• god must be atheist
    2.9k
    They already believe in God and they agree with the two commandments. That's good enough to me.Apollodorus

    Nice cop-out. Well done. You'll never get Christianity reversed from its decline with a placid argument or opinion or value like that. And that was the goal you expressed you wish for, to reverse the decline of Christianity. So which is it? to reverse the decline of Christianity, or is it to leave it progress in its decline?
  • god must be atheist
    2.9k
    You don't expect him/her to know that, do you?Apollodorus

    I am sorry. He/she asked. I gave an explanation. What else would YOU do if you are asked a straight question but give a perfectly straight answer? Your solution to this dilemma would be what?
  • Hanover
    6.1k
    They are neologisms.god must be atheist

    A neologism has to have a meaning. I think a better description of these words is gibberish.
  • god must be atheist
    2.9k
    A neologism has to have a meaning.Hanover

    Please name your source to support your claim here.
  • Apollodorus
    531
    I think a better description of these words is gibberish.Hanover

    You're far too generous there. I'd would use a slightly different description. In any case, they're words that people tend to resort to when they've lost an argument.
  • Fooloso4
    1.5k
    Nowhere does Jesus teach that he was God's only son. This was a belief that developed later.
    — Fooloso4

    Really? How late is this then?
    Apollodorus

    In the Patristic Era.

    They called him "Rabbi" AND "Son of God".Apollodorus

    Yes. But you accused me of making up the claim that he was a Jewish rabbi. You are avoiding the issue of what the term 'son of God' meant during the age in which Jesus lived, how it was used in the Hebrew Bible and by Paul and John, and how it was later used in the Creed.

    The Koran calls him a Prophet.Apollodorus

    This is much closer to what the term 'son of God' meant at the time of Jesus.

    I'm sure even you can see that "Son of God" and "Prophet" is not the same as "rabbi" in the ordinary sense.Apollodorus

    Of course they are not the same! This is just a smoke-screen to obscure the fact that you initially denied that Jesus was a rabbi, a teacher of the Law.

    Here is the problem: I read the Gospels in their historical context. You read them based on later developments. Now I have given you enough information for you to do some research on your own in order to see the difference if you care to.
  • Apollodorus
    531
    This is based on a misunderstanding of the term 'son of God' or 'sons of God'. No, I am not making it up. It is used several times in the Hebrew Bible. This time you can look it up yourself. It did not mean what it came to mean for most Christians.Fooloso4

    Sorry, but the misunderstanding is entirely yours. You're wrong again as on all your other points.

    The Bible says very clearly that Jesus was the only Son of God.

    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life - John 3:16

    You obviously don't understand the Bible and you can find no evidence to support your unfounded and erroneous claims.

    And no, Jesus was not teaching the "Jewish Law", he was teaching the LAW OF GOD. That was the whole point of his mission on earth, to reestablish the Law of God which the Jews or at least some of them had departed from by focusing too much on sacrifices, rituals and other observances.

    Hence his statements like this one: “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath", etc.
  • Apollodorus
    531


    And, of course, the verses from the Hebrew Bible you're referring to, just don't exist. That's why you can't quote them.
  • Fooloso4
    1.5k
    Sorry, but the misunderstanding is entirely yours. You're wrong again as on all your other points.Apollodorus

    Is this what counts as an argument for you? There is an extensive literature on this, much of it written by Christian scholars.

    There are online versions of the Bible that allow you to search. Do a search in the Old Testament for the terms 'son of God' and 'sons of God'. Read the article "Son of God (Christianity)" on Wiki. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Son_of_God_(Christianity)#:~:text=In%20Christianity%2C%20the%20title%20Son,be%20found%20in%20the%20Bible.

    You obviously don't understand the Bible and you can find no evidence to support your unfounded and erroneous claims.
    Apollodorus

    The New Testament is not monolithic. There are claims made by John that are not found anywhere else. Johannine Christianity is distinct from the synoptic gospels and writings of Paul. The Wiki article provides plenty of evidence.

