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What if there actually was a church council that set the canon? Now there is.

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posted on Mar, 6 2013 @ 07:26 PM
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Originally posted by eight bits
But I think the deal killer is that a woman is shown teaching men, at the direct invitation of the Apostles to do so. We know that the faction who wrote the Pastorals won, and this whole scene is contrary to what their "Paul" wrote. It doesn't matter what Mary is depicted as saying, she doesn't have the canonized equipment to tell men anything they don't already know.

I think that's probably a reasonable conclusion, though I'll add that the "rules" that were used for consideration of canon had at least one problem with Mary -- there is no Apostolic connection, unless one wanted to claim that Mary was an Apostle, which is troublesome nine ways from Tuesday, so there is at least one legitimate complaint against it.

That said, I'll throw a little twist in to the mix. I read recently (and now I can't find the source, lol) that the title character of The Gospel of Mary isn't Mary Magdalene, but rather is Mary, the mother of Jesus. In rereading it, there's nothing that jumps out at me to say that's impossible, so it's a bit thought provoking. A line like:


Peter said to Mary, Sister we know that the Savior loved you more than the rest of woman.

certainly has a different interpretation if one thinks it about his mother.

The downside, of course, is Mariology, which I'm assured dates back to the earliest days of the church. If there was a text that was attributed to mother Mary, we'd probably have a better preserved version of it.




posted on Mar, 7 2013 @ 02:33 AM
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there is no Apostolic connection, unless one wanted to claim that Mary was an Apostle, which is troublesome nine ways from Tuesday, so there is at least one legitimate complaint against it.


Well, I am a literal minded person, adj. I understand an Apostle (capital-A) to be someone who was visited by the risen Christ, and in that visit was personally commissioned by Jesus to tell others something. I read in John 20: 15-18 that Jesus visits Mary Magdalene personally, asks her to tell specifically the men about his travel plans, and she does so.

What's missing? Nothing, so far as I can see. I am delighted to claim that Mary was a capital-A Apostle. What's more, I believe that that was the author's conscious intention in writing the scene, to address a controversy about the composition of the First Apostolate, probably in the context of a larger controversy about women's competence overall. John and the Pastorals are of roughly similar age. I believe their respective authors are talking to each other.

Further indication of diversity of opinion among early Christians, in my view, is the curious antiparallelism to Mark, where Mary and the other women are depicted as being afraid to carry out their commission, which they receive from an unidentified man, versus Mary, where it is the boys who are hesitant to carry out their commission given by the risen Jesus.

It is entirely possible, in my view, that the authors of Mark and Mary might have been talking to each other, too.

To this day, we hear from Christian apologists about the "embarrassment" that women would be the first witnesses to the empty tomb (actually, they are only among the first witnesses, depending on which Gospel). I propose that not everybody in the early church was embarrassed about that, and I'll bet at least half of them thought it was fully appropriate.


That said, I'll throw a little twist in to the mix. I read recently (and now I can't find the source, lol) that the title character of The Gospel of Mary isn't Mary Magdalene, but rather is Mary, the mother of Jesus. In rereading it, there's nothing that jumps out at me to say that's impossible, so it's a bit thought provoking. A line like:


I would agree about the possibility, especially mindful that Luke specifically places Mary of Nazareth among the Cenacle community between the giving and acting upon the commission. However, Peter in Mary asks whether Jesus would have spoken privately with this Mary.

I venture even Peter wouldn't wonder whether a son might speak privately with his mother. That doesn't eliminate Mary of Nazareth as our Mary, but I think it makes the identification of Mary of Magdala more than merely tenable or fashionable. However, I would also acknowledge that there is a history of confusing Maries, and most of this Gospel is missing.

For the record, then, Mary of Bethany would also be a candidate. Like Mary of Nazareth, this Mary, as well as her sister, is shown in John speaking both privately and insistently with Jesus. Jealousy of Mary of Bethany is one reading of Judas' reaction to her annointing of Jesus, and it is only in John that discord about a woman's annointing is specified as Judas' alone.


