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Author Topic:   Questions of Reliability and/or Authorship
Dawn Bertot
Member
Posts: 3185
Joined: 11-23-2007


Message 256 of 321 (477903)
08-09-2008 4:34 AM
Reply to: Message 253 by deerbreh
08-08-2008 9:09 PM


Re: Jesus Christ's Words
Am and deerbeer as I read your posts and the websites you offered it became quite apparent that my task was much easier then I even imagined.

It would initially be good if you could present the Sumerian and babylonian texts of creation as they appear instead of refering to them, so we can see how they actually compare to the Biblical Eden narrative.

First I would love to respond to this wonderful lesson in logic that DB (thats Deerbeer) has given me.

Bertot writes:quote:
Think about it, if it is "my opinion" that Moses was the author, then it is "your opinion" he was not, seeing you presented no evidence to the contrary, which implies you have no good reason for believing he was not. It stands that from this point alone, he is quite possibly the author and no reason to believe he was not.

Deer writes:
No, that is quite flawed logic. It's a false choice, for one thing. I also don't have a good reason for believing Abraham was not the author but I can't prove it. And why not Abraham rather than Moses? Can you prove it wasn't Abraham? Two of us can't prove it wasn't so it must be so, by your logic, no?
But now you say it doesn't matter anyway (though getting nailed on faulty logic of course always matters whatever the context).

Quetion? Do you really study logic? If you will remember you jumped in here like a crazy person, insisting that I was saying I could prove absolutley Moses was its author. I never made any comment to that affect. That my friend is a unwarrented and false presupposition. You never even gave me a chance to respond, before you had me saying and asserting things I never said. My simple indication has been that based on the evidence contained in scripture (which should be counted as reliable as anyother ancient text, until proven unreliable), that evidence suggests he was its author. It is therefore not a false choice, it is simply one you do not like. It is for this reason I said there is no good reason to believe he is not its author and quite possibly is its author.

http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/moses.html
http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/13

Bertot stated:

Simply put however, all the information and indications would indicate he was the author, there is no "good" reasons to believe he was not.

The above statement could only be made from a biblical context since he is nowhere else mentioned. But notice the mindset that automatically disqualifies the scriptures because they say they are said to be form God. Why are they immediatley ruled out as a reliable source, when all indications say they should not be dimissed? Notice your statement, "what emperical data can you provide", as if the scriptures do not qualify as emperical data..
Emperical evidence about history my simple friend is often in the eye of the beholder, consider this quote from the author you provided.

Ultimately, however, Cline concludes that, although there may be a kernel of historical truth to the Garden of Eden stories (the writer was, after all, referring to some kind of geographical reality, although at what scale remains debatable), the final historical “truth” will probably remain elusive:

It is hard to put the Garden of Eden into historical context, for it belongs to the realm of prehistory, if not myth or legend (p. 13).


Does this sound as if this author has emperical evidence to the contrary, especially where providnece and intervention are involved. Listen to the words of you cohort in this debate, Autumnman:
Post 52 and 59 of Eden 2 quote:bertot:
You have been misunderstanding me.
I agree.
The Hebrew source texts that we have are in fact the Hebrew source texts that we have. That we even have a Hebrew source text is absolutely amazing, and remarkable. I do not believe in luck. Remember me saying that? I am also not an atheist. Do the metaphorical math. We are essentially on the same page and in agreement.
Read my earlier posts more carefully.
AM states again:
My conclusion is that the Hebrew source text is NOT the divine “Word of God,” but is instead the “human words” of ancient mankind describing their conceptions of God, and what they learned from God to us their descendents. The very fact that we even have a Heb. source text to translate, contemplate, interpret, examine, and explore points to The Divine desiring us to have these ancient Scriptures, in my opinion.

Im like a lawyer in a courtroom arent I?

The definition of Empericical:

em·pir·i·cal Audio Help /ɛmˈpɪrɪkəl/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[em-pir-i-kuhl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–adjective 1. derived from or guided by experience or experiment.
2. depending upon experience or observation alone, without using scientific method or theory, esp. as in medicine.
3. provable or verifiable by experience or experiment.
em·pir·i·cal Audio Help /ɛmˈpɪrɪkəl/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[em-pir-i-kuhl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–adjective 1. derived from or guided by experience or experiment.
2. depending upon experience or observation alone, without using scientific method or theory, esp. as in medicine.
3. provable or verifiable by experience or experiment.

When one by experience, experiments with the evidence in the scriptures and the factual, evidentual historical and archeological corroborated information contained therein, one is certainly justified in drawing warrented conclusions about items of history that may or not have taken place. One is not stepping out into the dark by drwaing such conclusions.

So the answer to your original question is "the scriptures", the 66 books of the common Bible, as emperical evidence. This is my answer whenI am not being accused of bad logic by someone who does not even understand the simply principles of "deductive reasoning" or common sense

This is the same method one uses when studying the theory of evolution. Only hypothesizes (assumptions made to tests its consequences) can be drawn to the best of our abilities about things in the past. No one was there to see the actual events. Yes, even the ToE, falls into this category. Probably more so than most theories. Sorry fellas that just how it works.

Careful Deer how you throw around the word "emperical"

http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2222
http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2502

Again, faulty logic only exists if a person involves themselves in a false statement or implication, not assumed or presumed ideas, statements of ones imaginations. You attributed to me something I never indicated, that I could demonstrate absolute emperical data. Actually absolute emperical data does not exist for anything in history that someone did not witnesses. Inturn however, such data is not necessary to form an informed decision about something, only enough information or evidence to indicate in favor of or otherwise.

So read on.
quote:
...nearly every thinking person.
Well it is not clear what you mean "every thinking person" is supposed to be believing, but if you mean belief in a literal Eden your universe of "thinking persons" must indeed be quite small, as I would venture to say that not nearly a majority of Christians and Jews believe that, let alone the rest of the world.

You really need to pay attention here buddy boy. "Every thinking person" statement had to do with weather or not the author of the rest of the book of Genesis believed the narrative to be literal, and the rest of the books of the OT indicate it as literal. Every thinking person examining atleast the OT could see this fact by simple observation. Not weather Mr Cline believed it as literal, or weather people in history percieve it as literal, but weather the author of Genesis believed it as such. This what happens when you jump in not understanding the "exact" context of a thread or statement
quote:
Bertot writes; the narrative has never been discovered apart from the book itself.
Deer writes:
Actually it has. In fact, there is fairly good evidence that the author of Genesis "borrowed" the account from Sumerian sources that predate Genesis. This is pretty much accepted by most scholars, who presumably do think on occasion.
<http://northstatescience.blogspot.com/2007/09/review-of-from-eden-to-exile-chapter-1.html>

First I as I stated above go ahead and present the Sumerian and Babylonian narratives and lets see if they are comparable. I dont remember what post it was or what thread it was but I do remember Am saying he believed the Hebrew narrative was unique from all ther accounts of creation in ancient history and that this set it apart from them as such. I will try and find thatquote.

I love responding to this one. Follow carefully what the author you cited says below. Oral tradition was a big part of the Hebrews and ancient peoples manner of communicating truth, ideas and stories. Now since the scriptures indicate that Noah was the forefather of the sumerians, based on the ancient context of the scriptures, it would follow that these peoples recieved these stories from those before them, until the stories without the hand of inspiration, were corrupted and the exact details of the facts were distorted, until such time Moses through inspiration put it back in perspective and its true form.
Since the scriptures tout as much if not more fatual, historical and archeological evidence to its favor, this perception of what had taken place in ancient history cannot be discounted.

A simple example will suffice here. Even though theJews were the Keepers of Gogds words (Romans 1, 2 and 3) by the time Christ arrived they had so corrupeted its meanings and sayings that it was necessary for him to say, "you teach for doctrine the commandments of men". Even in this case where specific knowledge was at thier disposal it became distorted. What do you think might happen if only oral tradition without inspiration might happen. Think about it.

I dont remember the exact quote and I could not find it last night, but I do remember Autumnman saying that he believed that the Hebrew Eden narrative sets itself apart form any other account of creation, due to the facts he then presents and I will be happy to find it.

Therefore, it should be no surprise that the ancients had similar stories that mimic the biblical accounts. The Old and Nts have exhonerated (free from blame) themselves to mnay times to mention, at the hands of skeptics.
Now, couple all of this with the hand of intervention and inspiration in the process, that is if you believe in a God as AM does.

quote:
Ultimately, however, Cline concludes that, although there may be a kernel of historical truth to the Garden of Eden stories (the writer was, after all, referring to some kind of geographical reality, although at what scale remains debatable), the final historical “truth” will probably remain elusive:

It is hard to put the Garden of Eden into historical context, for it belongs to the realm of prehistory, if not myth or legend (p. 13).

Cline argues that these stories are “transmitted narratives” - oral history handed down from generation to generation and culture to culture, and eventually captured in a written language. Such narratives provide the best explanation for both the similarities and the differences between the biblical narratives and other stories from the region. This is an idea that makes good anthropological sense and is supported by anthropological, archaeological, ethnographic and historical data worldwide. We know that prior to written language (or in absence of such a language) oral transmissions of cultural knowledge were vital to maintaining cultural cohesiveness. Cline suggests that such oral traditions in the Near East were probably transmitted between cultures at a time scale on the order of centuries if not longer. I would suggest that oral traditions may in fact be passed for thousands of years. And of course, their content and concepts changed over time. It is also important to realize a primary function of such transmitted narratives: to “explain” the world around them in terms that were culturally meaningful, given their level of scientific and historic knowledge at the time.

Cline next discusses mention of Eden in Sumerian texts that pre-date Genesis and which may themselves have been borrowed from an earlier culture, the Ubaidians (approximately 7500 - 5500 BP). He also notes the existence of additional creation stories from the region that have “striking similarities” to the story found in Genesis. All of these pre-date the biblical account:

Scholars generally agree that the Hebrew Bible as we have it today was compiled from various sources, which were written down as early as the tenth or ninth century B.C. and as late as the sixth or fifth century B.C. Even the earliest parts of the Bible, such as the source called J by biblical scholars, do not date earlier than the tenth or ninth century B.C., hundreds of years after Enuma Elish was written.


