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The NT was written in the 2nd century 
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Post Re: The NT was written in the 2nd century
Quote:
Tat
Now after having peaked out, it's going the way of the Dodo...

Well, just like many of the older religions Christianity has outlived its usefulness. With the information age at hand and people able to check on the claims of their religions themselves the more dishonest religions such as Christianity will be the first to go.

Later


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Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:02 pm
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Post Re: The NT was written in the 2nd century
tat tvam asi wrote:
Now after having peaked out, it's going the way of the Dodo...


I guess you missed the article I posted about the projected growth of Christianity in China.

Never mind.

Who owns the copyright for the videos on this discussion?


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Post Re: The NT was written in the 2nd century
tat tvam asi wrote:
Now after having peaked out, it's going the way of the Dodo...

Tat, I disagree that Christianity is destined for extinction. Rather, I expect it will shift from a supernatural to a naturalistic basis, reflecting the sort of information that is coming to light about Christian origins that we are discussing here.

The power of the myth that Christ links humanity to an ultimate reality has an enduring hold. If this myth can be rebased from fantasy to fact it can enable a new reformation. As you and I have discussed, the cosmic subtext in the New Testament has potential to provide a naturalistic basis for the magical narrative. But accepting that the traditional dogma of a historical literal Christ is a hindrance rather than a help to genuine understanding is admittedly a big change.

Hopefully we can convert Stahrwe... :)



Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:07 am
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Post Re: The NT was written in the 2nd century
As the Christian mythos is re-based from fantasy to fact, it would seem that less and less people will bother with it in my opinion Robert. We both know that aside from the two of us - and perhaps a few others who aren't as involved - there isn't hardly anyone else who even understands what the facts in question about Christianity actually are. Once stripped down we're looking at a mythology built up on the foundation of previous mythologies and making use of the second function (cosmological) by describing the passage of "time" via astronomical observation. The myth puts emphasis on the age of Pisces as the first age of the Great Year cycle and associates this age with the first part of "salvation" for the earth - it's a two part series consisting of the first and second coming of the sun into the first and second ages of the new Great Year cycle. The myth goes on to allude to the next age to come which is the age of Aquarius (Luke 22:10 etc.). Both the first and second ages of the new Great Year cycle represent astronomical observation and pertain to the earth wobbling on it's axis and how observation of the heavens reveals that fact about the earth's movement.

The religious / mystical part comes in with the superstition aspect which is associated with these empirical observations. The drama of Revelation points squarely to the end of the current age when the Aquarius-Leo axis begins ("...to the very end of the age") to dominate the equinoxes. That's when the constellations reach their maximum on the meridian and then reverse course beginning the long journey back the other way towards their minimum on the meridian towards the Egyptian "Zep Tepi" during the Greek Golden age and the Vedic Satya Yuga. So the age of Pisces complete's the reversal of the zodiac, the first coming, and the age of Aquarius complete's the constellations reaching their maximum on the meridian, the second coming. No doubt this material has passed down from Gnostic mystics likely schooled in the Alexandrian mysteries. And there was an Alexandria - Antioch connection to be noted along these lines. The philosophy of the mystics, as you outline so often, was "as above so below". So when the earth's wobbling axis causes the stars to reverse direction above in the sky (heavens) they assumed that there would also be a radical reversal of direction down below on the earth, down here in society. And because we are in the darkest ages (1/3 Taurus, Aries, Pisces, and Aquarius) of the Great Year cycle this meant that the reversal would put an end to the forces of darkness and put light in the lead again. And even that has an empirical parallel with the solar insolation cycle as you so brilliantly discovered recently ( post83129.html#p83129 ), because during precession the northern hemisphere does actually go through a phase of increasing and decreasing solar light at the summer solstice due to the earth wobbling on it's axis. Just to recap for the sake of other readers, the ancient Great Year models actually do closely follow that as well in terms their dark ages corresponding to the lower solar light levels in the northern hemisphere. I guess they realized in some way that the wobbling axis meant that earth is facing closer to and further from the sun during the Great Year. And the sun and everything else in the material was believed to stem from inner spiritual mystery causes. The whole cosmology, to the ancient mystics, was an expression of inner spiritual causes and Manly P. Hall's astrotheology series that I provided describes these ancient beliefs in graphic detail. So to go and say that the ancient mystics were correct and that society rises and falls based on the solar light levels in the northern hemisphere ventures into the ancient superstition of these Gnostic types. To them, spiritual inner causes via the solar light were responsible for these changes in society and the whole thing is very much grounded in ancient superstition based on empirical observation. To try and rally people around a transformation of Christianity from the literalism of the text to the inner content of the astrotheological allegories is simply to toss one form of superstition in favor of another. And that's what people will be facing as this all comes out and becomes more widely known to future generations.

That's why we at the FTN do not present astrotheological studies on these ancient people as a call for modern religious transformation or suggest that Christians and others should get back to worshipping like their ancestors and put the astrotheology out in the open at church or anything like that. The idea is more along the lines of just looking at the myths as examples of human achievement during our evolution. Man observed the natural environment and revered many of his findings as divine and sacred and created elaborate personified myths and mathematical cosmologies around it all. They were able to deduce things like predicting the seasons and the precession of the equinoxes and it looks like the solar insolation cycle cause by the wobble. Most of us taking the MP feel that this is further reason not to continue going to church and not to label oneself as a "Christian" or anything else for that matter. I wish you luck on your Christian reformation efforts Robert because I understand the langauge you're speaking in and I know that there are certain empirical truths lurking in the astrotheological symbolism used in the Christian mythos. But it all leads to the Gnostic's and their brand of astrotheological superstition eventually becoming literalized into an offshoot brand of further superstition which became the orthodox reading and now controls the minds of people like Stahrwe here, for example. So I can't very well stand here and suggest that Christianity be reformed back to it's Gnostic astrotheological roots, or the Greek, Vedic, and Egyptian roots before that even. I rather think that the religious practice will eventually die down into insignificance and become the subject matter of historians, not weekly devotees.

