Constantine, and the council of nicaea.

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posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 03:00 AM
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Constantine and the bible, the assumed text being the NEW TESTAMENT.

Before you get your knickers in a twist, and read only the first paragraph of this, then hit the reply button with something in the defense that brings up a new argument or whatever, just stop. Please read all of this material and the material provided as sources, before ripping into me. Thanks. Also, I am not trying to tear down christianity, after all reformists have been a part of the church's legacy since its beginnins...I like jesus just as much as the next guy, but for who he actually was, and what he symbolizes, I choose not to worship him like an idol.

I have spoken much on the topic of Constantine and the bible. It has always been my belief and opinion and the opinions of others, that Constantine “the great” used the bible to appease his citizens, and unite all the people under one religion. It was a government tactic, to control the population. As well Constantine, at the time being a powerful ruler, oversaw the entire process, and made sure Jesus was portrayed in the correct light. He wanted Jesus to seem divine, and godly, when in actuality he was just a man, like you and me. As well, Jesus would never desire to be worshipped like a pagan idol, a martyr for “his” cause. To be perfectly honest, the church and Constantine used Jesus to get what they want. And yet the bible is the most important text of the Christians. So what you all are trying to tell me is that the most important text in your religion is about Jesus, but contains none of the actual words of Jesus. Merely second hand descriptions of this “god-like” man, who had the ability to heal, and could walk on water. The pagan church (Constantine’s former church that he wasn’t too keen on giving up) wanted an idol. This is where it gets confusing. Jesus had a special harmony with god, everyone agrees with that. The real conflict then is what or who is god. According to the church, god is basically another idol, along with Jesus, but what is the Holy Spirit? Is the Holy Spirit that part of us that we share with god? Is it our soul? Some, including myself would content that, yes; the holy spirit is that part of us that behaves like god. It is the positive energy that is all around us. This is the main focus of the Gnostic texts, which was also a big part of the religion, but they were pretty much aced out of the bible. Or so it would seem. Almost none of the Gnostic texts, were denied as part of the bible, and more than likely burned by Constantine, in his bible burning extravaganza. Here’s some stuff to chew on…


In 312 the Roman emperor Constantine converted to Christianity. And soon under his successors, in accordance with typical Roman political logic, the rest of the Roman Imperium was soon required to do the same. Thus Christianity moved from persecuted status, to the position of being the official state religion of the Roman Empire, to the point of becoming itself the source of rigorous persecution of religious "heretics"--in the Roman urge to force even intellectual uniformity upon its far-flung political order.


www.newgenevacenter.org...

It became a system of religious law, to be enforced by the fears of heaven and hell, as well as the towering Roman Empire.

The writing of the bible falls under and atmosphere of much disagreement and negative emotion; There were many priests of many faiths in attendance, and coming to an agreement became hard if not impossible at some times. Also in attendance, pagan priests, and you can bet they got their two cents in. Seriously, read this next site, just read it, it shows the negative atmosphere of the bible composition.


In tracing the origin of the Bible, one is led to AD 325, when
Constantine the Great called the First Council of Nicaea, composed of
300 religious leaders. Three centuries after Jesus lived, this council
was given the task of separating divinely inspired writings from those
of questionable origin.


www.tertullian.org...

Why did it take so many people to compose it? It is the word of god right? How can something that is composed by so many bickering men

Why is this important?

It is also my belief that Jesus was a practicing Gnostic, based on my studying of the gospels of St. Thomas. Some contend that it cannot be translated, or that the true gospels were lost (those written in Greek and Aramaic). Some contend that they are bunk. But really none of the passages in the bible hold any more weight than those texts, with exception to the fact that they chosen to be in the bible. Jesus is pretty much the main focus of the NT, so why is it that he never wrote anything. It seems odd to me that there are no gospels of Jesus, merely quotes from Jesus spoken through the apostles, and such. SO you’re all are trying to tell me you don’t find it odd that Jesus, never wrote anything, and that some hypothesize that the gospels of St. Thomas were the closest translation, and the passages that most resembled the words of Christ.

The bible teaches you that even the apostles had the ability to deceive and lie. The lessons taught by Judas, have obviously not taught us to be vigilant against what is claimed to be truth.


Of course, St. Thomas is best remembered for being absent from the Upper Room the first time Jesus appeared to His disciples after His Resurrection.

I tend to interpret this passage in a light more favorable to my namesake. Thomas required no more proof than the other disciples of the risen Lord (see John 20:20), although he certainly demanded more proof than we require. Is it possible, I wonder, that Thomas's incredulity grew from his understanding that, if what his friends told him be true, then this man Jesus, with whom he had spoken and eaten and traveled, must be God? For a Jew, taught from infancy that the LORD is one, to believe that God became man and was killed on a cross is no small act of faith. To further consider that, at the moment when the God-Man most required his loyalty, Thomas had run away in fear, was a prospect to be avoided if at all possible.


www.smart.net...

Apparently only this select few got to see the supposed “resurrection,” a truly pagan ideal. Some people are just too stubborn to fool…

I like the bible sometimes, but I see it used everyday as something that it is not meant for. It is used by people to get their way, in government, and society as a whole. Jesus taught. He was a spiritual teacher, but everyone knows the teacher can only teach so much. Most of the experience is going solo. So why would Jesus want you all coming together to worship him as an idol, when you can only learn so much from the church.

I just cannot bring myself to trust anything but my instinct, and I smell a rat. I am not trying to tear down the Christian religion, but I believe that it doesn’t prepare people for their own unique spiritual journey. In fact psychologically one would feel weaker when separated from the group, worshipping on their own. I am not saying that the church is bad, I believe that any organization with the aim to do good, is inherently good, and thus ok by me, not that it matters. I am just saying that the church, and the people in it put a good face on a possibly corrupt, leadership ring controlled by the Vatican, and begun by Constantine.


On the other hand, astrology is simply paganism. In The Bible, astrologers were, and are, known variously as conjurers, necromancers, enchanters and soothsayers.
"And beware lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and worship them and serve them, things which The Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven." (Deuteronomy 4:19 RSV)
"There shall not be found among you any one who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, any one who practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer,or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For whoever does these things is an abomination to The Lord" (Deuteronomy 18:10-12 RSV)
"You are wearied with your many counsels; let them stand forth and save you, those who divide the heavens, who gaze at the stars, who at the new moons predict what shall befall you. Behold, they are like stubble, the fire consumes them; they cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame" (Isaiah 47:13-14 RSV)
"Daniel answered the king, "No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery which the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries" (Daniel 2:27-28 RSV) (see Prophecy)
"He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death." (Revelation 21:7-8 RSV)


Then why does the Vatican have one of the most complex and expensive observatories in Europe? Those heathen!

www.keyway.ca...

I hope this has been enlightening for some. I am sure it just made some people’s blood boil, but oh well.


[edit on 12-6-2005 by Eyeofhorus]




posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 08:10 AM
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Greetings,

The Council of Nicea had NOTHING to do with chosing the books of the Bible.

One site you cite - Roger Pearse's - shows this conclusively.

Yet you seem to be quoting his site to say the opposite.

Iasion



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 10:11 AM
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The church was ONE for 1,000 yrs........up until 1054
Jesus Christ is GOD.....In the beginning was the WORD(LOGOS), AND THE WORD WAS WITH GOD, AND THE WORD WAS GOD.........Therefore Christ is GOD.....
quote//eyeofhorus////To be perfectly honest, the church and Constantine used Jesus to get what they want. And yet the bible is the most important text of the Christians.