Hundreds upon hundreds of years later peoples that were not under Gods "direct" influence (Romans 2:14-15) would have easily forgotten who Adam, Seth or Noah ever were if they ever heard of them in the first place and the stories would have become blurred, until the hand of inspiration interviend. As in the case of the Flood epic.
In fact, there are multiple non-Hebrew Eden accounts and there are Hebrew accounts not part of Genesis as well.
<http://umhyosook.wordpress.com/2007/10/16/eden-narratives-in-qumran/>
quote:

Eden narratives in Enoch
(1) The Book of Enoch
(2) Eden narrative in Enoch
(3) Differences from Genesis
Eden narratives in Jubilee
(1) The Book of Jubilee
(2) Eden narrative in Jubilee
(3) Differences from Genesis

Ball in your court again, I believe


The Epistle of Enoch
Dated: some scholars propose a date somewhere between the 170 BC and the 1st century BC .

Book of Jubilee traditionally dated or composed in 2 century B.C.E

Both of which are much younger than even a liberal traditional date of the book of Genesis.
Obvious revisions of the original, even if you believe Genesis had numerous authors. These harldy qualify as distinct and seperate from the origianl narrative.
Also, when I say apart from the book of Genesis I do not mean attached to some other Hebrew literature or scrolls, I simply mean by itself, discoverd as a ancient scroll or text attached to nothing. Try again fellas.

If you have "been over all of this already" how could you make the nonsensical statement that the Eden narrative hasn't been found apart from the Book of Genesis? - because of course it has - numerous times. You are simply in denial if you insist otherwise

No denial here my friend, you simply need to work harder to demonsrtrate that the Eden Narrative, as it is written in Genesis, has ever been discovered independent of that book. Not examples of revisions, and later alterations. Keep trying though this should be interesting
.
Also, AM, if you want go ahead and finish your response to post 244 I will wait for its completion and the respond in time and turn It may take a while as "Nearbeer", here has taken us off course a bit.

Ive got to work today, so my responese will be very late.

D Bertot

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 253 by deerbreh, posted 08-08-2008 9:09 PM deerbreh has not yet responded

    
autumnman
Member (Idle past 1510 days)
Posts: 621
From: Colorado
Joined: 02-24-2008


Message 257 of 321 (477947)
08-09-2008 10:38 PM
Reply to: Message 244 by Dawn Bertot
08-07-2008 1:01 AM


Re: Jesus Christ's Words
Response post 244 continued:

bertot wrote:

Did you happen to read vs 46 of the Gospel of Thomas, "From Adam to John the Baptist", I think he bleieved Adam was real
Hmmmm, lets see, no historical or factual information to corroborate in its contents and its dated between 200 and 250 AD. I cant imagine why it was rejected can you? Ok, lets move it from the National Enquirer to the Globe.
The NT and its individual books usually carry with them a certain amount of historical, archeological and verifiable information that the Gnostic Gospels and the Nag Hammadi (or as we say in Alabama, the "Nag hamidy") cannot boast. This is one of the "main" reasons they are considered as reliable.
Even the dates of many of the suprious books give them away as nothing more that feeble attempts at copy cat reproductions. The earliest documents and that which can be traced throught the earliest followers writings is usually the most reliable, even if you do not believe in the Holy Spirits watchful eye.

I did a little of my own research regarding the dates of the oldest Canonical Gospels and compared what I found with the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas. This is what I found.

Oldest Manuscript of the Canonical Gospels & The Gnostic Gospel of Thomas

quote:
Even within the period that runs from c. A.D. 100-300 it is possible for paleographers to be more specific on the relative date of the papyrus manuscripts of the New Testament. For about sixty years now a tiny papyrus fragment of the Gospel of John has been the oldest "manuscript" of the New Testament. This manuscript (P52) has generally been dated to ca. A.D. 125. This fact alone proved that the original Gospel of John was written earlier, viz. in the first century A.D., as had always been upheld by conservative scholars.

We now have early and very early evidence for the text of the New Testament. A classified list of the most important manuscripts will make this clear. Numbers preceded by a P refer to papyri, the letters refer to parchment manuscripts.

ca. A.D. 200 250 300 350 450

Matthew P45 B Sin.
Mark P45 B Sin. A
Luke P4,P45,P75 B Sin. A
John P66 P45,P75 B Sin. A
Acts P45 B Sin. A
Romans-Hebrews P46 B Sin. A
James-Jude P72,B Sin. A
Apocalypse P47 Sin. A

As you can see, from the fourth century onwards the material base for establishing the text of the Greek New Testament is very good indeed. The manuscripts Sin. (Sinaiticus), A (Alexandrinus) and B (Vaticanus) are almost complete parchment manuscripts. With the help of the earlier papyrus manuscripts we have been able to establish that the text of these three great manuscripts is to a large extent reliable. The papyrus manuscript P75 was the latest to be published, but it showed a virtually identical text to manuscript B. This settled the vexed question whether we have in the parchment manuscripts of the fourth and fifth centuries a safe guide to the original text of the New Testament. We have.

http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/papyrus/texts/manuscripts.html.


Literary background of the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas (GTh):

quote:
“One qualified expert has recently estimated the GTh was probably composed in the first century A.D.; many other scholars assign it roughly to the middle of the second. At any rate, its literary genre and some of the individual sayings are extremely ancient.”

The Gnostic Scriptures, by Bentley Layton, The Gospel According To Thomas, Literary background, pg. 377, © 1987, ISBN 0-385-17447-0


quote:
The Gospel of Thomas is a collection of traditional sayings, prophecies, proverbs, and parables of Jesus. The Coptic Gospel of Thomas was translated from the Greek; in fact, several fragments of this Greek version have been preserved, and can be dated to about 200 C.E. Thus the Greek (or even or Aramaic) collection was composed in the period before about 200 C.E., possibly as early as the second half of the first century, in Syria, Palestine, or Mesopotamia. The authorship of the Gospel of Thomas is attributed to Didymos Judas Thomas, that is, Judas "the Twin," who was an apostle of Jesus.

http://reluctant-messenger.com/gospel-of-thomas.htm.


So, the Greek version of the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas can be dated to about 200 C.E. and the oldest New Testament Canonical Gospel manuscripts is dated to 200 C.E. The above information appears to place the oldest manuscripts of the Gnostic and Canonical Gospels to the 3rd century C.E. with only a fragment of the Canonical Gospel of John dating to the first quarter of the 2nd century C.E. However, all of these ancient manuscripts are regarded as copies of the originals that were probably composed in the 1st century C.E., but those originals no longer exist.

You state above:

The NT and its individual books usually carry with them a certain amount of historical, archeological and verifiable information that the Gnostic Gospels cannot boast.

You neglect to point out that the NT Scriptures also carry with them a number of fanciful, mythical, and/or supernatural declarations that tend to alter the impact of their historical, archeological and verifiable information. It is not logically reasonable to extrapolate from that which is or can be naturally verified to that which is naturally and empirically absurd or fanciful. Deductive reasoning cannot be applied in a rational way when attempting to infer from what is historically and archeologically verifiable to that, which cannot be verified in a historical, archeological, or empirical fashion. There is no amount of natural or realistic information that will ever confirm the supernatural, and/or unrealistic information contained within the New or the Old Testaments. You must be aware of this fact to some degree.

Riddles and metaphors that are founded in natural substances (like “dust”), natural beings (like “trees”), or natural phenomena (like “rain”), however, possess empirical qualities. For example: “Dust” is a dry earthly substance that does not lend itself to being “formed” and in no way does it literally depict the substance of the mortal human body. “Trees” are living natural beings that human beings cannot create; but human beings do extract the “wood” from the corpses of living trees after they are killed. “Rain” is in fact water that falls from the heavens, and without rain life on earth becomes dry and desolate.

I will post this reply and await your response. Let's start a discussion regarding what we have posted on only some of these issues and let's try to keep our posts as concise as possible. If they get too long its like having a one sided conversation. I feel we are in need of talking points as opposed to lecture-like disertations. What do you say?

All the best,
Ger


This message is a reply to:
 Message 244 by Dawn Bertot, posted 08-07-2008 1:01 AM Dawn Bertot has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 258 by Dawn Bertot, posted 08-10-2008 1:19 AM autumnman has responded
 Message 260 by Dawn Bertot, posted 08-11-2008 11:16 AM autumnman has not yet responded
 Message 261 by Dawn Bertot, posted 08-11-2008 11:38 AM autumnman has responded

    
Dawn Bertot
Member
Posts: 3185
Joined: 11-23-2007


Message 258 of 321 (477951)
08-10-2008 1:19 AM
Reply to: Message 257 by autumnman
08-09-2008 10:38 PM


Re: Jesus Christ's Words
AM I stayed up till 4:00 am last evening typing and I am sure you know by now I will get to your or anyone elses post eventually. But I am going to take the night off and relax, I may not even get to this last one tommorrow, but I will try, I will read it tonite. I am hoping the other fellow will not back down from his assertions he has advanced in his post and he will try and make a response to my last one, but we will see, right?

See you in a while.

D Bertot


This message is a reply to:
 Message 257 by autumnman, posted 08-09-2008 10:38 PM autumnman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 259 by autumnman, posted 08-10-2008 1:28 PM Dawn Bertot has responded

    
autumnman
Member (Idle past 1510 days)
Posts: 621
From: Colorado
Joined: 02-24-2008


Message 259 of 321 (477984)
08-10-2008 1:28 PM
Reply to: Message 258 by Dawn Bertot
08-10-2008 1:19 AM


Re: Jesus Christ's Words
bertot wrote:

post # 258: AM I stayed up till 4:00 am last evening typing and I am sure you know by now I will get to your or anyone elses post eventually. But I am going to take the night off and relax, I may not even get to this last one tommorrow, but I will try, I will read it tonite. I am hoping the other fellow will not back down from his assertions he has advanced in his post and he will try and make a response to my last one, but we will see, right?
See you in a while.

No problem, my friend. Take your time. Take a break. I’ll keep my eye on the Emails and the forum – since I have not been receiving Reply Notification of late. I will look forward to your response whenever you can get around to it.

p.s. Please try to keep your replies as concise as you can so we can establish some talking points and not just end up trying to reply to each other’s lectures, eh?

Reply to post 244 continued:

bertot cited GTh v. 46 {41:6 thru 10} Did you happen to read vs 46 of the Gospel of Thomas, "From Adam to John the Baptist", I think he bleieved Adam was real

Since the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas was originally composed in Alexandrian Greek, and here Jesus is essentially referring to the Septuagint Greek translation of the Genesis creation accounts, and probably more appropriately Gen. 5:1 (“This is the book of the generations of Adam” KJV), due to the context of GTh v. 46 referring to “the offspring of women”, it stands to reason that his audience would comprehend what he was stating in that context.

