bible is known to have existed by Ufilias in the 300s. Old English Scripture translations, especially of the Psalms and Gospels, were fairly common in the Dark Ages--from various Psalters, Bede's Gospel of John (now lost), King Alfred's law code which included the Ten Commandments, The Wessex Gospels and the Old English Hexateuch. French and Catalan Bibles are known. An Old High German Gospel of Matthew from 748 is known. There are Czech Psalms and Gospels, followed by the whole Bible by 1360.

Also, while in certain times and places (Metz, c.1200; Tolouse, 1229) saw certain translations rejected, other translations were not named--indicating that they were acceptable.
You'll notice that as time progressed, fewer translations sprang forth. The Bible had become the Swiss Army knife of social and political control. It must be kept from the people lest they use it against the symbiotic alliance of spiritual and secular powers at a time when the spiritual power had become spiritual in name only. Walk to Canossa, the Pope's army and all that.

Translators like Tyndall, Hus and Wycliff were executed after being found guilty of heresy rather than for having the temerity of translating the Bible, just like Socrates was sentenced to death for impiety and corrupting the youth rather than the fact that he destabilised the recently established democracy while Athens was yet to recover from Spartan rule by supporting the aristocracy and arguing for a philosopher-king to rule Athens. And yeah, Al Capone got 25 years for tax evasion because he could not be charged with murder and racketeering.
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Old 30 Nov 2017, 06:42 PM   #681539 / #54
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ETA: Posterity, not prosperity. Thank you Hermit. Dyslexia is a pain in the ass.
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Old 30 Nov 2017, 08:21 PM   #681547 / #55
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Screw it. I'm done here.
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Old 30 Nov 2017, 08:53 PM   #681550 / #56
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The idea that the Bible was written for regular people to read is ridiculous. It was written to be read out aloud by experts and interpreted. Just like in any Christian mass. Most early Christians would never be able to even touch a Bible. Let alone read it.
Not only was it not meant to be read by ordinary Christians, it was not even meant to be understood by them when it was read out to them. For this reason it was kept in Latin for a thousand years, which no commoner, i.e. almost everybody, understood. The church hierarchy has actually killed as many of those who translated the Bible into languages that local populations spoke and understood as it could. People who got caught with contraband Bibles, that is Bibles not written in Latin, were also executed, and for the same reason: The Bible was not meant to be read or understood by regular people.
-What is the reading level of the Bible. I don't care what language it was printer in, or how The Catholic Church tried to conceal it so they can hold onto power.
You're getting flustered now because you don't know how to gracefully back out of having your assertion "The Bible is set up just as basically because it was made for the laymen to read without reading into it to find what you could use to your advantage" so comprehensively destroyed. The Bible was not made for laymen. It was added to, deleted from and modified precisely so the powers that be could keep reading into it to find what they could use to their advantage.

This may seem strange to you: I actually enjoy being proven wrong. It means I have learnt something new, I have made progress, gained a new insight. That makes me feel good. Maybe you could try taking that attitude yourself some time instead of desperately flailing about, abandoning an untenable position without admitting it is just plain fucking untenable and attempting to cover it up by withdrawing into gibberish. You may get some joy out of it yourself.
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Old 01 Dec 2017, 06:29 AM   #681579 / #57
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Screw it. I'm done here.
Why did you go to all this trouble to begin with?

There was always that strain in your posts of a person trying too hard.
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Old 01 Dec 2017, 09:16 AM   #681584 / #58
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It’s funny that they took such great care and yet every Christian apologist always falls back on the “they had to change the story to be more Roman friendly so as to avoid persecution” dodge whenever you point out that there was no way in hell Pilate would have ever held a “tradition” of letting Jews decide which convicted murderer/insurrectionist leader gets to just go free (while also dictating which publicly declared innocent man gets brutally tortured and crucified for no reason other than to sate their San Hedrin whispered bloodlust) or any of the numerous pro-Roman instructions by Jesus.
Roman persecution of Christians is largely mythic. To understand the background for the persecution of Christians you have to understand Roman culture. The Roman empire was a diverse place with a multitude or religions and ethnicities. Religious or ethnic conflicts could flare up at any time. So the Romans came up with a clever plan to counter this.

