I'd like to suggest that Jesus chose not to write anything down nor ask anyone else to write anything down because he didn't want to create a religion that would be based on a book. I suggest that he wanted to create an enlightened tradition based on truth and action and human interaction that would be passed down by word of mouth. The New Testament was compiled some hundred years after Christ's life on earth from documents which had been written within those hundred years. Up until then, the very many practicing Christians had not read the Bible. Since most people did not read, the Bible continued to be not read by most for hundreds of years after the Bible was written.
... And yet, Christianity spread like wildfire across the world, with or without the might of great empires, and was charged with the same enthusiasm of its first disciples. Is this not proof that the Bible is just a small player in the manifestation of Christianity as a religion, and that it is the gift of the Holy Spirit that has carried us thus far?
I am not one to quote great tracts of the Bible, but this line from Proverbs sprang out at me the other day:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know".
Why didn't Jesus write a book? The answer seems obvious. He was probably illiterate.
It is impossible that Truth can ever be written.....
Now the letters came with the intention to deceive, posing and promoting themselves as Truth.
This is the understanding of The Christ.
I think he probably was illiterate.
It directly says in the bible that the jesus character excelled at his lessons and exceeded his teachers - then he went on to teach at the temple which got him into trouble. No I don't think he was illiterate.
recommend1, you're right, he was known to be very learned from a young age, and read the Torah like any practicing Jew. Definately not illiterate, which is why it is an interesting question.
I disagree that he was known at all. What Luke wrote is not proof of anything any more than the rest of the bible is proof of anything.
You have to buy the belief that the bible is more than a bunch of bronze aged myths before anything becomes "proof" or evidence, or stateable as fact.
1.He followed Moses and the Torah.
2.He migrated to India and died in Kashmir at the age of about 120 years.
3.The New Testament does not present acts and teachings of Jesus; it presents the teachings of Paul; Paul founded Christianity not Jesus.
No, he migrated to America after taking a Chinese wife. He lived 117 years and his descendants became the rulers of America, later exterminated by Incas.
Please present some proofs in support of what you say.
ibneahmad's story is much closer to any possible truth. Especially in the case of christianity being a total fabrication by Paul who was in it for political gain, clashing with jesus appointed followers as he tried to take over the gang.
If you follow Paul's book you have been conned big time.
Actually if you follow any of the Christian version, you are conned.
The Christ story is a collection of stories of many myths, real people and expectations. There never was a fellow named Jesus the Christ(or Jesus son of Joseph), as is said in bible. There may have been a little known fellow of the same name,(not known outside his family), but he certainly is not the Jesus of the bible.
Well - I am no christian but I did have a seriously heavy catholic upbringing - and although there is no corroborating evidence of any jesus as depicted in the bible - this does not mean that the basic story is untrue as there is no evidence for that either. Of course whether any possible real jesus was the son of god is open to serious question and a mental issue might be a more likely explanation - especially in times when any messiah that appeared was followed and worshipped as a matter of routine - must be a huge issue for an ego, especially if the holder of the ego is clever ?
Is there a basic story? All the plots are played by previous actors, either real or imagined. There is nothing original. You don't expect evidence for non-happened events, do you? And a little history will tell you, NT is nothing but plagiarism.
Of course there is a basic story, every story you read is made up of parts of other stories, references to other stories and older myths etc.
I will restate that I am not christian - but the story exists in its own right whether it is true or not, it is a form of communciation from the past containing messages about society, personal behaviours, politics and other matters that were deemed important to the original writers and all the people who have handled it down the centuries.
Whether it is true or not is the least important part of it.
No, Christians founded Christianity. Paul had been executing Christians before his own conversion.
Paul had been killing and persecuting the followers of Jesus and he continued even later when Jesus migrated from Judes; he started character-assassination of Jesus; he changed his teachings. Paul only changed his strategy.
I'm a little confused now. Paul was persecuting Christians when Jesus migrated...?
The Pauline letters were some of the first writing that made it into the NT. Paul never met Jesus. If fact he states that he never heard of Jesus by man, just from his readings of the "scriptures" and by revelation of "Jesus(Christo)himself". Prior to the Pauline letters there is no writings by or about or referenced to Jesus. The gospels and other writings were written 30+ years after the Pauline letters. Other than the NT, there is little to no references to Jesus in any of the other writings.
galatians 49ad, james 49ad, 1,2 thes 51,52ad, 1,2 corinth 55ad, romans 57ad, MARK 58 or 60ad, Ephesians 60ad, Colossians 60ad, Philemon 60ad, philipians 61ad, MATTHEW 62ad, LUKE 63ad, 1 tim 64ad, titus 64ad, 1 Peter 64 or 65ad, jude 65ad, acts 67ad, 2 Peter 68ad, 2 timothy 68ad, hebrews 70ad, JOHN 85ad, 1,2,3 john 90, revelation 95ad.
Ok, I see you got google to get assumed years, most are ranges BTW, because none of the "originals" can be accuarately dated. But, seeing as the "originals" we have today are (almost all) actually copies of the originals. we can not be sure of any of the dates. But as you can see from the dates you have found, the letters from Paul are the oldest. And the majority of the other books of the NT, were written much later.
Its nice that you said that. There are instances in the books that refer to outside sources. Herod, the temple destruction, trips to these places where a letter would have been sent first as was the custom.. yes they are approximate, not assumed.... based on some fact.. like we know when such and such died so the letter was written before that event...lol
I was surprised to read that galatians was the first, i always considered the gospels were first.. i didn't realize matthew had two t's till 6 months down the road.. doesn't matter, good books, excellent content. I am fine with them all.
Just my opinion (Obviously) I think that Jesus didn't nor did he instruct anyone to write a book because he was talking to those people that were alive when he walked the earth.
He said that "THIS" generation shall not pass till all these things be fulilled"
NOW, whatever happens after these things were fulfilled is another story entirely.
I gotta go for a while later.
May be he didnt get enough time nd was 2 busy....
Maybe he did not want to as he followed the teachings of Moses and the Torah.
It was 30 years before he began preaching. There was plenty of time before that. No, I think he chose not to write for a reason.
That's very similar to the belief that eating a rat every day warded off the plague.
Yes religion spread throughout the world. So did the black plague.
One killed the body, the other the mind.
What is christianity exactly?
Do you mean the hundreds of different beliefs that none of the christians can agree on?
Show me a religion without the agenda of controlling and talking down to each other because they have the one true religion and all the others are wrong.
OK, before you get carried away on the religion thing, think about what I'm asking here. When did the problems of sectarianism start in Christianity? It was when the Bible was translated for all and made the central focus of the faith. The Book became the issue. So I'm wondering, is this why Jesus chose not to write one?
As even after thousands of years there is not one iota of proof that he ever existed, I don't think he could have written anything.
If he did exist he was probably illiterate.
You may choose to argue that he never existed, but his followers are a fact, and it is they who carried the faith, without a book, without a battalion, for all that time.
Yes his followers are a fact. So are followers of the KKK. So what?
There is always plenty of terrified ignorant individuals who so scared of living and dying they would even believe the story where a god makes itself, becomes his own son then kills himself to atone for the complete f up he made of his creation in the first place.
Sounds more like a spoilt 2 year old!
I see where you're coming from with your fury. I don't see how Christianity is about terror though. How do you feel about suffering generally? Life begins in great pain. Is it more scary with a meaning or without?
Meaning is derived by self creating meaning. Those who don't understand that can still live life, but only proves that they don't understand their life.
So we create meaningless meanings to make sense of a life which already has meanings if we are bright enough to understand them without being told?
Do you have a purpose for living your life? If not, then why not? Were you not told by your parents that you had to give your life purpose, so you life has meaning?
Your above statement makes no rational sense.
Sorry, I was trying to make sense of your previous statement.
Do I have a purpose fro living my life? Well I think we're all here to find our purpose and to follow it.
Suffering is living.
I "suffer" from CNS pain 24/7. Have since I was a kid in my twenties.
I remain happy despite the pain, as I see it as a choice to be happy which is logical.
I see 11 million people starving in Africa as we speak. That is half the population of my country.
I don't have any right to be unhappy or to consider myself as suffering while living in a free country with plenty of food and shelter.
Good to see you're keeping the Fire burning, love.
also great to read your perfect point =it was the book that caused the entire 'problem'. Same as the compiled Law/Torah did to the Hebrews.
Do you know what is interesting? Only a few prophets and David were told to 'write' anything down about events. Not even the first 12 were told to write it but rather to live it.
Thank you James. This is a subject in which the fallacy of the importance of the written word is so ingrained that it is very difficult for people to accept it being another way. We have become incredibly blinkered.
I didn't think about the prophets, but yes, so there is a clear line of evidence.
Buddhism, Ch'an, Zen, Taoism, Confucianism, Shintoism, Hinduism...
There are dozens at the least... including some branches of what may be considered "Christianity." (which is, indeed, an overarching term used to describe many groups with disparate beliefs)
Organized religion is axiomatically rigid. Catholicism, Orthodox Judaism, and Fundamentalist Islam among others sit at one end of the scale. People who are ignorant of religion and spiritual matters in general tend to draw all of their conclusions from only that end of the scale.
In doing so, however, they are missing the much larger portion of the picture... the role that religion and spirituality play not as an opiate of the masses, but individually in the hearts and mind of those genuinely seeking truth.
Spirituality (and religion in the abstract) serves not as a mere basis for an ethos, but rather as an ongoing and interactive learning experience wherein one learns their role in the universe by discovering the ways in which they are fundamentally interconnected with all that is, has been, and will be.
To become actualized in this sense is most certainly not about telling people they are wrong for not following your plan, but rather about gaining wisdom which can be measured in the ever-increasing awareness of how much one does NOT know.
Atheism in this sense is merely the equal an opposite dysfunction to fundamentalism. Either makes the mistake of assuming they know everything. Each of us has been alive for but a second, and witnessed but a corner of one speck of dust in this universe... yet we stand on soapboxes and lie to ourselves out of insecurity that we can and do know the whole truth.
Neitzsche stands as a symbol of our modern arrogance. He is the yin to the yang of fundamentalist religious icons. He was a miserable and broken man who went insane mistaking pessimism for intelligence... and intelligence for wisdom. His proclamation that "God is dead" has resonated throughout modern society and forms the basis for what has become modern atheism.
Nazi soldiers carried two books. They did not carry bibles. They did not carry Qur'ans. They did, however, carry "Mein Kampf", and "Thus Spoke Zarathustra." (Neitzche)
It is not religion per se that causes wars. It is the notion that only our viewpoint is correct, and all others are deluded.
It is the incorrect and unenlightened view that we have all the answers.
I tend to stay out of these discussions for the obvious reason that they tend to be pointless and moot shouting matches between equally but oppositely ignorant parties.
You strike me as a very intelligent man, however, Earnest (and perhaps wise as well). Take this as all things with a grain of salt, but I invite you to entertain the notion that intelligence and wisdom are not the same, and that "religion" means many things to many people that go far beyond the dogma with which it is often equated.
Lizzieboo, years ago I felt the same way. Made the same argument, but it just isn't so. Christianity became a force when it became the religion of Rome. Rome helped it spread. The Vatican's control over the royal families helped make it the religion of the commoners.
Life was about control during feudalism and religion was a great tool in the arsenal.
Imperialism spread it throughout the known world.
Yes, I agree with you that your Jesus certainly preached a spiritual awakening and not religion. Christianity is not the product of his message. imho.
It was 300 years before Constantine proclaimed religious freedom for Christians, and a good while after that before it was accepted spread around the globe. All that time, through all the persecution, the faith was carried man to man.
Emile, what I mean to say is, and I'm agreeing with you, the Book has become a stumbling block. The baton was dropped when people started getting all learn'ed, instead of wise.
And woman to woman. But, you said yourself. It was well after the Council of Nicea before it spread around the globe. Which means that it gained exposure as the official religion of Rome first and then the church was well established before Rome fell.
I don't see the spread of Christianity as a miracle, just excellent control, manipulation and management of resources by the Vatican. But I am not an historian.
Exactly, control, manipulation and management, throw in some inquisition and keep the bible from the masses and you have catholicism - not what jesus preached at all.
Interesting to see you post such a comment. I'm envisioning a talking pot and kettle. Wait. The vision is getting clearer. Nope just a talking pot. And it's blind to the fact it is also black.
