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Author Topic:   The Marketing Of Christianity
jar
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(1)
Message 3 of 591 (780816)
03-22-2016 12:32 PM


Early Marketing
To get things started it might be interesting to look at the products being marketed by some of the early players in the market; Jesus, James (brother of Jesus), Peter, John and Paul.

James, Peter and John were said to be disciples and companions of Jesus while Paul was a self appointed apostle.

Jesus himself was a Jew, and never other than a Jew. He seemed to see himself not as a priest but rather as a rabbi; a teacher and judge.

James was definitely a Jew and a strong supporter for strict observance of Jewish traditions, practices and law.

John (as seen through the lens of the Gospel of John) saw the emphasis not so much on how to live ones life and the relationships of man to society and to god but rather solely on absolute adoration of the caricature of Jesus as divinity. Miracles were not for the results of the miracle but rather solely as evidence of Jesus divinity.

Paul's product was quite different than any of those, broader in scope and acceptance of non-observance of so called laws and tradition, more open to adopting pagan practices, cultures and rites and more concerned with social practices than John. His was a pragmatic product that evolved from a simple End of Times position to one of long term organization and evolution.

Peter seemed to be the conciliator, the one that kept different groups in the same room but allowed them to have their own small tables.

Gradually Paul's product came to dominate the early church partially because he seemed to live longer, was more open to compromise with outside authority and the fact that his conversion did nothing to diminish his obsessions and the fact that he was always writing inter-office memos.

Edited by jar, : appalin spallin rites not rights


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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jar
Member
Posts: 31071
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 5 of 591 (780827)
03-22-2016 5:45 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Thugpreacha
03-22-2016 4:11 PM


Re: Early Marketing
The motives it seem was to convince others that their product was the right product. Paul at least constantly modified his product based on demographics of the potential buyers.

AbE:

Phat writes:

Paul might claim that once he was knocked off of his horse, God Himself had a mission for Paul to do. Perhaps one question to ask would be what we discern concerning the motives of the marketing.

Yes, Paul advertised that God wanted Paul to market Paul's product to new possible clients.

It seems you don't like the word "marketing" but when someone says "My tonic will cure warts and make you feel 20 again", that is marketing. Whether the product is insurance or savings accounts or education or snake oil, when you tell people to try it that is marketing. Whether the goal is to make money, interest folk in a cause, help cure pimples, make them fall in love, reduce inventory, fill a stadium or the pews, it is marketing.

Edited by jar, : see AbE:


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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jar
Member
Posts: 31071
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 7 of 591 (780836)
03-23-2016 8:59 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Thugpreacha
03-23-2016 2:53 AM


Re: Judaism 101 as a pre-course to Christianity.
Phat writes:

Thus could Paul as a Jew have reconciled Jesus Christ as God with the idea that God has no form?

What makes you think Paul saw Jesus as God?

What makes you think Jesus saw himself as God?

What makes you think James or Peter saw Jesus as God?


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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jar
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Posts: 31071
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 9 of 591 (780857)
03-24-2016 5:57 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Thugpreacha
03-24-2016 5:19 PM


Re: Judaism 101 as a pre-course to Christianity.
Phat writes:

What did the author mean when he said that "they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch."? Why did the Apostles mention the Holy Spirit...or at least why did the author of Acts mention it?

You seem to be wandering all over the place. Acts is still later in the development cycle. The Gospel of Luke-Acts was likely written sometime around 80-90 AD by an anonymous source and adding emphasis to what had evolved over the preceding half century. One key feature is the Pentecost and thus that narrative played a significant role; thus the mention of the Holy Spirit.

But again, what is shown is the evolution of the various products being marketed that were far different than what might have been marketed by Jesus or James (brother of Jesus).

Also, remember proselyte simply means a convert. Paul was a proselyte. Peter was a proselyte. John was a proselyte.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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jar
Member
Posts: 31071
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 12 of 591 (780862)
03-24-2016 11:24 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Thugpreacha
03-24-2016 10:21 PM


Re: Acts
Phat writes:

This fact just does'nt sound definite to me for some unknown reason.