The downside, of course, is Mariology, which I'm assured dates back to the earliest days of the church. If there was a text that was attributed to mother Mary, we'd probably have a better preserved version of it.


It's hard to say. We don't know how Mary stopped being in use, after two hundred years we know about. It could have been that Gnostic embrace may have tarnished the genuine article (what I believe contributed to Thomas's disuse). But the pattern (to me at least) seems clear: woo-woo conspiracy theorists aside, the established church didn't "rewrite" Gospels, it simply encouraged (and probably subsidized) the copying of a book, or else it didn't. If it didn't, and nobody else hid a copy in a "time capsule," then the unloved text simply passes out of existence, plus or minus the occasional bonfire, which can only hasten the process along.

Kinship and discipleship are two common bases for claiming authority to be a successor to an absent leader. If our Mary is of Nazareth, then this gospel shows her having both sources of authority, in spades. Given that she is depicted as using some authority to say uncomfortable things, and that her saying anything at all to those whose authority resides in discipleship alone is an insurgent act according to some, Mariology might provide an affirmative motive for losing this text.



posted on Mar, 7 2013 @ 11:37 AM
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Text Is Taussig right, that in its Twenty-first century Christianity needs a new canon, particularly one consciously selected by an open process which officially includes people of color and women?
reply to post by eight bits
 


@ eight bits

Yes and no.-- Is that a cop out? Let me explain what I believe to be meant concerning Taussig. Christianity is actually a oxymoron isn't it? To a Momom it means what a Mormon is and to a Catholic it means what a Catholic is. Could go on and on and on because Christianity is contrary to the mother church of Jerusalem which is the true Christian church.

The Jerusalem Church was formed upon Pentecost within sixty days of Jesus' murder. It was the first Christian Church and it was Jewish. The Jerusalem church was all Hebrew with Hebrew liturgy at the onset and then embraced the Greeks as Hellenists later on. During its early years the Apostles themselves were the teachers and preachers and James was the Bishop of the Christian church. Not Peter nor Paul but the brother of Jesus named James.

James the Just held Bishopric till 63 AD when he was also murdered by the Pharisees of Jerusalem. His cousin Simeon son of Clopas succeeded the Bishopric duties of the Christian Church till Rome sacked the entire city in 70 AD and murdered the Jews by the thousands. It was then that the entire congregation fled Jerusalem to Pella which was one of the Decapolis cities and rural ares of Gilead and Bashan.

After the Roman rage was over the congregation moved back to Jerusalem and rebuilt the church. Simeon continued to be Bishiop of the Christian church till 106 AD and at 120 years of age was crucified by the Romans because he was accused by the pharisees as being from the royal family of David. The Christian church lasted thereafter till 132 to 135 when Jerusalem was sacked again by Hadrian who rebuilt Jerusalem and forbid any Jews to enter the new city called Aeila Capitolina.

From this point on the Christian church records are lost to history but from its inception till 135 we have a clear history of the first Christian Church. This was a Jewish organization from its birth till 135 AD and that is a fact. Now during this 105 year period we see the Apostles as well as the founders of Christianity dying off. Much has been lost due to Roman butchers but we also know that there was no need for a canonized new testament. We had letters as well as sermons from the Apostles themselves.

Unfortunately the letters were worn out and copies made. The Roman apostates who usurped the authority of the true church (which they themselves destroyed) have reaped their spoils to this day. Now they are called Christians along with all of the other numerous denominations which have sprung from their loins. They do not even resemble the first church in prayer or any liturgy that existed at its conception.

So does this Taussig have the right to embrace more error into his belief? Absolutely he has that right the same as Rome had the right to do as it had done and all of the rest of the many denominations have their right to believe whatsoever they choose to believe. Are they all Christianity? Not for a moment is that true but it still is their right to believe that it is true. This is why the word Christianity is a misnomer. It is a garbage dump for all the many denominations which need recognition. Simply put them all into the same category and let the followers sort out the details.

