Christian philosophies of nobility and blind-love for every creature, it's all very nice. But what about the foundation of this most rational of religions? Did the man who proposed it actually existed? Or he is a rich imagination fabricated by some cunning men from the past, into an untouchable myth of the present day, so they get political and economic advantages?
Do you know how much wealth does the Vatican actually possess? Leave aside the active and passive political privileges it gets. For what??? An imaginary Christ!?
What an absolutely unique thread. It's nice to see a religious post that doesn't at all kick an already dead horse. Kudos to you for your level-headed and not-at all biased thought-provoking diatribe...er I mean statement. Really, your originality is to be commended! And your contribution to the community is to be applauded!
Since your thread was not trollish at all, I feel my reply should be as well-thought out and deeply philosophical as your OP. I guess I'll have to go with:
I know you are but what am I?
See, Mellisa, here's the thing...people like this guy don't create anything. They don't publish hubs, they don't answer questions, or assist HP by hub-hopping or aiding newcomers by critiquing their work. They just come on here and try to push their ideologies about their religions on us Christians. And wnen that doesn't work, they stoop to insult and mockery to illicit a response, and in turn feel justified by having caused that response. Pretty pitiful actually....and not really worthy of attention. But of course, now I've posted an answer, so I'll get some kind of mocking or hateful response. Waittttttt foooooor ittttttttttt.......
I mostly agree. I don't mind criticisms of Christianity (or really any other religion) in general. I am a Christian (although some would disagree) but I can see flaws and faults in my own religion. I don't like preachy, pointless inflammatory threads by any faith or non-faith. If you want to discuss, that's one thing. If you want to come in with no other purpose than to get your cyber rocks off by insulting people and being an ass then you need to find a hobby...or a girlfriend...or both.
Thomas: I agree with you, BUT, you give this person to much credit when you claim that they might have an ideoogy to represent. There has to be substance to have an idology this person has no substance in what they spew.
Hubpages seems to have a good auto-servant here ...
Go go ... hub hop!
It's very easy when you are left with no answer, to disrupt a discussion, and call OP anti-religious. If you really have guts, you should've disproven the Christ-ghost. Many people could get real salvation, and could make good use of the money that goes to idolize some parasites of this world.
People who love microbes, get microbes.
You're fun! Rhetoric is the bastion of people who aren't clever enough to come up with a legitimate argument on their own. You think you've made a point, but you aren't doing anything but echoing statements made by those who have actually thought about their position. You might even bring something to the table with trolling, if you were better at it. I guess there's a certain logic into trying to embarrass and degrade someone into seeing your point (btw, if you HAD a point, that might help too) but you actually need to be good at it for it to work. You aren't.
Make a point or move on. You are embarrassing atheists and yourself.
Don't worry about it. On this site, if you agree with the OP they're the best thing since the invention of the internet. When they don't agree, you're labeled a troll.
I can neither agree nor disagree with his OP because there was no real point to be addressed. It was evident that he was just posting to get people fired up. So I thought I'd be nice and give him the attention he craves.
Maybe I'm simply being difficult. I don't know, but he's only been here a couple of hours. It is entirely possible that he didn't realize how inflammatory his OP might seem to some.
Argue, debate, discuss; or whatever. But everyone continually labeling each other trolls seems inflammatory also. Everyone is inflammatory according to someone else. It's a matter of perception.
Nah, he's got other accounts.
If he was a newbie I would have taken it easy on him. He knew exactly how inflammatory his post was...
I know what you mean and like I said I can deal with religious criticism and discussion. I can even deal with heated discussions. I would have reacted exactly the same way if he would have came on saying that all atheists were ignorant and going to burn in hell.
Generally, most religious threads are going to end up in cat-fights, but at least lets pretend to be adults for at least a few posts before we start jousting.
Oh, I know you don't hold your punches depending on which side it comes from. And,reading through the threads, you do feel as if you've entered some Twilight zone where everything plays over again and again and again.
I checked out your link. So, he's been around the block. I stand corrected.
Awww! Give us hugs Emile! I hate when we disagree... it upsets the kids
Nah, you are right the accusation of trollishness and SPs is out of hand. I'll only do it from now on if I haven't had my coffee and am low on smokes.
