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Do you know the truth? Is Jesus God? Find out here!

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posted on Nov, 2 2017 @ 09:29 AM
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originally posted by: iTruthSeeker
Why are texts which pre-date the Bible discounted? Wouldn't one want the oldest info possible?

The source of the information is more important than the age; if age was the criterion, flat-earthers would have to win the argument.
The premise of Biblical theology is that the Bible is the most important source, and discussions proceed from there.




posted on Nov, 2 2017 @ 09:39 AM
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a reply to: DeathSlayer

and God decided he needed to do all this because he was bored?



posted on Nov, 2 2017 @ 10:41 AM
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a reply to: DeathSlayer

yeah, says you. and you, by god, know the truth. Tried to be nice-but your pomposity is showing! Pls respond to someone it matters to.



posted on Nov, 2 2017 @ 11:48 AM
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originally posted by: Milkweed
Even with what was written years after Jesus died,
He never claimed to be God. His disciples made that claim.


John 8:58 KJV "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am."

John 10:30 KJV "I and my Father are one."

Revelation 1:8 KJV "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."


edit on 2-11-2017 by Freth because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 2 2017 @ 12:01 PM
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originally posted by: Justso

Faith is personal and must be pursued as such. ATS is neither a Bible study class nor Religious college. There is so much info and it is so misinterpreted by so many that this is an impossible task unless given one'es life to the study and even then not possible.


How can one say that faith is personal, which I happen to agree with, and then turn around and say that one person's faith is a misinterpretation of the information being used to form said personal faith?

My faith is certainly not going to jive with many people's religious beliefs, but don't tell me it's based on misinterpretation or is wrong.



posted on Nov, 2 2017 @ 12:06 PM
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2 Timothy 3:15-17 "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

The Bible is all you need. You shouldn't have to seek elsewhere to back your position. There's a reason we have the current version of the Bible--because it's divinely inspired and God set it apart from the rest of the lesser books, which didn't make the cut. If you believe the Bible is the Word of God, then you have to believe it is exactly as God intended it to be.

The mistake that I see people (Christians, specifically) making is to seek answers in all things, when the Bible contains the only answers you need. If you read it seeking truth and pray for answers, they will be opened to you.


  • Only accept teachings from pastors who reference the Bible continually (to back their message) and who teach Ten Commandment obedience, because they are grounding themselves in Bible truth.
  • Pray morning and night and during the day for the Holy Spirit to guide you and help you be a righteous and good person and to turn away from worldly things, for it is worldly things that turn us away from God. Bring your sins to God in prayer and ask for forgiveness and help to overcome them.
  • Recognize that ego/self/selfishness is where sin begins. Be humble and selfless and you will be able to overcome sin much easier.
  • Obey the Ten Commandments (all of them), because they are the character of God and you're expected to seek righteousness in everything you do, so that you can lead by example and be worthy of the kingdom of heaven. We are saved by grace, lest we boast, but we keep the commandments because we love God and want to please Him; and seek righteousness in our own character.
  • Read the Bible, seeking answers honestly, and the door will be opened to you.
  • Have complete faith.
  • Keep your eyes on God, not men.
  • Remove the bad habits and activities from your life and replace them with good things. Yes, that includes the things we call entertainment but we know are a bad influence.


Lukewarm Christians may as well not be Christians at all (Matthew 7:21). God expects more from us. He expects our complete loyalty and obedience. He expects us to turn away from sin in our lives and the things that have a negative impact on developing good character.

You can't make people believe, they have to come to that conclusion themselves and they have to have faith. I understand the desire to prove to people why they should believe what the Bible says, I do. That old adage about leading a horse to water is true.


edit on 2-11-2017 by Freth because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 2 2017 @ 02:05 PM
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originally posted by: Freth

John 8:58 KJV "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am."

John 10:30 KJV "I and my Father are one."

Revelation 1:8 KJV "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."



None of the scriptures you provided show Jesus' claiming he was God. We have to remember that these text are not Jesus' writings. The Gospels were written 70 - 80 years after his death by disciples who believed he was God.

Mark 10:18
Why do you call me good? No one is good, except God alone.

John 14:28
The Father is greater than I.

Matthew 27:46
My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?

According to the accounts of his disciples, Jesus continuously made a distinction between himself and God. It was his disciples who claimed he was God.



posted on Nov, 2 2017 @ 02:08 PM
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a reply to: DeathSlayer

The truth is Jesus is a false idol. There is only one true all-powerful all-loving God. And that God is God. The Jews have it right.



posted on Nov, 2 2017 @ 02:24 PM
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originally posted by: dfnj2015
a reply to: DeathSlayer

The truth is Jesus is a false idol. There is only one true all-powerful all-loving God. And that God is God. The Jews have it right.