Robert Tulip wrote:
Hopefully we can convert Stahrwe...

That's a good one Robert. :lol:

But of course the last thing either of us need is for Stahrwe to speak in SUPPORT of anything we have to say. That would be the death of us both...


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Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:20 am
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Post Re: The NT was written in the 2nd century
tat tvam asi wrote:
As the Christian mythos is rebased from fantasy to fact, it would seem that less and less people will bother with it in my opinion Robert. We both know that aside from the two of us - perhaps a few others who aren't as involved - there isn't hardly anyone else who even understands what the facts actually are. Once stripped down we're looking at a mythology, built up on the foundation of previous mythologies,


you and Robert believe you have 'special knowledge' but your insights are the stale air of Gnosticism from 2,000 years ago. There is nothing new in your system. It did try to make inroads into the early church but it was not based on the teachings of Jesus or the letters of Paul. It was all from external influences and people like Marcion who rejected the revelation of God to that point. You think Paul was really Marcion or maybe Marcion just wrote Paul's epistles. He did not, he did what you accuse to some unidentified person or group of doing; Marcion rewrote Paul's epistles to take out the Jewish elements which he rejected.

A History of the Expansion of Christianity, Volume 1, The First Five Centuries, Latourette, Kenneth Scott, Zondervan, 1970, pp. 344-45.

As for the premise that Christianity was based on previous mythologies whether it be Osiris, Horus, or the pantheon of the Greeks, or Mithra;

Quote:
"It is possible that Mithraism sought to make of the Iranian hero a parallel to the life of Jesus and was indebted to the Gospels a communion meal and an ascension."

A History of the Expansion of Christianity, Volume 1, The First Five Centuries, Latourette, Kenneth Scott, Zondervan, 1970, pp. 247, from the source

Clemen; Der Einfluss des Christentums auf andere Religionen, p.22.

No Resurrection for Osiris

Quote:
Bruce Metzger
HISTORICAL AND LITERARY STUDIES
PAGAN, JEWISH, AND CHRISTIAN
Grand Rapids 3, Michigan
Wm. B. Eerdmans
1968
http://www.frontline-apologetics.com/re ... anity.html
Pg. 18

(E) The motif of a dying and rising savior-god has been frequently supposed to be related to the account of the saving efficacy of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The formal resemblance between the two, however, must not be allowed to obscure the great differences in content.

(1) In all the Mysteries which tell of a dying deity, the god dies by compulsion and not by choice, sometimes in bitterness and despair, never in a self-giving love. But according to the New Testament, God’s purpose of redeeming-love was the free divine motive for the death of Jesus, who accepted with equal freedom that motive as his own.

(2) Christianity is sui generis in its triumphant note affirming that even on the Cross Jesus exercised his kingly rule (Dominus regnat ex ligno). Contrary to this exultant mood (which has been called the gaudium crucis), the pagan devotees mourn and lament in sympathy with a god who has unfortunately suffered something imposed on him. As Nock points out, "In the Christian commemoration the only element of mourning is the thought that men have betrayed and murdered Jesus. His death is itself triumph."1

(3) In all strata of Christian testimony concerning the resurrection of Jesus Christ, "everything is made to turn upon a dated experience of a historical Person,"2 whereas nothing in the Mysteries points to any attempt to undergird belief with historical evidence of the god’s resurrection. The formulation of belief in Christ’s resurrection on the third day was fixed prior to Paul’s conversion (c. A.D. 33-36), as the choice of technical phraseology in I Cor. 15.3 indicates,3 and
-------------------------------------
[Footnotes, pg. 18]
[Notes actually continue from pg. 17]
chi, "The Present Status of Mand~nan Studies," Journal of Near Eastern Studies, xxv (1966), 88-96.
1. A. D. Nock, "A Note on the Resurrection," in Essays on the Trinity and the Incarnation, ed. A. E. J. Rawlinson (London, 1928), p. 48; reprinted in Nock’s Early Gentile Christianity and its Hellenistic Background (New York, 1964), p. 106.

2. The phrase is Nock’s, ibid., p. 49. See also George C. Ring. S.J., "Christ’s Resurrection and the Dying and Rising Gods," Catholic Biblical Quarterly, vi (1944), 216-229, and G. Bertram, "Auferstehung (des Kultgottes)," Reallexihon fur Antike und Christentum, (Stuttgart, 1950), 919-930.

3. Of no little significance is Paul’s choice of the pair of verbs with which he begins this account of the institution of the Lord’s Supper, parelabon and paredoka. These correspond exactly to _ _ _ [Web-Editor’s note: I’m unsure of the transliteration of this Hebrew word] and _ _ _ [Web-Editor’s note: same], termini technici with which Pirke Aboth, the heart of the Mishnah, opens ("Moses received the Torah from Sinai and delivered it to Joshua, and Joshua to the Elders, and the Elders to the Prophets," etc.). Among other monographs dealing with Paul’s tanna-like role in receiving and delivering tradition concerning Jesus, see G. Kittel, Die Probleme des palastinischen spatjudentums und das Ur-

________________________________________
Pg. 19
was proclaimed openly as part of the general apostolic kerygma from the very earliest days of the Church, as the evidence in all strata of Acts makes abundantly clear.1 Moreover, the proclamation of the Resurrection by the members of the Christian community at Jerusalem was not merely a means of confusing their opponents; it was the presupposition of their own communal life.

