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serenity blaze
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50 posted 08-01-2006 03:08 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Stephan? Of course we're alright.

I did not mean to imply that YOU hurt me--what hurts me is all the blasted biased text that has been written in commentary. I had to wade through that garbage this weekend, yanno.

To even describe Eve as a "helpmeet" isn't helpful to me right now. You might as well call it Introduction to Co-Dependancy.

And smiling here, don't go thinking I left the conversation because I was out of "ammo"--on the contrary.

You asked me to pause and reflect so I did just that. And what I asked myself was what good could come of this. Let's just suppose for instance, that I managed to sway YOU to my way of thinking...

I know this is hard for you to understand as it is just the opposite of what you have been taught, but according to my belief system, I would have greatly erred had I persuaded you off of your given path and onto mine. I know you are a good person and you do kind things and find immense satisfaction in your faith. So why go fussing with a good fruit-bearing tree?

You see, according to the tradition of my initiation, a persuasive argument that causes turmoil for another brings on karmic debt.

I realize that you feel a duty to do the opposite, and we differ on that and always will.

So I figured it was up to me to drop the rope here.

BUT--if you are truly interested in where it was I was coming from with my admiration of the Lilith allegory, do go to the public library and find Dictionary of Deities and Demons In The Bible, Second Edition, Edited by Karel Van Der Toorn, Bob Becking and Pieter W. Van Der Horst.

You will find nine very long, very interesting entries regarding Lilith, with etymology in Akkadian, Greek and other languages and cross referenced with The Legend of Gilgamesh and other Sumerian legends (Ishtar and Astaroth)

Interesting stuff.

and tsk...too easy to paint me as merely "hurt by men" and therefore reactive and hypersensitive. Tsk. You can do better than that. I happen to be ticked at a lot of WOMEN too.

I do love you my friend, and yes, we're alright.

I'm gonna go sleep. It's a nightly habit I'm trying out lately--so I guess I'll have to rent out my Lilith suit. <--Now THAT was sarcasm, S.

Hugs and Peace.

And by all means, look up Lilith and read the references in all the Bibliographies. (I find some of my best stuff that way.)

Besides--

I'd have to type for days just to give you THAT--and I ain't nevah lied about my own studies. I just nevah elaborated to an exact extent.

OH.

and Happy Lammas. It's also my wedding anniversary. AND, it happens to be the annual New Orleans "Night Out Against Crime, (so effective in the past yanno<--droll typing) and the culimination of all three on the same night I find tremendously amusing.

I just may hire an angry dwarf to guard my door, I dunno.

So if I don't answer you, you will know that I am either making up or breaking up with the hubby, having Sabbat, explaining my bonfire-disguised-as-barbecue to the very paranoid Fire Department, and hopefully, being a dutiful crime-fighter too.

HELPMEET? MAH ASS--I DO IT ALL BABY!!!

*cracking up*

g'nite folks

  
LeeJ
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51 posted 08-01-2006 07:14 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

Hey Stephen, Good Morning

Don't you worry, as I said before, you've been kind, a gentleman, and because we disagreed, you didn't attack my individuality, or try to put me down for my beliefs...I thank you with my heart...your not only a great teacher, but a gentleman to boot.  As long as two people can share as this, how could there be any resentment...

even if I do get upset, I can never hold a grudge...

thank you for the stroll Stephen...

Stephanos
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52 posted 08-01-2006 07:26 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

K:
quote:
To even describe Eve as a "helpmeet" isn't helpful to me right now. You might as well call it Introduction to Co-Dependancy.


That really depends on what you think "help" entails doesn't it?  Sometimes "help" includes things which are anything but mouse-like on the part of good wives.


There, I'm done now (really).





Lee, God bless you, and thanks for what you said.  


Stephen.
iliana
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53 posted 08-02-2006 04:21 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

*Applause*.....yeah, let's hear more about Joan of Arc, the Black Madonna, Pope Joan, Hypathia, Isis.......more, more!!!!  

And, let's take this thread back to before Christianity.  Then examine the effects of organized Christianity on women.  

Stephan, to me, being a Christian defines as "being a disciplinarian of Christ."  In other words, following and practicing the teachings of The Christ.  I believe Jesus was divine....but I believe each of us is, as well!!!  After all, we were created in God's image.  I believe Jesus is my brother, my guide, my hero -- he got it right and has painted a way for us to get it right!  Sometimes, I think too much emphasis is placed on his sacrifice on the cross, and not enough emphasis placed on how he lived.  

