When You Think About It In Layman's Terms

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posted on May, 25 2013 @ 01:17 AM
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reply to post by qualm91

Greetings, fairly new member.
and belated welcome.

I'm still just on your first post, I'm looking forward to catching up in this thread. I like this paragraph:


I have, in fact, read the Bible through-and-through multiple times in an attempt to reach God. I have not reached him, and from what I have learned about this amazing creator of all things, I do not wish to reach him. Jesus, I believe, was a great man. A kind man with a gentle heart who taught wonderful lessons which should be remembered always. God, however, is frankly a prick.

You will find a few members who agree with you completely.

Some of us have refined some definitions though:
Old Testament gods who somehow became thought of as one character
is not the real God, who is beyond being a mere character in a story. Some of us suspect that Jesus knew something about the real God.

Thank you for the thread. I'll try to catch up now.




posted on May, 25 2013 @ 03:13 AM
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reply to post by Agree2Disagree

Cargo Cults are described in Christopher Hitchens, god is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, chapter eleven, "The Lowly Stamp of Their Origin":Religion's Corrupt Beginnings" I do believe that was my favorite chapter in the book.


what correlations can be made between the rise of cargo cults and the rise of Christianity? i.e. What was the profound and powerful "force" that prompted the rise of Christianity?

My guess would have to be Jerusalem's encounter with Rome,

If I remember correctly, Jerusalem was part of the Parthian Empire, Herod the Great hooked up with a Roman general who would later become Emperor. They took Jerusalem for Rome. (I'm just doing this from flawed memory, fact check required)

Rome became a model for the Jews of what empire meant. Messianic ambitions arose in some quarters based upon some post-exile "prophecies" of Jerusalem becoming the World capital.

The framework of the Gospel of Matthew is pretty much a "proof" that Jesus was the expected son of David (complete with genealogy). There's a bit of a chicken/egg conundrum here though.

1) Did Jesus originate this "Kingdom of God" idea, or did his "Kingdom of God" redefine and derail someone else's previous violent overthrow of Rome plans? Thus saving his generation from rebellion.
2) Did Jesus live during the time he was supposed to have lived, or did he live closer to the time of the failed rebellion that resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem, so that his prediction of defeat by Rome was more timely?



posted on May, 25 2013 @ 10:53 AM
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reply to post by Cogito, Ergo Sum


This seems to be where the bulk of our biblical "truth" comes from. A situation where attitudes are changing, but change is never easy. I have little doubt that one day jesus will be found not at the right hand of god, as much as sitting between Apollo and Osiris.


Many times people have "found" Jesus to be a retelling of one culture or another's favorite cult figure. Such ideas are quite popular in some circles: especially the ones that view Christianity as a religion organically arising as another iteration of an age old formula.

The cult figures have their heyday in specific times and places, and then they retire. Christianity, and its cult figure, Jesus has had it's heyday (I think the bulk of which, we call the Dark Ages). What we see today in Christianity seems to be a frantic scramble to restore the heyday.

This can be compared to the time in Greek history when Philosophy was supplanting the traditional piety of Greece. I remember from High School that one of the purposes of the Greek tragedies was to restore piety through restoring a certain dread of the gods. Sophocles, Oedipus the King, is what we were reading aloud as an example.

Socrates died during a time of turmoil (similar to today's Christianity), Though he had his own sense of piety, that didn't satisfy the politically recognized form of piety. Jesus can be compared to Socrates in that respect.

I don't think Jesus will be found amongst the retired gods, the ones who are enjoying their rewards on Olympus. There is another class of gods that are above those gods. They didn't retire, but rather were elevated far above Olympus. Such as Chiron, who was not the figure of any major cult.