I think it's more likely that everyone is wrong.
Even the Jews.



posted on Nov, 2 2017 @ 04:48 PM
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originally posted by: DeathSlayer
I wrote the below test earlier today as a post and after thinking, I thought it would be good for all to see. ...............

I notice that many are ready and available to bash the bible but does your study of God stop with the bible? .........


It is impossible to "know" the creator God by studying any book(scriptures).Yahoshua clearly stated this religious fallacy:

You search the scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life yet they are which testify of me,and you will not come to me, that you would have life.

I receive not honor from men. But I know you, that you have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father's name, and you receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive. How can you believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that comes from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuses you, even Moses, in whom you trust. For had you believed Moses, you would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words?"

This is the epitome of the religious thought and belief (especially Christians) yet in the book Christians believe is divinely inspired do not understand the words of Yahoshua because they are a condemnation of what they do and are.Yahoshua said this to his disciples yet Christianity cannot understand them because he was speaking of Christains.

"Do not be deceived.For many will come in my name and say they are christ and will deceive many."

Christianity believes Yahoshua was speaking of a "few" deranged and deluded messiah complex leaders or smaller cult groups yet he is speaking of Christianity(currently approximate 2 billion people) because the only group of "many" people that will come in his name and say they are "christ"(anointed) ..i.e..Christians... are Christians.What Christians believe of themselves could not be further from the Truth according to Yahoshua because they are self deceived(and can never come to the knowledge of the Truth of themselves) yet Christians believe they alone "know" the creator God because they "believe".
edit on 2-11-2017 by Rex282 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 2 2017 @ 05:10 PM
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a reply to: DeathSlayer

Yes I call them liars, their sole aim was control of the people



posted on Nov, 2 2017 @ 05:24 PM
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originally posted by: Rex282
It is impossible to "know" the creator God by studying any book(scriptures).Yahoshua clearly stated this religious fallacy:
"You search the scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life yet they are which testify of me,and you will not come to me, that you would have life."

You are drawing the wrong conclusion from that quotation. Jesus is not saying "It is not possible to find me in the scriptures". He is saying "It IS possible to find me in the scriptures, so the fact that you haven't found me there is entirely your own fault. You have a self-induced blindness".
Think about it. If your conclusion was correct, he could not have criticised them. He would have had to say "I can't blame you for not achieving the impossible".



posted on Nov, 2 2017 @ 06:14 PM
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originally posted by: Milkweed

originally posted by: dfnj2015
a reply to: DeathSlayer

The truth is Jesus is a false idol. There is only one true all-powerful all-loving God. And that God is God. The Jews have it right.


I think it's more likely that everyone is wrong.
Even the Jews.


I agree. If you see the Buddha on the road kill him.



posted on Nov, 2 2017 @ 06:32 PM
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originally posted by: dfnj2015
a reply to: DeathSlayer

The truth is Jesus is a false idol. There is only one true all-powerful all-loving God. And that God is God. The Jews have it right.


If the Jews have it right, how come two thirds of them are going to be cut off and only a third survive as told in Zechariah?

Zechariah 13:8-9

8 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.

9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.



posted on Nov, 2 2017 @ 08:28 PM
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originally posted by: dfnj2015

originally posted by: Milkweed

originally posted by: dfnj2015
a reply to: DeathSlayer

The truth is Jesus is a false idol. There is only one true all-powerful all-loving God. And that God is God. The Jews have it right.


I think it's more likely that everyone is wrong.
Even the Jews.


I agree. If you see the Buddha on the road kill him.

Buddha was a man...so yes I'd kill him if he was a zombie.



posted on Nov, 2 2017 @ 09:33 PM
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a reply to: DeathSlayer



Even the trinity is non-biblical but what do I know...


www.patheos.com...


Though the Trinity is one of the most fundamental doctrines of Christianity, the Bible says nothing about it directly. Did Paul and the apostles define God in a trinitarian fashion? If the Trinity is essential to a proper understanding of Christianity as the modern church claims, the ancients’ silence on the matter suggests that it is a later invention.




www.ucg.org...



posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 01:18 AM
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originally posted by: DeathSlayer
I3. Angels and mankind have FREE WILL to make up their own minds (soul).


