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Author Topic: Religion ............who is he?  (Read 11692 times)
Mustardseed
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« Reply #25 on: June 09, 2006, 11:10:50 »

Dear Beth

I noticed that you are not answering my last post, I wonder if you are offended at my questions. I hope not.

Regards Mustardseed
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Beth
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« Reply #26 on: June 09, 2006, 13:03:34 »

Mustardseed,

No, you did not offend me at all. I just haven't known what else to say to you -- we are going in circles again -- but I haven't forgotten you.

I'll get back to you this weekend, I promise.

~Beth
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« Reply #26 on: June 09, 2006, 13:03:34 »

logoVisit the website of Astral Pulse creator Adrian Cooper.

Home of the best selling book Our Ultimate Reality.

Astral Projection, Metaphysics and many other subjects.

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Beth
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« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2006, 01:07:58 »

Dear Mustardseed,

I wrote:
Quote
Likewise, according to the bible, the Jews killed Jesus, so the Christians (Protestant and the Vatican) did nothing to stop Hitler from slaughtering them. It took the bombing of Pearl Harbor for America to even get involved in WWII, so who knows what else Hitler would have done if the Japanese hadn't bombed America at all. Both of these cultural tragedies were successful because even though the bible says to love one another, that did not include slaves and Jews. In fact, those who held the power to stop these travesties, actually justified them by quoting the bible!!!
To which you responded:
Quote
This is your conclusion, not a fact.

Not my opinion Mustardseed, but FACT.

Quote
Monday, March 16, 1998 Published at 19:35 GMT
Vatican Apologises Over Holocaust

The Vatican has apologised to Jews on behalf of the entire Roman Catholic community, for failing to speak out against the Nazi holocaust during World War Two.

In his letter accompanying the apology, the Pope said the holocaust remained an indelible stain on the 20th century.

The Vatican's long-anticipated response to the killing of six million Jews was published in Rome on Monday.

Here is the link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/65889.stm

There is also this, from other demoninations:  
Quote
The past decade has seen many statements of repentance by religious groups:
 
The Southern Baptist Convention repented of their past support for slavery and racial segregation. The asked African-Americans for forgiveness of the denomination's past actions and for any residual racism left today.
 
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America apologized for the viciously anti-Jewish statements by Martin Luther, a leader of the Protestant Reformation.
 
The United Methodist Church apologized for the brutality of a lay Methodist preacher who led a massacre of Natives during the Civil War.
Here is that link: http://www.religioustolerance.org/pope_apo.htm

Mustardseed, there is SO much that you do not know about the religion that you defend with such passion, especially about the earliest centuries of the official church, where many atrocities were committed WITHOUT any apology at all.  

I have told you many times that what the bible says is NOT a default for what Christianity IS.

And my "beef" is not with the bible, it is with those that abuse it.

Quote
Well in that case I would say that you may be more Christian than you realize.
No. I am not a Christian Mustardseed. Like you, I wanted to make being a Christian into what I thought Christianity should be, but I finally came to the conclusion that whatever the original message was, it has long been lost to "Christianity" or to "being a Christian." The Church quite thoroughly destroyed it.

God could not, however, be destroyed. I am a seeker/follower of what I perceive to be "God." Without name, without affiliation -- without God ever  having been a human. Period.

Now that I think about it, with everything that you have said here, You are NOT as much of a Christian as you seem to think.
Quote
Free Churches in Europe look at what is happening in the US and shake their head,
IMO they need to be doing something besides "shake their heads."  There is a travesty going global based upon those biblical texts, and if "Free Churches" want to remain "FREE" then they had better start a global reformation of Christianity or, even worse things are going to happen.
Quote
I do however believe that I need to associate myself with the Bible, since this is where this truth is written down and where the ideas seem to have originated.
And David, I am about as "associated" with the bible as one can get.

I am still unclear about what you are defending, Christianity? or the Bible?

If you are trying to defend the efficacy (power) of scripture, you need not do that with me -- I am very well aware of that -- except, when it is taken literally it loses all of its power. It is only in its archetypal and symbolic form that it has any real power for me -- and then WOW. :heartsmile:

If you are trying to defend "being a Christian" -- well, I have already addressed that many times over.