If any meaningful Jesus is to be found, he will not be found in the frantic revival of a cult. He will be found in a quiet working. A text comes to mind:

"My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working."
- - John 5:17


edit on 25-5-2013 by pthena because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 25 2013 @ 12:36 PM
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reply to post by Cogito, Ergo Sum

Just my luck! I finally get caught up in this thread only to discover that the discussion has pretty much ended! So it goes. I'll just go ahead and gather my thoughts anyway.


Yet it is known amongst sociologists that religion is directly related to dysfunction in societies in which it proliferates. This presents quite a dilemma. I agree christians are just like anyone else with only one belief being the difference, why is religion (christianity) synonymous with societal ill health?

The terms that I learned in Sociology 101 have changed. The basic definitions do remain however.
from: Function, Misfunction, & Dysfunction
to
Manifest Function, Latent Function, and Dysfunction. (see Yahoo Answers)

I can use Luther's (maybe Melanchthon's, or even Martin Chemnitz')(see footnote) Three Uses of the Law as an example. I think that religion can be substituted for Law without doing violence to the general idea.

1) The function of religion is to provide a mutually agreed upon mythos within which a harmonious society can function.

2) The misfunction or latent function is the fear and guilt inherent in the mythos which is supposed to drive people toward a greater reliance in devotion to the cult figure as a comfort from guilt

3) The dysfunction arises as a result of the fact that there really was/is no unanimity about what the core mythos is. Conflict is the result. Guilt ridden factions of society, thinking they had reached the guilt-free state promised in 2 above, yet not guilt-free in conscience, turn their internal conflict outward seeking to find the cause. Persecution of "the other" is the result.

From what I've seen of some posters in this forum, there is the tendency to assume that their own particular mythos is the accepted mythos. They then assume a position of authority from which they beat upon the dissenters.

The problem is that, no, that mythos is not the universally accepted mythos. It just isn't.







(footnote) I can't fact check everything because if I did, I would easily lose my train of thought.
edit on 25-5-2013 by pthena because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 25 2013 @ 04:52 PM
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Originally posted by pthena

My guess would have to be Jerusalem's encounter with Rome,

If I remember correctly, Jerusalem was part of the Parthian Empire, Herod the Great hooked up with a Roman general who would later become Emperor. They took Jerusalem for Rome. (I'm just doing this from flawed memory, fact check required)

Rome became a model for the Jews of what empire meant. Messianic ambitions arose in some quarters based upon some post-exile "prophecies" of Jerusalem becoming the World capital.

The framework of the Gospel of Matthew is pretty much a "proof" that Jesus was the expected son of David (complete with genealogy). There's a bit of a chicken/egg conundrum here though.

1) Did Jesus originate this "Kingdom of God" idea, or did his "Kingdom of God" redefine and derail someone else's previous violent overthrow of Rome plans? Thus saving his generation from rebellion.
2) Did Jesus live during the time he was supposed to have lived, or did he live closer to the time of the failed rebellion that resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem, so that his prediction of defeat by Rome was more timely?


Thank you for your interest. It's hard to have honest and open discussions of interest here on ATS....

Anyways, your general thought isn't really too far from my own.
I believe that Christianity did in fact rise much like a "cargo cult" would have. However, I believe that initial force was actually Jesus Christ. However, I also believe that much of the prophetic texts of the Jewish belief system were more likely assigned to Christ and not simply fulfilled by his actions.

For example, first century child birth was not at all comparable to child birth in the 21st century. There were no pain relievers. Births were very often complicated. Also, the living conditions we know existed during the first century in biblical locations are not easy to bear with. Thievery and murder were much more commonplace than what we see today. The area was also greatly impacted by diseases such as malaria and leprosy. So much so that almost 50% of first century children died before the age of 12.

Anyways, what we know about first century living conditions and child birth leads me to the conclusion that Mary(Jesus' mother) probably did not give birth to Jesus in Bethlehem. I just don't believe a pregnant mother would journey on donkey about 70 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem....for...a census...

This is my first example of how I believe the historical figure Jesus was "assigned" prophetic texts to fit the Jews want/need for a Savior. I also believe that most "weak" or "human" prophecies were also assigned. For example...