Just curious if angels also have a way to seek forgiveness from God (perhaps in a way unique to them) and regain their salvation (or place in Heaven, if you will)? Or does God reserve that gift only for us mere mortals? If it is indeed possible would it not stand to reason that even Satan himself could one day feel moved to seek forgiveness? But then that wouldn't fit the narrative of his arc so is his role a sort of self fulfilling prophecy or was his fate predestined by God?

If angels can't seek redemption, what does that say about God's just, but ultimately all loving nature? What would happen if all the angels fell, and left God's side. If there is no way for them to seek redemption, what then? We would have to ask ourselves why God would allow an angel who has sinned, to be damned forever?

Interesting questions. What does the Bible say?
What are your thoughts on the subject?



posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 03:57 AM
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a reply to: DeathSlayer
The Apostolic Fathers—Truly Apostolic?

BY THE start of the second century C.E., false teachings had begun to muddy the clear waters of Christian truth. Just as inspired prophecy had foretold, after the death of the apostles, certain ones abandoned the truth and turned instead to “myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3, 4, footnote) About 98 C.E., John, the last surviving apostle, warned of such erroneous teachings and of people “who [were] trying to mislead” faithful Christians.—1 John 2:26; 4:1, 6.

Soon, men who came to be known as the Apostolic Fathers arrived on the scene. What stand did they take in the face of religious deception? Did they heed the apostle John’s divinely inspired warning?

Short answer: no. They were the ones being described at 2 Timothy 4:3,4 and elsewhere such as the verses already mentioned above.

The Church Fathers—Advocates of Bible Truth?

...They were prominent theologians and “Christian” philosophers who lived between the second and fifth centuries C.E. How much have they influenced modern “Christian” thought? Did they hold fast to the Bible in their teaching? What should be the solid basis of Christian truth for a follower of Jesus Christ?

Historical Background

In the middle of the second century C.E., professed Christians were defending their faith against Roman persecutors and heretics alike. However, this was an era of too many theological voices. Religious debates regarding the “divinity” of Jesus and the nature and workings of the holy spirit caused more than just intellectual rifts. Bitter disagreements and irreparable divisions over “Christian” doctrine spilled over into the political and cultural spheres, at times causing riots, rebellion, civil strife, even war. Writes historian Paul Johnson: “[Apostate] Christianity began in confusion, controversy and schism and so it continued. . . . The central and eastern Mediterranean in the first and second centuries AD swarmed with an infinite multitude of religious ideas, struggling to propagate themselves. . . . From the start, then, there were numerous varieties of Christianity which had little in common.”

During that era, writers and thinkers who felt that it was imperative to interpret “Christian” teachings using philosophical terms began to flourish. To satisfy educated pagans who were new converts to “Christianity,” such religious writers relied heavily on earlier Greek and Jewish literature. Beginning with Justin Martyr (c. 100-165 C.E.), who wrote in Greek, professed Christians became increasingly sophisticated in their assimilation of the philosophical heritage of the Greek culture.

This trend came to fruition in the writings of Origen (c. 185-254 C.E.), a Greek author from Alexandria. Origen’s treatise On First Principles was the first systematic effort to explain the main doctrines of “Christian” theology in terms of Greek philosophy. The Council of Nicaea (325 C.E.), with its attempt to explain and establish the “divinity” of Christ, was the milestone that gave new impetus to interpretation of “Christian” dogma. That council marked the beginning of an era during which general church councils sought to define dogma ever more precisely.

Writers and Orators

Eusebius of Caesarea, who wrote at the time of the first Council of Nicaea, associated himself with Emperor Constantine. For slightly more than 100 years after Nicaea, theologians, most of them writing in Greek, worked out in a long and bitter debate what was to be the distinguishing doctrine of Christendom, the Trinity.
...
However, important questions are: Did those Church Fathers adhere closely to the Bible? In their teaching, did they hold fast to the inspired Scriptures? Are their writings a safe guide to an accurate knowledge of God?

Teachings of God or Teachings of Men?

Recently, Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Methodius of Pisidia wrote the book The Hellenic Pedestal of Christianity in order to show that Greek culture and philosophy provided the infrastructure of modern “Christian” thought. In that book, he unhesitantly admits: “Almost all the prominent Church Fathers considered the Greek elements most useful, and they borrowed them from the Greek classical antiquity, using them as a means to understand and correctly express the Christian truths.”