Jesus refers to “Adam” again in GTh v. 85 “Adam was not worthy of us” {47:29 thru 33}, saying, “It was from a great power and a great wealth that Adam came into being; and he did not become worthy of you (plur.). For, had he been worthy [he would] not [have tasted] death.”

According to the Orthodox interpretation of the “Adam & Eve fable”, had “Adam” not partaken of “death” he – “Adam & Eve” – would never have been sent back “to till/work the ground that he was taken from there” Masoretic Hebrew Text (KJV “to till the ground from whence he was taken”) Gen. 3:23. Had this not occurred then what is declared in Gen. 2:5—“and there was not a man to till the ground” KJV— would never have been fulfilled, for “Adam” was “formed of the dust from the ground” (KJV Gen. 2:7) prior to the Garden of Eden being established and “Adam” being put into it, which occurred in Gen. 2:8. When one follows this Orthodox translation context, then the plural “you” – which refers to Jesus’ audience – in GTh v. 85 would never have come into being, since “Adam & Eve” would never have partaken of “death” and would have never been sent from the Garden of Eden back to the ground from whence he was originally taken. Had this been the case then what is declared in Gen. 1:28 would never had been said: “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it...” (KJV). Gen. 1:28 does not say Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the Garden in Eden, and subdue it!

I truly suspect that Jesus is stating much more in the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas that you are giving the Gnostic Scripture credit for. That is, of course, my humble opinion.

In the “Introduction,” pg. iv, of the Brenton, Septuagint it states:

quote:
The Septuagint version having been current for about three centuries before the time when the books of the New Testament were written, it is not surprising that the Apostles should have used it more often than not in making citations from the Old Testament. ...They used what was already familiar to the ears of converted Hellenists, when it was sufficiently accurate to suit the matter in hand. ...As the Gentile Christians were generally unacquainted with Hebrew...

All the best,
Ger


This message is a reply to:
 Message 258 by Dawn Bertot, posted 08-10-2008 1:19 AM Dawn Bertot has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 262 by Dawn Bertot, posted 08-12-2008 9:10 AM autumnman has responded

    
Dawn Bertot
Member
Posts: 3185
Joined: 11-23-2007


Message 260 of 321 (478058)
08-11-2008 11:16 AM
Reply to: Message 257 by autumnman
08-09-2008 10:38 PM


Re: Jesus Christ's Words
AM I am writing a response to the first part of 244, will have it out in a minute

D Bertot


This message is a reply to:
 Message 257 by autumnman, posted 08-09-2008 10:38 PM autumnman has not yet responded

    
Dawn Bertot
Member
Posts: 3185
Joined: 11-23-2007


Message 261 of 321 (478059)
08-11-2008 11:38 AM
Reply to: Message 257 by autumnman
08-09-2008 10:38 PM


Re: Jesus Christ's Words
AM I this will be a response to post 257 and 259, if you would let me get finished with both and then make a response. This will avoid misssing material and skipping items. I simply cannot do the concise thing as you put it, I feel that much discussion on points is very important, especially when you are dealing with items of this nature.

I suppose 'deerbreh' was not up to the challenge of defending his assertions in his posts. Some fellas are like that, unable to uphold thier responsibilites and obligations. Either of you are welcome to reply to post 256, if you wish, as it appears he is not up to the task, as you called it.

Quote: So, the Greek version of the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas can be dated to about 200 C.E. and the oldest New Testament Canonical Gospel manuscripts is dated to 200 C.E. The above information appears to place the oldest manuscripts of the Gnostic and Canonical Gospels to the 3rd century C.E. with only a fragment of the Canonical Gospel of John dating to the first quarter of the 2nd century C.E. However, all of these ancient manuscripts are regarded as copies of the originals that were probably composed in the 1st century C.E., but those originals no longer exist.

Yes the originals dont exist but the people that were closest to the events did exist and it is possible to reproduce the entire NT excluding 11 verses from thier writings. The ones closest to the events would have know what the written, acceptable material was and what the truth of the situations was as I pointed out with the declaration of independance, bill or rights and constitution. The samthing will happen 500 years from now, guranteed, with these articles, I wish I were around to watch it culminate. Think about it AM.

Now add to this the very very very real probablity of devine intervention into the process by a God you believe in. 2Peter 2:3
Here is the natural and spiritual in one inspired verse.

3.His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

Even assuming the Gth was composed in the 1st century, the earliest deciples, atleast the majority did not accept it as inspired or authoratative. There were probably numerous things of this nature floating around. Most if not ll of these spurious gospels carry no weight with them, its as if the composer wished to remain unknown. here is a aticle to demonstrate this point, I hope you find it interesting.

http--www.apologeticspress.org/rr/reprints/Which-Books-Belong-in-the-Bible.pdf

http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2599
Thanks for your modest and conservative dating of the NT and here is a couple of sites from a not very well known scholar (ha ha) that might assist you as well.

http://www.bible.ca/b-new-testament-documents-f-bruce-ch2.htm

http://www.bible.ca/b-new-testament-documents-f-bruce.htm

You neglect to point out that the NT Scriptures also carry with them a number of fanciful, mythical, and/or supernatural declarations that tend to alter the impact of their historical, archeological and verifiable information. It is not logically reasonable to extrapolate from that which is or can be naturally verified to that which is naturally and empirically absurd or fanciful. Deductive reasoning cannot be applied in a rational way when attempting to infer from what is historically and archeologically verifiable to that, which cannot be verified in a historical, archeological, or empirical fashion. There is no amount of natural or realistic information that will ever confirm the supernatural, and/or unrealistic information contained within the New or the Old Testaments. You must be aware of this fact to some degree.

So much of our discussion, centers around that which you refer to as "absurd and fanciful". It has alway interested me how someone who supposedly believes in God finds that which is contained in the scriptures as absurd.or rediculous. There are numerous people on this site AM that would find you belief inGod as absurd and fanciful no matter how much information you present, true? They would consider your position of moving from the natural to the supernatural (deity, God of nature) or whatever you wish to call it as fanciful and absurd, they say there is no good reason for believing in God, yet you maintain your position, even if you cannot "prove" it, correct. Now I know this is not a answer o your quetion, I simply wanted to point that out again. You commiting the same "mistake" that you accuse me of, correct.

Also, I never said that moving from the natural to the supernatural, "proves" the supernatural. I was simply pointing out that we proceed with that which gives us the best information to make our own decisions, about, say the spirit world and things of that nature. In this instance, the scriptures as we know them provide us with the most accurate information and evidence to make a decision on our own. No other source/s can assist us in this manner. There are no other sources in ancient history and manuscripts that tout the amount of factual, historical and archeological evidence connected directly with the so-called supernatual that allow us to make a decision for "ourselves". You appearently have made you decision, so be it. But looking strickly at the factual data e one can decide that that data, is atleast accurate and it has stood the test of time from critics and skeptics.
If you will remember this part of the discussion strated with the principle of what faith and blind faith was or was not, to see if some faith could be supported factually and logically. This is the manner in which I am proceeding. I challenged you to provide a scripture that suggested we proceed on blind faith alone. To this point you have not provided that passage. This is where our discussion took a detour. Hopefully we are returning to that point and then back to your origianl issues.

To rule out the supernatural simply because we have not observed it or experienced it is not a completly objective way to proceed. Belief in God of any sort, is belief in the supernatural, belief that God sustains things with his might is a belief in the supernatural, belief that God wanted us to have the Hebrew eden narrative, is belief in the supernatural. I might point out as I have about 8 or 9 times now, that intervention in space and time to create anything by God and you belief in this is belief in the supernatural. you just need to pick a side and stick with it. Your statement above and you particular beliefs make no logical sense with the rest of the paragraph and its conclusions. You simply need t choose a camp and stay in it, eh.

Riddles and metaphors that are founded in natural substances (like “dust”), natural beings (like “trees”), or natural phenomena (like “rain”), however, possess empirical qualities. For example: “Dust” is a dry earthly substance that does not lend itself to being “formed” and in no way does it literally depict the substance of the mortal human body. “Trees” are living natural beings that human beings cannot create; but human beings do extract the “wood” from the corpses of living trees after they are killed. “Rain” is in fact water that falls from the heavens, and without rain life on earth becomes dry and desolate.

I warned you numeours times to stay off of the narcotics before writing out a post (ha ha). I think I have answered the above in my response, just stay away form that damn 'peace pipe' Your a wierd dude homie. Just kidding.
Here is a response to the first part of 257 and 259.

I tried to open one of the two together web sites and I dont know what happened on the websites search engine type in ff bruce read cahpter two of The New testamnet documents a any others I think you will find them interesting.
D Bertot

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 257 by autumnman, posted 08-09-2008 10:38 PM autumnman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 265 by autumnman, posted 08-13-2008 6:52 PM Dawn Bertot has responded

    
Dawn Bertot
Member
Posts: 3185
Joined: 11-23-2007


Message 262 of 321 (478124)
08-12-2008 9:10 AM
Reply to: Message 259 by autumnman
08-10-2008 1:28 PM


Re: Jesus Christ's Words
I will now make "concise", short reply to post 259 regarding the Gth statements.

Since the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas was originally composed in Alexandrian Greek, and here Jesus is essentially referring to the Septuagint Greek translation of the Genesis creation accounts, and probably more appropriately Gen. 5:1 (“This is the book of the generations of Adam” KJV), due to the context of GTh v. 46 referring to “the offspring of women”, it stands to reason that his audience would comprehend what he was stating in that context.

Jesus refers to “Adam” again in GTh v. 85 “Adam was not worthy of us” {47:29 thru 33}, saying, “It was from a great power and a great wealth that Adam came into being; and he did not become worthy of you (plur.). For, had he been worthy [he would] not [have tasted] death.”

According to the Orthodox interpretation of the “Adam & Eve fable”, had “Adam” not partaken of “death” he – “Adam & Eve” – would never have been sent back “to till/work the ground that he was taken from there” Masoretic Hebrew Text (KJV “to till the ground from whence he was taken”) Gen. 3:23. Had this not occurred then what is declared in Gen. 2:5—“and there was not a man to till the ground” KJV— would never have been fulfilled, for “Adam” was “formed of the dust from the ground” (KJV Gen. 2:7) prior to the Garden of Eden being established and “Adam” being put into it, which occurred in Gen. 2:8. When one follows this Orthodox translation context, then the plural “you” – which refers to Jesus’ audience – in GTh v. 85 would never have come into being, since “Adam & Eve” would never have partaken of “death” and would have never been sent from the Garden of Eden back to the ground from whence he was originally taken. Had this been the case then what is declared in Gen. 1:28 would never had been said: “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it...” (KJV). Gen. 1:28 does not say Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the Garden in Eden, and subdue it!