Warpath? That's another odd statement. Does every opinion that doesn't mirror your own equate to war? Strange world you live in.
Not really. That was not a nice post at all you wrote and it was not meant to be nice.
There was nothing wrong with my post.. it is true what the catholics did and this is so very obviously not what jesus preached.
I remember the last time you tried to defend catholicism... I am actually surprised you posted such a comment.
Wish ya all the best.
take care and remember to eat healthy and exercise.
I'm not certain which time you are talking about. I've made it clear every time you reply to one of my comments that I am uninterested in your prejudicial views on that topic.
A warpath would be if I had read your post and commented. You read mine and felt the need to open a dialogue in an attempt to correct me. So, in that sense you might be the little indian.
As to my response to your post, it is true. Whether you accept it or not. None of Christianity follows the teachings of Christ. You have all veered off course. Why you snip at one another for doing the exact same thing is a mystery.
I don't need to talk about a time, lets use your first post in our discussion. I felt no need to open a discussion with you until you called me a pot calling the kettle black. You okay with that little indian.
as to my prejudical views well i suppose jesus had prejudicial views also and i am fine with that. But prejudicial would i suppose encompass some hatred of those people.. but we are talking about a belief system, catholicism, are we not... and so therefore, as i have said before, God bless the catholic but they need to come out of that system. I do not concur with your analysis of prejudicial since obviously i am just calling the kettle black in regards to catholic incorrect doctrine.
None of, All, such generalizations you must know hold very little water. Catholicism does not follow christ, that i will agree with you about and glad you noticed it too. As to snip at each other, i have yet to see it amongst real christians.
have a nice day
It appears you don't quite understand how a dialogue is opened. Let me show you. I was talking to lizzieboo when I said:
You came through, read my post, and responded (notice the bold, it's important) to my post with
That is the opening of this dialogue kimosabe. Every subsequent post has been building on that beginning.
And, since you cannot move past your prejudicial views on this topic, this dialogue is completed. As I have previously stated I do understand where your views originated. I am so very sorry that you choose to follow what is obviously theology that flies so contradictory to the teachings of the gospels, but it is your choice. We all have them.
Dear brothery, Catholics do follow Christ and are thus Christian. Though it is within the context of an enormously decorated liturgy from centuries of culture, the imitation of and devotion to Christ are at the very centre of its tradition. Your prejudice against Catholic traditions is blinding you to this simple truth.
Let me enlighten you from a few of my observations. It may be the same in your country, but most fundamentalists of my acquaintance who rail against catholicism started life as catholics. Apparently, the ones I've met, suffered a trauma in their lives and the hard religions were there, stepped into a perceived void; and ouila! Somehow the prejudice is born and continues to grow throughout their affiliation with that sect.
They were actually devout catholics, or so they tell me. I haven't quite figured everything out, but I think they believe their first stab at religion failed them. This may, or may not, hold true across the board but it has been true of those of my acquaintance.
Emile, I think that is quite right, to certain extent. I think very often people buy into religions the same way that they buy into most other things these days: life has left has them lost and disillusioned and religion offers the possibility of therapy and feeling better about themselves. If you go into religion with the wrong approach, you will invariably come out worse than when you went in.
My experience is of lapsed cradle Catholics, of which there are many, and of disillusioned born-again Christians, of which there are also many. The lapsed Catholics I know usually come from Irish families in which faith has sat along side a limited education and violence. Once they leave home, they cannot think of religion without associating it with an upbringing riddled with unexplained rules and irrational fears.
The born-agains I have known almost always found their faith after suffering drug/drink addiction, marriage breakdown or some other kind of breakdown. The new found faith does rescue them from dispair, and for a while there is a very real joy filling there lives. And then they recover, and things no longer ring as true as they once did, and they develop a feeling of resentment about the whole thing. It's a sort of come -down.
I feel a great sympathy with all such people for I think the problem has been a simple one of extremes. Faith should not be about extremes of behavior. Faith should be a natural event and marked by an essentially sensible lifestyle. Faith, like love and death, are devastating, but also mundane facts of life I think.
Yes, again I am going on a bit, so I will stop...... in agreement.
Yes, it should never be an escape route. When religion is used as such it can never fall into the realm of spirituality. You can't hide behind an imaginary big brother god. If you believe, the only way I could see to do it is to believe reality is God and find peace within that reality. If you can't do that, religion is destined to fail you when you wake up to facts.
When I was of a religious mindset I had no expectations of God. He owed me nothing. I don't think I thought I owed him anything either, other than living my life by what I believed was right for me. Stepping away from faith didn't change anything at all because I was never disappointed by the relationship I had perceived. I never used the concept of God to keep reality at bay. There was never the conflict I see so often with the fundamental approach.
Jesus' overall message had nothing to do with spiritual awakening, but for consciousness awakening.
Many of the people Jesus spoke with were not consciously aware of their own existence, much less anything else.
It is the product of humankind, so as to control the masses. Nothing more.
Cagsil, I don't know if that's true. Jesus was speaking to Jews from a rich tradition of belief going back 5000 years. The Adam and Eve story is all about becoming consciously aware is it not?
I do, because I did the research on it. Look up Julian Jaynes hypothesis on the human consciousness. You'll learn that many people around Jesus' time were conscious of their own existence, but not the people he taught.
Those who were already following a religion of some sort, Jesus was against, because he knew it was false and was following an external god. Which is why Jesus' teachings were all about searching within for the only true god, which is Self.
No other authority is necessary or needed.
A personal god was what he preached. A god of the Self. hmm. I'll have to think about that.
jullian jaynes also wrote a book called "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind". I read this 'book' when i was a teenager. It told about how a node (somehow) shrunk around the roman era and that it was larger before. Also stated was an idea that because this node between the left and right hemispheres was bigger, that communication between the two hemispheres was busier.
The part that wasn't explained is WHY the node shrunk or HOW it shrunk - it just did.
As a christian you know that i know those two questions are answered.
I think we're on the same page. I think we would all agree Christianity was a tool to control the masses.
As to the other, I think its a definition of terms. To me, your conciousness is your spirituality. Being fully aware on all levels.
at age 18 he poisoned someone
22 killed his mother
25 divorced and killed wife
27 burned 70% of rome
28 killed second wife
31 killed himself
This guy was a complete wack job
and Paul wrote:
Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Romans 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
Romans 13:5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
Imagine that a book of control that says submit to a wack job. There is something else behind these verses and it is not to control. The next verses talk of love being the fulfilling of the law.
hindsight is 50-50 at best.
Which came first? control or the book? I'm thinkin book.
Bad subject to bring up. Many a person has willfully given up control of their own lives, simply to be taken advantage of by those who would use the Bible as a means to control people. The Bible has been used as justification for war, murder, rape and subjugation of women. It has been used for justification of treating entire populations as second class citizens. It was used as justification for forcing the Jews into ghettos.
I don't have to imagine that book. It is the Bible in many many instances.
Control has always been an aspiration of some people. This is one book that was written to help achieve that goal.
So are also good reasons to subjugate people: economics, politics, greed, envy and, and, and,
Now it is true that wolves love to wear sheep clothes and of course the corrupt love a good cover and of course the bible is a complete sucker to their whims, being a book and all that anyone can read. People can read passages and turn them to their advantage but i guess that is the case of all books. Buddha, jung, etc.. they all have their passages people can use, but that does NOT dictate the PURPOSE of the book just the purpose of the (bad) people who read the book.
Hinduism has a caste system.. that is much more effective at keeping its second and third and fourth classes down. Economics was the best reason for exterminating the jews.. they had a banking system declared by God.. no interest.. and they were gaining popularity over the previous banking institutions that charged interest, also there was that Aryan thing goin on about blonde and blue eyed.. super race.. that was a good reason and not from the bible.
Your selective reasoning is too narrow and pointedly focused there are so many reasons mankind does what mankind does, it is not all bible oriented.
Also i am reminded that if the USA, for example, were a buddha state would not then the criminally minded be using the teachings of buddha for their cover and not the bible?
Food for thought huh.
I almost didn't bother to read your response. Paragraph separation is that important to me. But, I chose to shove my way through it, out of courtesy.
That isn't food for thought. It is a blatant attempt to justify the actions of those within your faith. Yes, there are multiple factors that cause man's inhumanity, but religion cannot be ignored as one of those factors.
And do not attempt to blame the centuries of persecution of the Jewish people on the banking system. It's callous. I shudder to think how you would justify the treatment of women by the church.
I don't know of many in America that use the Bible as a cover for their crimes, not sure where you were headed with that one. Are things so different there in Canada?
i think you have prejudicial views toward me and anything i say you will just refute even if what you say is obviously geared toward rebuttal and not accuracy.
Do you know the impact the jewish banking system had on the economies of europe? Probably not.. Do you know the lengths the banking system goes through to keep its control? Ever wonder why there are so few banks and how difficult it is to start a bank?
You completely missed the whole Aryan comment which also held much weight.. and hitler was in complete favor of.
I think in third world countries women are controlled because men fear the power women have. Its like in nature only reversed.. the males have the bright colors and the females have colors that blend with their surroundings.. not something that evolution had keen insight into and decided to do but this is how God set it up. Woman have the bright colors and men umm not brightly colored, so to speak. The control that women can have and do try to have over men is rather embarasing, both for the woman who tries to control and the man that succumbs to that type of control. So i think in third world countries women have been controlled because men fear women. Not a nice scenario at all, but where Christianity is introduced women are liberated, because the bible indeed liberates from that type of environment and mind set and in north America there is really not much room for more liberality in that area.
As to your third point well you may well discover the answer to that as you peruse around hub pages reading different posts.
as to reading my posts, i kinda wish you wouldn't because then you should not comment so freely.
From one angle this mighty appear to be true. But, is this true? We are in a public forum. Discussing religion and beliefs. Your beliefs and mine are at odds. Your religion and my philosophy are at odds. The only moments we feel the need to converse are when we disagree.
You open a dialogue. I open a dialogue. But they are opened because we see a statement that we feel compelled to respond to. I did notice once a comment you made in a thread we were both in when we agreed on something, but I didn't interject into the conversation you were having with a statement of 'me too' simply because, knowing your stand, our agreement was probably on a very superficial level.
Are you saying that the entire Jewish population were bankers? I suppose the children that were ripped from their parents arms to be raised by 'good christians' were bankers? I missed those facts in the history books.
My statement on the church and its treatment of women has nothing to do with the third world at this moment. It had to do with the history of the church's actions toward women in the west. And fundamentalist stands toward women today. As evidenced by your statements
Yes, I do realize it would be to your advantage to speak without the trouble of being reminded of the errors in your statements,and there are already a great number of people that make valiant attempts to help you see the light; but since this is a public forum I will continue to be a part of the fray.
I don't think you can claim this - the Greek and Roman philosophers well before this time were laying the foundations of all today's thinking. There is no evidence that the people of that time were any different to us - in fact no evidence to suggest that even stone age man was less clever than us.
The rest is about right I would say.
And none of them were taught by Jesus, now were they.
Do try to make statement that coincide with statements made. Don't try to distract.
As my previous statement said- Look up Julian Jaynes' work.
Well my point was, Jesus never wrote down a single thing. Why? That certainly can't have been about controlling the masses.
Because he wanted his message to be received as he told it. He didn't want it manipulated by others, which is what he saw inside "religion", which is why he despised it.
As there is no evidence that he even existed except in the bible the first thought would be that his not leaving any writings would be another pointer to his non-existence.
In the case of him as myth - the Druids, who were the priests and scientists and king makers for many thousands of years and over most of the 'known' world before the year 0, apparently did not write anything and so their practices and knowledge do not survive. So it was normal for the sage, wise man or prophet to not write anything. This seems to be a widespread phenomenon - even Confucius in China only survives in the writings of others.
Well the evidence that He existed is that there were Christians being burned and crucified before the Old Testament had been written. That's historical. The conclusion then, is that Christianity does not have its basis in the Bible, nor does it need the Bible to exist. That is the modern fallacy.
You might like to explain how christians were being crucified before christ ?
and especially before the old testament was supposed to have been written, maybe this is a typo ?
and where was any of this mentioned except in the bible ?
I'm sorry, I meant before the New Testament was written people were dying for their faith, excuse me. The Romans were having great fun chucking Christians to the Lions. That is historical.
