Psycho-Babble Faith Thread 297550

Shown: posts 1 to 25 of 40. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

How to justify pagan roots?

Posted by Miss Honeychurch on January 7, 2004, at 8:34:12

I seem to be going through a crisis if faith as of late and would like some opinions. My latest obsession centers around the pagan roots of Christianity. I give the example of the ancient Egyptian god Osiris. He was born from a virgin, died, was resurrected, and went to Egyptian heaven where he judges the living and the dead.

Please tell me how I can now justify that Jesus is just not the Christian Osiris? I love my religion (Catholocism). How do I process this? ANy thoughts??

 

Re: How to justify pagan roots? ps

Posted by Miss Honeychurch on January 7, 2004, at 8:43:18

In reply to How to justify pagan roots?, posted by Miss Honeychurch on January 7, 2004, at 8:34:12

And Osiris is just ONE example of such Christ figures.

My brother tells me to look at it as a sort of PR plan of God's to introduce Christ in a context which people would already be familiar with. Can I really buy that theory?

 

Nothing in Christianity is original.....

Posted by Jai Narayan on January 7, 2004, at 9:07:08

In reply to How to justify pagan roots?, posted by Miss Honeychurch on January 7, 2004, at 8:34:12

this is a quote from a book named "The Da Vinci Code".
"Historians still marvel at the brilliance with which Constantine converted the sun-worshipping pagans to Christianity. By fusing pagan symbols, dates, and rituals into the growing Christian traditions, he created a kind of hybrid religion that was acceptable to both parties".
"Transmogrification, the vestiges of pagan religion in Christian symbology are undeniable. Egyptian sun disks became the halos of Catholic saints. Pictograms of Isis nursing her miraculously conceived son Horus became the blueprint for our modern images of the Virgin Mary nursing Baby Jesus. The pre-Christian God Mithras-called the Son of God and the Light of the World-was born on December 25, died, was buried in a rock tomb, and then resurrected in three days. ...December 25 is also the birthday of Osiris, Adonis, and Dionysus. The newborn Krishna was presented with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Even Christianity's weekly holy days was stolen from the pagans."
This passage is on page 232 of the book.
This is a very interesting book about religion.

So you see there's nothing new under the sun.

If you feel it is an important belief for yourself then explore it...see what's real and what's myth.
There is nothing wrong with embracing a myth if it nourishes your mind, body, and spirit.

 

Re: Nothing in Christianity is original.....

Posted by Miss Honeychurch on January 7, 2004, at 10:30:43

In reply to Nothing in Christianity is original....., posted by Jai Narayan on January 7, 2004, at 9:07:08

I have always been fascinated by the pagan roots of all religion which is one reason I love Catholicism so much. I love the polytheistic aspect of the communion of saints as well as Mary's presence.

I just wonder how we know for sure that Jesus was not just another mythical god figure. Does it all come down to pure faith in the end?

 

Re: Nothing in Christianity is original..... Jai Narayan

Posted by judy1 on January 7, 2004, at 11:42:13

In reply to Nothing in Christianity is original....., posted by Jai Narayan on January 7, 2004, at 9:07:08

awesome book BTW- it really opened my eyes. I had no idea how rooted dates, rituals, etc. were to pagan religion. After I read it, I started to question a lot (about things I had always accepted) regarding the Catholic faith.
take care, judy

 

Re: How to justify pagan roots?

Posted by stjames on January 9, 2004, at 1:20:41

In reply to How to justify pagan roots?, posted by Miss Honeychurch on January 7, 2004, at 8:34:12

> Please tell me how I can now justify that Jesus is just not the Christian Osiris? I love my religion (Catholocism). How do I process this? ANy thoughts??

You might also look at how stongly the church
punished and put down paganisim.

 

Re: Nothing in Christianity is original.....

Posted by Jai Narayan on January 9, 2004, at 19:43:51

In reply to Re: Nothing in Christianity is original..... Jai Narayan, posted by judy1 on January 7, 2004, at 11:42:13

> awesome book BTW- it really opened my eyes. I had no idea how rooted dates, rituals, etc. were to pagan religion. After I read it, I started to question a lot (about things I had always accepted) regarding the Catholic faith.
> take care, judy
Judy you are so incredible. I love that people wonder and question. It's all an amazing unfolding of history. I was amazed by the book and I was a catholic from the birth till now. I will always be interested in the unfolding of the faith. It keeps growing and changing. It's not static. I love that. Just like God, it keeps growing.