These are some of the prophecies of validation for the Jewish Savior:

He was to be a “second” Moses (prophet)
He was to be a “second” David (Davidic king)
He was to be a “second” Melchizedek (Kingly Priest)
He was to be a faithful priest (as opposed to Eli)
He was to be a Rejected Messiah
He was to be a Betrayed Messiah
He was to be a killed-and-resurrected Davidic king
He was to come in power ‘on clouds’
He was to come in weakness ‘on a donkey’
He was to be a Teacher of the Gentiles
He was to be a “Breaker” (Micah 2.12-13) of both external enemies and of internal power elites within Israel (and ‘stone of stumbling’)
He was to be a Suffering Servant
He was to be Ruler of All Nations (and destroyer of all wicked, so there could be peace in the world)
He was to be Sacrifice for the sins of Israel
He was to Redeem (Release) Israel from bondage to foreign powers
He was to Save (in the future) all those who believed (in the present)

In bold I have highlighted what I believe to be prophetic texts "assigned" to Jesus Christ the historical figure. Or rather, prophetic texts that were added into the Savior validation prophecies to make Jesus Christ appear as if he was what the Jews were waiting for....
(Possibly more to come, have to step out for awhile)
A2D



posted on May, 25 2013 @ 05:27 PM
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reply to post by Agree2Disagree

I was hoping you would come back. And I hope you have patience too. And I'm glad that this thread is "Layman's View", because quite frankly, I'd be hard pressed to produce references to all the evidence which leaves a general impression within this layman's heart.


Anyways, your general thought isn't really too far from my own.
I believe that Christianity did in fact rise much like a "cargo cult" would have. However, I believe that initial force was actually Jesus Christ. However, I also believe that much of the prophetic texts of the Jewish belief system were more likely assigned to Christ and not simply fulfilled by his actions.

The assigning of the pre-existing "prophecy fullfilled-ness" is very self evident especially in Matthew.

I read Caesar's messiah by joseph atwill recently and found the argument of why the teachings of Jesus would have been codified in the way they were (Gospels). As a counter revolution against the violent Messianic movements. The "cargo cult" encounter would still be the meeting of Jerusalem and Rome. The irony being that the violent Messianic and the counter peaceful movement both arise from the encounter.

This doesn't place the actual teaching period of Jesus in any particular time period for me. Anywhere between the time Herod took the throne all the way up to the destruction of Jerusalem. There are elements of temporal context teachings interspersed with timeless teachings. The temporal don't all seem to be the same context. I think that's why many people conclude that Jesus is a composite. I don't particularly agree with that conclusion.

I think there is something about this that is more than manufactured as Atwill presents it.



posted on May, 25 2013 @ 06:36 PM
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I wrote A LOT in response to this thread however for now I'll taken Charles 1952 route and will answer as succinctly as possible (for me..this IS the short version!) ) with a few of the OP questions.

What is hell?

Hell is the translation from the Hebrew Sheol and Greek Hades which means the grave..the realm of the dead..the realm of imperception.It is NOT an eternal place of torment or the Lake of Fire.First eternal is translated from "aion" which means age or age lasting not infinite time..It is defined time.It is also translated world.
Torment comes from touchstone which is what is used to test the purity of gold.And lastly the lake of fire is symbolic as is ALL of Revelation...it is not "hell" the eternal place of punishment .The Lake of Fire is "damnation" which damn is translated from krisis(where we get crisis) which means turning point....change.. judgment ...in essence a cleansing...God is not an unjust merciless monster.There is no place that is eternal punishment of hell.

In one sense we are already in hades...the realm of imperception of the spirit realm...because ...we cannot perceive the spirit realm. It is beyond our 3 dimensions while at the same time encompassing them.We only see our "flat" version of it.All of these words are easily found for anyone that cares to look in the concordant.The translations and more importantly what has been taught for millenia in the church is abominable... "deny ignorance" .