    And no, Jesus was not teaching the "Jewish Law", he was teaching the LAW OF GOD.Apollodorus

    These are not two separate things. It is the Law given by God to the Jews. Paul makes a distinction between the written Law and the law as it can be found in the heart of the Gentiles. Paul is quite explicit on this.

    That was the whole point of his mission on earth, to reestablish the Law of God which the Jews or at least some of them had departed from ...Apollodorus

    This is all from within the Jewish tradition of interpretation and application of the Law.

    And, of course, the verses from the Hebrew Bible you're referring to, just don't exist. That's why you can't quote them.Apollodorus

    The Wiki article linked above gives an extensive list.
  • Apollodorus
    531
    There are online versions of the Bible that allow you to search. Do a search in the Old Testament for the terms 'son of God' and 'sons of God'.Fooloso4

    Well, if you really imagine that I didn't know you might come up with that, you are quite wrong.

    To begin with, it is generally acknowledged that the OT texts are corrupted so, they aren’t a hundred percent reliable.

    Second, it is true that the OT, Psalm 2 and Chronicles, mentions King David and King Solomon as the “Son of God”.

    However, what is actually meant here is not that they were begotten in the sense of brought into being but in the sense of appointed, i.e. invested with the rank of King: they were each appointed King of Israel.

    “You [King David] are My Son! Today I have begotten you”.

    “He [King Solomon] shall be My Son, and I will be his father, and I will establish throne of his kingdom over Israel forever”.

    Obviously, someone who is already a grown man, can't possibly be brought into being. He can, however, be "created" i.e. made or appointed.

    The case of Jesus is totally different. We are told very clearly that he was brought into the world by the Holy Spirit, i.e. by God’s own Spiritual Power:

    “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit ...” - Matthew 1:18

    So these are two totally different stories. David and Solomon were appointed by God, Jesus was created, i.e. incarnated into the world by God as well as appointed to carry out a unique mission on Earth.

    As for Jesus teaching the “Jewish law” it is obvious that this couldn’t have been the case. How can the Son of God or Prophet or even “Jewish rabbi” (as you choose to call him) teach the Jewish law to the Jews if the Jews ignored him? Obviously, he didn’t teach the Jewish law, he taught the Eternal Law of God, the Law of Righteousness, that had existed from all eternity and that some Jews chose to ignore:

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God … And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth … Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever ..." - John 1:1,14; Hebrews 13:8

    Clear as sunlight to those who can see, IMO.
  • Fooloso4
    1.5k
    Well, if you really imagine that I didn't know you might come up with that, you are quite wrong.Apollodorus

    I don't have to imagine it. You accused me of making it up:

    And, of course, the verses from the Hebrew Bible you're referring to, just don't exist. That's why you can't quote them.Apollodorus

    First you claim I made it up, and when I cite them you claim you knew all along.

    To begin with, it is generally acknowledged that the OT texts are corrupted so, they aren’t a hundred percent reliable.Apollodorus

    There is always the problem of transcription error but every instance of the term cannot be a transcription error. What evidence do you have of substantial corruption between the time Paul uses the term, the NT authors use the term, and now? More specifically what evidence do you have that the uses of the term are corruptions and when the corrupted terms were introduced?

    However, what is actually meant here is not that they were begotten in the sense of brought into being but in the sense of appointed, i.e. invested with the rank of King: they were each appointed King of Israel.Apollodorus

    The belief in a Messiah originates in Judaism There is no evidence that Paul used 'Messiah' and 'son of God' in any other sense then how they were used in Judaism. He claimed that Jesus was the Messiah, the anointed (in Greek Chrio, Khristós, Christ)King of Israel. It was not Jesus' birth but his death that was the focus of Paul's message.

    We are told very clearly that he was brought into the world by the Holy Spirit, i.e. by God’s own Spiritual Power:Apollodorus

    Mark, the oldest of the Gospels, tells no such story, nor does John, and more importantly, Jesus himself does not either.

    So these are two totally different stories. David and Solomon were appointed by God, Jesus was createdApollodorus

    There is another story. The story told by John. You quote it but fail to see how it differs from the other stories.

