Author Topic: Moral laws of the Bible  (Read 15987 times)

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Offline velkyn

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #464 on: May 08, 2012, 11:14:34 AM »
You are forgetting Jesus Christ. We start with him. Not with Genesis. If he is who he says he is, then he is the one who validates the Old Testament.
oh yes, that fictional character that you have no evidence for, only the possiblity of myths built up around a rabbi who may have been one of those who claimed to be a messiah at the time period. 

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As for links to those sceptical about the history recorded in the OT, what do you have access to? Are you attached to a university with online journal databases?
Jane, where is the evidence to support that the history in the OT is accurate, e.g. with a god that interfered?  Where is the evidence of the "exodus" and the events associated with it?  The fabulous palaces of David and Solomon?  The supposedly fantatically decorated first temple?  Where are the remains of Sodom and Gomorrah?  The battles by hundreds of thousands as the bible claims?  Why can we still find Tyre (both new and old) when your bible has your god claiming that it will never ever be found again? 
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One of the stronger bits of evidence is Paul's statement in 1 Cor. 15:3-8. It has been the most problematic for skeptics to refute.
  Really?
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Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James,then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
  hard to refute? Hmm, where is that tomb again, Jane? and all anedotes with nothing to support them.  Claims tht the bible proves the bible.  How “creative”. I do like how Paul “forgot” to mention how JC appeared to the women who saw him first.  And then we get the claims of appearing to hundreds when not all of the gospels say that at all.  We have John saying that JC was out and about doing so many things with people that they couldn’t all be written down.  Luke has JC meeting with the disciples and vanishing. Mark has nothing (except that bit that was added later which again only has the apostles). Matthew has again only the apostles and not the 500 that paul wants to add.   James doesn’t seem to find it important to mention this that Paul claims.   
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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #465 on: May 08, 2012, 11:25:33 AM »
Why can we still find Tyre (both new and old) when your bible has your god claiming that it will never ever be found again?

Jane is licensed to interpret any part of the OT as allegory (see my new signature).

Tyre is allegorically not there anymore.
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Offline JeffPT

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #466 on: May 08, 2012, 12:51:20 PM »
Jane, if the bible is not at a divine book, then why should anyone consider the stories about Jesus more than mythology?  If it's not at least divinely inspired, then isn't it far more likely that the people who wrote the stories were simply wrong?  I mean, we are talking about ridiculous claims here.  Things that we KNOW don't happen.


Err no. We don't know that. Not by a long shot. This is a bias you bring to your reading.

Really?  Is it my bias that also tells me the Harry Potter books are more likely fiction when I read things that we KNOW don't happen?  Or is it juts a rational assessment of the world I live in?

Is it my bias that tells me Mohammed really didn't ride off to heaven on a winged horse too? 

I didn't say that the Bible is not divinely inspired-- it is.

How would you go about proving that?  Can the words not be changed?  Can it not be burned or something?  Does every single person in the world find what's written within to be the ultimate, irrefutable testimony that God exists?   

If there were a book that is said to be 'divinely inspired', what characteristics would that book show? 

But that means that God worked through the authors. He did not write the books of the Old Testament nor did he dictate them. But he did use human authors to record the stories handed down through generations to them.

The other possibility is that God isn't real, so the authors did it all on their own with help from manipulative clergy and error prone scribes.  Can you please provide evidence that the bible is divinely inspired?  I'm interested in that. 

The New Testament is an entirely different kind of writing.

I don't know why that matters.  Different from what?  The OT?   Given that the time periods were different, this is quite expected, is it not?

It is written in a specific time and place and records historical matters-- alludes to many people and places we know.

While the books of the NT may indeed refer to places and people that history recounts, that does not, not for even a moment, make the case more compelling that Jesus was who he says he was.  Anymore than Harry Potter being set in London makes the case more compelling that Harry can do what the book says he can do. 

When you are finished with your emotional reaction to that, I hope you take the time to acknowledge that what I said is right.  That allusion to people and places we know does nothing to verify the events that allegedly transpired there. 

You can't just say it is agenda driven. What is the agenda?

Well, you'd have to go passage by passage.  I would say the author who wrote that women were to be subservient to men and were to be silent had an agenda.  I would say that the author who wrote that we should pay taxes (give unto Caesar what is Caesar's, etc) had an agenda.  I would say the authors who wrote that Jesus was resurrected had an agenda.  I never said the agenda was 'bad' per se, just that the people who changed things often did so for a reason.

Are you aware of the fate of many of the first Christians?

Yes. 

What, exactly, did they get out of it?

The belief that they would be rewarded in paradise after they died.  But that matters little.  We don't often believe what we believe based on a choice.  We believe things because that's what we're taught.  You don't join a religion because of what you can get out of it, you join it because you think it's true.  I'm surprised you didn't know the difference.

Paul himself writes that if what his preaching is false, then he and everyone who believed him are to be pitied-- worse, he would be a false witness lying about God.

For the most part, I do not disagree with Paul here.  He's right.  I would also add that at this point in time, the year 2012, if you still believe in God, then not only do you deserve pity, but ridicule as well.  It's totally ridiculous.  I'm sorry if that bothers you.  Really I am.  But I'd rather not lie about it.     

There are even some Christians who don’t realize the importance of the historical Resurrection of Jesus or understand the evidence for it.

What evidence is that again? I do not believe there is anything remotely close to solid evidence that the resurrection took place. 

As Paul said in Acts 17:31: “For he [God] has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.” This is what’s unique about the Gospel – it offers a historical event as proof. Other religions base their truth claims strictly on authority or on private, unverifiable revelations.

You mean to say... Paul says it, I believe it, that settles it?  I don't think that's enough and I'm surprised you do.  This is not an offering of a historical event as proof; it's one person (who was not himself a witness to the event) saying something happened, and that's all it is. The truth is that NOBODY saw it happen. 