What shall be said of parallels to the tradition that the Resurrection of Christ took place "on the third day?" The devotees of Attis commemorated his death on March 22, the Day of Blood, and his coming to life four days later, March 25, the Feast of Joy or Hilaria. According to one account of the Egyptian cult, the death of Osiris took place on the 17th of Athyr (a month corresponding to the period from October 28 to November 26), the finding and reanimation of his body in the night of the 19th.2 When Adonis rose is not certain, but the reconstruction of a papyrus text has been thought to make the third day probable.3
-------------------------------------
[Footnotes, pg. 19]

christentum (Stuttgart, 1926), pp. 26f.; Adolf Schlatter, Paulus der Bote Jesu (Stuttgart, 1934), p. 320; W. D. Davies, Paul and Rabbinic Judaism (London, 1948; 2nd ed., 1955), pp.
248f.; B. Gerhardsson, Memory and Manuscript, Oral Tradition and Written Transmission in Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity (Uppsala, 1961; 2nd ed., 1964), pp. 288-323; and J. Jeremias, The Esicharistic Words of Jesus, trans. by Norman Perrin (New York, 1966), pp. 101f.

The fact that occasionally either paradidonai and tradere or paralambanein, accipere, and percipere, were used with reference to the Mysteries (for examples see Lobeck, Op. cit., 1, 39, note: Anrich, op. cit., p. 54, notes 4 and 5; Dieterich, Eine Mithrasliturgie, pp. 53f.) cannot be supposed to throw significant light upon Paul’s usage in I Cor. 11.23 (pace Eduard Norden, Agnostos Theos [Berlin, 1953], pp. 288f.) in view of the facts that (1) no pagan example has been found which employs both verbs side by side, and (2) as a rabbi trained at Jerusalem, Paul would not only have known verbatim the phraseology embedded in Aboth, but would have frequently l~eard the pair of verbs used in the course of rabbinical debate.

1. See C. H. Dodd, The Apostolic Preaching and Its Developments (London, 1936), and A. M. Hunter, Paul and his Predecessors, rev. ed. (London, 1961).

2. On the diversity and reticence of the several accounts of the Osiris legends, see Georges Nagel, "The ‘Mysteries’ of Osiris in Ancient Egypt," The Mysteries, Papers from the Eranos Yearbooks, ed. by Joseph Campbell (New York, 1955): "The various episodes of the legend are not attested in the same way and with the same frequency. The texts often speak of the battles of Horus and Seth for the heritage of Osiris, and often they mention the laments of Isis over her husband’s death. But with regard to the actual death and resurrection of Osiris they are always quite reticent and usually give us no more than brief allusions" (p. 123).

3. Gustave Clots, "Les fetes d’Adonis sous Ptoleme II," Revue des etudes grecques, xxxiii (1920), 169-222, especially 213. For a convincing demolition of Glotz’s reconstruction and interpretation, see pp. 230f. of Lambrechts’ study mentioned in note 2 on p. 21 below.

________________________________________
Pg. 20
In evaluating such parallels, the first thing that the historian must do is to sift the evidence. In the case of Attis, the evidence for the commemoration of the Hilaria dates from the latter part of the second Christian century.1 There are, in fact, no literary or epigraphical texts prior to the time of Antonius Pius (A.D. 138-161) which refer to Attis as the divine consort of Cybele,2 much less any that speak of his resurrection.3 With good grounds, therefore, it has been argued that the festival of the Hilaria was not introduced into the cultus of Cybele until the latter part of the second Christian century or even later.4

In the case of Osiris, after his consort Isis had sought and reassembled thirteen of the fourteen pieces into which his body had been dismembered by his wicked brother Typhon (otherwise known as Set), through the help of magic5 she was enabled to reanimate his corpse. Thereafter Osiris became "Lord of the Underworld and Ruler of the Dead," in which role he presides at the bar of judgment and assigns to the souls of the departed their proper reward for virtue
-------------------------------------
[Footnotes, pg. 20]
1. Cf. Duncan Fishwick, "The Cannophori and the March Festival of Magna Mater," Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, xcvii (1966), 193-202.

2. Certainly Catullus’ poem, Attis, provides no hint of any such depiction of Attis, even though one may not agree with Elder’s view that the poet intended to confine his attention to the psychological revulsion felt by "an ordinary man who by emasculation became a priest of Cybele" (John P. Elder, "Catallus’ Attis," American Journal of Philology, Lxviii [1947], 395).

3. Pierre Lambrechts, Attis, van herdersknaap tot God (Verhandelingen van de koninklijke Vlaamse Academic voor wetenschappen, letteren en schone kunsten van Belgie, KI. der Letteren, No. 46; Brussels, 1962), pp. 8 and 26ff.; cf. G. Wagner, op. cit. (see above p. 3, note 2), pp. 228-235 (Eng. trans., pp. 217-229). For the ambiguous and extremely limited iconographic representations of the periodic resurrection of Attis, see M. J. Vermaseren, The Legend of Attis in Greek and Roman Art (Leiden, 1966), p. 40.

4. Pierre Lambrechts, "Les fetes ‘phrygiennes’ de Cybele et d’Attis," Bulletin de l’Institut historique belge de Rome, xxvii (1952), 141-170, and "Attis a Rome," Melanges Georges Smets (Brussels, 1952), pp. 461-471. On the reform of the cult of Magna Mater under Antoninus Pius, see Jean Beaujeu, La Religion romaine a l’apogee de l’Empire; I, La Politique religieuse des Antonins (96-192) (Paris, 155), pp. 312ff., who supports his arguments with numismatic evidence. Cf. also Th. Koves, "Zum Empfang der Magna Mater in Rom," Historia, XII (1963), 321-347, who draws attention to the supplanting of the old "Roman" rites celebrated in April (the Megalesia) under the Republic by the Phrygian rites celebrated in March.