This was a time before media. If you wanted to learn anything you needed to head to the forum. Every religion had their festivals. So the Roman government decided that each religion/sect/cult had to have at least one festival every year in the forum. And there's the kicker, Romans who worshiped another religion had to show up and show respect. They didn't have to join in. They just needed to go there and not behave badly. It was a great system and it had worked for centuries.

But Christians would have none of that. They refused to show other religions any respect. Early Christianity was very aggressive and belligerent. There's historical reasons for this. But that was the reality of it. The Christians unwillingness to cooperate was something completely new for the emperors and the didn't really know how to deal with it. Officially, non-compliance was punishable by death. Not that anybody had been punished yet. Eventually it was causing problems. And something needed to be done about it.

Diocletian wasn't the first to make Christianity illegal. But he tried the hardest. He made some bullshit decree that it was the Christians who were to blame for a bunch of stuff and proceeded to ban them. But we have no records of any of the governors taking this seriously. This seems to have been largely concentrated to Croatia, where he lived. All in all about a 100 Christians ended up executed.

Then Constantine came along, saw that the policy was ineffectual, and reversed it. And in true if-you-can't-beat-'em-join-'em fashion became a Christian.

We used to think the numbers killed in the Christian persecutions were much much higher, because we used to trust the Catholic church's accounts. But later research have shown that nearly all of them are fabrications.

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Oh those crazy super diligent priests and scribes who evidently didn’t care that they were diligently copying a false cover story still, never to correct it for prosperity once it was no longer necessary to hide the true story and in spite of the fact that it was never necessary to hide the true story or acknowledging that the alleged modified story not only makes no historical sense, but is actually far more damning of Pilate (painting him to be a traitor no less) and if true would have resulted in his own capital punishment from Rome.

So we have a super diligently copied false story—in Latin, no less, so nobody but the priests and scribes would ever know it was false to begin with—that just kept being copied over and over and over again, never once being corrected back to the real story.
There's actually an entire field of study of the flame wars that copyist monks would have against each other in the margins of Biblical manuscripts. They were constantly having arguments about which was the correct original form of words. These flame wars give a rich insight into what the copyists were actually thinking.

Also worth keeping in mind that a lot of the copyists couldn't read. They were basically copying little pictures they didn't know the meaning of. I've seen an estimate that one out of four ancient copyists could read.

From the early surviving Biblical manuscripts we can make a kind of geneology of them based on errors. That's how we've figured out which is the oldest. We've so far never found a hand copied Bible free from copying errors.

And then add to that entire sections that could be inserted. If I remember correctly, the whole bit "he who is without sin cast the first stone" is a mideval addition. It just shows up out of nowhere and starts getting copied.
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Old 01 Dec 2017, 02:55 PM   #681594 / #59
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Early Christianity was very aggressive and belligerent. There's historical reasons for this.
Yeah, they were an insurrectionist movement. Most likely a Zealots derivative; what we would call “freedom fighters” and the Romans would have called (in modern terminology) “terrorists.” That, of course, is the real story that the later Roman created propaganda of GMark was meant to obfuscate and flip right at the time of the earlier movement’s peak open rebellion in late 60’s/early 70s.

And the reason it was never “changed” was because the Romans won and their failed propaganda attempt (to subvert a Jewish martyr-jihadist cult) actually became popular among the only citizens Rome ever cared about (i.e., gentiles, or basically any non-Jews).

Iow, there were actually two distinctly different types of “Christian”; one was the original insurrectionist Jewish soldier fighting under the martyr-cult of their Roman captured/Roman murdered leader named Yeshua or whatever, having little to do with any of the gospel accounts (other than serving for what needed to be suppressed and “spun” decades later after the martyr cult grew from the original surviving members) and the other was the later pacified gentile fringe cult that grew under Paul’s failed mission to subvert the militant Jewish “Christian” soldier, but nevertheless served as a powerful control cult among gentiles and “hellenized” Jews.

Thus, Paul, a Roman operative sent in to infiltrate the Jewish insurrectionist movement failed in his mission to subvert their martyr mythology, but succeeded in nevertheless spreading his revisionist nonsense that became codified in GMark and the “passion narrative” among those it was never intended for.