Could you ever convince a Roman Catholic that their first Pope, Peter, was a Jew? Not in a million years would that fly. Too many other spins to spin. I am quite sure that the Catholic liturgy was never in Hebrew nor even Greek and has never resembled the Jerusalem church. Each and every denomination has its own belief and that is their right as a human but whether they are right or not is another fact. Just as the true Christians found out, we shall in like manner also find out one day but meanwhile this Gnostic hogwash will not mean a thing to those who are aware of true Christianity.



posted on Mar, 7 2013 @ 05:09 PM
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Seede


Yes and no.-- Is that a cop out?


No, but I wonder whether there are books that you would add to or remove from the canonical New Testament that reflect your take on Christianity's first century or so.

A few points, though. There's pretty good agreement what Mormons mean by being a "church of Jesus Christ," and an acceptance by them that they simply are not Nicene Christians. Conversely, Catholics see that they have some things in common with all Nicene Christians, for example, baptism. They are in closer communion with some churches than with others, but I doubt that they would deny the Christianity of any Nicene profession, and they respect the apostolic succession of churches that have that feature, regardless of communion status.

And a very small point, I've never met an educated Western adult, much less an adult Roman Catholic, who didn't know that Jesus and the First Apostles were all Jewish. Speaking of things that the existing canon makes clear
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edit on 7-3-2013 by eight bits because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 7 2013 @ 08:13 PM
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Text No, but I wonder whether there are books that you would add to or remove from the canonical New Testament that reflect your take on Christianity's first century or so.
reply to post by eight bits
 


@ eight bits
Thank you for telling it the way it should be told. No, there are no books that I would personally recommend to be stricken from canonization because the overseers of that literature have the right to do as they see fit and I am in no part of any organized religions. Who am I to object to any authority when I am not subject to that authority? Each denomination has their own right to do as they see fit as long as it does not harm another person of opposing faith. My church has been destroyed by Rome well over 1800 years ago with the exception of that which is left in my heart. I hold no malice for the people of this present day simply because none of these living souls had anything to do with the Jerusalem church being destroyed.

Also I would not recommend any additional books to the present ordained literature simply because my literature would not fit into any portion of the present canonization. Naturally I am not referring to the portion of Torah because Torah was Torah before the Jerusalem church and the Jerusalem church's foundation is Jesus. The letters and original sermons are lost forever of the Apostolic church and what we have now is arguments and schism. Some is probably true and some is probably embellished somewhat. We have no way of really knowing the entirety of the truth.

Our American culture is now as ungodly as any other culture. The churches are beyond solving the falling away from God simply because they are part and parcel of their own condemnations which they preach. The ship has lost its rudder and is lost. Look in Isaiah - The bricks have fallen and the sycamores have been cut down.



posted on Mar, 9 2013 @ 02:53 PM
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reply to post by BlueMule
 


Originally posted by BlueMule

Originally posted by JesuitGarlic
For a person who offers prayers to dead humans he calls holy, prayers to false gods that desired human sacrifice and turn out to be Lucifer in disguise, then I think your idea of truth and Christianity is fully warped and no authority to judge which direction it should go.




My authority to offer an opinion about which way Christianity should go comes from years of studying comparative religion, comparative mythology, comparative mysticism... and of course my mystical experiences seen in light of that tri-angulated, panoramic, cross-cultural view, and of course from being raised Catholic.

As opposed to the myopic, local, tiny view of ignorant uninitiated dogmatic fundamentalist fools.

JesuitGarlic mentioned that your idea of truth and Christianity is warped.

You came back with: "years of studying comparative religion"

Religion is NOTHING but lies which explains WHY your idea of truth is so warped.

Satan is the author of religion.

God is the author of truth.

They are opposites and have nothing in common except for the fact that one is real and one is an imposter.

To all those studying religions: STOP!

