Author Topic: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?  (Read 13325 times)

Andy

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Re: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?
« Reply #175 on: August 11, 2015, 10:22:43 PM »
With a few exceptions, theists believe that God is the menns by which existence was initiated.

When you look at this, do you begin to understand why it makes no odds to atheists (like me anyway) whether Jesus was resurrected or not when you're using it as evidence for a god?
No I don't, especially as I don't use the resurrection as evidence for a god.  If anything, my thought process is the other way round, as my post explained.

What, that a god is evidence for the resurrection? Yes, that is self explanatory with your "if God, why not" argument. It's just where are you drawing the line so you get to the point where god isn't evidence for something?
« Last Edit: August 11, 2015, 10:33:00 PM by Andy »

Floo

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Re: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?
« Reply #176 on: August 12, 2015, 08:46:51 AM »
The idea of my parents having it off is cringe making, having the deity playing voyeur is too much! ;D ;D ;D
Where do you get the idea that the deity played voyeur? To revisit my analogy of the light-bulb, Edison and Latimer wouldn't have seen the light-bulb being created, but without them it may well not have been created.

Well the deity maybe encouraged someone to have it off with Mary and supervised the proceedings, unless of course it bonked her itself, which is somehow unlikely! ;D ;D ;D
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Outrider

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Re: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?
« Reply #177 on: August 12, 2015, 08:56:48 AM »
The idea of my parents having it off is cringe making, having the deity playing voyeur is too much! ;D ;D ;D
Where do you get the idea that the deity played voyeur? To revisit my analogy of the light-bulb, Edison and Latimer wouldn't have seen the light-bulb being created, but without them it may well not have been created.

Well the deity maybe encouraged someone to have it off with Mary and supervised the proceedings, unless of course it bonked her itself, which is somehow unlikely! ;D ;D ;D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=og5HJyHrLXE

Still makes me chuckle :)

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Rhiannon

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Re: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?
« Reply #178 on: August 12, 2015, 11:38:23 AM »
This forum hadn't existed through the ages. Do Hope can post his good reasons from history without repeating himself.

Otherwise fair point to him - Cym's posts have all gone in the necessary housekeeping so searching would be a waste of his time. Can't think who else he'd be quoting.

Shaker

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Re: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?
« Reply #179 on: August 12, 2015, 11:41:57 AM »
This forum hadn't existed through the ages. Do Hope can post his good reasons from history without repeating himself.
Capital.

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Dicky Underpants

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Re: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?
« Reply #180 on: August 12, 2015, 04:20:52 PM »
So it's really a sub-branch of Judaism.
Probably as much as one can say that Buddhism is a sub-branch of Hinduism!!

So you're sort of half agreeing with Leonard and half agreeing with BA? I take it you don't entirely support BA's latter-day Marcionism, with his virulent insistence on divorcing the OT from the NT?
Well, no Buddhist would want to be told that Buddhism is 'really a sub-branch of' Hinduism.  I happen to believe that this 'sub-branch' idea is too simplistic.  As for BA's 'virulent insistence on divorcing the OT from the NT', it would seem to me that he is determined that the God of the OT is not the same as the God of the NT - something I would disagree with.

I'd settle for "A new form of Judaism" - agreeing that the idea of a "sub-branch" is rather simplistic. Well, I'm glad you disagree with BA on his reference to two distinct gods. Someone taxed him on whether he believed the 'demiurge' exists, and he was apparently open to argument. Care to engage with him on this matter? (I've lost patience with such things - except as metaphors.)

Dicky Underpants

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Re: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?
« Reply #181 on: August 12, 2015, 04:31:41 PM »
Hillel went even further in this regard than Jesus.
I would disagree, in that Hillel stayed within the parameters of Torahnic teachings.  As such, he expounded the Torah.
Which he reduced to "What is harmful to you, do not do to your neighbour - all else is commentary. Go and study."

 
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Jesus, on the other hand, took those same teachings and punched holes in them by saying that they didn't go far enough.  Hence the Sermon on the Mount which radically remoulds the ideas taught in the Torah.