5. Johanoes Leipoldt appropriately calls attention to the feature of magical incantations as a significant difference between pagan and Christian account of the resurrection of the cult-god (" Zu den Auferstehungs-Geschichten," Theologisches Literaturzeitung, LXXIII [1948], col. 738 (= Von den Mysterien zur Kirche. Gesammelte Aufsatze (Leipzig, 1961]. pp. 200f.).

________________________________________
Pg. 21
or punishment for wrongdoing. Whether this can be rightly called a resurrection is questionable, especially since, according to Plutarch,1 it was the pious desire of devotees to be buried in the same ground where, according to local tradition, the body of Osiris was still lying.

In the case of Adonis, there is no trace of a resurrection in pictorial representations or in any texts prior to the beginning of the Christian era.2 In fact, the only four witnesses that refer to the resurrection of Adonis date from the second to the fourth century (Lucian,3 Origen,4 Jerome5 (who depends upon Origen), and Cyril of Alexandria6) and none of these mentions the triduum.

The attempt to link the Adonis and Attis cults to the worship of Tammuz and his alleged resurrection7 rests, as Kramer put it, on "nothing but inference and surmise, guess and conjecture."8 Still more remote from the rise of Christianity is the Sumerian epic involving Ianna’s descent to the Nether World.9
-------------------------------------
[Footnotes, pg. 21]
1. Plutarch, de Iside et Osiride, 359B (20). No fewer than twenty-three locations, identified by classical authors and Greek inscriptions, claimed to be the place where Osiris’s body lay; for a list, see Theodor Hopfner, Plutarch uber Isis und Osiris; I. Teil, Die Sage (Monographien des Archiv Orientalni, IX; Prague, 1940), pp. 160f. The cult of Osiris, in fact, involved not so much a genuine "mystery" initiation, open to devotees, as a funerary service for the departed; see Georges Nagel, "Les ‘mysteres’ d’Osiris dans l’ancienne Egypte," Eranos-Jahrbuch 1944 (Band XI), Die Mysterien (Zurich, 1945), pp. 164ff.; Eng. trans., "The ‘Mysteries’ of Osiris in Ancient Egypt," The Mysteries, Papers from the Eranos Yearbooks, ed. by Joseph Campbell (Bolingelingen Series, xxx. 2; New York, 1955), pp. 132ff.; for the distinction cf. also Gustave Jequier, "Drames, mysteres, rituels dans l’ancienne Egypte," Melanges offerts a M. Niedermann ... (Neuchatel, 1944), pp. 37ff. On the question of the so-called parallels between the cult of Osiris and Christianity, see G. Bertram, "Auferstehung (des Kultgottes)," Reallexikon fur Antike und Christentum, I (1950), cols. 921f., and the quotation from Brandon, p. II above, note I.

2. See. e.g., P. Lambrechts’ survey of the evidence in his "La ‘resurrection’ d’Adonis," Melanges Isidore Levy (Annuaire de l’Institut de philologie et d’histoire orientales et slaves, xxiii [1953]; Brussels, 1955). pp. 207-240.

3. De dea Syria, vi.

4. Selecta in Ezek. (Migne, PG. xiii. 797).

5. In Ezek., viii. 3 (Migne, PL. xxv. 82).

6. In Isaiam, ii. 3 (Migne. PG, LXX. 440f.).

7. E.g., Wilfred H. Schoff, "Tammuz, Pan, and Christ," The Open Court, xxvi (1912), 513-532.

8. S. N. Kramer, ed., Mythologies of the Ancient World, p. 10. Cf. G. Wagner, op. cit. pp. 149-167 (Eng. tr., pp. 136ff.), and E. M. Yamauchi, "Tammuz and the Bible," Journal of Biblical Literature, LXXXXV (1965), 283-290, and idem, "Descent of Ishtar," The Biblical World, a Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology, ed. by Charics F. Pfeiffer (Grand Rapids. 1966), p. 200.

9. Contrary to W. F. Albright’s statement that in the Sumerian original of the epic of Inanna’s Descent to the Nether World the goddess "is explicitly


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Post Re: The NT was written in the 2nd century
Penelope wrote:
Quote:
Stahrwe:

It is an attempt to bait me to a new discussion. Usually it is successful but sometimes I'll choose to ignore them liked the multiple examples of such posts which recently appeared.


It is an attempt to bait you, I agree.

Quote:
Frank:

Let’s just hope the churches do not get too stupid before they die entirely.


But they will die proclaiming the name of 'their' Jesus - of course they will - I have heard it from the pulpit even here in Atheist England.

You are fulfilling the scripture for them! Tat, you must know this. How I wish we could prove it wrong.

Trust me Penelope, your wish is coming true day by day. They have taken these astrotheological allegories about the world moving through the darkest "ages" of the Great Year and tried to make literalistic prophecy out of it all. And I do know about their so-called prophecy. I was raised believing that in the last days the secular world would come down hard on Christianity. There would be a time of trouble so to speak. And so yes, many Christians browsing this forum and watching Stahrwe take a rogering every which way from the rest of us would appear to be fulfillment of prophecy.

But that's not what the prophecy is actually about to begin with. That's the catch. And they have read Revelation to conclude that this is the last generation of the world, via plugging in the restoration of Israel and all of the other nonsense as the end times count down... They've boxed themselves in by doing so. And so when a literal second coming of a literal Jesus Christ never happens - no 1,000 years of peace, and certainly no Great City coming down from the sky - they're just shit out of luck. Most people in the US have already let go of those ridiculous literalistic readings and that's where the 40 percent minority poll comes in. It should steadily decrease every year from here on out in my opinion. There'll be more and more you, Lady's, and Robert Tulips according to my predictions - that is, more converts to Buddhism and various eastern philosophy, more agnostic atheists sprouting from religion, and more liberal Christians that don't take any of it very literally at all. And so less and less people expecting to see any literal four horseman coming from the sky, or literal angels blowing trumpets, or literal Dragon, Beast, and False Prophet causing havoc, or literal lake of burning sulfur where deception and the grave are thrown, or literal city of jewels and gold coming down from the sky, or literal Jesus Christ coming down from heaven for that matter...