I'm not sure what that quite means, but maybe this might help clear some points up.

Let's start with the positions of the initial group where known.

Most of the disciples saw the movement as a Jewish sect. In particular, James (and to some extent Peter) were strongly opposed to the movement being anything new, outside of traditional Judaism.
So There was a high holy Jewish holy day that took place 49 days after the first day of Passover (the 50th day) called Savuot. It corresponded with the first grain harvest and was celebrated as the Day when the Ten Commandments were given to the Nation Israel. In the early traditions of the followers of Jesus it was considered the Day of Pentecost, when the gift was given, not of Ten Commandments or wheat or barley but the Holy Spirit.

This was the first instance of adopting and evolving a Jewish tradition to attach a Jesus centric mythos.

If Jesus death is placed around the year 30AD then Paul's conversion took place 4-10 years afterwards.

Does that help?


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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jar
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Posts: 31071
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 13 of 591 (780863)
03-24-2016 11:26 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Thugpreacha
03-24-2016 11:01 PM


Re: Judaism 101 as a pre-course to Christianity.
Phat writes:

One mans "evolution" is another mans "progressive revelation." Had Jesus ministry lasted any longer it too may have shown evidence of progressive revelation.

Sheesh.

What does the evidence show.

Jesus ministry did not last longer so speculation is simply silly.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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jar
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Posts: 31071
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


(1)
Message 15 of 591 (780868)
03-25-2016 9:06 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Thugpreacha
03-24-2016 11:44 PM


Christianity 101
Phat writes:

Stephen certainly was a product of the Pentecost conversions.

Again, not quite. There is no evidence Stephen was at the Pentecost event. Stephen was likely a Deacon of the Church in Jerusalem.

AbE:

Maybe a little more history is needed.

The story of Stephen begins in Acts 6 and carries on through most of Acts 7 where his speech is recorded.

Stephen was appointed by the Twelve as a Deacon and his job duties were to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, comfort the sorrowful. His was a mission of doing. He too was a Jew and saw the Jesus movement as completely Jewish, not a new religion but rather a Reformation. In fact his defense at his trial (recounted in Acts 7) was that Jesus and his movement was not to destroy Judaism or create a new and separate religion but rather Reformation. And it was that message, "The problem is YOU not Jesus or the Mexicans or the Muslims or the liberals but YOU. " and it was that message that got him stoned.

It's not healthy to tell the voters that they are the problem.

Edited by jar, : see AbE:

Edited by jar, : fix sub-title

Edited by jar, : appalin spallin as a not a a


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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jar
Member
Posts: 31071
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 17 of 591 (780880)
03-25-2016 7:49 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Thugpreacha
03-25-2016 4:01 PM


Re: Christianity 101
Phat writes:

Why did Paul want to change the whole emphasis off of the individual onto Jesus Christ? (or did he?) It has always been my understanding that Jesus--or rather the holy Spirit--changed Paul and because of this dramatic conversion a new emphasis...a progressive revelation if you will...began largely under Pauls teaching.

IF this whole idea and belief that Jesus Death,Burial, and Resurrection opens a door for dramatic conversion experiences, we should be able to find some evidence.

Also, the original Apostles themselves should show signs of a dramatic conversion--empowerment, if you will-from the Holy Spirit Himself.

What was the motive and change in emphasis from Jesus as Rabbi,Teacher,Judge while alive to Savior,Redeemer,God in human form that has largely shaped and influenced contemporary Christianity since then?

Stop and think. Stop just believing what you have been told because it is comforting. See what the actual evidence shows.

First, there was no sudden or dramatic changes. Paul never experienced Jesus Death,Burial, and Resurrection except from being told the stories AFTER whatever actually happened on his way to Damascus. And very little changed about Paul after the incident; he was still the fanatic, set in his ways, not open to compromise unless it is in his advantage, opinionated person that he was before the incident.