I truly suspect that Jesus is stating much more in the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas that you are giving the Gnostic Scripture credit for. That is, of course, my humble opinion.

Like most of the Gth vs 85 is complete nonsense. There is no way to determine or even begin to understand what is in the authors mind in this rediculous statement. Forgive my bluntness, but I will have to reject it as quickly as the early Church did. Alot of eloaboration about translations and of words, dosent help the Gospel of Thomas. If you work really hard you can make his nonsensical statements say anything you want, as you have done above. A simple reading of the entire book leaves one standing in total amazement.
Consider the following:

Gth vs11

Jesus said, "This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away.

The dead are not alive, and the living will not die. During the days when you ate what is dead, you made it come alive. When you are in the light, what will you do? On the day when you were one, you became two. But when you become two, what will you do?"

"Scooby Doo can doo doo but Jimmy Carter is smarter"., Homer Simpson, 'The Simpsons' Come on Am, be serious. Ill make a deal with you. You tell me what Homer meant in his statement and Ill give you an explanation of verse 11. Since no one in the living room had a clue what he was talking about, I think there is no fear you will either, or that I will ever understand vs 11s meaning.

I dont mean to be overly facetious here but think about it logically. The writer of these verses obviously has no idea what he is talking about and it is clear he is trying to ad-lib, things he does not understand.

Secondly and more importantly there is no historical content or context in this book, heck there isnt even any context, context in the light of these statements. They seem to be random statements slung together for no apparent purpose, other than to get a "work" out in the mix.

The Gth, vs4:

Jesus said, "The person old in days won't hesitate to ask a little child seven days old about the place of life, and that person will live.

Come on Am, what the heck does that ignorant statement mean. If you worked as hard at finding truth in the true Gospels as you do in this nonsense, you would be much further along in your understanding. Is it any surprise the early church rejected these? Apparently, they were much more intelligent than we ever imagined

If however, we do a simple reading of vs 85, it also, makes it appear that Adam was brouhgt into being and was considered a literal being as well. Its only when you start the facny foot work, that makes this literal interpretation disappear. "do a little side step lead them on", etc, etc, etc.

Here is a very interesting point. Isnt it interesting that skeptics of the four major Gospels will use these types of books (Gth) to try and undermine the four in thier arguments against them, however, if the Gth were included as a part of the 27 books in the canon at present, those same skeptics would be laughing at its (Gth) content as much, as say, I am. Now theres objectivity for you.

One other interesting point. There seem to be numerous quotes in the Gth from the four major Gospels, but there doesnt seem to be any of the very specific statements that are unique to the Gth contained in the Gospels. Wonder why that is? Hmmmm?

This ofcourse is my dogmatic, humble opinion, ha, ha. Lets talk about something serious, what so you say AM.

D Bertot

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 259 by autumnman, posted 08-10-2008 1:28 PM autumnman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 263 by autumnman, posted 08-12-2008 10:27 PM Dawn Bertot has responded

    
autumnman
Member (Idle past 1510 days)
Posts: 621
From: Colorado
Joined: 02-24-2008


Message 263 of 321 (478205)
08-12-2008 10:27 PM
Reply to: Message 262 by Dawn Bertot
08-12-2008 9:10 AM


Re: Jesus Christ's Words
bertot: Nice opinion. I've been topping trees and falling them all day for a friend of my wife. I am extremely tired. Tomorrow morning I'll complete my reply to your earlier post and perhaps this one also.

I'll talk to you in the morning, my friend.

All the best,
Ger


This message is a reply to:
 Message 262 by Dawn Bertot, posted 08-12-2008 9:10 AM Dawn Bertot has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 264 by Dawn Bertot, posted 08-13-2008 2:16 AM autumnman has not yet responded

    
Dawn Bertot
Member
Posts: 3185
Joined: 11-23-2007


Message 264 of 321 (478228)
08-13-2008 2:16 AM
Reply to: Message 263 by autumnman
08-12-2008 10:27 PM


Re: Jesus Christ's Words
bertot: Nice opinion. I've been topping trees and falling them all day for a friend of my wife. I am extremely tired. Tomorrow morning I'll complete my reply to your earlier post and perhaps this one also.
I'll talk to you in the morning, my friend.

Your just like statefarm, a good neighbor. That is damn admirable of you to assist your friends. I was extremely happy to see you had not responded, I really did not want to stay up very late.

D Bertot

Edited by Bertot, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 263 by autumnman, posted 08-12-2008 10:27 PM autumnman has not yet responded

    
autumnman
Member (Idle past 1510 days)
Posts: 621
From: Colorado
Joined: 02-24-2008


Message 265 of 321 (478293)
08-13-2008 6:52 PM
Reply to: Message 261 by Dawn Bertot
08-11-2008 11:38 AM


Re: Jesus Christ's Words
bertot wrote:

Yes the originals dont exist but the people that were closest to the events did exist and it is possible to reproduce the entire NT excluding 11 verses from thier writings. The ones closest to the events would have know what the written, acceptable material was and what the truth of the situations was as I pointed out

I hear from your above statement that you actually believe that the early Christian movement (from Jesus’ death until Roman Emperor Constantine’s so-called conversion in the first half of the 4th century C.E.) was a clear, easily defined, and unambiguous state of human consciousness. However, the research that I have performed presents a very different view. Professor Elaine Pagels, (who received her doctorate from Harvard University, chaired the Department of Religion at Bernard Collage, and Columbia University, and was the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University) author of the 1979 book titled, “The Gnostic Gospels”, states,

quote:
“If the New Testament accounts could support a range of interpretations, why did orthodox Christians in the second century insist on a literal view of resurrection and reject all others as heretical? I suggest that we cannot answer this question adequately as long as we consider the doctrine only in terms of its religious content. But when we examine its practical effect on the Christian movement, we can see, paradoxically, that the doctrine of bodily resurrection also serves an essential political function: it legitimizes the authority of certain men who claim to exercise exclusive leadership over the churches as the successors of the apostle Peter. From the second century, the doctrine
has served to validate the apostolic succession of bishops, the basis of papal authority to this day. Gnostic Christians who interpret resurrection in other ways have a lesser claim to authority: when they claim priority over the orthodox, they are denounced as heretics.
Such political and religious authority developed in a most remarkable way. As we have noted, diverse forms of Christianity flourished in the early years of the Christian movement. Hundreds of rival teachers all claimed to teach the “true doctrine of Christ” and denounced one another as frauds” (T. G. G. pgs. 6 & 7).

with the declaration of independance, bill or rights and constitution. The samthing will happen 500 years from now, guranteed, with these articles, I wish I were around to watch it culminate. Think about it AM.

I have given it some thought. The flaw in your argument is that the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Articles of the Constitution claim just the opposite of the New Testament. Article 6, clause 3 states,

quote:
“But no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

That is the difference between a “Secular Government”, a “Representative Democracy”, and a “Religious Government”, a “Theocracy”.

It was religious Christian men who founded the United States of America and who wrote the above mentioned documents, but nowhere does anyone claim to be God in the flesh, been born of a virgin, walked on water, turned water to wine, raised the dead, or been bodily resurrected. No one claims to personally speak for the Christian God, or any of the Apostils of the New Testament. No one claims even the slightest inkling of “divine intervention” or religious authority entwined in the process of establishing the United States Government.

Now add to this the very very very real probablity of devine intervention into the process by a God you believe in. 2Peter 2:3
Here is the natural and spiritual in one inspired verse.
3.His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

One cannot add to the documents that establish the U. S. Government even the slightest possibility of supernatural “divine intervention”. For this reason more than likely five hundred years from now no one will be attempting to establish political and religious authority based on the documents that established the U. S. Government.

The God to which 2nd Peter 2:3 refers happens not to be the God I “believe in.” According to the Orthodox Version of the Hebrew Eden Narrative, it was not God that created the natural, mortal world that gives us everything we need for life. It was “Adam’s” disobedience. I am also not quite sure what “godliness” we are supposedly bestowed through our knowledge of him or what knowledge of him is being referred to? I am not a Christian and I do not blindly believe in Jesus’ divinity or his bodily resurrection.

Regardless of the amount of historically corroborated material that may be a part of the New Testament Scriptures, and regardless of the amount of archaeological evidence that may support certain aspects of the New Testament Scriptures, the very idea that Jesus of Nazareth was born of a virgin who was impregnated by the Hebrew God yhwh, and that this divinely propagated individual walked on water, changed water to wine, raised the dead, and was bodily resurrected after being put to death on a cross; all of these and any other “supernatural” events described in the New Testament must in fact be accepted on blind faith and blind faith alone. There is absolutely no empirical evidence or experience, or experiments that can confirm that any of these two thousand year old, literary described supernatural events had ever actually occurred. However, there is a vast abundance of empirical evidence that has been accumulated over the past two thousand years of human history that unequivocally prove that these supernatural divine interventions had in fact never occurred. That is a considerable amount of evidence against, and virtually no evidence for.

bertot wrote: Even assuming the Gth was composed in the 1st century, the earliest deciples, atleast the majority did not accept it as inspired or authoratative. There were probably numerous things of this nature floating around. Most if not ll of these spurious gospels carry no weight with them, its as if the composer wished to remain unknown. here is a aticle to demonstrate this point, I hope you find it interesting.

I did indeed find the first article quite interesting. The whole homosexual theme was a bunch of ridiculous nonsense, and I was amazed at the length to which the author of the article went to dispose of the homosexual Jesus assertion. But I guess that is what the article’s author does.

On what extra biblical sources are you basing the claim that “the majority of the earliest disciples did not accept the GTh as inspired or authoritative”? I would really like to know what those particular extra biblical sources are.

bertot wrote: So much of our discussion, centers around that which you refer to as "absurd and fanciful". It has alway interested me how someone who supposedly believes in God finds that which is contained in the scriptures as absurd.or rediculous. There are numerous people on this site AM that would find you belief inGod as absurd and fanciful no matter how much information you present, true?