I don't think so - the Romans were doing this to everyone that opposed their viewpoint or just did not matter. there was no such thing as a christian until after christ - before that they were the old Jewish faith, and it was their messiah that they were proclaiming, still are in some places as they deny christ was the one I think ?
Sorry, I'm not being clear. The followers of Christ, beginning with his disciples, did not have a book. They had faith, which they passed from person to person, inspired by the Holy spirit.
If the bible were for control you would have to start this belief off when catholicism got a hold of it and translated it, because if the bible was purely for control purposes, who other than Rome (who occupied the Jews land) would want peace? The Maccabees were fighting Rome prior to 70ad. Rome finally had enough rebellion and so marched in with a huge number of soldiers and ended the war, burning the temple to the ground.
This poor theory of the bible being a control mechanism is full of holes.
I actually saw a really interesting documentary recently that showed that this probably never happened, and additionally even if lions etc were ever sent into the arena (to attack criminals not Christians), the animals were probably too scared by the sounds of the screaming crowds to attack, even if starved first! Just a bit of interesting info to add to the knowledge here (no sides taken, I hate religious debates).
Emperor Nero famously enjoyed the sounds of Christians being tortured while he ate dinner - it was like dinner Jazz for him.
They were candles at night burning on a stake.
I don't think God ever did this to anyone especially for sport.
That may well be true, but with regards to lions etc in the arenas it was apparently either convicted criminals or Gladiators that were in the arenas with them. Really the documentary covered it very well. There are a lot of such misconceptions out there, including the one that says a thumbs down signal meant 'kill him' and a thumbs up meant 'allow him to live'. Actually it was the complete opposite, and it was the thumbs down that meant 'allow him to live' and the 'thumbs up' that meant 'kill him'. I find these kind of pieces of information fascinating as I discover them.
you ever seen the size of a stadium? You know how hungry a lion gets?
That's like saying that a bull would never charge a toreador.
The Beast Master had to train the beasts (lions etc) in advance of the event. They even tried feeding them human flesh to get them accustomed to the taste and smell of it, (the beast master could be executed if his animals did not perform well in the arena). Once in the arena the huge crowds screaming and shouting bewildered and terrified the animals, and they simply refused to attack the criminals. I would not compare a lion to a bull, the bull is fighting to stay alive, not fancying a bite to eat. I am sure if a person had approached the lions or tigers they would have lashed out to defend themselves, but as for sitting down to a snack in front of hundreds of screaming humans that is has never seen the like of before (or not in such numbers at least), that is unlikely
They will take any unsupported fact as true if it means they were persecuted. If the Xtians of the day were as obnoxious as most of this lot are - it is hardly surprising they were "persecuted."
Of course - this is a one way street. When some conservative Christian nutter shoots 80 people - he was not a real Christian, so it doesn't matter.
One of them accused me of "spending all my time looking for evidence that Jesus did not exist," when I pointed out that there is no evidence this person existed.
i guess lions were choosy what with bein in the wild and always eating game, not humans that is why lions never attack people in the wild and we can stroll on by them because they have never eaten a human.
its not worth the discussion
There is disagreement amongst different Christian groups as to the importance of the Bible. Some groups, such as Jehovah's Witnesses carry a Bible with them at all times, including in religious meetings, where each member follows the text being read in their own Bibles. There are other Christians who consider themselves people of the book too. The Roman Church though throughout history did everything it could to prevent the ordinary Christian from reading the Bible, including banning its publication in the languages used by the masses, ensuring that only the clergy could read it in Latin. The Church killed or tortured those who tried to make the Bible available to everyone. The Bible was considered to be too holy to fall into the hands of the common person. Also, if the commoner could read what the Bible actually said, they might discover that is was often the opposite of official Church teaching. I doubt though that Jesus, as a Jew had any idea that a new religion would develop in his name.
Sherlock, OK, what you are repeating is 400 year old misunderstandings of Christianity and what went wrong. The Protestant movement was radical because it put its entire emphasis on the Bible. It made Christianity about whether or not a book was true. The Roman church was never ever based around the Bible and so it is absurd to make out that it would have killed or tortured to somehow keep this 'magic' book to themselves. Early missionaries did not cart the Bible around in order to convert people (have you seen the size of the thing when it's written by hand?) They came to countries, they lived in poverty, they lived in the example of Christ, the people were converted by grace.
John Wycliffe's translation of the Bible into English was declared as heresy by the Roman Church and its copies destroyed. The anger of the Church resulted in the exhumation and burning of Wycliffe's bones. In 1408, the Synod of Oxford banned the English translation of the Bible, declaring "he who shall act otherwise, let him be punished as an abetor of heresy and error."
John Hus called for the preaching and reading of the Bible in the common language of the people and asserted the primacy of the scripture over church leaders and councils. He was declared a heretic and burned at the stake in 1415. Wycliffe's Bibles were used as kindling for the fire.
William Tyndale's English translation of the Bible of 1525 was burned. In 1535, he issued a revised edition and was arrested, spent over a year in gaol and was then strangled and his body burned at the stake.
In 1517, seven parents were burned at the stake for reading the Lord's Prayer to their children in English. The Council of Contance, under Canon 14 outlawed the private ownership of the Bible. These are just a few examples of the Church's attempts to keep the Bible out of the hands of ordinary people. Not that it makes much difference to me, as I am not a Christian of any denomination. However, to deny that the Church has ever killed to prevent people reading the Bible, is simply not true. Your point that the Roman Church was never based around the Bible is true, and that was my point. Church tradition and teaching was always considered to be more important than scripture. It was for this reason, that the Chruch did all it could to prevent the widespread use of the Bible.
Who were the clerics if they weren't ordinary people? And why would you think the ordinary person could read English any better than he could Latin? There was one form of Latin, whereas English at the time had many forms as it had not yet been standardised. The reason for wanting to keep everything in Latin was because things get lost in translation. You could go to a Catholic church anywhere in the world, (up until recently) and hear Mass in exactly the same words, and therefore with the same meaning, every time. Call it early globalisation if you like. Not all globalisation is bad.
People attending Mass would have understood the words because they could not have participated otherwise. There are directions throughout the Mass such as, Oremus: let us pray, Corpus Christi: the body of Christ, mea culpa: my fault, Agnus Dei: Lamb of God. You are required to be part of the Mass and therefore to understand it, and every word and symbol used in the Mass is taken directly from Christ's Passion as handed down by the apostles.
And how were the churches full of images of Christian stories if the people didn't know the stories? And how did every town and city in the country perform things called Mystery Plays, which were Bible stories spoken in the local dialect by the local people, if they didn't know their Bible stories well?
Religion was very much in the hands of the people. Why was medieval England known as Merry England? Though impoverished, it lived in celebration of its rich, unified Christian culture.
When the likes of Wycliff were punished for publishing Bibles, it was because they were seeking to be divisive and indeed were divisive of faithful Christians. He perpetuated the lie that the Bible had somehow preceded all other Christian practice and had been planted on the earth by God. The Bible is a compliation of documents of evidence, selected by practicing Christians of an already formed Church: the church that was to evolve into the Roman Catholic church. The church didn't want to block people knowing the life of Jesus. It wanted to prevent the Bible becoming a golden calf. Once Calvin and Luther and Wycliff and their Holy Books came along, Christianity was stripped of its joy and celebration and has been divided ever since.
Catholicism was very much established before 324ad.
The Spanish Inquisition was founded in 1478 by Ferdinand and Isabella to maintain catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms and was under the direct control of the Spanish monarchy. It was not definitively abolished until 1834, during the reign of Isabel II.
What was being preached in the catholic churches was not the words of the bible. LUTHER plainly showed that. The bible was kept from the masses intentionally. Wycliff was punished for publishing bibles by the catholic church because the bible was too holy for commoners.
catholics have never been christian because theirs is a blended religion. You can tell their impurity by the practices they practiced over their history. They blended paganism into their doctrines, this is why mary has such high status and this is why killing and fleecing their own people did not matter to them. They never followed jesus teachings and still do not to this day.
Hey Randy, my point is quite different here though. I'm not asking if he wrote a book. I'm saying that the fact that Christianity first existed without a book, and for a few hundred years, is proof against the idea that the Holy Book is at the heart of Christianity. The Book is not, and should not, be the thing we look to.
The writings came about later. The disciples of jesus kept notes.. who wouldn't? and compiled them their lives were stable enough to put the books together.
In 1450 Johannes Gutenberg made his first printing press, until then books were a lot of work, especially without whiteout fluid or erasers. Ink and parchment was expensive.
Jesus preached from age 30 - 33. Mark was written around 58ad (25 yrs later) Matthew 63ad (30 yrs) Luke 63ad and John 85ad (52yrs). This is not a long time when God is in the work.
The disciples themselves say that the book is what we learn from.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Just like the cross of Christ, we cannot deny the word of God.
I don't believe he was even alive, let alone literate.
So many stories are repeats from other times in history that every word attributed to him may have come from one of the many earlier "jesuses."
Joshua or any of the other derivatives simply means "saviour" .....
a title many people used at the time.
I agree - I think it is a common myth story compounding all the various messiahs that were running around the place at that time. The question is still relevant even if it is about a character in a story though I think
I don't know of any other books that start off "in the beginning God created...". I know elohim means powers. I know Egypt had a huge number of gods all which were systematically humbled when God showed His people that He was the true God. There are really no similarities between the bible and other religions, certainly not paganism which dominantly worships nature.
As to joshua meaning savior... as i have stated before this is the typology that Israel lived under... Moses represented the Law, Moses did not bring Israel into the promised land - the Law could not bring them into the promised land. The law(giver) died before entering the promised land. Christ was crucified to bring us into the promised land. Joshua is a type of Christ. Christ can bring us into the promised land. So to discredit the bible because joshua means savior is poor studying indeed.
God has the whole deal wired from OT to NT and when seen through the lens of the full counsel of the bible its a beautiful, perfect and complete picture.
I was just going to make this more simple, as more of a supply issue. Maybe during the time of Christ, things like writing devices and the ability to distribute the written word to the masses was not possible. So why would he bother? Like the whole Moses thing, and the 10 commandments written in stone by the hand of god. (Curious if those are still around and dated as fact.)
If think, more than likely Jesus was central to a very small area. I mean there was no ability to travel, other then by mule or cart. So perhaps it was more he told others what to write, and they distributed what they could. Kind of like today's news papers his word put in print, by someone else with a habit of being overly dramatic.
One reason why I think the bible was written centuries after Christ. Perhaps by shreds of what they found where he was located, and from information gathered from lots of sources. Which is why the translated Bible makes absolutely no sense.
As perhaps the people in power at the time of translations wanted to use the bible to control the masses, back when the the earth was ruled by conquerors and kings. What a better way to do that then put out a book that scares people to death.
The thing that always gets me, is that the people who live in the countries where Jesus was supposed to live do not believe he is the son of god, and, in the US christian bible images of god show him to be a white man, while people who have always lived in those countries are arab or muslim. Certainly not white. I grew up thinking he was white, until I learned more about the middle east, and, now I know that couldn't be possible.
Not so - travel was organised all over the Roman Empire and beyond.
True, but I doubt if that applied to the great unwashed who may not have even made it to the next village.
I agree with earnestshub. Just because travel was organised doesn't mean it was available to everyone. Also wasn't the Roman Empire many years after Christ? At any rate, the question was about Jesus writing a book, and if I am not mistaken the Roman Empire was like the Egyptian empire, they did not worship the christian god, so anything that Jesus might have wrote would have been burned or fed to the lions. Strange so many different religions in the world of the past and present don't see Jesus or God as being any more real than mythology.
Of course travel was not available to everybody, but the Romans ocupied Israel at the supposed time of christ and were instrumental in putting him to death, Pilate- who washed his hands of hte matter - was the Roman consul.
all the supposed disciples travelled to different parts of the world without any problem if the book is correct, including Joseph of Aramthea who travelled to England.
It is not correct that people did not travel so much, the Silk route was in existence at much the same time and the Phoenicians sailed the (known) world hundreds of years before that.
Well, at least in this discussion we learned that travel was more widespread then some of us thought. It would be interesting to learn more about the non religion aspects of what was going on in the world at that time. But, I have a picky attention span. Lately I have been looking into the difference between various amusement parks in the world, and their differences. I learned that American theme park owners are cheap.