You get the picture. :wink:


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Post Re: The NT was written in the 2nd century
Quote:
tat wrote:

You get the picture.


Thank you tat. Yes, I get the picture.

Rather unpleasant on this thread, so I've saved the links you provide and will continue to watch the videos in peace.


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Post Re: The NT was written in the 2nd century
Once again, I'm sorry that things have been too unpleasant for your tastes. Of course another way of proving their prophecy wrong - and I think you meant this way rather what I've stated above - is to not persecute their unfounded beliefs at all. Leave them alone entirely with their beliefs without giving them any grief at all about them. Let the belief's themselves fade away as people realize that it just isn't true. None of it is happening. Instead of being persecuted by the secular world as they expect, they would have the very opposite happening - no persecution at all. Prophecy failed!

I've considered that approach as well. But either way, they're running out of rope. It's sad but not too sad. These people who are running out of prophetic interpretation rope are merely experiencing that what goes around comes around. Making absolute claims of truth and putting down everyone elses religious or non-religious views as inferior has come full circle. That wasn't very nice or kind or loving to begin with. There's Karma to contend with in this scenario. The Christians have produced a series of actions of which this response you're seeing here on this thread is the reaction. Universal law is at play. And there's no rule that states that it must be pleasant. It's a rather unpleasant re-action to a rather unpleasant action as it were. And the force of the unpleasant re-action may turn out to be more than those carrying along the initial unpleasant action can manage to bare...


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Post Re: The NT was written in the 2nd century
Penelope wrote:
Quote:
tat wrote:

You get the picture.


Thank you tat. Yes, I get the picture.

Rather unpleasant on this thread, so I've saved the links you provide and will continue to watch the videos in peace.


Please don't believe everything you see on the videos or on the links. I sugges that you check out the thread: OH SIGH RUS: OR Jesus Really Lived, An End to Astrotheology, Gnosticism, and when the NT was written under the belief forum. The gang is doing their best at the moment to keep the recent post scroll clear of anything not in line with their agenda by spamming the creation series but they can't keep it up forever. Read through the OH SIGH RUS post, it covers all the topics from the date of the NT, to Osiris, Mithra, Astrotheology, and many more. I beleive you have an open mind so at least take a look.

thanks.


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Post Re: The NT was written in the 2nd century
A proselytizing he'll go,
A proselytizing he'll go,
High ho a merry oh,
A proselytizing he'll go...


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Post Re: The NT was written in the 2nd century
tat tvam asi wrote:
As the Christian mythos is re-based from fantasy to fact, it would seem that less and less people will bother with it in my opinion Robert.
Thanks tat for providing this detailed response. As with some of our previous discussions, it is breaking new ground, opening perspectives on how we really see the nature of religion. Considering this material further, I recently posted some comments on natural religion which explore why I think that religion is a necessary part of human life as a way to explain our relation to our situation, understood in a comprehensive way.

Science as it now stands lacks this human dimension, because the question of how we relate to the universe is so complex and various that it resists systematic explanation in scientific terms. However, this question of relatedness is precisely the theoretical problem that Christology addresses, in its argument for a unity of the whole and the part, of eternity and suffering, in the person of Christ. As pure concept, this Christological unity has a logical coherence, but as it sank into popular narrative the coherence was lost in what the Gnostics called the error of oblivion.
Quote:
We both know that aside from the two of us - and perhaps a few others who aren't as involved - there isn't hardly anyone else who even understands what the facts actually are.
This is a major point which many will regard as arrogant. Our discussions here build on extensive conversations at the Free Thought Nation forum that others will not have seen. The ‘actual facts’ that you are talking about are the observations that the astronomical structure of terrestrial time finds clear reflection in mythology. This is a claim that scholars such as Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung and others have investigated in depth, but what our discussions have added is an empirical astronomical analysis that provides an accurate lens to decode the Bible. That is a big claim, and one that is subject to scoffing and mockery by people who haven’t examined it, but I remain convinced that our discussions have opened an entirely new and entirely scientific way to read the Bible as a valuable document based on a systematic natural understanding of reality.
Quote:
Once stripped down we're looking at a mythology built up on the foundation of previous mythologies and making use of the second function (cosmological) by describing the passage of "time" via astronomical observation.
Placing “time” in inverted commas implies that the astronomical observations we are discussing are somehow a mental construct, that they are not simply descriptive of empirical reality. I prefer to argue that astronomy is a real window on time, that what we see in the emergence of the universe, and more particularly the evolution of the earth, is the actual reality of time, and there is no other meaning of time that makes sense.
Quote:
The myth puts emphasis on the age of Pisces as the first age of the Great Year cycle and associates this age with the first part of "salvation" for the earth - it's a two part series consisting of the first and second coming of the sun into the first and second ages of the new Great Year cycle.
Describing the Ages as myth is perfectly reasonable in the sense that the symbolism, such as the loaves and fishes and the theme of belief, are human constructs that are not simply descriptive. However, this raises the slippery problem of the meaning of myth. Rather than the popular equation of myth and fantasy, there is a deeper meaning, through Joseph Campbell, Jung and also Rollo May, that myths are the stories that give meaning to our lives. So, in this sense, in so far as scientific knowledge gives meaning to our lives today, it forms a contemporary myth. That is not at all to diminish science, but rather to analyse its cosmological function.
Quote:
The myth goes on to allude to the next age to come which is the age of Aquarius (Luke 22:10 etc.).
Calling the Age of Aquarius a myth can easily be read as implying that it lacks empirical content. However, we can and should strip away all of the symbolic speculation about the meaning of the Ages to understand that they are simple observable divisions of terrestrial time, periods of roughly 2000 years when the sun reaches the equinox in front of a particular group of stars. This is caused by the wobble of the earth, an astronomical structure that has been stable since the solar system stabilised four billion years ago. The whole of life on earth has evolved within these Ages as a main cosmological constant factor. They were well known and understood in the ancient world, within the limits of their astronomical knowledge, and it is hardly surprising that this temporal structure of precession of the equinox provided an enframing narrative for religious myth. The task in analysing the myth is to strip away the speculation and work out just what is the empirical content.
Quote:
Both the first and second ages of the new Great Year cycle represent astronomical observation and pertain to the earth wobbling on its axis and how observation of the heavens reveals that fact about the earth's movement.
So, when the Bible talks about heaven, as for example when Jesus looks to heaven before multiplying the loaves and fishes, it is not primarily an imaginary location for an afterlife, but the actual stars observed in the night sky. This cosmic vision is hard to explain to people who refuse to lift their eyes, but formed a comprehensive context for ancient myth. As we discussed regarding the bear-lion with leopard spots in Revelation 13, the elegance and simplicity of the argument that this is coded information about precession is compelling, but the emotional nature of the topic makes people refuse to think about it.
Quote:

