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Have you read the whole Bible? 
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Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
"The Jefferson Bible" is poorly named. It should be "The Jefferson Gospel" as it is a condensation and amalgamation of the four Gospel without any miracles and limited theology. It is an interesting read. It is rather short. I have been making way through it slowly over past two months or so. The text is only the Bible, although Jefferson might add a word or phrase in a few places to connect the narrative - I am not certain on this point.



Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:25 am
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Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
ant wrote:
I love The Great Courses and have close to a hundred lectures covering various topics.
The series Biblical Wisdom Literature, by Joseph Koterski, S.J. Phd is excellent, particularly his discussion of Job and the suffering of the innocent.

Reading the bible superficially with preconceived notions and biases can be a terrible experience. No question about that.

Koterski's doctorate is in philosophy, which is what attracted me to the course. His philosophical expertise is a great compliment to his biblical analysis.


I like the story of Job.

Especially Job2;3 and he still holdeth fast his integrity, although thou didst move Me against him, to destroy him without cause.'

Here God admits to being a sinner and being moved by Satan to do harm without a just cause.

Regards
DL



Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:58 pm
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Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
Litwitlou wrote:
ant wrote:
I love The Great Courses and have close to a hundred lectures covering various topics.
The series Biblical Wisdom Literature, by Joseph Koterski, S.J. Phd is excellent, particularly his discussion of Job and the suffering of the innocent.

Reading the bible superficially with preconceived notions and biases can be a terrible experience. No question about that.


My preconceived notions were of a just and merciful God who loved people and watched over them. That's what I was taught by priests and nuns at school. Then I read the Bible. They lied to me.


All priests, preachers and imams are perpetual liars. The truth would destroy all those religions.

Regards
DL



Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:59 pm
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Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
Harry Marks wrote:
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
Jesus died a horrible and humiliating death at the hands of authority, and then love won after all. Once you have seen that, the gospels never read the same again.


Love won?

Perhaps, but moral action certainly lost when people are told to shed their responsibility for their own sins and let an innocent man suffer for them.

The message that Resurrection means love wins is pretty clear. Without any supernatural assertions at all, the simple fact that his disciples carried on his message of love and forgiveness, passing on the baton of merciful action to others through thousands of years, is an argument that love wins. And whether or not you believe in a bodily resurrection, the triumph of moral truth over violent power is the real message.

There is no volition involved in Jesus' sacrifice, or in God's love. We don't "let" Jesus suffer for us, he just did it. In a properly developed theology, we do not thereby skip away as one released from punishment because we have a whipping boy we can put it on. Rather, we perceive an action as one of ultimate commitment to love, and we are challenged to respond from the love within us.

As you may have gathered, I would not agree with a substitutiary penalty interpretation of the meaning of the cross. I never taught that to my children, and never taught it in many years of Sunday School. I have no doubt the church came to teach it that way - I have heard such things myself. But I think they got it wrong, and for the ugly reason of wanting to control "access" to this supposed transaction on our behalf.

Since, in my view, your real beef is with the religious leaders who teach it that way, I see no reason to criticize you for your objections. I just want to clarify, for those who might come to the conclusion that Christianity has to be that way, that there are alternatives out there and they are fully mainstream.


Let's look to see if this immoral substitutionary punishment is born of love.

If you were God, and wanted to show how love works, would it not be more loving to forgiver those you have condemned outright instead of asking for a blood sacrifice?

Further on love, if you decided a blood sacrifice was required, would you step up yourself or would you send your child to die?

Assuming you give the moral answer, I will agree here that the father should have stepped up himself.

Sons are to bury fathers, not fathers bury sons. That is the loving and moral thing to do and as a bonus, it follows natural law.

Regards
DL



Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:08 pm
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Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
Harry Marks wrote:
[
As observed in Kushner's "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" it is difficult to square an omnipotent God with an all-loving God. .


Actually, even as I am opposed to religions and their view of God, in this case I have no problem in squaring this. It is a long story that has yet to be refuted so9 I think it true. Pardon that this old O.P. was made to show the injustice of punishment from God.

---------

Can you help but do evil? I do not see how. Do you?
And if you cannot, why would God punish you?

Christians are always trying to absolve God of moral culpability in the fall by putting forward their free will argument and placing all the blame on mankind.
That usually sounds like ----God gave us free will and it was our free willed choices that caused our fall. Hence God is not blameworthy. Such statements simply avoid God's culpability as the author and creator of human nature.