Regarding historical revisionism, this is what taking the biblical events "to be true and historical" has been doing for all of these centuries -- revising actual history to fit the conclusion that the religion wants. According to your quoted piece:
Quote
Rather than analyze historical events, facts, their causes and consequences, and their interactions with other events, they defend a conclusion, whether or not the facts support it.


If you are using this as an example because you think that this is what I am doing, well, you are wrong my friend. I am trying to help people see where Christianity has been doing to 'revising'.

With true historical method,
Quote
history is inductive in its methodology, in that it accumulates the facts, tries to determine their nature and their connectivities and then attempts to weave them into an understandable and meaningful mosaic.

And David, events specific to the bible cannot be found, so those narratives are not eligible for historical validity.

The only "historical facts" that apply to "the bible" are:

1) the various books were written over a 350 year period (250 bce - 100ish ce)

2) people did in fact read it

3) a lot of people disagreed about what it meant

4) a religion was eventually created around it that grew so powerful that it maintained control over the entire western world for over 1,000 years.


~Beth
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Mustardseed
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« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2006, 14:53:59 »

Dear Beth
Apologies for my delayed answer, (you know why) and thanks for your kind PM. As I explained I have been "busy" ha there is still a life to live away from the pulse.

I have been thinking about the thread for a while and have decided to try to summarize it a bit to see if we understand each other right.

What we agree on: Things we agree on is that established religion, in the context of political power, is off the track. They may be Christians Muslims Hindus or Buddhists, hypocrisy and direct disobedience to the very tenants they claim to stand for, has made them all an abomination to an "possible" God.

Christianity specifically may very well be the worst of them all. Being the preferred faith of the most power full  nation on earth, it equally should be examined. Christianity as we see it lived by Bush and others like him, is a fallacy, and disgrace and "an abomination the the cause......" You know the verse.

The words in the Bible are inspired "somehow someway", they have in them TRUTH. The problem is that people do not live them.

Things we disagree on or should I say debate is:
I
s the Bible historically correct

Did the Jews exist as a nation as described in the OT, and did Jesus live and act as described in the NT.

It appears that you yourself do not think so, and you base this belief on your research. My argument is, that instead of basing it on the principle, that you are innocent till pr oven guilty, you argue that since there is circumstantial evidence, and a motive, Christianity is a falsehood and in other words "guilty". This to me is a conclusion based on bias, and a one sided view of History. Even in a court of law, and as Robert also explained, bias on the part of a true seeker is not acceptable. I believe that you are biased.  grin

I am not sure why. It could be personal experience, a dislike for certain Christian people or just a dislike of hypocrisy. Maybe it is a mix.

Instead of trying to go so far and reach so wide lets boil it down to a bit at the time. I have been reading a bit on the subject and submit the following article, in "my defense" of said issues.

The Jewish nation:

http://hnn.us/roundup/entries/25976.html

My argument is that Historical revisionists or religious ditto, should be examined closely. Political religious or personal bias makes their arguments suspect. That naturally goes for the both of us, as I admit that I am probably somewhat biased and in so many words an apologist. If I understand this word, and you should equally examine MY arguments.

What do you think about the article.

Regards David
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Beth
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« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2006, 02:32:40 »

Dear David,

Glad you are settled once again.

Quote
Things we disagree on or should I say debate is:
Is the Bible historically correct

Did the Jews exist as a nation as described in the OT, and did Jesus live and act as described in the NT.

It appears that you yourself do not think so, and you base this belief on your research. My argument is, that instead of basing it on the principle, that you are innocent till pr oven guilty, you argue that since there is circumstantial evidence, and a motive, Christianity is a falsehood and in other words "guilty". This to me is a conclusion based on bias, and a one sided view of History.
First of all, I do not base my conclusion on my research alone--far from it! If it were not for all of the evidence (or lack thereof as the case is) my research alone would "prove nothing." What my research does is answer the question that is glaringly left up in our faces when all of the other evidence is weighted in. For example:

