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Switch to Forum Live View When Jesus said: "Before Abraham was I am" was he claiming to be God?
2 years ago  ::  Feb 16, 2012 - 3:16PM #11
Namchuck
Posts: 11,266

Feb 16, 2012 -- 11:38AM, world citizen wrote:


Could you please give me an example or two, Namchuck.  They could be ones with which I agree/disagree and we could have more dialog in that direction.




The inconsistencies and contradictions within the Bible are legion, including any number of examples where Jesus either completely reverses himself (John 5:31; 8:14) or spurns his own counsel (Matthew 5:22; 23:17, 19). One could include his failed prophecies, his disgraceful teaching on exclusivity (Mark 4:11-12), and the inconsistencies between his words and actions (compare Matthew 5:37.; with John 7:2-10).


Perhaps, though, one should concentrate on his other teachings, like the one's about perfecting our understanding of medicine and other technologies and sciences for the bettering of human life and wisdom; improving our education and literacy and extending them to all glasses and genders; or developing our command of logic? Or the teachings about fighting for democracy, or the abolition of slavery, or freedom of thought?


But here's the problem, Jesus didn't teach any of these things!

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 17, 2012 - 5:38PM #12
world citizen
Posts: 5,387

Hello again, Namchuck ~


Jesus either completely reverses himself (John 5:31; 8:14)


5:31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.
5:32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.


8:14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.


I don’t see these two as conflicting, Namchuck.  In John 5:31 & 32 Christ is saying that only One (God the Father) can give true witness (recommendation/reference) as to Jesus’ station in life.  John 8:14, however, has Jesus attesting the truthfulness of what is recorded (background) of His life.



spurns his own counsel (Matthew 5:22; 23:17, 19)


5:22 But I say unto you … whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
23:17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?
23:19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?


To me this depends upon one's views of Christ as God’s voice on earth.  Jesus has already stated he speaks what he hears or is told to say by the Holy Spirit.  In 5:22 and many other verses, when Christ uses “I say” as a prefix to a commandment or warning, it is the Word/Holy Spirit doing the speaking.  In 5:22 God is telling man not to judge his fellow man.  As humanity’s judge, however, in 23:17 & 19 the Word is telling man that by thinking certain things, he, himself, is a fool and spiritually blind.


his disgraceful teaching on exclusivity (Mark 4:11-12)


4:11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
4:12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.


I don't see “exclusivity” being taught by these verses but I agree it might seem that at first read.  4:11 affirms that those who believe(d) in Christ have received spiritual gifts/insight.  His parables are for the masses, but 4:12 warns that those who “blaspheme against the Holy Spirit” (Mark 3:29) won’t be able to understand them and thus receive forgiveness.



inconsistencies between his words and actions
(compare Matthew 5:37.; with John 7:2-10)


Matthew 5:37  But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.


Don’t see it, Namchuck.  In John 7 Christ is having a conversation with his disciples about an upcoming feast.  Matthew 5:37 is instruction against bickering and arguing.  He’s saying make a decision, be it yea or nay, and be done with it because contention “cometh of evil.”  The Christ never said you can’t discuss/consult about things.



Perhaps, though, one should concentrate on his other teachings, like the one's about perfecting our understanding of medicine and other technologies and sciences for the bettering of human life and wisdom; improving our education and literacy and extending them to all glasses and genders; or developing our command of logic? Or the teachings about fighting for democracy, or the abolition of slavery, or freedom of thought?


But here's the problem, Jesus didn't teach any of these things!


To me that’s obviously because it would have been like trying to teach calculus to a third-grader struggling with simple division.  Jesus said: “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: …”  (John 16:12,13)


Were you thinking along the lines of something like this?


It is forbidden you to trade in slaves, be they men or women. It is not for him who is himself a servant to buy another of God's servants, and this hath been prohibited in His Holy Tablet.  (No.71, “The Kitab-i-Aqdas,” p. 45)

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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2 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2012 - 1:47AM #13
Namchuck
Posts: 11,266

Feb 17, 2012 -- 5:38PM, world citizen wrote:


Hello again, Namchuck ~


Jesus either completely reverses himself (John 5:31; 8:14)


5:31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.
5:32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.


8:14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.