 

Re: Originality is begging the question Miss Honeychurch

Posted by femlite on January 10, 2004, at 10:46:57

In reply to Re: Nothing in Christianity is original....., posted by Miss Honeychurch on January 7, 2004, at 10:30:43

Though this is a protestant book it is a good source for answers to your question, who was/is Christ.
"More Than a Carpenter" by Josh Mcdowell

I am Eastern Orthodox, converted from agnostism and protestantism. I have also struggled with this question as an Orthodox Christian, but my pre-Protestant days of research on the subject have helped.

Christinaity is a religeon based on revelation. We look to those who have gone before and have aquired great holiness to help guide us. But in a sense it is a question of faith. Faith is a gift from God. Ask Him and his saints to help you.
Sometimes we have to make our choice to believe anew each day, sometimes each moment.
Unbelief and cynicism are the children of modernity.
Judiaism is the precussor of Christianity, and grew at a parallel pace in time to the beliefs of Egypt and the Orient.(remember the stories of Joseph and Pharoh) We believe God has used the truths in those beliefs to prepare the hearts of people in those parts of the world to recieve the revelation of Christ (in the fullness of time), as they desired it.
While there may be similarities (and yes nothing is new under the sun to quote the man the scriptures called one of the wisest in history, King Soloman), there are fine and subtle distinctions for example between the concepts of ancestor worship and honoring the saints of the church. Fine though this distinction may be it is extremely signifigant and not easily understood by those who are outside the Christian church.

Your questions are good and honest. Use them and the intercessions of the saints whom you hold dear, to find the answers.

Christ "types" and figures are just that, types. Moses was a prfigure of Christ, as well as King David and so was Loa Tsu. But there has been no other figures in history exactly like Christ, who claimed not only to be a prophet, but God, since Christ. people can choose not to believe Him, but it was His claim, not only what others said.


> I have always been fascinated by the pagan roots of all religion which is one reason I love Catholicism so much. I love the polytheistic aspect of the communion of saints as well as Mary's presence.
>
> I just wonder how we know for sure that Jesus was not just another mythical god figure. Does it all come down to pure faith in the end?

 

Re: blocked for week stjames

Posted by Dr. Bob on January 10, 2004, at 17:25:59

In reply to Re: How to justify pagan roots?, posted by stjames on January 9, 2004, at 1:20:41

> You might also look at how stongly the church
> punished and put down paganisim.

Please be supportive of religious faith when you post on this board. This has been an issue before, so I'm going to block you from posting for a week again.

Bob

PS: Follow-ups regarding posting policies, and complaints about posts, should be redirected to Psycho-Babble Administration; otherwise, they may be deleted.

 

Re: How to justify pagan roots?

Posted by Miss Honeychurch on January 12, 2004, at 9:43:39

In reply to How to justify pagan roots?, posted by Miss Honeychurch on January 7, 2004, at 8:34:12

Thanks everyone for your replies. I have a lot of reading to do!

 

Re: How to justify pagan roots? stjames

Posted by Miss Honeychurch on January 12, 2004, at 9:47:43

In reply to Re: How to justify pagan roots?, posted by stjames on January 9, 2004, at 1:20:41

stjames, I have NO idea why you were blocked. Your response seemed matter of fact and logical to me. I'm sorry my thread got you blocked!

 

Re: How to justify pagan roots? Miss Honeychurch

Posted by rayww on January 12, 2004, at 10:23:26

In reply to How to justify pagan roots?, posted by Miss Honeychurch on January 7, 2004, at 8:34:12

Isn't wondering about Pagan roots of Christianity somewhat like asking what comes first, the chicken or the egg. I always thought that Christ was the God of the Old Testament, that Christianity began with Adam, and pagan / idol worship evolved away from. The real root of Christianity dates back farther than Osiris. The fact that all influences are felt, may have more to do with tradition than religion. For instance, in most cultures, you can retain the culture and still worship. There are many cultural practises that don't go along with Christianity, but not all.

So, my opinion is that we do not have to justify pagan roots, because they are just a branch off the main. I believe there has never been a moment in time that the earth was left completely void, without a branch of true Christianity, rooted firmly in Jesus Christ, whether on the earth, or in the earth, in the Americas or in Europe, Asia, or isles of the sea. It has always been somewhere. Aside from this, the language of symbolism should not be confused with idol worship, but I really don't know what it is you are referring to when you say pagan roots. What time period did this originate? Don't all christians accept Jesus Christ (part of trinity) as the God of the Old Testament? Don't they beleive Adam and Eve were Christians? That they spoke with Jesus Christ in the Garden of Eden? Just wondering.