No other cultural source provides any evidence of any of the biblical events, when in fact some of them should, e.g. those that are mentioned in the bible as being involved, such as Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Greece, Rome, etc. It is not until after the passage of the 1st century that any historical evidence of Christianity begins to appear, and that is not biblical events, rather Christian events. No one can claim that Christians did not exist in the late first century and later. It is the biblical events that cannot be verified.  
Quote
I believe that you are biased. I am not sure why. It could be personal experience, a dislike for certain Christian people or just a dislike of hypocrisy. Maybe it is a mix.
Will you stop it with the charge that there are Christians that I do not like?!? Yes, I do have a dislike of hypocrisy, emotional and spiritual abuse, intellectual manipulation, and the gross misuse of sacred things for the gain of selfish power mongers. What I like or dislike makes no difference in the argument of whether or not the biblical events were historical or not.
Quote
My argument is that Historical revisionists or religious ditto, should be examined closely. Political religious or personal bias makes their arguments suspect. That naturally goes for the both of us, as I admit that I am probably somewhat biased and in so many words an apologist.
Did you understand from my last post that 'historical revisionism' is what Christianity is guilty of? Your use of the historical revisionist argument is not a good one for you to use if you still want to prove that the biblical events are historical events. In other words, HR actually proves your case to be null and void.

What you need instead is actual evidence, not an argument to explain why there is NO evidence. Do you see the difference? There is 'plenty' of evidence for every culture and every literate nation that was active and productive during the years 2,000 bce (ce) to 100 ce (ad) -- except -- the  Hebrews/Israelites and the events crucial to the New Testament.

How about this--since you cannot provide me with evidence that the Hebrews/Israelites DID exist, let me show you why they did not:

According to the bible, Moses was born around 1526 and the supposed Exodus from Egypt occurred around 1400. For near to the next 1,000 years, all the land of Canaan was supposed to be Israel/Judea.

This is where the problem comes in David:

Egypt was in control of Canaan from before this time until around 1010.

Look at those dates David, there is simply no way a group could flee Egypt around 1400 and then conquer Canaan forty years later and be consistent with the evidence. The Egyptians were in control of Canaan during that time—not the Israelites.

The bible would then have King Saul in reign from 1050 until 1010, but once again, Egypt was in total control of Canaan until 1010.

After 1010 was about the time that the bible would have King David come into the picture, but alas, no other culture mentions King David -- but do mention other territorial kings -- and archaeologists cannot seem to find anything that remotely accounts for the biblical claims leading up to, or of, the whole story surrounding his kingship.

As far as the Davidic and Solomonic kingdoms, as rich as the bible claims them to be, as powerful militarily as the bible claims them to be, you would think that somewhere, some other culture would at least mention them. They do not. Nada.

As far as the days of Jesus are concerned, due to the fact that Romans were very good about reporting their activities through letters and official ledgers, you would think that the Romans would have recorded the events surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus. They do not. Since Paul no doubt had contact with the Greek intellectual community, you would think that the Greeks would have mentioned Paul somewhere in the annals of their written histories as well.

David, I am not making up an anti-Christian position to try and sway you --or anyone else -- one way or the other. I am just calling a spade a spade. Where there is nothing, there is nothing.

Now, there is no doubt in my mind that "something was going on" that gave rise to the biblical writings. They were not written the way they were without reason. While that reason has yet to be ascertained, all rational and logical people who look at the ancient historical evidence of that period of time, can all conclude with reason that the biblical events are NOT historical. With my research, we can further know that the biblical narratives were amazing fictional creations, but what we don't know is "why" they were written or "how" the whole thing got out of hand.

Again, I am not trying to sway you to MY way of thinking David, rather, to see the only way to see ancient history without illusion.

~Beth
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« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2006, 02:32:40 »



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Mustardseed
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« Reply #30 on: June 17, 2006, 16:00:41 »

Dear Beth

You said:

You need evidence that the events as described in the bible really happened -- any of them -- even just one of them!

While I understand this argument I find it very difficult, to understand how you expect me to use it in a discussion. It becomes a circular conversation of sorts. You ask me the above, "show me evidence", and I give a few examples and you in turn answer that "the Bible was written after they happened, and so they do not count".

Your conclusion that the bible is false, becomes the foundation stone of your line of argument. Please say you understand what I am getting at. This is why I said it is comparable to Fundamentalists, who use the Bible as a foundation. If they do, they are dismissed as biased and basing their arguments on a “belief in the book”. I could give you many events in the Bible that actually happened as I expect you are well aware of, but if you dismiss them, basing this dismissal on the belief that the Bible is fictional, we are talking apples and oranges.