And I find it strikingly ironic that the authority figure's testimony you use is Paul's given the fact that his own private, unverifiable revelation (his vision) led to his conversion and that is why you likely believe he is a credible source. 

One of the stronger bits of evidence is Paul's statement in 1 Cor. 15:3-8. It has been the most problematic for skeptics to refute. This is true for many reasons: first, the authorship of 1 Cor. is not in any serious doubt, and it's reliably dated to around 55 or 57 AD, within 22-24 years after the crucifixion. It is in the form of a church creed. Paul uses the rabinnic terms "received" and "passed on", which are words specifically used for passing on sacred tradition. Paul says he had passed on this tradition previously to the Corinthians, which means it was before his visit to them around 51 AD.

I don't see why you think this is a problem.  I don't see Paul as a credible source here.  He's also only one person Jane. One person with a propensity for strange visions.  If you met someone today that was having visions, would you think them a credible source for testimony?   

When you say that skeptics can't refute it, what do you mean?  Do you think we can't say he's full of shit or something?  If I said to you that my great great grandfather rose from the dead three days after he died, would my singular testimony be enough or would you want more?  The dating is not important.  Even if we traced what he said back to the very same year that Jesus supposedly died on the cross, it's still more likely that he is making it up than it is that a man rose from the dead 3 days later.  This is what I meant when I said that its far more likely that it never happened.  People lie all the time.  They make things up all the time.  They believe things that are not true.  It's common stuff.  But people DO NOT rise from the dead.  Hence it is more likely that he's not telling us anything useful in the passage you mentioned. 

I think the most amusing rebuttal of the "agenda driven men" theory is this little video:



I don't think you understood when I said that some of the authors had agendas.  Nobody thinks that 2 people stood around talking about how to invent a religion.  The religion simply took off, slowly at first like all religions; and over time, people changed it and morphed it as it passed from area to area.  Stories like that take on a life of their own.  It may have started as this apocalyptic preacher who everyone thought good things about, and over time, he became more venerated by the people and before long people were starting to say he was special and then maybe even the son of God and then God himself.  But when I refer to agendas, I mean that some people in some of the areas believed certain things and other people believed different things about the supposed same character.  So you can imagine that when they had their scribes copying the bibles, they might tell them to add this or that in because that was their theological perspective.  Like the gnostic view, or any number of other takes on Jesus. 

The video is a massive strawman.  Nobody thinks it happened like that. 
Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #467 on: May 08, 2012, 01:23:44 PM »
I didn't say that the Bible is not divinely inspired-- it is. But that means that God worked through the authors. He did not write the books of the Old Testament nor did he dictate them. But he did use human authors to record the stories handed down through generations to them.

Jane,

In conversations I've had with my grandmother she has said the same thing, almost verbatim.  I find this to be a rather opaque statement.  If yhwh did not use the writers as meat-puppets or dictate the stories, in what way are they divinely inspired?  Please specifically explain what you then mean by "divinely inspired", because I don't get it.


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Offline Maggie the Opinionated

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #468 on: May 08, 2012, 02:09:22 PM »
I didn't say that the Bible is not divinely inspired-- it is. But that means that God worked through the authors. He did not write the books of the Old Testament nor did he dictate them. But he did use human authors to record the stories handed down through generations to them.
Jane,

In conversations I've had with my grandmother she has said the same thing, almost verbatim.  I find this to be a rather opaque statement.  If yhwh did not use the writers as meat-puppets or dictate the stories, in what way are they divinely inspired?  Please specifically explain what you then mean by "divinely inspired", because I don't get it.
God is in control of the universe. God is the author of history.  Inspiration literally occurs when God breathes the breath of life into a lump of clay, thus creating man. Later, Jesus breathed on the disciples in order to impart the Holy Spirit to them. Inspired by the Holy Spirit they worked and preached in ways that were uniquely their own. It doesn't seem terribly hard to me to believe that God is capable of inspiring an author to record one story over another.

Offline HAL

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #469 on: May 08, 2012, 02:12:50 PM »
God is in control of the universe.

God is the author of history. 

Inspiration literally occurs when God breathes the breath of life into a lump of clay, thus creating man.

Later, Jesus breathed on the disciples in order to impart the Holy Spirit to them.

Inspired by the Holy Spirit they worked and preached in ways that were uniquely their own.

It doesn't seem terribly hard to me to believe that God is capable of inspiring an author to record one story over another.

All Not Accepted.

All that is the most basic type of unsupported theistic ramblings; we get it all the time. Of what use it is to proclaim on a board like this is lost on me, but I suppose you can't help yourself.

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #470 on: May 08, 2012, 02:22:12 PM »
God is in control of the universe.

It sounds like you are saying we are literally meat puppets without will.  If that is not correct, you need to use different words.

God is the author of history.

See above.  Also, how is he not the author of the bible then?

Inspiration literally occurs when God breathes the breath of life into a lump of clay, thus creating man.

?  You are saying creating life was "inspiring"?  God inspired the clay the be human?  Is that allegorical?[1]  So then god inspiring people to write the bible is several orders of magnitude beyond using them as meat puppets or dictating to them.  It is a more profound level of control than even that. It is writing the bible himself.  Is that what you are trying to communicate?

Later, Jesus breathed on the disciples in order to impart the Holy Spirit to them. Inspired by the Holy Spirit they worked and preached in ways that were uniquely their own.

This adds no new information for me.  It clarifies nothing.  You have simply rephrased your initial statement - god inspired such and such.  What you said prior in your post has no connection to these two sentences at all and even seems to be completely contradictory.  This does not enhance my understanding of your point.  It makes it even more confusing.