Depends which parts of the NT you read. In addition, the Sermon on the Mount, despite the claims of some for its absolute clarity of teaching, is in fact in parts extremely obscure. Who are the "poor in spirit"? One would hope the believers would be "rich in spirit" - even if poor in everything else.
It also trades on that old fundamentalist standby of 'persecution' - if people are getting at you, you can be sure you're on the right track. Which has on many occasions caused some of a peculiar psychological bent to wind up their fellow creatures so much that it's no wonder people got thoroughly pissed off with them (The 'martyr' Stephen being the first in a long line). However, even in this, Jesus establishes a link with the Old Testament, since he says "for so they persecuted the prophets before you". Which prophets, I wonder - Zoroastrian or Hindu ones?  ;)
« Last Edit: August 12, 2015, 04:39:39 PM by Dicky Underpants »

Hope

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Re: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?
« Reply #182 on: August 12, 2015, 05:24:17 PM »
Which he reduced to "What is harmful to you, do not do to your neighbour - all else is commentary. Go and study."
Which, as I said goes nowhere as far as Jesus did.

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Depends which parts of the NT you read. In addition, the Sermon on the Mount, despite the claims of some for its absolute clarity of teaching, is in fact in parts extremely obscure. Who are the "poor in spirit"? One would hope the believers would be "rich in spirit" - even if poor in everything else.
The term 'poor in spirit' is 'πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι'. πτωχοὶ has nothing to do with wealth, abundance or lack thereof; it is a word that refers to 'crouching', hence someone who is humble or self-effacing.

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It also trades on that old fundamentalist standby of 'persecution' - if people are getting at you, you can be sure you're on the right track.
Lost track of the number of sermons I've heard on the SotM, but never heard this idea before.  Please expand on the idea.

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Which has on many occasions caused some of a peculiar psychological bent to wind up their fellow creatures so much that it's no wonder people got thoroughly pissed off with them (The 'martyr' Stephen being the first in a long line).
So, you think that telling Jews of the Messiah that they had been waiting centuries for, was 'winding up their fellow creatures'?  Again, not a term I'd usually associate with trying to get people to change their way of thinking - not even with those of an atheistic bent here on this forum.

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However, even in this, Jesus establishes a link with the Old Testament, since he says "for so they persecuted the prophets before you". Which prophets, I wonder - Zoroastrian or Hindu ones?  ;)
If he "establishes a link with the Old Testament", as you say, perhaps you ought to read the Old Testament and see which prophets the Jewish leaders persecuted.  I'll give you one for you to start with - Jeremiah.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2015, 05:35:32 PM by Hope »
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cyberman

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Re: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?
« Reply #183 on: August 12, 2015, 07:10:13 PM »
There is no situation in which 'don't eat shellfish because the celestial zombie-wizard will be displeased' is not nonsense.
If you don't object, I'm pinching that for a future quote - attributed, of course  :)

But it's a bit of a man of straw, isn't it?  No-one believes it isn't nonsense.

Shaker

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Re: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?
« Reply #184 on: August 12, 2015, 07:30:35 PM »
There is no situation in which 'don't eat shellfish because the celestial zombie-wizard will be displeased' is not nonsense.
If you don't object, I'm pinching that for a future quote - attributed, of course  :)

But it's a bit of a man of straw, isn't it?  No-one believes it isn't nonsense.
Is it?

Do Orthodox Jews eat shellfish?
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BashfulAnthony

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Re: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?
« Reply #185 on: August 12, 2015, 08:46:39 PM »
The idea of my parents having it off is cringe making, having the deity playing voyeur is too much! ;D ;D ;D
Where do you get the idea that the deity played voyeur? To revisit my analogy of the light-bulb, Edison and Latimer wouldn't have seen the light-bulb being created, but without them it may well not have been created.

Well the deity maybe encouraged someone to have it off with Mary and supervised the proceedings, unless of course it bonked her itself, which is somehow unlikely! ;D ;D ;D

Good theological analysis!
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Owlswing

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Re: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?
« Reply #186 on: August 12, 2015, 08:58:50 PM »
OK - enough of the old Virgin Mary bollocks!

Mary was introduced into the Jesus story to take the place of the Pagan Goddesses to make the transition from Pagan to Christian smoother.

Just as the early churches in this country were built at the places where pagans worshipped; which is why some of the really early churches have carvings of the Green Man/the Oak King and/or the Sheela na gig in them.