It doesn't matter how polite you are; if I'm in a mood I'll still shoot off a snippy reply without stopping to think. I can have a good cup of coffee and cigarette in hand and still step on a high horse when the mood strikes. I'm afraid I'm just that obnoxious.
Fortunately, I can recognize an *ss as soon as I see one. Unfortunately, the *ss is usually me.
See Mell? I went and disrupted your discussion with him...so sorry Mell...I do apologize most profusely....you were saying?
Did Christ ever exist? Are there historical evidences? And what about the God's son theory?
There are some totem worshipers in South A, and in Africa. They sound much better than your rational religion. At least, they never burnt people alive who questioned their stupidity.
Now they were all trolls!!!
http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/59179?p … ost1324323
Go there, or to any one of about a million threads already started on this. But you aren't kicking a dead horse or anything.
Yep, that's original too...
shall I go on?
Now that sounds interesting! Let's talk about that.
Wow, you must be the first person ever in these forums to talk about burning witches....
Re: Christ as a "Myth" or "Ghost"
Regardless of whether or not you believe in the deity of Jesus, calling his existence a myth is actually bad form when it comes to a historical worldview. Almost any scholar will tell you that it is a fact that a man fitting Jesus's description in the Gospels did exist. In fact, they will agree with most of the documented actions in the New Testament, as well as the fact that he was crucified at Calvary.
Historical sources outside of the Bible attest to this. The Jewish Talmud refers to Jesus and his death sentence, stating that he was to be hanged for practicing sorcery. Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, writes about Jesus's trial under Pilate and includes that Jesus had many followers and did "good works". A Roman historian named Tacitus discussed the followers of Christ and recounted Jesus's trial and death as well although he called Christianity something like an unfortunate superstition.
Historians usually agree to the fact that Jesus did exist.
Re: The Vatican Making up Jesus (or Jesus's deity)
An understanding of early church history will show that that the original disciples and New Testament writers were mostly educated or working class Jews. They had absolutely nothing to gain by proclaiming the deity of Jesus. In fact, they had everything to lose. Claiming that the Jesus "legend" was made up for personal gain by clever men also is not in keeping with a historical world view.
Most historians 'agree' that there was a Christ- one of flesh and bones, and not God's son reincarnated. That's the point. Once his divinity is robbed out of the story, what remains?
And btw, they 'agree', there is no concrete evidence for his existence. It's acceptance on good faith. It's actually 'belief'. That's another religion.
It is surely debatable the intentions of the expounders. But. What has become of this religion now. Being a pope looks like another career for the young man, a very lucrative one. For what?? An 'agreed upon' christ?
Who was this christ? What kind of man he REALLY was? Was he any better that MK Gandhi or Jefferson, Martin Luther King Jr, or even the Buddha???
In discussing the existence of the Biblical Christ, you have to start with, "Did the man exist at all". There seems to be enough evidence in historical writings to say yes, he did. You are correct, that doesn't address his divinity. That would be an extension of the discussion (see below).
I actually do not agree with this point. It depends on what you call "concrete evidence". There are numerous documents providing separate evidential and apparently valid support for Christ's existence. There may be a "good faith" acceptance, but only after historians apply the same tests to the documents. Some of the documents are used to support historical accounts of events and people outside of the Bible and no one has a problem with that. If you start demanding "concrete evidence" outside of acceptable documentation, you begin to doubt huge tracts of history (Biblical and non-Biblical alike). It's a slippery slope from that to full-blown skepticism, which I don't think is a tenable worldview.
First, I'm not debating that current Christianity suffers from a variety of problems. However, you are slicing out a portion of that Christianity (namely, Catholicism and the Vatican) and holding it out as an attach on the validity of Christ's Deity. It's an invalid (logically) point - an ad hominem attack of sorts. Regardless of what the pope does or does not do, it has little bearing on the divinity of Christ. It has everything to do with the nature of people.
Let's assume you do agree that historical evidence supports Christ's existence and all you are contending is his divinity. You are asking, "Couldn't he just have been a great moral teacher like Gandhi or Buddha?" The answer is no, not based on New Testament record of his teachings. Christ claimed to be God. A sound moral thinker would not make such a claim, given that he was actually a Jew and this would be heresy. If he was not God, then he was either a con-man or a crazy man.
