reply to post by Al Davison
Al Davison holy moly! There may have been an historical figure that we commonly know as the Christian Jesus but, this "Jesus of Nazareth" title
is merely an misinterpretation/mistranslation. The Christian Jesus wasn't from a town called Nazareth - he is believed to be, at least at one time, a
follower of a sect referred to as Nazarene, Nazor, Nazorean, etc. though there is little evidence that this is a completely accurate characterization
as the Jesus in question (whose name was never really "Jesus" to begin with) also associated with other sects such as the Essenes.
I got my serious intro into religion in large part from Albert Schweitzer, the famous early 20th century medical doctor and missionary to Africa.
Schweitzer, a German born in France, obtained his Doctor of Theology degree (he was already an MD) with a dissertation later published with the title
“Quest of the Historical Jesus.” It’s still around in the used book stores. It was the Germans in what came to be called the “School of
Historical Criticism” who first studied the Bible as an ancient book. For what it is or was and not for what it says which is an entirely different
approach at least in its motivation if not its goals.
The fundamental problem secularists have is that while some of the Holy Writ is worthy, most of it is not. (See the Jefferson Bible). Neither Martin
Luther (1517) nor his successors ever held any part of the Holy Bible to be suspect. They fully embraced 2 Timothy 3:16. Most of us grew up with the
KJV or Authorized Version (1609), “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for
instruction in righteousness . . “ The KJV owes much to an earlier translation, the Tyndale Bible of 1533 and others printed in English in the same
time frame. (All dates from Wikipedia).
Was this quixotic phrase written as an explicit endorsement either of just the second book of Timothy, or all of the writings of St. Paul, or was it
meant by the writer of 2 Timothy to be an implicit endorsement of the entire collection of the 56 books making the Protestant Bible? Surely this
application of the phrase is open to honest debate. cf. Rev 22.18b-19 for applicability of proscriptions. The Bible (canon) did not come along until
the 4th centtury. Far better though to get well past 2Tim3:16 than to have to belabor it every time you open the Holy Book. The point is to remove the
imprimatur of GOD from all the writings found between the covers of a KJV bible.
What many writers I have read believe is a more accurate translation is found in the American Standard Version: “Every scripture inspired of God is
also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness.”
The KEY is “Every scripture inspired . . “ allows for debate over which is indeed INSPIRED and which are not. Cf. with the traditional KJV
rendering “All scripture is given by inspiration . . “ which admittedly would allow for arguing what is “scripture” but that is a hard
argument to make.
Even the Catholic approved translation, the Douay-Rheims Bible, could be read as the ASV above: “All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to
teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice . . “
To illustrate another point about the Holy Scriptures, I especially like to recite the story of the demons and the pigs. Starting at Mark 5:10 and
repeated in Luke 8:31. KJV. At a place not identified in the story nor ever located by others, but which is on the “shore” of the Sea of Galilee,
Jesus and others were on their way to a city. They encountered a man possessed of demons named Legion. At his request, Jesus expelled - exorcized -
the demons. Apparently of necessity, Jesus then put the demons into a herd of pigs - 2,000 - and they then ran head-long over a cliff falling into
the Sea and drowned. End of demons. I take the position that neither the writer nor the (intended) readers took the story to be a literally true
account of a real event.
Here’s why. It’s a given that pigs can’t swim. Any pig in water over its head will drown. OTOH, it is very difficult to keep a herd of pigs
numbering 2,000. Hungry pigs will eat anything, including each other. It would take a lot of men a lot of work to feed that many pigs in one place.
That is both impractical and inconsistent with pigs and Jewish persons. In fact, that demons were put into pigs and not into sheep or goats is pure
Jewish thinking. There is only one thing worse than a demon to a first century Jew and that was a pig.
The number 2,000 is apocryphal. It is symbolic. It is an accepted form of exaggeration, that is to say, “a large but unspecified number” such as
when numbering a crowd. Supporters see more than detractors. Lastly, why did Jesus need a 2 step exorcism for Legion? What message is being conveyed
to the intended readers? I don’t pretend to know the answers but I can see that it is FOOLISHNESS for people in 2007 to take this story literally.
If it is a true story, then why do not Christian psychiatrists keep pigs in their office?
[edit on 9/23/2007 by donwhite]