But I digress again.
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Old 02 Dec 2017, 12:46 AM   #681642 / #60
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Screw it. I'm done here.
Why did you go to all this trouble to begin with?

There was always that strain in your posts of a person trying too hard.
Not any more and thank you for that incite. I apriciate it.
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Old 02 Dec 2017, 10:56 AM   #681658 / #61
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Early Christianity was very aggressive and belligerent. There's historical reasons for this.
Yeah, they were an insurrectionist movement. Most likely a Zealots derivative; what we would call “freedom fighters” and the Romans would have called (in modern terminology) “terrorists.” That, of course, is the real story that the later Roman created propaganda of GMark was meant to obfuscate and flip right at the time of the earlier movement’s peak open rebellion in late 60’s/early 70s.

And the reason it was never “changed” was because the Romans won and their failed propaganda attempt (to subvert a Jewish martyr-jihadist cult) actually became popular among the only citizens Rome ever cared about (i.e., gentiles, or basically any non-Jews).

Iow, there were actually two distinctly different types of “Christian”; one was the original insurrectionist Jewish soldier fighting under the martyr-cult of their Roman captured/Roman murdered leader named Yeshua or whatever, having little to do with any of the gospel accounts (other than serving for what needed to be suppressed and “spun” decades later after the martyr cult grew from the original surviving members) and the other was the later pacified gentile fringe cult that grew under Paul’s failed mission to subvert the militant Jewish “Christian” soldier, but nevertheless served as a powerful control cult among gentiles and “hellenized” Jews.

Thus, Paul, a Roman operative sent in to infiltrate the Jewish insurrectionist movement failed in his mission to subvert their martyr mythology, but succeeded in nevertheless spreading his revisionist nonsense that became codified in GMark and the “passion narrative” among those it was never intended for.

But I digress again.
I'm not sure where you're getting all this from? There was a lot of different kinds of Christians. Very rapidly Christianity splintered in all manner of weirdness. In the first century AD there were four distinct major branches of Christianity, and they couldn't have been more different. They couldn't agree on basic stuff, like how many gods there were. Marcionists, two gods. A good and an evil. Gnostics, thousands of gods. Catholics, one God. It was pretty messy.

The reason early Christians were aggressive had very little to do with Christianity. It was simply a result of how the Roman state was organised. Roman society was client based. You weren't primarily loyal to the state, in any nationalistic kind of way. You were loyal to your patron. The idea of nationalism wouldn't be born for over a thousand years yet. The client/patron system had effects.

In the Republican Roman senate the senator with the most clients would be the most powerful. Buying loyalty through favours and gifts, ie bribery, was not frowned upon. They saw it as just how politics worked.

As the Roman empire was expanding they needed people to join the army. So they created a system where rich patrons would gradually be able to buy out farmers and expand their estates, leaving poor farmers landless and destitute. So that they had no option than to join the army. Most legionaries joined up in the hope of being given land in the newly conquered territories. This was a very effective system, and produced an extremely effective army.

The problems arose when the Roman empire stopped expanding it's borders. 200 - 300 AD. Estates kept expanding, putting just as many farmers on the street as destitutes. But the army was at the same times shrinking in size. This created a growing social problem. It was also the very time Christianity came onto the scene.

Here's how the patron-client system fucked it all up, in favour of the Christians. In imperial Rome it became increasingly common to just hire bands of thugs in order to batter your opposition into silence. The more thugs, the more you got your way. So these bands of thugs just grew and grew and grew. The pagan thugs were in it for the money. They took risks and wanted paying. They were basically an army and often consisted of ex legionaries.

Here's were Christianity came into the picture. Christianity espoused higher ideals. It was all about spreading the word of God. They also had poverty as a virtue. In Christian thought being rich is actually evil. Something that modern Christians seems to have forgotten. But I digress. So nobles and wealthy landowners would convert to Christianity and employ Christians as clients. But didn't pay them. All they got was food and a bed. They often slept in stables. These were then used as thugs to win political battles for the nobles. Just like the pagan thugs. The Christian thugs had a name, the parabalani.

Because the Christian thugs, ie parabalni were cheaper this led to the Christian nobles increasing in power. More and more nobles converted. And because the parabalani weren't primarily motivated by money, they were hard to control. They didn't take orders well. This led to all out destruction of pagan temples, and the murder of anybody who got in their way. To say they were a nuisance, is putting it lightly. It became a violent culture that fed itself.