Could he have been a con-man? If he was, he was an awful one. He was a poor Jew. He was not rewarded for his actions. He was plagued by the authorities, despised by many and killed for his efforts. Even if he was just a bad con-man, certainly he would not have kept on to the crucifixtion.
Could he have been crazy? I don't think so. All of his recorded thoughts and teachings were too sound, too thought out. His actions were too forthright and with too much purpose. Not really the actions of a crazy man (unless he was a conman, which doesn't seem to be the case).
So, you have to assume that if Jesus did exist (and historically this seems to be the case), then he couldn't have been a conman or crazy. He also couldn't have been just a moral teacher. He must have been exactly who he said he was.
Now, you might contend this by stating Jesus never said any of these things, that the "pope" made them up. However, they are recorded with accuracy in New Testament Gospels, in the later writing of Paul and by historians. The Talmud even says that Jesus was killed for heresy. Calling yourself God would have been heresy to the Jews.
Sestasik: This is thee most thought through and precisely correct response I have ever read concerning any remarks made about Jesus and I have to agree with you whole heartedly upon all that you've said here. Thank you for standing up for My Lord Jesus in the manner you have.
Thank you, sir. But I do have to say that I'm just restating valid premises and drawing conclusions based on the writings of much great minds (such as C. S. Lewis).
According to the Gospels, Jesus never claimed to be God, except when he was accused of it and he replied using the Psalms 82:6 " doesn't your scriptures say that We are all Gods"? The only claim he made was that he was the "Messiah/Christ/Annointed one" spoken of in the Scriptures. And that he and the father were as one in spirit. (Kinda like a Married Man and woman become one.) And the first person he actually told this to was a Samaritan Woman in John chapter 4.
Yeah, what he said.
Demmit DS, I had verses and everything to respond with. Me...Verses... *sighs* You popped my balloon.
I guess this depends on your reading of the Gospels. There are several times Jesus makes "I am" statements. In John 8, he says "Before Abraham was born, I am". On the very surface of that statement, he is claiming not to be a natural man. Those who work with translating the Greek also make the claim that he translation indicates that Jesus was using the "I am" statement used by God in Exodus when he tells Moses, "My name is I am".
In John 10:30, Jesus states "I and my Father am one". The Jews were going to stone him for that heretical statement - claiming that Jesus and God were one and the same.
There are other statements and actions of Jesus that illustrate a claim to be one with God. For example, Jesus tell the paralytic man in Mark 2 that his sins were forgiven. Jews believed only God could forgive sins. Claiming to forgive sins was like claiming to be God.
Depends on my PHD in Bibical Studies. I know both the Hebrew and the Greek. There is a big difference between what is written and how people interpret what is written.
But as I said before, Jesus never actually makes the claim that he is God. Only the Messiah.
I am not arguing beliefs or interpretation. Only what is actually written in the Text itself.
DS can correct me if I am wrong here, but the meaning of "one" in this verse basically translates to "of the same purpose" in Hebrew. Am I correct DS?
The Greek translation of the Hebrew yes. Jesus spoke Aramaic/Hebrew but the gospels were written in Greek. Koine Greek to be exact.
Sure, there were all kinds of wandering priests and story tellers of that time that could have fit that bill.
Sorry, but there are no records other than scriptural attesting to the existence of Jesus. Nothing else. The accounts of Josephus and Tacitus were created years after the alleged crucifixion. No Roman records exist whatsoever.
No, they don't.
Both Josephus and Tacitus were writing histories for the Romans, so technically those would be Romans. Their writing couldn't have been that far after the crucifixion (historically speaking), since they both lived in the century following Jesus's death. That seems like too little a time for legend to supercede any historical accuracy.
Also, is there a valid reason to doubt the accuracy of the Gospel account as a historical reference? Take out the parts about Jesus for a moment, and you have historical records verified by many other sources. The Gospel of Luke especially is incredibly accurate. Historians have considered it an accurate source in many cases.
After all, stating that the Gospels are not accurate because they include Jesus and Jesus is not accurate is circular reasoning and an invalid argument.
When did people start reading Josephus?
Did he release all kinds of copies in the first and second centuries?
His writings were copied and recopied, and those doing the copying, especially after acceptance of a form of Christianity by the Romans, there was incentive to add a bit here and there.