I thought this was a simple question - specifically what do you mean by "divinely inspired"?  Above, it seems to mean direct action by god.  Now, I have no clue.  I need you to be more plain, Jane.

It doesn't seem terribly hard to me to believe that God is capable of inspiring an author to record one story over another.

If only I knew wtf you meant by "inspire", I might agree...

 1. I'm not being snide.  I just don't know if you literally believe the creation story.
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Offline Maggie the Opinionated

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #471 on: May 08, 2012, 02:34:43 PM »

Really?  Is it my bias that also tells me the Harry Potter books are more likely fiction when I read things that we KNOW don't happen?  Or is it juts a rational assessment of the world I live in?
Harry Potter doesn't claim to be anything other than a fictional account. If it claimed to be a real account of the world, then you would need to test its claims to see whether they are true or false. Now, given the absence of death eaters and schools of wizardry, it is reasonable to dismiss it as true but it is still, technically, an argument from ignorance.
I didn't say that the Bible is not divinely inspired-- it is.
Why do I have to prove it? You can either accept it or reject it. I have written a little more about inspiration in my last message.

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How would you go about proving that?  Can the words not be changed?  Can it not be burned or something? 
That has nothing to do with inspiration. It is the inspiration that is divine. Not the paper on which the Bible is printed. Of course someone could go in and change the words. All that means is that you have an erroneous Bible.
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Does every single person in the world find what's written within to be the ultimate, irrefutable testimony that God exists?   
Obviously not. But then the Bible doesn't try to prove the existence of God. It takes it for granted.

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If there were a book that is said to be 'divinely inspired', what characteristics would that book show? 
?? How could I possibly know, since there is only one Book that is divinely inspired.

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The other possibility is that God isn't real, so the authors did it all on their own with help from manipulative clergy and error prone scribes.  Can you please provide evidence that the bible is divinely inspired?
No, I cannot. 

The New Testament is an entirely different kind of writing.

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I don't know why that matters.  Different from what?  The OT?   Given that the time periods were different, this is quite expected, is it not?
No. The genres of the New Testament are entirely different. The Gospels are spiritual biographies written very much like the modern literary genre, reportage. Paul's letters are, well, letters.

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When you are finished with your emotional reaction to that, I hope you take the time to acknowledge that what I said is right.  That allusion to people and places we know does nothing to verify the events that allegedly transpired there.
What emotional reaction? This is just nonsense. Good thing you didn't aspire to become a historian.

You can't just say it is agenda driven. What is the agenda?

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Well, you'd have to go passage by passage.  I would say the author who wrote that women were to be subservient to men and were to be silent had an agenda.  I would say that the author who wrote that we should pay taxes (give unto Caesar what is Caesar's, etc) had an agenda.  I would say the authors who wrote that Jesus was resurrected had an agenda.  I never said the agenda was 'bad' per se, just that the people who changed things often did so for a reason.
  You can say it but it makes no sense. Everyone in those days said much the same thing. Nobody needed to start a new religion based on any of that.

What, exactly, did they get out of it?

The belief that they would be rewarded in paradise after they died.  But that matters little.  We don't often believe what we believe based on a choice.  We believe things because that's what we're taught.  You don't join a religion because of what you can get out of it, you join it because you think it's true.  I'm surprised you didn't know the difference. [/quote] These people did not join a religion. They were, most of them, eyewitnesses to the ministry and Resurrection. It isn't even a little persuasive to skip over the founders of the religion. Either they were liars or they were telling the truth. There is no in between.

Paul himself writes that if what his preaching is false, then he and everyone who believed him are to be pitied-- worse, he would be a false witness lying about God.

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For the most part, I do not disagree with Paul here.  He's right.  I would also add that at this point in time, the year 2012, if you still believe in God, then not only do you deserve pity, but ridicule as well.  It's totally ridiculous.  I'm sorry if that bothers you.  Really I am.  But I'd rather not lie about it.   
It doesn't bother me. I think it is absurd and testifies to your historical ignorance and imaginative poverty. I'm sorry if that bothers you. Really, I am. But I'd rather not lie about it.

There are even some Christians who don’t realize the importance of the historical Resurrection of Jesus or understand the evidence for it.

What evidence is that again? I do not believe there is anything remotely close to solid evidence that the resurrection took place. 

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You mean to say... Paul says it, I believe it, that settles it?  I don't think that's enough and I'm surprised you do.  This is not an offering of a historical event as proof; it's one person (who was not himself a witness to the event) saying something happened, and that's all it is. The truth is that NOBODY saw it happen.
Indeed, you are right. No one saw the Resurrection. But hundreds of witnesses did see Jesus walking among them for approximately 6 weeks after his death. They did see an empty tomb.

One of the stronger bits of evidence is Paul's statement in 1 Cor. 15:3-8. It has been the most problematic for skeptics to refute. This is true for many reasons: first, the authorship of 1 Cor. is not in any serious doubt, and it's reliably dated to around 55 or 57 AD, within 22-24 years after the crucifixion. It is in the form of a church creed. Paul uses the rabinnic terms "received" and "passed on", which are words specifically used for passing on sacred tradition. Paul says he had passed on this tradition previously to the Corinthians, which means it was before his visit to them around 51 AD.

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But people DO NOT rise from the dead.  Hence it is more likely that he's not telling us anything useful in the passage you mentioned. 
Prove it. The New Testament makes a claim that it supports rather well-- at least better than anything the debunkers have been able to come up with.

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I don't think you understood when I said that some of the authors had agendas.  Nobody thinks that 2 people stood around talking about how to invent a religion.  The religion simply took off, slowly at first like all religions
On its own? I think not, I really think not. Either the founders invented it or they are witnesses to what they say the witnessed.