In any case here is a quote from Josephus :

"At that time lived Jesus, a wise man, if he may be called a man; for he performed many wonderful works. He was a teacher of such men as received the truth with pleasure….And when Pilate, at the instigation of the chief men among us, had condemned him to the cross, they who before had conceived an affection for him did not cease to adhere to him. For on the third day he appeared to them alive again, the divine prophets having foretold these and many other wonderful things concerning him. And the sect of the Christians, so called from him, subsists at this time" (Antiquities, Book 18, Chapter 3, Section 1).(end quote)

However I am sure that you will say something like , he was a liar and not to be trusted, or was being politicaly correct hoping to gain favor with the powers that be.

Here is another one, by Carius Cornelius Tacitus (many of his writings were about 100 A. D.). Tacitus was a Roman historian who reportedly hated Christians. In writing about the life of Nero and the accusation that he burned the city of Rome and blamed it on the Christians, Tacitus says:
    "…Nero procured others to be accused, and inflicted exquisite punishment upon those people, who were in abhorrence for their crimes, and were commonly known by the name of Christians. They had their denomination from Christus (Christ, dm.), who in the reign of Tibertius was put to death as a criminal by the procurator Pontius Pilate….At first they were only apprehended who confessed themselves of that sect; afterwards a vast multitude discovered by them, all of which were condemned, not so much for the crime of burning the city, as for their enmity to mankind. Their executions were so contrived as to expose them to derision and contempt. Some were covered with the skins of wild beasts, and torn to pieces by dogs; some were crucified; others having been daubed over with combustible materials, were set up as lights in the night time, and thus burned to death…" (Tacitus, Annals, 15, 44).


Notice that while Tacitus had no regard for the Christians of whom he wrote, he does mention Christ as being the founder of their belief.
I expect you will dismiss this saying that the conspiracy was already at work and that and that he did not know what he was talking about.


Here is another one.

City of Tyre
The two great cities of Phoenicia were Tyre and Sidon. Ezekiel as a captive in Babylon made some very specific predictions about the seacoast metropolis of Tyre. In Ezekiel 26 and 27 the destruction of Tyre was given in detail (592-570BC)
Ezek 26:3. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I [am] against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up.
Ezek 26:4. And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock.
Ezek 26:5. It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken [it] saith the Lord GOD: and it shall become a spoil to the nations.
Ezek 26:7. For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people.
Ezek 26:12. And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise: and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses: and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water.
Ezek 26:14. And I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be [a place] to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more: for I the LORD have spoken [it] saith the Lord GOD.
Nebuchadnezzar came against Tyre in 585 BC (fulfilling vs 26:7). The siege lasted until 573 BC. When he broke down the gates of the city he found most of the population had escaped by ship to a city they had built on an island about a half mile out into the sea.
Sometime after defeating the Persians in a battle in 333BC, Alexander III in a southern campaign demolished old Tyre and used the materials and dirt (fulfilling verse 26:4) to build a causeway to the new city which had been built out in the water. After a long siege, the island city was destroyed and the materials cast into the sea (fulfilling 26:12).
Eighteen years after Alexander's defeat of Tyre on the island, Antigonus laid siege to the city and again destroyed it. The Moslems were next to win and occupy it for a time but were defeated by the Roman Crusaders. Still later, the Moslems again retook and utterly destroyed the city with a vengeance, seeming to hate the very stones on which the Crusaders walked. All these "waves" of conquerors fulfilled vs 26:3.
Today, Tyre is literally a place for local fishermen to spread their nets to dry. The proud commercial seaport of ancient Tyre has never been rebuilt (fulfilling vs 26:5 and 14) 5.



This even happened before Christ meaning that your conspiracy must have been in existence for a long time, a very long time indeed. I expect you to say that the Bible is more recent and again use the argument that it is a Historical narrative, included to deceive the masses to believe the entire content

As you see my question is, are you working backward from a attitude of disbelief, ending up where you do, and I look forward to hearing your take on the article, as it covers this issue a bit as well.

