On the study of Religions
QJRouge: I have been a student of religions for many decades including many poly and montheism theories. Now I am soon about to pen the results of my studies but to put the whole thing in short.....If it was writen by man/womankind its probably more myth and fantasy, conjecture and blatantant fiction than anything nearing reality.
ghostgeek: An open minded approach to the Book of Exodus shows that Moses was a conman. He took recurring natural phenomena and spun a tale to some gullibe Israelites that he was a prophet of God.
chronology: Guy's you are forgetting the most popular theory held by many today, and that is religion is just a version of the Pacific 'Cargo Cult' .
American servicemen were worshipped as God's in some remote Pacific Islands. The islanders were amazed at their flying machines and awesome science. When the Americans left, the islanders in their simple way built shrines to the American Military in their memory and hoped that one day the Gods would return.
Actually, the U.S. Defence Department reported the sad condition of the Native people to missionary group's in America who sent missionaries to the islands to teach the people about God. But the natives steadfastly held to their beliefs that the U.S. Army and Navy were God's.
Anyhow the theory some people hold is the 'Ancient Astronauts ' theory, namely that old religions are just garbled memories of visits by off world beings who visited earth for some reason around 30.000 years ago.
There is no proof for any such theories, but how humans suddenly went from being what some think of as an offshoot of the Ape genus to buildings roads, cities, massive buildings, is still a mystery.
ghostgeek: I would question the use of the word "suddenly" when talking about the development of human civilisation. Maybe, instead, one should ask why everything took so long.
mmickey782: p.please do your homework when chatting about Jesus... or religion,
Jesus is not a religion, He is a REALITY!
mmickey782: looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of my faith , who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
crucified, buried, and risen Savior Jesus!
and paul did not invent christianity..the book of acts claims that paul, having already persecuted some believers in Jesus, has a visionary encounter with the risen christ. paul himself describes that encounter as an apocalypse, or a revelation. in any event, acts agrees with paul that the new apostle turned for support to a community of believers that already resided in damascus.
in fact, if paul invented christianity, how did that community in damascus come to exist? paul’s conversion as some call it, occurred within just two or three years of Jesus’ death and already communities of Jesus followers were spreading beyond Judea and galilee into samaria, syria and other parts of the ancient mediterranean world... so please do your homework when chatting about paul or ... or christianity
chronology: Ghost, we went over this a while back. Jesus was not executed for sedition. In fact when Romans first heard of Christianity they were bewildered at how Jesus wound up being executed. He was not found guilty of any charges and the entire Trial of Jesus made no sense to them. The official charge placed on the Cross of Jesus was 'King of the Jews ' which as Pilate had said claiming to be King of the Jews was not against Roman Law.
chronology: The most likely view of Jesus by the Roman Soldiers at least was that He was insane. The Roman Guards in Pilates Compound made fun of Him and dressed Him in a Robe and made a crown out of some thorns. They clearly thought Him insane.
ghostgeek: Jesus wasn't executed for sedition, you say. I beg to differ. Reading the odd paragraph or two of Josephus makes me think Pilate had good reason to execute Jesus Christ.
ghostgeek: 2. But Pilate undertook to bring a current of water to Jerusalem, and did it with the sacred money, and derived the origin of the stream from the distance of two hundred furlongs. However, the Jews were not pleased with what had been done about this water; and many ten thousands of the people got together, and made a clamour against him, and insisted that he should leave off that design. Some of them also used reproaches, and abused the man, as crowds of such people usually do. So he habited a great number of his soldiers in their habit, who carried daggers under their garments, and sent them to a place where they might surround them. So he bid the Jews himself go away; but, they boldly casting reproaches upon him, he gave the soldiers that signal which had been beforehand agreed on; who laid upon them much greater blows than Pilate had commanded them, and equally punished those that were tumultuous, and those that were not; nor did they spare them in the least: and since the people were unarmed, and were caught by men prepared for what they were about, there were a great number of them slain by this means, and others of them ran away wounded. And thus an end was put to this sedition.
3. Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
[ Josephus: Antiquities of the Jews - Book XVIII ]
ghostgeek: Somebody had to organise that demonstration protesting against the use of sacred money to pay for a water supply to Jerusalem. Somebody with an established position, somebody like the brother of James. In other words, Jesus. Note how Josephus first mentions the protest, and in the next paragraph talks about the exection of Jesus Christ. The one follows the other, suggesting they are linked.
The way you put an end to sedition, Josephus's term, is to rid it of its leader. I say that's exactly what Pilate did.
chronology: ghost, you are going off on one now. The passage in Josephus is disputed by many. But if you take it as fact, how can you possibly read 'sedition' into that passage.
ghostgeek: Look at the end of paragraph two. It finishes with the word "sedition". Anybody who organised the protest over the water supply was liable to be accused of sedition. If Jesus organised the protest, he was lining himself up for execution. Q.E.D.
ghostgeek: Now let's turn to Acts. It's twaddle. If you want to know about Paul's conversion, read what the man himself had to say about it:
Galations:- 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. 17 I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.
18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.
ghostgeek: Entirely differernt to what Acts presents as the truth:
Act 9:- Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 21 All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” 22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.
23 After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, 24 but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25 But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.
26 When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.
Zanjan: QJ: "Now I am soon about to pen the results of my studies but to put the whole thing in short.....If it was writen by man/womankind its probably more myth and fantasy,"
You might want to revise your statement, considering you've just told us you're penning a fantasy of fantasy and myth, unless you're presuming to be a god.
(Edited by Zanjan)