No its not!
The Bible is not the Church...although it talks of the Church (SEE ACTS)...As Christ past on His teachings through WORD,so did the Apostles(later on it was written down) ....although the Liturgy is Psalms and the New Testament.....Christ said''Do as I HAVE DONE'' and that is what the Church does.....this was a prophecy that was fullfiled /
the glory of the Triumphant Church (Is. chs. 26-27),

Quote again/Jesus had a special harmony with god, everyone agrees with that....
Jesus Christ was with God in the Beginning.......He was the LOGOS(WORD)who took flesh and became man.....
He Was God .....
QUOTE////////

For by the good pleasure of our God and Father,
the Only-begotten Son and Word of God and God, Who is in the bosom of the God and Father(4),
of like essence with the Father and the Holy Spirit, Who was before the ages, Who is without beginning and was in the beginning,
Who is in the presence of the God and Father, and is God and made in the form of God(5),
bent the heavens and descended to earth: that is to say, He humbled without humiliation His lofty station which yet could not be humbled, and condescends to His servants(6),
with a condescension ineffable and incomprehensible: (for that is what the descent signifies). And God being perfect becomes perfect man, and brings to perfection the newest of all new things(7),
the only new thing under the Sun, through which the boundmight of God is manifested.
For what greater thing is there, than that God should become Man? And the Word became flesh without being changed, of the Holy Spirit, and Mary the holy and ever-virgin one, the mother of God. And He acts as mediator between God and man,.....more....
www.orthodoxinfo.com...

quote//The prophets wrote that the Messiah would have two natures: a human (Gen. 3:15, Is. 7:14, Gen. 22:18, Ps. 41:7, Dan. 7:13) and a Godly (Ps. 2; Ps., 45; Ps, 110; Is. 9:6; Jer. 23:5; Bar. 3:36-38; Mic. 5:2; Mal. 3:1), that He would be the greatest prophet (Deut. 18:18); king (Gen. 49:10; 2 Samuel 7:13; 1 Chron. 17:12-13; Ps. 2, Ps. 132:11, Ez. 37:24; Dan. 7:13) and High Priest (Ps. 110; Zach. 6:12), anointed by God (the Father) for these duties (Ps. 2, Ps. 45; Is. 42; Is. 61:1-4; Dan. 9:24-27), and will be a kind Shepherd (Ez. 34:23-24, 37:24; Mic. 5:3).

www.orthodoxphotos.com...


Quote//
Constantine's parents were the Emperor Constantius Chlorus and the Empress Helena.
Chlorus had further children by another wife, but by Helena he had only the one, Constantine. Constantine fought two great battles when he came to the throne: one against Maxentius, a tyrant in Rome, and the other against Licinius not far from Byzantium.
At the battle against Maxentius, when Constantine was in great anxiety and uncertainty about his chances of success, a shining cross, surrounded by stars, appeared to him in the sky in full daylight. On the cross were written the words: 'In this sign, conquer!' The wondering Emperor ordered that a great cross be put together, like the one that had appeared, and be carried before the army. By the power of the Cross, he gained a glorious victory over enemies greatly superior in number.
Maxentius drowned himself in the Tiber. Immediately after this, Constantine issued the famous Edict of Milan, in 313, to put an end to the persecution of Christians. Conquering Byzantium, he built a beautiful capital city on the Bosphorus, which from that time was named Constantinople.

www.fatheralexander.org...

IX
helen



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 01:22 PM
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Constatine didn't want to turn away from Paganism like you said,but he didnt write the books with Christ in it, Jesus's disciples wrote them. But there are Pagan holidays that Christianity uses because of Constatine, the true Sabbath was on Saturday(the Jewish Sabbath),and now it is on Day of the Sun,Sunday. Easter which was the day Jesus was supposed to have risen is a pagan holiday. Christmas is a pagan holiday where a God(Osiris I think) was supposed to have been reborn,so they decided to use Dec. 25th as Jesus's birthday. I think the government uses this holiday to make money. And I've wondered after looking on my calendar why Sunday appears as the first day of the week instead of the 7th...

paganwiccan.about.com...



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 01:40 PM
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It is also my belief that Jesus was a practicing Gnostic, based on my studying of the gospels of St. Thomas


Translation:
It is also my belief that Jesus, whom we would not be talking about now if it were not for the bible, is not the Jesus of the bible, based on what I have read outside the bible. The bible should in no way be used in deciding what kind of person Jesus is.





According to the church, god is basically another idol, along with Jesus, but what is the Holy Spirit? Is the Holy Spirit that part of us that we share with god? Is it our soul? Some, including myself would content that, yes; the holy spirit is that part of us that behaves like god.

What church?

You believe what you do because of your ignorance or lack of belief in the bible. You give credit to what speaks against it only.

I dont have anything to do with those churches love affair with idols. Neither does God or Christ.




Why did it take so many people to compose it? It is the word of god right? How can something that is composed by so many bickering men



They didnt compose a single book. How can one be ignorant of that?





But really none of the passages in the bible hold any more weight than those texts, with exception to the fact that they chosen to be in the bible.

More ignorance of Gods word on your part. This is why you are misled. The books that are in the bible all agree with each other. The ones left out have some part of them that do not fit the the others.
For whatever reason, they were judged to be of man.
This doesnt mean they have zero historical value, but they are not scripture.





I just cannot bring myself to trust anything but my instinct

Looking at how bad you just screwed up, that is really a shame.



, and I smell a rat.
Take a shower

(sorry...the setup was soo clean..






I am just saying that the church, and the people in it put a good face on a possibly corrupt, leadership ring controlled by the Vatican, and begun by Constantine.

I agree.
But you are confusing something here. Look at the BTS site and here and you will see there is a doctrine problem between the RCC and the bible.

People will be confused because Christs followers from even non-denominational houses of worship are called 'Christs church'. SO when you say 'the church' people might think your talking about that...when in fact...those same people will agree with you about the paganish roman and byzantian doctrines




Then why does the Vatican have one of the most complex and expensive observatories in Europe? Those heathen!


www.belowtopsecret.com...



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 01:57 PM
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To address what Iasion said. There is really no opinion to be found on that site. The site seems to be very impartial to me, in that it provides information that can be interepereited many ways. He basically leaves it up to the reader to decide what to make of it. But there is no denying that there was much controversy surrounding this very important text.


The actual compilation of the Bible was an incredibly complicated
project that involved churchmen of many varying beliefs, in an
atmosphere of dissension, jealousy, intolerance, persecution and
bigotry.
At this time, the question of the divinity of Jesus had split the
church into two factions. Constantine offered to make the little-known
Christian sect the official state religion if the Christians would
settle their differences. Apparently, he didn't particularly care what
they believed in as long as they agreed upon a belief. By compiling a
book of sacred writings, Constantine thought that the book would give
authority to the new church.

Also, we do know that there were many books of supposed prophets
floating around up until 312 CE when the Council of Nicea decided
which books were scripture and which ones were burned. Thanks to
the notorious habit of early Christian leaders of destroying
books/scrolls, we may never know what doctrine existed before the
Council of Nicea.


I never said that constantine wrote the bible. I am just saying that he made sure that paganism is in the bible. Like apocalypse said, the signifigance of christmas and easter as significant dates to the pagan religion. There is also much pagan symbolism within the bible. Passages were chosen to be in the bible, it very obviously didn't COMPOSE itself. It was composed by this council, and constantine was at the head of it all, and afterward the church has turned into a very large organization, that doesn't even research or question the history of thier faith.

One of the pagan symbols of god consits of a depiction of the sun at the center of a symmetrical cross, surrounded by the 12 zodiacs. In the bible it shows jesus having 12 desciples, that surrounded him during his life, Jesus was crucified (on the cross).

The main debated that rages today is wethere or not jesus possessed special powers. His feats of "turning water into wine," and walking on water, as well as his ability to heal, are all portions of pagan legends, or sayings. Te sun ferments grapes and water, turning them to wine. Th reflection of the sun dances across the water, and the sun had the ability to heal as it is very necessart to the survival of all plants and animals.

The bible speaks actively against paganism, in the new and old testaments, so why is it that there was so much pagan influence on the bible, and then why all of the sudden did constantine convert, when he was very displeased with the idea of leaving his religion behind? The truth is, that chrisitanity had to be "sold" to the population. This means that almost everybody had to be pleased with the text.

With all do respect to your sources helen. I just cannot believe a predominantly christian source, since I cannot confirm the truth of the bible. Therfore I will not use sites with a predominantly christain bias. And as far as I'm concerned, they are hiding something from us, but I cannot determine what.