Numerous people on this site would probably not use the term “God” in reference to what I am alluding to. Which is fine because the English term “God” does not adequately address the subject anyhow. Unfortunately, in English we are left with a relatively limited, and inadequate vocabulary when attempting to refer to the objective and experiential yet mysterious Sublime Mystery of Life. There is absolutely nothing absurd or fanciful, or mythical and supernatural about the mysterious fact of life on this planet and in the cosmos, since the cosmos is where this planet happens to exist. You and I and the abundance of life that teems around us are all objective and experiential proof of this Sublime Mystery of Life {a.k.a. “God”). I am referring to a real, true, objective and experiential territory! What one chooses to “call” or “name” this real and natural territory is not important. Therefore, I honestly do not think many people on this site (except Fundamentalist Christians) would find what I am referring to as absurd or fanciful.

They would consider your position of moving from the natural to the supernatural (deity, God of nature) or whatever you wish to call it as fanciful and absurd, they say there is no good reason for believing in God, yet you maintain your position, even if you cannot "prove" it, correct?

One does not have to “believe in The Supreme Natural Deity”! It/He does not care what you call Him/It. There is absolutely nothing anthropomorphic {a.k.a. human-like} about the Deity to which I refer. I do not have the burden of having to prove whether What I call The Supreme Natural Deity/God {a.k.a. The Sublime Mystery of Life} exists or does not exist. Regardless of what it is referred to, called, or named, It/He is what we are experiencing and yet cannot fully comprehend.

Being a Fundamentalist Christian I am fully alive to the fact that the “God” to which you refer is fully and completely anthropomorphic. The human being of two thousand years ago whom you refer to as Jesus Christ {a.k.a. Jesus of Nazareth} fully, completely, and thoroughly anthropomorphized the Hebrew Deity yhwh. Some two thousand years ago the Hebrew Deity yhwh became fully Hellenized and became the focus of the Hellenistic theocratic politics of the ancient Near East and eventually established the Holy Roman Empire. This Hellenization of the Hebrew Deity yhwh is extremely well documented in history and transcends mere speculation or theory. The anthropomorphic God to whom you refer as “Jesus Christ” is in fact the product of Greco Roman – Hellenistic – Mythology and has very little to do with Judeo Hebrew conceptions of God.

Now I know this is not an answer to your quetion, I simply wanted to point that out again. You commiting the same "mistake" that you accuse me of, correct.

As I have conveyed above, you are completely incorrect! Your God is completely anthropomorphic, taking the human form of “Jesus Christ.” The God/Deity to which I refer cannot be pressed into human form, for It/He is alluding to the life/Life we are experiencing at this very moment and yet cannot fully comprehend.

I am sure you can see the difference between our two very different conceptions of Deity.

Also, I never said that moving from the natural to the supernatural, "proves" the supernatural. I was simply pointing out that we proceed with that which gives us the best information to make our own decisions, about, say the spirit world and things of that nature.

Once “the spirit world and things of that nature” becomes anthropomorphized the human perspective corrupts the information you are receiving, regardless of the source you are employing. The New Testament completely anthropomorphizes the Judeo Hebrew Deity yhwh and “the spirit world” and therefore corrupts one’s conception of both.

In this instance, the scriptures as we know them provide us with the most accurate information and evidence to make a decision on our own. No other source/s can assist us in this manner. There are no other sources in ancient history and manuscripts that tout the amount of factual, historical and archeological evidence connected directly with the so-called supernatual that allow us to make a decision for "ourselves".

Of course there are other historical and archaeological sources that can be used to help one make a decision regarding a non-anthropomorphic Deity and non-anthropomorphic “spirit world.” The Dead Sea Scrolls would be a great place to start; East Indian documents are another; Chinese wisdom which dates back five thousand years of one civilization are another; Native American wisdom is another. There is absolutely no historical or archaeological evidence directly connected to any “so-called supernatural” event anywhere are planet earth. None. The “so-called supernatural” event must and can only be taken on “faith”; the historical and/or archaeological evidence happens to be empirical: such empirical evidence can be “experience” and/or can be “reproduced by experiment.” There is nothing empirical about “the supernatural.”

You appearently have made you decision, so be it. But looking strickly at the factual data e one can decide that that data, is atleast accurate and it has stood the test of time from critics and skeptics.

I am not skeptical of the historical and archaeological evidence that supports certain portions of the New or Old Testaments. I truly find such empirical evidence fascinating and amazing, and quite often enlightening. I am and remain quite skeptical of the “supernatural”, anthropomorphic-spiritual, and mythical claims conveyed in both the New and Old Testaments. There is absolutely no empirical, historical, or archaeological evidence to support any “supernatural”, anthropomorphic-spiritual, and mythical claims made in any ancient, old, or modern literature. None!

If you will remember this part of the discussion strated with the principle of what faith and blind faith was or was not, to see if some faith could be supported factually and logically. This is the manner in which I am proceeding. I challenged you to provide a scripture that suggested we proceed on blind faith alone. To this point you have not provided that passage. This is where our discussion took a detour. Hopefully we are returning to that point and then back to your origianl issues.

Here are a few examples of verses in the NT that require “blind faith”:

Matthew 1:23 Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son... (KJV)

Matthew 2:16 Then Herod...sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof... (KJV)

Matthew 14:25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 14:29 ...And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water... (KJV) See also Mark 6:48/9 & John 6:19.

John 11:43/4 And when he {Jesus} thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus come forth.” And he that was dead came forth... (KJV)

Regarding the literal, bodily Resurrection of Jesus himself, Professor Elaine Pagels states:

quote:
“Why did orthodox tradition adopt the literal view of resurrection? The question becomes even more puzzling when we look at what the New Testament says about it. Some accounts, like the story we noted from Luke {...the desciples themselves, in their astonishment and terror at the appearance of Jesus among them, immediately assumed that they were seeing his ghost. But Jesus challenges them: ‘Handle me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see that I have’ (T. G. G. pg. 4 & quote Luke 24:36 thru 43} tell how Jesus appears to his disciples in the form they know from his earthly life; he eats with them, and invites them to touch him, to prove he is ‘not a ghost.’ John tells a similar story: Thomas declares that he will not believe that Jesus had actually risen from the grave unless he personally can see and touch him. When Jesus appears, he tells Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing’ {John 20:27}. But other stories, directly juxtaposed with these, suggest different views of the resurrection. Luke and Mark both relate that Jesus appeared ‘in another form’ {Mark 16:12; Luke 24:13 thru 32}—not his former earthly form—to two disciples as they walked on the road to Emmaus. Luke says that the disciples, deeply troubled about Jesus’ death, talked with the stranger, apparently for several hours. They invited him to dinner; when he sat down with them to bless the bread, suddenly they recognized him as Jesus. At that moment ‘he vanished out of their sight’ {Luke 24:31}. John, too, places directly before the story of ‘doubting Thomas’ another of a very different kind: Mary Magdalene, mourning for Jesus near his grave, sees a man she takes to be the gardener. When he speaks her name, suddenly she recognizes the presence of Jesus—but he orders her not to touch him {John 20:11 thru 17}.
Paul himself, of course, later defended the teaching on resurrection as fundamental to Christian faith. But although his discussion often is read as an argument for bodily resurrection, it concludes with the words, ‘I tell you this, brethern: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable {that is, the mortal body} inherit the imperishable’ {1st Corinthians 15:50}. Paul describes the {bodily} resurrection as ‘a mystery’ {{1st Corinthians 15:51 thru 53}, the transformation from physical to spiritual existence” (T. G. G. pgs. 5 & 6).

To rule out the supernatural simply because we have not observed it or experienced it is not a completly objective way to proceed. Belief in God of any sort, is belief in the supernatural, belief that God sustains things with his might is a belief in the supernatural, belief that God wanted us to have the Hebrew eden narrative, is belief in the supernatural. I might point out as I have about 8 or 9 times now, that intervention in space and time to create anything by God and you belief in this is belief in the supernatural. you just need to pick a side and stick with it.

Apparently you have been unable to hear 90% of what I have been sharing with you since we met. Let me try again to establish with you my conception of the non-anthropomorphic Deity {a.k.a. God} to which I refer. Here we go:

That which we today call “living beings” are more than the mere sum of their scientifically acknowledged parts; a scientist today can take a peach seed and break it down to its most basic aspects—from its shell to its cells, its proteins, its DNA, its atoms, electrons, neutrons, and nucleolus—but when the scientist puts all of that back and makes again the same peach seed, that particular seed is incapable of growing for it is dead. Although the scientist did not even glimpse what escaped during the exhaustive examination process, or the process of reconstituting the peach seed, what would allow a peach seed to grow into a peach tree escaped without leaving a trace of Its/His existence. When I employ the term Deity or God I am referring to that which enables a peach seed to become a peach tree; that is The Sublime Mystery of Life, {a.k.a. The Supreme Natural Deity/God).

You and I are also much, much more that merely the sum of our parts. We are also more than the mere sum of our mortal experiences. Although we are objective, real human beings and our mortal experiences – whether real or imagined – have actually taken place according to our senses, what enables us to claim or proclaim mortal existence is The Sublime Mystery of Life. By perceiving The Supreme Natural Deity in every aspect of life that actually and truly exists on this planet that exists within the cosmos, Life become respected and revered at all levels. Loving one’s enemy and respecting one’s food supply, and one’s natural habitat becomes not only much easier, but imperative.

That is the natural reality I live within and share with you and all other beings on this little planet in the cosmos. There is nothing “supernatural” or “divine intervention” about it. Either the Divine & Sublime Mystery of Life is present or we simply do not exist.

Your statement above and you particular beliefs make no logical sense with the rest of the paragraph and its conclusions. You simply need t choose a camp and stay in it, eh.

I certainly hope that the “camp” I have always been in has become a little clearer to you.

I warned you numeours times to stay off of the narcotics before writing out a post (ha ha). I think I have answered the above in my response, just stay away form that damn 'peace pipe' Your a wierd dude homie. Just kidding.

All that and no “happy smoke”; what do you think?

All the best, my friend,
Ger


This message is a reply to:
 Message 261 by Dawn Bertot, posted 08-11-2008 11:38 AM Dawn Bertot has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 266 by Dawn Bertot, posted 08-14-2008 1:48 AM autumnman has not yet responded
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 Message 268 by jaywill, posted 08-15-2008 8:47 AM autumnman has not yet responded
 Message 270 by Dawn Bertot, posted 08-15-2008 9:57 AM autumnman has responded

    
Dawn Bertot
Member
Posts: 3185
Joined: 11-23-2007


Message 266 of 321 (478304)
08-14-2008 1:48 AM
Reply to: Message 265 by autumnman
08-13-2008 6:52 PM


Re: Jesus Christ's Words
Autumnman. you have given me a great deal of material to respond back to, thanks. I will get to it steadly over the next couple of days,as I also have a great deal of things to take care of . Nice post there freakshow, I really do love the comprehensive ones, they really make you work. I was raised, reading, watching and attending the types of debates where each person has 25 to 30 speeches, with about 4 speeches, by each opponent for two to three days. they are so copmrehensive and exhaustive, not much material is missed that could be discussed.