As for God making something "equal" to God..God cannot "create"perfection from imperfection because ...it is imperfect.Imperfection is the base meaning of sin..missing/falling short of the mark of perfection....i.e...the mark of the beast of man written of in Revelation 13:18.All of creation (including mankind)is being transformed (changed).However God did beget perfection.Begetting and transformation can't be proven because it is spiritual however they are evidenced in the physical realm by signifying.These "signs" are the shadow of the spirit realm and how all life is born and grows...through math.

The foundation of the most significant numbers of math(spirit) is the Fibonacci number (Fn) sequence.
0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89,144,233......to infinity.

It is a recursive pattern that is made from 2 numbers summing to a 3rd(No it is NOT a trinity..that is false doctrine also).It is the growth pattern of EVERYTHING living.It is so simple a child can understand it but infinitely complex in its application.

It "begins" with "1"..unity.....1 has nothing before it so nothing"0" can be added to it.
Fn0=0
Fn1=1...unity

The 1st step in the infinite equation.God begats himself

Fn0+Fn1=Fn2
0+1=1
Fn2=1

Fn0=the void
Fn1=God The Father
Fn2=God the Son

the next step

Fn1+Fn2=Fn3
1+1=2
Fn3=2
Fn3=The Creation

The pattern continues on for infinity everything growing in "relationship" from the prior.....which is the Golden ratio of phi/Phi(1:0.618.....1:1.618.....) which the Fibonacci sequence sums by dividing adjacent Fn into each other.

1/1=1
2/1=2
1/2=0.5
3/2=1.5
2/3=0.666
5/3=1.666
3/5=0.6
8/5=1.6
etc..etc until

Fn11/Fn12= 89/144=0.618,055,555,555...
Fn13/Fn12=233/144=1.618,055,555,555.....

Notice Fn3/Fn4=..2/3=0.666

It is the "mark" of the beast of man of Revelation 13:18.There are MANY more examples of this"number"(666 is NOT evil) but this is where it is born from.It is the early stages of phi.The beauty of phi/Phi is ....it is an irrational number and NEVER resolves because it is INFINITE....

If you do the calculation you will notice phi/Phi at Fn11/Fn12 and Fn13/Fn12 is where phi/Phi ....0.618 to 1.618..stabilizes for infinity...The process is ALL salvation...it is forming mankind (and ALL of creation) into Gods "image" (not God) into a "relationship (ratio).
Fn1 and Fn2=1
1: 0.618.......
1: 1.618......

Notice the significant number 144(Fn12) is the divisor of both equations that sum 0.618..1.618....phi/ Phi.That is the 144 thousand(thousand means phi/Phi...phi/Phi is the 21st letter in Greek and it's number value is 500...500+500=1,000).
144 thousand isn't a quantity it is a quality....Phi...It is called the "1st fruits"(Rev 14:1).It is the 1st "Golden" ratio of creation to "mature".The maturing in a relationship(ratio) with The Creator God.

The rub is God is not revealing to us the intricacies that is being done only that it IS being done.It is all perfect and logical(mathematical) ...what doesn't make sense TO US is our experience in this realm...the valley of the shadow of death.However the fact is... it is ALL being summed in the perfect equation of Life (the meaning of spirit) in the process of salvation.


edit on 25-5-2013 by Rex282 because: (no reason given)
edit on 25-5-2013 by Rex282 because: (no reason given)
edit on 25-5-2013 by Rex282 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 25 2013 @ 08:09 PM
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Originally posted by pthena

The assigning of the pre-existing "prophecy fullfilled-ness" is very self evident especially in Matthew.

I read Caesar's messiah by joseph atwill recently and found the argument of why the teachings of Jesus would have been codified in the way they were (Gospels). As a counter revolution against the violent Messianic movements. The "cargo cult" encounter would still be the meeting of Jerusalem and Rome. The irony being that the violent Messianic and the counter peaceful movement both arise from the encounter.