 

Re: How to justify pagan roots? rayww

Posted by Miss Honeychurch on January 12, 2004, at 12:19:21

In reply to Re: How to justify pagan roots? Miss Honeychurch, posted by rayww on January 12, 2004, at 10:23:26

I mainly just mean that the Christ figure has been present in many ancient, pagan religions. there are numerous examples of pagan gods being born of a virgin, dying, and resurrecting. Therefore, it makes sense to me that JEsus Christ and his story have pagan roots.

 

Re: How to justify pagan roots?

Posted by rayww on January 12, 2004, at 15:03:51

In reply to Re: How to justify pagan roots? rayww, posted by Miss Honeychurch on January 12, 2004, at 12:19:21

Have you studied the evidence and witnesses?

For the record, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints testifies that Jesus is the very Christ, not of pagan roots, but the literal son of God. Many other churches so testify. But I agree, many have falsly claimed to be the Christ. The scriptures forewarn of that.

http://scriptures.lds.org/query?words=%22false+Christs%22&search.x=23&search.y=11

Emotion, feelings, and passion get in the way of truth. Lest we all forget, me included, the spirit is not an emotion, a passion, or a feeling. The spirit is the Holy Ghost, an actual, literal real personage of spirit, whose sole role it is to testify of the real Jesus Christ. Everyone has access to this witness if they sincerely want to know, but it takes faith, belief, sincerity you know. That's why I ask about evidence and witnesses. Jesus Christ is not just a fable or someone's wild guess. Will the real Jesus please stand up and be counted? Why wait till he appears in the clouds to know for sure? That takes no faith. And the purpose of faith is to know the real Jesus "before" he comes.

 

Re: How to justify pagan roots?

Posted by simus on January 12, 2004, at 23:07:57

In reply to Re: How to justify pagan roots? Miss Honeychurch, posted by rayww on January 12, 2004, at 10:23:26

> Isn't wondering about Pagan roots of Christianity somewhat like asking what comes first, the chicken or the egg. I always thought that Christ was the God of the Old Testament, that Christianity began with Adam, and pagan / idol worship evolved away from.

>The real root of Christianity dates back farther than Osiris. The fact that all influences are felt, may have more to do with tradition than religion. For instance, in most cultures, you can retain the culture and still worship. There are many cultural practises that don't go along with Christianity, but not all.
>
> So, my opinion is that we do not have to justify pagan roots, because they are just a branch off the main. I believe there has never been a moment in time that the earth was left completely void, without a branch of true Christianity, rooted firmly in Jesus Christ, whether on the earth, or in the earth, in the Americas or in Europe, Asia, or isles of the sea. It has always been somewhere. Aside from this, the language of symbolism should not be confused with idol worship, but I really don't know what it is you are referring to when you say pagan roots. What time period did this originate? Don't all christians accept Jesus Christ (part of trinity) as the God of the Old Testament? Don't they beleive Adam and Eve were Christians? That they spoke with Jesus Christ in the Garden of Eden? Just wondering.


Where do you find Christ mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible, possibly other than in the prophetic writings that were referring to the coming of Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah? I am not a scholar, but I do not see any sign of Christianity in the Old Testament. My understanding of the Bible is that the "Old Testament" is referring to the covenant that God made with His people before the coming of Jesus, the Christ. In the Old Testament, the people were under the Mosaic laws, and were required to offer animal sacrifices for their sins. I don't know of any occasion where God's people worshipped, or even knew Jesus.

Upon the birth, life, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our salvation, the "New Testament", or new covenant, came into being. This is the first place I see the term "Christian" used. So, even though I am a Christian to the core of my being, I do not accept Jesus as the God of the Old Testament. Adam and Eve had no opportunity to be Christians that I can see. Whether or not Adam and Eve talked to Jesus, I don't know. They talked to God, they talked to angels and they talked to Satan, so I suppose it is possible that they could have talked to Jesus too. I just don't see it in the Bible, so I don't know. But, like I said, I am not a great scholar, just a Bible reader.