Plus, all that is still five to ten years after Jesus death.

There was very little change in the Disciples either; remember Peter had been willing to draw sword when Jesus was arrested.

John's Gospel is thought to have gone through several iterations and been written at least a full half century after Jesus death.

And Paul's teachings were only accepted after considerable discord and mainly because Paul outlived most of the other Apostles and built up a relatively effective organization. Plus, while Paul was initially just another apocalyptic preacher he was forced to evolve his theology to fit the reality that many of the initial tenets were just plain wrong.

Phat writes:

I also wish to reintroduce a post from your other thread:

Phat writes:

What, if anything, was Jesus marketing? Is there any evidence that Jesus would have approved and/or disapproved of Pauls new religion"?


jar writes:

Jesus was clearly marketing a collection of behavior patterns, a way that people should relate to one another and to their God. Please your God by taking care of each other and the world you live in; feed the hungry, heal the sick, shelter the homeless, comfort the sorrowful, teach the children to do the same.

I think Jesus would approve of some of Paul's product, disapprove of parts and just laugh at much of it. Jesus would likely have approved of the inclusionary parts, getting rid of outdated "God's Commandments" like circumcision, dietary restrictions, identification as a people apart and even going so far as adopting and co-opting pagan practices and worship.

I doubt Jesus would have approved of Paul's effort to make his death of greater significance and would have laughed at the very idea of Christianity as a separate religion.

I imagine Jesus would have disagreed with Paul's misogyny or his early concentration on End of Times and would have been appalled with the idea that the goal was some afterlife and not a concentration on this life.

It seems to me that if what you say is true, Paul would have actually had to lie (or at least grossly exaggerate the truth) when it was reported what occurred on the Damascus Road.

quote:
9 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”

Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.[a] It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”

Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

7 And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one.


It seems we are left to either brand Paul has a storyteller claiming extraordinary properties for the belief that he then marketed, or that the actual event happened and explains Pauls dramatic transformation.

But there was NOT much of a dramatic transformation.

As you have been shown, the story of Paul's experience did undergo dramatic transformation as it got revised and retold, but the only real change was one of allegiance; Paul switched sides.

Nor was Paul only concerned with life after death. If you actually read what we have that is attributed to Paul the vast majority concerns how to get along with life day to day, how to get along with others, how to get along with those who do not believe as you do, how to manage the business of a "Church".

Stop listening to them what try to sell the proof texts and mined little quotes taken out of context. If they give you the passage you quoted above make them also provide all the other versions of the story and determine who actually wrote them (if possible) and when they got written (usually easier).

I don't think anyone doubts that Paul experienced something dramatic, but that is not evidence that anything really happened, only that Paul believed something happened.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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jar
Member
Posts: 31071
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 19 of 591 (780891)
03-26-2016 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by Thugpreacha
03-26-2016 2:37 AM


Re: Christianity 101
As you may know by now I find all of 1 Cor 15 pretty much useless and in fact some of the very worst of Christianity. Fortunately it is just one part of a fairly long letter written pretty early in Paul's ministry before reality set in. It was written while he was still the apocalyptic the end is nigh Snake Oil Salesman. As you read on through 1 Cor he returns to the topic of how to behave while still living.

Phat writes:

It could make someone ask why all of these people love someone who has died? Why do they continually ahare the story with people and why do they talk as if Jesus is alive today? I know that money and fame are not the motive.

Do people today still follow Mohammad?

Do people today still follow the teachings of the Buddha?

Do people today still follow the teachings of Mencius and Confucius?

Perhaps it might be a matter of belief?

Phat writes:

I will agree that Christianity is mostly about what we DO...on a daily basis, but I won't let go of the belief that it is also possible because of WHO He is. At least for now.

Belief can be a powerful motivator for both good and ill. But conversions happen all the time and in every area of life yet seldom does the individuals basic traits change. Their awareness of those traits might change and their goals might change but the basics, their training in critical thinking, in evidence based decision making, their nature usually remain the same.