It is also, of course, why so many Christian Holy Days are on what were Pagan festivals - Easter - Ostara; All Hallows - Samhain and why Christmass is also known as Yuletide!

The whole Christianity thing is a Johnny-come-lately compared to paganism.
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Hope

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Re: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?
« Reply #187 on: August 12, 2015, 09:27:57 PM »
OK - enough of the old Virgin Mary bollocks!

Mary was introduced into the Jesus story to take the place of the Pagan Goddesses to make the transition from Pagan to Christian smoother.
And your evidence for this assertion is ...?

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Just as the early churches in this country were built at the places where pagans worshipped; which is why some of the really early churches have carvings of the Green Man/the Oak King and/or the Sheela na gig in them.

It is also, of course, why so many Christian Holy Days are on what were Pagan festivals - Easter - Ostara; All Hallows - Samhain and why Christmass is also known as Yuletide!
But all that doesn't prove that Christianity isn't true.  Remember that many of those 'early churches' predate the arrival of Augustine and his corps of priests, so that the church was usually run by the laity - so they would likely use the holy sites that they were used to use foir their church.  Add to that the likelihood that sites and dates were probably taken over by pagans from the faiths that predated it, in much the same way as Christianity has done with pagan sites.

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The whole Christianity thing is a Johnny-come-lately compared to paganism.
Astronomy is a johnny-come-lately compared to astrology.  Does this mean that astology is any more 'true' than astronomy.

Anthropologists are fully aware of this practice of taking over the sites and dates of previously existing societies, somtimes to help the populace to cope with the changes and sometimes because the times of year that such events occur are naturally occurring events (the change of a year, the arrival of new life, the 'death' of the sun; etc.)

This site makes for interesting reading

http://www.sociologyguide.com

and in this area, the

http://www.sociologyguide.com/religion/social-functions-and-dysfunctions-of-religion.php  page.
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Shaker

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Re: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?
« Reply #188 on: August 13, 2015, 11:38:22 AM »
Day 6: Still no word on what Hope thinks were/are the "good reasons" why homosexuality "was viewed with revulsion though history and across cultures."
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Rhiannon

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Re: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?
« Reply #189 on: August 13, 2015, 12:58:28 PM »
He'll tell us I'm sure. It's really important information that's eluded me so far and it'd be wrong not to pass it on.

Unless it doesn't exist, but I'm sure Hope wouldn't tell fibs.

Shaker

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Re: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?
« Reply #190 on: August 13, 2015, 01:00:23 PM »
I couldn't possibly comment.
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Dicky Underpants

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Re: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?
« Reply #191 on: August 13, 2015, 03:48:10 PM »
Which he reduced to "What is harmful to you, do not do to your neighbour - all else is commentary. Go and study."
Which, as I said goes nowhere as far as Jesus did.

Jesus' summary of the commandments amounted to two. The first "Thou shalt love thy God with all thy heart....." etc is a trifle misplaced in this largely secular age, when so many not only do not believe, but also have little conception of what "God" is supposed to be. Jesus' second item - his version of the Golden Rule - though noble in intent, has probably had quite a few undesirable side-effects, often deriving from evangelical zeal. Hillel's mandate that one should not harm one's neighbour amounts to an admirable and eminently practical ethos, which if adhered to would probably have left the world a far better place than it is. Which is not to denigrate Jesus - just trying to be objective.

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Depends which parts of the NT you read. In addition, the Sermon on the Mount, despite the claims of some for its absolute clarity of teaching, is in fact in parts extremely obscure. Who are the "poor in spirit"? One would hope the believers would be "rich in spirit" - even if poor in everything else.
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The term 'poor in spirit' is 'πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι'. πτωχοὶ has nothing to do with wealth, abundance or lack thereof; it is a word that refers to 'crouching', hence someone who is humble or self-effacing.
Oho! So now we all have to be fluent in Koine greek to know what a certain text in the SOTM means? This rather bears out the truth of my original observation - some of the texts therein are rather more obscure than they initially sound.
Having checked in my Interlinear Greek Testament, I see that the words you cite are simply translated as "poor in spirit", without further comment. I suspect few non-believers own an interlinear testament (and probably few believers, too) - so if delving even this far into the obscurities of NT language brings me no further to the "real" meaning, I guess we'll all have to trust that you yourself are on hand to give us the "true" meaning of any difficult passages that arise....