Take, for example, the idea that the Father, the Son, and the holy spirit make up the Trinity. Many Church Fathers after the Council of Nicaea became staunch Trinitarians. Their writings and expositions were crucial to making the Trinity a landmark doctrine of Christendom. However, is the Trinity found in the Bible? No. So where did the Church Fathers get it? A Dictionary of Religious Knowledge notes that many say that the Trinity “is a corruption borrowed from the heathen religions, and ingrafted on the Christian faith.” And The Paganism in Our Christianity affirms: “The origin of the [Trinity] is entirely pagan.”*—John 3:16; 14:28.

Or consider the teaching of the immortality of the soul, a belief that some part of man lives on after the body dies. Again, the Church Fathers were instrumental in introducing this notion to a religion that had no teaching about a soul surviving death. The Bible clearly shows that the soul can die: “The soul that is sinning—it itself will die.” (Ezekiel 18:4) What was the basis for the Church Fathers’ belief in an immortal soul? “The Christian concept of a spiritual soul created by God and infused into the body at conception to make man a living whole is the fruit of a long development in Christian philosophy. Only with Origen in the East and St. Augustine in the West was the soul established as a spiritual substance and a philosophical concept formed of its nature. . . . [Augustine’s doctrine] . . . owed much (including some shortcomings) to Neoplatonism,” says the New Catholic Encyclopedia. And the magazine Presbyterian Life says: “Immortality of the soul is a Greek notion formed in ancient mystery cults and elaborated by the philosopher Plato.”*

The Solid Basis of Christian Truth

After even this brief examination of the historical backdrop of the Church Fathers, as well as the origins of their teachings, it is appropriate to ask, Should a sincere Christian base his or her beliefs on the teachings of the Church Fathers? Let the Bible answer.

For one thing, Jesus Christ himself ruled out the use of the religious title “Father” when he said: “Do not call anyone your father on earth, for one is your Father, the heavenly One.” (Matthew 23:9) The use of the term “Father” to designate any religious figure is unchristian and unscriptural. The written Word of God was completed about 98 C.E. with the writings of the apostle John. Thus, true Christians do not need to look to any human as the source of inspired revelation. They are careful not to ‘make the word of God invalid’ because of human tradition. Letting human tradition take the place of God’s Word is spiritually lethal. Jesus warned: “If . . . a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”—Mt 15:6, 14.

edit on 3-11-2017 by whereislogic because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 04:22 AM
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It doesn't feel complete to skip so much from the article "The Apostolic Fathers—Truly Apostolic?" so I'll add a bit:

Who Were They?

The expression “Apostolic Fathers” has been applied to religious writers who may have known one of Jesus’ apostles or may have been taught by disciples who learned from the apostles. Generally, these men lived from the close of the first century C.E. on into the middle of the second century.* Among them were Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Papias of Hierapolis, and Polycarp of Smyrna. Writing during the same period were the unnamed authors of works known as The Didache, the Epistle of Barnabas, the Martyrdom of Polycarp, and the second letter of Clement.

[*: The writers, theologians, and philosophers generally referred to as the Church Fathers lived between the second and the fifth centuries C.E.]

Today, it is difficult to judge just how closely the teachings of the Apostolic Fathers corresponded to Jesus’ teachings. The aim of these men was undoubtedly to preserve or else promote a certain brand of Christianity. They condemned idolatry and loose morals. They held that Jesus is the Son of God and that he was resurrected. However, they were unable to restrain the rising tide of apostasy. On the contrary, some of them added to its swell.

Insignificant Modifications?

Certain currents of early “Christian” thought actually deviated from the teachings of Christ and his apostles. For example, contrary to the practice instituted by Jesus at the Lord’s Evening Meal, known also as the Last Supper, the author of The Didache advised the passing of the wine before the bread. (Matthew 26:26, 27) This writer also stated that if no body of water was available to perform baptism by immersion, pouring water on the head of the baptism candidate would suffice. (Mark 1:9, 10; Acts 8:36, 38) The same text encouraged Christians to observe such rituals as obligatory fasting twice a week and recitation of the Our Father exactly three times a day.—Matthew 6:5-13; Luke 18:12.

For his part, Ignatius envisioned a new organization of the Christian congregation, with just one bishop presiding “in the place of God.” This bishop would hold authority over many priests. Such inventions opened the way for further waves of unscriptural teaching.—Matthew 23:8, 9.

Exaggeration, Martyrdom, and Idolatry

Exaggeration carried some Apostolic Fathers adrift. Papias thirsted for truth and referred to the Christian Greek Scriptures. At the same time, he believed that during the foretold Thousand Year Reign of Christ, grape vines will produce 10,000 branches, each branch 10,000 twigs, each twig 10,000 shoots, each shoot 10,000 clusters, each cluster 10,000 grapes, and each grape the equivalent of 1,000 quarts [1,000 l] of wine.