Call that blasphemany if you will, but no one truly knows the extent of The Christ, and no one truly knows the extent of each human soul.  Jesus got it right.  He set the example.  But, for all I know, Jesus could have visited more than once in many different cultures even.  He might have visited during the time of Isis, for all we know.....after all, he said he had come before but we knew him not.  For any one of us to try to define The Christ or God or the Holy Spirit is very limiting.  How can we limit the infinite????  How can you put limits on the limitless????  Jesus taught us to pray, "Our Father, which art in Heaven....."  Key words.........OUR FATHER.   Meaning, there is a direct relationship between the Creator and us....a parent.  Whether the word "Father" was an invention of the church with regard to the Creator's gender.....who is to say? Jesus instructed to say "Our father" not "My father."  Or, perhaps, Jesus chose to pray to the masculine side of God....because if God is All......then he is ALL (including feminine, sorry to burst your bubble...lol).  For you see, omnipresent and omnipotent means exactly that....ALL.  Omnipresent = "Present everywhere simultaneously" -- that means everywhere........inside, outside, above, below, around, and WITHIN all of creation, male and female alike.  What is lacking is our awareness of that!  That is my belief.  

You may tell me, that Jesus was the only BEGOTTEN son of God...well, if you follow that reasoning...then...maybe God had some begotten daughters (the Bible doesn't say God didn't)!  I am not disputing the virgin birth....I happen to believe it very strongly.  My point is that, surely, Jesus was different in that he came fresh....not wrapped up in genetic error and the karmic debts we inherit from ancestors...but he showed us how to be re-born...and if we are reborn, then we are reborn by spirit....similar to how Christ came to us.

But to limit the Christ and rebirth in definition is mind boggling....how can anyone define what that process truely is?  None of the disciples had it exactly right, Jesus said as much.  And yet those were the authors (indirectly) of the gospels. Hmmmm.....makes me wonder why Jesus didn't hire a scribe to record his words to save us all the debate. Afterall, there is no Gospel of Jesus....the four main gospels of the New Testament are eyewitness accounts....so even their reports are tainted with limited perception.

According to the gnostic gospels, Mary M. knew more of Jesus' secret teachings than any of the disciples.  Peter (the rock of the organized church -- who denied Christ trice) demonstrated jealousy toward her.  Hmmmm....a little guilt there?  It is believed Mary made her way to Europe where some believe she may have been involved in establishing a following of believers who eventually (about a thousand years later) became known as the Cathars.  The Catholic Church anniliated the Carthars for heresy but for a few who escaped and fled to other parts of Europe.      

Now, prove me wrong.  *smile*  



XOx Uriah xOX
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54 posted 08-02-2006 07:45 AM       View Profile for XOx Uriah xOX   Email XOx Uriah xOX   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for XOx Uriah xOX

Genesis 1:26   "And Elohim said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:"

Psalms 82:6,7    " I have said, Ye are Elohim; and all of you are children of the most High,
But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes."
LeeJ
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55 posted 08-02-2006 08:31 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

Iliana....hmmmm, much food for thought perhaps where you ended your history lesson, is where the free masons begin to derive out of the Knights of Templar, perhaps King Arthurs round table?  

this is getting very interesting, and yes, I agree, would love to read discussions on women BC....

thanks hun...

Uriah....smiles and thanks for joining in...


Karen...it's all yours...I'm standing here leaning up against the wall of a great library, tapping my feet, while looking at my watch...Hey Karen? Where are ya?  
serenity blaze
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56 posted 08-02-2006 11:49 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

HUH?

Y'rang?

Sorry.

I have been going through my stuff again, looking for a recent Newsweek that had a great article regarding Mary Magdalene. If I remember correctly, they had noted with interest that Mary Magdalene was the only woman of the Bible referenced to by her location, Magdala, just as men were during that time--I believe they said that all other women were identified with the men of signifigance in their lives and then I started thinking about the geneologies that almost everybody (me included) skips over, and remembered my brother patiently reading aloud all of those blah begat blahs until I understood that both Mary and Joseph were descendant of David, and then I remembered how my brother brought up the custom of continuation of Royal blood lines, and this was WAY before "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" and I spent some time missing my brother who was my study buddy, remembering that he told me to QUESTION EVERYTHING--even him. Then this morning I read up on the Argentinian economic collapse culminating in 2002, pondering if that was the future economic course of New Orleans, then I had a chat with my online bro, did a crossword puzzle and now I have no clue as to where I am.