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It also trades on that old fundamentalist standby of 'persecution' - if people are getting at you, you can be sure you're on the right track.
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Lost track of the number of sermons I've heard on the SotM, but never heard this idea before.  Please expand on the idea.

Christ refers to 'persecution' as being a sign for his 'true' disicples several times in the gospels esp. Matt 24. These kinds of prophecies have often been used, particularly in modern fundamentalism, to provoke social reactions against the believers in question (I know the JWs have often used this tactic).

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Which has on many occasions caused some of a peculiar psychological bent to wind up their fellow creatures so much that it's no wonder people got thoroughly pissed off with them (The 'martyr' Stephen being the first in a long line).
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So, you think that telling Jews of the Messiah that they had been waiting centuries for, was 'winding up their fellow creatures'?  Again, not a term I'd usually associate with trying to get people to change their way of thinking - not even with those of an atheistic bent here on this forum.
As I said, the tactic has a long history. Ultimately, telling the Jews that their long expected Messiah had arrived may have been Stephen's principal message, but you'd never believe it from reading the relevant chapter in Acts. Instead of getting to the point, he bores the Jewish authorities to the utmost extremity with a recitation of the history of the Jewish people, with which they were just as well acquainted as he was - probably more - and this through 52 tedious verses. He finishes by calling them "stiff-necked and uncircumcised". I don't wonder they were vexed.

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However, even in this, Jesus establishes a link with the Old Testament, since he says "for so they persecuted the prophets before you". Which prophets, I wonder - Zoroastrian or Hindu ones?  ;)
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If he "establishes a link with the Old Testament", as you say, perhaps you ought to read the Old Testament and see which prophets the Jewish leaders persecuted.  I'll give you one for you to start with - Jeremiah.

Sorry, I should not have typed this bit in a post to you - it was really a gentle prod at BA's anti-Old Testament stance. He's very fond of quoting the SOTM, this being a bit of the NT of which he thoroughly approves (you probably know that he's actually quite selective about which bits of the NT he accepts, too - the magic word being "Midrash"). Yet here in his favourite quote is a direct reference by Jesus back to the OT.

Dicky Underpants

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Re: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?
« Reply #192 on: August 13, 2015, 03:57:00 PM »

You presumably think that the deity in which you believe is powerful enough to magic a universe into being out of nothing and to perform parlour tricks such as enabling a virgin to give birth and corpses to come back to life; but when it comes to being able to get across its message to its human creation in an absolutely crystal-clear, transparent way which doesn't allow for ambiguity or error or any other kind of unclarity, its supposed powers suddenly desert it and we're left with a hodge-podge of differing translations, frequently mutually contradictory, in a multiplicity of human languages, made by fallible, information-limited humans who may have an agenda to advance.



This is absolutely spot-on! (And also extremely clearly written :) ). In addition, it relates back to what I was saying about the SOTM in my post above.

Shaker

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Re: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?
« Reply #193 on: August 13, 2015, 04:54:29 PM »
Thanks Dicky  :D

Clarity, clarity, clarity - it's what I strive for, in thought and writing especially.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2015, 05:03:15 PM by Shaker »
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Gordon

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Re: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?
« Reply #194 on: August 13, 2015, 06:46:32 PM »
Day 6: Still no word on what Hope thinks were/are the "good reasons" why homosexuality "was viewed with revulsion though history and across cultures."

I suspect the reasons are that; a) there is an element of overt homophobia within some parts of Christianity, and b) here in the UK at least, and in view of social changes here in recent times, they'd rather not talk about it directly (apart that is from making less than subtle throwaway comments).

 

Hope

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Re: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?
« Reply #195 on: August 13, 2015, 07:25:41 PM »
Jesus' summary of the commandments amounted to two. The first "Thou shalt love thy God with all thy heart....." etc is a trifle misplaced in this largely secular age, when so many not only do not believe, but also have little conception of what "God" is supposed to be.
So you are happy to use the 'argumentum ad populum' when it happens to fit your perceived view of life (though I would suggest that the numbers of those who believe in a 'God' massively outnumber those who don't.)