I have to say that is all true, but surely it was the better off who could travel?
And the soldiers. Pretty sure they traveled a lot.
So - what has changed ?? the military and the well off travelled, the traders certainly did one heck of a lot of travelling, there were various countries with sizeable trading fleets, one of which, the Moors, were renowned for raiding the south west coast of England for slaves !
The tablets were put in the ark of the covenant and the ark is in heaven.
You mean the ark of the covenant is not crated up in an undisclosed government warehouse somewhere? Raiders of the Lost Ark was not a documentary? I'm writing a letter to Spielberg and Lucas.
Revelation 11:19 And the temple of God was opened IN HEAVEN, and there was seen in his temple the ARK of his testament(covenant): and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
Nope. I can see you have your own personal brand of religion, added to the 30K denominations, but probably not registered yet?
"The MT text has “the ark of the covenant of the Lord”. Ark is κιβωτὸς [kibōtos] , meaning “box, chest,”1 and is used to describe both the Ark of the Covenant (Heb. 9:4; Rev. 11:19+) and Noah’s Ark (Mtt. 24:38 cf. Gen. 6:14, LXX). The ark of His covenant refers to the box which stood in the Holy Place containing items which testified of God’s relationship with Israel.
There has been much speculation concerning the location of the earthly Ark of the Covenant.
The ark of the covenant disappeared when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple and carried Judah captive into Babylon 600 years before Christ.
Numerous locations have been suggested for the earthly Ark of the Covenant:"
http://www.spiritandtruth.org/teaching/ … 031119.htm
I referred to the ark of the covenant which holds aarons rod, manna bread and 10 commandments. That is in heaven. God took it.
are you saying noahs ark is in heaven?
the words are identical, obviously, since no one had seen a boat that big in the desert and without knowledge of rain the common word would be box. in hebrew the word is tebah - a box.
how does this get me a personal brand of religion?
shall we read this then:
Revelation 11:19 And the temple of God was opened IN HEAVEN, and there was seen in his temple the BOX of his testament(covenant):
I am okay with that. Box is good.
You obviously didn't read the link I provided that explains your dilemma and would give reason as to why you have your own denomination of religion (not yet registered with the 30k other Christian religions)
See how easily so many sects can just sprout up out of nothing?
i read the link its quotes from 1 and 2 Maccabees which are apocrypha and therein are other non scriptural practices...
to think that the queen of sheba switched the ark is foolish.
certain rabbis claim the ark is under the temple ground.... there is no evidence of such
etc, etc,, blah blah.
This is why i say never to outsource from the bible. Everything we need is in there.. except the box of the covenant it is in heaven as the bible says plainly that it is.
This sect of where the ark is.. is not a sect at all. I am sorry to say but you can't force your incorrect belief upon me. Bible says.. Bible is correct. You are indeed troubled.
over and out on this conversation
LOL! What you're basically saying is never believe anything outside of what is written in a book that has changed so dramatically over the years it doesn't resemble anything to its predecessors.
Can I assume from your "over and out" that you're not interested in any discussions that aren't completely centered and based on your own personal religion, a bubble you've built around yourself to shield you from the world?
Why not just assume that nobody is interested in responding with you.
They used to travel by caravan, much like the westerners in N.A. - wagon trains. Robbers were throughout the countryside even unto the days of the roman empire. In Abrahams time, for example, travel was something that people just did not do. There were no national boundaries, wars were common all over the place, no police anywhere. All travelers were at the mercy of those who found them.
In roman times things were the same but not as severe, there were still dangerous roads and back roads but now there were main highways which were safer.
Jesus was The Book. The Word became flesh (John 1:1) What else did He need to say. His life is the sum total of every jot and tittle of Scripture ever intended by God to be penned using man as a vessel and even as a witness to the Word. He is THE Truth. He need not write "a book". He was The Book.
You mean you don't ignore all the psychosis in the OT and read the whole book?
Indoctrinated at an early age?
Let me just rant for a second. So much of what is written on here is all men trying to intellectualize something that truly is so simple. But, it is so simple they choose not to believe it. But, this is to be expected. The preaching of the gospel is "foolishness" to those who do not believe. But, it is the power of God unto Salvation to those that believe. If you do not believe, do not ever expect to "understand it." Completely pointless and futile. Read 1 Corinthians 1:17- the end of chapter 2. Maybe you will understand why it makes no sense to you.
Or maybe some of us were christians or believers...... just as fervent as you appear to be, and got do involved they made an intense study of it in several of the original languages, compared it with other belief systems, then learned enough about the human mind and psychology to understand where the god originates, .
The "good book" is a fine example of what psychosis and megalomania are, so they then realise they have been bleating a lot of myths as "truth" from an abusive and psychotic book.
Herein lies the problem and basis for my second comment. You are trying to intellectualize faith. You are trying to understand an infinite God through the finite mind, much less through a flawed mind who puts more "faith" in psychology which is to a large degree a "flawed" science, to explain the legitimacy of God or His Word. This is why we will never see eye to eye and probably why you left the faith (if that is what your comment is implying). You placed more emphasis on man's word, thoughts and knowledge than God's. This will always lead to apostasy. And, earnesthub let me be very clear, I am not spewing hate towards you. But, yes I am a fervent believer because I know what God has meant to my life and without Him, I am nothing. And, people may think that is weak minded. I am okay with that. And, I am comfortable in saying, I am absolutely no good apart from my Lord and my God. It is incredibly frustrating to see people reject Him and His love simply because of the deception and blindness of the limitations of human intelligence of the damage inflicted by other "Christians" who have less knowledge of God than some atheists.
Having just canned psychology perhaps you would like to enlighten me with your knowledge of the subject.
I know your subject very well, and dismiss that which is psychotic as what it is, psychotic.
It is you who place too much trust in the words of men, sick men in a psychotic book.
So much abuse, so little love!
Where do you get off saying you know the bible very well?
You have been shown 200 times that you know nothing but sloppy interpretations and haven't a clue to context.
Sorry, but for you to say this is very dishonest.
Sloppy interpretations? Nothing has been changed in any scripture I have posted. Never, not once.
You on the other hand have had no agreement even with those who do the fairy.
You have a short memory which serves as a clear conscience.
you cannot even be honest with yourself
Memory is excellent. Apparent across all my posts and hubs.
No wonder you couldn't make it as a christian, it's not Gods fault at all.
Oh I made it as a christian alright!
I simply learned enough through my enthusiasm to keep learning more.
Then to find out it was all a myth as you should have by now, was quite shocking at the time, but it does take some courage and self worth to get past the indoctrination and be able to make sense of life again.
Problem with this theory is we have seen how you read and how you interpret.
Tell me did you get divorced while you were christian or after?
lets see how good your memory is
Doesn't god allow people with good memories?
advise.. not advice
it came from another thread.. oh my.. such taboo..
you are a laugh
dishonest to yourself
huge ego that still states you know about bible when obviously...
more than one marriage.
Thinks God failed him to the point of nonexistence, but hey spent 30 yrs learning the truth lol.
hows that beer on sunday cobbie?
still not sleeping well...
You misunderstand - most of those who reject your book know it very well - much better than those sheeple who pretend to know but have no idea at all.
Like the Kuran and other bronze age literature it is past its useful time.
see, now you're all talking about the book again. Jesus neither wrote, nor asked anyone else to write a book.
So how are we to learn if there is no book? Is every christian supposed to live like a monk, come home and just sit and pray? That's not much of a life and pretty soon it would be more like a religious rite and a bore. If there were not one reference that all could have access to which was about God, could you then imagine the number of false religions we would have. The bible tempers the ones who would abuse religion. It gives us checkpoints and scripture to quote to keep on the right track. It is a useful tool. All aspects of learning use books, why shouldn't God also.
And there are over 30,000 Denominations of Christianity out there. Which one is true and which ones are false?
After you read the book as a saved christian then you tell me, other than that, i am fine thanks for askin
I did read it as a Saved Christian. I was a Christian Minister for years (hence the Doctorate in Biblical Studies). But as others have done. I opened my eyes and found that what is taught in church as real, is nothing of the sort. In fact almost all who claim to be "christian" have no clue as to what they are actually claiming, they are only basing their beliefs on what they think the bible means. Most have had no formal study of the book, and refuse to even think of obtaining formal study. Yet they will claim to understand it better than someone who does have formal study and I have even seen some use quotes for arguement from a book in a debate with the person who authored the book. You can chose to live and understand the bible as you see fit. But, the fact remains, with over 30,000 different denominations of christian out there, either they are all right, or all wrong.
Which is of course no guarantee that you were actually saved or in a relationship with Christ.
I would say that entering into 'formal' study would kill most peoples chances of actually understanding what God was saying, and turn our a Minister of Churchianity, a fully paid up mouthpiece of Churchianity.
Seminaries kill faith.
Never thought that just possibly they ALL contain some truth, and yet ALL contain some error, just like they all contain some true believers in relationship with Christ, and all contain some hirelings who are just in there for the reward, and all contain some pew warmers who are just their for the insurance policy it provides them.
Christ hid His body amongst all the tares, and like He said, don't worry, we will rip out the tares when the harvest takes place.
Obviously your formal study did you more harm than good.
I suggest you open a bible again and ask God to guide your reading and bless you with understanding, possibly a request for wisdom and discernment would also be a blessing to receive.
Lets see...Up until 1517 the Catholics was the only "christian group" out there. Then Martin Luther (based off of formal and personal education) decided that they were wrong and the Protestant group was born. So without some education we wouldn't have the christian faith that most believe in today.
So lets crunch some numbers...
Catholics have been at it around 2000 years give or take a few.
Protestant have be at it about 600 years give or take.
And some of the others even less than that. So you are claiming that just because I don't agree with you, that you are right and I am wrong? If that is the case then everyone who isn't Catholic is wrong as most don't agree with them and they have be at it longer than all of the other christian faith groups.
Those who refuse to learn (either in agreement with or against personal beliefs) are those who go through life with a closed mind. One cannot understand who they are without also knowing what they aren't.
And once again we have someone who is claiming to be "A saved Christian" telling someone else that they were not or is not a saved christian because of a difference in topic opinions. You only enforce those of atheist believes when this is done.
So let me see if i got this straight ... you had formal training but you are where you are now.. and you think formal training is the way to go?
am i missing something here?
Also you put your trust in, what, length of time of service? The catholics have been at it longer and therefore are correct?
so you were catholic?
and as i have said before.. there are not 30,000 denominations, only 103. If you go to the sight where you got that information and look for a breakdown in the names of churches you will find that the catholic church in russia and the catholic church in tunisia and the catholic church in drosky are all catholic churches, which share the same belief and hence do not equal 3 denominations these examples here, represent, for the sake of example.. one head denomination and two offices. If i have an anglican church in every state of the united states of america there is essentially, one head office and 50 offices and only one denomination. All baptist churches teach the same thing, all presbyterian teach the same thing... catholics are not christian anyway.. so there goes like, 20,000 denominations off the list.
I'm not a member of the Roman Catholic Church, and if you read my profile, you can see I am what would be called a 'free' Christian, as in I have no denomination, just the life and words of Christ, but I think you are pushing the envelope to suggest that there are NO true believers in what you term as the 'Catholic' church.
In reality, no matter how many denominations there may be, there is ONLY one church, one body of Christ, one faith, one hope.
In that respect, we are all 'catholic' in that we are universally the one church of Christ.
God chose to hide His people amongst ALL those 'denominations' and they are everywhere, the tares will be sorted when the harvest happens, until then, believers remain hidden for our own protection.
For the record, I know Holy Spirit filled 'born again' Catholics who stand ready for the day when the whole truth is revealed, and ready to bring those in deception into the light.
In the same way there are 'born again' Rabbi's in the Jewish synagogues also awaiting the time of the harvest, to bring their people out into the light.
God never slumbers nor sleeps.
Agreed. I have said that the catholic belief is wrong and i have said they need to come out of that faith. Of course God will bring them out, if he can work in spite of their indoctrination, but bring them out he will. Just because they are not out now, doesn't mean they won't come out later, but God has to bring them out to be true to his word and what their desire for the whole truth of God. Its hard to remain faithful to any belief when you know the obvious wrongs in it.
Its the heart above all but jesus said He is the way... and this i believe with all my heart for jesus is God in the flesh and there is no room for mary or dead patron saints or closed communion or rosary, hail mary nor confession booths to a person called, father, to name a few.