Am I in Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, Egypt, or what?

Sorry.

I've also been studying a certain "god" named "abraxas" that is deemed as being the emanating force of Jesus Christ, described as having possessed 365 virtues, (spent some time wondering which book I read that in since I re-shelved everything) and I got to thinking on that, thinking I can't even name the seven virtues, or even the seven dwarfs, so I thought 365 virtues? One for every day of the year? So I started wondering if every single day had a corresponding virtue, and if so, what they would be, and if there is are 365 virtues, then logically there must also be the same amount of vices, and then I thought OH--perhaps that is what Paul meant by "you must die daily" meaning that every day you must live as an exponation of virtue, overcoming the temptation of the vice--and are vices always originated via flesh, and is that what is meant by being born into sin and is that the symbolism of crucifixion of the flesh?

Now. Sorry.

What was the question?

(Y'SEE HOW I GET NOW?)

serenity blaze
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57 posted 08-02-2006 12:03 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Sigh.

I thought I knew where that Newsweek was, but I think it also mentioned that it was Pope Gregory who deemed Mary Magdalene as a prostitute.

And all of this, for some reason, reminded me of Queen Hatshepsut--which kinda sorta puts me back on topic.





LeeJ
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58 posted 08-02-2006 12:59 PM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

Hey Karen

I've heard it said, that so many people think that Mary Magdalene was the prostitute that Jesus forgave and said "Go woman and sin no more" when in fact, she wasn't.  She was of a very influencial family and the name Mary, then, was a pretty prevelent name?

I dunno if thats true?

serenity blaze
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59 posted 08-02-2006 01:14 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

To my knowledge, Lee, there is no evidence to back up that pesky bit of misinformation. If I ever find that dratted Newsweek, I'd love to quote it.

sigh

But I believe Newsweek said that Pope Gregory had used a reference to Mary Magdalene as a sinner--and that it was Pope Gregory who jumped to the conclusion that because she was a woman who sinned that it must have been prostitution.

There are many ways to sin. I don't believe that the Magdalene's was ever specified.

And sheesh. I need a nap.

Everytime my brain wakes up, I remember why I knocked it out in the first place.



I'll be back.

I'm kinda like a pogo stick.
XOx Uriah xOX
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60 posted 08-02-2006 01:20 PM       View Profile for XOx Uriah xOX   Email XOx Uriah xOX   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for XOx Uriah xOX

Ah   Jesus    Born from Mary (Miriam...rebellion, bitterness)
Ah  Mary Magdalene (migdalah...tower   or  Migdol...a wound, a piercing)
So...  Was Jesus born from our rebellion?
You decide.
Did he marry Mary Magdelene?
Did he become as One with the Tower of Rebellion ?   Like...The Tower of Babel (confusion)?  Ah  Babylon
You decide.
Or...Did he become One with Rebellion...through wounding and piercing?
You decide.
   LOL
The Bible speaks often of those who could not see the meaning behind certain words...because they were blinded by the letters.   The letters hindered them from seeing the Spirit that laid within the words.
Whew!!!    I'm glad those days are over !
serenity blaze
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61 posted 08-02-2006 01:38 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Ahhhh....

That depends on how you interpret even that warning Uriah.

My brother, who was so many things during his spiritual journeys, including an elder of the Baptist church, had told me before his death that without knowledge of the Hebrew alphabet, it was impossible to decipher the book of Genesis. The Hebrew alphabet is also their numerical system, and he was quite convinced that it was written in code. Nod. I found my brother's notebook with the correspondences amongst his belongings as well. He had been studying kabbalah, and part of his notes referred to the very characters of the Hebrew alphabet as being meditative practices. 22 of them. He was the one who pointed out to me that there are also 22 chapters in the book of Revelation. There are also 22 archetypes portrayed on the major arcana of the Tarot Deck.

Interesting stuff.

It's also of interest to know that Jewish scribes, if they erred in their transcriptions by so much as one stray drop of ink, the work was considered marred, and had to be destroyed, as one simple drop of ink could be mistaken for the Hebrew letter of "Yod".