Free will is only the ability to choose. It is not an explanation why anyone would want to choose "A" or "B" (bad or good action). An explanation for why Eve would even have the nature of "being vulnerable to being easily swayed by a serpent" and "desiring to eat a forbidden fruit" must lie in the nature God gave Eve in the first place. Hence God is culpable for deliberately making humans with a nature-inclined-to-fall, and "free will" means nothing as a response to this problem.

If all do evil/sin by nature then, the evil/sin nature is dominant. If not, we would have at least some who would not do evil/sin. Can we then help but do evil? I do not see how. Do you?

Having said the above for the God that I do not believe in, I am a Gnostic Christian naturalist, let me tell you that evil and sin is all human generated and in this sense, I agree with Christians, but for completely different reasons. Evil is mankind’s responsibility and not some imaginary God’s. Free will is something that can only be taken. Free will cannot be given not even by a God unless it has been forcibly withheld.

Much has been written to explain evil and sin but I see as a natural part of evolution.

Consider.
First, let us eliminate what some see as evil. Natural disasters. These are unthinking occurrences and are neither good nor evil. There is no intent to do evil even as victims are created. Without intent to do evil, no act should be called evil.
In secular courts, this is called mens rea. Latin for an evil mind or intent and without it, the court will not find someone guilty even if they know that they are the perpetrator of the act.

Evil then is only human to human when they know they are doing evil and intend harm.

As evolving creatures, all we ever do, and ever can do, is compete or cooperate.
Cooperation we would see as good as there are no victims created. Competition would be seen as evil as it creates a victim. We all are either cooperating, doing good, or competing, doing evil, at all times.

Without us doing some of both, we would likely go extinct.

This, to me, explains why there is evil in the world quite well.

Be you a believer in nature, evolution or God, you should see that what Christians see as something to blame, evil, we should see that what we have, competition, deserves a huge thanks for being available to us. Wherever it came from, God or nature, without evolution we would go extinct. We must do good and evil.

There is no conflict between nature and God on this issue. This is how things are and should be. We all must do what some will think is evil as we compete and create losers to this competition.

This link speak to theistic evolution.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-new ... 66/?no-ist

If theistic evolution is true, then the myth of Eden should be read as a myth and there is not really any original sin.

Doing evil then is actually forced on us by evolution and the need to survive. Our default position is to cooperate or to do good. I offer this clip as proof of this. You will note that we default to good as it is better for survival.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBW5vdhr_PA

Can you help but do evil? I do not see how. Do you?
And if you cannot, why would God punish you?

Regards
DL



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Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:16 pm
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Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
TEKennelly wrote:
"The Jefferson Bible" is poorly named. It should be "The Jefferson Gospel" as it is a condensation and amalgamation of the four Gospel without any miracles and limited theology. It is an interesting read. It is rather short. I have been making way through it slowly over past two months or so. The text is only the Bible, although Jefferson might add a word or phrase in a few places to connect the narrative - I am not certain on this point.


I think it will read like the Chrestian literature used to read before Christianity got their hands on it.

They showed a Jesus the Good and a God the Good where both were just humans and not supernatural. I have not been able to proven it but think the old Chrestians were the first Gnostic Christians.

This link shows the plagiarism.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=p ... At-PAkgqls

Regards
DL



Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:46 pm
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Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Harry Marks wrote:
Rather, we perceive an action as one of ultimate commitment to love, and we are challenged to respond from the love within us.

As you may have gathered, I would not agree with a substitutiary penalty interpretation of the meaning of the cross. I have no doubt the church came to teach it that way - I have heard such things myself. But I think they got it wrong, and for the ugly reason of wanting to control "access" to this supposed transaction on our behalf.


Let's look to see if this immoral substitutionary punishment is born of love.

If you were God, and wanted to show how love works, would it not be more loving to forgiver those you have condemned outright instead of asking for a blood sacrifice?
I don't think that to the original disciples, Jesus' sacrifice looked like God showing how love works. That is probably why atonement theory took time to develop, and probably it developed more out of prophetic description of the "suffering servant" than out of any vision of the atonement at the time. One of the most striking things about this issue is that there is very little about the atonement in the Gospels - the references in the Eucharist formula (e.g. "This is my body") and some redemption language are as close as I have seen.