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The video is a massive strawman.  Nobody thinks it happened like that.
LOL! That's what you think! If I had a dollar for every atheist who has said exactly that, I could retire a very rich woman.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 02:38:48 PM by Plain Jane »

Offline Maggie the Opinionated

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #472 on: May 08, 2012, 02:40:25 PM »
If only I knew wtf you meant by "inspire", I might agree...

Inspiration of the Bible

Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #473 on: May 08, 2012, 02:44:39 PM »
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Why do you want to do that?  Why do you want to dismiss people as "not really xians" for being imperfect?  I thought people's beliefs defined whether they are xian or not.  You - and not just you, but a whole host of xians - are saying it is defined by actions.  I have a couple of problems with that.

I said this.

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If he commits a gross sin, as in the case of adultery, then the question arises of was he really a christian to begin with?   Usually a serious sin like this reflects a lack of spirituality beforehand. 

Sorry, this is not completely correct because I worded it incorrectly.  Let me clarify.  Please keep in mind I do not expect you to accept this as fact, but this is only my understanding of the Bible.

If he commits a gross sin, as in the case of adultry, then the question arises of "why" did he do this.  Was it caused by a "moment of weakness"?  Unless this was just an outright case of rebellion then what caused this "weakness" then this likely is the case.  Was this weakness caused because the Christian was neglecting his spirituality.  In other words, has the offender stopped studying scripture, stopped attending Christian meeting, stopped praying, or he is slacking off in these areas.  If this is the case then these issues need to be addressed because God does not accept willful neglect of your worship.  Is the Christian ceasing to believe that adultry is wrong?

This is why I compared it to a marriage.  If a man commits adultry that does not mean he was a bad husband beforehand.  It could mean that but not necessarily so.  So if a good husband commits adultry then what was the cause?  Has he been neglecting his marriage and is he drifting away from his wife.  Is his wife withholding relations from him causing temptation to become more tempting?  Was it a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Such sins are considered on a case by case basis and ultimately Jehovah decides whether to forgive the infraction.  A man could say to himself, "I will commit sin X and tonight I will ask God for forgivness and everything will be okay."  But the Bible shows that this is not so and such thoughts are actually sins in and of themselves.

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First of all, I thought salvation was "by faith and not by works".  You are saying, it is in fact by works.

It is my understanding that salvation is given freely but work is required to maintain it by "repenting" of your sins.  This means to quit practicing them.  While perfection cannot be achieved at this time, this is the goal for which a Christian must strive.    The Bible says that a person that receives salvation and then goes back to practicing his sinful ways causes, "Christ to be sacrified all over again."  it goes further to say that, "No sacrifice remains" for such ones.  I do not see that the Bible teaches "once saved always saved" as some others do.  If this is true then the word repentance has no meaning at all.

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Secondly, you are dissociating yourself from the people who need community support the most.  I hear that as a common complaint - mainly by women who have been abused by "xian" husbands - in the xian community.  As long as you don't need them, the xian community is there for you.  The moment you have a crisis, well, you never were really a xian anyway.  The salvation army is the only one that shoots its own wounded.

I'm not entirely sure what you are asking.  In the case of an abusive husband the couple would be counseled together or as individuals.  Ultimately it is up to the couple if they choose to maintain the marriage.  However, being abusive is considered to be a pretty serious offense.  If the husband does not repent of being abusive then he will be disfellowshiped.  He ceases to remain a "member" of the congregation and becomes an apostate.  He would still be allowed to attend Christian meetings but otherwise may only associate with the Elders and that only for the purpose of counseling.  The wife is naturally still free to associate with him but the rest of the congregation would not.

The wife, however, still maintains good standing within the congregation and will suffer no ill effects apart from those caused by her husband.  Any support that can be provided would be given to help the wife.  This includes, physical, spirital, and emotional support.  If she becomes a widow then the congregation will still support her in any way necessary.  If she is still capable then she will be required to do what she can do to provide support for herself as far as physical needs are concerned.  If she is unable to work then she'll be provided with whatever support is necessary.

If, in the future, the husband repents of his actions then he can still be restored to membership within the congregation although he may or may not (not sure), be able to resume any priveleges "responsibilities" within the congregation.  Giving a talk would be such a privelege as would becoming an elder.

Jehovah's Witnesses are not organized as a typical church is organized.  There are not pastors, priests, or anything of that sort.  The only authority that exists within an individual congregation is a board of elders.  I don't know how many.  These "elders" are required to be those that have been long time, good standing, members and they are required to maintain a good reputation among their community.  A murderer, for example, would never be allowed to become an elder by virtue of his reputation at least until such time that he has restored his reputation within the community to the extent that having him as an elder would not bring reproach upon the congregation or upon the name of Jehovah.  I do not know exactly where the line is drawn to define what is an acceptable reputation.  Basically, anything that would bring reproach upon Jehovah's name or the congregation is not acceptable.

These elders, or anyone else in the congregation, do not receive a salary.  The elders, while they are teachers, are not "preachers" of any sort different than the rest of the congregation is considered to be preachers.  Every member is considered a preacher.  And any member may volunteer to give a talk at on of their meetings, assuming the member has the knowledge to do so.  All members are encouraged to reach the point where they can give a talk and are qualified to preach door to door.  Of their weekly meetings, this talk take, up one hour of their Sunday worship. 

The second hour of Sunday worship is spent reading and discussing, in light of the Bible, the questions posed in the weekly article, from their Watchtower publication.  This is carried out in a question/answer format very much like a classroom.  All members and non-members are encouraged to participate.  All of these things are considered to be priveleges.

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I'm pretty sure the bible does not use that phrase, ever.

There was never a need.  But it does mention "falst christs, prophets, apostles, teachers" and such.  This is my association.

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I can understand why a preacher-type would make that kind of proclamation.  It attempts to scare people into staying in line.  Crowd control, as it were, to ensure a stable income. 