I only wish I had found the book he referenced, but the closest thing online I could find that was similar to his notations was on this site:
http://altreligion.about.com/library/texts/bl_transcendental14.htm

Now. Really.

sigh

I do miss my bro.
XOx Uriah xOX
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62 posted 08-02-2006 01:52 PM       View Profile for XOx Uriah xOX   Email XOx Uriah xOX   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for XOx Uriah xOX

I didn't see a "warning".  
Thats normal for me.   I'm under the delusion that...It's all gravy, baby.
But yes,   I agree with your brother and you.
And in translation...so much gets omitted.
Like a tiny little seemingly insignificant word early in Genesis that states that everything that follows is an allegory.  ::smiles::
Stephanos
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63 posted 08-04-2006 01:42 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Iliana:
quote:
According to the gnostic gospels, Mary M. knew more of Jesus' secret teachings than any of the disciples.  Peter (the rock of the organized church -- who denied Christ trice) demonstrated jealousy toward her.  Hmmmm....a little guilt there?  It is believed Mary made her way to Europe where some believe she may have been involved in establishing a following of believers who eventually (about a thousand years later) became known as the Cathars.  The Catholic Church anniliated the Carthars for heresy but for a few who escaped and fled to other parts of Europe.      

Now, prove me wrong.  *smile*  

Iliana,


thanks for your reply to me.  I don't have time to respond in detail right now, but I will mention a couple of thoughts ...

I honstly think you may be placing too little faith in the purity of scripture as being "God-Breathed".  If it's a man-made text only, then we have no reliable revelation of divinity.  If it is indeed Theopneustos or divinely breathed, then we may be assured that despite it's human elements, we have a reliable revelation, which may define for us the parameters of God's Kingdom.  


Now you would say that is "limiting" divinity.  But I don't think so.  When God presents limitations and declarations about his own character, it's more like focusing a camera to me.  When nothing is defined, everything is blurry.  Likewise, if God may be everything that is called "god", then God is really nothing at all ... and the Hindi dilemma of Kali-Worship ensues ... a god who is nothing more or less than nature, in incoherent mixture of kindess and cruelty.


One may look at it another way:  The best roads have boundaries, and yet that doesn't limit their length and circuit through the Earth.  


I can think of three ways that the Christian scriptures differ from most other religions, and not compatible therefore at these points:


1)  a "transcendent" God who is not a part of nature.
2)  authoritative moral teaching
3)  historical manifestation of Christ, rather than "myth-texts".  


And as to your statements about Mary Magdelene and the disciples ... Could you give me references?  I believe that it is farily easy to demonstrate that Gnostic texts are not the authentic teachings about Christ and his disciples.  



Stephen.
iliana
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64 posted 08-04-2006 02:22 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Stephanos -- As for references, read the Gospel of Mary, which you can find on the internet if you do a search.  

Secondly, regarding your statement:  "If it's a man-made text only, then we have no reliable revelation of divinity."

I disagree in part...the part where you say "then we have no reliable revelation of divinity."  I will not dispute that the Bible was divinely inspired....what I do question is how reliable translations were and how the picking and choosing and discarding of sacred texts during the Nicean Councils (and after) were.  Here is a link for you which gives some pretty good detail.  
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea

Luke 12 KJV

"11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:

12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.

....

22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.

23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.

24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?

25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?

26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?

27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?"

******

BTW, if you read the Gnostic Gospels and the Apocrypha Acts, you will find similar testimony as to the words of The Christ.  

It seems to me, what Jesus was saying here was very related to nature...and he told the people to observe and consider nature.

My belief and it feels right for me is to read/examine everything I'm lead to, and then, with the help of the Holy Spirit....discern what is truth and what is not.  I'm not trying to sway your mind (don't think I'd want to really)....I am just expressing that there are more paths than one that work.  Jesus did not instruct us to read the Bible....and believe everything we read....that was doctrine established by the Church which was comprised of politicians and priests -- inperfect men, who did what they thought was right -- and perhaps, even if words were changed or omitted, I still believe we are where we are supposed to be here and now -- God knew everything before it happened and there is a divine plan. Even though I have doubts as to the comprehensiveness of the Bible and the subjectivity with which it was put together, I am glad it's there to read.  

As to the historic manifestation of Christ -- Christ is not limited.  Who is to say that he didn't visit other cutures at other times with other names?  We have a tendency to limit Christ to the historic Jesus...how can we do that?  Or perhaps, there is a better way to approach this, even if Jesus only came once, how can we say the Holy Spirit did not speak and teach through other historic figures, like the Budha...or Khrisna...or for that matter, Bahullh?  Jesus' advice to us was to listen to the Holy Spirit.  When Jesus said that the only way to the Father was through him...what I interpret him to mean is that he was speaking through the Holy Spirit and the only way to God is through the Holy Spirit.  He was so surrendered and obedient to the will of The Creator that he embodied the Holy Spirit.  And who is to say that other historic figures or religions didn't or do not have a different term that meant the same thing?  

