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Old 07-16-2002, 08:35 PM   #31
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Originally posted by melon


A great flood did occur, but not a global one. Around 5000 B.C., it is believed that the Black Sea was created, as the Mediterranean Sea eroded a natural land dam, submerging a large, natural lake and the surrounding areas, shoving up the water level 500 feet. It probably rushed in very quickly, giving few a chance to escape. Considering that there was little knowledge of the world around them, they must have believed God was angry at them (which is a standard prehistoric excuse) and it *did* destroy their entire known world. As 5000 B.C. was well before written history (Genesis, itself, is only dated between 750-500 B.C.), oral tradition certainly obscured fact.

Evidence for this theory was found in artifacts found beneath 500 feet of water, where the water is completely devoid of oxygen and, hence, artifacts were well preserved. Likewise, there is no evidence for a worldwide flood.

Melon

I disagree.
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Old 07-16-2002, 08:41 PM   #32
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I'm not particularly knowledgeable on this subject and so please someone correct me if they know differently, but I am pretty sure that the flood story is almost universal in different cultures/religions/mythologies lending a good deal of credibility to the theory of there having been an actual flood (or, of course, that the flood is a universal metaphor). It's the Noah's Ark part that seems sketchy to me.
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Old 07-16-2002, 08:47 PM   #33
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I think we give too much credit to the people who wrote the Bible. Surely, it is convenient to state that the Bible is from God and infallible, but not even early Christians believed in Biblical infallibility. The one sect who did believe in it--the Gnostics--were destroyed as heretics.

The Old Testament was mostly taken from medieval translations, as the original texts were long missing. The Dead Sea Scrolls, which are our only connections to the "original" Old Testament, prove that the Bible has never been a faithfully translated book. As Judaism was highly fragmented (and still is), each sect had their own books. While they certainly had many in common, they also wrote them down to suit their own beliefs and biases. The idea of accuracy is only a modern phenomenon, just as young as environmentalism.

Honestly, it is more than evident that our faith is just as prone to tradition than fact, just as every other religion in all of history. The idea of "the Rapture," for instance, was mostly detailed by 19th century preacher, John Nelson Darby (1800-1882). Darby developed a full-blown theology that incorporated the teaching that Jesus would return secretly (His "second" coming) to rapture His true followers, leaving the rest behind to be ruled by an evil Antichrist for seven years, and then return again (His "third" coming) in a visible, glorious coming to destroy the Antichrist, save those who were converted during the seven-year tribulation, and establish His own kingdom.

I really think we'd be wary of some of these very popular Biblical beliefs, because the Pharisees had plenty of their own and most all of them were smashed when Jesus came the first time. The Pharisees expected a warrior Christ to exult their kingdom of Israel to epic proportions, which, if you read the Old Testament, you can literally derive that. Jesus delivered them nothing of the sort, but rather of heavenly kingdoms. Now we demand that Christ return as a warrior to destroy our enemies and exult ourselves to epic proportions. Nothing in 2000 years has changed, and I think it would only be ironic if Jesus returned the second time as quietly as He came the first time.

As I read this topic over, I see we are grappling for straws and leaving Jesus behind. At this point, I often believe that the Bible itself is becoming an obstacle to faith.

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Old 07-16-2002, 08:54 PM   #34
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Originally posted by RavenStar
I don't think romans would have been wearing those hat things(cant remember their name).
Since technology was limited back then they might not have known if Jesus was dead.
Surely you admit that such a theory is a bit of a stretch, oui?

Seriously, if the Romans were proficient at ANYTHING, it was killing people.
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Old 07-16-2002, 10:06 PM   #35
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And don't you think that Mary being a virgin is a bit of a streach?
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Old 07-16-2002, 11:14 PM   #36
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Originally posted by Achtung Bubba

Either way, I don't think it invalidates the Bible in any way, just our mental picture of Golgotha.
It was never my intent to invalidate the Bible, simply offering up some food for thought.

Here's some more...Jesus said he would be dead for 3 days and 3 nights be resurecting...the same amount of time that Jona was in the whale. That would be 3, 24 hour cycles totaling in at 72 hours. It's quite impossible that Jesus was layed to rest on a Friday evening and resurected the following Sunday morning. Friday night to Saturday night = appx. 24 hrs. Saturday night to Sunday morning = appx. 12 hrs. 24+12=36 hrs or 1.5 days. Something's not right there. I chalk it up to the pagan origins of today's "Christian Holidays."

I'm really beginning to believe that our religion has been, to a great degree, perverted from its true purpose.

To only have seen the Truth with my own eyes, things would have been a bit more straightforward.
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Old 07-17-2002, 01:20 AM   #37
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Originally posted by Se7en
It was never my intent to invalidate the Bible, simply offering up some food for thought.
I didn't mean to suggest otherwise.

Among other reasons, I'm focusing on whether Jesus actually died rather than the Deluge or the shape of the cross because it is infinitely more theologically important.