The religious / mystical part comes in with the superstition aspect which is associated with these empirical observations. The drama of Revelation points squarely to the end of the current age when the Aquarius-Leo axis begins ("...to the very end of the age") to dominate the equinoxes.
’Superstition’ is a loaded word. The Biblical discussion uses concealed allegorical symbols, but these are mainly more a way of talking about reality than an imaginary fantasy. Nobody knows the future, and of course we do not have any empirical basis to link the Ages to the astrological claims about zodiac interpretation. An example of this ‘superstition’ that is embedded in the New Testament is the pervasive description, especially in John, of the Christian Age as an Age of Belief, and the implicit argument that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ marks the Age of Aquarius as an Age of Knowledge. Belief and knowledge are respectively the themes associated by astrology with the signs of Pisces and Aquarius. While I agree we need to be very circumspect in speculating about any scientific basis for this association, the fact remains that this astrological correspondence matches directly to an underlying cosmic theme in Biblical eschatology, and it is perfectly reasonable to investigate how far this association informed the writers of the Bible.

By the way, here is the dream stela that sits between the paws of the Sphinx at Giza.
Image It shows how the Leo-Aquarius axis was central to Egyptian cosmology. (further info)
Quote:
That's when the constellations reach their maximum on the meridian and then reverse course beginning the long journey back the other way towards their minimum on the meridian towards the Egyptian "Zep Tepi" during the Greek Golden age and the Vedic Satya Yuga. So the age of Pisces completes the reversal of the zodiac, the first coming, and the age of Aquarius completes the constellations reaching their maximum on the meridian, the second coming.
This is true for Orion, but actually this rise and fall happens at different times for all stars. For example, Canopus, the second brightest star in the sky, and the Osirian symbol of the underworld, reached its most northerly point in about 500 AD and has since been moving south. Canopus was the south pole star around Zep Tepi 14,000 years ago, and will be the pole star again in another 12,000 years or so. Orion’s Belt does not reach its most northerly point until 2310 AD, a movement entirely due to precessional wobble. The suggestion of an empirical match between Zep Tepi, the Golden Age, the Satya Yuga and the end of the ice age at the dawn of the Holocene Period is a potentially very fruitful line of enquiry. This amazing pictorial of the evolution of humanity by Stephen Oppenheimer indicates how the 21,000 year precession-perihelion cycle causes the advance and retreat of global glaciations.
Quote:
No doubt this material has passed down from Gnostic mystics likely schooled in the Alexandrian mysteries. And there was an Alexandria - Antioch connection to be noted along these lines.
It surely goes back to India, Egypt and Babylon in the mists of time. The Christian epoch has blinded itself to how deeply the ancients linked stars and myth. The Gnostics most certainly understood precession. One example I saw recently was a quote attributed to Jesus Christ in the Gnostic Apocryphon of James: “your life is a single day”. This is a clear precessional reference, because if we understand the Great Year as one year, one day is 71.6 years.
Quote:
The philosophy of the mystics, as you outline so often, was "as above so below".
Sir Isaac Newton being a prime case. See Newton’s translation of the Emerald Tablets of Thoth, the source of this famous quote, which also found its way into a more familiar old Christian text ‘your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’.
Quote:
So when the earth's wobbling axis causes the stars to reverse direction above in the sky (heavens) they assumed that there would also be a radical reversal of direction down below on the earth, down here in society.
It is not clear that the reversal of Orion in 2310 AD is seen as the ‘cause’ of the reversal on earth, as it has no dynamic causal power and is more a cosmic stellar marker of a purely terrestrial event, which we now know from climate science is the time when northern summer insolation starts to increase after 10,000 years of decrease.
Quote:
And because we are in the darkest ages (1/3 Taurus, Aries, Pisces, and Aquarius) of the Great Year cycle this meant that the reversal would put an end to the forces of darkness and put light in the lead again.
This picks up our discussion of the tribulation, the time, times and half a time of Revelation, understood not as 3.5 years but as 3.5 ages. To clarify, this reversal is the seventh day, the Sabbath, the day of rest, the time of healing after six days of work. The Biblical account can be read as predicting the first half of the Age of Aquarius is the period when Satan is chained for a thousand years before the final showdown with evil.
Quote:
And even that has an empirical parallel with the solar insolation cycle as you so brilliantly discovered recently, because during precession the northern hemisphere does actually go through a phase of increasing and decreasing solar light at the summer solstice due to the earth wobbling on its axis. Just to recap for the sake of other readers, the ancient Great Year models actually do closely follow that as well in terms their dark ages corresponding to the lower solar light levels in the northern hemisphere. I guess they realized in some way that the wobbling axis meant that earth is facing closer to and further from the sun during the Great Year.
Yes, this is a significant scientific observation. Milankovitch orbital cycles that provide the basis of climate science regarding glaciations patterns match quite precisely to the mythic vision of cycles of light and dark (thread). My view is that the increase of northern summer light after the last glacial maximum 20,000 years ago somehow matched to a long period of improvement, albeit in a stone age framework, while the decreasing summer light over the Holocene has actually marked a darkening, what the Gnostic Gospel of Truth called 'anguish that grew solid like a fog', even despite the obvious steady technological progress.
Quote:
And the sun and everything else in the material was believed to stem from inner spiritual mystery causes. The whole cosmology, to the ancient mystics, was an expression of inner spiritual causes and Manly P. Hall's astrotheology series that I provided describes these ancient beliefs in graphic detail.
It is obviously immensely complex to try to disentangle the superstition from its material causes. The research on this broad area of knowledge is steadily providing more clarity and coherence in the relation between cosmology and mythology.
Quote:
So to go and say that the ancient mystics were correct and that society rises and falls based on the solar light levels in the northern hemisphere ventures into the ancient superstition of these Gnostic types. To them, spiritual inner causes via the solar light were responsible for these changes in society and the whole thing is very much grounded in ancient superstition based on empirical observation. To try and rally people around a transformation of Christianity from the literalism of the text to the inner content of the astrotheological allegories is simply to toss one form of superstition in favor of another. And that's what people will be facing as this all comes out and becomes more widely known to future generations.
Again, I don’t agree that superstition is the right word here. Yes there is a lot of superstition tangled up in analysis of the Great Year, but that does not take away from the scientific basis, nor from the ability to use this cosmic lens to shine light on the sources of Christian faith.
Quote:

That's why we at the FTN do not present astrotheological studies on these ancient people as a call for modern religious transformation or suggest that Christians and others should get back to worshipping like their ancestors and put the astrotheology out in the open at church or anything like that. The idea is more along the lines of just looking at the myths as examples of human achievement during our evolution. Man observed the natural environment and revered many of his findings as divine and sacred and created elaborate personified myths and mathematical cosmologies around it all. They were able to deduce things like predicting the seasons and the precession of the equinoxes and it looks like the solar insolation cycle was caused by the wobble. Most of us taking the MP feel that this is further reason not to continue going to church and not to label oneself as a "Christian" or anything else for that matter. I wish you luck on your Christian reformation efforts Robert because I understand the language you're speaking in and I know that there are certain empirical truths lurking in the astrotheological symbolism used in the Christian mythos. But it all leads to the Gnostics and their brand of astrotheological superstition eventually becoming literalized into an offshoot brand of further superstition which became the orthodox reading and now controls the minds of people like Stahrwe here, for example. So I can't very well stand here and suggest that Christianity be reformed back to its Gnostic astrotheological roots, or the Greek, Vedic, and Egyptian roots before that even. I rather think that the religious practice will eventually die down into insignificance and become the subject matter of historians, not weekly devotees.
I take as a key text the line from Matthew 24 that the gospel will be preached to the whole planet and then the end will come. So I see the Age of Pisces as a time of delusion that was deliberately used by the ancient seers to prime the pump for a new age of enlightenment in the Age of Aquarius, with the Christian institutions based on blind faith being transformed into new institutions grounded in knowledge.



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Post Re: The NT was written in the 2nd century
I guess the pressing question is what do you think new Christian institutions grounded in knowledge would or should consist of? You should probably describe what that means exactly just to clarify.


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Post Re: The NT was written in the 2nd century
tat tvam asi wrote:
I guess the pressing question is what do you think new Christian institutions grounded in knowledge would or should consist of? You should probably describe what that means exactly.


The slow trend in world culture over the last thousand years has been the replacement of superstitious belief by empirical knowledge as the organising principle for society. Starting with the European rediscovery of ancient Greek philosophy, knowledge has advanced with the rise of science and the connection of the globe through discovery and conquest. As this process of the replacement of belief by knowledge moves towards a tipping point, the world is approaching a situation where it will no longer be viable to base decisions on false beliefs. New institutions of integrity will be needed for the social and political tasks that are now badly served by faiths whose foundations are collapsing. Global change requires a combination of entirely new methods and the transformation of existing systems.

It is not a matter of putting new wine in old wineskins, as Jesus put it in the synoptics. The old wineskin of faith actually has the internal capacity to evolve and adapt to changing circumstances, reconciling to emerging knowledge, primed by the idea in the bible that the nature of faith can be transformed in the twinkling of an eye. A reformed reading of the Bible can see that the wine of knowledge is actually very old.

I think that nation states will remain the basis of political organisation and global stability, but there will be steady growth in global institutions with innovative humanitarian mandates. Key pressures forcing this evolution include population, poverty, energy and climate. Evidence based policy is absolutely necessary to address the risks of these major factors spilling over into war, disease, death and hunger, four basic problems that are traditionally mythologised as the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

How does this global shift from belief to knowledge sit against Christianity? A starting point is the belief in the story of the second coming of Jesus Christ. Leaving aside traditional magical conceptions, it is possible to use this story to build an understanding of how the Bible contributes to a coherent modern ethical stance based on knowledge rather than belief.