So in what sense do I think it was a demonstration of love? We know (with some confidence, though not perfectly) two striking things about Jesus' death. The first is that he went looking for it. That is, at some point he came to Jerusalem and provoked the authorities on purpose, probably at the time of Passover. The second is that he went to some trouble to stage the confrontation as a peaceful Messiah, riding in on an ass, confronting religious authorities with teachings, announcing (throughout his ministry) that the Kingdom was attested by healings, comfortings and liberations.

Even if you are an ahistoricist, believing Jesus was all myth from the beginning and no such person actually lived, there is no getting around the fact that the gospel writers saw fit to portray Jesus with these elements present. So what message are they actually hearing? That the notion of a Messiah as military savior, along the lines of the Maccabees/Hasmoneans, was the wrong promise from God: that God in fact was promising a healer and a change leader in change that begins inside people. That is a dramatic theological message, and there is no doubt the disciples heard it that way.

Combine this with the plausible assertions that Jesus cared about people, led no battles or military exercises of any sort, was, in other words, tortured and killed innocently, and you have a character who chose faithfulness to his perceived mission of fulfilling a central promise of God over his own life. He gave his life, for what? To change people's thinking.

It is an unfortunate turn of events that the church came to preach a message of judgment and damnation, as if God believed that threatening people was a way to get them to behave. Maybe as imagery and a source of social cohesion it was appropriate to the times, but to me it looks like an Imperial power play. Because at heart the Christian message demands that hearts change, not that people obey. The promise that God will take away my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh requires the rejection of domination as a path. Including domination by God.

Now suppose that Love, in some form capable of planning, was designing a message. A big message, that would change people's hearts. It strikes me that a messenger, who freely chose the role of confronting authority for the purpose of losing, so that people would see that faithfulness to true values is more meaningful even than continuing to live, is not a bad way for that message to happen. In the middle of an age when "might makes right" was declaring Emperors to be divine and offering moral confusion on every side, Jesus accepted to be a messenger to demonstrate that nothing else matters like love matters.

And then, after he died, his disciples continued to experience his powerful presence. Love won. Not by killing or threatening or invoking death in any way, but by keeping on keeping on in the face of unspeakable violence.

Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Further on love, if you decided a blood sacrifice was required, would you step up yourself or would you send your child to die?
Well, for those who still think of God as an old guy in the sky, the Ancient of Days, who slipped into Mary's bedroom and "overshadowed" her, I guess this is a difficulty. But if God is Love, then the acceptance by Jesus to enact this love in a kind of historical pivot was a divine thing to do. The sequence matters: does God send a substitute, or is accepting a mission a Son's divine action? Incarnation is not a doctrine about the supernatural, it is a doctrine about the spiritual.

You might be interested to know that many theologians now hold that Trinity implies "God died" on the cross. It might be better to say, "God went through death." But either way, the
Trinity is not a doctrine about command and obedience but about different ways Love manifests.



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Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
Hi Harry

It is all bout how love manifests for me as well, and the greatest love a man should have is for his children and that is not what Yahweh is showing by not stepping up himself.

You have ignored that in you post.

"Jesus accepted to be a messenger to demonstrate that nothing else matters like love matters."

Have you read his word from the mount where he begs God to take that responsibility from him?

He accepted it, sure, but was not happy with it and said he was doing his fathers will and not his own.

That is clear from this quote that shows Jesus being chosen, not volunteering.

1Peter 1:20 0 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

Christians are to emulate their God and his ways, yet I have never had a Christian refute that if they were in Gods shoes, they would step up and not send their child to die to fill their own request for a blood sacrifice.

They never admit God did wrong, they just run from telling the truth.

Regards
DL



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Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Hi Harry

It is all bout how love manifests for me as well, and the greatest love a man should have is for his children and that is not what Yahweh is showing by not stepping up himself.

You have ignored that in you post.

Maybe I should be a bit more explicit. Spiritual Love per se was not in a position to risk death to demonstrate love. Jesus was. Trinitarian theology says that what Jesus did makes him divine. An incarnation of Love.

Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Have you read his word from the mount where he begs God to take that responsibility from him?

He accepted it, sure, but was not happy with it and said he was doing his fathers will and not his own.

That is clear from this quote that shows Jesus being chosen, not volunteering.
So you never second-guess your choices, or find volunteering to be burdensome? You imagine you would take a path with torture and death at the end without ever wishing you didn't need to?