S:t Nicholas, (ie father Christmas) was originally sainted because his hobby was to sneak out at night and burn down pagan temples. The medieval church thought this was embarrassing, and just changed his backstory.

The parabalani-system created an exceedingly dangerous and volatile situation, where nobody was safe. It was basically mob rule. Any pagan could be stoned to death at any time. People converted just to feel safe. And not even then, was their safety guaranteed. Eventually the Roman emperor started regulating how the parabalani were allowed to be used. And by 500 they seem to have disappeared completely.

Whether or not the parabalani system is the main reason Christianity spread so fast, is anyone's guess. But it certainly didn't hurt. I think it's a possibility that without the parabalani Christianity wouldn't have become more than just another minor sect. It's hard to say. There's much about this time we don't know.

The parabalani did break the old pagan client-patron system and Justinian replaced it with the rule of law in 529. But by then Christianity was well and truly established and dominant. So it wasn't going anywhere.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parabalani

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_Juris_Civilis

It's also important not to blame Christian teachings or theology. This situation didn't arise because this is what whoever founded Christianity wanted. This was simply a quirk in history that arose because money was power in the Roman empire, and Christians elevated poverty to a virtue. Making them cheap to rent. That's just a single dimension of Christian thought. But the one dimension that allowed them to become dominant.

The Bible does not preach violence. But violence became the result, because of the combination of Roman society and the Bible.

The point is that things are often a lot more complicated than how they seem.

A parallel is Islamic suicide bombers. Both Christianity and Islam uphold sacrificing yourself for others as a virtue. On this point they're completely identical. Yet it's only Muslims who engage in suicide bombings. It's an accident in history. It could easily have been a Christian thing. Well... it has been. I think the first suicide bombers were Christian. But now it's not.

There was just no way the writers of the Quran could have forseen the result of those innocuous lines. Same with Christianity and the parabalani
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Old 02 Dec 2017, 01:23 PM   #681660 / #62
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I'm not sure where you're getting all this from?
Long held and endlessly detailed (elsewhere) theory of mine. No need to get into it again here. Hence my digression.
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Old 02 Dec 2017, 05:34 PM   #681677 / #63
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Screw it. I'm done here.
Hello Justme. I am new to this forum and read a bit here and there. I am Norwegian and French is my mother tongue. I am not sure I understood everything on this thread but, correct me if I am wrong: You wish to stay on this forum but you have "found God again."

Here is my ... fem øre (five cents, in Norwegian):
Years ago, a friend told me "you are a humanist!" I didn't know what it meant but, after reading about it, I agree: I believe in mankind, called an optimist by some and naive by others.

I think that if religion helps you in life, why not? But then, could it be your own religion? Do you have to adopt a recognized faith? For example, I have many beliefs. When I sail my little dinghy, I believe that if I throw plastic in the sea, a storm will come. And after flying my tiny ultralight aircraft, I always give a kiss on the propeller spinner, to thank the aircraft for a nice flight.

Superstitions? Call it what you want but it makes me feel good. If you religious belief makes you feel good ... good for you! It is nice to have a spiritual life. Problems only arise when some people try to impose their beliefs on others ...

Have a nice day, my friend,
Michel (PS: yes that is my first name).
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Old 02 Dec 2017, 05:54 PM   #681678 / #64
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It's just morbid curiosity, but I distinctly remember you blaming God for having kept you in the closet for so long when you came out as trans. Now you have come out as a Christian, what happens?
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Old 02 Dec 2017, 07:49 PM   #681683 / #65
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So, Doc...

Do you teach early Christian history, or are you a classicist whose period overlaps with Christian development?

Professional, or amateur?

I am an amateur who got involved in the Quest studies in the mid-1990s. I think that Burton Mack's work is a decent rough map for the lay reader.

There is a historical Jesus thread buried here at SC, in which Koy laid out his plot. Think 'Piso conspiracy'. Koy is very fervent about it. Others here, myself included, have other favorites for the explanation of an (a)historical founder at the genesis of Christianity.