    The stories are different. The point is that they take the Jewish teachings of Jesus and Paul and make them into something else.

    As for Jesus teaching the “Jewish law” it is obvious that this couldn’t have been the case. How can the Son of God or Prophet or even “Jewish rabbi” (as you choose to call him) teach the Jewish law to the Jews if the Jews ignored him?Apollodorus

    The Gospels tell the story of twelve Jews who did not ignore him. Again, read what Paul said about the Law and Gentiles, and what he said about the split between him and Jesus' disciples over the matter of the Law.

    As I said earlier:

    It is typical Christian chauvinism to take the teachings of a Jewish rabbi and make them into something they are not. But that is, after all, what the term Christian is all about.Fooloso4

    They took the Jewish terms 'Messiah' and 'son of God' and made them into something else. Something that was foreign to Jesus and Paul. To point to how the terms are used differently only supports what I have said.
  • Apollodorus
    531
    They took the Jewish terms 'Messiah' and 'son of God' and made them into something else. Something that was foreign to Jesus and Paul. To point to how the terms are used differently only supports what I have said.Fooloso4

    You're only imagining that. You need to familiarize yourself with Christianity before you make unexamined assumptions like that. In Christianity Jesus is the Son of God.

    Plus, the Jews could have taken those concepts from others. People use words, beliefs and concepts that already exist. Why would they start inventing something new? Would you invent your own language instead of using the one that is already spoken? Isn't that why the Gospels were written in Greek which was the main language spoken at the time?
  • Fooloso4
    1.5k
    You're only imagining that. You need to familiarize yourself with Christianity before you make unexamined assumptions like that. In Christianity Jesus is the Son of God.Apollodorus

    I am well aquanted with Christianity. What you are ignoring is its history and factions. I have given you all the information you need to do the research, but you choose to close your eyes and ignore the evidence.

    Yes, mainstream Christianity today holds to the doctrine that Jesus is the Son of God. It was not always that way in Christianity. It has gone through several transformations. To look at the beliefs held today and insist that they are what Jesus meant by "love thy neighbor" is anachronistic.

    Plus, the Jews could have taken those concepts from others.Apollodorus

    Perhaps they did. What difference does that make to how Jesus and his followers understood what it means to love your neighbor? Or what the terms Messiah and son of God meant to them?

    People use words, beliefs and concepts that already exist. Why would they start inventing something new?Apollodorus

    And yet that is exactly what they did. They took Jewish concepts and over time the meaning was altered.
  • Apollodorus
    531
    And yet that is exactly what they did. They took Jewish concepts and over time the meaning was altered.Fooloso4

    So what? That isn't a crime. Jewish religion also changed over time. Jews took concepts from others like Egyptians and Babylonians, and Christians took them from the Jews. But concepts like "Son of God" and "Divine King" were quite common, they weren't the exclusive property of the Jews as you're claiming.

    Plus, it isn't about history, it's about religion and faith. What you're implying is that Christians aren't allowed to have their own religion and should be punished for borrowing from the Jews. Christians also borrowed quite a bit from the Greeks, Romans and others. Should they be punished for that as well? Would you like to start burning Christian bibles and churches???
  • Fooloso4
    1.5k
    So what? That isn't a crime.Apollodorus

    You seem to have lost track of the argument. It is not a crime, but it is also not what Jesus said or what he meant. All that stuff came later.

    But concepts like "Son of God" and "Divine King" were quite common, they weren't the exclusive property of the Jews as you're claiming.Apollodorus

    I said nothing of the sort! My contention is that if you wish to understand the meaning of what Jesus said then you need to look at the historical context in which he said those words and the historical context in which the Gospels were written. You disregard both and claim it means what it came to mean for some Christians. And with regard to that you ignore the historical development in which Christian doctrine became official. Again, I gave you all the information you need to do the research on these issues.

    You are correct. They are not the exclusive property of the Jews, and they are not the exclusive property of Christians. Jesus was a Jew addressing his disciples who were Jews. He was not a Christian teaching after the Council of Nicea when certain document became official according to some self appointed authorities.