I don’t see these two as conflicting, Namchuck.  In John 5:31 & 32 Christ is saying that only One (God the Father) can give true witness (recommendation/reference) as to Jesus’ station in life.  John 8:14, however, has Jesus attesting the truthfulness of what is recorded (background) of His life.


No, you probably don't. But then, you probably don't have a problem when Jesus tells us that that it is his mission to to make family members hate one another, so that they shall love him more than their kin (Matt. 10:35-37). He promises salvation to those who abandon their wives and children for him (Matt. 19:29; Mark 10:29-30; Luke 18:29-30). Disciples must hate their parents, siblings, wives, and children (Luke 14:26). The rod is not enough for children who curse their parents; they must be killed (Matt: 15:4-7; Mark7:9-10, following Lev.20:9). I guess you might favor Jesus's family values"? 


And this is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.




spurns his own counsel (Matthew 5:22; 23:17, 19)


5:22 But I say unto you … whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
23:17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?
23:19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?


To me this depends upon one's views of Christ as God’s voice on earth.  Jesus has already stated he speaks what he hears or is told to say by the Holy Spirit.  In 5:22 and many other verses, when Christ uses “I say” as a prefix to a commandment or warning, it is the Word/Holy Spirit doing the speaking.  In 5:22 God is telling man not to judge his fellow man.  As humanity’s judge, however, in 23:17 & 19 the Word is telling man that by thinking certain things, he, himself, is a fool and spiritually blind.


Haha...okay, world citizen. I simply see no evidence to justify believing that Jesus was anybody's "voice" other than those who concocted the far-fetched and often inconsistent and contradictory stories.


All the apologetics in the world will not change the fact that the Bible is riddled with the aforementioned problems. 


his disgraceful teaching on exclusivity (Mark 4:11-12)


4:11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
4:12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.


I don't see “exclusivity” being taught by these verses but I agree it might seem that at first read.  4:11 affirms that those who believe(d) in Christ have received spiritual gifts/insight.  His parables are for the masses, but 4:12 warns that those who “blaspheme against the Holy Spirit” (Mark 3:29) won’t be able to understand them and thus receive forgiveness.


Of course.


Once again, though, there isn't the slightest evidence that those who "believe(d) in Christ" have any sort of insight other than what is dictated by apriori belief. 



inconsistencies between his words and actions
(compare Matthew 5:37.; with John 7:2-10)


Matthew 5:37  But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.


Don’t see it, Namchuck.  In John 7 Christ is having a conversation with his disciples about an upcoming feast.  Matthew 5:37 is instruction against bickering and arguing.  He’s saying make a decision, be it yea or nay, and be done with it because contention “cometh of evil.”  The Christ never said you can’t discuss/consult about things.



Perhaps, though, one should concentrate on his other teachings, like the one's about perfecting our understanding of medicine and other technologies and sciences for the bettering of human life and wisdom; improving our education and literacy and extending them to all glasses and genders; or developing our command of logic? Or the teachings about fighting for democracy, or the abolition of slavery, or freedom of thought?


But here's the problem, Jesus didn't teach any of these things!


To me that’s obviously because it would have been like trying to teach calculus to a third-grader struggling with simple division.  Jesus said: “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: …”  (John 16:12,13)


Shame then that he choose to come at a time when mankind's development hardly reached beyond a third-grade level. Think what he might have achieved with a more advanced civilization? But I guess his teachings required a more credulous age. He might of at least had a word to say against slavery, the inequality of women, etc. in fact, he had little to say on any social question except divorce.


Were you thinking along the lines of something like this?


It is forbidden you to trade in slaves, be they men or women. It is not for him who is himself a servant to buy another of God's servants, and this hath been prohibited in His Holy Tablet.  (No.71, “The Kitab-i-Aqdas,” p. 45)




No, I wasn't thinking along those lines at all.

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2012 - 6:13PM #14
world citizen
Posts: 5,387

… Jesus tells us that that it is his mission to to make family members hate one another, so that they shall love him more than their kin (Matt. 10:35-37).


For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.   He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  (Matthew 10:35-37)


This has been a truth for millennia but it doesn’t equate with “hate.”  Those pagans who became followers of Abraham created “variance” within families; those Sabeans and pagans who became followers of Moses created “variance” within families;  Jews, Sabeans, Zoroastrians, and pagans who became followers of the Christ created “variance” within families; Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians and pagans who became Muslims created “variance” within families; Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and pagans who became Baha’is created “variance” within families.  Though they chose to follow the latest (claimed) Messenger from God, it didn’t mean that they deserted or hated their loved ones, but they DID put their personal paths to God before the families’ inherited religious beliefs.