Are you familiar with Father Thomas Brodie's work on intertextual development of the New Testament? I ask because he postulates a gentile 'school' of thinkers and copyists who actively engaged in collection, production, redaction, and editing of the gospels and subsequent sacred documents which would become the scriptural bedrock of Christian belief.
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Old 02 Dec 2017, 10:57 PM   #681687 / #66
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It's just morbid curiosity, but I distinctly remember you blaming God for having kept you in the closet for so long when you came out as trans. Now you have come out as a Christian, what happens?
What happens is what happens. What kept me in the closet was fear of what would happen., not with God, but those who see they do his bidding. At that time I rejected everything to do with religion and some of that still stands. People have done unspeakable things in his name.
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Old 02 Dec 2017, 11:17 PM   #681691 / #67
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It's just morbid curiosity, but I distinctly remember you blaming God for having kept you in the closet for so long when you came out as trans. Now you have come out as a Christian, what happens?
What happens is what happens. What kept me in the closet was fear of what would happen., not with God, but those who see they do his bidding. At that time I rejected everything to do with religion and some of that still stands. People have done unspeakable things in his name.
Are you certain God doesn't mind being referred to as a man? You'd think that if there are two labels that would absolutely sicken and anger God and that would be any variant of Satan or Man. Both have thoroughly pissed God off on many occasions.
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Old 03 Dec 2017, 06:10 AM   #681697 / #68
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I don't think God gets pissed off.
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Old 03 Dec 2017, 08:19 AM   #681701 / #69
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So, Doc...

Do you teach early Christian history, or are you a classicist whose period overlaps with Christian development?

Professional, or amateur?

I am an amateur who got involved in the Quest studies in the mid-1990s. I think that Burton Mack's work is a decent rough map for the lay reader.

There is a historical Jesus thread buried here at SC, in which Koy laid out his plot. Think 'Piso conspiracy'. Koy is very fervent about it. Others here, myself included, have other favorites for the explanation of an (a)historical founder at the genesis of Christianity.

Are you familiar with Father Thomas Brodie's work on intertextual development of the New Testament? I ask because he postulates a gentile 'school' of thinkers and copyists who actively engaged in collection, production, redaction, and editing of the gospels and subsequent sacred documents which would become the scriptural bedrock of Christian belief.
Lol. I wouldnt even call myself an amateur historian. I'm just a massive nerd who reads a lot. IMHO, being an historian means writing papers where you dilligently check every source and show your references.

I am fascinated by the ancient world. As well as religious history. So I've read a lot on just that. Especially life and religion of regular folk.
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Old 03 Dec 2017, 01:48 PM   #681709 / #70
Roo St. Gallus
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So, Doc...

Do you teach early Christian history, or are you a classicist whose period overlaps with Christian development?

Professional, or amateur?

I am an amateur who got involved in the Quest studies in the mid-1990s. I think that Burton Mack's work is a decent rough map for the lay reader.

There is a historical Jesus thread buried here at SC, in which Koy laid out his plot. Think 'Piso conspiracy'. Koy is very fervent about it. Others here, myself included, have other favorites for the explanation of an (a)historical founder at the genesis of Christianity.

Are you familiar with Father Thomas Brodie's work on intertextual development of the New Testament? I ask because he postulates a gentile 'school' of thinkers and copyists who actively engaged in collection, production, redaction, and editing of the gospels and subsequent sacred documents which would become the scriptural bedrock of Christian belief.
Lol. I wouldnt even call myself an amateur historian. I'm just a massive nerd who reads a lot. IMHO, being an historian means writing papers where you dilligently check every source and show your references.

I am fascinated by the ancient world. As well as religious history. So I've read a lot on just that. Especially life and religion of regular folk.
Ah...Likewise. I do have a background in teaching history (to adolescents), but again, I am not an historian.

Back in the 1990s, I became interested in the focused question of the historicity of the founder of Christianity. I started with the best known historical writers in the field at the time and worked my way to more and more obscure commentators. Obtaining an understanding of the background context is very helpful in understanding the development itself...like the level of literacy in first century Judea and how scriptural teachings were promulgated and reproduced.
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Old 03 Dec 2017, 04:24 PM   #681723 / #71
Michel
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What happens is what happens. What kept me in the closet was fear of what would happen., not with God, but those who see they do his bidding. At that time I rejected everything to do with religion and some of that still stands. People have done unspeakable things in his name.
Here is something that may surprise some of you: In Norway, the Lutheran church celebrates homosexual marriages. We even had a bishop who was a lady ... living with another lady!.