And Wow....this thread is getting off track.  Let's get back to the subject.



[This message has been edited by iliana (08-04-2006 04:17 AM).]

serenity blaze
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65 posted 08-04-2006 07:17 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I thought you just did.
LeeJ
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66 posted 08-04-2006 07:23 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

Ilania, wow, your cookin girl...get off track or not, it's ok, brings more to the table to discuss...and learn from.  Thank you for your input...

I believe as you do, that Christ did in fact visit other cultures...why wouldn't it have been an agenda?  Certainly, how could we be so arrogant to actually believe he didn't.  The American Indian, believes he visited theirs?  

quote:
"11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:

12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.


He does that in most of us, I believe, at one time or another with our poetry?

For example, for those of you who write in the early morning...that to me and for me, is my spiritual writing time...when things come to me, that would not normally come during the day....

Acts 2:15-21 "For these are not drunken as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams: and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy."

Karen,

you are more then welcome to bring in more info about the Goddesses...would also be interesting to hear...

Stephanos
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67 posted 08-04-2006 10:25 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Stephanos -- As for references, read the Gospel of Mary, which you can find on the internet if you do a search.


The "Gospel of Mary" holds little historical weight, other than a glimpse into 3nd Century Gnosticism.  Unlike the first/ second century writings of the Gospels (Matthew Mark Luke John), this book was written later, and pretty much places Jesus in a "gnostic" context, which was pretty common for gnostic texts to do.  Christianity had such a popularity at the beginning, that it was emulated with many later writings and teachings pseudonymously attached to the names of apostles or friends of Jesus.    


TGOM wasn't discovered until 1896, when the Akhmim Codex was discovered (a Gnostic collection with several other gnostic texts).  And only one manuscript was ever discovered, in contrast to the literally hundreds of manuscripts of the Canonical Gospels.


quote:
I will not dispute that the Bible was divinely inspired....what I do question is how reliable translations were and how the picking and choosing and discarding of sacred texts during the Nicean Councils (and after) were.  Here is a link for you which gives some pretty good detail.



Well if you'll notice ... that wiki-page about the Nicean Council, doesn't say anything about "picking and choosing" sacred texts.  The issues at hand at the Nicean Council, were mainly centered around the question of Arianism, and the celebration of Easter.  They already recognized a corpus of divinely inspired scripture.  


The first formal statement of such a complete list was by Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria in 367 A.D.  However, there is also earlier evidence that the Church generally recognized what was only later called "Canon" ... such as in the writing of Iraneus Bishop of Lyons (180 A.D.) where Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, are recognized as "divine origin" and given equal weight with Old Testament Scripture.  Other earlier writers like Justin Martyr and Tertullian also make mention of the canonical gospels as "orthodox".


There is also no evidence for political interference by Constantine, as suggested by Dan Brown.  There is much more evidence that certain criteria was used (The Threefold question of Authorship, doctrinal harmony with what was known to be genuine, and universal recognition among the churches.)  Or as I like to call them: apostolicity, orthodoxy,and catholicity.  (the word catholic meaning "universal")  And such criteria may be still applied in the examination of ancient texts ... the very reason why "The Gospel of Mary" is feeble in regards to representing the original history of Christianity.


So to summarize, here is why I think such claims about "Canonical doubt" are themselves doubtful:


1) There is evidence for a much earlier, more widespread and organic acceptance of canonical scripture, before any "councils" ever came along.


2) During the "official" canonization process, finalized in the Council of Carthage, textual criteria was used rather than an arbitrary selection of texts.  


3) There is very little evidence of mistranslation, since there is a wealth of manuscripts available, where differences stand out "like a sore thumb".

There are no textual differences which affect any major doctrine of the Christian Faith, only negligable differences common to the translation process for ANY ancient text.  So what you read in a Wal-Mart purchased NIV, or NKJV is a pretty good representation of what was originally written, believe it or not.  (despite my distaste of wal-mart!)


Of course, I'd be glad to discuss any particular translation issues you might have.  In general, I find that misgivings about "translation" are too general.  What I mean is, it's always a feeling that "something must be wrong in translation, since it was so long ago".  But you don't answer the question of accuracy of translation with a "hunch" or a "feeling".  Especially with the kind of mansucript attestation we have with the New Testament.  


quote:
As to the historic manifestation of Christ -- Christ is not limited.  Who is to say that he didn't visit other cutures at other times with other names?