    Plus, it isn't about history, it's about religion and faith.Apollodorus

    Christianity is a doctrinaire religion. Its history is an essential part of the development of its doctrines. You are of course free to remain ignorant of such things, but when you make claims such as:

    This means that "loving God" and "loving your neighbor" does not mean what is commonly understood by the term "love".Apollodorus

    And:

    But the point I was making was that there are two important distinctions to be drawn, (1) between what is commonly understood by “love” and (2) between “love of God” and “love of our neighbor”.Apollodorus

    That is a definitive statement about what love your neighbor means. I pointed out that this has no textual support according to the passages where it occurs. What you said is not the same as saying that this is what it means to you according to your Christian beliefs.

    What you're implying is that Christians aren't allowed to have their own religion and should be punished for borrowing from the Jews.Apollodorus

    I said nothing of the sort. I am talking about what Jesus said in its historical context. You are free to ignore it. No one is going to punish you.

    Christians also borrowed quite a bit from the Greeks, Romans and others.Apollodorus

    Right, and that is why taking Jesus' words and attempting to alter them according to later developments is to distort what he said. Again, you are free to do so, but you are wrong to say that what Jesus said means what you take it to mean according to a religion that developed after his death.

    Should they be punished for that as well? Would you like to start burning Christian bibles and churches???Apollodorus

    Such ridiculous accusations do not help your argument or whatever credibility you might still have on this forum.
  • Apollodorus
    531
    Such ridiculous accusations do not help your argument or whatever credibility you might still have on this forum.Fooloso4

    Well, this forum is obviously a joke. So, I wouldn’t flatter myself too much if I were you.

    But anyway, if you’re talking about history and sources, let’s see what history and the sources actually say, not how anti-Christians interpret them. We can start with your favourite one, the OT, the story how the Hebrews got their king:

    “Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations […] we will have a king over us; That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles” 1 Samuel 8: 4-5, 19-20

    Please note the sentence “that we may be like all the nations”. The Hebrews wanted a king like all the surrounding nations, Egyptians, Assyrians, Mesopotamians, etc.

    What kind of king did the neighbouring nations have? A king that was the representative of God on earth and the “Son of God”.

    It’s a well-known fact that the institution of kingship in which the king was the son and representative of God, was part and parcel of the culture in the region, especially Egyptian culture which was dominant at the time and to which the Hebrews had particularly close links.

    “And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians” – Acts 7:22

    Pre-biblical Egyptian inscriptions show that when a king or pharaoh ascended to the throne he was said to be appointed by the God Re, his father. So, he was “Son of God” and “Divine King”.

    Similarly, among the Assyrians, the king was regarded as the representative of the God Ashur, in Mesopotamia the king represented the God Shamash (which, incidentally, is cognate with Hebrew shemesh and Arabic shams), etc.

    And the OT tells us exactly what kind of kings the Hebrews or Jews got:

    “You [King David] are My Son! Today I have begotten you”.
    “He [King Solomon] shall be My Son, and I will be his father, and I will establish throne of his kingdom over Israel forever”.

    So, who took what from whom? We know that Jesus himself visited Egypt:

    “And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt […] When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt” – Matthew 2:13-14

    Did Jesus believe he was the Son of God? Well, you weren’t there at the time so you can’t tell for certain, can you? What is certain, however, is that Alexander the Great was called “the Son of God” (after Egyptian fashion) and the practice of regarding kings and emperors as divine was well-established in Greece and Rome by the 1st century CE.

    The eastern part of the Roman Empire, including Palestine, was a Greek-dominated cosmopolitan society in which different religious and cultural currents blended together. That was precisely why the Gospels were written in Greek and according to many scholars Jesus himself spoke Greek in addition to other languages.