How's that? Well, until a couple of years ago, the Norwegian Lutheran Church was state-controlled. The parliament named the bishops, etc. Since Norway has had a strong socialist line of thoughts, religion was to follow the "will of the people." ... so to speak.

Then, of course, we have a lot of Protestant congregations, all believing that the universe was created only for them but then ... when you start believing in imaginary friends!
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Old 03 Dec 2017, 05:36 PM   #681726 / #72
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So, Doc...

Do you teach early Christian history, or are you a classicist whose period overlaps with Christian development?

Professional, or amateur?

I am an amateur who got involved in the Quest studies in the mid-1990s. I think that Burton Mack's work is a decent rough map for the lay reader.

There is a historical Jesus thread buried here at SC, in which Koy laid out his plot. Think 'Piso conspiracy'. Koy is very fervent about it. Others here, myself included, have other favorites for the explanation of an (a)historical founder at the genesis of Christianity.

Are you familiar with Father Thomas Brodie's work on intertextual development of the New Testament? I ask because he postulates a gentile 'school' of thinkers and copyists who actively engaged in collection, production, redaction, and editing of the gospels and subsequent sacred documents which would become the scriptural bedrock of Christian belief.
Lol. I wouldnt even call myself an amateur historian. I'm just a massive nerd who reads a lot. IMHO, being an historian means writing papers where you dilligently check every source and show your references.

I am fascinated by the ancient world. As well as religious history. So I've read a lot on just that. Especially life and religion of regular folk.
Ah...Likewise. I do have a background in teaching history (to adolescents), but again, I am not an historian.

Back in the 1990s, I became interested in the focused question of the historicity of the founder of Christianity. I started with the best known historical writers in the field at the time and worked my way to more and more obscure commentators. Obtaining an understanding of the background context is very helpful in understanding the development itself...like the level of literacy in first century Judea and how scriptural teachings were promulgated and reproduced.
I've also embarked on that quest. I recall, finding a bunch of early 19'th century German books who had managed to work it all out. Just by applying the scientific method. Nobody after them has had anything new to add.

The main problem with Biblical historians is that they rarely are. They're usually apologists using academic epitets to confuse and deceive. Which isn't very Christian of them. But it makes this sort of research very difficult.

I've learned more about Christian history by studying related fields, than actual Christian history, for that very reason.
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Old 03 Dec 2017, 07:02 PM   #681727 / #73
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I don't think God gets pissed off.
If God was a man he most definitely would get pissed off. Old Testament God certainly did.
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Old 03 Dec 2017, 08:22 PM   #681728 / #74
justme
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It's just morbid curiosity, but I distinctly remember you blaming God for having kept you in the closet for so long when you came out as trans. Now you have come out as a Christian, what happens?
What happens is what happens. What kept me in the closet was fear of what would happen., not with God, but those who see they do his bidding. At that time I rejected everything to do with religion and some of that still stands. People have done unspeakable things in his name.
Are you certain God doesn't mind being referred to as a man? You'd think that if there are two labels that would absolutely sicken and anger God and that would be any variant of Satan or Man. Both have thoroughly pissed God off on many occasions.
I use the masculine terms to describe the deity because that is the way he is referanced in the Bible.
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Old 03 Dec 2017, 08:36 PM   #681729 / #75
justme
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I don't think God gets pissed off.
If God was a man he most definitely would get pissed off. Old Testament God certainly did.

I'm going to respond to this out of my own thoughts. I am not making statements of fact here, because I don't want to evangelize. This is how I percieve things.


The one thing that gets me is that people look at the actions that God did in the Bible and attribute them to acting like a man, when in the Bible it said that he created man in his image.

I've seen fellow Christians talk about this and try to justify God's actions, but what if God actually gave us these traits because he had them before us.

I know that blows the entire idea of God being perfect away, but how do we gauge perfection? Is the idea of perfection so foreign to us that we attribute it so far beyond us it isn't funny.
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