***UPDATE***

Jake, fantastic burn. The many versions of the bible, ant its supporting texts, were all part of one ideal, the necessity for a religion that would bring everyone toghther, and unite the empire under the new religion. The new versions of the bible came about after the original was written. You ask a lot of questions and try to make yourself look haflway inteligent in your post and I respect that, but I could ask some of the same questions of you.

Why do you only seem to believe what the bible tells you as truth, and then not even think of these other sources and gospels as fiction? Why doyou seem to portray me as completely ignorant to one side of the debate? I used to be in the catholic church until I was fifteen, I have read many translations of the bible, all of which can be greatly different. The only way to get the true meaning of the words in the bibe would be to read them in they language they were written. Aramaic, greek, hebrew, all pretty much are ruined by american english translations, or englis translations. A more closely related language would be the latin languages, italian, and spanish, give a better translation, but it is still not perfect, nor will it ever be. So how can the church use a book that is able to be translated to say specific things, that may be unique to thier relligion. Does this not mean that the bible is widely open to individal interperitation? You cannot know the trute meaning of the bible until you can speack the language it was written in, and be able to read the text.

[edit on 12-6-2005 by Eyeofhorus]



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 07:22 PM
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Originally posted by Eyeofhorus


One of the pagan symbols of god consits of a depiction of the sun at the center of a symmetrical cross, surrounded by the 12 zodiacs. In the bible it shows jesus having 12 desciples, that surrounded him during his life, Jesus was crucified (on the cross).


Yah.
This is where satan tried to copy what God was doing but he screwed up. So did you.
Q.) How many tribes of Israel were there, and how many Apostles where there?
13/13

God knew you were coming dude. Dont be offended, you were had by the Creator. It happens to all of us.




The main debated that rages today is wethere or not jesus possessed special powers.

No it dont. Not with me anyway. I have heard His voice and seen His work


The bible speaks actively against paganism, in the new and old testaments, so why is it that there was so much pagan influence on the bible, and then why all of the sudden did constantine convert, when he was very displeased with the idea of leaving his religion behind? The truth is, that chrisitanity had to be "sold" to the population. This means that almost everybody had to be pleased with the text.

Ask him why he converted. It has nothing to do with Christ. We settled that already


With all do respect to your sources helen. I just cannot believe a predominantly christian source, since I cannot confirm the truth of the bible. Therfore I will not use sites with a predominantly christain bias. And as far as I'm concerned, they are hiding something from us, but I cannot determine what.

Translation: I will not believe anything but what I want to believe. The truth is not important. The only thing important is that I finish with the same belief I started with. Please dont answer my thread.

***UPDATE***


Jake, fantastic burn. The many versions of the bible, ant its supporting texts, were all part of one ideal, the necessity for a religion that would bring everyone toghther, and unite the empire under the new religion.

Not many at all. Especially at that time. The books themselves are shown by secular sources to predate constantine so I really dont see how you can be as lost as you are.


Why do you only seem to believe what the bible tells you as truth, and then not even think of these other sources and gospels as fiction?

Because I have tested both sides. I have heard the voice of God and I am living with Him even now. I should be dead several times over except for Gods intervention. I should be hundreds of miles from where I am except for God speaking. I should be out on the street except for Gods blessing.
What your asking me is....why do I still believe in trees even tho there are books that tell me trees do not exist' (yes...BOOKS made of paper).



Why doyou seem to portray me as completely ignorant to one side of the debate?

actually, I agreed in part. But the following is part of your problem


I used to be in the catholic church until I was fifteen,

Then you know part of the depth of paganism in the 'church'


The only way to get the true meaning of the words in the bibe would be to read them in they language they were written. Aramaic, greek, hebrew, all pretty much are ruined by american english translations, or englis translations.

2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

God is capable of getting His word into english.
Your limits do not work on Him



A more closely related language would be the latin languages, italian, and spanish, give a better translation, but it is still not perfect, nor will it ever be. So how can the church use a book that is able to be translated to say specific things, that may be unique to thier relligion.

oh 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 09:16 PM
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Greetings,

First, you quoted this passage from Roger Pearse's site :

In tracing the origin of the Bible, one is led to AD 325, when Constantine the Great called the First Council of Nicaea, composed of 300 religious leaders. Three centuries after Jesus lived, this council was given the task of separating divinely inspired writings from those of questionable origin.

Yet you didn't even REALISE that this pasage is one of the "legends .. on the internet" that Roger PROVES wrong !

Hello?

The whole point of Roger's site was to DEBUNK the false legends circulating around the net. He starts of by quoting some of those false legends and then goes on to PROVE these legends wrong.

Clearly,
Eyeofhorus did not actually read Roger's page at all.


My guess is he did a google for "Nicea", found Roger's page, read the first paragraph, agreed with it, then quoted it without ever reading the rest of the page.

Sorry Eyeofhorus,
but you just proved conclusively that you cannot read and research correctly.

Even AFTER I pointed out you got it wrong,
you STILL didn't go back and check what Roger's site actually SAID.

Will you ever do so?
Will you ever realise you got it totally, 100%, completely, 180 degrees backwards.



There is really no opinion to be found on that site.


Pardon?
What exactly is your point?
We want facts, not opinions.

Pearse GIVES the facts in writing -
you didn't, only faithful beliefs.

Pearse says quite clearly -

From these there appears almost no evidence that the council of Nicaea made any pronouncements on which books go in the Bible, with the ambivalent exception of Jerome, or about the destruction of heretical writings, or reincarnation.


The site seems to be very impartial to me, in that it provides information that can be interepereited many ways.


False.
Pearse shows quite clearly there is NO EVIDENCE that the Council chose the books of the Bible.

He discusses the Canons and the various accounts of the meeting.
He clearly and obviously proves this myth is false.



He basically leaves it up to the reader to decide what to make of it.


No he doesn't.
He clearly and specifically argues, based on clear and obvious evidence,
that the Council did NOT pronounce on the books of the Bible.



But there is no denying that there was much controversy surrounding this very important text.


Controversy, yes.
Council of Nicea decided the books of the Bible - NO.

Eyeofhorus -
either you never even read Roger's site,
or
you can't even understand what he is saying
or
you know what he is saying and lied about it.

I encourage readers to check out Roger's site to confirm for yourself just how wrong Eyeofhorus is:
www.tertullian.org...

You may also like to read the previous discussion :
www.abovetopsecret.com...


Iasion



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 10:45 PM
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Originally posted by Iasion
Greetings,

First, you quoted this passage from Roger Pearse's site...

Iasion


I wanted to use a source that provided all of the facts, but had a different viewpoint than all the other sites I found. This site contains all of the passages that I wanted to review. I am really not interested in what mr. pearse has to say, or i would have never posted at all. You must also realize that he is hypothesizing as well. I know it may look damaging to my side of the argument, but you refuse to argue the idea, rather passing off one piece of evidence (of which is have three sources) as bunk or misintereperited, and then you convienently skirt the issue.

His site is a work in progress, and I see some hypothesizing, amongst the jumbled thoughts and text.

I also believe that I quoted somebody else's idea, that pearse quoted himself. Pearse then HYPOTHESIZED, and came to a comclusion based on HIS INTERPRETATION of the quote. Am I not allowed to take it the other way? Or would that encompass too many viewpoints for you? I can hypothesize all I want, and frankly pearse's site doesn't thrill me, it definitely did not make me want to convert back to christianity. I guess I should have been more specific with what I was trying to do.


But it all really doesn't matter because, according to what jake said, I am way off. Now that I have looked into it more, and done some of my own research into the topic, I am sure that you both are mostly correct. However, constantine did burn some religious material, in order to completely destroy the religion and its history.

In one of my classes at school, we had a week long discussion, with handouts written by the teachers, and given to the students. It talked about constantine, and there was a written portion from the teacher that basically said that constantine fabricated christianity, to resemble paganism. All of this information was on there, pearse's site was referenced as one of the "extra reading" sections. Basically they told me the same untruths that I told you all on this thread. That is why I was so convinced about this hypothesis. I am writing the school a letter in response to this outrageous nonsense. Just goes to show how much people know about literature and the bible at, an engineering school.