This doesn't place the actual teaching period of Jesus in any particular time period for me. Anywhere between the time Herod took the throne all the way up to the destruction of Jerusalem. There are elements of temporal context teachings interspersed with timeless teachings. The temporal don't all seem to be the same context. I think that's why many people conclude that Jesus is a composite. I don't particularly agree with that conclusion.

I think there is something about this that is more than manufactured as Atwill presents it.



Unfortunately I cannot bring myself to believe much of Atwill puts forth inCaesar's Messiah. My problem being Atwill's presumption that two diametrically opposed movements could not be created by Judaism(obviously violent messianic/peaceful messianic, much like MLK Jr. and Malcolm X). From my point of view, I just don't see the "peaceful" messianic movement even being in play during the first century. If the texts can even be considered at this point, Jesus himself even said that he did not bring a message of peace, but one of the sword. I do not see this simple message that's drowning in implications being an addition to the texts made by Rome. It simply doesn't fit the presupposed goal.

In conclusion, I really don't see Rome being in the mix a whole lot concerning the Messianic movements of the first century. Indeed I see them as almost exclusively Jewish. I do however believe that Rome may have adopted the movement sometime after they realised that the movement was not going away, even after the crucifixion(which ironically only made the movement that much more powerful as opposed to destroying it completely).

"If you can't beat them, join them." (But of course the Roman Empire would have to institute some changes..)

A2D
edit on 25-5-2013 by Agree2Disagree because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 25 2013 @ 10:37 PM
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reply to post by Agree2Disagree


In conclusion,

Do you mean by this, a final conclusion, or a tentative conclusion?


I really don't see Rome being in the mix a whole lot concerning the Messianic movements of the first century. Indeed I see them as almost exclusively Jewish.

By bringing up Atwill, I was not suggesting that Jesus or his followers were Romans or acting as agents of Rome. I was suggesting that there was a need in the first century for someone to counter the rise of Messianic movements.

You brought up the "cargo cults" which by definition is the native population mimicking actions that they had seen in order to reap some reward. This is seen in this parable here:

Luke 19:11 As they heard these things, he went on and told a parable, because he was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the Kingdom of God would be revealed immediately. 12 He said therefore, "“A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13 He called ten servants of his, and gave them ten mina coins, and told them, ‘Conduct business until I come.’ 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent an envoy after him, saying, ‘We don’t want this man to reign over us.’

15 “It happened when he had come back again, having received the kingdom, that he commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by conducting business.
- - WEB

This imagery was not only in the Book of Daniel, in the son of man vision, (see Dan 7) but it had already been seen to happen for real when Herod went to Rome to get the Senate's approval of the Judean throne.

This sets a rule. Philo went to Rome to make appeals, (may have died there(?), Rabbi Akiba also went to Rome in order to have his Messiah bar Kokhba recognized by Rome (132 CE(?))

This would be the primary aspect as a "cargo cult". This doesn't mean that Jesus, his followers, or the Gospel writers were necessarily Roman, or Roman agents. They would have been following the example of Jeremiah who recommended making peace with Neo-Babylonian Empire before the exile of 500s BC or so.

If a movement following the "appeal to Rome" cult coexisted with an "overthrow Rome and rule the World from Jerusalem" cult, they would have, of necessity, been at odds with one another. Is it possible that Jesus actually lead an armed group that opposed Messianic Zionism? Yes, I think it is possible.
edit on 25-5-2013 by pthena because: (no reason given)
edit on 25-5-2013 by pthena because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 26 2013 @ 01:14 AM
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Originally posted by pthena

Do you mean by this, a final conclusion, or a tentative conclusion?


Tentative. Obviously



By bringing up Atwill, I was not suggesting that Jesus or his followers were Romans or acting as agents of Rome. I was suggesting that there was a need in the first century for someone to counter the rise of Messianic movements.