Josephus was a Pharisee; he was working with the Romans. If I remember correctly, those were the factions that put Jesus to death. Josephus having kind words of Jesus contradits the political reality of the period.
Regarding the Gospels...let us remember a few things:
1) The writings that have found their way into the Bible's new testament are a few of many writings that never made it...either because they never survived or because of politics.
2) The gospels themselves are widely different in terms of the stories they tell....and were written at different times. It is quite likely that the author(s) of one book also had other written and oral sources that influenced them.
As a historian, I look at the Bible as I would any ancient text...and I realize that they are not completely honest... I will add this, I will give more creedance to an ancient text that has no affiliation with a belief system of the modern time, for at least I know that thousands of years of manipulation (power-holding/legitimizing is quite a bias to overcome) to sift through.
The diversity of Christianity (beginning with the first solely-Jewish sects (who also believed one had to be a Jew first, and ranging to the vast array of "Christians") and texts (officially canonized and otherwise) point to a murky-very fluid creation of biblical "history".
Politics, social upheaval, wars.....there are a lot of emotions wrapped into that text....and all bend and alter the actual reality (which we will never truly be able to understand).
I am curious as to why only the parts of Josephus' or Tacitus' writings that confirm their side of the debate are used, but the remainder of their works are regarded as false or inaccurate?
Doesn't that defeat the act of using their works to validify one's argument?
Their writings were decades after the alleged crucifixion with absolutely nothing to go on for sources other than the word of Christians. However, no records of any kind exist for such a "legend"
You can't be serious.
No, there isn't historical records verifying the Gospels.
Christian historians? What exactly was accurate?
That was the argument you have just created.
The writings of Josephus regarding Jesus are quite controversial, and there is, as of yet, little overall concensus regarding what he wrote, and what was added by Christian copyists..
The evidence of Jesus' actual existence, let alone his being the son of god is scant, at best....and regarding his being "the christ"..it is nonexistent.
"Christ" is a term created by the Greeks....not Jews (who were the original followers of the sect)...and it is the Greeks who have a longstanding tradition of believing in offspring of deities...Achilles, Hercules, onward and onward...
There are huge historical contradictions and omissions when it comes to Jesus...and the writings that have followed have been copied and recopied and copied again by different people with every altering belief systems...and some with an incentive to enhance some parts or ideas over others...
The sources, of themselves, cannot be trusted.
There should be a minimum number of hubs required before this kind of thing can even be posted. It's one of the main complaints I see when this platform is discussed elsewhere.
"this kind of thing" I was referring to the original forum post on this thread. Everybody with a beef can just sign up and flame. Ugh.
If you could give the answer, you should have by now.
If you were going to ask a question, you should have by now.
*Shrugs* Don't care if you did or not. Haven't had coffee and I'm low on smokes... you make a mighty fine target. Besides, someone needs to show you how it's done... Consider it a PSA.
The Christ was first written about by Paul about 20 years after he would have been killed. Stays to reason that either he was a real person, modeled after a real person or simply a figment of Paul's imagination. (I tend to lean more towards the latter myself)
If enough people believe something, it can become a reality.
They should start to believe that there is still hope. Because if enough people believe something, it can become a reality. There are many good things to believe, which are rational, if your theory is correct
But the fairy tales are more interesting. Everyone enjoys a good ol' Damsel in distress rescued by the Knight in shining armor story. Wishful thinking. Wanting something for little to no effort expended. Wanting to be rescued from their troubles instead of facing and overcoming them.
You, my friend, have a very novel way of looking at reality...so...let's see. Le'ts examine your theory:
I will believe, from this day forward, that 5+4=54...who's with me? Anyone agree?
erasing the + will do
given you are prepared to erase.
Two years back, I was healed and saved from attending an "Abdominal Surgery" just with a prayer in the name of JESUS. What do you say?
Still think forums should be for people that have produced a minimum of hubs on the account they are using on the forums. I really think it would cut down on this waste of space. It's like someone getting free anonymous advertising for their beliefs, or in this case to trod on someone else's.
Another question DS, just out of curiousity, did you notice a subtle change in translations of biblical texts after around 325 A.D. or so? And possibly a not so subtle change after oh say... 431 A.D.?
I mean the translations that were made available for public consumption... (through clergy of course)
This is a highly debated topic.