If you read on the 1 Cor 15 you will see Paul the many facing enemies rise again to the surface. The enemies changed but Paul did not.

Phat writes:

In your opinion based on what you have studied, would Paul have been content to market a new and improved Judaism versus a new product known as Christianity? Why or why not?

Paul would only be happy marketing a new Pauline Christianity. Paul was not happy marketing James' Christianity or Peter's Christianity, Paul insisted on marketing Paul's Christianity. Pauline Christianity is based on Paul amplifying and explaining what Jesus really meant. What you see in Paul's Epistles is Jesus through the filter of Paul.

And even that evolved over time from the apocalyptic the end is nigh initial position to his later position that the end is not likely any time soon and so we need to concentrate on how we live this life.

The error so many seem to make is picking one little section, 1 Cor 15:1-4 instead of 1 Cor 1 through 1 Cor 16 and understanding that 1 Cor is just ONE interoffice memo from a man that loved writing interoffice memos.

Remember that Jesus ministry only lasted 2-3 years.

Paul converted when he was about 25-30 year old and his ministry lasted for over 30 years, ten times as long as Jesus ministry.

We should not base an understanding of a thirty year ministry on one paragraph from one interoffice memo.

AbE2: the sequel

As I think I have mentioned I went to an Episcopal Church school (St Paul's) where Paul's writings were a big part of the Sacred Studies curriculum. Two in particular were emphasized, the second actually being the school motto. The school had been around for awhile since it was first organized back in 1849.

Here is the first example, also from 1 Cor, all of Chapter 13.

quote:

1 Corinthians 13King James Version (KJV)

13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.


Same interoffice memo but a different emphasis.

The second is from the end of Paul's ministry.

quote:
I have fought the good fight

Note he does not say he won the fight.

Note he does not say he fought a fight.

It is that he fought the GOOD fight.

This was our motto, that we would try to do right; that we would fight the good fight; no idea if we would win or loose but the important point was the trying.

Edited by jar, : ten times as long not three

Edited by jar, : see AbE2:

Edited by jar, : appalin grammer there ---> their

Edited by jar, : and again in same sentence.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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jar
Member
Posts: 31071
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 25 of 591 (780900)
03-26-2016 12:57 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Thugpreacha
03-26-2016 12:13 PM


Re: Christianity 101
Phat writes:

jar writes:

Pauline Christianity is based on Paul amplifying and explaining what Jesus really meant. What you see in Paul's Epistles is Jesus through the filter of Paul.

But isn't this true of all of us? Don't we as Christians explain or attempt to explain what Jesus meant through our own filter? You often chide me for making up God as I want Him to be...and i will admit that this is a usual human trait even among seasoned churchgoers. However, I personally disagree with you when you say things like
jar writes:

A GOD that wants to be worshiped is just too silly a thought. Maybe some picayune God might worry about what folk thought of Her, like the little girl who worries that her corsage might not be right, too big, or too small, or the guy that worries about his tie not being in style or that people think he looks funny, but GOD cannot be so insecure.

It has always been my understanding that God encourages us to worship,pray,and basically have a relationship. After a day in which I fall short (which is everyday) I can sit in a quiet spot and begin to talk. The evidence would show that i was only talking to myself, but I believe that God...powerful and busy as He is, hears me and helps me. Of course I am aware of the human trait mentioned earlier to create a God in MY imagination that favors me...and I of course have no right as an ant in a universe to expect such a thing...but I believe that the Creator of all seen and unseen is powerful enough and has the time to listen to all of us...even if we talked all at once.

Okay, if that is what you want to believe that's fine.

But when it comes to Paul things are slightly different. You asked "In your opinion based on what you have studied, would Paul have been content to market a new and improved Judaism versus a new product known as Christianity? Why or why not?" and the answer to that question was "No. Paul was not content to market a new and improved Judaism versus a new product known as Christianity or even a version of Christianity that was not Pauline Christianity."