    I think it is baseless to claim that Christianity "robbed” the Jews of their "Divine King/Messiah” and "Son of God” concepts in view of the fact that this was part of the common cultural and religious heritage in the region. And what matters at the end of the day is that Christians felt to have good reason to believe that Jesus was the Son of God and they have every right to do so. I don’t think it is for neo-Marxists to tell Christians what to do. I'm not telling you what to believe and I don't care to be honest.
  • 180 Proof
    3.5k
    Don't ya just get mule-kicks from all the Xtian mouth-breathers on these fora who pontificate so profusely (I'm too polite, of course, to name names) and thereby expose how little they actually know about the sources & history of Xtianity? Makes me wanna flagellate myself sometimes just to give 'em a vicarious thrill but this old pagan heart ain't so charitable. :naughty:
  • Fooloso4
    1.5k


    Many years ago I met a Catholic priest and since I had been reading a commentary on Genesis wanted to know his views. To my surprise he admitted he knew very little of the Bible. His training and concern wall with ministry and counseling.

    As to a certain member, I think his lack of knowledge is only part of the problem. His wild accusations hint at the rest.
  • 180 Proof
    3.5k
    Uh huh, s/he's not the only voice cursing the padded darkness around here. Less-than-biblically-literate priests & seminarians pimpin' Jesus abound – I've certainly met my share.
  • Fooloso4
    1.5k
    if you’re talking about history and sources, let’s see what history and the sources actually say, not how anti-Christians interpret them.Apollodorus

    Obviously you have not looked at any of the sources I pointed to. Most are by Christian scholars. Apollodorus, the truth is not the enemy, or is only the enemy if you insist on holding on to false beliefs.

    What kind of king did the neighbouring nations have?Apollodorus

    Being like all the nations by having a king, as they do, does not mean having a king that is like their king.

    A king that was the representative of God on earth and the “Son of God”.Apollodorus

    Are you claiming that this is what the kings of the Egyptians, Assyrians, Mesopotamians, etc. were, representatives of Jesus?

    It’s a well-known fact that the institution of kingship in which the king was the son and representative of God, was part and parcel of the culture in the region, especially Egyptian culture which was dominant at the time and to which the Hebrews had particularly close links.Apollodorus

    This is not something that is "well-known" to Egyptologists. The kings were considered incarnate gods. Just like Christians came to believe Jesus was.

    Pre-biblical Egyptian inscriptions show that when a king or pharaoh ascended to the throne he was said to be appointed by the God Re, his father. So, he was “Son of God” and “Divine King”.Apollodorus

    What is it that you think you are arguing for? Are you trying to show that the mythology surrounding Jesus was the same as the mythology surrounding the pharaohs? Do you think that helps or hurts your case?

    So, who took what from whom?Apollodorus

    You still don't get it. It is not a question of who took what from whom, but of ascribing a meaning to what Jesus said based on a religion that developed after his death.

    We know that Jesus himself visited EgyptApollodorus

    You are really not helping your case. First of all, according to the story in Matthew Jesus was an infant. Second, why would the actual son of God be influenced by Egyptian mythology?

    Did Jesus believe he was the Son of God? Well, you weren’t there at the time so you can’t tell for certain, can you?Apollodorus

    We have only the Gospels, and nowhere in the gospels does he claim the things later ascribed to him.

    What is certain, however, is that Alexander the Great was called “the Son of God”Apollodorus

    Yes, lots of people were called sons of God, and gods even. Is your point that Jesus was just one of many?

    I think it is baseless to claim that Christianity "robbed” the Jews of their "Divine King/Messiah” and "Son of God” concepts in view of the fact that this was part of the common cultural and religious heritage in the region.Apollodorus

    I said nothing about being "robbed". That is all in your fevered brain. You are actually making my point that the gentiles took (as in interpreted/understood not "robbed") the teachings and stories about Jesus and incorporated them into their own mythologies.

    And what matters at the end of the day is that Christians felt to have good reason to believe that Jesus was the Son of God and they have every right to do so.Apollodorus

    I have said nothing to the contrary. It is not a question of what Christians believe but of what Jesus meant when he said those words. To import a whole mythology to interpret his simple words is hermeneutically suspect.