He promises salvation to those who abandon their wives and children for him (Matt. 19:29; Mark 10:29-30; Luke 18:29-30).


See above.  It is a spiritual, not physical, abandonment.


The rod is not enough for children who curse their parents; they must be killed (Matt: 15:4-7; Mark7:9-10, following Lev.20:9).


And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.  For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:  (Mark 7:9)


An odd expression, don’t you think, “die the death”?  The use of the word “death” in much of scripture means spiritual death of the soul, inasmuch as everyone on this plane of existence physically dies.   Physicality without belief in God and obedience to God’s law, in comparison with eternal life in the Kingdom, is considered as death to the soul.  Christ related this when he said: "Let the dead bury their dead." (Matt. 8:22)  Though those souls had a physical presence, in His eyes they were spiritually dead.  So it would be, according to Moses, for those who broke one of the big Ten:  “Honour thy father and thy mother.”



Shame then that he choose to come at a time when mankind's development hardly reached beyond a third-grade level. Think what he might have achieved with a more advanced civilization?


I believe that development of civilization(s) throughout the ages increased exponentially after the appearance of each Manifestation/Messenger of God, and my understanding is that each of them had a different mission to fulfil and teachings for specific peoples.  A truly advanced civilization won’t be said to exist until mankind ends its inhumanities to fellow men by following the commandments from whichever Holy Book they claim to hold dear.


But I guess his teachings required a more credulous age. He might of at least had a word to say against slavery,…


And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. (Luke 6:31)


And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.  (Mark 12:30,31)


But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.  (1 John 3:17,18)



…  the inequality of women, etc. in fact, he had little to say on any social question except divorce.


Perhaps he chose to teach by example that women could have a high or higher place in society than men.  Jesus had twelve disciples but among His followers was the woman Mary of Magdalena.  Judas Iscariot had become a traitor and after the crucifixion the remaining disciples were wavering.  It was to Mary that Jesus chose first to appear after his spiritual resurrection.  It was she who comforted the eleven men and re-established their faith, solidifying her place in religious history.

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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2 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2012 - 8:06PM #15
Namchuck
Posts: 11,266

Feb 18, 2012 -- 6:13PM, world citizen wrote:


… Jesus tells us that that it is his mission to to make family members hate one another, so that they shall love him more than their kin (Matt. 10:35-37).


For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.   He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  (Matthew 10:35-37)


This has been a truth for millennia but it doesn’t equate with “hate.”  Those pagans who became followers of Abraham created “variance” within families; those Sabeans and pagans who became followers of Moses created “variance” within families;  Jews, Sabeans, Zoroastrians, and pagans who became followers of the Christ created “variance” within families; Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians and pagans who became Muslims created “variance” within families; Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and pagans who became Baha’is created “variance” within families.  Though they chose to follow the latest (claimed) Messenger from God, it didn’t mean that they deserted or hated their loved ones, but they DID put their personal paths to God before the families’ inherited religious beliefs.


'Hate' is the word that is used and your apologetic only confirms just what a divisive thing religion really is at any level. And there are unnumbered cases where, in following "their personal paths" to some purely hypothetical God, many have deserted and denounced family. 


He promises salvation to those who abandon their wives and children for him (Matt. 19:29; Mark 10:29-30; Luke 18:29-30).


See above.  It is a spiritual, not physical, abandonment.


How do you know that, especially given the many examples one could draw upon that shows that often the embrace of fables and superstition did (and does) include the physical abandonment of wives and children?


The rod is not enough for children who curse their parents; they must be killed (Matt: 15:4-7; Mark7:9-10, following Lev.20:9).


And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.  For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:  (Mark 7:9)


An odd expression, don’t you think, “die the death”?  The use of the word “death” in much of scripture means spiritual death of the soul, inasmuch as everyone on this plane of existence physically dies.   Physicality without belief in God and obedience to God’s law, in comparison with eternal life in the Kingdom, is considered as death to the soul.  Christ related this when he said: "Let the dead bury their dead." (Matt. 8:22)  Though those souls had a physical presence, in His eyes they were spiritually dead.  So it would be, according to Moses, for those who broke one of the big Ten:  “Honour thy father and thy mother.”


