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Thread: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

  1. #281
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    "The Golden Rule was the central focus of Jesus' teaching, which is a departure from the ..." Temple-city Sadducee priestly Judaism

    the most archaic interpretation about Jesus is found in Act 7: "this Moses" (7,35) Act 7- , 26, 27, 35 ...

    the situation was explosive, read Mark 12 and pay close attention to 12,9 and 12,12

    this fits exactly with what we know from Flavio Josefus

    the situation was explosive and the prophecies of these long-haired Nazarenes (ca. 40-66) were fulfilled (ca. 70)

    there was a huge, gigantic fracture, between the self-proclaimed "a people" and "the people" ("am ha'eretz") fracture that led to a "civil war" (FJ)

    This old and forgotten history has nothing to do with the so-called "Christianity" which is a thing of the 5th century and which is nothing more than the Roman imperial religion with another garb

    "Chistianity" is the fusion of Roman Imperial Identity/Ideology/Religion and Old bloody Aramaic fantasies ... and (the Spanish, French, British ...) American Empire (1945-) is the empirical confirmation

  2. #282
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by George. View Post
    Sure, a lot of modern Christians reject the idea of eternal punishment for nonbelievers - but that is where they deviate from their religion, which is quite clear on that point.
    Eh? I didn't take you for a fundamentalist. They may deviate from one interpretation of the Holy Book of the religion, or the Official Doctrines of some of the various institutional churches, but the religion is not just the book or the creeds, it's what its practitioners believe and do. And the book(s) say a whole bunch of different things, so believers have always had to decide which bits to take literally, which to assume are poetry or metaphor, which to take seriously and which to ignore. Certainly since the Reformation, when there was no longer one institutional church, and its authority had broken down in a lot of places, but also before. Christianity isn't one homogeneous thing, nor is there an authoritative standard to compare all the variants against.
    Last edited by Keith Wilson; 11-27-2020 at 11:02 AM.
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Eh? I didn't take you for a fundamentalist. They may deviate from one interpretation of the Holy Book of the religion, or the Official Doctrines of some of the various institutional churches, but the religion is not just the book or the creeds, it's what its practitioners believe and do. And the book(s) say a whole bunch of different things, so believers have always had to decide which bits to take literally, which to assume are poetry or metaphor, which to take seriously and which to ignore. Certainly since the Reformation, when there was no longer one institutional church, and its authority had broken down in a lot of places, but also before. Christianity isn't one homogeneous thing, nor is there an authoritative standard to compare all the variants against.
    Yes. And what you comment also reveals is the essential weakness of formal religion. If it accepts an authority like a written text or patriarch, it risks becoming mindlessly fundamentalist.

    If it rejects that kind of central authority, it risks becoming hopelessly incoherent.

    Or, option C: None of the above. That's my pick.

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  4. #284
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Sure, they're Christian ideas - but not uniquely Christian, nor did they originate only with Jesus. They're also Jewish ideas, Buddhist ideas, Hindu ideas, Muslim Ideas, Daoist ideas, Confucian ideas, and just about every other major religion this side of the Aztecs. And they can also be derived rationally (the various precious-metal rules, at least) , without any need for the slightest touch of the supernatural. Giving Christianity credit for spreading them around in Western culture seems reasonably fair, however.
    Yes. But teaching calculus doesn't allow me to take the credit away from Isaac Newton for inventing it. That's an important distinction.

    Tom
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Anyone else think it’s weird the word replenish is in there? Re? Replenish? It was plenished before?

  6. #286
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Yes. But teaching calculus doesn't allow me to take the credit away from Isaac Newton for inventing it. That's an important distinction.
    Certainly - and don't forget Leibnitz. That's a good example, in fact; I expect many of the fundamental ideas of morality have been developed independently in multiple times and places, then incorporated into the moral codes of various religions.

    The Golden Rule follows naturally if you start with the idea that human beings are pretty much alike, and there's nothing all that special about me (or you). If people take it at all seriously, it helps keep society from degenerating into chaotic violence. The supposed supernatural origin doesn't add much, IMHO.
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Is calculus spelling words on a calculator? I am awesome at that!