Regards Mustardseed

PS my apologies for assuming what your reasoning is. I did not do it a mean sort of way Beth, I hope you understand that. We all may or may not have our reasons to do the things we do, but you are right to call me on it, as it is not my place to draw your motives into question.. as you rightly pointed out it is besides the point.
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Mustardseed
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« Reply #31 on: June 17, 2006, 20:05:31 »

I just read this interesting article, and have cut and pasted a part. My point is this Beth. The issue we are debating is being debated by people in many fora, It is a controversial issue and seeing it is being debated for and against by very knowledgeable people I would not consider either side conclusive. All I have is the Internet. You have your considerable knowledge and I am forced to debate with various articles. I am still trying to read it all but it is time consuming and as I said there is soo much written on either side. .

Quote
.......... considerable disagreement exists among archaeologists on how to interpret many recent finds. And the new theories about ancient Israel are emerging against the backdrop of a raging dispute over the biblical "minimalists," a group of scholars who argue that biblical accounts of early Israel, including the stories of David and Solomon, have little, if any, basis in history.

(This debate was recently fought out in a lively issue of the Biblical Archeology Review, a bimonthly magazine published in Washington, in which one of the minimalists, the British scholar Philip Davies, wrote that biblical accounts of early Israel were purely theological, not historical. In response, a major critic of the minimalists, the American archaeologist William Dever, wrote that ample physical evidence pointed to early Israelites living in the region's highlands 3,200 years ago, two centuries before the time of David and Solomon.)

But if many archaeologists are far less interested in trying to corroborate the exact biblical accounts than in how the area's ancient history fits into the larger picture of the Middle East, that change of perspective, Marcus said, reflects an intellectual shift among the people doing the digging.

Many current archaeologists, she said, were born in modern Israel and don't need a link to the biblical King David to think of themselves as part of the Israeli nation: "They see themselves as part of the broader Middle East."

Yet while archaeology is challenging some of the biblical narrative, it is also adding to it. At Megiddo, Finkelstein said, he found that the period 2,900 years ago -- the century following the rule of Solomon -- was a far more interesting and powerful time for the Kingdom of Israel than the Bible says.

Another tantalizing discovery, in 1993, turned up a stele with an inscription referring to the "House of David," the first real evidence that refers to the biblical king. Still other recent excavations have provided compelling new evidence about the lives of the residents of Jerusalem 2,600 years ago, when they were besieged by the Babylonian army, and about the nearby people of ancient Judah who did not go into exile in Babylon.

Marcus said that such discoveries illustrate how archaeology can restore information "left on the cutting room floor," as it were, by those who compiled the biblical narrative. "Archaeology is giving you back all this history," she said. "So archaeology doesn't just deconstruct the Bible, but reconstructs it."


It is such a vast and very complex issue, and I remain undecided, I listen to you but I do not think I need to decide either way. As you suggested I will just keep on doing what I do.

Regards Mustardseed
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« Reply #32 on: June 17, 2006, 22:11:21 »

Mustardseed,

Good day to you!
Quote
Your conclusion that the bible is false, becomes the foundation stone of your line of argument. Please say you understand what I am getting at.
Yes. I understand exactly what you are getting at. However, this is not what I am doing. This is actually what you are doing, i.e. the bible is true and this is why. I come at this whole issue from a very different direction.

So, now let me beseech you to say you understand something as well. Okay?

I did not start out to 'prove that the bible was fiction' David.  I did not wake up one day and decide 'to bring down Christianity' because I did not like Christians, or some Christians, or had been abused at an early age by a Christian.

Yes, I did have questions within my Christian faith, so I invested the time (years of time) and money (lots and lots of money) to educate myself in the history of Christianity. I invested the time to learn the ancient languages of the bible -- and this was not easy for me at all!  Moreover, I was majoring in religion at a Christian university. So, I did all of these things not to prove that the bible is 'false' but to try and understand the bible in order for my faith to grow stronger.

I look back now, and truly, the thought would never have entered my mind ten years ago, that I would one day take such a position as I do now and be able to stand my ground in my conclusions. I still have to pinch myself some days to make sure that I am not having a very long lucid dream...

In the fall of 2000, I started out researching a concept in the bible for my Master's Thesis-- the Greek concept of the LOGOS--the WORD--as used by John in the Prologue to his gospel. "In the beginning was the Logos..."