But from a "jesus H perspective", this sounds so contradictory to me

This may be so.  And this may contradict what you've heard, but the Bible is very clear in this matter.  Maybe this is one of those things, among many others, that Christendom fails to teach.

"For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”  (2 Peter 2:20-22)

"For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt." (Hebrews 6:4-8)

"For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?" (Hebrews 10:26-29)

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That's a childish idea.  If jesus H, yhwh and the HS are really all the same thing, why the distinction?

Good question.  You are right that doesn't make sense.  The Bible's answer is that they are not the same thing.

“Listen, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah." (Deut 6:4)

I have much more I could say on this if you are curious.

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No, you misunderstand. Christians don't agree on what they did or did not teach.

So are you saying it is impossible for anyone to be accurate or that's it's impossible for you to distinguish which is accurate?

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It depends on which Christians you ask. This is why you're having so much trouble, Jst. You assume that your interpretations of what the bible says are self-evident. That because you read it as saying sectarianism is bad that everyone must naturally read it that way.

No I'm asking you to examine what I say for yourself instead of depending on other christians.  Or do you not feel you are able to do so?
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 43:10

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #474 on: May 08, 2012, 02:53:24 PM »
Harry Potter doesn't claim to be anything other than a fictional account.

I haven't actually read any of the Harry Potter books, so can you help me with this?  Where, in any of the novels, is it declared that the books are fiction?  (I'm talking about in the text of the story itself, that is, not the cover or that page where they have the copyright and ISBN information and stuff.)
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #475 on: May 08, 2012, 02:57:52 PM »
There are even some Christians who don’t realize the importance of the historical Resurrection of Jesus or understand the evidence for it.
This is sheer lunacy. There is no "historical evidence" for the resurrection! There isn't even a coherent story in the Bible!
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As Paul said in Acts 17:31:
You are aware that it has been shown that Paul wrote at the most, 6 books. We do not know who wrote the others.

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One of the stronger bits of evidence is Paul's statement in 1 Cor. 15:3-8. It has been the most problematic for skeptics to refute. This is true for many reasons: first, the authorship of 1 Cor. is not in any serious doubt, and it's reliably dated to around 55 or 57 AD, within 22-24 years after the crucifixion. It is in the form of a church creed. Paul uses the rabinnic terms "received" and "passed on", which are words specifically used for passing on sacred tradition. Paul says he had passed on this tradition previously to the Corinthians, which means it was before his visit to them around 51 AD.
Did Paul ever see Jesus?

Paul suffered from epilepsy and kept seeing visions - are we to trust him? Or should we, on matters of faith, listen to all epileptics?

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This negates one of the tried and untrue attempts to dismiss the Resurrection by claiming that it was a legend that grew up around Jesus.
I sometimes wonder if you read what you write. Have you read the Gospel stories of the Resurrection?

Have you ever taken a course in logical thinking?
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline velkyn

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #476 on: May 08, 2012, 02:58:03 PM »
Harry Potter doesn't claim to be anything other than a fictional account. If it claimed to be a real account of the world, then you would need to test its claims to see whether they are true or false. Now, given the absence of death eaters and schools of wizardry, it is reasonable to dismiss it as true but it is still, technically, an argument from ignorance.
given the absense of angels, healings, miracles and historical evidence for the bible, it is reasonable to dismiss Christianity as true.  Also, Jane, some of your fellow Christians are quite sure that magical spells are true.  I've heard tht nonsense since the 70s when Dungeons and Dragons was lied about. 
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Indeed, you are right. No one saw the Resurrection. But hundreds of witnesses did see Jesus walking among them for approximately 6 weeks after his death. They did see an empty tomb.
Where's that tomb, Jane?  And there are stories of people seeing JC, there is nothing supporting this at all.  Not even the gospels agree on what JC did after the supposed resurrection.
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Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #477 on: May 08, 2012, 02:58:37 PM »
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Is it my bias that also tells me the Harry Potter books are more likely fiction when I read things that we KNOW don't happen?

I don't think these sort of comparisons prove or disprove anything.  If they can then so can this.

If a tree falls in the in the forest and noone is around to hear it or record it, does it still make a noise?  Prove it.

One may also ask, "If a man speaks and no woman is around to hear it is he still wrong?"  Haha.
Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

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Offline Maggie the Opinionated

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #478 on: May 08, 2012, 03:01:59 PM »
As for links to those sceptical about the history recorded in the OT, what do you have access to? Are you attached to a university with online journal databases?

I am PJ. Hit me.
Here ya go--with abstracts (all provided by the authors): If you are really interested, I can do a proper bibliography. This is just a convenient sample of readily accessible stuff.

In the course of an interesting review essay about a new book The Military History of Ancient Israel by Richard Gabriel, the author does a great job of summarizing the current state of (skeptical) scholarship about the historicity of the battles of ancient Israel. She also cites standard works on the subject.

A simple glance at William G. Dever’s book, Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From? (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2003) or V. Philips Long’s Israel’s Past in Present Research: Essays on Ancient Israelite Historiography (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1999) would provide readers with an overview of the complexities of modern research in this area. Avraham Malamat has spent as much time as any writer at grips with the military history of ancient Israel, and even he admits that the Old Testament is a literary creation written for purposes quite other than historical reporting. He describes it as an “ancient theoretical model” depicting the conquest of the Israelites.

Recent archaeological studies that undercut rather than support the historicity of the biblical traditions about Israelite origins have yielded conclusions that are startling to the uninitiated. The search for historical ancestors has failed; the Exodus did not happen as described; the violent, swift, and total conquest of Canaan never took place; the picture of judges leading tribes in battle against their enemies does not fit the data; David and Solomon existed in the tenth century BCE but as little more than “hill country chieftains”; and there was no golden age of a united kingdom, a magnificent capital, and an extended empire.