And, to be honest, I find quite a few of these technical theories very interesting - from the idea that the horizontal bar was separate from a permanent vertical bar to the idea that there was no horizontal bar.

Quote:
Here's some more...Jesus said he would be dead for 3 days and 3 nights be resurecting...the same amount of time that Jona was in the whale. That would be 3, 24 hour cycles totaling in at 72 hours. It's quite impossible that Jesus was layed to rest on a Friday evening and resurected the following Sunday morning. Friday night to Saturday night = appx. 24 hrs. Saturday night to Sunday morning = appx. 12 hrs. 24+12=36 hrs or 1.5 days. Something's not right there. I chalk it up to the pagan origins of today's "Christian Holidays."
It appears that you're referencing Matthew 12:40. There are a few things of note:

1. Biblically speaking, Jesus did rise from the dead on the third day. He died on Friday, which is considered the first day. He was still dead on Saturday, the second day. And He rose on Sunday, the THIRD DAY.

2. Matthew 12:40 is the only explicit mention of three days AND nights; all other New Testament references are to simply three days - and all four Gospel accounts claim that the women found the empty tomb on Sunday, immediately after the Sabbath, the first day of the week.

3. It appears that most Bible scholars believe that, either way, there is no contradiction:

"The period during which He was to lie in the grave is here expressed in round numbers, according to the Jewish way of speaking, which was to regard any part of a day, however small, included within a period of days, as a full day."

Also:

"He continued in the grave just as long as Jonah continued in the fish’s belly, three days and three nights; not three whole days and nights: it is probable, Jonah did not lie so long in the whale’s belly, but part of three natural days (nychthemerai, the Greeks called them); he was buried in the afternoon of the sixth day of the week, and rose again in the morning of the first day; it is a manner of speech very usual; see 1 Ki. 20:29; Esth. 4:16; 5:1; Lu. 2:21."

(Follow this link for those and other commentaries on Matthew 12:40. Some do not mention the apparent contradiction; those that do concur with those quoted above.)

4. Even if what you suggest is true - against ALL the evidence above, I don't see how it changes anything substantial.

Quote:
I'm really beginning to believe that our religion has been, to a great degree, perverted from its true purpose.
If I may ask, what do you believe is Christianity's true purpose? And how have we strayed?

Quote:
To only have seen the Truth with my own eyes, things would have been a bit more straightforward.
True, but if John 20:29 is trustworthy - and I believe it is - it offers this for ALL of us who were not eyewitnesses to the Resurrection:

Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
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Old 07-17-2002, 04:09 AM   #38
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http://biblicalholidays.com/Passover/threedays.htm


I was going to post some interesting info that I came across recently about the three day, three night question, but I thought better of it as you shall see when you click the link. Acrobat reader is required.

The summary goes a bit like this though.

There are actually two kinds of Sabbaths historically celebrated by the Jews. There are the High Sabbaths and the weekly Sabbaths. The High Sabbaths are basically the High Jewish holidays like Passover and the weekly Sabbaths are the ones we are all familar with which are celebrated every seven days on Saturday.

During both High and Low Sabbaths the laws of the Sabbath were observed beginning at sundown of one day and ending at sundown of the next.

I am not sure what dating system was used by the authors of this chart so I can't vouch for it's accuracy. But it certainly presents a very interesting solution for the problem.

They have determined that Passover of that year was from sundown Tues. to sundown Wed. Jesus died before sundown and was buried after sundown on Wed.

He then spent his first night in the tomb beginning on Wed night.

Thurs. was the first day and second night.

Fri. was the second day and third night.

And Saturday, a low Sabbath, was the third day. The tomb was recorded as being empty sometime on Sunday morning, meaning that Jesus rose either at sundown on Sat. or else sometime before Sun morning if the schedule was followed and he spent all the daylight hours of Sat. in the tomb.

That's a total of three full days and three full nights according to the Jewish reckoning of days.

As for the tradition that says that Jesus died on a Friday, I do believe this is a later corruption of church tradition, probably to accomodate some pagan interests. But what is really interesting is that of all my Bibles, only the The Good News explicitly gives the date of death as Friday. All other translations simply make a reference to Sabbaths, saying he was buried on a Sabbath and rose on a Sabbath. The exact days (Tues/Wed and Fri/Sat) would have been readily understood by those as familar with Judaism as were the early Christians who were largely Jews either by birth or conversion. Therefore the text in most versions is not actually corrupted. Its just missing some detail that was deemed unnecessary to spell out at the time.