I wasn't trying to imply that Jesus or his followers were agents of Rome...if it sounded as such I apologize. More specifically I was intending to say that there was apparently no counter to the rise of Messianic movements. Everything done to "counter" the movement did in fact only strengthen it.


You brought up the "cargo cults" which by definition is the native population mimicking actions that they had seen in order to reap some reward. This is seen in this parable here:

Luke 19:11 As they heard these things, he went on and told a parable, because he was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the Kingdom of God would be revealed immediately. 12 He said therefore, "“A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13 He called ten servants of his, and gave them ten mina coins, and told them, ‘Conduct business until I come.’ 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent an envoy after him, saying, ‘We don’t want this man to reign over us.’

15 “It happened when he had come back again, having received the kingdom, that he commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by conducting business.
- - WEB

Although I see the relation, I don't quite see any mimicry involved. But...it IS a parable....so I really can't say much concerning this passage...


This would be the primary aspect as a "cargo cult". This doesn't mean that Jesus, his followers, or the Gospel writers were necessarily Roman, or Roman agents. They would have been following the example of Jeremiah who recommended making peace with Neo-Babylonian Empire before the exile of 500s BC or so.

If a movement following the "appeal to Rome" cult coexisted with an "overthrow Rome and rule the World from Jerusalem" cult, they would have, of necessity, been at odds with one another. Is it possible that Jesus actually lead an armed group that opposed Messianic Zionism? Yes, I think it is possible.


Again, I don't see much "making peace" involved within the gospels either. What I DO see is peaceful opposition. From what I've taken, it's generally my position that Jesus was a 1st century version of MLK Jr. However, I'm still open to new suggestions and information.

A2D



posted on May, 26 2013 @ 12:01 PM
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reply to post by Agree2Disagree
We kind of skipped over the obvious "assignments" ascribed to Jesus, you did discuss the unlikelihood that he was born in Bethlehem. I would also add that he was more likely related to the priesthood, rather than to the line of David.


that there was apparently no counter to the rise of Messianic movements. Everything done to "counter" the movement did in fact only strengthen it.
. . .
But...it IS a parable....so I really can't say much concerning this passage...

I think that the key lies in distinguishing when the teachings and parables of Jesus are actually heavily sarcastic parodies of the other movement's teachings.

Just reading it without a cue such as: ' and Jesus scoffed, and in a voice dripping with sarcasm said, "The kingdom of God is like ..." ' leaves the reader a bit confused about whether Jesus is serious or making fun.

I'm at a disadvantage here, because I haven't been keeping up with all the scholarship of the last 30 years or so. I have a list of books about the first century that I would like to read, but haven't ordered them yet. So whatever I know, or think that I know, is rather fragmentary at best.

The evidence of a counter to the movements seems to be that no rebellion occurred that was major enough that it required a severe put down such as what occurred in or about 66 AD.

Herod died in 4BCE, last king of the "united kingdom", the territory became split up amongst his sons. Archelaus became ethnarch of the tetrarchy of Judea. Ethnarch would be "king of the Jews".

I think that I'm rambling here. I better quit for a while.



posted on May, 28 2013 @ 01:09 PM
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Originally posted by qualm91
reply to post by LastStarfighter
 


You are incredibly condescending. My answers do not contradict each other in the slightest. I never once said in this post that God "wasn't there", I reiterated multiple times that I believe in a god of some sort just not The God. I wasn't declaring at all that it is ridiculous to believe in God, either.

I would like to thank you for your contribution, though, because you proved a point that I was getting at. You are essentially attacking me and trying to insult me because you didn't like what I had to say, but from what I gather, you are someone who believes in God. And aren't people who believe in God simply supposed to provide us "nonbelievers" with answers and help us find the way instead of breaking us down and making us feel like trash?




I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you.



posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 04:44 AM
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