Seeing we are probably coming to the end of our discourses, with each other, it is imparative we get as comprehensive as possible. In the end we will be happy that we did this, as opposed to quick witted responses, trust me.

I will get started tommorrow in 'Word' and finish in a couple of days.

D Bertot


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 Message 265 by autumnman, posted 08-13-2008 6:52 PM autumnman has not yet responded

    
Dawn Bertot
Member
Posts: 3185
Joined: 11-23-2007


Message 267 of 321 (478393)
08-14-2008 9:56 PM
Reply to: Message 265 by autumnman
08-13-2008 6:52 PM


Re: Jesus Christ's Words
I am working on it a little at at time, its going to taks a while as I am busy with other stuff as well.

Bertot


This message is a reply to:
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jaywill
Member (Idle past 42 days)
Posts: 4120
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 268 of 321 (478423)
08-15-2008 8:47 AM
Reply to: Message 265 by autumnman
08-13-2008 6:52 PM


Re: Jesus Christ's Words
... thoroughly anthropomorphized the Hebrew Deity yhwh. Some two thousand years ago the Hebrew Deity yhwh became fully Hellenized and became the focus of the Hellenistic theocratic politics of the ancient Near East and eventually established the Holy Roman Empire. This Hellenization of the Hebrew Deity yhwh is extremely well documented in history and transcends mere speculation or theory. The anthropomorphic God to whom you refer as “Jesus Christ” is in fact the product of Greco Roman – Hellenistic – Mythology and has very little to do with Judeo Hebrew conceptions of God.

In Genesis 18 we have three men appear to Abraham. One of them the patriarch addresses as "my Lord". The Hebrew Scriptures says that this was the appearance of Jehovah God to Abraham.

And Jehovah appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre as he was sitting at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and there were three men standing opposite him. And when he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them. And he bowed to the earth and said, My Lord, if I have found favor in You sight, please do not pass on from YOur servant. (Genesis 18:1-3)

Some have some tortured logic to suggest that this appearance of God to Abraham was not the appearance of the three men. However it is totally absurd for Abraham to be sitting and looking down at God on the ground or between his legs and then rise up and race away from that vision to pay homage to three men.

The appearance of Jehovah God had to do with the appearance of the three men. And this was not Hellenistic enfluence on the Old Testament Scriptures.

Genesis 18:22

And the men turned from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham remained standing before Jehovah.

Only TWO men were seen entering into Sodom so the third who remained with Abraham was God.

Then we have Jacob wrestling with a man who must be God.

And Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until the break of dawn. And when the man saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob's hip was dislocated as he wrestled with Him. (Gen. 32:24,25)

The mysterious visitor changes Jacob's name to Israel as a blessing. (The changing of the name signifies God's ability and promise to change the character - transformation ). The mysterious man asks Jacob why Jacob would inquire what His name is.

Jacob also saw a vision of God in Genesis 28:19 - "And there was Jehovah, standing above it; and He said, I am Jehovah, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac." He was able to see God standing. He probably had legs to stand on.

Latter Jacob says that God the All -sufficient appeared to him.

And Jacob said to Joseph, The All-sufficient God appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me. (see Gen. 28:19; 35:6).

The God of glory who appeared to Abraham and the God who appeared to Jacob at Luz visited both patriarchs in the form of a man. This is before the incarnation of Christ in New Testament times. And neither appearance, either to Abraham or Jacob had anythiing to do with Hellenistic culture.

Then we have God appearing to walk before Moses. As He walked before Moses He would not allow Moses to see His face but His back only. This certainly was an "anthropomorphic" appearance of God in the Old Testament as well.

And he [Moses] said Please show me your glory. And He [Jehovah God] said I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of Jehovah before you; ... But He said, You cannot see My face, for no man shall see Me and live. Then Jehovah said, Here, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand upon the rock; And while My glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with My hand until I pass by. And I will take away My hand, and you will see My back; but My face shall not be seen. (Exodus 33:18-23)

Here God appears and mentions His face, His hand, and His back. He appeared to Moses in an anthropomorphic sense again.

The prophet Ezekiel discribes the glory of God as someone like the appearance of a man seated on the throne above the angelic cherubic creatures.

And above the expanse that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, like the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne was One in appearance like a man, above it..... This was the likeness of the appearance of the glory of God. (Ezek. 1:26,28)

God promises in the Old Testament that He will draw Israel with the cords of a man. But the reference I do not have time to look up right now. The cords of a man I take to mean the emotions, beauty, and human attributes which draw, attract, and bind one human soul to another. God will come and draw His people as an incarnated man.

This is all the Old Testament speaking. So AM's idea of the anthropomorphic appearance of God as purely Hellenistic is false.

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This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Dawn Bertot
Member
Posts: 3185
Joined: 11-23-2007


Message 269 of 321 (478428)
08-15-2008 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 268 by jaywill
08-15-2008 8:47 AM


Re: Jesus Christ's Words
Jaywill, thanks for your response in this area, you are as thorough as ever. I am finishing a response to his last one, hope to have it ut in a day or so, thanks again.

D Bertot


This message is a reply to:
 Message 268 by jaywill, posted 08-15-2008 8:47 AM jaywill has not yet responded

    
Dawn Bertot
Member
Posts: 3185
Joined: 11-23-2007


Message 270 of 321 (478430)
08-15-2008 9:57 AM
Reply to: Message 265 by autumnman
08-13-2008 6:52 PM


Re: Jesus Christ's Words
AM writes:
I hear from your above statement that you actually believe that the early Christian movement (from Jesus’ death until Roman Emperor Constantine’s so-called conversion in the first half of the 4th century C.E.) was a clear, easily defined, and unambiguous state of human consciousness. However, the research that I have performed presents a very different view. Professor Elaine Pagels, (who received her doctorate from Harvard University, chaired the Department of Religion at Bernard Collage, and Columbia University, and was the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University) author of the 1979 book titled, “The Gnostic Gospels”, states,

quote:
“If the New Testament accounts could support a range of interpretations, why did orthodox Christians in the second century insist on a literal view of resurrection and reject all others as heretical? I suggest that we cannot answer this question adequately as long as we consider the doctrine only in terms of its religious content. But when we examine its practical effect on the Christian movement, we can see, paradoxically, that the doctrine of bodily resurrection also serves an essential political function: it legitimizes the authority of certain men who claim to exercise exclusive leadership over the churches as the successors of the apostle Peter. From the second century, the doctrine
has served to validate the apostolic succession of bishops, the basis of papal authority to this day. Gnostic Christians who interpret resurrection in other ways have a lesser claim to authority: when they claim priority over the orthodox, they are denounced as heretics.

Such political and religious authority developed in a most remarkable way. As we have noted, diverse forms of Christianity flourished in the early years of the Christian movement. Hundreds of rival teachers all claimed to teach the “true doctrine of Christ” and denounced one another as frauds” (T. G. G. pgs. 6 & 7).

"If" being the key would in this paragraph, they dont.
In debate this is what is commonly refered to as presupposition and assertion. Since the author chose not to provide a single passage from the Gospels, it stands to reason intially atleast, that he is making a baseless assertion. The New Testament accounts do not support a "range" of interpretations, in relation to the bodily resurrection, that is as a nonsensical statement I have ever encountered. People may interret any thing any way they wish, that is not the same as saying the canonical Gospels support a range of interpretations on that subject.

Secondly, the mere fact that there was some misinterpretation, misaplication and confusion on some folks part in those days, is certainly not indicative of the fact that the original Christians where unaware of the truth in these matters. This seems to be the authors whole argument and contention, but it is not consistent with the facts we have, say from the Aposolic fathers themselves.

Here is a respone (by Kelly L. Ross, Ph.D, random House, 2004, 'The Gnostic Gospels, Beyond Belief, the Secret Gospel of Thomas') to the above quote, you might find it very interesting, the rest of the reaponse and the entire article is listed below, good stuff manard.
http://www.friesian.com/pagels.htm

This thesis, that orthodox Christianity defeated Gnosticism because of the political implications of its doctrine, seems to me false. In The Gnostic Gospels, Pagels applies the thesis to ideas like the Resurrection and the divinity of Jesus, while in Beyond Belief it is applied to the divinity of Jesus and, more profoundly, to the difference between a religion of belief, as found in the Gospel of John, and a religion of self-knowledge, as found in the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas. One is tempted to see Pagel's thesis as simply of a piece with Protestant anti-clericism and with the distaste of liberal religion for "organized" religion, confessional religion, religious dogma or doctrine, and, last but not least, Popes. Be that as it may, the thesis can be quickly and decisively refuted with counterexamples.

Physical resurrection, something still "beyond belief" for most people, is a fundamental belief in Islam, repeatedly asserted and even argued (against objections) in the Qur'ân, yet there are no priests, bishops, Popes, or apostolic succession in Islam. There is an Islamic Community, whose standards are determined by consensus, but no Islamic Church. After the death of the Prophet Muh.ammad, there was no personal claim to religious authority in matters of doctrine except in Shi'ism , where the Imâms were regarded as speaking with divine authority. The orthodox Caliphs sometimes tried to exert influence on doctrine, and executed heretics, but Islamic Law did not recognize any special dogmatic authority in them, and the Consensus of the Community became the ultimate standard. An imâm in orthodox Islam simply leads the prayer. Since the Shi'ite Imâms are now themselves also gone, Shi'ism is more or less in the same situation as orthodoxy.
Thus, if Pagel's thesis is that resurrection implies and necessitates the Church and episcopal authority as these developed in Christian history, we have a glaring example of a religion where such belief implies and results in no such things. Apostolic authority, if not apostolic succession, certainly exists in Islam, since much of Islamic Law is based on Traditions that are traced back, authoritatively, to the Prophet, his Companions, the Rightly Guided Caliphs, and others. A paper trail, not priests or bishops, makes do for that. In Pagels we find absolutely no mention or discussion of Islam in comparison to Christianity with respect to doctrine or history. On the other hand, Gnosticism, with respect to Apostolic authority, is really in no worse a position than orthodoxy. It is not clear why resurrection, even the specific Resurrection of Jesus, would make a difference. If the Gnostics claim the authority of Apostles who saw a Jesus who was spiritually, but not physically, resurrected, why is their testimony less compelling than Apostles who saw a physically resurrected Jesus? It isn't -- and Gnostics could claim to still be seeing the resurrected Jesus. Muh.ammad wasn't resurrected at all, and this did not diminish his authority, or those of his followers, in the least. The idea that a succession of bishops, by a laying on hands, is necessary to transmit apostolic authority is thus refuted by the example of Islam. And if a religion of belief is supposed to imply a succession of bishops, etc., this is also refuted by the case of Islam.