My personal studies does in fact show...lets use the term "Inconsistencies"...With the translations as well as the content of the text themselves. This is partly due to the fact the some of the original words didn't have a counterpart in the language being translated to, so the closest term was applied. But from the 4th century through as late as the 19th century, small details have been added, subtracted or modified for one reason or another. The reason Martin Luther broke from the Catholic Church in 1517 was because he learned what was stated in the original texts and it wasn't what was being taught. In his 95 Theses of Contention posted on 31 Oct 1517 on the door of the Wittenberg Church, he basicly accused the Catholic church and the Pope of heresy. And in the 1490's Thomas Linacre, stated after reading the Gospels in the Original Greek and compared to the Latin Vulgate "Either this (the original Greek) is not the Gospel… or we are not Christians.”
There was also a change in what "books" were used as scriptures in the early churches around the 325CE timeframe as well.
I would say, that since the Catholic Church had the majority of control over the religious texts that Christians use and it's reputation for modifying things to fit their agenda, I would caution people to find a bible that has been translated from the original languages. The American or English Standard versions are good examples. Or even an older copy of the Geneva Translation.
I thought there might have been... Do any of those "inconsistencies" center around pronoun choice... specifically singular to plural? Just wondering...
I mean they are such little words...probably doesn't make a difference anyway.
Yes. Many of the plural forms of (ambiguous)words were changed to singlular male forms of the words in the translated language. And it makes a huge difference.
Elohiym is the plural form of Eloah (singular God)
The Hebrew says more than one God created the heavens and the earth. But when translated in it's singular form to other languages it changes the original meaning.
But of course this can be argued, based on how authors (scribes) wrote in those days. That it is actually a term used for the "Royal We". But this does not agree with the timeline the first five books of the bible were supposed to have been written. The Israelites didn't have "royalty" until Saul which isn't covered until after these books were supposed to have been written.
To what extent does this (preceding statement) apply to your statement following here?
So, did the Koine Greek translate the Hebrew precisely? Was there in fact an exact counterpart in Koine Greek for the concept expressed in the Hebrew or Aramaic?
In the interest of precision, it might be better to write that tradition states that Luther nailed the theses to the door on that date. He did in fact send them in a letter to the Archbishop of Mainz and others on that date, and it was common practice to nail theses to the door for public viewing; but I have read that there is no contemporary account that verifies that Luther did so on October 31 1517. In the past I have also read that he may not have nailed all of them to the door on the same date - but, again, there is apparently no way to verify that theory.
Anyone interested in an actually scholarly explanation of the term (also spelled Elohim) should read this: http://www.sitchiniswrong.com/Elohim/Elohim.htm.
I almost believed it wouldn't be a site with an agenda.
The "in the interest of precision" momentarily blinded me from the website name.
Take some time to read about Michael Heiser and to read the material in his various blogs. I agree that the URL to this one sounds questionable, but it's more understandable when you read how Heiser initially became interested in Sitchin's work and his own subsequent research. I think he has a valid concern that too many people are influenced by the fabrications of Sitchin, and I have no problems myself with Heiser's use of an eye-catching URL as a way of enticing people to read his own genuine scholarship.
Depends on the terms or words in question. Not always. But the Gospels were written in Greek not translated to Greek from Hebrew. Some terms when spoken in Hebrew or Aramaic didn't have a Greek counterpart then the closest Greek term to convey the meaning was used. You have a point, in the interest of procision. However the point I was making with that comment, was Martin Luther accusing the church of heresy. I did give a scholarly, albeit shortened, version of the word. If you want to get technical, the Hebrew word Elohiym (Elohim) can mean any of the following: angels, exceeding, God (gods)(-dess, -ly), (very) great, judges, or mighty.
Uhhhh, DS, it was a specific reference to Melissa's question about the translation or interpretation of "one" - did you not understand that?
Exactly. Jesus spoke in Aramaic. So, His words were written down in a language different from the originally spoken language. That's what the question was about, wasn't it?
The assumption that Jesus meant "of the same purpose" does not explain why the Pharisees wanted to stone Jesus when He made the claim that He and the Father are one.
I'm afraid I was being too subtle.