(Sheldon, Rose Mary. "The Military History Of Ancient Israel." Journal Of Military History 69.1 (2005): 197-204. America: History and Life with Full Text. Web. 8 May 2012.)


The Blackwell Companion to the Hebrew Bible is available online and has a very interesting “revisionist” chapter on archaeology and the Old Testament. (Perdue, Leo G. Blackwell Companion To The Hebrew Bible. Blackwell Publishers, 2001. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 8 May 2012.)


Some articles that might be of interest:

Berlyn, Patricia. "The Pharaohs Who Knew Moses." Jewish Bible Quarterly 39.1 (2011): 3-14. Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 May 2012.
The article focuses on the names of the Pharaohs in "The Book of Exodus" who knew Moses. It discusses several biblical records that relate to the Pharaoh-of-the-exodus and the Pharaoh-of-the-oppression. It comments that the names of the Pharaohs in the Book of Exodus can be debated but not determined, unless and until there is some new historical or archaeological discoveries.


Naaman, Nadav. "The Exodus Story: Between Historical Memory And Historiographical Composition." Journal Of Ancient Near Eastern Religions 11.1 (2011): 39-69. Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 May 2012.

The article seeks to explain the contrast between the central place of the Exodus in Israelite memory and the marginality of the event in history by shifting the focus of discussion from the historical question to the role the Exodus tradition played in shaping the self-portrait and consciousness of early Israelite society. It first examines the oppressive nature of Egyptian rule in Canaan at the time of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Dynasties. It then examines the story of the Exodus in the context of Egypt under the Ramesside and Saitic Dynasties. It suggests that the bondage and the delivery from slavery as related in the biblical story actually took place in Canaan and that the memories were later transferred from Canaan to Egypt. The transfer of memory explains the omission of the memory of the long Egyptian occupation of Canaan in the Bible. The displaced memories of bondage were replaced by the 'memory' of the conquest, which reflects the way early Israelite society sought to present its past. The subjugation, the suffering and the delivery were experienced by all tribal groups that lived at the time in Canaan, hence the centrality of the Exodus tradition within the Israelite society.


den Braber, Marieke, and Jan-Wim Wesselius. "The Unity Of Joshua 1-8, Its Relation To The Story Of King Keret, And The Literary Background To The Exodus And Conquest Stories." SJOT: Scandinavian Journal Of The Old Testament 22.2 (2008): 253-274. Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 May 2012.

The story of the campaign against Jericho and its taking in Joshua 1-6 is usually assumed to be a composite narrative, in which episodes from various sources have been put together, resulting in a text which exhibits a considerable number of discontinuities, especially in the field of chronology. In this article it is argued that the chronological indications can be joined in one framework of twice seven days. In the middle of the first week the crossing of the Jordan is found, whereas the second week is concerned with the taking of Jericho. It is argued that this scheme mirrors the Ugaritic story of King Keret going to the city of Udum in order to obtain the princess Hurriy as his wife. The arguments in favour and against the assumption of a relationship of emulation between the two texts are discussed, and the possibility of an encompassing intertextual relationship of the Biblical account of Exodus and Conquest with the story of king Keret is cautiously advanced.


Offline Graybeard

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #479 on: May 08, 2012, 03:20:10 PM »
Here ya go--with abstracts (all provided by the authors): .... he admits that the Old Testament is a literary creation written for purposes quite other than historical reporting. He describes it as an “ancient theoretical model” depicting the conquest of the Israelites.... The search for historical ancestors has failed; the Exodus did not happen as described; the violent, swift, and total conquest of Canaan never took place; the picture of judges leading tribes in battle against their enemies does not fit the data; David and Solomon existed in the tenth century BCE but as little more than “hill country chieftains”; and there was no golden age of a united kingdom, a magnificent capital, and an extended empire.
Excellent! We have some common ground - the OT is worthless as an historical document. However, it does introduce Yahweh, god of war, who seems to be the same Jehovah who fathers Jesus and, by virtue of the Johanine comma, becomes part of the Trinity with all the problems that that created.

Jesus is based upon prophecies from the OT. We can now say, "He isn't." His life is poorly documented in the Gospels and, elsewhere and contemporaneously, undocumented.

Everything points to his being legendary and in the mould that the equally legendary Robin Hood later took up: Help the less fortunate; overthrow the establishment; support the King; bring new freedoms; die through treachery; serve as an example to us all.

Are there moral laws of the Bible, or are they simply collections of previous moral laws, rewritten to serve the needs of Bronze Age goat-herders?

Plain Jane,

All you now need do is to admit that you are reluctant to throw away 30 years of study, which might better have been spent studying Teletubbie anatomy.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #480 on: May 08, 2012, 03:21:40 PM »

Really?  Is it my bias that also tells me the Harry Potter books are more likely fiction when I read things that we KNOW don't happen?  Or is it juts a rational assessment of the world I live in?
Harry Potter doesn't claim to be anything other than a fictional account. If it claimed to be a real account of the world, then you would need to test its claims to see whether they are true or false. Now, given the absence of death eaters and schools of wizardry, it is reasonable to dismiss it as true but it is still, technically, an argument from ignorance.

Ok, forget Harry Potter. Seperate the Bible from the Illiad. The Illiad mentions actual events and locations, but it also mentions deities interfereing with those events.

An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Ivellios

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #481 on: May 08, 2012, 03:52:49 PM »
Ok, forget Harry Potter. Seperate the Bible from the Illiad. The Illiad mentions actual events and locations, but it also mentions deities interfereing with those events.