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Yes. But teaching calculus doesn't allow me to take the credit away from Isaac Newton for inventing it. That's an important distinction.

    Tom
    Ah, but did he invent it? Or were there precursors whose names ought not to be forgotten amongst all the general approbation given to Newton and his followers...
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Is calculus spelling words on a calculator? I am awesome at that!
    I generally calcu-less. I'd calcu-more if the words were easier to spell.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Yes. And what you comment also reveals is the essential weakness of formal religion. If it accepts an authority like a written text or patriarch, it risks becoming mindlessly fundamentalist.

    If it rejects that kind of central authority, it risks becoming hopelessly incoherent.

    Or, option C: None of the above. That's my pick.

    Tom
    Option C part two: Competent scholarly clerics interpret the text in light of its historical context and apply it to modern society to keep it relevant and current. Which is what Jesus did, what Mohammed did, what James' translators did, and Luther, and so on.
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    FWIW, Newton and Leibnitz developed their versions of calculus independently, at almost the same time.
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    The beginning was emptiness, and nothing existed. This state is called ‘Te Kore.’

    In that emptiness two gods appeared: the male god of the sky, Ranginui or Rangi, and the female god of the earth, Papatuanuku, or Papa. The earth and the sky came together and created six children: Tawhiri, the god of weather; Rongo, the god of crops; Tu, the god of war; Tangaroa, the god of the sea; Tane, the god of the forests; and Haumia, the god of plants.

    The children didn’t have enough space to live because their parents were so close together. They struggled to separate Rangi and Papa so that they would have more space. They rebelled and successfully separated their parents when Tane cut the arms of their father, Rangi, so that he couldn’t hold their mother anymore. The children were then able to see the light and the sky for the first time.

    Fighting then ensued among the child-gods. Even though they had agreed to separate the parents, Tawhiri (Tawhirimatea), the god of weather and storms, got angry after seeing his parents cry. He launched an attack on his brothers, though at some point Papa decided to hide the other children to save them from Tawhiri’s wrath.

    Mankind originated when the god of the forest, Tane (Tanematua), used red ochre to form a body and breathed into it: a woman was the first being created.

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Eh? I didn't take you for a fundamentalist.
    How so? Aren't heaven and hell central to Christianity? Do only fundamentalists believe in hell now?

  14. #294
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    FWIW, Newton and Leibnitz developed their versions of calculus independently, at almost the same time.
    Apparently, this is fairly common.
    Rattling the teacups.

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    I say again, if you believe in a 'god', you do not need an unauthorised franchisee, or moderator, to be in contact. That is just hubris, show, business if you like. Your 'god' is your personal god, it's either all round you or it does not exist. Of course most humans like to gather together, that's our strength and our weakness as a cooperative species, but the fraud of someone/organisatoin claiming exclusive access has done us a great deal of harm.

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    We've gone a very long ways in this discussion focusing on the origins of the "Golden Rule" as it's taken shape within Western culture and civilization. Perhaps it's worth recalling that Tom Holland, whose claim I quoted was how we started this part of the discussion, made a broader claim than that.

    Holland said that as a secular, atheist Classics academic, he went looking for the originating points for the modern elements which we most celebrate in the secular Western moral tradition. And that he was increasingly surprised that the world he discovered in the key legacy texts of Roman and Greek culture contained the opposite. Amidst the origins of Democracy, of Republics etc, Holland had expected to also find the headwaters of modern human rights, etc.

    Holland claimed that instead he found in those texts both a tacit and an overt moral attachment to a very brutal, unequal world. In which what rights existed were reserved for adult male citizens, and in which brutality beyond that was mostly thought valorous. This moral attitude was deeply normative, and Holland was shocked to find how alien it was to his secular modern Western attachments - which he'd assumed were derivatives of Greco-Roman culture.