Sure, Jesus thought of his path as "doing the will of the Father" and believed that God might somehow spare him the need to. I don't really accept that as a realistic analysis, but I find the emotion quite understandable.

We are all meant to live into being Beloved by God. But we also need to be realistic in recognizing that it will sometimes be painful and difficult.

Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Christians are to emulate their God and his ways, yet I have never had a Christian refute that if they were in Gods shoes, they would step up and not send their child to die to fill their own request for a blood sacrifice.

They never admit God did wrong, they just run from telling the truth.
Well, I don't agree that that is what was going on, but if I did, I would have no way of refuting your argument. I think penal substitutiary atonement requires seeing God as a monster, or as one friend of mine put it, a terrorist.



Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:54 pm
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Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
Harry Marks wrote:
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Hi Harry

It is all bout how love manifests for me as well, and the greatest love a man should have is for his children and that is not what Yahweh is showing by not stepping up himself.

You have ignored that in you post.

Maybe I should be a bit more explicit. Spiritual Love per se was not in a position to risk death to demonstrate love. Jesus was. Trinitarian theology says that what Jesus did makes him divine. An incarnation of Love.

Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Have you read his word from the mount where he begs God to take that responsibility from him?

He accepted it, sure, but was not happy with it and said he was doing his fathers will and not his own.

That is clear from this quote that shows Jesus being chosen, not volunteering.
So you never second-guess your choices, or find volunteering to be burdensome? You imagine you would take a path with torture and death at the end without ever wishing you didn't need to?

Sure, Jesus thought of his path as "doing the will of the Father" and believed that God might somehow spare him the need to. I don't really accept that as a realistic analysis, but I find the emotion quite understandable.

We are all meant to live into being Beloved by God. But we also need to be realistic in recognizing that it will sometimes be painful and difficult.

Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Christians are to emulate their God and his ways, yet I have never had a Christian refute that if they were in Gods shoes, they would step up and not send their child to die to fill their own request for a blood sacrifice.

They never admit God did wrong, they just run from telling the truth.
Well, I don't agree that that is what was going on, but if I did, I would have no way of refuting your argument. I think penal substitutiary atonement requires seeing God as a monster, or as one friend of mine put it, a terrorist.


I can agree with this view. I would add that God shows himself to be a corrupt judge who asks for and accepts bribes, which is an analogy for a sacrifice.

I assume here that as a judge, God would usually want to punish the guilty and would refuse to punish the innocent, without that sacrifice of bribe that is.

"We are all meant to live into being Beloved by God."

Yes, but not the genocidal son murderer that scriptures talk about.

That God can shove his corrupted love. Only a really corrupted sense of morality would create a hell. It is a good think that is a fantasy place just as Yahweh is a fantasy God.

Regards
DL



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Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
TEKennelly wrote:
"The Jefferson Bible" is poorly named. It should be "The Jefferson Gospel" as it is a condensation and amalgamation of the four Gospel without any miracles and limited theology. It is an interesting read. It is rather short. I have been making way through it slowly over past two months or so. The text is only the Bible, although Jefferson might add a word or phrase in a few places to connect the narrative - I am not certain on this point.


I think it will read like the Chrestian literature used to read before Christianity got their hands on it.

They showed a Jesus the Good and a God the Good where both were just humans and not supernatural. I have not been able to proven it but think the old Chrestians were the first Gnostic Christians.

This link shows the plagiarism.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=p ... At-PAkgqls

Regards
DL


The video makes a great deal out the possible corruption of one word. Obviously the Christos is used many times in the NT. I doubt its use is generally corrupt.
Gnosticism or gnostic tendencies seem to be in the Christian communities from nearly one. The Gospel of Thomas which might be as old as the four has a gnostic flavor.



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Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:36 pm
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Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
I can agree with this view. I would add that God shows himself to be a corrupt judge who asks for and accepts bribes, which is an analogy for a sacrifice.

I assume here that as a judge, God would usually want to punish the guilty and would refuse to punish the innocent, without that sacrifice of bribe that is.
Well, that's certainly an interesting view. Lots of old ideas about Yahweh were quite confused, though few were as unlovable as, say, Zeus.

When I feel disgusted by the whole idea of God as judge (which is fairly often) I try to remember my friend who personally knew many young people who were "disappeared" by the Argentine junta. Often they were raped or otherwise tortured before being killed. Some were not even leftists, just got caught up in the lust to get names from people being tortured. And he feels that the torturers deserve eternal pain.