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Jesus' second item - his version of the Golden Rule - though noble in intent, has probably had quite a few undesirable side-effects, often deriving from evangelical zeal. Hillel's mandate that one should not harm one's neighbour amounts to an admirable and eminently practical ethos, which if adhered to would probably have left the world a far better place than it is. Which is not to denigrate Jesus - just trying to be objective.
Probably no more undesirable side-effects than Hillel's would have caused had it been followed; after all 'evangelical zeal' exists within every philosophy, including atheism.

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Oho! So now we all have to be fluent in Koine greek to know what a certain text in the SOTM means? This rather bears out the truth of my original observation - some of the texts therein are rather more obscure than they initially sound.
Well, I'm not fluent in Koine Greek (in fact I'm probably more fluent in Nepali than Koine Greek), but isn't that why we have brains - to investigate and study?  Sounds as if you - like others here - want to have everything served up on a plate, so that you don't have to think which, as I've said several times before, smacks of being robots.

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Having checked in my Interlinear Greek Testament, I see that the words you cite are simply translated as "poor in spirit", without further comment. I suspect few non-believers own an interlinear testament (and probably few believers, too) - so if delving even this far into the obscurities of NT language brings me no further to the "real" meaning, I guess we'll all have to trust that you yourself are on hand to give us the "true" meaning of any difficult passages that arise....
Yes, I did delve into my Interlinear, but because I have been interested in this whole passage for many years, I have - over the years - delved into other documents, some of which I borrowed from public libraries, some of which I borrowed (and yes, I did return them) from friends and some of which - more recently - I accessed on the internet.  Fortunately,  there is a very valuable resource easily available on the internet.  Its called BibleGateway.com, and through it you can look at a verse or a passage in 44 different English translations (as well as an additional 8 modernised versions - e.g. the KJV is now available as the NewKJV, where language used has been brought into the 20th Century [iirc, it came out in the 1980s]).  If you care to check that out - https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/Matthew%205:3 - you will find that several translations and not only modern ones, refer to humility or acknowledging spiritual poverty, etc.

So, one doesn't have to be fluent in anything other than English or whatever your mother-tongue might be (though the site has a further 63 languages other than English).  All one needs is an inquiring mind, a computer and an internet connection - preferably broadband.  ;)

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Christ refers to 'persecution' as being a sign for his 'true' disicples several times in the gospels esp. Matt 24. These kinds of prophecies have often been used, particularly in modern fundamentalism, to provoke social reactions against the believers in question (I know the JWs have often used this tactic).
Not sure he ever uses it as a 'sign'; he certainly tells them to expect it, but then its fairly common for any radical organisation.  Regarding your reference to JWs, I agree that they like to claim to be Christian - but is it actually possible to be Christian when one doesn't acknowledge the core beliefs of Christianity?

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As I said, the tactic has a long history. Ultimately, telling the Jews that their long expected Messiah had arrived may have been Stephen's principal message, but you'd never believe it from reading the relevant chapter in Acts. Instead of getting to the point, he bores the Jewish authorities to the utmost extremity with a recitation of the history of the Jewish people, with which they were just as well acquainted as he was - probably more - and this through 52 tedious verses. He finishes by calling them "stiff-necked and uncircumcised". I don't wonder they were vexed.
In fact, I would readily believe that to have been Stephen's primary purpose; after all, he uses the full range of the Jewish Scriptures - which, as you say, the leaders ought to have known like the back of their hands - to show why Jesus was that Messiah.  Sometimes one has to explain things in depth.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2015, 07:29:49 PM by Hope »
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Shaker

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Re: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?
« Reply #196 on: August 13, 2015, 07:43:16 PM »
Day 6: Still no word on what Hope thinks were/are the "good reasons" why homosexuality "was viewed with revulsion though history and across cultures."

I suspect the reasons are that; a) there is an element of overt homophobia within some parts of Christianity, and b) here in the UK at least, and in view of social changes here in recent times, they'd rather not talk about it directly (apart that is from making less than subtle throwaway comments).
Indeed.