Sorry, I didn't do all of my research , like I should have...



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 11:42 PM
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Originally posted by Eyeofhorus
In one of my classes at school, we had a week long discussion, with handouts written by the teachers, and given to the students. It talked about constantine, and there was a written portion from the teacher that basically said that constantine fabricated christianity, to resemble paganism. All of this information was on there, pearse's site was referenced as one of the "extra reading" sections. Basically they told me the same untruths that I told you all on this thread. That is why I was so convinced about this hypothesis. I am writing the school a letter in response to this outrageous nonsense. Just goes to show how much people know about literature and the bible at, an engineering school.


I think you demostrated your intended lesson concerning how important it is to overcome blind faith.

Perhaps you even demostrated how much one can really trust their own instincts.



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 02:49 AM
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Originally posted by EyeofhorusIt is also my belief that Jesus was a practicing Gnostic, based on my studying of the gospels of St. Thomas.


LOL! That's like saying, "Based on my viewing of the King of Kings it is my belief that Jesus was a white man. Why? Because Jeffery Hunter is a white man and he played Jesus in that movie." Practicing Gnostic.... You're kidding, right?

I appreciate the attempt at gaining some historical perspective, but ... you're barking up the wrong tree....

Yes, certain individuals did engage in the religious syncretism of that period and certain proto-Gnostics did give the Apostle Paul a lot of problems; hence, all his corrective epistles.

Yes, the Gentile Believers did eventually break with the Jewish Believers after being infected with proto-Gnostic teachings.

Yes, early Gentile Chrisitanity and "normative" Gnosticism duked it out for a time.

But to paint the historical Yeshua ben Yosef as being a Gnostic? Er uh ... try placing him and his teachings back into their proper proto-rabbinic setting and see what you come up with, okay?

I strongly recommend you obtain and READ the following books written by the late Prof. David Flusser -- "JESUS" and "Jewish Sources in Early Christianity".

For those interested in the cannon of the "new testament" -- I highly recommend the following:

"The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance by Bruce M. Metzger

[edit on 13-6-2005 by smadewell]



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 04:24 AM
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Greetings,


I wanted to use a source that provided all of the facts, but had a different viewpoint than all the other sites I found.


Great,
Its good to compare various sources.



This site contains all of the passages that I wanted to review.


What passages?
You only quoted one of the legends on Roger's site.


I am really not interested in what mr. pearse has to say, or i would have never posted at all.


Pardon?
You quote his site when you think it supports you.
Now you realise it didn't so you aren't interested any more...



You must also realize that he is hypothesizing as well.


No he isn't.
He presented the FACTS (that anyone can check for themselves) in one nice package.

You CLAIMED the Councl of Nicea decided the books of the Bible - an oft-repeated urban myth.

In fact we have specific evidence to show this is wrong :
* we have the canons of the Council - no mention of it
* we have accounts from several historians - no mention of it
* we have accounts from some people who were AT THE COUNCIL - no mention of it
* we know how the canon formed - the Council of Nicea played no part

This is CLEAR and PRESENT evidence.

We know for sure from the historical record that the
Councl of Nicea did not decide the books of the Bible.



I know it may look damaging to my side of the argument,


Yes,
his site clearly proves you wrong.



but you refuse to argue the idea,


Pardon?
I posted argument showing you were wrong.



rather passing off one piece of evidence (of which is have three sources)


What evidence?
What sources?

You gave a quote that said nothing about the Council of Nicea,
and gave a link to a page which makes no claim that the Council of Nicea decided the books of the Bible.

You then quoted the first legend from Roger Pearse's site, (and gave the link).

You gave another quote, and a web page, about Thomas, that said nothing about Nicea.

Finally you quoted and linked a site discussing astrology - nothing about Nicea.

In a later post,
you gave one UN-ATTRIBUTED quote that rtepeated the myth.

You gave no evidence at all,
and
the only sources you gave either :
* specifically show you are wrong, or
* totally fail to even mention Nicea



as bunk or misintereperited,


No I didn't.
I showed evidence the claim was wrong.



and then you convienently skirt the issue.


Rubbish.
I went directly yo the heart of the issue,
I showed you direct evidence the claim was wrong.



His site is a work in progress,


So?
The page in question is detailed and complete.



and I see some hypothesizing,


So?
The main point is clear.



amongst the jumbled thoughts and text.


It is perfectly clear - IF YOU BOTHER to READ it.




I also believe that I quoted somebody else's idea, that pearse quoted himself.


What?



Pearse then HYPOTHESIZED, and came to a comclusion based on HIS INTERPRETATION of the quote.


Rubbish.
He SHOWED evidence that proved the claim wrong.



Am I not allowed to take it the other way? Or would that encompass too many viewpoints for you?


What?



I can hypothesize all I want,


Sure you can.
But if you want us to believe your claims, you have to back them up.



and frankly pearse's site doesn't thrill me, it definitely did not make me want to convert back to christianity.


Pardon?
This has NOTHING to do with converting to Christianity.

It has to do with the evidence that shows the Council of Nicea did not decide anything about the Bible.

You seem to think I am defending Christianity - do a net search for "Iasion" and see what kind of work I have been doing on the 'net recently.

You may be interested in my main argument -

Jesus of Nazareth never existed.
He was a spiritual figure - later wrongly seen as historical.
It's the topic of the decade.



I guess I should have been more specific with what I was trying to do.


Yes, its wise to make you claims crystal clear.



But it all really doesn't matter because, according to what jake said, I am way off. Now that I have looked into it more, and done some of my own research into the topic, I am sure that you both are mostly correct.


Wonderful :-)

I encourage you to be sceptical -
don't believe what I say
don't believe what jake says
don't believe what Roger says

Go find out for yourself.

Here are some useful sites :

1) Peter Kirby's Early Christian Writings
A modern MASTERPIECE - this is the single most important reference place for anyone researching the church and its history :
www.earlychristianwritings.com...

2) New Advent Fathers of the Church :
www.newadvent.org...

3) The Development of the NT Canon :
www.ntcanon.org...



In one of my classes at school, we had a week long discussion, with handouts written by the teachers, and given to the students. It talked about constantine, and there was a written portion from the teacher that basically said that constantine fabricated christianity, to resemble paganism.


Yes, people claim this.
How would you explain the Christians before Constantine then?



All of this information was on there, pearse's site was referenced as one of the "extra reading" sections. Basically they told me the same untruths that I told you all on this thread.


Perhaps they were expecting you to use your brains and find out for yourself it was false?



That is why I was so convinced about this hypothesis. I am writing the school a letter in response to this outrageous nonsense. Just goes to show how much people know about literature and the bible at, an engineering school.


Indeed.
You have learned a valuable lesson.

Be very careful about what people say about Jesus and the Church and the Bible.
There are a vast number of opinion and theories and claims - be sceptical of everything you hear.

You seem to have a sceptical bent already - whey don't you start looking into whether Jesus even existed AT ALL?
I am convinced, as are many others, that there was no Jesus of Nazareth at all.

Here are some sites to chew over:

The Jesus Puzzle - the Jesus Myth argued well :
www.jesuspuzzle.org...

Peter Kirby's Christian Origins :
www.christianorigins.com...

My page of contemporary writers showing how Jesus was unknown in his era :
members.iinet.net.au...

And my page showing how LATE the Gospel stories became known to Christians :
members.iinet.net.au...


Iasion



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 04:38 AM
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Greetings,

Here are the "minutes of the meeting"
the Canons of the Council of Nicea :


Canon 1. If any one in sickness has been subjected by physicians to a surgical operation, or if he has been castrated by barbarians, let him remain among the clergy; but, if any one in sound health has castrated himself, it behoves that such an one, if [already] enrolled among the clergy, should cease [from his ministry], and that from henceforth no such person should be promoted. But, as it is evident that this is said of those who wilfully do the thing and presume to castrate themselves, so if any have been made eunuchs by barbarians, or by their masters, and should otherwise be found worthy, such men the Canon admits to the clergy.