I don't know. I am thankful not to be in the position of judge, but I find my friend's feelings quite understandable. So, knowing that the Bronze Age was filled with similar barbarity, (e.g. Shalmaneser I of Assyria boasted of blinding 14,400 enemies in one eye. He was considered merciful for bringing defeated enemies to Assyria as slaves rather than just killing them) I am willing to cut some slack for the storytellers. But that doesn't mean we have to believe them.

Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Only a really corrupted sense of morality would create a hell. It is a good think that is a fantasy place just as Yahweh is a fantasy God.

Yes, many human constructions about the divine are rather horrible. I happen to think that the "revelation" of covenant relation established by Yahweh was a pretty good notion, and that it was at least partly responsible for moving things in a good direction. But I don't expect everyone to consider it legitimate or healthy to try to separate out the bad stuff and keep the good stuff.



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Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
TEKennelly wrote:
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
TEKennelly wrote:
"The Jefferson Bible" is poorly named. It should be "The Jefferson Gospel" as it is a condensation and amalgamation of the four Gospel without any miracles and limited theology. It is an interesting read. It is rather short. I have been making way through it slowly over past two months or so. The text is only the Bible, although Jefferson might add a word or phrase in a few places to connect the narrative - I am not certain on this point.


I think it will read like the Chrestian literature used to read before Christianity got their hands on it.

They showed a Jesus the Good and a God the Good where both were just humans and not supernatural. I have not been able to proven it but think the old Chrestians were the first Gnostic Christians.

This link shows the plagiarism.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=p ... At-PAkgqls

Regards
DL


The video makes a great deal out the possible corruption of one word. Obviously the Christos is used many times in the NT. I doubt its use is generally corrupt.
Gnosticism or gnostic tendencies seem to be in the Christian communities from nearly one. The Gospel of Thomas which might be as old as the four has a gnostic flavor.


Indeed.

As to Christ, I see the use as always corrupt. The thing is, in Jewry, the anointing with oil is what conferred the person to Christ designation.

Jesus never had that done to him and thus he never gained the Christ designation.

Regards
DL



Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:53 am
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Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
Harry Marks wrote:
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
I can agree with this view. I would add that God shows himself to be a corrupt judge who asks for and accepts bribes, which is an analogy for a sacrifice.

I assume here that as a judge, God would usually want to punish the guilty and would refuse to punish the innocent, without that sacrifice of bribe that is.
Well, that's certainly an interesting view. Lots of old ideas about Yahweh were quite confused, though few were as unlovable as, say, Zeus.

When I feel disgusted by the whole idea of God as judge (which is fairly often) I try to remember my friend who personally knew many young people who were "disappeared" by the Argentine junta. Often they were raped or otherwise tortured before being killed. Some were not even leftists, just got caught up in the lust to get names from people being tortured. And he feels that the torturers deserve eternal pain.

I don't know. I am thankful not to be in the position of judge, but I find my friend's feelings quite understandable. So, knowing that the Bronze Age was filled with similar barbarity, (e.g. Shalmaneser I of Assyria boasted of blinding 14,400 enemies in one eye. He was considered merciful for bringing defeated enemies to Assyria as slaves rather than just killing them) I am willing to cut some slack for the storytellers. But that doesn't mean we have to believe them.

Gnostic Bishop wrote:
Only a really corrupted sense of morality would create a hell. It is a good think that is a fantasy place just as Yahweh is a fantasy God.

Yes, many human constructions about the divine are rather horrible. I happen to think that the "revelation" of covenant relation established by Yahweh was a pretty good notion, and that it was at least partly responsible for moving things in a good direction. But I don't expect everyone to consider it legitimate or healthy to try to separate out the bad stuff and keep the good stuff.


If one does not, then one can never decide if the ideology is good or evil.

As to Yahweh's covenant, he is guilty of breaking it, if you follow the reasoning of this Jewish work.

I do.

https://vimeo.com/7038401

Regards
DL



Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:58 am
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Post Re: Have you read the whole Bible?
Gnostic Bishop wrote:
one does not


Just taking this quote out of context to illustrate that even in context it lacks enough supporting words to make any sense. I assume it means "if one does not consider it legitimate or healthy to try to separate out the bad stuff and keep the good stuff", but all the extra quoted text makes it confusing.


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