Whatever the reason, he's leaving it severely alone that's for sure  ;)
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Dicky Underpants

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Re: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?
« Reply #197 on: August 14, 2015, 03:54:28 PM »
Yes, I did delve into my Interlinear, but because I have been interested in this whole passage for many years, I have - over the years - delved into other documents, some of which I borrowed from public libraries, some of which I borrowed (and yes, I did return them) from friends and some of which - more recently - I accessed on the internet.  Fortunately,  there is a very valuable resource easily available on the internet.  Its called BibleGateway.com, and through it you can look at a verse or a passage in 44 different English translations (as well as an additional 8 modernised versions - e.g. the KJV is now available as the NewKJV, where language used has been brought into the 20th Century [iirc, it came out in the 1980s]).  If you care to check that out - https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/Matthew%205:3 - you will find that several translations and not only modern ones, refer to humility or acknowledging spiritual poverty, etc.

So, one doesn't have to be fluent in anything other than English or whatever your mother-tongue might be (though the site has a further 63 languages other than English).  All one needs is an inquiring mind, a computer and an internet connection - preferably broadband.  ;)


Can't be doing with all that Googling - whatever would BA say? Instead, this oh so uninquiring poster consulted various translations that he has on his own personal bookshelves. My Casiodoro de Reina Spanish translation just gives "pobres" (poor). My French translation (Louis Segond) gives "pauvres" (poor). My German translation of Hans Bruns seems to add to the text - I think (from memory) it says something like "die wissen das Sie arm in Geist sind" (who know that they are poor in spirit)  - which doesn't clarify very much.
J.B. Phillips 'modern English'  translation states in his introduction that the original Greek means "beggars in spirit", and translates the phrase in the main text as "the humble-minded" - which is something like you said. But I can't be certain who is right - and neither can you.

Now why you think that the general run of non-believers should spend time on the wild goose chase of determining what an obscure phrase in the gospels actually means, I can't begin to think. I should think I'm quite unusual among non-believers in actually going into the matter this far, but I'm really none the wiser. This all goes to bear out Shaker's basic point that an omniscient God, if really concerned that his message should be delivered unequivocally to humanity, would find some rather less slipshod method than getting people to chase down obscure linguistic routes only to find that nothing is that certain at the end of it.

Ultimately, however, I have to say "Does it matter?" - it seems that you're suggesting that it is only in modern times that people have really been able to translate accurately what the phrase means. Nearly 2000 years of Christianity, and the first verse of the Beatitudes has been misunderstood all that time...

"Blessed are the peace-makers" seems to be beset with relatively few problems, however.

Hope

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Re: Do you do any of these things that are banned in the Bible?
« Reply #198 on: August 14, 2015, 04:17:49 PM »
Can't be doing with all that Googling - whatever would BA say?
It only takes a minute or two to open Biblegateway, type in the verse one wants and then press the 'Get verse in all translations' button.

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Now why you think that the general run of non-believers should spend time on the wild goose chase of determining what an obscure phrase in the gospels actually means, I can't begin to think.
For two reasons: firstly, they expect us to use our brains when it comes to some scientific discovery that is often open to debate - and to hunt around for ourselves to discover whether what they are claiming at any given time is correct/potentially correct; secondly, because they often regard Christians as unthinking and happy to lap up anything and everything they are told.

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I should think I'm quite unusual among non-believers in actually going into the matter this far, but I'm really none the wiser. This all goes to bear out Shaker's basic point that an omniscient God, if really concerned that his message should be delivered unequivocally to humanity, would find some rather less slipshod method than getting people to chase down obscure linguistic routes only to find that nothing is that certain at the end of it.
Often they take words/phrases out of context and ask others to explain them, only then to wonder why those explanations don't fit with their particular opinions.

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Ultimately, however, I have to say "Does it matter?" - it seems that you're suggesting that it is only in modern times that people have really been able to translate accurately what the phrase means. Nearly 2000 years of Christianity, and the first verse of the Beatitudes has been misunderstood all that time...
Has it?  Do you know what 'poor in spirit' meant in the 17th century? 

The Bible has only been translated into languages other than Latin in the last 5-600 years, and then the basic English version that produced was regarded as 'Gospel' until about 125 years ago.  English is a notoriously imprecise language in some areas (though not in others), so one has to make sure that when referring to it, one isn't making a fool of yourself.

Furthermore, the understanding of Koine Greek was limited in the 16th/17th centuries; archological and other research produced a better understanding by the 19th century, and I understand that it has been sharpened even since then.  As a result, more modern translations are making use of more recent understandings.

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