Blended religions are not Gods idea of following Him. Many shall perish because of bad shepherds who feed the flock wrong.
Brothery, do you not think there is virtue in the existence of religious practice that aims at being universal rather than personal? Organised religion, though a pretty uncool concept these days, is aimed at order and unity and a communal existence, as oppose to anarchy and confusion. Being a face in a crowd allows us to step away from the modern tyranny which celebrates the cult of the individual, over a celebration of the humble member of a group. It is the unity of the group, and not the emphasis on the individual, which has carried Christianity thus far.
Religion is personal contact with the Creator God; in a group it becomes easy to solve problems that arise.
Aggressive Christians claiming to be humble when they are not is why your religion causes so many conflicts. But - seriously funny that you think the typical christian is humble. I genuinely laughed out loud when I heard that.
humble... but not a door mat... you get what you sow buddy. Be rude and mean and the truth about yourself may just slap ya a couple of times. Aggressive.. no.. you ain't seen nothing yet.. we get to make whips and crack warning shots over your head if it were not for the fact that God has the final say, so we just try to give you a heads up in the language that you seem to enjoy.
and stop whining will ya.
Aww - no turning the other cheek here then.
brotherychanon said Aggressive.. no.. you ain't seen nothing yet.. we get to make whips and crack warning shots over your head if it were not for the fact that God has the final say
Is this the face of Christianity?
You've been to all of them and came to that conclusion despite the fact those denominations are registered as being different?
yes, that's 30,000 denominations since the reformation, or...since the move to have a religion focused on the written word....to go back to original point.
And which one is true and which ones are false? They are all claiming to follow the bible, correct? If God/Jesus/Holy Spirit truly guides the true believer in the understanding of the bible, then why can't anyone agree on its true meaning?
1 billion Catholics + Eastern Orthadox and High Anglicans agree. The disagreements came after wrongly placing the Bible at the centre of the faith.
The Bible is supposed to be the "Word of God" should it be at the center of the belief? I would think that the Word of God should be at the center of the faith.
And if they all agree then why the different factions? Why not just all be called Catholic or drop the name completely and just go by the name of Christian only. No Catholic, Baptist, Luthern or Angelic?
Catholic means universal.
Faith is a grace which is not magically given by reading the Bible.
And again, if they all agree "faith wise". Why not just go by one name?
Indeed, well that is the human tragedy....what is this quintessence of dust?...
catholicism was first
luther saw the lies in that one and split
long story shorter
baptists saw the truth in immersion
pentecostals saw the truth in baptism in the holy ghost.
churches are separate for revelations in truth, each one seeing a different truth. It would be hard to sit in a church that just sprinkled its people when you knew that immersion was the way to go and its hard to sit in a baptist church when you know about the bap in the holy ghost.
I do not know all the reasons why churches have split in the past, but i assume they were based on different revelations. Some doctrinal mistruths. Some may have split being completely wrong. Recall what happened when henry the 8th wanted a divorce.
but jesus is at the core of christianity and that is as it should be. The rest is being worked on but humans can be stubborn.
Jesus did exactly that asking other writers to write things down. He told the apostle John to write in a book.
By inspiration John came to be in the Lord’s Day, and he heard in a strong voice like that of a trumpet the voice of the glorified Jesus.
“What you see write in a scroll and send it to seven congregations scattered about.”
What John saw in visions, he must later write from memory what he saw, and heard. It became the book of revelation. When John was pardoned, and released from prison, he wrote four more books, and these books from memory too. 63 years had past, mind you since his ministry with Jesus, but his writings were about the 3-½ year ministry of Jesus. John added a fitting conclusion in his book of John saying:
“There are, in fact, many other things also which Jesus did, which, if ever they were written in full detail, I suppose, the world itself could not contain the scrolls written. (John 21:25)
Jesus did create a religion that would be based on books all of which and even more that I mentioned. There was Revelation, John, 1st John, 2nd John, and 3d John. Do not forget Matthew, Mark, and Luke all of the above and then some do indeed create a religion known as Christianity.
This entire posts proves religious folk don't bother to research their religion.
Everything in the NT is false, simply because it wasn't written based on Jesus or his teachings, but is based on Paul's wrongful interpretation of what Jesus was supposedly teaching.
Go learn something would you.
Paul's doctrine is not contradictory to Jesus teachings at all. And, since you have such a great knowledge of this subject, I would love for you to elaborate and provide specifics as opposed to a generalized statement. And, why would the whole of the New Testament be false if only Paul's writings were inaccurate? What about James, John, Peter, etc?
Attempting to put words in my mouth will only get you nowhere.
There was nothing in my statement that was generalized.
Because, tests confirm that the NT was nothing more than junk, distorted by the "church".
Many of the gospels were copied from one another and hand-writing analysis of the gospels have proven this.
You stated that Paul wrongfully interpreted Jesus teachings without any specific illustrations of related doctrines or scripture references. That my friend is a generalization. And, a rather misinformed one at that.
Actually, I think you need to check the words you used in your post. Maybe, you should learn the English language better.
Misinformed one? My 10+ years of research of the BS of Christianity was in-depth enough to learn that Paul was only interpreting Jesus' teachings from what had already been written by others. Not to mention, he was using a one-sided form of philosophy to draw his answers and NOT using objectivity.
But, nice try.
Sorry, but the oldest NT manuscripts in existence are from the 2nd century. And most of Paul's epistles are not considered by biblical scholars to be authored by him.
Have you ever heard of dictation? Could it be possible? This doesn't change the authorship if he chose to use a scribe.
You have a small time problem with the dictation don't you?
No, i chose not to acknowledge that portion of the answer because I believe that is still an area of great debate. Was it rewritten, no doubt? Have you ever seen any artifact as delicate as parchment that would have made it more than 100 or 200 years? And, note he said the oldest in existence. Never meant that they weren't written during the time frame we believe and have evidence that they were.
I have seen the dead sea scrolls, so I know some old things made it.
Being old doesn't make it less psychotic does it?
That wasn't a very well thought out past hub.I responded in great haste much opposed to my own good judgment. I readily admit some documents could survive. But, it doesn't makes them any less phycotic. Nor, does it make them any less true.
we may have 2nd century copies but they used the originals and the copies of the originals and the copies of those copies... You may think lightly of copies of copies but i remind you the ones copying these copies thought of them as scripture, sacred texts... you don't take that kind of mission on lightly.
prove that paul was wrongful and i will put it in proper perspective for you.
Paul was handpicked by God to be the 12th disciple to replace judas, because he persecuted the church.
20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.
21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, 25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
According to the Bible, looks to me like God picked Matthias as the 12th Disciple to replace Judas
not necessarily, lots were cast but that doesn't mean lots have the final say.
Are lots cast anywhere else in the NT besides at jesus cross?
I am sorry but when Jesus appears to Saul and says he has a job for him.. i believe that over lots cast in favor of a person that is never heard of. I mean lets face it.. if i cast lots between my coffee cup and my typewriter to see which will go to the store to buy milk.. one of the two is gonna get the mission. Whats the new testament pattern... to pray for things not to cast lots.. the disciples blew it here because they were anxious.. this shows us a replacement had to be, otherwise why not just leave it at 11.
Matthias was never heard of again and i can prove that this matthias is not the writer of matthews book.
So in verse 24 when the Apostles Pray for God to show them, Jesus trumped God and that Prayer doesn't work? So you are a follower of Jesus, not God...Gotcha...
Yes they prayed but they did not pray according to the WILL of God. God had already picked out who he wanted and jesus went to extreme lengths to make that decision known... Lets face it if anyone were to drop the ball, Peter is the one. He cut off a mans ear, denied christ 3 times. He was a zealot, even a sicarii, Jesus called him satan.
The short of this is, that even mighty people of God can drop the ball so to speak. They prayed to God BUT they wanted their answer now and so they threw the lots.. if they had've prayed and prayed.. and never thrown the lots.. different story.
Recall also romans 15:25 parallels acts 21:4, 11, 12.
Romans 15:25 "But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints." Paul speaking.
Acts 21:4 And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul THROUGH THE SPIRIT, that he should NOT go up to Jerusalem.
you can read the other 2 distinct warnings that Paul should not go to jerusalem.
People are people. We are not perfect. Sometimes we want something badly enough that our flesh yearns for it. Paul loved to debate with the jews, he was a son of a pharisee, a pharisee himself. studied at Gamaliel school. Paul knew torah and oral law.. etc.. He was wired to debate with the rabbis.. but God sent Paul to the Gentiles...anyway.. what happened when Paul got to jerusalem.. he got mobbed and nearly beaten to death. Centurions pulled him out of the fray and locked him away and sent him off to rome.
Anyway this is a similar scenario to peter and the casting of lots.
God loves us in spite of our faults or mistakes and He will use those situations to His benefit, somehow. Paul got to Rome but not the way he wanted to
Peter filled the vacancy but not with Gods choice candidate and the evidence of a wrong decision is that mathias is never heard from again and Paul was amazing.
Ok. So you are a follower of Paul. <shrug> doesn't matter to me.
Jesus called Simeon, Peter because he was to be the rock that he would build his church on.
oh no.. i tackled this one on another thread and i said it was peters confession which was the rock. Peter wasn't the rock which Jesus acknowledged by saying:
Matthew 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
Matthew 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Matthew 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
(notice here jesus calls him bar jona... bar means son of; jona means jonah.. as in jonah swallowed by the fish - jonah was certainly no rock)
Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (notice here he calls him peter.. which means rock in the greek but hollow rock in the hebrew - see how peters character is defined as wavering)
Notice he says to peter... you are peter.. like peter didn't know that.. and upon this rock... Jesus didn't say.. and upon you.. he said this rock.. the statement of Jesus being Christ the son of the living God. That is the rock that is stable and cannot be moved. That is the whole premise of Christianity.. Jesus, the Son of God.. and to the jews.. his messiah-ship, which was in huge controversy.
Peter was to be important, yes, but not more important than jesus. The church is founded on Christ, christ is the cornerstone
Ephesians 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
If you know about building brick walls, the cornerstone is the most important, it is always placed first and the rest of the wall aligns with it.
It's all important, every word. I love what Jesus said and i love what Paul wrote. Some people think Paul was off base but man, Paul is right on.
Thanks for the discussion.
I agree with you, Jesus was not a son of god in physical terms.
Then one can only assume your thinking as: you also not a son of Creator?
Good point, James.
When someone speaks from the viewpoint of ego, they are speaking from a created object. Ego is the master of this world, the source of all evil (selfishness).
When someone speaks from utter humility and perfect confidence (faith), and a full love of God, they are a child of God (spirit does not have gender).
After 61 years, I'm still working on finding my own answers. But there are a lot more out there to find.
Odd. You speak of ego-less yet do not demonstrate this trait. If Christians such as your self were actually humble and lacked ego - I could admire the religion. Instead - they are like yourself.
Thank you for reminding me why I despise your religion.
Lets see, a sinless sacrificial lamb was needed to be the final atoning sacrifice for all mankind..
There were many successful men in the bible but they all had faults and all sinned at least once.
No if God needed a perfect sacrifice for this job, He would have to do it himself.
This is such nonsense cousin. Worse than the Catholics, I think. If that is possible. Hard to tell which cult makes the least sense.
and yet no evidence.. just personal opinion.
do i need to quote the verses where jesus and the father are one or the father loves the son or do i have to show the sins of the OT saints.
I have no time for your personal opinions but please feel free to put forth any evidence to back yourself up. If you can
There IS a book, anyway. What else were you saying we have to go by? I didn't get it, maybe. The Spirit of the Lord? That's true, too, but I think we need the book, also.
Dearest Christian Crows and Post-Christian Cowards,
"Jesus" was not, I repeat NOT "The Nook", which you reference as the Bible for and against your silly little fixations. Second "Jesus was not, I repeat NOT "The Holy Spirit".
point b) first: And coming out of the water, the Holy Spirit came upon him.
point a) In Johns Epistle, it is often confused what is being said. Those few verses are smashed together to produce one event, when in fact, John is discussing several keynotes in his opening statement. John never claims "Jesus" is the complete, total, only, utter "Word/s" of the Father. He became those Words, yes, same as you and me and Adam are reflections of those words when we Walk with Him (walk IN -not by or around, ahead or behind- Faith). Because the term words in translated ruach (breathe, words, speech, voice, desire). I could discuss this point for months, because ironically the Book" supports my case. But, you probably wouldn't listen, like the Pharesses, you KNOW better -pro/believing and con/former believing, of course, and for us to claim we are the sons of The Father, is blasphemy, right?