 

Re: How to justify pagan roots? simus

Posted by rayww on January 13, 2004, at 6:23:25

In reply to Re: How to justify pagan roots?, posted by simus on January 12, 2004, at 23:07:57

I assume, by virtue of the term, "Trinity", Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, without beginning or end, etc, that Jesus was included in the Old Testament as well as New Testament, as "the Son" part of the Trinity. Surely the Trinity didn't begin with the definition. If in fact that definition of the Godhead is true, it would have existed from the beginning of time with God, right? (In the beginning was the word and the word was with God, and the word was God) On the other hand,,,,,,if it is not true,,,,,,it could be possible that both Satan and Jesus Christ have been competing a bit here,,,,,Satan trying to be the God of this world, and overthrow Christ, who was actually for-ordained to be so.

One thing for sure, the Trinity does not include Satan, unless of course the definition is wrong. Not meaning Satan is part of the Trinity, but that he would have influenced the definition, that is, if the definition is indeed wrong.

If the definition of the Trinity is wrong, or in error, where would that leave God, the Son, and the Holy Ghost? Where would that leave faith? THis very long link (sorry I can't figure out how to shorten it) addresses these questions and provides much food for thought. Food for thought, I said, if anyone has questions.

http://library.lds.org/nxt/gateway.dll?f=templates$fn=default.htm$xhitlist_q="God%20of%20Old%20Testament"$xhitlist_x=Simple$xhitlist_s=relevance-weight$xhitlist_d=$xhitlist_hc=%5BXML%5D%5Bkwic%2C0%5D$xhitlist_xsl=xhitlist.xsl$xhitlist_vpc=first$xhitlist_sel=title%3Bpath%3Bcontent-type%3Bhome-title%3Bhit-context%3Bfield%3Azr%3Bfield%3ARef


Isaiah in the Old Testament speaks about the coming of Christ as the Messiah. But he also speaks poetically in words that transcend time, words that have application for all time. Great are the words of Isaiah. Even though difficult to understand, it is all there. Isaiah was a brilliant writer, a poet like no other. He refers to both first and second comings of Christ, sometimes within the same verse.

If anyone is still trying to justify pagan roots to Christianity, think of it this way. Satan is at the other end of the rope. His main mission in the tug-o-war is to overthrow Christ. He knows if he can keep us confused as to who is who, that's all he needs to do. As the link describes, just because someone tells you that gunpowder can be grown from a seed, and even if you have all the faith in the world, to plant that seed, water it, nourish it, exercising faith as you pray, still nothing will happen because that faith is based upon an untruth. Gunpowder is not grown from seeds. On the other hand, all things centered in the real Christ, produce fruit, expand, grow, enlighten, enlarge, illuminate, awaken, and most of all, love. God is rooted in love.

How to justify pagan roots in Christianity? The only way I can see is to go back to the definition and take a closer look at that. If the definition, as described in the link, is wrong, then all of Christiandom (not the people, but the church) based upon that definition of the Trinity might be. Is the church growing or withering? Are the people loving or hating? This certainly is a valid thread, and a question that every person has need and right to figure out for themself.

I would love to hear what Dena has to say on this.

 

Re: How to justify pagan roots?

Posted by Dinah on January 13, 2004, at 20:27:50

In reply to Re: How to justify pagan roots? Miss Honeychurch, posted by rayww on January 12, 2004, at 10:23:26

> Don't all christians accept Jesus Christ (part of trinity) as the God of the Old Testament? Don't they beleive Adam and Eve were Christians? That they spoke with Jesus Christ in the Garden of Eden? Just wondering.

Not all Christians do, no. Have you read "When Jesus Became God: The Struggle to Define Christianity during the Last Days of Rome"? Not all Christians are Trinitarians.

(Am I totally forgetting everything I learned, or isn't the Mormon church a non-Trinitarian church? Believing that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three separate being working towards one goal? And the belief that Jesus is Yeshua referred to in the Old Testament was based on revelations to Joseph Smith, not belief in the literal Trinity? Forgive me if I'm wrong.)

 

Above for (nm) rayww

Posted by Dinah on January 13, 2004, at 20:28:44

In reply to Re: How to justify pagan roots?, posted by rayww on January 12, 2004, at 15:03:51

 

Re: How to justify pagan roots? simus

Posted by femlite on January 13, 2004, at 21:58:50

In reply to Re: How to justify pagan roots?, posted by simus on January 12, 2004, at 23:07:57

I am not a scholar either, but according to some scholars there are a few occurances in the old testement that are believed to be what the east calls theophanies and the west calls epihanies, meaning representations of the trinity.
As ray mentioned the verses in the begginging of Gen. "Let US make man in OUR image, are believed to be examples of Gods relationship to his son and the holy spirit. If you look at the original greek on that you might even find added info.