Canon 2. Forasmuch as, either from necessity, or through the urgency of individuals, many things have been done contrary to the Ecclesiastical canon, so that men just converted from heathenism to the faith, and who have been instructed but a little while, are straightway brought to the spiritual layer, and as soon as they have been baptized, are advanced to the episcopate or the presbyterate, it has seemed right to us that for the time to come no such thing shall be done. For to the catechumen himself there is need of time and of a longer trial after baptism. For the apostolical saying is clear, "Not a novice; lest, being lifted up with pride, he fall into condemnation and the snare of the devil." But if, as time goes on, any sensual sin should be found out about the person, and he should be convicted by two or three witnesses, let him cease from the clerical office. And whoso shall transgress these [enactments] will imperil his own clerical position, as a person who presumes to disobey the great Synod.

Canon 3. The great Synod has stringently forbidden any bishop, presbyter, deacon, or any one of the clergy whatever, to have a subintroducta dwelling with him, except only a mother, or sister, or aunt, or such persons only as are beyond all suspicion.

Canon 4. It is by all means proper that a bishop should be appointed by all the bishops in the province; but should this be difficult, either on account of urgent necessity or because of distance, three at least should meet together, and the suffrages of the absent [bishops] also being given and communicated in writing, then the ordination should take place. But in every province the ratification of what is done should be left to the Metropolitan.

Canon 5. Concerning those, whether of the clergy or of the laity, who have been excommunicated in the several provinces, let the provision of the canon be observed by the bishops which provides that persons cast out by some be not readmitted by others. Nevertheless, inquiry should be made whether they have been excommunicated through captiousness, or contentiousness, or any such like ungracious disposition in the bishop. And, that this matter may have due investigation, it is decreed that in every province synods shall be held twice a year, in order that when all the bishops of the province are assembled together, such questions may by them be thoroughly examined, that so those who have confessedly offended against their bishop, may be seen by all to be for just cause excommunicated, until it shall seem fit to a general meeting of the bishops to pronounce a milder sentence upon them. And let these synods be held, the one before Lent, (that the pure Gift may be offered to God after all bitterness has been put away), and let the second be held about autumn.

Canon 6. Let the ancient customs in Egypt, Libya and Pentapolis prevail, that the Bishop of Alexandria have jurisdiction in all these, since the like is customary for the Bishop of Rome also. Likewise in Antioch and the other provinces, let the Churches retain their privileges. And this is to be universally understood, that if any one be made bishop without the consent of the Metropolitan, the great Synod has declared that such a man ought not to be a bishop. If, however, two or three bishops shall from natural love of contradiction, oppose the common suffrage of the rest, it being reasonable and in accordance with the ecclesiastical law, then let the choice of the majority prevail.

Canon 7. Since custom and ancient tradition have prevailed that the Bishop of Ælia [i.e., Jerusalem] should be honoured, let him, saving its due dignity to the Metropolis, have the next place of honour.

Canon 8. Concerning those who call themselves Cathari, if they come over to the Catholic and Apostolic Church, the great and holy Synod decrees that they who are ordained shall continue as they are in the clergy. But it is before all things necessary that they should profess in writing that they will observe and follow the dogmas of the Catholic and Apostolic Church; in particular that they will communicate with persons who have been twice married, and with those who having lapsed in persecution have had a period [of penance] laid upon them, and a time [of restoration] fixed so that in all things they will follow the dogmas of the Catholic Church. Wheresoever, then, whether in villages or in cities, all of the ordained are found to be of these only, let them remain in the clergy, and in the same rank in which they are found. But if they come over where there is a bishop or presbyter of the Catholic Church, it is manifest that the Bishop of the Church must have the bishop's dignity; and he who was named bishop by those who are called Cathari shall have the rank of presbyter, unless it shall seem fit to the Bishop to admit him to partake in the honour of the title. Or, if this should not be satisfactory, then shall the bishop provide for him a place as Chorepiscopus, or presbyter, in order that he may be evidently seen to be of the clergy, and that there may not be two bishops in the city.

Canon 9. If any presbyters have been advanced without examination, or if upon examination they have made confession of crime, and men acting in violation of the canon have laid hands upon them, notwithstanding their confession, such the canon does not admit; for the Catholic Church requires that [only] which is blameless.

Canon 10. If any who have lapsed have been ordained through the ignorance, or even with the previous knowledge of the ordainers, this shall not prejudice the canon of the Church for when they are discovered they shall be deposed.

Canon 11. Concerning those who have fallen without compulsion, without the spoiling of their property, without danger or the like, as happened during the tyranny of Licinius, the Synod declares that, though they have deserved no clemency, they shall be dealt with mercifully. As many as were communicants, if they heartily repent, shall pass three years among the hearers; for seven years they shall be prostrators; and for two years they shall communicate with the people in prayers, but without oblation.

Canon 12. As many as were called by grace, and displayed the first zeal, having cast aside their military girdles, but afterwards returned, like dogs, to their own vomit, (so that some spent money and by means of gifts regained their military stations); let these, after they have passed the space of three years as hearers, be for ten years prostrators. But in all these cases it is necessary to examine well into their purpose and what their repentance appears to be like. For as many as give evidence of their conversions by deeds, and not pretence, with fear, and tears, and perseverance, and good works, when they have fulfilled their appointed time as hearers, may properly communicate in prayers; and after that the bishop may determine yet more favourably concerning them. But those who take [the matter] with indifference, and who think the form of [not] entering the Church is sufficient for their conversion, must fulfil the whole time.

Canon 13. Concerning the departing, the ancient canonical law is still to be maintained, to wit, that, if any man be at the point of death, he must not be deprived of the last and most indispensable Viaticum. But, if any one should be restored to health again who has received the communion when his life was despaired of, let him remain among those who communicate in prayers only. But in general, and in the case of any dying person whatsoever asking to receive the Eucharist, let the Bishop, after examination made, give it him.

Canon 14. Concerning catechumens who have lapsed, the holy and great Synod has decreed that, after they have passed three years only as hearers, they shall pray with the catechumens.

Canon 15. On account of the great disturbance and discords that occur, it is decreed that the custom prevailing in certain places contrary to the Canon, must wholly be done away; so that neither bishop, presbyter, nor deacon shall pass from city to city. And if any one, after this decree of the holy and great Synod, shall attempt any such thing, or continue in any such course, his proceedings shall be utterly void, and he shall be restored to the Church for which he was ordained bishop or presbyter.

Canon 16. Neither presbyters, nor deacons, nor any others enrolled among the clergy, who, not having the fear of God before their eyes, nor regarding the ecclesiastical Canon, shall recklessly remove from their own church, ought by any means to be received by another church; but every constraint should be applied to restore them to their own parishes; and, if they will not go, they must be excommunicated. And if anyone shah dare surreptitiously to carry off and in his own Church ordain a man belonging to another, without the consent of his own proper bishop, from whom although he was enrolled in the clergy list he has seceded, let the ordination be void.

Canon 17. Forasmuch as many enrolled among the Clergy, following covetousness and lust of gain, have forgotten the divine Scripture, which says, "He hath not given his money upon usury," and in lending money ask the hundredth of the sum [as monthly interest], the holy and great Synod thinks it just that if after this decree any one be found to receive usury, whether he accomplish it by secret transaction or otherwise, as by demanding the whole and one half, or by using any other contrivance whatever for filthy lucre's sake, he shall be deposed from the clergy and his name stricken from the list.

Canon 18. It has come to the knowledge of the holy and great Synod that, in some districts and cities, the deacons administer the Eucharist to the presbyters, whereas neither canon nor custom permits that they who have no right to offer should give the Body of Christ to them that do offer. And this also has been made known, that certain deacons now touch the Eucharist even before the bishops. Let all such practices be utterly done away, and let the deacons remain within their own bounds, knowing that they are the ministers of the bishop and the inferiors of the presbyters. Let them receive the Eucharist according to their order, after the presbyters, and let either the bishop or the presbyter administer to them. Furthermore, let not the deacons sit among the presbyters, for that is contrary to canon and order. And if, after this decree, any one shall refuse to obey, let him be deposed from the diaconate.