Yeah. People once thought Troy was a myth. The city has been proven to be true. Which means the Illiad and the Oddesey are true. All of it! Does a book have to specifically state that it's true for you to accept that it is? Does stating that it's true mean that it cannot be a lie? Have you ever heard of an urban legend? They insit that they're true, but most of them are not. Have you ever heard of a chain letter? They insist that good things will happen to you if you comply, but bad if you do not. I've gotten hundreds of chain letters. They either got thrown away, or since email, deleted. Chain letters are mini-Christianity: they state they're true, expect you to believe it, dangle the carrot for you to comply, if you do not, they have a threat. Then they end it with.... TESTIMONIES! Yup, testimonies! Like somehow after passing on the chain letter, they were able to magically append the letter to include thier testimony! "I didn't believe it, but I passed this very chain letter on, andf I won a $5,000 lotto, the very next day!"

Since you believe in the bible, I would imagine that everytime you get spam or a chain letter in the mail, you must be pretty busy.

Offline Ivellios

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #482 on: May 08, 2012, 04:23:27 PM »


People only fly planes into buildings because they saw Mohammed fly to heaven on a horse. Nah. Only because they believed a lie.

People killed themselves because they know for an absolute fact that a UFO is really following a comet, and that by shedding thier physical bodies thier spirit was able to go to the UFO and fly on to paradise. Their leader also killed himself for this, no one would die for a lie, so this must be true! Nope. Died for a Lie.

There's this man, he convinces people that the reason they're opressed by other Christians is because they are truer to Christ. So they go way south, to another country and start a commune. Soon a US Senator visits them because families want to deny thier loved ones that are in his flock heaven, and force them to come back home. They all drink laced kool-aid, so they can go to heaven, because that is more important than thier families. Thier leader died this way, too! They certainly would not have died for a lie! This means, it must be true! Nope, another Lie.

Another man who convinces a group of people to follow him. They allow him to have his way with many of the women and even with females that are not adults. Due to having many weapons the ATF comes in, and after having a 40 day stand off, he says that if he's killed he'll return in 3 days. Everyone in his group stay with him, in the flames instead of trying to save themselves. They certainly would have not done this, and died for a lie, since no one dies for a lie. So it must be true! Another lie.

A charismatic starts a small commune in California where there are drugs and he engages with all the women, but deny many of the men in his group the same pleasure. He talks about the imminent end of the world, called 'Helter Skelter' and prepares for it. After a few grisly murders, he and his followers are captured. Those women would have died for him, but the jury had them sent to prison instead. They certainly wouldn't have been willing to do that if it were not a lie, would they? Another lie.

I could go on and on for weeks about people that willing sacrificed thier lives for lies. People believe anything. When I was in HS there was a gang and it's entry requirement was to not only sleep with someone known to have AIDS, but to contract it as well. Why? To 'belong.' Being a lemming isn't so bad when there's another lemming with you, regardless of the circumstances. If they're willing to do it too, it must not be so bad/stupid, right?
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 04:26:15 PM by TruthSeeker »

Offline Zankuu

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #483 on: May 08, 2012, 05:36:54 PM »
Here ya go-- [...]

Thanks. I'll check into them.
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Offline Maggie the Opinionated

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #484 on: May 08, 2012, 05:42:22 PM »
Here ya go--with abstracts (all provided by the authors): .... he admits that the Old Testament is a literary creation written for purposes quite other than historical reporting. He describes it as an “ancient theoretical model” depicting the conquest of the Israelites.... The search for historical ancestors has failed; the Exodus did not happen as described; the violent, swift, and total conquest of Canaan never took place; the picture of judges leading tribes in battle against their enemies does not fit the data; David and Solomon existed in the tenth century BCE but as little more than “hill country chieftains”; and there was no golden age of a united kingdom, a magnificent capital, and an extended empire.
Excellent! We have some common ground
No, we really don't. Only you folks believe that there is not a vigorous scholarship that looks at every conceivable aspect of the Bible and tries to elucidate it. I responded to a request for some information on the debunkers. I have provided it. It isn't universally accepted.

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Jesus is based upon prophecies from the OT.
Based upon? I think not. He fulfilled the promises of scripture. This whole cherry-picking that goes on on both sides about which prophecies he did or did not fulfill makes me giggle. His Resurrection is the proof that he is the Messiah. In fact, we are told that just before he departed, he opened the minds of the apostles and explained to them how the scriptures had pointed to him.
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His life is poorly documented in the Gospels and, elsewhere and contemporaneously, undocumented.
His life is just about the best attested of any figure in the ancient world. the fact that you will simply not accept the documentary evidence that every historian accepts is simply a shame but is completely irrelevant.

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Everything points to his being legendary
Oh brother! If he were legendary, how come none of the contemporary enemies of Christianity ever made that claim? Not one of them.

Back to the drawing board, dearie.

Offline Alzael

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #485 on: May 08, 2012, 05:45:36 PM »
I don't think these sort of comparisons prove or disprove anything.

Actually they do. They demonstrate quite a bit.

If a tree falls in the in the forest and noone is around to hear it or record it, does it still make a noise?  Prove it.


Sure. Sound is simply a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure which is then transmitted a medium of solid, liquid, or gas. When the tree falls it sends out pressure waves proceed to travel through the air. We know it will do this because we know about the functions of gravity. We also know from other practical experiences that the sound waves will be of a sufficient frequency to be heard by a human ear, if there was a human present.

So yes, if a tree falls in the woods it does make a sound.

Now how about you proving yours?
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Offline HAL

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #486 on: May 08, 2012, 05:45:57 PM »
His life is just about the best attested of any figure in the ancient world. the fact that you will simply not accept the documentary evidence that every historian accepts is simply a shame but is completely irrelevant.

Every historian accepts it? Tell us Jane - is every historian a Christian? They must surely be if every historian accepts the historical documentary evidence of Jeebus.

Offline Maggie the Opinionated

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #487 on: May 08, 2012, 05:59:34 PM »
His life is just about the best attested of any figure in the ancient world. the fact that you will simply not accept the documentary evidence that every historian accepts is simply a shame but is completely irrelevant.