Fondly regarded poster,
We are just as entitled to our silly fixations as your are yours. Aren't we?
I was going to suggest the same Randy, I have this strange opinion that jesus was never around to write anything.... at least not the biblical one, and I would like to see a wee bit of proof before I go throwing my life under the train of religion. .
You don't get proof of such important things Earnest, god just comes into you immaculately
Well, he came to me immaculately, so I guess he left by the same door!
Isn't that what Mary told Joseph when she found out she was "with child"?
Is this considered in Bad taste?
I think she came up with one helluva cover story myself!
It was another goddunnit!
Well, the scenario wasn't anything new, Earnest. Apparently the "god born of a virgin" thing was adopted from an ancient Egyptian deity predating the Jesus myth.
The Greeks borrowed freely from other religions when creating new tales to bolster the then popular "Christian" soap opera of the times. Of course, some of the many new "adventures of JC and the boys" were not acceptable as being worthy of including into the popular saga of the time.
Young virgins seem to be an obsession with gods for some reason.
omg the think tanks get the sound of the buzzer again.
God is spirit, correct.. so how would he ruin virginity?
Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the POWER of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
God used his power not a flesh and blood penis because in order to use a penis he would have to incarnate himself to incarnate himself. In a sense if God had sex with mary he would be committing adultery but if God zaps a zygote in there, the rites of jewish marriage are unbroken and no adultery, DUH.
God prefers that people, both male and female marry as virgins because God wants them to experiment or experience lovemaking together, to be awkward together to become confident together. To enjoy each other from the beginnings of sexual relations not from s and m onward. God wants something other than the 'utility bills' to be new.
As to the cover story of mary.. buzzzzzer sound. Mary would have told the truth and as truth goes, when it told it can be believed. The bible says joseph was visited in a dream to back up marys story. You see, joseph was a man born under the law and although he thought to put her away privately - not in anger or wrath but in a kind way, meaning he believed her story but thought like you two... hows God gonna do that.. gees i've studied 30 plus years and i've studied 10 yrs and we are stumped... but in the end, unlike you two, joseph made room for this miracle.
James, the word in John 1:1 is logos. Not ruach. It means the manifestation of Himself or His thoughts, it is commonly used for reasoning and other various meanings. But, in this instance with the definite article it is to mean the expression or manifestation of the Deity of God.
The same thought is conveyed in Hebrew 1:2,3 as well for your understanding. Christ was the "express image" or exact image of God.
This is not entirely correct. Now, I am not certain why the ministers of the "Church" are not teaching you this, but perhaps this will assist.
In the old Greek, logos is defined as the reply or response to words. In essence the answer to the prayer/words spoken. To fulfill this: "...will not return to me void."
In the Hebrew, ruach is defined as the totality of Life, which comes by the words of Creator; the Breath, the Spirit, air, wind. There is no beginning/end to those words. This is also defined by this: "...were framed by the word of Creator." and also "...by His words all things are sustained..." and also "..upholds/fulfills all things by the word of His power." That power is known as Faith --applied faith/logic/understanding. The power of Spirit.
Faith, and the words of Creator cannot be understood by reason. Reason has a beginning-end. Point A to B. It cannot be rationed or rationalized using processes of thinking. It must be experienced by application only.
Ruach is the breath of life. "And life was the light in man." and "..breathed into him the breathe of life". Now, watch closely: "And mankind (adam) became a living being. A living being is separate in translation, as meaning becoming tangible/flesh. So, all men are made in the image/likeness of Creator and are set apart.
What John describes Immanu El as, is the ORIGINAL manifestation of a human being, once the Spirit came upon him. "...became flesh (a man/adam)." The confusion comes at the last part: "..as of the only begotten of the Father.." And because of this single statement, they assume it means "Jesus" was Creator himself -in totality in bodily form. Which is not correct. There are many examples to provide for this. I give you two: "...the Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth" and also "...do not touch me for I have not yet returned to my Father (logos)."
Notice there in John 1.1-4 how he describes that everyone who has the ruach has been given the title AND ability to be called and become the Children of the Father. You do not realize the opportunity, privilege, power and right you have been given through the Yod of creation and the last yod that fulfilled the Law, crushed the knowledge of sin (meaning reason/rationale) and removed death itself from your life. Instead, you cling feverishly to the Book's words -for belief AND doubt alike, forgetting the word: "..is in you, so you may hear it AND do it." as the prophets of old said.
Close the book, enjoy the Life and blessings of it, forever. Live the book, continue the curse and wait for Death.
Contradictory nonsense. You have no understanding of anything and - making claims to esoteric knowledge such as this is why your religion causes so many conflicts. This business of rejecting reason in favor of esoteric knowledge is the reason we do not understand the world around us - or respect it. People like you.
You have no knowledge. You have no authority. Your nonsensical beliefs are just that - nonsensical.
Rather funny that you just tried to explain that they are nonsense as well.
Even funnier that you tried to use reason to explain why reason is useless to understand the majik that you understand.
Back on topic - Jesus did not write a book because Jesus did not exist.
Tell us about the 800 year old peeps again. I like that story best.
So a little revolution took place 2000 years ago, which was passionately followed by believers in that revolution for some several hundred years, surrounding a person and an event which never existed? We know the followers existed. Would it not be reasonable to assume there was somebody there at the beginning? Or does that not fit with your argument?
No - it would not be reasonable. What would be reasonable is some verifiable contemporary evidence. Of which there is none.
What would also be reasonable is some corroboration of the story from sources out side religionists. There is none. The Romans kept fantastic records. Yet there is no record of a census being called during the year this person was supposed to have been born. You can go see the records for yourself.
It would also help if the story was not complete and utter nonsense.
I am well aware people such as yourself believe this without any evidence at all.
This just proves you are irrational and incapable of reasoning properly - not that what you believe has any basis in fact.
The most simple explanation as to why this jesus person never wrote a book is that he was not a real person. He did not exist. Not some obscure and illogical reasoning process that means god wanted us to fight for 2,000 years over what Jesus said or did not say.
Every single utterance by Jesus in the bible is hearsay. Every single word. No evidence outside the bible of this miracle worker? How strange - you would think the records of the time would be all over this guy who brought people back from the dead. Instead - Nada.
As we are talking about "reasonable."
You're right, I don't spend a lot of time looking for evidence to disprove the existence of Jesus. I like the story of how Christianity spread, it makes profound sense to me. I like how people just got it, even though it was new and radical. I like how the rough Anglo-Saxons were civilised by Christianity.
If I didn't like what it was saying I would, like you, find some way to discredit it. Some people have spent their academic talents trying to prove that Shakespeare didn't really exist; that different people wrote his plays: That no one could be as prolific as that. What is that? Jealousy? I don't know. I prefer to relish the meanings in his plays. It takes a type of thinking I suppose. For you, resonance and meaning are not important, only scientific calculations. I call it a kill-joys approach to life. You want verification for everything, even the immeasurable, like love and hope. You are mistaking facts and figures for real life.
Christianity was spread largely by violence. Have you actually read any books at all?
There is no evidence of Jesus full stop. I don't spend all my time looking for "evidence to disprove the existence of Jesus," I looked for evidence to prove his existence and there is none.
You were the one asked what was reasonable - now you are arguing you don't care if there is no evidence?
Not sure how you jump to the irrational conclusion that the only think that has meaning in my life is science because I point out the 100% total lack of evidence for Jesus. Nor am I sure what Shakespeare has to do with anything.
If you are not interested in being reasonable - why ask? I mean - if you choose to believe something that makes no sense and has no evidence for - you would be well advised to leave reason at the door.
what I'm saying is that if you're talking about books and evidence, then you're missing the point. Christianity has continued as a practice for 2000 years because of Christians. Not because of books or evidence or violence or war. Those things will continue merrily along regardless of Christianity. They are a human problem. The evidence of Christ is Christianity. Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ubi est.
Nonsense. Like I said - why ask to be reasonable if you are going to say this? Christianity is evidence of Christianity.
Spouting Latin now? Seeing as your grasp of English is so poor - I am not too impressed.
Sorry, you're not as educated I thought. The Latin means, where charity and love are, there God is.
I know what it means. Charity and love huh? Not a Christian trait I am familiar with.
I apologize ahead of time if this sounds kinda mean, but have you actually read how christianity spread, it was on a believe or die basis more often than not(Inquisition). Sure, there was some spreading that wasn't done this way, but that was accomplished by incorporating the "pagan" beliefs of the locals into the christian system. Where do you think Christmas and Easter came from?
And again, I am not trying to sound or be mean. I just wanted to point out a few things.
No, it doesn't sound mean. I know about the pagan heritage. I know about baddies within Christianity. Christianity came in peace to Great Britain via nomadic missionaries. When the Romans tried to force it, it didn't catch on. People know what is true and what is not; what matters and what doesn't. Who cares what day Christmas falls on? Does it alter the meaning? What is amazing is that Christianity has flourished despite the wrongs. We all know what it means still to be a good Christian.
I have never met a real Christian. And I think you underestimate the power of 800 years of murdering anyone who would not convert. As recently as the 1960s Australian aboriginal children were being taken from their parents and forced to live with "Good Christian" families.
Shocking ignorance that copying and pasting a few Latin words does not disguise.
Evo Guy, doesn't that prove my point? We know a good Christian when we see one, and a child-snatchers ain't it.
You must grow out of this habit of calling people ignorant when they don't agree with you.
Jesuits were a branch of catholic and did much harm to the native indians here.
Catholics still have outreaches as do many churches.. when you find a point of reference like that, it is so very necessary to find out what church denom is doing it. Its called giving good debate, not just insulting like beelzewhatshisnamesounofthebuzzerdingdong.
I agree with you - and take it even further - in another forum the other night I mentioned Joseph Campbell whose scholarly life was used to research and write about the various "religious" traditions, their similarities and origins, the oral traditions that for centuries sustained parables and myths that are the basis of all spiritual teachings. It is fascinating that he did this and shared it with us. His methods were profound and illuminating - the fact that people all over the earth came up with the same basic heroes and anti-heroes to populate their myths which served the purpose of creating and maintaining civilizations. It's not just all about Christianity, although the Christian oral tradition is just as profound as any of the others - we have to remember that books, as we know them, didn't exist for most people until about 5 centuries ago, so when Jesus was alive they were writing on scrolls and only the very elite could decipher them. I think without the strong oral tradition of song and dance and poetry that passed down teachings about how to hold love in your heart, there would not be any books about spiritual things now - or all the books we do have about these things continue the oral teachings. We seem to find it hard to create NEW myths and parables and maybe that's because the quantity and quality of the old ones is quite sufficient for us, if we just pay attention. But we don't need to get stuck in the Bible or any other old book, for instance, to tell people what to do - especially when a lot of what is in the Christian Bible doesn't relate to modern life, we don't wash each other's feet very often anymore, now, do we?
I for one, IzzieBoo - totally get your point, that he didn't have to write a book is a miracle in itself - the miracle and art of human oral tradition. I may joke about these things sometimes, but I do value wonderful teachers.
mega1, you get it! The unwritten message is a miracle, yes! I agree.
The miracle would be if a message had survived that the christians could agree on. Two thousand years and thirty thousand branches. That means the message got lost and everyone is scrambling to find it. Doesn't sound very miraculous to me.
A magic book being used to sell the idea that some are chosen and some are not is not miraculous, no. We know truth without needing it to be written down, that is a miracle. You don't have to subscribe to a religion to accept that.
I might have agreed with you, in principle, if you hadn't posted this;
1 billion Catholics + Eastern Orthadox and High Anglicans agree. The disagreements came after wrongly placing the Bible at the centre of the faith.
What you are saying, in essense, is that your truth is truth and everyone else is wrong. It's the same song and dance we get from every other sect. What makes you right?
Oh darn it! His question was, how come no one agrees. I was just saying that most do actually, but that's not where the loudest noise is coming from.