It is nothing but mind control and propaganda and it is only serving one purpose: DECEPTION.



posted on Mar, 20 2013 @ 08:57 PM
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reply to post by Akragon
 


The 4 Gospels are in contextual agreement.
The first 3 Gospels share more contextual agreement than the 4th.
I don't see it a stretch to refer to the whole she-bang as synoptic.

Jesus did not say men were gods. He quoted a portion of Psalms referring to men who were given the divine appointment to judge, with the intention of such appointment being to reflect the image in which they were created as representatives of God on earth, yet their judgment was perverse and errant.
Just like the Pharisees of whom He was speaking to, whose judgment of Christ's authority was also errant and perverse.

His point was also that if their own law, in effect which had become their God in lieu of God Himself, referred to men as divinely appointed judges as representatives of God, then they were being hypocritical for acting like total douchebags when He referred to Himself as God's representative, in which case, His Son.

The word is rendered in most translations of this particular verse as 'gods' from the original Hebrew word 'Elohim' which is also used for Almighty 'God', 'powers' or 'strong ones'. The word is identical to the usual plural of 'el' meaning lesser 'gods' or 'magistrates'.

Unfortunately, many Gnostic-based faiths use this incident to support the heretical claim of men having the capability of becoming gods, rendering mankind's need for God and ultimately the whole notion of salvation itself, of no effect.
Deception is truly a subtle beast.



posted on Mar, 20 2013 @ 10:07 PM
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reply to post by stupid girl
 


Well said for the most part


The 4 Gospels are in contextual agreement.
The first 3 Gospels share more contextual agreement than the 4th.


Actually not so much... John introduces many new ideas to the story... The synoptic texts can actually be compared side by side and they say pretty much the same thing... they use the same terminology... and in some cases they are verbatim.

Which is the basis behind the Q theory... that being all three writers may have gotten the material from one source...


I don't see it a stretch to refer to the whole she-bang as synoptic.


I actually used to think that as well... Though you can find many comparisons to the synoptics and john's gospel in Thomas...


Unfortunately, many Gnostic-based faiths use this incident to support the heretical claim of men having the capability of becoming gods, rendering mankind's need for God and ultimately the whole notion of salvation itself, of no effect.
Deception is truly a subtle beast.


Just as in many "Christian" based faiths... there are disagreements in gnostic faiths as well...

but to group the entire library into the "anti-Christ" category... that's a bit much... Once one actually reads what gnostic scripture says... its clear they are not against Christ... they merely have different ideas of him... which happen to go against what "the church" tells you to believe...

For instance... I personally think "the Vatican" is the church of Mammon... but I wouldn't group every Catholic into that category...



edit on 20-3-2013 by Akragon because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 20 2013 @ 10:23 PM
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reply to post by Akragon
 



Which is the basis behind the Q theory... that being all three writers may have gotten the material from one source...

Actually, one of the more reasonable theories is that Mark was written first, and then Luke and Matthew used Mark, supplemented by Q (and their own expansions of the basic statements found in Q.) My personal belief is that Matthew (the Apostle) wrote a now lost to us Gospel in Hebrew, which was summarized by Mark, used in conjunction with Q to produce Luke, and then translated, and modified in the translation, into the Greek Matthew that we now have.

However, it must be noted that Q is completely theoretical -- there is zero evidence that such a document actually existed.



posted on Mar, 20 2013 @ 10:29 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen
reply to post by Akragon
 



Which is the basis behind the Q theory... that being all three writers may have gotten the material from one source...

Actually, one of the more reasonable theories is that Mark was written first, and then Luke and Matthew used Mark, supplemented by Q (and their own expansions of the basic statements found in Q.) My personal belief is that Matthew (the Apostle) wrote a now lost to us Gospel in Hebrew, which was summarized by Mark, used in conjunction with Q to produce Luke, and then translated, and modified in the translation, into the Greek Matthew that we now have.

However, it must be noted that Q is completely theoretical -- there is zero evidence that such a document actually existed.


interesting theory... and of course you are correct... there is no evidence of Q...