I never said he was "limited", only limited by what did or did not actually happen.  If Christ appeared in "other cultures" with "other names" what is the evidence for this?


Remember that most of the cultures / religious expressions you refer to, probably themselves would not say that it is "Christ".  This is the same thing as the New Age/Hindu tendency to make the historical Jesus, just another "avatar" of pantheism.  When we read the texts, propositionally, they can't be transformed, either way, without ignoring the propositional nature of the texts entirely.  


quote:
We have a tendency to limit Christ to the historic Jesus...how can we do that?


Because we have historical texts, which define Jesus as "historical".  Though I would not call this a limitation, as much as a focus of who he really as, as opposed to an esoteric creation of our own minds.  But yes, I do believe in the Holy Spirit's power to create "New divine History", but I don't think it will involve any fundamental disagreement with what has already been established.  Even when Jesus came, he said more than anyone "it is written ...".

quote:
Or perhaps, there is a better way to approach this, even if Jesus only came once, how can we say the Holy Spirit did not speak and teach through other historic figures, like the Budha...or Khrisna...or for that matter, Bahullh?



I can believe that such men have taught some things which are true.  God has been liberal with truth, and great moral truth has been given abroad.  In that sense, I can learn from Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, or virtually any belief-system.  However, such generalities lie in the area of natural religion, in moral truth that may be percieved naturally by the "wise".  But there is also an area of revealed truth, where truth must come by revelation.  And it is in that area, where other religions are deficient.  


If you study religions comparatively, you'll see that they are really fundamentally different, and superficially the same.  But it's popular to believe that it's the other way around ... superficially different, and fundamentally the same.


And it really has to do with the underlying systems of belief.  Christianity and Hinduism, for example, offer not only different views of Christ, but different Universes altogether.  Metaphysical monism / pantheism, is a kind of universe where Christ would not be Christ in the Biblical sense at all.  Much of what he said makes no sense in that kind of universe.  That's why Hinduistic religions will not be bound to a text, because they must explain everything in terms of pantheism ... where propositional truth becomes too problematic.  It's much easier to ignore what the historical Jesus said about being the only way to the Father, and make him a "mystical Jesus" who transcends his own statements.  But that is another kind of "Gospel" altogether.  It's actually another kind of world.


Most devotees to religions understand the essential incompatibility of their worldviews with other religions.  It's a western, typically American tendency, to try and say they're not that different after all.  No offense, but I think that's our pragmatism coming in.  We're not as much concerned with truth, as much as "what works for me".  


James Sire's "The Universe Next Door" is a good place to start analyzing the fundamental differences between basic worldviews:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0830827803/sr=8-1/qid=1154699709/ref=pd_bbs_1/104-1946715-5469564?ie=UTF8    


Also C.S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity" provides a good explanation of the uniqueness of Christianity as well.  He's also quite a joy to read:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060652926/sr=1-1/qid=11546           99946/ref=pd_bbs_1/104-1946715-5469564?ie=UTF8&s=books


LeeJ:
quote:
I believe as you do, that Christ did in fact visit other cultures...why wouldn't it have been an agenda?  Certainly, how could we be so arrogant to actually believe he didn't.  The American Indian, believes he visited theirs?


Lee, I could argue that it's arrogant for a culture to "claim" that Christ came couldn't I?  


My point is, the accusation of arrogance, either way, does nothing to argue that Christ came or did not come.


The question is, DID he actually come?  Any particular claim should be addressed in that way.


And about the Mormon claim ... No American Indian group claims that Christ came to visit them.  Leave that claim to an 18th century Euro-American ... Joseph Smith, and his followers.


Actually Lee, there is no history as dubious as the one portrayed in the Book of Mormon.  There is no archaeolgical evidence that the Nephites or Lamanites ever existed.  Joseph Smith is the only one ever to have seen the "Golden Plates" with "Reformed Egyptian" Hieroglyphics that he supposedly translated.  Also the Book of Mormon, plagairizes the 1611 King James Version of the Bible in many places, hardly a thing that could happen if the Book of Mormon is really a translation of Golden Plates from an ancient civilization.


Believe me Lee, I could go for quite a while on why the Book of Mormon should not be accepted as historical (and in great detail).  I think you would find it convincing.  


I'm just curious, are you seriously considering Mormonism, or is this another example of how you like to embrace many many religions?