Every historian accepts it? Tell us Jane - is every historian a Christian? They must surely be if every historian accepts the historical documentary evidence of Jeebus.


No training in history at all. Pity, that. No, not every historian is a Christian. Not every New Testament scholar is either. What they all have in common is their ability to recognize historical source documents, primary sources, when they see them. They know how to look at them and tease out what is likely to be true and what not. This is why I have to giggle when you people tell me that Jesus is legendary, that Paul never existed, yadda, yadda, yadda. Only a couple of fringe lunatics still try to market those spoiled goods.

Offline HAL

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #488 on: May 08, 2012, 06:15:32 PM »
No, not every historian is a Christian. Not every New Testament scholar is either.

Looks like I'm in good company then.

Offline Alzael

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #489 on: May 08, 2012, 06:32:51 PM »
So are you saying it is impossible for anyone to be accurate or that's it's impossible for you to distinguish which is accurate?

A little of both. This is why you are continually asked.

You see the way in which we recognize the difference between reality and make believe is with logic, reason, and evidence. Without those there is no way to tell any form of truth. You say the Apostles say something is bad, another Christian says its good. You quote the bible to and say they're wrong, they quote the bible and say you're wrong. You tell them how to properly interpret a passage, they tell you how to properly interpret the passage because they claim you're doing it wrong. How can one know which is right without those things?

The fact is that you can't. You only assume that you're right and you refuse to consider the fact that you're not.

The question is, you claim that the Apostles teach one thing and others say something else. If you have no evidence that you are right (or if you have the same evidence as them, such as the bible) and you have no rational or logical argument (which isn't possible as it stands); then there is no way to tell whether you are right or the other Christian is right. Just as there's no way of telling whether you're just religious or whether you actually have a mental disorder.

Which is why you have to provide evidence for your claims. Without evidence, it's possible that someone might be right, but there is no way to ever know until you find some. It's just one out of thousands of equally probably claims.

No I'm asking you to examine what I say for yourself instead of depending on other christians.  Or do you not feel you are able to do so?

And what exactly do you want me to examine about it? Remember I'm not a Christian, I don't have a preprogrammed set of interpretations that I drag out whenever someone pulls on my string. I can interpret the apostles several diffent ways depending on the way I choose to read it, I don't have a favourite. Did you want me to examine it as if Paul was one of the disciples, or as though he wasn't? Do you want me to examine it ignoring all of the contradictions, or do I have try and make them all logically fit? What about the parts where there's disagreement with Jesus, do I go with what Jesus said or the Apostles?

Or did you just want me to pick a version and argue it?Which I don't really see a point to.

Did the Apostles preach against sectarianism? Maybe, if you choose to read it that way you could certainly conclude such a thing. This is about the way that you're reading it. More specifically how you claim to have the one true way.
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Online jaimehlers

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #490 on: May 08, 2012, 06:33:10 PM »
No training in history at all. Pity, that. No, not every historian is a Christian. Not every New Testament scholar is either. What they all have in common is their ability to recognize historical source documents, primary sources, when they see them. They know how to look at them and tease out what is likely to be true and what not. This is why I have to giggle when you people tell me that Jesus is legendary, that Paul never existed, yadda, yadda, yadda. Only a couple of fringe lunatics still try to market those spoiled goods.
So.  Where are the primary/historical source documents for the Bible?  You know, the ones you just got done saying that scholars and historians have the ability to recognize.  I'm quite sure that if they exist, they should be easy for one such as yourself to locate and point out to the people who, according to you, don't have any training in history at all.

That's all you're being asked for.  Show the evidence and cite your sources.

Offline Alzael

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #491 on: May 08, 2012, 06:37:42 PM »

No training in history at all. Pity, that.

That's ok. I don't hold your lack of training against you but you might want to gain some knowledge before you speak up here.

"I drank what?!"- Socrates

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Offline Seppuku

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Re: Moral laws of the Bible
« Reply #492 on: May 08, 2012, 07:08:22 PM »
I wonder if we should all worship the Mesopotamian Gods. After all, there's more than one source suggesting that Gilgamesh was real, we can even put a rough date of when he reigned - ~2,500 BC. He is recorded as King of Uruk in the Sumerian list of Kings, he is mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Me-Turan contains record of how Gilgamesh was buried and there has been a tomb discovered that fits the description of Gilgamesh's tomb as recorded in a Cuneiform text, even in terms of its location. It is generally accepted that he was a historical figure.

But are we to then assume anything more than that? If Jesus was real, it could well be he was a significant man in his time. Now, when atheists say (or theists who don't believe in Jesus), "Jesus was/is not real" are they referring to Jesus the son of God mentioned in the bible or a man named Jesus around for a while after year 0? After all he may not have been the son of God and he may not have performed any miracles. He could well have been just a Jewish preacher.

Gilgamesh was part god, his mother was a Goddess, Ninsun. His best friend, Enkidu was created by the gods to challenge Gilgamesh and once Gilgamesh was challenged they became best of friends and together they went on to perform some pretty amazing feats, including their slaying of the monster Humbaba who was described as being the size of a mountain. Gilgamesh also had some blessings from Shamash before fighting. One of the goddesses, Ishtar, proposed to him and Gilgamesh refused, which sent her wrath upon them and so on and so forth. For the oldest story recorded, it's actually a pretty good story. At least I enjoyed it.

I think it doesn't matter whether there was actually a Jesus. I think the important thing is knowing whether the claims about him are true or not. There are many legends out there that could well have been based on real people and some have alternative historical accounts, but it doesn't mean everything said about them was true. Hence I brought up Gilgamesh.
“It is difficult to understand the universe if you only study one planet” - Miyamoto Musashi
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