Phat writes:

Note what Jesus says to the religious leaders of His day in

John 8:44 writes:

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Again, what does that even have to do with anything in this topic? Have you read all of John 8? You do understand that we don't know who wrote John but that it is a later revisionist view?

John is NOT Paul and the Gospel of John was likely not even written until near, if not after, Paul's death. It has nothing to do with Pauline Christianity but is yet another version to be marketed.

Phat writes:

Do you personally believe it is even possible to be a respected religious/spiritual leader and not have a daily relationship with G-d?

What does that even mean? How does someone know they have a relationship of any kind or duration or interval with God?

Edited by jar, : left out a closing "


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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jar
Member
Posts: 31071
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


(1)
Message 26 of 591 (780901)
03-26-2016 3:27 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by Thugpreacha
03-26-2016 12:38 PM


Re: The Form Of God
Phat writes:

If we as humans go about doing good and doing the daily simple things...giving a guy spare change, feeding the homeless, carrying in the neighbors groceries, etc etc...are we imitating Christ? I suppose we could thus say---as you have said...that doing for others is loving God. Comments?

What did Jesus say?

As reported in Matthew:

quote:
Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

As reported in Mark:

quote:
And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

As reported in Luke:

quote:
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

And as found in Matthew 25:

quote:
31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.


Next, understand language.

The people of the period were not really concerned with consistency and also constantly used forms of speech as a way of promoting understanding. Take your example of Judaism teaching that God has no form as an example. Even if that was true (and for the most part it is) that did not stop them from writing stories where God did have form (see Genesis 2&3) and where God not only had form but appeared to folk, wrestled with folk, stopped for water with folk, talked to folk, took advice from folk.

Stop expecting accuracy and remember that much of the Bible stories (almost all the important parts) are just Mythology.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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 Message 23 by Thugpreacha, posted 03-26-2016 12:38 PM Thugpreacha has responded

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 Message 27 by Thugpreacha, posted 03-26-2016 4:04 PM jar has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 31071
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 28 of 591 (780904)
03-26-2016 5:18 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by Thugpreacha
03-26-2016 4:04 PM


Re: The Form Of God
Phat writes:

jar writes:

The people of the period were not really concerned with consistency and also constantly used forms of speech as a way of promoting understanding. Take your example of Judaism teaching that God has no form as an example. Even if that was true (and for the most part it is) that did not stop them from writing stories where God did have form (see Genesis 2&3) and where God not only had form but appeared to folk, wrestled with folk, stopped for water with folk, talked to folk, took advice from folk.

Stop expecting accuracy and remember that much of the Bible stories (almost all the important parts) are just Mythology.

I strongly disagree with this, but first perhaps i had better understand the word Mythology.

quote:
noun
1.
a collection of myths, especially one belonging to a particular religious or cultural tradition.
"Ganesa was the god of wisdom and success in Hindu mythology"
synonyms: myth(s), legend(s), folklore, folk tales, folk stories, lore, tradition
"no ancient culture is without its mythology"
2.
the study of myths.

So...are you stating that the bible is largely a collection of myths? I object!

And you are free to object, but of course you would be wrong.

Genesis 1 is a myth meant to explain the Sacred Week and concept of the Sabbath.

Genesis 2&3 is a myth meant to explain why we fear snakes, why childbirth seems more painful for women than for other animals, why we farm instead of being hunter gatherers, why we wear clothes, why women are subject to men...

Exodus is a myth to explain the origin of the Nation Israel.

Numbers is a manufactured genealogy.

With the exception of just a very few instances (laws, proverbs) all of the Old Testament is mythology.

The same is true of the New Testament. There are the tales that explain why Savuot became the Christian Pentecost, why the Jewish Passover became Easter, why the Pagan Winter festival became the Christian Christmas.

There are the three Synotptic Gospels each recounting a different view of Jesus life and ministry and then the revisionist Gospel of John. These all create a myth, the myth of Jesus life.