The divinity of physically existing, incarnate God does not imply or necessitate the existence of bishops and Church because we find such beliefs in Hinduism, as with the incarnation and divinity of Krishna , where there are priests but certainly no Church, Popes, or overriding dogmatic authority. Reading the Bhagavad Gita , one might sometimes mistake it for a Gospel:
I am the Way, and the Master who watches in silence; thy friend and thy shelter and thy abode of peace. I am the beginning and the middle and the end of all things: their seed of Eternity, their Treasure supreme. [9:18, Juan Mascaró translation, Penguin, 1962]
Belief in Krishna exists in a religion, Hinduism, that has no overriding organization, structure, or authority. Indeed, Hinduism, although displaying philosophical attempts to organize its beliefs, remains poorly systematized but has not even bothered with general Councils, as in Christianity or Buddhism, to try define orthodox belief by vote. As in Islam, though without explicit legal principle, consensus tends to be responsible for what is common in Hindu belief. Although Pagels occasionally refers to Buddhism in these two books, I did not detect a single reference to Hinduism, let alone to the devotionalistic tradition of Hinduism in which we find Krishna, or, for that matter, even the devotionalistic tradition of Buddhism, where we find Savior figures like the Buddha Amitâbha or the Tibetan Târâ.

Why would Pagels have ignored religions like Islam and Hinduism? Well, they damage her case. If belief in resurrection or divine Incarnation can exist without priests, bishops, and Church, we are suddenly left without an explanation for the success of orthodox, traditional Christianity and the failure of Gnosticism. Pagels says, "we cannot answer this question adequately as long as we consider the doctrine only in terms of its religious content." It may be that we can only answer the question "in terms of its religious content." It may turn out, gulp, that orthodox Christianity succeeded because, at the time, it was more appealing. It won fair and square in the marketplace of religious ideas.

If you dont mind I would like to keep entering examples from the Gnostic gospels randomly to reinforce my contention about there character, example:

For every woman who will make herself male will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. [The Gnostic Gospels, p.49, from the Gospel of Thomas]

Bertot writes:

with the declaration of independance, bill or rights and constitution. The samthing will happen 500 years from now, guranteed, with these articles, I wish I were around to watch it culminate. Think about it AM
.
AM writes:
I have given it some thought. The flaw in your argument is that the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Articles of the Constitution claim just the opposite of the New Testament. Article 6, clause 3 states,
quote:

“But no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

That is the difference between a “Secular Government”, a “Representative Democracy”, and a “Religious Government”, a “Theocracy”.

It was religious Christian men who founded the United States of America and who wrote the above mentioned documents, but nowhere does anyone claim to be God in the flesh, been born of a virgin, walked on water, turned water to wine, raised the dead, or been bodily resurrected. No one claims to personally speak for the Christian God, or any of the Apostils of the New Testament. No one claims even the slightest inkling of “divine intervention” or religious authority entwined in the process of establishing the United States Government.

I suppose you totally missed the meaning of what I was trying to communicate to you about the Constitution or the Delaration or independance. My argument was that in just a short period of time,people will begin to question, who or if we can actually trust that those individuals proclaiming to have signed such a document, actually did. In 2000 years it may even begin to be questioned by survivors, wheather or not the actual events took place that are connected with the document itself. This was my simple point.
The Apostles and earliest Christians connected with the events in question, knew "without question" who, what , when, where, why and how. That is why they rejected as nonsensical the Gnostic nonsense in those days

One cannot add to the documents that establish the U. S. Government even the slightest possibility of supernatural “divine intervention”. For this reason more than likely five hundred years from now no one will be attempting to establish political and religious authority based on the documents that established the U. S. Government.

The God to which 2nd Peter 2:3 refers happens not to be the God I “believe in.” According to the Orthodox Version of the Hebrew Eden Narrative, it was not God that created the natural, mortal world that gives us everything we need for life. It was “Adam’s” disobedience. I am also not quite sure what “godliness” we are supposedly bestowed through our knowledge of him or what knowledge of him is being referred to? I am not a Christian and I do not blindly believe in Jesus’ divinity or his bodily resurrection.

Again, no one is talking about adding to these documents, simply, that it is a natural act to question the validity of things that happened so long ago. The surrounding evidence will assist you in making a decision. Does it not surprise you that just a few years away, people are actually questioning the halocoust and landing on the moon.

Further, in response to the above quote by you. The context of 2 Peter is speaking about children of God. It is true that the "rain falls on the just and the unjust", however 2 Peter 2 is comparable to John 17, where Christ prayed that the believers would be one as he and the father were one and that the deciples not be taken out of the world, but be kept from the influence of the world. God gives to his children all they need for life and Godliness. You could also be a part of this body, if you would simply "believe", I will speak about belief and faith in a while.

I suppose you will tell me in a while what exacally our God is in a moment.

AM writes: On what extra biblical sources are you basing the claim that “the majority of the earliest disciples did not accept the GTh as inspired or authoritative”? I would really like to know what those particular extra biblical sources are.

The following quotes are from the' The Christian Research Institute' in an article titled,"the Gnostic Gospels, are they Authentic?", part two, Douglas Goothuis.

Quote:

Unless we are content to chronicle a cacophony of conflicting views of Jesus based on pure speculation or passionate whimsy, historical investigation is non-negotiable. Christianity has always been a historical religion and any serious challenge to its legitimacy must attend to that fact. Its central claims are rooted in events, not just ideas; in people, not just principles; in revelation, not speculation; in incarnation, not abstraction. Renowned historian Herbert Butterfield speaks of Christianity as a religion in which "certain historical events are held to be part of the religion itself" and are "considered to...represent the divine breaking into history."[1]

Historical accuracy was certainly no incidental item to Luke in the writing of his Gospel: "Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught" (Luke 1:1-4, NIV). The text affirms that Luke was after nothing less than historical certainty, presented in orderly fashion and based on firsthand testimony.

If Christianity centers on Jesus, the Christ, the promised Messiah who inaugurates the kingdom of God with power, the objective facticity of this Jesus is preeminent. Likewise, if purportedly historical documents, like the gospels of Nag Hammadi, challenge the biblical understanding of Jesus, they too must be brought before historical scrutiny.

quote:

Robert M. Grant has noted that "the religious realities which the Church proclaimed were ultimately perverted by the Gospel of Thomas. For this reason Thomas, along with other documents which purported to contain secret sayings of Jesus, was rejected by the Church."[46]

Here we find ourselves agreeing with the early Christian defenders of the faith who maintained that Gnosticism in the church was a corruption of original truth and not an independently legitimate source of information on Jesus or the rest of reality. Fitzmyer drives this home in criticizing Pagels's view that the Gnostics have an equal claim on Christian authenticity: "Throughout the book [Pagels] gives the unwary reader the impression that the difference between 'orthodox Christians' and 'gnostic Christians' was one related to the 'origins of Christianity'. Time and time again, she is blind to the fact that she is ignoring a good century of Christian existence in which those 'gnostic Christians' were simply not around."[47]

This is what I have been trying to communicate to you recently, but this statement and the whole article should answer your above question. Here it is, its a good one as well.

http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/cri/cri-jrnl/web/crj0088a.html

pseudepigrapha: Ancient documents which falsely claim authorship by noteworthy individuals for the sake of credibility; for instance, the Gospel of Thomas

Quote: GNOSTIC UNDERDOGS?
Although Pagels and others have provoked sympathy, if not enthusiasm, for the Gnostics as the underdogs who just happened to lose out to orthodoxy, the Gnostics' historical credentials concerning Jesus are less than compelling. It may be romantic to "root for the underdog," but the Gnostic underdogs show every sign of being heretical hangers-on who tried to harness Christian language for conceptions antithetical to early Christian teaching.
Many sympathetic with Gnosticism make much of the notion that the Gnostic writings were suppressed by the early Christian church. But this assertion does not, in itself, provide support one way or the other for the truth or falsity of Gnostic doctrine. If truth is not a matter of majority vote, neither is it a matter of minority dissent. It may be true, as Pagels says, that "the winners write history," but that doesn't necessarily make them bad or dishonest historians. If so, we should hunt down Nazi historians to give us the real picture of Hitler's Germany and relegate all opposing views to that of dogmatic apologists who just happened to be on the winning side.

In Against Heresies, Irenaeus went to great lengths to present the theologies of the various Gnostic schools in order to refute them biblically and logically. If suppression had been his concern, the book never would have been written as it was. Further, to argue cogently against the Gnostics, Irenaeus and the other anti-Gnostic apologists would presumably have had to be diligent to correctly represent their foes in order to avoid ridicule for misunderstanding them. Patrick Henry highlights this in reference to Nag Hammadi: "While the Nag Hammadi materials have made some corrections to the portrayal of Gnosticism in the anti-Gnostic writings of the church fathers, it is increasingly evident that the fathers did not fabricate their opponents' views; what distortion there is comes from selection, not from invention. It is still legitimate to use materials from the writings of the fathers to characterize Gnosticism."[50]

It is highly improbable that all of the Gnostic materials could have been systematically confiscated or destroyed by the early church. Dunn finds it unlikely that the reason we have no unambiguously first century documents from Christian Gnostics is because the early church eradicated them. He believes it more likely that we have none because there were none.[51] But by archaeological virtue of Nag Hammadi, we now do have many primary source Gnostic documents available for detailed inspection. Yet they do not receive superior marks as historical documents about Jesus. In a review of The Gnostic Gospels, noted biblical scholar Raymond Brown affirmed that from the Nag Hammadi "works we learn not a single verifiable new fact about the historical Jesus' ministry, and only a few new sayings that might possibly have been his."[52]
Another factor foreign to the interests of Gnostic apologists is the proposition that Gnosticism expired largely because it lacked life from the beginning. F. F. Bruce notes that "Gnosticism was too much bound up with a popular but passing phase of thought to have the survival power of apostolic Christianity."[53]
Exactly why did apostolic Christianity survive and thrive? Robert Speer pulls no theological punches when he proclaims that "Christianity lived because it was true to the truth. Through all the centuries it has never been able to live otherwise. It can not live otherwise today."[54]

I hope this answers your question.