The discussion broadens, and mushrooms-out even more.  sigh ...            


Stephen.    
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68 posted 08-04-2006 01:07 PM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

hehehe, Stephen I enjoy you....no, never ever studied the Mormon religion...

haven't got there yet...my my ex-sister-in-law loved reading about the American Indian, matter of fact, named her daughter Kateri, after the first American Indian who studied Christianity and took her findings back to her tribe, sharing it with them.  The Indians and I don't know what tribe, claimed to have been visited by a man, whom Kateri, later translated to be Jesus?  Whose to say?
or at least, that's what I ponder?

And yes, I do like to embrace many religions...never really thought of it that way...
but yes, I do.  As well as many people, but not all at once...

seriously, love people, and their beliefs....interesting stuff, their stories, their journeys, their personal institutions.  
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69 posted 08-04-2006 05:53 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Stephanos -- this could get more complicated and take days to write a treatise.  For now and just as a quick response, I wanted to say that there is much debate over when the four gospels were written....some say before the burning of the Temple...around 70 A.D. (the fundamentalistic view) and many scholars argue it was after, even up to 150-200 A.D.  No one knows for sure.  As for the Gnostic Gospels....there is a very similar dispute.  It should be noted that the very person who helped the Church be formed, burnt down the Library at Alexandria, which very well might have contained the answers to all of this debate.  The four gospels of the Holy Bible were written by followers or interpreters or scribes (unidentified in three of the cases) who wrote down what is believed to be eyewitness account....but those original manuscripts, I understand, do not exist...only translations.  Now if I am wrong and haven't researched that enough yet, I apologize, but that is what I have found so far.  

I'll add this extract from one of the several websites I studied today....
"The Bible...did not descend from heaven as a perfect document composed by God and communicated in writing by individual writers who wrote without error the truthful words inspired by God. It was the product of the believing community, in which over a long period the traditions of God's words and deeds, and of the sacred norms and associations that surrounded them, were handed down, criticized, refined, altered to fit new conditions, and added to by newer insights and interpretations. (James Barr, Beyond Fundamentalism, p.75)"  James Barr http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Barr_(biblical_scholar)


Later.
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70 posted 08-04-2006 06:00 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Perhaps if women had predominated in religion instead of men, we would be worshipping a woman as the saviour instead, and have a Mater Nostra instead of a Pater Noster.
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71 posted 08-04-2006 06:06 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Essorant....lol...some folks still do worship a woman.  The Goddess religions are growing/renewing.  I do not mean to make light of Christianity or other patriarchal religions, because I do follow the teachings of Jesus and am aware of the Holy Spirit and its movements in my life...I just feel that this is a much bigger story than what the confines of fundamental Christianity dictate.   *smile*
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72 posted 08-05-2006 02:24 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Women and religion.....

LeeJ & Ser...I just finished watching "Mysts of Avalon."  Tho' a fiction movie, it does make a point about the synthesis of the Goddess into Catholicism.  Whatya think?  Ever see the movie?  

Lee, I'll have to research a little to figure out where history picks up with the knights templar, etc....if you know, why don't you expound, please?  I'm enjoying this thread, btw.  
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73 posted 08-05-2006 11:00 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Iliana:
quote:
I wanted to say that there is much debate over when the four gospels were written....some say before the burning of the Temple...around 70 A.D. (the fundamentalistic view) and many scholars argue it was after, even up to 150-200 A.D.  No one knows for sure.

It is very interesting what kind of reasons are given for dating the gospels "late".  It's similar to the problem with "The Jesus Seminar" scholarship, where philosophical prejudices determined what was genuine and what was not.  If any text hinted at the miraculous it was not deemed historical.  Why?  Because we all know miracles don't happen.  (do you think that was begging the question?)  Similarly, Matthew is dated late by some for the very reason that Jesus prophetically predicted the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple.  These scholars a priori, discount the miraculous and assume that it had to be written after the temple was already destroyed ... ie 70 A.D.  


I still maintain that the bulk of scholarship, (and the best) points to an earlier writing of the New Testament documents.  And gnostic manuscripts are far fewer in number, and are generally dated much later.  If one had to guess which was the authentic on textual considerations alone, it would be the traditional view hands down.  Of course, we're all deciding for reasons other than that, and many of them spiritual in nature.  But it is interesting that the traditional view holds the most textual weight, conspiracy theories aside.


quote:
It should be noted that the very person who helped the Church be formed, burnt down the Library at Alexandria, which very well might have contained the answers to all of this debate.