At the time, I may have been personally searching for spiritual answers for my life, but -- academically/spiritually/intellectually -- I was still working from the premise that the bible was true, that Jesus had really lived, taught, died, and ascended.  I would not have gone so far as to say that Moses literally parted the Red Sea, but I still believed -- like you -- that Jesus was a real man and that the disciples and Paul were who the bible said they were.

Granted, I knew that something was not quite right about the way Christianity taught the bible as being a literal accounting, for I could logically see where narratives written decades after the fact could not possibly quote verbatim what actually was said and happened decades earlier. Nevertheless, I still believed that "it" did happen in some way or another. This is where I was -- spiritually and intellectually – and this is where I was when all of the sudden, my research started to prove ME wrong!

And it tore me apart David.  I felt like I was dying.

I cannot possibly put into words what it did to me, except to say that the realization hit me 3 weeks before 9-11. I was already numb from feeling like I had personally been hit by a spiritual bomb when I then watched on TV very real airplanes exploding into those twin towers. That whole summer of 2001 was an experience I will never forget, but will never adequately be able to put into words.

So, even though it was tearing me apart, I could not ignore what I was finding David, any more than I could ignore the God within me that was leading me to my conclusions.

I have done everything within my power to work with known facts, outside of any personal feelings I may have had for the topic at hand. In other words, this topic was near and dear to my heart from the very beginning, but I had to put my faith aside and take a look at the FACTS.

Over time, the facts continued to contradict all belief that I had in the bible as a literal history of anything. The facts just did not bear out my faith, and over time my faith in the bible and Christianity lessened more and more until I am where I am today.

So David, you are so very wrong to accuse me of being biased. Truth be told, I have spent more time than you could ever imagine, looking for data that would support your faith. If such evidence ever becomes available I will be the first to say I have been wrong. But until then, I stand firm on the foundation of not just my research, but the research of others working in this field of study. Moreover, I will continue till my last breath is taken to do what I can to help others liberate themselves from the misuses of the bible and to help them if I can with the spiritual crisis that no doubt follows an acceptance of the truth of the matter. I do not take any of this lightly...
Quote
In any case here is a quote from Josephus ... However I am sure that you will say something like , he was a liar and not to be trusted, or was being politicaly correct hoping to gain favor with the powers that be.
You are right, I lend no credence whatsoever to Josephus. He is not a credible source, and I personally do not care what his motives for writing were.
Quote
Notice that while Tacitus had no regard for the Christians of whom he wrote, he does mention Christ as being the founder of their belief.
I expect you will dismiss this saying that the conspiracy was already at work and that and that he did not know what he was talking about.

Nope, no conspiracy here at all. I have no doubt that “Christ” – “as a concept of anointing salvation” was very real. Further, he is talking about the persecution of Christians – not of Jesus. There is no doubt that the earliest Christians were indeed persecuted. This does not prove the bible to be a historical document. It only proves that Christians existed, and I have never argued against that FACT.
Quote
City of Tyre
The two great cities of Phoenicia were Tyre and Sidon. Ezekiel as a captive in Babylon made some very specific predictions about the seacoast metropolis of Tyre. In Ezekiel 26 and 27 the destruction of Tyre was given in detail (592-570BC)

First of all, there is absolutely no evidence to support the claim that Ezekiel was written in 592 BCE. You are once again depending upon the bible -- to prove that the bible is true. Can you see where this is not a valid form of ‘proof’? This is what a ‘circular argument’ is David.  

Second, Tyre and Sidon have been through many cycles of conquering and reestablishment – just like most every city of the world, but neither of them were ever destroyed. In fact, one of my favorite ancient biblical scholars – Origen of Alexandria – was buried in Tyre around 254 CE/AD and the cities of Tyre and Sidon still stand today.
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expect you to say that the Bible is more recent and again use the argument that it is a Historical narrative to deceive the masses to believe the entire content

Yes, you expect accurately. I stand firm in my conviction that people are misusing the bible by selling it in toto as historical fact. This misuse does great harm to the people of this world; it keeps them ignorant of the truth about the bible, and moreover, it keeps them stonewalled from seeking and finding God in the world today.

The bible no doubt includes kernels of historical data, but…this does not mean that the events and people found only in the bible were real and historical as well.  In fact, the whole Di Vinci Code controversy is a good example: there are no doubt kernals of historical fact in Dan Brown's novel, BUT it is a work of FICTION and Brown never claimed anything else. Unless one is writing pure fantasy or sci-fi, kernals of history are found in most all fictional works.
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I look forward to hearing your take on the article, as it covers this issue a bit as well.