What makes me right?...in terms of the question this thread poses, I think that if a faith exists outside the confines of the written word then it proves itself as having miraculous qualities. I used the figures as well to point out that it isn't EVERYONE else who is wrong and I'm right. The MAJORITY of Christians think one thing, with a minority (in these relative religious terms) dividing and dividing themselves over another. Name one Protestant group that has existed, unchanged for even 100 years, let alone 2000. The Bible emphasis proves itself to be flawed.
And I really hate it when you guys devolve down into this. This is still a 'my sect is right and everyone else is wrong' argument. To be honest, I think the infighting within your religion is one of the strongest arguments against the existence of God.
But, I think all faith exists outside of the written word, for any religion. The faith itself is why you gravitate toward a religion. You have a belief and you want to know more about it. You let someone teach you. So, I wouldn't be able to agree with you on that point because I don't see the average protestant or catholic any differently.
And, you'd have to show me a Catholic church that has remained unchanged before I would feel compelled to attempt to show you how the Protestant religions have remained unchanged. You may still have a Pope and a Vatican, but the people and the way they practice their faith within Catholicism has certainly changed over the centuries.
OK what can I say? Is my choice only between rejecting all of Christianity or embracing it in every form it takes? It doesn't seem fair. Why can't you see that it's not the same religion? I really respect how you think so I find it hard having these conversations, strange though that may seem to you.
I respect you too. You seem to be a person that does think about their faith. And, I do see that the two philosophies are diametrically opposed on some levels, but you are either the body of Christ or you aren't. If you believe the epistles, even the early Christians didn't agree. No one accused them of not being Christian.
I'll be honest with you, and I hate to say it because I don't want to be seen as agreeing with either the Muslim or Jewish posts that keep harping on the fact that Christianity follows the teachings of Paul, not of Christ. But it is a sad truth. To follow the philosophy of Christ, to me, you couldn't participate in any of it. There is little of the teachings of the gospels in the way the faith is acted out in life, or on these forums.
What is in the minds and hearts of others was never the point of the message and that is all Christianity has degraded down into. Thirty thousand sects packed full of people arguing passionately of the truth of their personal theology; as if that must be the truth for another person. Your heart is unique, so your truth will never be the same as another person's. I don't think it was meant to be.
Spiritual truth is unique to the individual, that's why religion makes no sense to me. If there is a God, I honestly don't think he is affiliated with religion.
Without the religion and someone writing it down, you would never have known about it.
Wrongo!! That is the whole point of what I'm saying. Christianity was doing fine even before it was written down.
By that reasoning, every crazy thing anyone dreams up; if they gather a following must be true. Wanting to believe in something doesn't necessarily mean that the foundation of the belief system is based in fact.
You're right, having followers doesn't mean it's true. I was just talking about the evidence of there being a Jesus.
You may have a problem with the institution of religion (I understand and empathise btw) but Christianity as a practice makes logical sense. You know it does.
Good points for both you and Emile, Lizzie.
But why does Christianity as a practice make logical sense? Could it be that the transcendent viewpoints cause us to awaken spiritually?
We are so used to thinking in physical terms. We can't help it. For most of us, physical reality is all we know -- Newtonian action-reaction. But take something like true forgiveness (turning the other cheek). This goes counter to logic and emotion. If someone truly forgives another, no matter what the trespass, then the past is forgotten and the former victim is now neither victim nor burdened by resentment.
This kind of discontinuity -- breaking with the chains which bind us to the source of resentment -- allows us to do all the miracles Jesus did and even greater. Relying on the continuity of physical reality is a trap. That's why the rich have such a hard time making it to heaven. The burden of continuity is too thick to fit through the gate. Even the slenderest blade could not fit.
I’m afraid I don’t think that Christianity as a practice makes logical sense; simply by observing how it is practiced by the masses. Organized religion is Christianity. Is there logic in the way the Pentacostals practice their faith? Or any of the fundamentalists?
There is no logic in arguing the fact that the evidence against the existence of a figure that has been named Jesus by Christianity is pretty compelling. Fear of answers, not logic, is the only thing I see within the vast majority of Christians when faced with this question. If you begin with the assumption that the Bible is somehow inspired by God, why would you fear the truth? There is no logic in that.
I don’t see any logic in claiming to follow a spiritual path when the very foundations of the belief structure of Christianity have been soundly refuted. A god as described in the Bible does not exist in our world. That’s a fact that no one can argue with credibility.
Christianity might make logical sense in some contexts, but as a path to spirituality I don’t see how it can logically be used as anything other than a stepping stone in the search for truth. It’s too prone to devolve into fantasy.
Buddha was born approximately 560 B.C. in the land of Northern India.
oh yah i bet they had printing presses back then. And if buddhas books can be read and believed how is it that the NT cannot?
It has more to do with the claims made and the actions of those who read the books, than the book itself. You do see the difference? We have a lot of books and ideas from the distant past. How many of them are read by people now and used to oddly proclaim they have a message from God that needs to be heeded, or your soul is in danger? Read any stories of terrorism perpetrated by buddhists recently?
The claims, made by the monotheistic religions, are why a greater burden of proof is placed upon it. You can't simply walk around and say you follow a god and the son of one, unless you are willing to accept the fact that, without proof, you will be laughed at. I would expect no less from you if I began to make claims of a personal relationship with a divinity.
Weird, you are actually saying that if I have a personal but very real relationship with an entity, but you do not, it is my responsibility to prove my relationship to you.
Lets go further there are millions of people who have the self same relationship with the same person, yet you demand that they all provide proof to you that you will accept.
That is not what she said at all. She said you would be laughed at if you publicly claimed it. We laugh at you because it is ridiculous - not real.
I will leave it up to others to decide what she actually said, you are marginally biased!
no she didn't she said you would be publicly laughed at if you had no proof.
You read like a mule too.
whens your ban over?
Yes. You will be laughed at without proof. You have no proof. This is why people laugh at you.
Defend the faith and blame the Katholiks. Was it the Catholics that wiped out the Native Americans and brought in the African slaves?
Liars for Jesus (TM)
I do realize you guys simply like to create conflict with EG, but there's no reason to declare a war over a piddly little comment by me. EG read it exactly the way it was intended.
Reading comprehension problems have never appeared to be a handicap for EG.
E.G. gets straight to the point. That is why he makes the fundies blood boil over into personal attacks.
Far from having a comprehension problem of his own, he comprehends far too well for the opposition most of the time.
The replies he gets seldom address the issues he raises.
Maybe someday the replies will adress the issues. He's tenacious enough.
Oh yes, he is tenacious because he believes religious teachings are dangerous, and I agree with him.
I have been here a while now and what I see is religionists starting the provocative threads to flog their religions, then fighting amongst themselves as to who has the right to be in one of dozens of clubs that are so exclusive that none of the members are allowed in!
It is a tragic comedy of enormous proportions
Well, I guess there is a little tragedy mixed in the comedy. It's all speculation, but I see the arguments as much a reflection of how self centered we have all become as it is a reflection of the problems of being religious.
I personally believe that when we all admit we don't know squat on all things spiritual that will be the breakthrough. My philosophy is I'm OK everyone else is OK, until you say you're special. Then, you'd better be able to back it up with verifiable fact or be willing to accept the consequences.
Apparently the lack of evidence to support their stand causes some emotional discomfort for the religionists. Good for EG for being thick skinned enough to persevere.
You make a good point here that stood out to me, that of understanding what is meant by the word spiritual and how it would apply.
I have a sneaking suspicion the word itself has some problems as it is used here.
My view on spirituality is a way of understanding an aspect of self that helps me to connect with my love of living and is conceptual.
body mind spirit soul are all words that help me find ways to connect with and live my own myth.
I am aware that I create my own life as I create my own myth if that makes sense.
All I know about the world and what is in it, is that my view of it is just that...... my view
Exactly! Your view. Your cosmology. Your personal place in the universe. It's uniquely you, and only through personal reflection on personal experience can you find your place.
I agree with you 100%. I think most people would, if they took the time to reflect on your post.
Thank you! I appreciate that. I have had a great day, and even get someone to agree with me on a belief which is probably not mainstream as the day ends......nice!
Just to complete your day, I see you are one notch off the top spot! 99 going on 100 WOW! well done!
I woz robbed!
It was 100 when I looked earlier, I awoke to a 100 this morning, Thank you for noticing the 99 though!
Stewth, 100 I live in hope and dreams! - wonder what you did wrong? seems the forum can boost or flounder your scores!
It's my back injury, they saw my hundred and thought, '"Nope, he shouldn't have to carry a number that big with a bad back.
It must have been love.
What is the injury Earnest, is it calcium spurs or damage done when younger?
Damage done when I was still a kid, a lot of it in my early teens. It came home to roost when I was 23, been dealing with it ever since in clever ways, like motorcycle and car racin.
I have nothing to complain about except to myself.
I have a good strong body like my dad had, and have made bloody good use of it so far!
Lower back.. the weakest link.
I could pick the side of your car up, it is just that the compression after lifting pinches the ganglia and it swells for a few days after.
There is damage to the shield around the nerves where they exit the spine and they make contact with the bone sometimes. When they do I can't feel my legs properly and fall A over H when I walk any distance.
Remind me to park around the corner if we ever meet!
When you do the silly that brings it on, try a vitamin B complex called (in Europe) Nervobion made by Merck.
My vet told me about them when one of my old dogs lost all back leg movement, so I put her on them and in three days she was up and running again, she got another four or five years life!
I started them when I had 'can't move' sciatica (also lower back, but caused not by picking up cars, but sitting at computer screens too long) and they worked for me as well, excepting that I kept wanting to sniff the red setters arse!
There's nothing new or brave about what EG says. He's just regular extremist: which is to say, another who has his fist at the ready to thump his tub. There is no empathy, no desire to find common ground with anyone. He's an anarchist, a Popinjay, a person who is good at dismantling but not creating. I'm not going to pat him on the back for daring to be insulting. Where's the art in that? I think he can do better.
Aw come on. You can admit it. You like EG. He's certainly one of a kind, if nothing else?
I agree, the sheer nerve and utter audacity that guy has trying to get people to learn how to think for themselves. Why can't he just see that's not going to happen and religions will continue to flourish, no matter how much caterwauling.
Stop it ATM. lizzieboo has a point. I don't always agree with her and sometimes I can't follow her logic, but she tries to think through her religion. She doesn't post page after page of scripture and follow it up with bizarre gobbledy gook (and no, that was not an opening to hear your low opinion of my take on spirituality)
If any person with religion deserves a courteous conversation on the matter, she is one of them.
Courteous conversation? You didn't read this?
This is surreal. I feel as if I'm in the middle of a Saturday Night Live skit. Everyone's laughing and I'm the only one that doesn't get the joke.
Or else, you're having a hardware malfunction. Stand up, slightly out of your chair and drop back down hard. That's what I do with the computer when its giving me problems. If that doesn't help, you might call the geek squad.
I do like him yes, and would probably enjoy a 'real life' chin-wag with him down the pub.
You claim a relationship with an entity that has never been proven to exist. If I take your word for it that this invisible friend is real, where does it end? Must I believe Bill Meier is in contact with beings from the Pleiades? He says he is. When a kid tells me they have an invisible friend. Is that true?
The burden of proof comes when you start talking about something as if it is real. If you weren't talking, I wouldn't be asking questions.
But no, I'll make this easy. I don't need millions of people to prove God exists.I'd be willing to accept proof from one individual. If one could show me solid evidence, then of course I would assume God was real. Can you do that?
Well I kinda guess I am the solid evidence.
Each one of those others are also.
100 years ago folk would have had a hard time trying to convince the olden days equivalent of you that television waves would allow us to see things happening thousands of miles away... but we got over that when the first TV was created.
I would guess that when Christ returns, you will be forced to believe He exists.
Indeed the mere fact that we can sit on different continents and hold a discussion over the 'internet' would have had people laughing not so long ago.
All a matter of perception and understanding.
Since Jesus did not ascend to skies physically; so he is not return physically in this world.
I agree, the internet provides a way for many people to have access to loads of information.
Even Christ would be forced to believe he didn't exist after spending some time on the internet.
There are millions more people who say they have a relationship with a completely different entity.
There are millions more people locked up in institutions that aren't required to prove their relationships with invisible friends either.
Stop it lizzieboo.
It isn't a good point at all. No one is asking that everyone prove they have a relationship. Most are simply asking that someone somehow somewhere show proof that there is even an ounce of truth to any one of the claims.
It's a very small and reasonable request.