Even if Jesus lived, what we see based on the Bible stories are fictionalized accounts, mythology.

Stop trivializing mythology. It is essential.

Phat writes:

Of course due to your Jewish influences in life, I can see where you differentiate between jesus and G-d. But what if G-d were simply a cultural myth? (And of course I DON'T believe that He is)

But Phat, as long as we are alive all we can know is the myth, the God(s) and god(s) we create. Cultural myths are essential. The bumbling god of Genesis 2&3 that is learning on the job, learning by trial and error, fearful but intimate was a cultural myth. The god of Exodus who changes Pharaohs mind simply so that she can show how big her dick is with yet another plague was a cultural myth. The supremely competent overarching god of Genesis 1 who is also aloof and does not interact with the creation is a cultural myth.

The evolution of the Great Commission over time or of Paul's conversion over time are examples of the development of cultural myth.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Thugpreacha, posted 03-26-2016 4:04 PM Thugpreacha has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by Thugpreacha, posted 03-27-2016 4:04 PM jar has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 31071
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 30 of 591 (780921)
03-27-2016 7:37 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Thugpreacha
03-27-2016 4:04 PM


Re: The Form Of God
Phat writes:

The God whom Stephen spoke of was in my opinion the GOD you mention, Creator of all seen and unseen..spoken of in your beloved Nicene Creed. Stephen quite obviously was not speaking of a God he created. Stephen had an intimate relationship with the Creator of all seen and unseen. And the Sanhedrin hated him for it. Care to explain what happened according to your mythos worldview? And why were the people of "The Way" mentioned in Acts as the ones Saul wished to kill? You claim that John was written nearly after Pauls death, yet John mentions Jesus as being The Way, The Truth, and The Life. Not some mere Rabbi who taught us all to love God only by doing for others and who made beer runs and kept the spirits flowing at neighborhood parties!

Also what changed Sauls mind and heart? Surely more than simply seeing an opportunity to hawk a new belief system and earn a better living than making tents!

Lots of people claimed to actually have direct face to face meetings with God, Phat.

What makes you think Stephen is not speaking of a God he created?

What is the evidence of an intimate relationship with the Creator of all seen and unseen?

Evidence Phat.

Is it possible Stephen, like you, believed they had an intimate relationship with God? Certainly, but that is only evidence that they held such a belief.

I don't claim John was written near if not after Paul's death, that is the dates assigned to John. And John as I have said repeatedly was a revisionist. His Gospel is different from all the others because the author of John was marketing a different Jesus myth than found in the other three Gospels. John is hawking a different Jesus than the one found in the Synoptic Gospels. That is why it is not included as one of them.

And who knows if Paul ever changed; the only real difference was he switched allegiances. What else changed?

Phat writes:

Critics would assert that you operate out of your flesh(soul, intelligence) and have nary a clue what spirit even is. We can discuss that later.

Yet when challenged not one of those critics has ever presented evidence of what soul/spirit even is, how it can be detected and how it can be tested or even the identity of the source verified?

AbE:

A couple other points to remember.

Like the Gospel of John, Acts was written long after the incidents it recounts would have happened. Most scholars date Acts to around 80-90 AD and so about a half century after Jesus death. Stephens death was likely around 36AD and so what you read in Acts is a tale about what happened at least a half century earlier.

Edited by jar, : see AbE:

Edited by jar, : soul/spirit


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by Thugpreacha, posted 03-27-2016 4:04 PM Thugpreacha has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by Thugpreacha, posted 03-28-2016 2:18 AM jar has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 31071
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 32 of 591 (780933)
03-28-2016 9:03 AM
Reply to: Message 31 by Thugpreacha
03-28-2016 2:18 AM


Re: God Unplugged
Phat writes:

the story mentions that Stephens face shown like that on an angel, and also reports that those who heard Stephen became enraged. Seems to me that if Stephen was only talking about a god he created, nobody would have much cared.