A key Biblical text in understanding how the prophecy of the second coming might make empirical sense is Matthew 25. This rather extraordinary chapter contains two ethical teachings that on the surface appear flatly contradictory. The parable of the talents appears to be a blessing of capitalism, with the line ‘to those who have will be given’, while the second coming parable of the Last Judgment appears to be a blessing of communism, with the line ‘what you do to the least you do to Christ’. My reading of this apparent paradox is that these ideas stand in what we could call a messianic tension, combining to support an evidence based theory of development that recognises that creation of wealth is the only basis for distribution of wealth. Instead of standing within one political camp, Christ celebrates them both. Creation of wealth requires efficient markets, where success and risk-taking are rewarded as per the story of the talents, while distribution of wealth requires compassion for those who are excluded by the failure of markets, as per the moral focus on works of mercy in the story of the sheep and goats. The theme linking these ideas is that policy should be based on knowledge – knowledge of how economies actually work, and knowledge of how to identify and help people who are failed by markets.

Expanding on the idea of Christianity as supporting the evolution of global knowledge, I see the Beatitudes, with the concept of blessedness outlined by Christ, as an entirely evolutionary ethic that provides a valid set of long term goals. For example, in the idea that the meek shall inherit the earth is a celebration of biodiversity, and a challenge to conventional supernatural theories of dominion. The Sermon on the Mount points to a vision that eventually the world should have sufficient abundance that we will have evolved beyond the use of violence as a way to solve disputes.

The Bible presents an empirical cosmology in the idea of the holy city, with the allegory for the Great Year of precession of the equinox in the story of the twelve jewels.

I like to imagine the holy city as a futuristic science fiction story, with a move of humanity to live on large floating bags of fresh water in the ocean as sketched in my short story To The Sea. This also relates to ideas I have presented about large scale ocean based algae farming. I imagine this set of inventions as a basis for global abundance, and a way to solve both global warming and peak oil.

Behind all these ideas, the passion story of cross and resurrection is an allegory for the triumph of knowledge over belief. The Biblical idea that people live in darkness and cannot see the light means that people accept false beliefs and cannot comprehend knowledge. Against the allegory of the Great Year with the shift from the Age of Pisces (belief) to the Age of Aquarius (knowledge), this reading of the message of Christ equates the deluded Piscean consciousness of the passing age with the broad and easy path to hell, and the enlightened Aquarian consciousness of the new age with the narrow and hard path to salvation.

The inertia of belief is so great that a shift of human culture to a knowledge base is anything but inevitable, and we face high risk of extinction or collapse by allowing instinctive stupidity to override knowledge and logic. My view is that enlisting Christian theology to the actual task of salvation of the world is essential, but requires a rigorous and honest reappraisal of the evidentiary basis of Christian belief, shifting from a supernatural to a natural basis. Hence the questioning in this thread of the provenance of the New Testament is something that should be welcomed by people of honest faith, not ignored as a threat to systems that are so brittle, ossified and fragile they might blow apart in the breeze.

When Christ at his trial told Pilate that he had come into the world to bear witness to truth, Christ stood up for knowledge. Pilate’s refusal to accept that we can know the truth indicated the political hold of ignorant belief among the rulers of our present darkness. This power that in the Bible myth was able to crucify Christ subsequently took control of the church that was established in Christ’s name. The Roman goal was to subvert the saving knowledge behind Christianity in favour of a corrupt and blind faith. If the Christian idea of salvation means anything, it has to reject the hypocrisy of false belief in order to support the efforts of knowledge to save us from the real dangers pressing on the future of humanity.



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Post Re: The NT was written in the 2nd century
tat tvam asi wrote:
A proselytizing he'll go,
A proselytizing he'll go,
High ho a merry oh,
A proselytizing he'll go...


Is that the best you can do? Nothing original? You don't even have the meter correct for what you posted as our poet friends would no doubt point out and that doesn't even take into account your other errors;

First, looking at the original poem:
It isn't, "A hunting he'll go,' it is, 'A hunting we will go."
See the difference, the expansion of the contraction opens up the phrasing. The way you have written it cramps the works. So, it should be,

A proselytizing he will go,
A proselytizing he will go,

Now we come to error #2 Of course the original song uses the pronoun 'We' instead of your choice of 'He', but the plural wouldn't fit your attempt at a clever jab.

Now, we come to your third error, it isn't, 'high ho a merry oh," it is, 'high ho a dairy o." So your version should read:

High ho a dairy o
A proselytizing he will go.

Finally, you neglect the last two lines of each stanza which are as follows:

Quote:
We'll catch a fox and put him in a box,
And then we'll let him go!

We'll catch a fish and put him on a dish,
And then we'll let him go!

We'll catch a bear and cut his hair,
And then we'll let him go!

We'll catch a pig and dance a little jig,
And then we'll let him go!

We'll catch a giraffe and make him laugh,
And then we'll let him go!


How about we consider the He to be you, or Robert, then complete the stanzas

Quote:
We'll catch Murdock and put her in the stock
and then we'll let her go.


and

Quote:
We'll catch Darwin and shave his chin
and then we'll laugh at him so.


shave off his beard, get it?

see, it really isn't that hard to be clever.


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Post Re: The NT was written in the 2nd century
Well Robert, I don't see any problem with your way of looking at the texts. Like I said in the thread on Natural Religion, it seems harmless enough and well intended on your part. You're just using the myths to outline modern concerns which are all valid concerns. I don't see anything threatening towards atheism or freethought in what you've described.

My only advice is to be very clear with people that the ancients did believe in supernaturalism and that the astrotheology was previously interconnected with supernatural belief. If you don't make that clear then that one little point could fowl up what you have going and take you off the path of truth. You're promoting a new interpretation of the mythic symbols, which is fine, but it's not necessarily the interpretation of the original writers of course. They were a superstitious lot and their myths about the world and cosmos were not free and clear of supernatural implications by any means, even if the miracle stories were parables. That doesn't distract from their belief in the spiritual realm, souls, Gods, Angels, and Demons...


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