Canon 19. Concerning the Paulianists who have flown for refuge to the Catholic Church, it has been decreed that they must by all means be rebaptized; and if any of them who in past time have been numbered among their clergy should be found blameless and without reproach, let them be rebaptized and ordained by the Bishop of the Catholic Church; but if the examination should discover them to be unfit, they ought to be deposed. Likewise in the case of their deaconesses, and generally in the case of those who have been enrolled among their clergy, let the same form be observed. And we mean by deaconesses such as have assumed the habit, but who, since they have no imposition of hands, are to be numbered only among the laity.

Canon 20. Forasmuch as there are certain persons who kneel on the Lord's Day and in the days of Pentecost, therefore, to the intent that all things may be uniformly observed everywhere(in every parish), it seems good to the holy Synod that prayer be made to God standing.


Iasion



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 04:43 AM
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Greetings,

Here is the original Nicene Creed -
(note it is NOT exactly like what we call the Nicene Creed today)

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten of his Father, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father. By whom all things were made, both which be in heaven and in earth. Who for us men and for our salvation came down [from heaven] and was incarnate and was made man. He suffered and the third day he rose again, and ascended into heaven. And he shall come again to judge both the quick and the dead. And [we believe] in the Holy Ghost. And whosoever shall say that there was a time when the Son of God was not, or that before he was begotten he was not, or that he was made of things that were not, or that he is of a different substance or essence [from the Father] or that he is a creature, or subject to change or conversion—all that so say, the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes them.



And here is the official letter from the Council -


THE SYNODAL LETTER

To the Church of Alexandria, by the grace of God, holy and great; and to our well-beloved brethren, the orthodox clergy and laity throughout Egypt, and Pentapolis, and Lybia, and every nation under heaven, the holy and great synod, the bishops assembled at Nicæa, wish health in the Lord.

Forasmuch as the great and holy synod, which was assembled at Nicæa through the grace of Christ and our most religious Sovereign Constantine, who brought us together from our several provinces and cities, has considered matters which concern the faith of the Church, it seemed to us to be necessary that certain things should be communicated from us to you in writing, so that you might have the means of knowing what has been mooted and investigated, and also what has been decreed and confirmed.

First of all, then, in the presence of our most religious Sovereign Constantine, investigation was made of matters concerning the impiety and transgression of Arias and his adherents; and it was unanimously decreed that he and his impious opinion should be anathematized, together with the blasphemous words and speculations in which he indulged, blaspheming the Son of God, and saying that he is from things that are not, and that before he was begotten he was not, and that there was a time when he was not, and that the Son of God is by his free will capable of vice and virtue; saying also that he is a creature. All these things the holy Synod has anathematized, not even enduring to hear his impious doctrine and madness and blasphemous words. And of the charges against him and of the results they had, ye have either already heard or will hear the particulars, lest we should seem to be oppressing a man who has in fact received a fitting recompense for his own sin. So far indeed has his impiety prevailed, that he has even destroyed Theonas of Marmorica and Secundes of Ptolemais; for they also have received the same sentence as the rest.

But when the grace of God had delivered Egypt from that heresy and blasphemy, and from the persons who have dared to make disturbance and division among a people heretofore at peace, there remained the matter of the insolence of Meletius and those who have been ordained by him; and concerning this part of our work we now, beloved brethren, proceed to inform you of the decrees of the Synod. The Synod, then, being disposed to deal gently with Meletius (for in strict justice he deserved no leniency), decreed that he should remain in his own city, but have no authority either to ordain, or to administer affairs, or to make appointments; and that he should not appear in the country or in any other city for this purpose, but should enjoy the bare title of his rank; but that those who have been placed by him, after they have been confirmed by a more sacred laying on of hands, shall on these conditions be admitted to communion: that they shall both have their rank and the right to officiate, but that they shall be altogether the inferiors of all those who are enrolled in any church or parish, and have been appointed by our most honourable colleague Alexander. So that these men are to have no authority to make appointments of persons who may be pleasing to them, nor to suggest names, nor to do anything whatever, without the consent of the bishops of the Catholic and Apostolic Church, who are serving under our most holy colleague Alexander; while those who, by the grace of God and through your prayers, have been found in no schism, but on the contrary are without spot in the Catholic and Apostolic Church, are to have authority to make appointments and nominations of worthy persons among the clergy, and in short to do all things according to the law and ordinance of the Church. But, if it happen that any of the clergy who are now in the Church should die, then those who have been lately received are to succeed to the office of the deceased; always provided that they shall appear to be worthy, and that the people elect them, and that the bishop of Alexandria shall concur in the election and ratify it. This concession has been made to all the rest; but, on account of his disorderly conduct from the first, and the rashness and precipitation of his character, the same decree was not made concerning Meletius himself, but that, inasmuch as he is a man capable of committing again the same disorders, no authority nor privilege should be conceded to him.

These are the particulars, which are of special interest to Egypt and to the most holy Church of Alexandria; but if in the presence of our most honoured lord, our colleague and brother Alexander, anything else has been enacted by canon or other decree, he will himself convey it to you in greater detail, he having been both a guide and fellow-worker in what has been done.

We further proclaim to you the good news of the agreement concerning the holy Easter, that this particular also has through your prayers been rightly settled; so that all our brethren in the East who formerly followed the custom of the Jews are henceforth to celebrate the said most sacred feast of Easter at the same time with the Romans and yourselves and all those who have observed Easter from the beginning.

Wherefore, rejoicing in these wholesome results, and in our common peace and harmony, and in the cutting off of every heresy, receive ye with the greater honour and with increased love, our colleague your Bishop Alexander, who has gladdened us by his presence, and who at so great an age has undergone so great fatigue that peace might be established among you and all of us. Pray ye also for us all, that the things which have been deemed advisable may stand fast; for they have been done, as we believe, to the well-pleasing of Almighty God and of his only Begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Ghost, to whom be glory for ever. Amen.



(from New Advent, as were the Canons)

Iasion



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 05:29 AM
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Originally posted by IasionYou seem to think I am defending Christianity - do a net search for "Iasion" and see what kind of work I have been doing on the 'net recently.

You may be interested in my main argument -

Jesus of Nazareth never existed.
He was a spiritual figure - later wrongly seen as historical.
It's the topic of the decade.


I would agree that the "Jesus" of the Church is a "spiritual figure" and one assumes by that you mean a "mythological figure".

However, I see no reason to doubt that the historical man, Yeshua ben Yosef, was a real person. There are a plethora of Jewish authors (and I'm not talking about Messianics or converts to Christianity) - some of them Orthodox Jews - who have examined this question and have no problem with accepting Yeshua as an actual historical person. For example - Profs. Joseph Klausner, David Flusser, Geza Vermes, Solomon Zeitlin, Pinchas Lapide, Louis Finkelstein, and R. Harvey Falk -- just to name a few.

Regarding the early authors you site to "weigh/conclude" that Yeshua never existed.... How many of these mention Honi the Circle Drawer, Hillel, Shammai, Gamaliel, Yochanan the Causer of Ritual Immersion (aka John the Baptist) or any of the hundreds of other noteworthy proto-rabbinic and rabbinic figures ... ?

Even when one looks for these JEWISH figures in JEWISH literature ... they're going to have to seek them in works that were written down centuries after these historical figures lived. Knowledge of these historical figures comes to us (and the rabbinic literature itself) from the Oral Tradition of that period and in some cases, but certainly not all, the writings of Josephus.

Just because a historical figure becomes deified by a group that usurps his person and work and alters it to suit their own agenda doesn't mean the man himself never lived.

Rather than trying to prove he never existed ... why not explore a working model that might explain the historical man in light of his own cultural context? No need to throw the baby out with the dirty bath water, says I.