Polycarp was willing to die a martyr’s death rather than renounce his Christian faith. It is reported that he was instructed by the apostles and others who knew Jesus. He quoted from the Bible, and it appears that he strove to live by Christian principles.

The devotion that some had to Polycarp, however, verged on idolatry. The Martyrdom of Polycarp states that after his death, the “faithful” were eager to claim his remains. They considered his bones “more precious than the most exquisite jewels, and more purified than gold.” Clearly, the poisoned waters of error were surging.

Apocryphal Texts

Some Apostolic Fathers accepted extra-Biblical texts as if they were inspired. Clement of Rome, for one, cites the apocryphal works Wisdom and Judith. The writer of The Epistle of Polycarp refers to Tobit to give credence to the idea that the giving of alms has power to deliver the giver from death.

In the second century C.E., false gospels spread spurious accounts of Jesus’ life, and the Fathers frequently lent credence to them. Ignatius, for instance, quoted from the so-called Gospel of the Hebrews. And regarding Clement of Rome, one source says: “Clement seems to know Christ, not through the Gospels, but through noncanonical writings.”

A Tidal Wave of Error

By resorting to myth, mystic ideas, and philosophy to explain the Christian faith, these men opened the way for a tide of error. Clement, for example, referred to the mythological story of the phoenix as proof of the resurrection. The phoenix, a legendary bird said to rise from its own ashes, was associated with sun worship in Egyptian mythology.

Another writer who demeaned Scriptural truth was the author of the Epistle of Barnabas. He interpreted the Mosaic Law as if it were mere allegory. According to him, clean animals—chewers of the cud with split (cleft) hooves—represented people who meditate on, or chew over, God’s Word. The split hoof, said the writer, symbolized that the righteous man “walks in this world” while at the same time looking forward to life in heaven. Such interpretations are not based on Scripture.—Leviticus 11:1-3.

The Witness of the Apostle John

During the first century, the apostle John warned: “Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired expression, but test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God, because many false prophets have gone forth into the world.” (1 John 4:1) How appropriate these words were!

By the end of the first century, many so-called Christians had already abandoned the teachings of Jesus and his apostles. Far from resisting the rising tide of apostasy, the Apostolic Fathers rode its waves. They adulterated truth with poison. The apostle John said of such individuals: “Everyone that pushes ahead and does not remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God.” (2 John 9) For all sincere seekers of Scriptural truth, this divinely inspired warning was—and remains—crystal clear.

edit on 3-11-2017 by whereislogic because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 3 2017 @ 05:02 AM
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originally posted by: DeathSlayer
a reply to: nonspecific

Titian, AD 166 -

Assuming you mean Tatian...
Tatian—Apologist or Heretic?

...
What Do His Writings Reveal?

Tatian’s writings portray him as an apologist, a writer who speaks out in defense of his faith. He had a stern and antagonistic attitude toward pagan philosophy. In his work Address to the Greeks, Tatian accentuates the worthlessness of paganism and the reasonableness of nominal Christianity. His style is very harsh as he expresses contempt for Greek ways. For example, with reference to philosopher Heracleitus, he states: “Death, however, demonstrated the stupidity of this man; for, being attacked by dropsy, as he had studied the art of medicine as well as philosophy, he plastered himself with cow dung, which, as it hardened, contracted the flesh of his whole body, so that he was pulled in pieces, and thus died.”

Tatian held in high esteem the belief in one God, the Creator of all things. (Hebrews 3:4) In Address to the Greeks, he refers to God as “a Spirit” and says: “He alone is without beginning, and He Himself is the beginning of all things.” (John 4:24; 1 Timothy 1:17) Rejecting the use of images in worship, Tatian writes: “How can I speak of stocks and stones as gods?” (1 Corinthians 10:14) He believed that the Word, or the Logos, came into existence as the firstborn of the heavenly Father’s works and thereafter was used in the creation of the material universe. (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:13-17) Concerning the resurrection at the appointed time, Tatian states: “We believe that there will be a resurrection of bodies after the consummation of all things.” As to why we die, Tatian writes: “We were not created to die, but we die by our own fault. Our free-will has destroyed us; we who were free have become slaves; we have been sold through sin.”