    I don’t think it is for neo-Marxists to tell Christians what to do.Apollodorus

    Your mind is in a rut. Your response to everyone who disagrees with you is to call them a neo-Marxist. It is a sign of emotional and philosophical immaturity.
  • Apollodorus
    531
    Obviously you have not looked at any of the sources I pointed to. Most are by Christian scholars.Fooloso4

    It’s the other way round. It’s you who isn’t looking at the sources and that’s where the problem is. I've quoted sources from the start.

    The Marxist use (or misuse) of history has long been exposed by Popper, Kolakowski and many others. My point was that neo-Marxists do tend to use deliberately distorted interpretations of history to support their baseless theories. You seem to be doing the same though you may not notice it or are trying to hide it, without much success.

    I’m not surprised that you aren’t aware of this, but you aren’t applying your theory consistently, quite apart from the fact that you haven’t got one.

    Just look at the preposterous statements you’re making:

    “Jesus was addressed as “rabbi”, therefore he couldn’t have been the Son of God. He was a Jewish rabbi”.

    No logical connection whatsoever between one thing and the other!

    The fact is that the Gospels show very clearly that Jesus was addressed as “the Son of God”:

    “Nathaniel answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God” – John 1:49.

    You see the word “rabbi” bot not “Son of God”. Maybe you’re blind on one eye, who knows?

    Since you haven’t spoken to Jesus, you can’t claim to know who he thought he was. So, that’s another big neo-Marxist lie.

    You have no proof that the Christian concept of “Son of God” was “stolen” from the Jews, etc., etc.

    And, of course, Christians have the right to believe in Jesus in whichever way they wish. You deny this, and IMO that exposes you as an anti-Christian extremist.
  • Fooloso4
    1.5k
    The Marxist use (or misuse) of historyApollodorus

    What does this have to do with what Jesus meant by love your neighbor? Your problem with Marxists seems to go much deeper than a difference in ideology.

    Just look at the preposterous statements you’re making:
    Jesus was addressed as “rabbi”, therefore he couldn’t have been the Son of God.
    Apollodorus

    This is another example of pathological projection. I said no such thing! I said he was a rabbi. You accused me of making that up and said that he wasn't a rabbi he was the Son of God. I then said that being one does not exclude being the other. It is all right there in the posts.

    The fact is that the Gospels show very clearly that Jesus was addressed as “the Son of God”Apollodorus

    And also son of man and rabbi.

    You see the word “rabbi” bot not “Son of God”.Apollodorus

    Of course I see it. I never denied it. What I said is that the term meant something different for Jews, and that includes Jesus and his disciples, than it did for gentiles. Jews would never accept the idea of a "begotten son", a son who was one in substance with the father. It is a pagan idea. One that Jesus would have rejected. Jesus believed that there was one God, and it wasn't him.

    Since you haven’t spoken to Jesus, you can’t claim to know who he thought he was.Apollodorus

    I can know the context in which he spoke. I can know the saying ascribed to him in the gospels. I can know that none of the gospels have him professing the Apostles Creed.

    And, of course, Christians have the right to believe in Jesus in whichever way they wish. You deny this ...Apollodorus

    Once again, I have said several times you can believe whatever you want.

    I am not going to respond to any more of your false accusations.
  • Apollodorus
    531
    I am not going to respond to any more of your false accusations.Fooloso4

    So, you’re finally conceding defeat. I could have told you that from the start. Christianity is a tremendous force in this world and it is rather ridiculous for any one person to presume to defeat it. It just won’t happen.

    The fact is that Christian tradition acknowledges several levels of scriptural interpretation:

    “For as man consists of body, and soul, and spirit, so in the same way does Scripture.” - Origen

    Such levels are (1) somatic/literal, (2) psychic/ethic and (3) pneumatic (spiritual)/allegorical. There are others but they can only be learned from a qualified teacher.

    So, of course, seen in this light, “Son of God” can have more than one meaning. That was precisely what I explained to you in my previous post which you chose to ignore and put a spin on it to “prove” your point. Kings David and Solomon were “Sons of God” in the sense of “appointed as representatives of God”, whereas Jesus was the Son of God in the sense of “brought into being” as well as “appointed to a certain position or mission”.