Is the historical man and his work and his teachings such a threat that they must be dismissed out of hand or worse ... altered to suit one's sacred cow? Hmmm....

[edit on 13-6-2005 by smadewell]



posted on Jun, 14 2005 @ 12:16 AM
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Greetings,

Thanks for your reply :-)


I would agree that the "Jesus" of the Church is a "spiritual figure" and one assumes by that you mean a "mythological figure".


Well,
I mean that Paul and the earliest Christians worshipped a spiritual being - a higher being who never came to earth at all.

The Gospel stories are myths written to expand the theme of that spiritual Iesous Christos.

Then,
later Christians mis-interpreted the religious theme of the Gospels as referring to HISTORY.


However, I see no reason to doubt that the historical man, Yeshua ben Yosef, was a real person.


I can see several reasons -
* no contemporary external evidence for Jesus
* no clear mention of a historical Jesus in the early CHRISTIAN writings
* numerous Christians denied Jesus came in the flesh
* the Gospels were largely based on episodes in the OT (Elijah)
* the Jesus myth is similar to other son-of-god myths of the milieu
* critics such as Celsus attacked the Gospel stories as fiction based on myths



There are a plethora of Jewish authors (and I'm not talking about Messianics or converts to Christianity) - some of them Orthodox Jews - who have examined this question and have no problem with accepting Yeshua as an actual historical person.


So?
There are other scholars who argue he did NOT exist.
What matters is the evidence - not a list of opinions.

Yes, its a majority view - because is the conservative, traditional view.

People believe Jesus existed because others do - their parents, priests, previous scholars - who believred because THEIR predecessors did - back to when NOT believing meanrt risking being burned alive at the stake.

So far, no scholar has rebutted Earl Doherty - why don't you read his site and tell us your answer?
www.jesuspuzzle.org...



Regarding the early authors you site to "weigh/conclude" that Yeshua never existed.... How many of these mention Honi the Circle Drawer, Hillel, Shammai, Gamaliel, Yochanan the Causer of Ritual Immersion (aka John the Baptist) or any of the hundreds of other noteworthy proto-rabbinic and rabbinic figures ... ?


Some of them mention some of these figures - so?

If Jesus did exist, then he was so minor, so insignificant, so forgetable, that he rated NO MENTION at all.

If such a Jesus existed, he must have been less than the smallest of the nobodies you mention.

Coupled with all the other evidence,
the best conclusion is that he was never a historical person at all.



Even when one looks for these JEWISH figures in JEWISH literature ... they're going to have to seek them in works that were written down centuries after these historical figures lived. Knowledge of these historical figures comes to us (and the rabbinic literature itself) from the Oral Tradition of that period and in some cases, but certainly not all, the writings of Josephus.


Not all records are from centuries afterwards.
Some of what we have is by contemporaries to the people mentioned.

As to the Jewish documents -

The Talmud is like 35 volumes in English, it contains large numbers of Rabbis arguing religious issues at mind-numbing length. The early layer covers the very period of Jesus - but he is NOT mentioned at all (until the later silly stories about Pandira etc.)
If Jesus had existed and argued religion with the Jews (as the story say he did), then he would have been recorded.

Philo discusses the Logos, and the Holy Spirit, and various Jewish sects and beliefs and Jewish history etc - NO MENTION of Jesus.

Justus of Tiberias write a Jewish History in Galilee in 1st century - NO MENTION of Jesus.

Josephus - no mention except in a forged passage and a marginal gloss.

If any of the stories about Jesus were true, they would have been recorded somewhere.




Just because a historical figure becomes deified by a group that usurps his person and work and alters it to suit their own agenda doesn't mean the man himself never lived.


That is not my argument.
Nor is it the mythicist argument.

The argument that Jesus did not exist is based on several issues as described above.

The Best Explanation for the evidence is that Jesus of Nazareth never existed.



Rather than trying to prove he never existed ... why not explore a working model that might explain the historical man in light of his own cultural context? No need to throw the baby out with the dirty bath water, says I.


Hmm ..
So it doesn't matter to you if your basic premise is false?

Shouldn't you make sure Jesus existed BEFORE you spin a theory about a historical Jesus?

Seiously -
WHY do you believe Jesus existed?
Because everyone else around you does?
Did you ever check carefully for yourself?




Is the historical man and his work and his teachings


Mate -
WE DON'T HAVE any of Jesus teachings.

All we have is -
PAUL's teachings "through Christ"
an anonymous Gospel written in Rome a century after the alleged events,
2 more anonymous Gospels based on the first,
1 even later Gospel telling a different story
Many later legends and myths....

The EARLIEST LAYER has NO Jesus of Nazareth -

Paul and the 1st century epistles show NO KNOWLEDGE of -
* Joseph and Mary and Bethlehem and Nazareth,
* the birth stories, the Magi, the Star, the flight to Egypt,
* Herod and the massacre of the infants,
* John the Baptist or the baptism in the Jordan,
* the trial before Pilate (and Herod?),
* the raising of Lazarus or any miracles of Jesus,
* the cleansing of the temple, the trumphal entry,
* the Sermon on the Mount or any teachings by Jesus,
* the passion of Jesus, or the transfiguration,
* Peter the rock and "the keys",
* the denial by Peter, or betrayal by Judas,
* the empty tomb !!

Yet, LATER
after 2 wars have destroyed Jerusalem and dispersed the Jews -
THEN we see the Gospel stories arise.


NONE of the Gospel stories are mentioned until the 2nd century, just like there is NO mention of the Gospels. But, from late 2nd century on, we see an enormous explosion in writings by many Christian authors which explain, and exposit and exegise the Gospels - whole libraries of books endlessly quoting and preaching from the Gospel and debating the finiest minutiae of every detail of every incident in Jesus' life, on and on, ad nauseum...



such a threat that they must be dismissed out of hand or worse ... altered to suit one's sacred cow? Hmmm....


Jesus is the sacred cow.
Produce your evidence that he really existed.

But Please - no quotes of believer's opinions.
I mean evidence from the ancient sources.

Iasion



posted on Jun, 14 2005 @ 01:21 AM
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Originally posted by Iasion

Rather than trying to prove he never existed ... why not explore a working model that might explain the historical man in light of his own cultural context? No need to throw the baby out with the dirty bath water, says I.


Hmm ..
So it doesn't matter to you if your basic premise is false?


Why should it? It doesn't seem to stop you from advancing your premise!



Shouldn't you make sure Jesus existed BEFORE you spin a theory about a historical Jesus? Seriously - WHY do you believe Jesus existed? Because everyone else around you does? Did you ever check carefully for yourself?


Well, ... when you gain access to a time machine and we can both go back in time together and prove things one way or the other.... Because ... that's what it's going to take, my dear friend.


This is the same tired old argument that skeptics and dogmatics use to support their POV over and over again - "Prove UFOs exist!" "Well, you prove they don't!"; "Prove G-d exists!" "Well, you prove He doesn't!"; "Prove Jesus existed!" "Well, you prove he didn't!" ::::YAWN::::

I personally don't give a flying flip if the man existed or not! What I'm seeking to do is to construct a "model" that - IF HE EXISTED - would make far more sense than the "Christian model" that's been rammed down our collective throat for the past 1,900 years. All I'm trying to do is to present a "model" of a historical Yeshua that - IF HE EXISTED - meshes with the picture of life in the Common Era that's come down to us.

I will say this.... If there was a "Jewish" (or Roman) conspiracy to create a mythological figure under “whom” the Nations could be subjugated ... it sure as Hell backfired! "Sure as Hell?" Okay.... "IF HELL EXISTS, THAT IS." LOL!


I honestly think dogmatics and the skeptics opposing them have a lot in common. One group turned Jesus into a god-man so they'd have an excuse not to measure up to their full potential, while the other group argues that there's no measure which one should measure up to! The results are the same! Nero fiddles as Rome burns. :shk: Humans are so silly....