Another example is Abraham meeting the "preist" Melchizedech in the desert. He gave tithes to this priest. The OT references to this "Preist" are less detailed than Pauls letter to the Hebrews, ch. 7. Paul calls Melchizedich, the "King of Peace" and a preist, he says, w/o bggining or end, with no mother or father (v. 1-3)
It is also believed that the three "men" Abraham gave hospitality to in the wilderness were a theophany, a representation of the trinity. (Gen. ch. 18)
Some Scholars believe that the angel at the wall of Jericho, who spoke with Joshua, was an ephiphany of Christ.
What does ephiphany or theophany mean? It is a little more than a type and perhaps slightly less than the exact thing. In the eastern church we feel it is nec. to leave room for mystery. It is okay to leave somethings to the heart and the spirit that are inconcievable to the mind. It is even nec.
It is true that the old testement was a different covenant, the old one. But Christ demonstrated His esteem for it by saying that he came to fulfil the law not simply abolish it. The law is a tutor to bring us to Christ, as we see our inability to keep it. Like the rich young ruler, who honored the 10 commandments, Christ commended him and then offered him perfection, by suggesting he give all he had to the poor.

I think there may be a few more references (other than the prophetic ones, as you said,) but those are the ones that sprang to mind.

I think this is a great thread and it is wonderful to be able share our questions and ideas in an open and supportive atmosphere.

>
> Where do you find Christ mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible, possibly other than in the prophetic writings that were referring to the coming of Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah? I am not a scholar, but I do not see any sign of Christianity in the Old Testament. My understanding of the Bible is that the "Old Testament" is referring to the covenant that God made with His people before the coming of Jesus, the Christ. In the Old Testament, the people were under the Mosaic laws, and were required to offer animal sacrifices for their sins. I don't know of any occasion where God's people worshipped, or even knew Jesus.
>
> Upon the birth, life, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our salvation, the "New Testament", or new covenant, came into being. This is the first place I see the term "Christian" used. So, even though I am a Christian to the core of my being, I do not accept Jesus as the God of the Old Testament. Adam and Eve had no opportunity to be Christians that I can see. Whether or not Adam and Eve talked to Jesus, I don't know. They talked to God, they talked to angels and they talked to Satan, so I suppose it is possible that they could have talked to Jesus too. I just don't see it in the Bible, so I don't know. But, like I said, I am not a great scholar, just a Bible reader.
>
>

 

Re: How to justify pagan roots?

Posted by Simus on January 14, 2004, at 1:30:19

In reply to Re: How to justify pagan roots? simus, posted by rayww on January 13, 2004, at 6:23:25

Sorry to all that I wasn't clearer in my earlier post. I will pull out my Bible and try to do better this time. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God," 2 Timothy 3:16 For those who don't believe in God, or that the Bible is the infallible authority, I don't have a philosophical answer for you.

I do believe that Jesus existed at the creation of the world, based on John 1:1-2 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God." I am not assuming that Jesus was the Word referred to here, but I am basing my belief on Revelation 19:13 that states, "He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God." This is referring to Revelation 19:11 "Then I saw heaven opened , and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war." From Philippians 2:8-11, I would understand "The Word" referred to in Revelation to be Jesus. Philippians 2:8-11 states, "And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

"The Christ" (Greek) in the New Testament was "the Messiah" (Hebrew) from the Old Testament (both mean the same thing, "the Anointed One"). The prophets of the Old Testament looked forward to the arrival of the Messiah, which meant He hadn't come yet (or Jesus hadn't come as "the anointed one" yet). The New Testament Gospels tell of the arrival of the Messiah, or Christ. "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14 The Gospels make it clear that Jesus was the one anointed by God for the purpose of redeeming His people. At what point was Jesus anointed by God the Father for his mission on earth? I don't know. But he wasn't referred to as the "anointed one" in the present tense until the New Testament. Did Jesus walk on the earth during the time of the Old Testment? I would think He certainly could have, and probably did, but I can't take the word of Bible scholars. Even the great scholars can only speculate. Jesus is currently in Heaven at the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19), a place of honor, "He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." But God did send the Counselor, the Holy Spirit in Jesus' name. (John 14:25-26) "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you." John 16:13-14 Jesus will come again (Revelation 19).