    “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds …” Hebrews 1:2

    Jesus himself spoke in parables and for a very good reason which he himself explains by the parable of the sower and the seeds of which some are eaten by birds, others fall on barren soil and others on good soil. The seeds symbolize the words of a spiritual teacher.

    By the way, this is why true Christianity is totally against forced conversion. Forced conversion is morally wrong and does not lead to salvation. True Christians lead by example. In the early years of Christianity Pagans converted because they were impressed by the Christians’ moral conduct.

    Anyway, you need to remember that the whole point of Christianity is to expand our mind and elevate it to higher levels of experience that eventually lead to salvation. If you stubbornly cling on to ”history” you stay stuck at the somatic/literal level that doesn’t get you anywhere. You get bored, disappointed, frustrated, angry and give up. You might even turn against Christianity and attack those who believe in it. And all this just because of your inability to understand.

    The identity of Jesus as a spiritual or divine being is absolutely crucial to the correct understanding of Christian teachings. This is why the Gospels give no physical description of Jesus (and why it is wrong to refer to him as "Jewish rabbi"). The only time he is described in the Gospels is when Jesus and some of his disciples ascend a mountain, the Mountain of Transfiguration, and on reaching the top Jesus’s face “was shining as the sun, and his garments became white as the light” (Matthew 17:20).

    This scene actually encapsulates what Christianity is about at its core: the ascent of the soul to higher planes of experience and its transformation into a spiritual being of light.

    The symbolism of light is central to Christian teachings:

    Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

    And because God is light, the light of truth, order and justice, to love God in the literal sense means to obey his law and carry out his will, whilst in a higher sense it means to love him as spiritual light, as the light of intelligence, of wisdom, and of life. On that higher level we embrace that light and welcome it into our life that it may lift us up and take us out of darkness.

    This is why love of God necessarily takes precedence over love of our neighbour and spiritual concerns take precedence over material ones.

    “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness” – Matthew 6: 31-33

    Obviously, people do care about those things to some extent, but the way I see it they are not the primary concern in philosophy in general and in Christian (or Platonic) tradition in particular.

    In any case, if we want to interpret Christianity correctly, we must interpret it in a way that is consistent with its own teachings, not according to neo-Marxist theories of historical materialism and relativism.
  • Fooloso4
    1.5k
    I am not going to respond to any more of your false accusations.
    — Fooloso4
    So, you’re finally conceding defeat.
    Apollodorus

    Tell yourself whatever it is you need to. Resorting to false accusations, accusing me of saying things I did not is dishonest and cowardly.
  • Apollodorus
    531
    Resorting to false accusations, accusing me of saying things I did not is dishonest and cowardly.Fooloso4

    Well, if you're not conceding defeat even when you've obviously lost, then let's start from the beginning.

    Resorting to false accusations and ad hominem arguments won't get you anywhere. If anything, it will only confirm that you've lost.

    I said very clearly from the start:

    “… tell us what tradition you're representing and what your position is. Then we can discuss. Not a problem for me at all, on the contrary …”


    What more can I say? I think I was being quite fair, don’t you?

    I was actually looking forward to having an interesting discussion.

    But it was not to be. You never said anything about your tradition, your sources, your position, or anything whatsoever. Just baseless attacks and pseudo-philosophical statements a la neo-Marxist theories of historical materialism, relativism and anti-Christian atheism that are totally off-topic.

    Anyway, just look at some of your statements:

    "It is typical Christian chauvinism to take the teachings of a Jewish rabbi and make them into something they are not. But that is, after all, what the term Christian is all about."

    If that isn't a baseless attack, I don't know what is. And so it goes on. That's why you can't possibly win.
  • Valentinus
    1.2k

    The perspective reminds me of a self-dense axiom. Try not to offend people.
    Sometimes you have to push buttons. But don't do it without regret and uncertainty.
  • Fooloso4
    1.5k


    Well sometimes you may offend someone by telling the truth. Case in point, My calling out Apollodorus' ignorance and obstinance in this thread.