Michael Heiser's explanation includes links to his pdf files (200-250 pp. each) showing every instance of Elohim in the Hebrew Bible (all 2601 occurrences). Of those times, it is used 322 times as the subject of a singular verb and about a dozen times as the subject of a plural verb. In the other instances, when it is not used as the subject of a verb, the context indicates that it is singular in meaning. He summarizes with the claim that 99% of the time, the word elohim is singular in meaning.
Besides the massive pdf files, he has a couple of videos showing searches of the Bible for the word Elohim; he describes the second one as "a video of me doing a search for where elohim is the subject of a verb of creation. I go through all the results and each time the God of Israel is the elohim referred to, the verbs are SINGULAR. No, Genesis 1:26-27 doesn’t have plural gods creating humankind."
I added the bold font.
Yes I understood. And she was right. And as I said. It depends on on what particular words are in question.
The Pharisees wanting to stone Jesus for the same reason most Christians have in debates...They misunderstood what he said and interpreted it to mean something to fit what they were looking for...an excuse to have him killed (pharisees not the christians). That is what they were after...evidence to convict him...
Michael is only one of many scholars. And funny as his work wasn't mentioned at all that I remember when I was taking my doctorate courses at Regents University. All of the classes and research that I took and did all says that in the First Chapter of Genesis the word Elohiym is in fact the plural form of the word. As the first chapter of Genesis was written/edited by the Priestly school of thought, the singlar version of the word wasn't used until later by the Elohimist School of thought(second chapter of Genesis).
But to each their own. I learned it one way and all my studies and research confirmed what I was taught in school. Michael has a different take on things from his studies. I am curious...Does Michael say the first five books of the bible was written/edited by four different schools of thought? The Priest, Elohimist, Yahwist, and deuteronomical schools of thought. And that it was an oral tradition until written down sometime toward the end or right after the babylonian exile? I didn't make it all the way through that website.
Note: I am not saying he is right or wrong. His resaearch led him to a different conclusion than what I was taught and researched. And as none of us actually know for 100% sure Ancient Aramaiac or Hebrew...we can only offer our best guess based on what we do know.
In a proper reading of the creation story the created "man" is male and female, therefore the IMAGE of God is both male and female. This is why it is written "Let us make man in our own image." Not even Moses was dumb enough to buy that God did it all by his lonesome. Can't understand why y'all don't see it. Further, the creation of Adam was conducted by Lord God. There is a decided difference between God and Lord God, and, when Adam is created, male and female created he THEM. There were male Adams and female Adams. The tale of the rib is a representation that Eve CAME OUT OF the , dare I say it? I dare. Tribe of ADAM. Cool theory. I LIKE IT!
Agreed. The term Adam in Hebrew actually means Mankind. Not just one man(or woman).
There are major differences between the creation of God, and Lord God, and after the expulsion, then men began to call upon the LORD. Seems to be a chain of command. LORD, I believe, is flesh and blood, an intercessionist, and it is always to be remembered that God's creation was ALL good. Lord God's domain contained the "snake" and the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. Two major differences. There are elements which also seem to transcend time...but I've said enough for now.
I could swear His picture is of an Italian guy. So it makes sense.
shame on you... that's like comparing a Scorpio to a Libra
Italian is closer to Greek than Arabic or Egyptian is.
I guess Jesus is able to chameleon between what race he portrays depending on region he is being worshiped.
I always thought that the idea of a stark white Jew walking around the middle east was slightly humorous... blue eyes and sandy brown wavy flowing hair to boot.
Judas could have identified him by saying: Yeah, he's the bright red guy who looks thoroughly miserable...yeah the one with the blisters... or was Jesus immune to sunburn too?
Let's say all the books were burnt in a Fahrenheit 451 type setting. People have by and large forgotten how to write and this goes on for say 200 years. During this time my family has past down stories of America's history. I tell my grandchildren about the revolutionary war and this 7.5 tall half god George Washington. I tell them how god helped the north win the war. I tell the lots of real events with lots of exaggeration. Mind you this goes on for generations. By the 200th year the book would never be exactly what I told them originally. The catch is whatever events or prophesies I told them have actually happened on some level and evidence exists.
My question is how could this not have happened to the bible?
can anyone prove it didn't?
Christ was neither a supernatural God incarnated to flesh. No was he a great man. That Christ thing is the biggest hoax in history.
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