Actually I kinda prefer the idea that the Q theory points to direct witnesses to Jesus... instead of it being another text... Perhaps Q was actually Jesus himself...

Not to be confused with the StarTrek counterpart....


Just my opinion though...



posted on Mar, 21 2013 @ 09:38 PM
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Originally posted by Akragon

Actually I kinda prefer the idea that the Q theory points to direct witnesses to Jesus... instead of it being another text... Perhaps Q was actually Jesus himself...


Brilliant deduction. I totally dig that conclusion and hereby formally deem it "My Favorite".



posted on Apr, 15 2013 @ 08:49 AM
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I am currently reading The Real Jesus by Luke Timothy Johnson (subtitled "The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus and the Truth of the Traditional Gospels") and laughed at this paragraph last night, which has some application for the so-called "Church Council" that came up with A New New Testament.


Historians of early Christianity begin to appear like jigsaw puzzle solvers who are presented with twenty-seven pieces of a thousand piece puzzle and find that only six or seven of the pieces even fit together. The reasonable thing to do would be to put those pieces together, make some guess about what that part of the puzzle might be about, and then modestly decline over-speculation about the pieces that don't fit. These solvers, in contrast, throw away the central piece, the Acts of the Apostles, that enables any connections to be made at all. Then they insist on bringing in pieces from other puzzles. Finally, they take this jumble of pieces, sketch an outline of what the history ought to look like (on the basis of some universal puzzle pattern), and then proceed to reshape these pieces until they fit in that pattern. (Johnson, Luke Timothy, The Real Jesus, pg 95)

That, in a nutshell, is exactly why Albert Schweitzer dismissed the 19th Century quest for the historical Jesus, and why the current efforts in the same direction should be similarly discarded. The likelihood that one will find historical truth through historical methods that presuppose what that truth entails is far to small to put any faith in.

One does not find an accurate "New New Testament" when one bases said text on pieces from other jigsaw puzzles, and the "church council" is made up of members who see nothing wrong with that approach.



posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 02:43 AM
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Greetings, adj

Yes, that is a funny passage.

When I look back at what Haussig, and maybe others in the 2NT group, were supposedly trying to accomplish, it was in large part to find ancient non-canonical but arguably Christian writing that elicits a reaction from modern readers. Despite the hype focusing on the "New Orleans Council," a lot of Haussig's testimony about where the project came from involves what a secular marketing consultant would call "focus groups."

Haussig would convene ordinary people, maybe in his capacity as a working pastor, and the group would open up, say, Thomas. In Haussig's experience, people would warm to the task, and by the end of the meeting, be gung-ho on the "Fifth Gospel," Gnostic accretions and all, of course. There's nothing in these war stories about trying to find a core Thomas that might be authentic and early.

So, there really wasn't much of a "historical" agenda to puzzle out. Primarily, 2NT is a revisionist initiative - to make another religion, an alternative to the living religions that do, one way or another, root thtmeselves in the apostolic tradition of Jesus that found its way into the canon. Acts of the Apostles is still there, but on a par with Paul and Thecla...

(The only Catholic invited to the Council was unable to participate because of health or other commitments. Since we all know how rare Catholics are in the United States, it was obviously impossible to replace this invitee with a different token Catholic. Ironically, then, the Council didn't look much at Tradition which shares apostolic roots with the existing canon. Need I say that the only Mary who was fully welcome in the Big Easy was the Magdalene?)

I haven't read Professor Johnson's book you cited, but I did watch this interview with him on Big Think,

bigthink.com...

It seemed like an efficient introduction (about 45 minutes, edited in the Big Think "highlights in context" style) to his ideas and perspective, for those who might be interested in a learned conservative Catholic's take on early Christianity. I thought his analysis of the ancient Gnostics was especially good. His emphasis on temperament as a factor in religious compatibility explains how you and I manage to coexist cordially, despite a complete lack of shared doctrinal belief.





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