Now what this chart doesn't explain is why the three women waited until Sunday to go an anoint the body when there was apparently a two regular days in between the death and Resurrection. I read a more complete explaination of this theory somewhere else but I can't seem to find it right now. Suffice it to say for now that the delay may have been caused by many different complicating factors. First among these possibilities is that the delay was caused by religious observance of another holiday that over lapped Passover called The Feast of Unleavened Bread which began the day after Passover. But it could have also been something as simple as the fear and disorganization you might expect from people who just saw their leader crucified. There is also the possibility that being a poor bunch of people, that it took that long to gather the supplies what with the different Sabbaths and all making it even more difficult. And lastly, perhaps the most fascinating possibility is that they waited on purpose out of faith in the words of Jesus who predicted that he would remain in the tomb for three days and nights and rise again on the third day. Maybe they were expecting Him to appear to them Sat night and when he didn't they went to the tomb to annoint the body weeping bitterly in grief and disappointment.

That was on Sunday morning.

Sunday would then become the day on which it was discovered that the tomb was empty. Thus the reason that celebrating Easter and marking the weekly Christian Sabbath on Sunday is accurate to this day 2000 years later.



I'll keep looking for that more in depth explaination, and I'll post it if and when I find it.
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Old 07-17-2002, 04:51 AM   #39
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http://www.adat.org/ad09002.htm

wooops! Actually, Passover would not be reckoned a High Sabbath. The first day of The Feast of Unleavened Bread would be the High Sabbath of that week. Passover would have been a preparation day for this Sabbath, which makes more sense really since Passover was supposed to be a happy day representing freedom. Sabbaths are characterized by many restrictions in movement and activity and are pretty serious affairs.
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Old 07-17-2002, 12:55 PM   #40
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Very interesting theories. Not sure how much faith I would put into them, but as long as they're completely reconciled with the events as presented in the Gospels, I see no problem.

As I said before, "I don't see how it changes anything substantial."

It's like celebrating Christmas on December 25th, when we have no idea of Jesus' actual day of birth - and the choosing of the day had something to do with pagan holidays, I believe.

As long as you celebrate the birth, death, and resurrection of the Son of God, it doesn't much matter what specific days you celebrate.

And, honestly, I think God doesn't mind if we pick the technically incorrect day of the week, if we remember that day's events every of the day of the year.
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Old 07-17-2002, 12:57 PM   #41
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Christ was born in April.
:idea:

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Old 07-17-2002, 12:58 PM   #42
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Originally posted by Achtung Bubba
As long as you celebrate the birth, death, and resurrection of the Son of God, it doesn't much matter what specific days you celebrate.

And, honestly, I think God doesn't mind if we pick the technically incorrect day of the week, if we remember that day's events every of the day of the year.
Wow, Bubba and I agree on something!
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Old 07-17-2002, 01:07 PM   #43
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Originally posted by RavenStar
And don't you think that Mary being a virgin is a bit of a streach?
It's not scientifically impossible. Unlikely, yes, but still possible.
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Old 07-17-2002, 01:39 PM   #44
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Originally posted by Achtung Bubba


Even if what you suggest is true - against ALL the evidence above, I don't see how it changes anything substantial.
I realize it doesn't change anything substantial. Just another little glich in a detail that is commonly accepted which I found to be interesting.

Quote:
If I may ask, what do you believe is Christianity's true purpose? And how have we strayed?
As I stated in a post in another forum, I don't always have a way with words. Rereading what I wrote, I think this is a prime example. I guess what I meant to say is that over the centuries our religion has been twisted to be used by people for personal gain: money (catholic indulgences), land (the crusades), etc. Even today we have these ridiculous telemarketers posing as men of God as well as big fat beauracracies (sp?) controlling our churches. I suppose I just long for Christianity in its purest sense- a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. No more, no less. Hopefully that makes more sense...

Quote:
True, but if John 20:29 is trustworthy - and I believe it is - it offers this for ALL of us who were not eyewitnesses to the Resurrection:

Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. [/B]
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Old 07-17-2002, 02:37 PM   #45
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paxetaurora:

Amusing, isn't it?


se7en:

Thanks for your explanation about Christianity's true purpose, and I think we pretty much agree. I was just worried that you might say the true purpose had to do with exactly determining the chronology of the New Testament.


meegannie:

Thanks for reminding me about Raven's question. Se7en distracted me.


Quote:
Originally posted by RavenStar
And don't you think that Mary being a virgin is a bit of a streach?
Certainly; that's why it's called a miracle.

There are many ways non-believers try to work their way around the miracles of the Bible, but I think we can reject - out of hand - the suggestion that the people of that time didn't know that sex leads to pregnancy.

It's kinda like the theory that the Romans were incompetant in determining whether or not a guy was dead. They may not have known about atoms and dinosaurs, but THAT level of ignorance is hard to believe.

It DOES seem that both the Jewish and Roman cultures were advanced enough to correctly correlate sex and pregnancy and to correctly distinguish between "the quick and the dead."


That said, is the Immaculate Conception impossible to accept?

For the Christian, absolutely not. The Incarnation (God becoming man) and the Resurrection (that man PERMANENTLY returning from the dead in a restored physical body) are much, MUCH more difficult to accept.

If you can accept those two miracles (and a Christian MUST), Jesus being born of a virgin can be readily accepted, too.
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