AM writes

Numerous people on this site would probably not use the term “God” in reference to what I am alluding to. Which is fine because the English term “God” does not adequately address the subject anyhow. Unfortunately, in English we are left with a relatively limited, and inadequate vocabulary when attempting to refer to the objective and experiential yet mysterious Sublime Mystery of Life. There is absolutely nothing absurd or fanciful, or mythical and supernatural about the mysterious fact of life on this planet and in the cosmos, since the cosmos is where this planet happens to exist. You and I and the abundance of life that teems around us are all objective and experiential proof of this Sublime Mystery of Life {a.k.a. “God”). I am referring to a real, true, objective and experiential territory! What one chooses to “call” or “name” this real and natural territory is not important. Therefore, I honestly do not think many people on this site (except Fundamentalist Christians) would find what I am referring to as absurd or fanciful

If I understand the above statement, you are now saying, or have always said and I missed it, that "God" is not a real actual personality apart from the universe, cosmos and the natural things, the universe is god and god is the universe. Is this what you are discribing as the supreme natural diety?

AM writes in post 213 of Eden 1

To me, "Iam that I am", means "God Is." Let's say that we are mortal human beings on planet earth on a mountain we regard as "desolation" and yet all around us "life" is burning in all things. The tamarisk-bush is in full blossom amidst the stifling heat of summer. God and what Is are one and the same. Without God there is not such thing as "cosmic nature" "earth nature" or "human nature."

"God is", what? Without telling me what God is not, tell me exacally what he is from your point of view. What are you "alluding" to God as. Is he a physical territory as you describe above?

Bertot wrote in post 211 of Eden 1.

is this God in the above discription a real personality, living and actual or your concept of what a God may be derived from alot of words that you do not consider to be from God's word anyway, the OT. Is God real or not, a simple yes or no will suffice, without all the rehtoric and double talk.

AM wrotes in post 212

Yes, God is real.
I did not share with you "rhetoric and double talk." I am sad that you perceived it that way. I shared with you the most honest answer that I could provide at this point in time.
I do not perceive God as being anthropomorphic. The Canaanites, Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans anthropomorphized their supreme being and the lesser supernatural beings beneath him. I associate no human-like characteristics or perceived human personality to God.
I will await your reply.

Again, not what he is not, what is god in your estimation.
I dont think you answered my question directly then or now. Is he a thinking, real, actual, reasoning, living personality, that is conscouos of his existence, or is your god simply natural processes which you regard as a mystery?

AM, "proof of a mystery" is a nonsensical statement. Besides all of this what is mysterious about natural laws emerging and decreasing to another form of existence and this continual process throught an eternity. If it is eternal in and of itself, what and where is God in this mix, in your view?

AM writes:

Regardless of the amount of historically corroborated material that may be a part of the New Testament Scriptures, and regardless of the amount of archaeological evidence that may support certain aspects of the New Testament Scriptures, the very idea that Jesus of Nazareth was born of a virgin who was impregnated by the Hebrew God yhwh, and that this divinely propagated individual walked on water, changed water to wine, raised the dead, and was bodily resurrected after being put to death on a cross; all of these and any other “supernatural” events described in the New Testament must in fact be accepted on blind faith and blind faith alone. There is absolutely no empirical evidence or experience, or experiments that can confirm that any of these two thousand year old, literary described supernatural events had ever actually occurred. However, there is a vast abundance of empirical evidence that has been accumulated over the past two thousand years of human history that unequivocally prove that these supernatural divine interventions had in fact never occurred. That is a considerable amount of evidence against, and virtually no evidence for.

Your statement above is only partially true. Demonstratable, accurate history and facts do not absolutley prove anything that occoured in the past or distant past, that is recorded in any source, no matter how reliable it is. This is where the difference between belief, faith and blind faith come into play. A few illustrations will suffice.

Belief in God is certainly reasonable and rational based on the evidence at hand, that is essentially faith. Not seeing God directly does not constitute blind faith. If a person believes something with no "supporting" evidence that is blind faith. Example, if there were no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Nero ever existed and I had complete confidence in my mind that he accomplished or carried out the things he did, with not one shread of evidence of even his actual exsistence, that would be blind faith.
Not to incite my Mormon friends here, but one reason we reject the contentions in the book of Mormon is the that no historical or archeological evidence can be brought foward to support the claims of peoples, places and events contained in that book. When asked why this is the case, they say we should pray to God, to know that those events were true or not. This is an example of blind faith, no supporting or corroborating evidence. The Old and New Testaments are not of this sort.

Before you start hooten and a hallerin about Abrahham, Moses and Noah, not being cooroborated by archeological evidence, I would suggest you not commit the fallacy of eliminating the scriptures a source or historical document themselves. They must be considered as a reliable source "atleast" from a hitorically corrrect perspecive. They have demonstrated over and over thier acuuracy and inability to be demonstrated unreliable. Historical and arecheological finds tend only support its claims. Dismissing them unreliable as a historical or corroborting is simply not being objecive. If for no other reasons than this, Abraham and Moses come alive as actual persons that existed, weather you believe the miraculous or not.

In contrast when documents dont demonstrate this capability or even are demonstrated to the contrary they should be approached with extreme caution, weather or not they contain what you call fanciful accounts. The Gnostic Gospels do not support from an objective or realistic standpoint a believable account of these events. One produces suppotable belief, the other continual doubt (and comedy Imight add) and speculation.

What is this overwhelming amount of evidence that has been collected over 2000 years to indicate those events in the NT never occured?
Consider the following again:

Historical accuracy was certainly no incidental item to Luke in the writing of his Gospel: "Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught" (Luke 1:1-4, NIV). The text affirms that Luke was after nothing less than historical certainty, presented in orderly fashion and based on firsthand testimony.

If Christianity centers on Jesus, the Christ, the promised Messiah who inaugurates the kingdom of God with power, the objective facticity of this Jesus is preeminent. Likewise, if purportedly historical documents, like the gospels of Nag Hammadi, challenge the biblical understanding of Jesus, they too must be brought before historical scrutiny. Part Two of this series will therefore inspect the historical standing of the Gnostic writings in terms of their historical integrity, authenticity, and veracity.

Douglas Groothuis.

Jaywill wrote or quoted in post 208 of Eden 1.

Any definition of history stated so as to methodically exclude the possibility of a historical divine miracle is question begging. It is jury rigging the definition of history so as to ensure only naturalistic and uniform events will be considered no matter how powerfully evidenced a non-repeatable and unusual supernatural event is reported.

AM writes

One does not have to “believe in The Supreme Natural Deity”! It/He does not care what you call Him/It. There is absolutely nothing anthropomorphic {a.k.a. human-like} about the Deity to which I refer. I do not have the burden of having to prove whether What I call The Supreme Natural Deity/God {a.k.a. The Sublime Mystery of Life} exists or does not exist. Regardless of what it is referred to, called, or named, It/He is what we are experiencing and yet cannot fully comprehend.

Being a Fundamentalist Christian I am fully alive to the fact that the “God” to which you refer is fully and completely anthropomorphic. The human being of two thousand years ago whom you refer to as Jesus Christ {a.k.a. Jesus of Nazareth} fully, completely, and thoroughly anthropomorphized the Hebrew Deity yhwh. Some two thousand years ago the Hebrew Deity yhwh became fully Hellenized and became the focus of the Hellenistic theocratic politics of the ancient Near East and eventually established the Holy Roman Empire. This Hellenization of the Hebrew Deity yhwh is extremely well documented in history and transcends mere speculation or theory. The anthropomorphic God to whom you refer as “Jesus Christ” is in fact the product of Greco Roman - Hellenistic - Mythology and has very little to do with Judeo Hebrew conceptions of God.
Then for heavens and my sake please tell me what you think he "might" be, if that is not to anthropomorphic. Besides all of this how do you know he does not posess these qualities, where did you et your information from to make such a decision.?


Jaywill has responded to the majority of this so I will wait for your reply to him

AM writes;

What I call The Supreme Natural Deity/God {a.k.a. The Sublime Mystery of Life} exists or does not exist. Regardless of what it is referred to, called, or named, It/He is what we are experiencing and yet cannot fully comprehend.

And you dont see this extrapolation of the natural to the unknown as leap of faith, if you believe in god as more than simple material existence?. I believe you just gave a definiton of faith, my friend. If you believed in nothing but the natural and only the natural, you evaluation would make logical sense, as it stands it does not..

AM writes:

Once “the spirit world and things of that nature” becomes anthropomorphized the human perspective corrupts the information you are receiving, regardless of the source you are employing. The New Testament completely anthropomorphizes the Judeo Hebrew Deity yhwh and “the spirit world” and therefore corrupts one’s conception of both.

This statement is circular in nature. It like saying I dont like something, simply because I dont like it. The NT would have to be demonstrated to be inaccurate and unreliable, to dismiss anything it has to offer. Secondly, since you do not know anything about the spirit world, it would follow that you comments are nothing short of assertion. Thirdly, if deity does not posses some of the characteristics of the human intelligence, or something resembling it, what in the world would this entitiy be composed of? How would it have created anyhting, if its makeup is not atleast a little that of its creation, in this instance intelliegence. You absolute denial of some anthromopophic charcteristics in deity, seems to absolute and unreasonable.

There is absolutely no historical or archaeological evidence directly connected to any “so-called supernatural” event anywhere are planet earth. None. The “so-called supernatural” event must and can only be taken on “faith”; the historical and/or archaeological evidence happens to be empirical: such empirical evidence can be “experience” and/or can be “reproduced by experiment.” There is nothing empirical about “the supernatural.”

The factual and reliable scriptures are connected with the supernatural. Your objection and refusal to exercise faith in this aspect is your choice, it is not a negation of its valdity.

If there is nothing emperical about the supernatural then it makes no sense for you to extrapolate from the natural to any sort of deity, no mattter what you call It/He.

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 265 by autumnman, posted 08-13-2008 6:52 PM autumnman has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 271 by autumnman, posted 08-16-2008 12:18 AM Dawn Bertot has responded

    
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