As for my beliefs on the Old vs New Covenants with God, my basis is Romans 8:2-4 "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak throught he flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." My point in saying we now have a better Covenant with God is because it is based on the spilling of the innocent blood of His Son, the ultimate sacrifice. I never intended to imply that we are free to bypass the 10 Commandments, etc. Jesus made it clear that He searches the heart of man, and even a wrong thought is a sin.

So, sorry to be so "Word"y. I hope this made clearer what I was trying to say before.

 

Re: How to justify pagan roots? Simus

Posted by Dinah on January 14, 2004, at 7:50:49

In reply to Re: How to justify pagan roots?, posted by Simus on January 14, 2004, at 1:30:19

> My point in saying we now have a better Covenant with God is because it is based on the spilling of the innocent blood of His Son, the ultimate sacrifice.

I wouldn't say "better", just different. The covenant of God with his Chosen People is a very special one.

 

Re: How to justify pagan roots? Simus

Posted by femlite on January 14, 2004, at 11:25:57

In reply to Re: How to justify pagan roots?, posted by Simus on January 14, 2004, at 1:30:19

You obviously are devoted to God and his word.
Sorry to miss your point.
I think most Christian sects would share your feeling that the new covenant supercedes the old. The is little debte on that point.

The original points of this thread were, who is Christ and how do we know he isnt a myth along the lines of Orisis, or just another creation myth. Somehow his place in the OT got into the disscussion.
I think most trinitarian Christians would agree, that as God is one, though the jews did not know Christ personally,in the old testement, He was nonetheless there.

The Jews do still have a special role to play in the Gods story. It is believed they will be given special faith at the end. (i really should site the source, sorry).

> Sorry to all that I wasn't clearer in my earlier post. I will pull out my Bible and try to do better this time. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God," 2 Timothy 3:16 For those who don't believe in God, or that the Bible is the infallible authority, I don't have a philosophical answer for you.
>
> I do believe that Jesus existed at the creation of the world, based on John 1:1-2 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God." I am not assuming that Jesus was the Word referred to here, but I am basing my belief on Revelation 19:13 that states, "He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God." This is referring to Revelation 19:11 "Then I saw heaven opened , and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war." From Philippians 2:8-11, I would understand "The Word" referred to in Revelation to be Jesus. Philippians 2:8-11 states, "And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
>
> "The Christ" (Greek) in the New Testament was "the Messiah" (Hebrew) from the Old Testament (both mean the same thing, "the Anointed One"). The prophets of the Old Testament looked forward to the arrival of the Messiah, which meant He hadn't come yet (or Jesus hadn't come as "the anointed one" yet). The New Testament Gospels tell of the arrival of the Messiah, or Christ. "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14 The Gospels make it clear that Jesus was the one anointed by God for the purpose of redeeming His people. At what point was Jesus anointed by God the Father for his mission on earth? I don't know. But he wasn't referred to as the "anointed one" in the present tense until the New Testament. Did Jesus walk on the earth during the time of the Old Testment? I would think He certainly could have, and probably did, but I can't take the word of Bible scholars. Even the great scholars can only speculate. Jesus is currently in Heaven at the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19), a place of honor, "He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." But God did send the Counselor, the Holy Spirit in Jesus' name. (John 14:25-26) "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you." John 16:13-14 Jesus will come again (Revelation 19).
>
> As for my beliefs on the Old vs New Covenants with God, my basis is Romans 8:2-4 "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak throught he flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." My point in saying we now have a better Covenant with God is because it is based on the spilling of the innocent blood of His Son, the ultimate sacrifice. I never intended to imply that we are free to bypass the 10 Commandments, etc. Jesus made it clear that He searches the heart of man, and even a wrong thought is a sin.
>
> So, sorry to be so "Word"y. I hope this made clearer what I was trying to say before.

 

Re: How to justify pagan roots?

Posted by Simus on January 15, 2004, at 0:13:37

In reply to Re: How to justify pagan roots? Simus, posted by femlite on January 14, 2004, at 11:25:57

> You obviously are devoted to God and his word.
> Sorry to miss your point.

I apologize. It's probably my fault. I will try once again to clairfy myself.

> I think most Christian sects would share your feeling that the new covenant supercedes the old. The is little debte on that point.
>
> The original points of this thread were, who is Christ and how do we know he isnt a myth along the lines of Orisis, or just another creation myth. Somehow his place in the OT got into the disscussion.

How can you debate who Christ is and whether He is just another creation myth and exclude any part of the Bible, Old or New Testament? For me, the Old Testament is not only a wonderful historical document, but it is truth. For the sake of this debate though, I will include a portion of a writing by a respected friend of mine, who knows more about historical records than I do.

