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Old 05-17-2011, 06:33 PM   #16
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Or better yet, ask for Godly wisdom from the One who gave us that brain.

Not debating theology with you, just suggesting an alternative.


why don't you trust the tools of critical thinking he gave you? why pray when you could think?
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Old 05-17-2011, 06:53 PM   #17
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why don't you trust the tools of critical thinking he gave you? why pray when you could think?
Or one could try both.

As to the original post:

The use of scribes in both Old and New Testaments is hardly shocking, given the high degree of authority given to the scribes in Jewish culture of the period. Since the original writers of the New Testament were Jewish, it's not surprising that they would use scribes as well. Even less surprising if, as tradition suggests, the writers of the Gospels were -- apart from the highly-educated Luke -- illiterate fisherman.

Additionally, tradition holds that Paul had a severe eyesight problem which forced him to rely on scribes, and since he wrote at least some of his letters from prison, scribes would have been the only way to write his letters. And Paul's treatment of women was frequently contradictory and hardly a doctrinal issue.

The high level of synergy between Matthew, Mark and Luke suggests both A) that the three synoptic gospels used an earlier source (Biblical scholars refer to it as "Q", an early collection of Jesus' sayings and miracles), and B) that there was indeed historical veracity to the Gospels. Those who object to the veracity of established canon say that hundreds of years passed between Jesus' life and the Gospels, but if Matthew -- a fragment of which dates at least back to 100 A.D., which is fairly significant when looking at the veracity of 2,000 year old documents -- did indeed use Q as a source, then the gap between Jesus' life and the written accounts grow even shorter.

The Gospels are traditionally understood to be letters to different communities, addressing different aspects of Jesus' life and teachings. Matthew wrote to a primarily Jewish audience, thus his gospel -- taken from Q -- interprets Jesus' actions in a Jewish context, quoting Old Testament prophecies to show how Jesus fulfilled them. Mark, the earliest Gospel, was the first letter written, presumably in the wake of the churches springing up throughout Palestine and beyond, as a record of Jesus' most significant teachings and miracles. Luke, the most historically accurate gospel, was based both on Q and on interviews with surviving witnesses, and was written to both a Jewish and Greek audience.

Further, the forgeries Ehrman references were indeed plentiful. However, most of them were Gnostic gospels like the gospel of Thomas and Mary Magdalene -- fantastical tales that featured stories of Jesus fighting dragons and telling women that if they really wanted to be perfect, they would have to become male. These Gospels were written by imposters on the fringes of -- or farther from -- the Christian movement, and contradicted the core doctrines of the early church fathers.

None of Ehrman's assertions are particularly earth-shattering, especially for anyone with more than a rudimentary knowledge of how the Gospels were written, and smacks of an author trying to get attention for his book.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:45 PM   #18
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why don't you trust the tools of critical thinking he gave you? why pray when you could think?
I'd argue that praying is using your brain, be it a little more passively. Just meditating on a problem can help you come up with a solution. Even while sleeping on a problem, your brain is actively working out the details. So while I would agree that the solution isn't coming from a supernatural force, there's really no harm in praying. It's the same thing we do anyway, except they attribute their solution to a higher being instead of to themselves
I understand your point and completely agree as it relates to not letting the bible make up your mind for you, but I think in the sense Indy is talking about, it's not so bad
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:57 PM   #19
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This argument is never going to end. You are always goi.ng to have one side pointing out the human flaws of the Bible and the other side still believing that it is still all written according to God's wishes for it.

All of these news articles just seem to be wanting to stir up controversies for their own gains, and quite frankly, I'm just bored with it at this point.
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Old 05-18-2011, 07:58 AM   #20
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I'll take Ehrman's comments with a grain of salt, but regardless of wrote it, the New Testament still is just pretty much Jesus fan-fiction.
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:30 AM   #21
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The New Testament still is just pretty much Jesus fan-fiction.
You have no idea how much I would have loved to have said this in my theology class at Mackillop Catholic Regional College Werribee.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:29 AM   #22
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Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness" and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”
--1 Corinthians 3:18-20


A deeply anti-intellectual sentiment that would shackle a society to ignorance. It is contemptible.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:31 AM   #23
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To me if you look at Sumerian stories like Gilgamesh you'll see strong similarities to the Old Testament (Hello Noah!) and you could easily say: "They stole it!" and it totally ignores cultural influences that would have happened then. Inconsistencies and other cultural influences are nothing new for the Bible.

I'm with the camp that you have to think for yourself and if you are not a fundamentalist Christian it's still possible to think for yourself and still find good things in the Bible. Most Christians are picking and choosing what they like and ignoring what they don't like.
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:01 AM   #24
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it's not like any version of the bible has been peer-reviewed, so the whole lot could be bollocks* for all we know.








*=went there. and it is.
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:11 AM   #25
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the New Testament still is just pretty much Jesus fan-fiction.
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:34 AM   #26
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To me if you look at Sumerian stories like Gilgamesh you'll see strong similarities to the Old Testament (Hello Noah!) and you could easily say: "They stole it!" and it totally ignores cultural influences that would have happened then. Inconsistencies and other cultural influences are nothing new for the Bible.

I'm with the camp that you have to think for yourself and if you are not a fundamentalist Christian it's still possible to think for yourself and still find good things in the Bible.
Yes and yes
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:37 PM   #27
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So, Ehrman has basically spent his entire career trying to completely disprove a document he's thought was wildly errant from the beginning? I guess this should be his last book on the topic - why you would continue to study a work you've proven to be forged? Considering that these writings will be almost universally ignored by Christians, I'm guessing that his target audience is atheists/agnostics who want to feel better about their decision.
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:52 PM   #28
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I can't wait to see his writings on why the Koran and the Book of Mormon are full of lies. Oh wait...
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Old 05-18-2011, 01:46 PM   #29
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it's not like any version of the bible has been peer-reviewed, so the whole lot could be bollocks* for all we know.
Actually, the letters that constitute the New Testament were fairly intensely peer-reviewed. The early church apostles, based in Jerusalem, were responsible for wrestling with and discussing Jesus' teachings about salvation, and discerning the theology thereof. Those apostles were also responsible for travelling to communities of faith that were springing up around Israel and the outlying territories, and working through their understanding of faith and what following Jesus meant. The First church council, held in Jerusalem around 50 A.D., was a crucial first step towards addressing and resolving matters related to grace and salvation not just of Jews but of Gentiles. The letters in the New Testament are notable for places where Paul disagrees with other leaders -- he calls Peter out in the letter to the Galatians, for example, Apollos in 1 Corinthians, and Gnostic teachers in Galatians.

Further, throughout the first and second centuries, the theology of early Christendom was fiercely discussed by such early church fathers as Ignatius, probably the most important theological figure in Christianity apart from Peter and Paul, who were responsible for the lion's share of the New Testament letters. This was all before the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., which further resolved long-standing theological issues.

So to say that this was all a fly-by-night process without accountability isn't correct.




* - and to answer your asterisk, no, it's not.
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Old 05-18-2011, 01:49 PM   #30
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Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness" and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”
--1 Corinthians 3:18-20


A deeply anti-intellectual sentiment that would shackle a society to ignorance. It is contemptible.
The context of what Paul is talking about in 1 Corinthians 3 is people warping a doctrine of grace to suit their own ends -- which in the context of what Paul is talking about, is shackling people to particular cultural norms as the only way to express faith in God. As a result, he is condemning people who take religious rules and regulations and apply them to God, as though God is satisfied with rules and regulations.

The book of Proverbs is pretty much a love letter to wisdom.
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