    What Holland said was that the primary countervailing attitude - the one which could be traced from the late Roman empire through to the present Western institutions and laws he recognizes and values - was spread through and by Christianity. Atheistic and vaguely anti-clerical Holland was amazed to realize that he wasn't Greco-Roman, but in everything except a belief in God ... his moral debt was instead to Christianity.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by George. View Post
    How so? Aren't heaven and hell central to Christianity? Do only fundamentalists believe in hell now?
    No, not really central to quite a lot of contemporary Christianity, outside the Fundies.

    Because as scholars spend time actually reading scripture to see what's there rather than to see what they can impose upon it, the primary storyline is not a narrative how humans go through life making choices, which determine their ultimate afterlife fate. The primary storyline isn't about humans at all.

    The primary storyline is about what God is apparently doing in and through creation, as described by people who one way or another thought that they got a perspective on it. Heaven and Hell are a miniscule bit of the actual scriptural text, though they consume an inordinate amount of theologizing by people who have claimed to read scripture.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post

    ... he found in those texts both a tacit and an overt moral attachment to a very brutal, unequal world. In which what rights existed were reserved for adult male citizens, and in which brutality beyond that was mostly thought valorous.
    What texts were they, the US Constitution?

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    Heaven and Hell are a miniscule bit of the actual scriptural text
    Miniscule, maybe, but absolutely central to persuading the vast majority of people to follow the rules of the faith.

    Would Christianity ever have spread the way it did if it were not for the promise of heaven and the threat of hell?

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by George. View Post
    Miniscule, maybe, but absolutely central to persuading the vast majority of people to follow the rules of the faith.

    Would Christianity ever have spread the way it did if it were not for the promise of heaven and the threat of hell?
    Probably not. But the number of words in the Bible actually referring in particular to hell could probably fit on a page and a half of any actual bible.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by skuthorp View Post
    I say again, if you believe in a 'god', you do not need an unauthorised franchisee, or moderator, to be in contact. That is just hubris, show, business if you like. Your 'god' is your personal god, it's either all round you or it does not exist. Of course most humans like to gather together, that's our strength and our weakness as a cooperative species, but the fraud of someone/organisatoin claiming exclusive access has done us a great deal of harm.
    According to a devout Christian colleague of mine, you do have to practice your faith, which means meeting other members of the congregation to worship together. It is true that since the Reformation at several times religious leaders have tried to do away with priests, but I think that only the Society of Friends have managed it and survived.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Anyone else think it’s weird the word replenish is in there? Re? Replenish? It was plenished before?
    Yes, it was. "Plenish" means "to fill up." A bit archaic, but makes sense once you know. I cheated, and looked it up.

    Tom
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    A good friend of mine, a UCC minister who has even more trouble with fundamentalists than I do, once decided to make a list of the number of times in the Bible the various hot-button issues are mentioned. Homosexuality was mentioned maybe five times. Abortion a couple of times, several ambiguous. Then he started counting up the number of times there's an injunction to take care of the poor, and gave up at two hundred.

    "Plenish" means "to fill up."
    Related to 'plenty', I'd bet.
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    According to a devout Christian colleague of mine, you do have to practice your faith, which means meeting other members of the congregation to worship together. It is true that since the Reformation at several times religious leaders have tried to do away with priests, but I think that only the Society of Friends have managed it and survived.
    Lutherans--at least some sects--don't have priests. Maybe all? It was a fundamental issue for Luther.

    Tom
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Lutherans--at least some sects--don't have priests. Maybe all? It was a fundamental issue for Luther.
    AFAIK the only major Protestant denomination that calls them 'priests' is the Anglicans (Episcopalians). 'Ministers', generally, 'pastors' sometimes - but that's more terminology than anything. AFAIK, only the Quakers actually do without ordained leaders.
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    There's a theological difference too, eh? The priest model affirms that the priesthood serve as a conduit, in a way 5gat other folks can't. In protestantism that is rejected, and though there are ministers to help lead, a theological principle of the "priesthood of all believers" is affirmed instead. No need for an intermediary with God.

    In neither model does the actual individual merit of the person come into it; a bad priest is still a conduit. God can use either, for all that a holy person is preferable.