"First, there was Josephus. Josephus was a Jewish historian who lived circa 37-100 AD. His Hebrew name was Joseph ben Mattathias, and he received an excellent education in Jerusalem. After leading a failed revolt of the Jewish forces against Rome, Josephus was captured and became a Roman citizen. He served as pensioner of several Flavian emperors and is most widely known by the name he then acquired, Flavius Josephus.

Around 93 AD., Josephus published Jewish Antiquities, a history of the Jews in twenty books. Though not a prominent subject of his writing, John the Baptist, Jesus of Nazareth, and Jesus' brother James are all mentioned in Jewish Antiquities. This represents the earliest historical record of Jesus from someone who was a professional historian. He wrote,

"At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus, and his conduct was good, and he was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon their loyalty to him. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion, and that he was alive. Accordingly they believed that he was the Messiah, concerning whom the Prophets have recounted wonders."

Several Roman historians also referred to Jesus Christ. Cornelius Tacitus was a Roman historian who lived circa 56-120 AD. He is believed to have been born in France or Gaul into a provincial aristocratic family. He became a senator, a consul, and eventually governor of Asia.

Tacitus wrote at least four historic treatises. Around 115 AD, he published Annals in which he explicitly states that Nero prosecuted the Christians in order to draw attention away from himself for Rome's devastating fire of 64 AD. In that context, he mentions Christus who was put to death by Pontius Pilate. He wrote:

"Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus (Latin for Christ), from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome..."

For more about the historical evidence for the existence of Jesus, check this out: Click here: The Historical Jesus (or: http://home.houston.rr.com/apologia/sec6p2.htm).

What's more than the evidence for his existence, there is ample evidence for His resurrection. To read an article about this go here: http://www.leaderu.com/everystudent/easter/articles/josh2.html

People have tried to dismiss the claims of Jesus for centuries by saying, "how do we know He even existed." But historians don't question His existence. He was a historical person. He existed. He lived, & He died. He also made some extraordinary claims about Who He was (God), & what He came to do (provide salvation - a way back to God). To dismiss that He even existed is to attempt to ignore His claims, & the response that they imply each of us has to make.

You can respond by believing Him & following Him, or you can respond by not believing Him & rejecting Him. But to say that He never existed is to be ignorant of the historical facts of reality."

>
>I think most trinitarian Christians would agree, that as God is one, though the jews did not know Christ personally,in the old testement, He was nonetheless there.
>
> The Jews do still have a special role to play in the Gods story. It is believed they will be given special faith at the end. (i really should site the source, sorry).

Gods story? Do you mean in the Bible, or are you referring to some mythology? Yes, the source of "it is believed" would have helped. It is well documented in the Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments, what God's wonderful plan for His chosen people is, but I am not sure this thread is open to receiving the Bible as valid proof. And as much as I am tempted, I won't follow up on this issue by any means, because I would be guilty of getting off the point of this thread again.

 

Re: How to justify pagan roots?

Posted by Miss Honeychurch on January 16, 2004, at 11:27:21

In reply to Re: How to justify pagan roots?, posted by Simus on January 15, 2004, at 0:13:37

I didn't start this thread to question the actual existence of Jesus. I realize, through the writings of Josephus et al that he in fact did exist.

What I am questioning is the validity of his story. How is one to really know that his story was not molded to correspond with those of ancient gods who were born of a virgin, killed, and risen again?? In my mind, this is a perfectly reasonable question.

I guess it all comes down to how you actually see the Bible. Is it literature? Is it the true word of God? Did Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John have actual AGENDAS when writing their gospels? Why exactly were these gospels chosen to be included in the Bible as opposed to others? What was the Church's agenda by including these specific gosp

Then there is the question of biblical translation from Aramaic to Greek to Latin to English, etc. How do we know what we are reading is a true translation?

We are so used to seeing Christ depicted with blue eyes and blonde hair, that that is in fact how many Christians visualize him, when in fact he more than likely was dark featured. But many Christians basically accept that Jesus was Nordic in appearance without questioning his ethnicity and what part of the world he came from. Do we just accept stories from the Bible as blindly?

I am certainly no biblical scholar or theologian, so I apologize if I had said any mis-statements.