Bottom line.... You work from your premise and I'll work from mine. You've laid out your hypothesis. Allow me to present mine. That's fair ... isn't it, Mate?



posted on Jun, 14 2005 @ 05:26 AM
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Originally posted by IasionSo far, no scholar has rebutted Earl Doherty - why don't you read his site and tell us your answer?
www.jesuspuzzle.org...


I’m reading and re-reading your posts, Iasion, because I’m intrigued by your line of thought and your appeal to historical documents. So, … don’t take anything I have to say to you as “trolling” or “trashing”, okay? It’s rare to find someone whose done more than a little homework.
That's a breath of fresh air!

Okay.... I took a look at Doherty’s website. I really didn't see the point of going beyond "Piece No. 1: A CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE", because, frankly, it's a silly argument, IMO.

I have to chuckle, because it seems the Jewish people (or elements thereof) are always being painted as these conspiratorial masterminds. What’s up with that?

Anyway, … let’s take this sentence for example: "The Gospel story, with its figure of Jesus of Nazareth, cannot be found before the Gospels."

And this proves what? That a cultural with a strong leaning toward ORAL TRADITION didn't make use of it to communicate the sayings of and stories about their sages?

Does this then prove that Judah the Prince concocted the entire Mishnah? That all those sages and biographical blurbs and religo-legal rulings and moral tales we read about in the Talmud are something a bunch of Jews created out of thin air in order to subjugate the ignorant masses to their theology and cosmology, etc., etc., etc.?

Heck fire! I can't prove what my paternal ancestors did between arriving in the Colonies in 1631 and the First Revolutionary War! There isn't a single scrap of paper with anyone's name on it until a military payroll notation! Nevertheless, there are family traditions about what went down during this period – a period marked by its gaps in Colonial documentation.

You can argue non-existence from the lack of early documentation, but it's a pretty lame argument to use, IMO, especially with regard to a culture that had such a strong leaning toward Oral Tradition.

Further, you can't really argue "insignificance" using that line of thought either. Is Hillel named or mentioned in the writings of Josephus or Philo? Would you consider Hillel to be insignificant?

As for the lack of “sayings” and “biographical data” in the writings of Paul … er uh … let’s keep in mind his letters were largely corrective in nature and that he was attempting to bring a bunch of Gentiles up to speed -- in as much as they didn’t seem to know “Come here!” from “Sic’ em!” as far as Jewish theology was concerned.

Further, let's us be mindful that Paul was entrenched in a battle against various proto-Gnostic elements very early on in his “missionary tour”, because individuals given over the religious syncretism of that period had already caught wind of this “Jesus” dude and were eager to jump on board and twist his movement to suit their own ends. Same thing happens to this very day. Ain’t nothing new on that front. Try to advance something you think's a good idea and in come the kooks and nutters to subvert everything and mess it up and/or take it over.

[edit on 14-6-2005 by smadewell]



posted on Jun, 14 2005 @ 09:09 AM
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Originally posted by Iasion
So far, no scholar has rebutted Earl Doherty - why don't you read his site and tell us your answer?
www.jesuspuzzle.org...


Well, I'm not a scholar but I think the thesis of his chapter on the second century didn't really survive me looking at it critically:

www.tertullian.org...

Thanks for your comments on my Nicaea page, all of which seem sensible to me. I was surprised to be cited in support of an argument I was debunking! As you saw, I found no evidence that the bible was edited at Nicaea at all. The earliest text that could be used for that idea was 9th century, and plainly legendary. The story itself seems to have been manufactured by Voltaire, based on medieval legends.

All the best,

Roger Pearse



posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 12:19 AM
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Greetings smadewell,

Thanks for your replies.


Originally posted by smadewell
I’m reading and re-reading your posts, Iasion, because I’m intrigued by your line of thought and your appeal to historical documents. So, … don’t take anything I have to say to you as “trolling” or “trashing”, okay? It’s rare to find someone whose done more than a little homework.
That's a breath of fresh air!


Indeed - quite rare around here :-)


Okay.... I took a look at Doherty’s website. I really didn't see the point of going beyond "Piece No. 1: A CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE", because, frankly, it's a silly argument, IMO.


Dear oh dear oh dear.

You read the title of the first section and gave up - great work smadewell.

Sadly,
your hasty read lead you to the TOTALLY WRONG idea.

Doherty does NOT claim a "conspiracy" at all.

The title of the first section is a rhetorical device - Doherty argues from the silence of the 1st century writers. There WAS NO conspiracy, Doherty asks rhetorically "was there a conspiracy to not mention Jesus? or is there some deeper truth?"


I have to chuckle, because it seems the Jewish people (or elements thereof) are always being painted as these conspiratorial masterminds. What’s up with that?


What's up with that is you failed to read or comprehend his work.

Sadly, it seem your were just looking for an excuse to ignore Doherty's eork, and your found it by failing to comprehend the title of his FIRST SECTION and then gave up - good research there buddy :-)



Anyway, … let’s take this sentence for example: "The Gospel story, with its figure of Jesus of Nazareth, cannot be found before the Gospels."
And this proves what? That a cultural with a strong leaning toward ORAL TRADITION didn't make use of it to communicate the sayings of and stories about their sages?


The WRITINGS we have fail to mention Jesus - Paul and the rest of the 1st century writings.

If the Gospel stories were so well known - why did NO-ONE mention them?

Later on they are repeated endlessly, at length, over and over, on and on and on, like a stuck record, on and on ad nauseum...

But,
the very people were supposedly CLOSEST to Jesus know the LEAST about his story.

The obvious conclusion is that they had never heard of a historical Jesus of Nazareth.



Does this then prove that Judah the Prince concocted the entire Mishnah? That all those sages and biographical blurbs and religo-legal rulings and moral tales we read about in the Talmud are something a bunch of Jews created out of thin air in order to subjugate the ignorant masses to their theology and cosmology, etc., etc., etc.?


No,
you are raving.



You can argue non-existence from the lack of early documentation, but it's a pretty lame argument to use, IMO, especially with regard to a culture that had such a strong leaning toward Oral Tradition.


Oral tradition is another word for legends, stories, tall-tales, hearsay.

That's my point - all you have is later legends, no evidence.



Further, you can't really argue "insignificance" using that line of thought either. Is Hillel named or mentioned in the writings of Josephus or Philo? Would you consider Hillel to be insignificant?


Hillel is mentioned dozens of times in the early Talmud, and other places - so what if one book or 2 fails to mention him?

40 writers of the 1st century or so fail to mention Jesus - no-one mentions him.

Yes, you can find some people not mentioned in some writers.
But Jesus is not mentioned in ANY early writings - just late legends.




As for the lack of “sayings” and “biographical data” in the writings of Paul … er uh … let’s keep in mind his letters were largely corrective in nature and that he was attempting to bring a bunch of Gentiles up to speed -- in as much as they didn’t seem to know “Come here!” from “Sic’ em!” as far as Jewish theology was concerned.


Rubbish.

"Bring them up to speed" = teach them.

Paul is preaching his new religion, he is explaining about Jesus and Christianity.

The most important thing he could say would be to tell them all about Jesus, the founder of the religion.

But he doesn't - all he does is PREACH HIS beliefs.

Explain why YOU think Paul would not mention a historical Jesus?




Further, let's us be mindful that Paul was entrenched in a battle against various proto-Gnostic elements very early on in his “missionary tour”, because individuals given over the religious syncretism of that period had already caught wind of this “Jesus” dude and were eager to jump on board and twist his movement to suit their own ends. Same thing happens to this very day. Ain’t nothing new on that front. Try to advance something you think's a good idea and in come the kooks and nutters to subvert everything and mess it up and/or take it over.


All the MORE reason to explain all about the historical Jesus.

Your argument makes no sense at all.

If kooks and nutters are claiming Jesus was NOT a physical being, then this is even MORE REASON for Paul to preach the "truth" about a physical, historical Jesus.


The only reason for Paul not to preach such a historical Jesus, when Gnostics are preaching a spiritual Jesus, is if Paul had never heard of a historical Jesus.


Iasion





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