    Anglican/Episcopal folks are hence in a middle zone between Catholic and low church Protestants. Not quite either.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    There's a theological difference too, eh? The priest model affirms that the priesthood serve as a conduit, in a way 5gat other folks can't. In protestantism that is rejected, and though there are ministers to help lead, a theological principle of the "priesthood of all believers" is affirmed instead. No need for an intermediary with God.

    In neither model does the actual individual merit of the person come into it; a bad priest is still a conduit. God can use either, for all that a holy person is preferable.

    Anglican/Episcopal folks are hence in a middle zone between Catholic and low church Protestants. Not quite either.
    Yup. What he said. In fact, in my own experience, the "priesthood of all believers" is/was a central tenet of Lutheranism--the idea that the pastor was a servant, but with no special authority theologically speaking. Wisdom, yes. Training. But not the same kind of gatekeeper role between the congregation and God, from what I understood.

    Tom
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Originally Posted by George.
    How so? Aren't heaven and hell central to Christianity? Do only fundamentalists believe in hell now?
    I'm not a Christian, except by the most wildly expansive of definitions, so claim no authority. But I am married to a Unitarian Universalist minister. So I've soaked up a bit of knowledge by osmosis.

    So I'd say several things --

    Your comment is either way too simplistic... or just wrong. I think there are a couple of other things you might more accurately call 'central' to Christianity.

    First - the notion that Jesus took on, died for, and therefore obviated our sins. Some would argue that rather made the notion of 'hell' obsolete... others disagree. My darling wife's denomination believes that no one goes to hell. Within the denomination they debate how that works. Is there no hell now? Was there ever? Is it still there, vacant? Vacant except for the demons who fell with Lucifer?

    Second - the notion that Jesus - regardless of whether he actually was able to accomplish the above metaphysical miracle - was a superlative (perhaps even hold?) teacher. That following his message and his example - or at least endeavoring to - was the way for humans to live their lives.

    Third - Love. Many would say that the central tenet of Christianity is love. Which would encompass even Jesus' selfless (loving) sacrifice. And God's loving sacrifice of his son. Love. Such would be the theology of UU's... and many others.

    As I said... way too much biblical scholarship has gone into the question, with a resulting range of opinions and interpretations, to say 'central'.
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Longino View Post
    First sentence of The Holy Bible!
    Anybody else need a shot of Mescal to wash that lie down?
    Please discuss rationally.
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    It does not say.
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Jesus' selfless (loving) sacrifice. And God's loving sacrifice of his son.
    This is what I don't get.

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    I dont get it either. If god is capable of making a resurrection, how much of a sacrifice was it?
    I would rather have doubt than be certain and wrong.
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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post

    And God's loving sacrifice of his son. Love.
    God couldn't find a way around that?

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    the notion that Jesus took on, died for, and therefore obviated our sins
    Here is another bit I just can't swallow.

    First of all, what "sins"? Back to the collective punishment of all the descendants of a mythological couple who ate some fruit? Small children have "sins"? People who do their very best to live a good life despite the inescapable conflicting impulses of a social primate are all "sinners"?

    Second, there goes the Bible once again reinforcing the notion that the natural order of the universe requires brutal punishment for disobeying the "Lord". A couple of naked people ate some fruit, and the only way to commute the collective punishment of their descendants is to horribly torture and kill a good person? Not even God could come up with a better way?

    Sorry, but to me it all sounds like a convenient ideology for a brutal medieval ruling class, conveniently known as "lords".

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    Default Re: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    Anglican/Episcopal folks are hence in a middle zone between Catholic and low church Protestants. Not quite either.
    The Anglican church started out as an exact clone of the Catholic Church, 'Enery was a devout catholic, just as Jesus was a devout Jew. 'Enery simply took over the role of Pope. The church then went through a lot of evolution, responding to pressures from Europe and its own thinkers, so that now there is the Happy Clappy variety and a spectrum from there up to High Anglican with all the bells and whistles. Then there are African Anglicans, especially in states like Nigeria clinging hard to their bigotry.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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