Who?  As far as I understand it, there is much more debate over who is responsible for the burning of the Library at Alexandria, than even the dating of the Gospels and Gnostic writings.  But the Church was already "formed" quite some time before it was burned down, unless you want to believe that Julius Caesar did it around 48 B.C.


quote:
.  The four gospels of the Holy Bible were written by followers or interpreters or scribes (unidentified in three of the cases) who wrote down what is believed to be eyewitness account....but those original manuscripts, I understand, do not exist...only translations.  Now if I am wrong and haven't researched that enough yet, I apologize, but that is what I have found so far.  



You're right, in that the originals (autographs) for the New Testament writings have not been found.  But what that means, in way of obscuring, is very little.  Why?  Because there is literally no writing from the world of antiquity that we have the autograph for.  We are dealing with extant manuscripts in all cases.  

In fact, the New Testament documents are uniquely favored in this regard, since the amount of time-lapse between the original time of writing and the first New Testament manuscripts is unparalleled (in brevity).


"besides number, the manuscripts of the New Testament differ from those of the classical authors ... In no other case is the interval of time between the composition of the book and the date of the earliest extant manuscripts so short as in that of the New Testament.  The books of the New Testament were written in the latter part of the first century;  the earliest extant manuscripts (trifling scraps excepted) are of the fourth century- say from 250 to 300 years later.  This may sound a considerable interval, but it is nothing to that which parts most of the great classical authors from their earliest manuscripts.  We believe that we have in all essentials an accurate text of the seven extant plays of Sophocles; yet the earliest substantial manuscript upon which it is based was written more than 1400 years after the poet's death." (Fredric G. Kenyon, from "Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament")


F.F. Bruce once said that "There is no body of ancient literature in the world which enjoys such a wealth of good textual attestation as the New Testament."  


In sheer number of manuscripts, and time between manuscripts and origins, the New Testament passes the Bibliographical test with flying colors ... and really is a prodigy in that regard.  

quote:
The Bible...did not descend from heaven as a perfect document composed by God and communicated in writing by individual writers who wrote without error the truthful words inspired by God. It was the product of the believing community, in which over a long period the traditions of God's words and deeds, and of the sacred norms and associations that surrounded them, were handed down, criticized, refined, altered to fit new conditions, and added to by newer insights and interpretations.

I actually have no problem with the above statement, as it refers to the whole Bible, in a general way.  


And it does clear up the misconception that Christians believe the Bible to be a book "dropped, perfect, out of the clouds". The only criticism I would have with the statement is how he slips in the phrase "words inspired by God" along with his observations ... slyly helping us to accept uncritically his belief that "divine inspiration" and a complex writing process can't coincide.


But the matter of fact is, believing in divine inspiration of scripture, does not mean that one has to believe in the "mechanical dictation model" where God does not use the mind, personality, and even idiosyncrasies of the human author.  A more "incarnational" model is appropriate I think, where the humanity is preserved and celebrated, and true divinity is not denied on it's account.


What divine inspiration does not necessarily have to overcome are things like minor grammatical flaws, syntax, peculiarities of style, and personal expression.  What it does in fact overcome, is any deception, historical unreliability, or doctrinal infidelity.  When Paul starts lofty sentences that he doesn't even finish, in his epistles, I see man enamoured with the glory of God, not a pedantic reason to doubt divine inspiration.


There's a middle road to take between the theologcially liberal view that ends up doubting divine inspiration, and the theologically conservative view that admits no errors in the slightest, and says that the human authors of scripture were little more than word processors.  


Stephen.
Essorant
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74 posted 08-05-2006 12:56 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

The "behind the scenes" of the bible doesn't really matter to me much in respect to judging the virtue of the content itself.  "Love your neighbour as yourself" stands with no less virtue whether it was inspired by only men, by God and men, by elves, by angels, by devils, or belched out of a black hole or if the bible's origins were completly unknown to men. Likewise the fact that Adam is made out to be the first human and source of Eve, that Eve is but an improvisation of a part of Adam doesn't become  more true to me because the evidence of the bible is greatly known, thro evolutionary and collabrative work of men that were said to be very inspired by God.  By all means I believe they were to a great part inspired by God.  But being inspired by God doesn't turn weak or unwise things into strong and wise.  I praise the wisdom in the bible where the wisdom stands, and have sympathy and forgiveness for the unwisdom and weakness where the unwisdom and weakness stand.  Both contribute to making the bible a historical monument.

 
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