I just have trouble taking the historic validity of the Bible as "gospel" as it were. Muslims believe the Koran is the true word of God, and Christians do not. How are Christians so certain the Bible is indeed, fact?? PLEase don't call me a heretic or anything, I feel it is healthy to question one's religion. Perhaps I am too cynical. I always feel people have an agenda and I feel the Bible to be no exception to this which is why I question some of its content.

Perhaps my faith is not strong enough...

 

Re: How to justify pagan roots? Miss Honeychurch

Posted by femlite on January 16, 2004, at 13:03:10

In reply to Re: How to justify pagan roots?, posted by Miss Honeychurch on January 16, 2004, at 11:27:21


>> What I am questioning is the validity of his story. How is one to really know that his story was not molded to correspond with those of ancient gods who were born of a virgin, killed, and risen again?? In my mind, this is a perfectly reasonable question.
>
> >I guess it all comes down to how you actually see the Bible. Is it literature? Is it the true word of God?


Its important to consider historical accuracy. As far as we know the hisorical accuracy of the scriptures and events portrayed have been verified by outside sources, ie...Josephus, and others

But what I find disturbingly illogical is that we think nothing of accepting the historical acount of someone, anyone, outside those who wrote the Bible. Why dont we question other historical sources? We take for granted the accounts of the Napoleanic wars, or the Bolshevic revolution.

How do we know that at the coronation dinner of the last Tsar of Russia the rumors of too little food for the peasants caused a stampede and dozens were trampled to death. There are, of course varying accounts of minor details but we accept the accounts in general. Why?

Maybe the accounts of WW1 are lies, there was no war, it was made up. Do you see what Im getting at. Why do we have more faith in secular historians than in the authors of the Bible. Just a thought:)

>>Did Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John have actual AGENDAS when writing their gospels? Why exactly were these gospels chosen to be included in the Bible as opposed to others? What was the Church's agenda by including these specific gosp


Please dont take this the wrong way, but what you are saying about the apostles sounds pretty cynical.
Think about the literal and historical context. Do you really believe that simple aramaic/jewish fishermen would really have "agendas"?


> Then there is the question of biblical translation from Aramaic to Greek to Latin to English, etc. How do we know what we are reading is a true translation?
>
>> We are so used to seeing Christ depicted with blue eyes and blonde hair, that that is in fact how many Christians visualize him, when in fact he more than likely was dark featured. But many Christians basically accept that Jesus was Nordic in appearance without questioning his ethnicity and what part of the world he came from.

The we you describe in this paragraph is a westen "we". Only the we of Western Europe have ever thought or depicted Christ as fair skinned. Iconography is a very central part of the eastern half of the church. Having said that it is interesting to find that from Eastern Orthodox country to country,although Christ looks alot like the natives of each country, He's almost never fair or gentile looking.


>>Do we just accept stories from the Bible as blindly?

Do we accept the stories of the greatness of the Egyptian Empire blindly? I think we dont consider our acceptance to be blind. But again we really almost nver question secular accounts of history.

>
> I am certainly no biblical scholar or theologian, so I apologize if I had said any mis-statements.
>
> I just have trouble taking the historic validity of the Bible as "gospel" as it were. Muslims believe the Koran is the true word of God, and Christians do not. How are Christians so certain the Bible is indeed, fact?? PLEase don't call me a heretic or anything, I feel it is healthy to question one's religion. Perhaps I am too cynical. I always feel people have an agenda and I feel the Bible to be no exception to this which is why I question some of its content.


I would not call you a heritic, but I would say you are playing with fire, (If in fact you have a relationship with Christ and His church)
Is the point of your searching to find answers? There are plenty of answers to your questions.

If you accept the historical exsistence of Christ, then you have to start with Him as a source. He, is the author of the scriptures. If someone does not accept that premise then read the words that only He spoke about himself. He claimed to be God. He claimed to be truth. He said He would die and rise again. He is either a mad man or who He claims. How can a prophet lie? and remain a respected figure?

From a traditional Christian perspective I say this, we are in a spiritual war. Choosing sides against the darkness does not reguire checking our brain at the door or bashing others.

The battle line runs through our hearts.
Choosing which side of the battle to be on brings peace and revelation, but the choice comes first. Then the proof.

Sometimes what we dislilke in others is what we dislike in ourselves
Certain traumas make it difficult to believe in good, to have faith in God and the goodness of others.

It seems like an "agenda" to me :) to say all these negative things about the Bible and then throw in a small line at the end, about lack of faith?
Forgive me if Im wrong. It may also be a cry....

>
> Perhaps my faith is not strong enough...


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