The explanation Tatian gives of the soul is confusing. He says: “The soul is not in itself immortal, O Greeks, but mortal. Yet it is possible for it not to die. If, indeed, it knows not the truth, it dies, and is dissolved with the body, but rises again at last at the end of the world with the body, receiving death by punishment in immortality.” Exactly what Tatian meant by these statements is unclear. Could it be that while sticking to certain Bible teachings, he also tried to keep in favor with his contemporaries and therefore tainted Scriptural truths with pagan philosophies?
...
A Christian or a Heretic?

A careful examination of Tatian’s writings reveals that he was familiar with the Scriptures and had great respect for them. He writes regarding their influence on him: ...
...
Consider, however, Tatian’s writing entitled On Perfection According to the Doctrine of the Savior. In this work he attributes matrimony to the Devil. Claiming that individuals would be tying their flesh to the perishable world through marriage, Tatian strongly condemns it.

It appears that about 166 C.E., after the death of Justin Martyr, Tatian either founded or associated with an ascetic sect called the Encratites. Its adherents emphasized strict self-control and mastery of one’s body. They practiced an asceticism requiring abstinence from wine, marriage, and possessions.

A Lesson to Be Learned

Why did Tatian deviate so far from the Scriptures? Did he become “a forgetful hearer”? (James 1:23-25) Did Tatian fail to turn down false stories and thereby fall prey to human philosophy? (Colossians 2:8; 1 Timothy 4:7) Since the errors he subscribed to were so great, could some mental aberration be suspected?

Whatever the case, Tatian’s writings and example provide a glimpse of the religious climate of his day. They demonstrate how damaging the influence of worldly philosophy can be. May we take to heart the apostle Paul’s warning to turn away “from the empty speeches that violate what is holy and from the contradictions of the falsely called ‘knowledge.’”—1 Timothy 6:20.


Justin Martyr...Clement of Alexandria

The Apologists—Christian Defenders or Would-Be Philosophers?

“Christianity” Becomes a Philosophy

The philosopher Celsus mockingly described Christians as “labourers, shoemakers, farmers, the most uninformed and clownish of men.” This mockery was too much for the apologists to bear. They determined to win over public opinion by resorting to a new tactic. Once rejected, worldly wisdom was now used in the service of the “Christian” cause. Clement of Alexandria, for example, saw philosophy as “true theology.” Justin, though claiming to reject pagan philosophy, was the first to use philosophical language and concepts to express “Christian” ideas, considering this type of philosophy “to be safe and profitable.”

From this point on, the strategy was, not to oppose philosophy, but to make supposed Christian thought a philosophy higher than that of the pagans. “On some points we teach the same things as the poets and philosophers whom you honour, and on other points are fuller and more divine in our teaching,” wrote Justin. Adorned with its new philosophical finery, “Christian” thought now claimed the dignity of old age. The apologists pointed out that Christian books were far older than those of the Greeks and that the prophets of the Bible lived earlier than Greek philosophers. Certain apologists even concluded that the philosophers copied from the prophets. Plato was made out to be a disciple of Moses!

Christianity Distorted

This new strategy led to a mixture of Christianity and pagan philosophy. Comparisons were made between Greek gods and Bible characters. Jesus was compared to Perseus; and Mary’s conception to that of Perseus’ mother, Danaë, who was said to be also a virgin.

Certain teachings were greatly modified. For example, in the Bible, Jesus is called “the Logos,” meaning God’s “Word,” or Spokesman. (John 1:1-3, 14-18; Revelation 19:11-13) Very early on, this teaching was distorted by Justin, who like a philosopher played on the two possible meanings of the Greek word logos: “word” and “reason.” Christians, he said, received the word in the person of Christ himself. However, logos in the sense of reason is found in every man, including pagans. Thus, he concluded, those who live in harmony with reason are Christians, even those who claimed or were thought to be atheists, like Socrates and others.

Moreover, by forcing the tie between Jesus and the logos of Greek philosophy, which was closely linked with the person of God, the apologists, including Tertullian, embarked on a course that eventually led Christianity to the Trinity dogma.*

The word “soul” appears over 850 times in the Bible, including more than 100 times in its Greek form. It basically refers to mortal, living creatures, either human or animal. (1 Corinthians 15:45; James 5:20; Revelation 16:3) The apologists, however, twisted this Bible teaching by linking it with Plato’s philosophy that the soul is separate from the body, invisible and immortal. Minucius Felix even asserted that belief in the resurrection had its early beginnings in Pythagoras’ teaching of the transmigration of the soul. How far Greek influence had led them from the teachings of the Bible!

Tertullian

The Paradox of Tertullian



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