Just as you get upset when I talk of the Christian myth or the marketing of Christianity, Stephen was attacking a strongly held belief system.

Phat writes:

So in your opinion, what message was the story of Stephen versus Sanhedrin mean't to convey?

The story was part of creating a Christian Mythos, a tale of good versus evil, us versus them. Classic propaganda written after the facts but still close enough for the issues to still be fresh.

Look at the US Films made between 1908 and 1912 about the US Civil War for a parallel.

Phat writes:

I disagree with you in that you place too much faith in human wisdom...logic, reason, and "reality" and don't have any doubt that humans either MUST be capable of good on their own or else God HAS to be evil.

But what do we have other than logic, reason and reality? and I have never claimed "that humans either MUST be capable of good on their own or else God HAS to be evil." so stop trying to assert I believe stuff YOU think I believe.

Phat writes:

And why did Saul flip a 180 and switch sides?

We will never know but there are several versions of the story and each involves some kind of spiritual event.

Phat writes:

I am allowed to have beliefs without being declared WRONG by people who have only some alleged facts and not a majority vote.

But Phat, actually there is a majority vote on most of this stuff as well as lots of evidence on one side and only tradition, shaky tradition, on the other side. It's fine to hold a belief that runs counter to all the evidence but we should be aware that such a belief is held in spite of the evidence.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by Thugpreacha, posted 03-28-2016 2:18 AM Thugpreacha has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by Thugpreacha, posted 03-28-2016 5:32 PM jar has responded
 Message 34 by Thugpreacha, posted 03-28-2016 7:30 PM jar has not yet responded
 Message 76 by Thugpreacha, posted 03-30-2016 11:32 AM jar has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 31071
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 35 of 591 (780959)
03-28-2016 8:07 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by Thugpreacha
03-28-2016 5:32 PM


Re: God Unplugged
Phat writes:

Here is a question: What is the difference between a man who believes in God yet admits he is likely wrong regarding his understanding, and an agnostic?

Belief.

It really is that simple.

An agnostic says they have no idea whether or not there is a god or any belief one way or the other.

I believe that there is a GOD, a creator of that that is, seen and unseen, but I also know that there have been many other God(s) and god(s) asserted to exist over time. And so honesty must also play a part.

In addition, as I have pointed out, even assertions far too often taken as meaningful like "The God of the Bible" really fall apart when the actual evidence is examined. The God described in Genesis 1 is entirely different than the God described in Genesis 2&3 or the God(s) found in the New Testament.

So honestly, I must admit that I have a very high likelihood of being wrong.

Is there any reason to think the God I might worship is more likely than Ganesha?

Isn't it far more likely that ALL of the God(s) and god(s) we can talk about really are only creations of the human mind, caricatures perhaps of some reality but no more accurate than a landscape of a place the artist never even visited?

Religions are paths, guides. Some basics as you point out seem to be common even outside religion. Aren't those commonalities the things we really can use to improve THIS life, do do for the least of these?

Phat writes:

I of course was always taught that we are sinners by nature and that only through Jesus sacrifice are we even able to become holy.(or at least polite)

But what does the evidence show?

Do the followers of Jesus behave better than the Buddhists, the Muslims, the Taoists, the Hindus, the Atheists, the Agnostics?

AbE:

Phat writes:

I don't believe that we humans find God...Although one could argue that many make up a God to suit them. I believe that God finds us. I believe that GOD, Creator of all seen and unseen...has a desire to have a relationship with humanity. Of course this does not negate our personal responsibility to and for each other---if anything it enhances it.

I find that position revolting, disgusting, symptomatic of a vile evil God that should be opposed.

You are welcome to that God but I cannot imagine anyone worshiping such a creature.

Edited by jar, : see AbE:


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by Thugpreacha, posted 03-28-2016 5:32 PM Thugpreacha has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by Thugpreacha, posted 03-28-2016 10:15 PM jar has responded
 Message 41 by Thugpreacha, posted 03-29-2016 8:16 AM jar has not yet responded

  
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