    The truth is, I don't know if it is just a character trait or a pathology. So you are right, I do it with uncertainty. It is evidently not simply a matter of poor reasoning, although it is that, but of something pathological - projecting and trying to cover his lack of knowledge of Christian history by accusing me of saying things I corrected him of saying. And note how many of his arguments come down to calling whoever disagrees with him a Marxist.

    And so, in order not to regret playing along and feeding what truly looks to me to be pathological I will no longer engage with him.
  • Apollodorus
    531
    And note how many of his arguments come down to calling whoever disagrees with him a Marxist.Fooloso4

    Actually, people don't need to be Marxists per se, they can be Marxist-influenced or use Marxist-style interpretations of history or religion without realizing it. It should be obvious from my statements above what I mean by "Marxist".

    But you ought to look at your own arguments before you criticize others. Take your "Son of God" argument for example.

    The historical evidence shows that god Re was the preeminent deity in the Egyptian pantheon through most of the three millennia of pharaonic history. In almost every royal inscription from ancient Egypt, the pharaoh or king is called “the son of Re,” the sun god.

    Egyptian kings had several names of which the last was the birth name and the second to last (prenomen) contained the name of the sun god Re. The prenomen was given to the king at his coronation. Thus, he became "the son of God" at his coronation.

    "During the period of David and Solomon (tenth century B.C.), the most formative period for Israel’s monarchy, close ties existed between Tanis, the 21st Dynasty capital, and Jerusalem […] These seals suggest that Israel looked to Egypt for inspiration regarding kingship. Israel’s fledgling monarchy had no royal archetypes of its own to draw on, and Egypt was its closest and most influential neighbor. It seems natural that Israel would appropriate language and motifs of kingship that were compatible with its monotheistic worldview."

    Son of God - From Pharaoh to Israel’s Kings to Jesus, Biblical Archaeology Review, 13:3, 1997

    Egyptian inscriptions read:

    “Re has installed the King
    on the earth of the living
    for ever and ever …”

    and the king is called the “beloved and only Son of God”

    ‘AXIAL’ BREAKTHROUGHS AND SEMANTIC ‘RELOCATIONS’ IN ANCIENT EGYPT AND ISRAEL

    Ägyptische Hymnen und Gebete (Egyptian Hymns and Prayers) (uzh.ch)

    As I explained to you many times, this was not a literal statement as an adult king, Egyptian or Hebrew, could not be "begotten" in a literal sense. "Begotten" here is the equivalent of English "created" as in "Queen Elisabeth II created somebody a lord", i.e., invested them with the rank of lord. The way Jesus was begotten and appointed by God is a totally different story.

    But it isn’t just coronation formulas, there are legal contracts and treaties, law codes, prayers, and many other religious and cultural elements that are found in Egyptian, Assyrian, and Mesopotamian texts that precede their Hebrew counterparts by centuries.

    Egyptian influence was particularly strong which is not surprising. Israel was for a time part of the Egyptian Empire and as the Hebrew Bible relates, the Hebrews dwelt in Egypt. In fact, from the Bible account it is hard to distinguish between Hebrew kings like Solomon and Egyptian kings which raises the possibility that the two traditions (not unnaturally) coalesced in Hebrew national memory.

    Egyptian influence certainly left a lasting legacy in the region. The Platonic philosopher Iamblichus (245-325 CE), an Arab, wrote a book on the “Mysteries of the Egyptians, Chaldeans, and Assyrians” in Greek. This illustrates the cultural and religious situation in the Hellenized parts of the Roman Empire to which Palestine belonged and where Christianity was born.

    In sum, if you try to use history to “deconstruct” Christianity and reduce it to Judaism, you’ll find that you’ve deconstructed Jewish religion long before you arrive at Christianity.

    It’s a well-known fact that Christianity borrowed from the Greeks, Romans, and others and this doesn’t diminish it even one iota. On the contrary, it shows that it is a distinct religion in its own right. And what really matters in a religion like Christianity is the inner spiritual core, not external elements that may have accrued over time.

    Your arguments are unsound and unfounded and they don't get you anywhere.
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