It's a good point that he shouldn't have to give anyone else proof of what he believes, that's all I meant.
Pleeze beleeb wot I sez innit coz it b right innit,]
The Star Goat iz reel. Coz it sez u burn innit
You are right. He has no need to justify himself if he keeps his belief to himself and/or in perspective.
Once you start pushing your opinions as truth people will always ask for proof. If you can't back your beliefs up with evidence, yet still call them truths that everyone has to agree with you on, you will always find an argument.
Why should anyone believe any of you without an ounce of proof to show for your beliefs? Why would you think the religious don't have to back up their claims? You would expect me to, if I insisted on something you knew flew in the face of reality.
He writes a new page everyday in the book that is my heart
Actually, I think it would have been very useful if Christ had written a book, because there seems so much confusion amongst Christians today as to what exactly they should believe in. Some believe in following Old Testament laws, whilst others reject them altogether.
Good point, Sherlock. And the Nazarene teacher said that he had come not to do away with the laws, but to fulfill them. The intent of those old laws was to help nurture the awakening of each individual spiritual self -- the immortal child of God, within.
The old approaches weren't working because ego took advantage of the laws to show "self" as being "right." Such egotistical selfishness is the antithesis of spiritual awakening. The new covenant that the Nazarene brought required only that we love God and each other, and the laws would naturally follow. Truly loving God leaves no room for any incompatible activity (selfishness).
Well, Historically speaking, I don't believe every town back in Jesus' day had it's own publishing epicenter. I'm fairly confident that the written word wasn't all that well adopted by the general populace. If you wanted to spread your messages you preached or . . . you didn't. So, Jesus being literate or not, having an author about with some papyrus, ink and feather pen or focusing on having his words written into stone by the locals of every town he visited is irrelevant. When Jesus was alive, you simply had to preach and hope to reach the hearts of your audience enough to influence them to pass on your message (and not necessarily the EXACT, word-for-word, message but the message of love, understanding, forgiveness, kindness, etc).
I think the biggest mistake we can make when discussing faith is to focus on the instruments and not the point. Religion takes faith, not hardware. If we focus on all the wrong things (like physical proof and Jesus' handwriting skills, or lack thereof) then we're really losing sight of the big picture. Ask any Priest if every single story and word of the Bible is simply as it is and 100% accurate . . . he will say no. A lot of the Bible is simply there to provide inspiration and guidance. Your real faith should only rest in God, His Son and the Holy Spirit, that's it.
Jesus' story made it 2,000 years to today, which is miraculous because it was NOT written while he was alive. His inspiration and teachings lived on long enough to find the written word (so far, thousands and thousands of re-written words). The power of His message though, isn't it's longevity, it's the importance of the message that simply will not die.
Ask yourself not what physical manifestations you can judge, belittle or historically debate, but what that message is truly saying. In the end, sum it all up, and what you are left with is forgiveness for what you've done wrong, the innate message to love one another and the instruction to make you and everyone around you happy. I'm sorry, but it's wildly out of focus to think about something as historically inessential as the written word as a condemning factor to His beautiful message when, in the end, it's completely and totally irrelevant. The Bible is a written document, carried by the message of hope and love, through the ages, to help people focus on or be inspired by the TRUE intention God has for us, which is simply to love Him and one another, and that is it.
BTW - Unless you know Paul personally, or any of the people mentioned in the Bible, you CAN NOT say for sure what they did, where they went, how long they lived or otherwise. I've seen and read plenty of works with regards to the accuracy of the Bible and it's stories and I can only find one verdict, everyone is convinced and no one is right . . . all because the pursuit is pointless and fruitless when the messages sits before us completely untarnished by its many years of translation. Remember, it's not a history book and was never meant to be such. It's a book of guidance and inspiration with a message, not a definition.
His hands were nailed to a cross, he didn't have time to write and he needed the toilet too! oh and he didn't exist!
golly gee whiz! I never thunk of that! Maybe that ol sucker did write hisself a book back there! If so, I sure hope they find it and send me a copy - I'll gladly pay a buck two fifty for one! I already got me my autografed pitchur!
that was not a good thing to say. even evils know there is God..
ok, mr. smartypants - you were probly there and saw he didn't write down nothin' - or somethin. ha. But when I get my copy of the Jesus book and I put it in the place of honor write under that autografed pitchur I got of him from that radio ad (betcha ya don't got one of them, either!) you're gonna be real dam jealous of me and that book I got for only a buck two fifty! Ha! so don't just be too shure you know everything, mr. smartguy! betcha then you'll believe that Jesus could so to have written that book! Hey, I bet the pages will glow, too! kinda like that lamp I got with Jesus painted on velvet and light glowing offen his head - man, that thing is a beaut!
I'm gonna listen to the radio and I better see that autographed piktyer!
I betcha yu missed the ad, durn it. It was a spell back afore we got that newfangled tv thing. Don't rightly recall whether it was 1984 or 1944, but I sent off for that autografed pitchur of Jesus there from the folks on the Grand Old Opry, I think it was, or it could have been one of them other musical verighty shows, and shure enough they sent me that pitchur. twas only
$1.29 I think - it looks so real! could almost be a foto pitchur! and he has a real nice handwriting - signed it "All My Love, Jesus" = I'd post a pitchur of it here, but Ma says that would not be good,
'twould be blassfeemy, she says, so I dasn't do it, or I'd jus rot in hell for shure. Your jus gonna haveta trust me bout this one, Earnest!
That is true; Christianity does not present anything written by Jesus; not a word even.
neither did jeremiah, he had a scribe named baruch.
"And yet, Christianity spread like wildfire across the world, with or without the might of great empires, and was charged with the same enthusiasm of its first disciples. Is this not proof that the Bible is just a small player in the manifestation of Christianity as a religion, and that it is the gift of the Holy Spirit that has carried us thus far?"
The "might of great empires" was essential to Christianity's global spread. The Christians were persecuted and put down by Roman authorities, until Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, thus everyone in the Mediterranean basin became a Christian.
Later on, Christianity spread in the Americas, Africa and Asia only with the assistance of powerful empires and well-armed militaries, such as Spain, Portugal, France and England. In the absence of the military, political, economic and cultural domination of the European powers, there is no chance that a foreign religion could have gained so much influence in these places.
Thus, the expansion of Christianity is eminently and completely explainable in straightforward, real-world terms, just like all major religions. The "Holy Spirit" or other supernatural explanations are not in any way needed to explain its growth.
How do explain the first 300 hundred years of Christianity without a book and without the endorsement of a great empire?
Momentum of powerful teachings. And likely the charisma and powerful miracles of the spiritually adept.
Somewhere in the following few hundred years, Christianity lost that "magic."
Perhaps this is why only the first pope ever walked on water, and he hadn't know he had been elected to the position.
"How do explain the first 300 hundred years of Christianity without a book and without the endorsement of a great empire?"
What is there to explain? It was a religion, like many others, that muddled along for several centuries. It gained some popularity because of charisma, missionary zeal, the message of Jesus which resonated with the poor, etc.
It was not until it gained the support of the strong and powerful (in the 300s) that it started to become a major political or cultural force on a regional or continental scale.
oh, plus shippin and handlin too - forgot, that was $19.99 - seemed a bit steep to me, but I'll never regret it as long as I live! Not one other person on this road out here has got one like it, and I doubt if anyone in town has either! Really, folks come in and its the first thing they see there on our wall, that and the glowing painted on velvet Jesus lamp that Ma gave me for Chrissmus back in 58 - she won it at the carnival in the ring toss and kept it hid all those months from August jus so's I would have a surprise on Baby Jesus' birthday. That was the best chrissmus ever!
Jesus was a master who wanted to let each one be his or her own master. He only wanted to awaken others to this truth. He would not have wanted any dogma or religion or principles to be built around his words. For, people would then never bother to know the truth by themselves. They would prefer to live on borrowed principles
Lizzie, an awesome idea you've presented.
One key message of Jesus was that of not relying on the continuity of physical reality. One blazing example of this was when the thousands were fed from a meager few loaves and fishes. The Nazarene told his disciples not to worry about the fact that they had not brought a ton of food with which to feed the multitude.
Faith is transcendent confidence. Belief is an attitude about something perceived (effect), while faith is an attitude about something created (cause). Faith is perfect confidence (what the Buddhists would call "paramita"). It contains no doubt because it is creation, not perception.
Jesus wanted us to rely on the spiritual (love of God) and not the physical. Walking on water was like that. To depend on what you remember of the properties of water, you would naturally doubt your ability to walk on it.
And this is why the Ten Commandments cautions against graven images, because God is not physical. Any physical image would thus be a lie.
The problem with depending solely on a written work is that it can be misinterpreted. Thus we get the abuses so many of the skeptics like to talk about (pogrom against the Cathars, Crusades, Inquisitions, burnings at the stake, etc). Or we get the delusional ideas that skeptics enjoy ridiculing (fundamentalists' belief in a 6000-year-old universe, Homo sapiens walking with dinosaurs, etc).
All of those problems come back to ego -- the insistence on being right, the sense of entitlement, and of making others wrong.
If one has humility (subduing the "love of self") and have faith (100% confidence) and love of God, then the answers can come to you. The writing of the Bible can start to make more and more sense.
Finding the Kabbalist's "Tree of Life" embedded in Genesis is only one example of what can be accomplished with humility, persistence and love of God. Many scholars have thought the Kabbalists didn't exist before the Middle Ages. And here, there most reverred template has been in Genesis for at least 2000 years longer.
There is so much more to learn. Humility and faith are the key.
Jesus was not on earth to write a book. People already had bible 2 centuries Before Christ. Yet I believe he did not want people to live according to the Book. He wanted people to love god and live with heart full of love and kindness.
He preached everything simple, then christians made christianity more complicated.
How would you exactly know if people had Bibles back then? And anyways, how did Gog create this world? I mean how come He exists? He created us, but how was He created. You can't just be there. I don't know how to explain this but I hope u understand what I mean.
People on Earth - Oh God! You're so right Emile! What's holy anymore?! These people are turning everything holy into something bad. I think something's wrong in their heads. Why can't this world live in peace?!
Sore as hell!
Thought I'd be weird and answer honestly.
I'm sure it (whatever IT is) will heal soon.
My back. Ambulance ride and day wasting a hospital bed last Friday.
Still not stunningly wonderful!
I'm sorry that this is happening so often. I hope you find a way to improve your condition.
Ha-Ha! Very funny Klarawieck. Jesus didn't write a book because HE WAS POOR! Isn't that so obvious?! His family had no money to teach him to be a scribe and anyways, He didn't even have time! God sent Him to help others and teach them and spread the good news (What was the good news anyways?), not spend His time writing a book!
He in fact did write a book. Jesus is God, the Son of God made incarnate as a man who walked this earth. We do not worship three but three in One, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Bible is the inspired Word of God, written as it was given to the hearts of man. So we can trust thathrist's words are recorded faithfully as they were not only witness and recorded by those who walked with him, but later given by the Holy Spirit to men chosen by God to deliver this message of salvation for the world to hear and believe. The Bible is not a book to be worshiped, but the Word of God to be believed.
by Captain Redbeard12 months ago
I just read a post from someone stating that Christianity is based on the Bible which stands to reason, "If Christianity is based off the bible then that means it would have never come to furition since the book...
by lucieanne4 years ago
After reading and contributing to so many posts about Christianity on here I'd love for someone to answer this question. Which form (if any)of Christianity is the real deal? It's one thing to get into heated debates...
by Yoleen Lucas2 years ago
You guys - I posted this in the Questions section, but because it turned into a full-blown discussion, HubPagers advised me to move it to Forums. Here it is:"Cult" is defined as a system of beliefs that...
by lizzieBoo4 years ago
Some people like to comfort themselves with the idea that if they get rid rid of horrible-old Christianity from the world, we will be left with nice, peaceful nihilism. I would like to point out that if you trample away...
by janesix4 years ago
That Jesus is Real?Please, only serious answers. I'd really like to know.
by Mark4 years ago
Over the last few months, I have been wondering what would happen to the Christian belief, if the body of Jesus was to be discovered. And he did not die as described in the bible. And along with the discovery of the...
Copyright © 2016 HubPages Inc. and respective owners.
Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.
HubPages® is a registered Service Mark of HubPages, Inc.
HubPages and Hubbers (authors) may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.