That article is just trying to disprove a scholar’s position using the same baseless claims that are always made to discredit those who are taking a new position that contradicts the power of the religions that are now facing eventual extinction. An article like that would probably look much the same with any new scholarly approach – only the names would be changed – but that same baseless rhetoric would be used over and over again to try to discredit the findings.

In fact, many critics of the new movement toward a factual understanding of the ancient world are being personally attacked by being called "anti-Semitic" "anti-Christian" and "anti-Muslim" etc.

Sound familiar? You have done the exact same thing with me.

All this does is clearly show that critics of the new scholarship cannot produce a legitimate arguable position in support of traditional religious understanding -- all they can do is find ways to personally attack the new scholar.

This is not only hurtful to the new scholar, but it is hurtful to their families and to their reputations.

All scholars will eventually be forced to look at the FACTS.  As I have said before: good religion is not good scholarship.

We (many people) are finding new FACTS every day that contradicts the traditional interpretation of the bible and the traditional position of the religions involved, but unfortunately (for you), traditionalists are not finding new FACTS in support of the bible.

It’s happening David. Everyday. More and more people are going to start thinking for themselves, educating themselves, and coming to the same conclusions that I am. In the second article you quoted, one of the people involved is Philip Davies, University of Sheffield, UK. Try reading what he has to say:

http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/Davies_Biblical_Scholars.htm

Another fellow scholar of Davies is Thomas Thompson, University of Copenhagan, Denmark:

http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/copenhagen.htm

And Peter Lemche, also of the Univ of Copenhagen:

http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/Conservative_Scholarship.htm

And here is a Wiki related entry, for scholars are already having to come to terms with the fact that 'biblical Hebrew' did not exist until after the first century CE/AD.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_languages

We are at the beginning of the end of traditional understanding regarding the bible David, and all that it entails. During this time, a lot of fur will fly, and a lot of insults will be exchanged, and moreover a lot of reputations will be on the line, but, none of these things will change the truth of the matter: The Bible Was Creative Fiction. Not History.

It is just a matter of time before the world really catches on. In the meantime, it is my best suggestion that believers begin to establish a relationship with God outside of the bible.

~Beth
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Mustardseed
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« Reply #33 on: June 18, 2006, 00:27:54 »

Dear Beth

Thanks for the time you take writing such long posts. There is a lot to read so I will take some time to do so and get back to you about it.

I do hope you understand my dilemma. As I said before, at 50, and with a very real life to live, kids responsibilities etc I will most likely remain a layman and forgo a university degree, and I see a different route for me than the one you decided on. I do as I said applaud you for doing what you did, a very courageous thing.

As far as attacking each other, I suggest we leave that issue then, I did apologize as I believe that you were right in mentioning that your motives had nothing to do with the question, I ask that you grant me the same freedom, to pursue the path of truth without being harassed as "religious nut" or whatever.

I will remind you that when we first met, as I also mentioned before, the tone in the posts were quite, aggressive toward Christians, here on the pulse. I feel I was being drawn into a confrontation by rhetoric, and a very unkind criticism of my person, something that is still happening here on the pulse from time to time. I should probably have turned the other cheek but my Scorpio sense of injustice and my pride got the best of me and I answered in like manner. This is hoe we as humans often launch out at each other, in selfdefence.

In any case it is something I am trying hard to be on guard about in this thread, as I assume you realize.

About the article, I agree that it was very troubling to me as well, that the person who wrote it was so sarcastic, and assumed so many things about the author in question. However I felt it had some validity, in regards to the historical findings.

I realize also, that I am out of my league, and debating an issue that I really do not know that much about, at least not compared to you. This was never a question, I always realized that, yet I am trying to research for my own benefit as much as I can. It does give some problems as I can not argue with the ease you do. I hardly understand what the articles say, and have to use a dictionary all the time when reading them. Ha

In any case I have a very unique alternative route that I can take, and I think I will try that. I will explain that later.  For now thanks for the homework, and all the best to you.

Regards Mustardseed
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« Reply #34 on: June 18, 2006, 01:34:45 »

As always David -- you are welcome!

~Beth
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