Again, you do not know that "death" in much of scripture means "spiritual death". It is merely the perfumed smokescreen the pious draw over the uncomfortable reality of the violence that lies at the heart of book-based religions.



Shame then that he choose to come at a time when mankind's development hardly reached beyond a third-grade level. Think what he might have achieved with a more advanced civilization?


I believe that development of civilization(s) throughout the ages increased exponentially after the appearance of each Manifestation/Messenger of God, and my understanding is that each of them had a different mission to fulfil and teachings for specific peoples.


What staggering hogwash. Advance the evidence, for instance, where civilization developed "exponentially" after the supposed manifestation of God through Jesus?


A truly advanced civilization won’t be said to exist until mankind ends its inhumanities to fellow men by following the commandments from whichever Holy Book they claim to hold dear.


Such a civilization won't exist at the same time as divisive religion, and one doesn't need some hypothetical "Holy Book" to know what it is to be human. In fact, such tomes with their magical thinking has always played a major role in keeping mankind at each others throats. 


But I guess his teachings required a more credulous age. He might of at least had a word to say against slavery,…


And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. (Luke 6:31)


And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.  (Mark 12:30,31)


But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?  My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.  (1 John 3:17,18)



…  the inequality of women, etc. in fact, he had little to say on any social question except divorce.


Perhaps he chose to teach by example that women could have a high or higher place in society than men.  Jesus had twelve disciples but among His followers was the woman Mary of Magdalena.  Judas Iscariot had become a traitor and after the crucifixion the remaining disciples were wavering.  It was to Mary that Jesus chose first to appear after his spiritual resurrection.  It was she who comforted the eleven men and re-established their faith, solidifying her place in religious history.


You are ignoring in this sorry piece of apologetic the many negative examples of the behaviour of Jesus in regard to women. 





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2 years ago  ::  Feb 19, 2012 - 12:46PM #16
world citizen
Posts: 5,387

Namchuck,


"... purely hypothetical God ..."


Not realizing you were an atheist, I apologize for having attempted a meaningful discussion on this subject and wasting your time.  We must agree to disagree and let it go at that.


Peace, wc

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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2 years ago  ::  Feb 19, 2012 - 2:51PM #17
Namchuck
Posts: 11,266

Feb 19, 2012 -- 12:46PM, world citizen wrote:


Namchuck,


"... purely hypothetical God ..."


Not realizing you were an atheist, I apologize for having attempted a meaningful discussion on this subject and wasting your time.  We must agree to disagree and let it go at that.


Peace, wc




Fair enough, world citizen, and you are right, there cannot be a "meaningful discussion" as long as one of the discussee's has little to offer other than baroque assumptions accompanied by unjustified claims (i.e., "exponential" development of civilization following a supposed incarnation of God, something that, at least in regard to Jesus, Gibbon's great work thoroughly undermines).


Meaningful discussion for a believer seems to imply that, at a minimum, his or her beliefs remain immune from criticism, revision, or rejection. Of course, this stand utterly guts any meaning from the word 'meaningful'. 

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2 years ago  ::  Feb 20, 2012 - 5:56PM #18
world citizen
Posts: 5,387

Feb 19, 2012 -- 2:51PM, Namchuck wrote:


Feb 19, 2012 -- 12:46PM, world citizen wrote:


Namchuck,


"... purely hypothetical God ..."


Not realizing you were an atheist, I apologize for having attempted a meaningful discussion on this subject and wasting your time.  We must agree to disagree and let it go at that.


Peace, wc



Fair enough, world citizen, and you are right, there cannot be a "meaningful discussion" as long as one of the discussee's has little to offer other than baroque assumptions accompanied by unjustified claims (i.e., "exponential" development of civilization following a supposed incarnation of God, something that, at least in regard to Jesus, Gibbon's great work thoroughly undermines).


Meaningful discussion for a believer seems to imply that, at a minimum, his or her beliefs remain immune from criticism, revision, or rejection. Of course, this stand utterly guts any meaning from the word 'meaningful'.



You obviously preferred NOT to let it go at that...  First, I don't believe in ANY incarnations of God on this earth, which includes Jesus, and don't think you'll find I suggested same.  Whether the sun is reflected in a perfect mirror, or many mirrors, it is nevertheless not THE sun but its reflection having the sun's attributes.  As for my "baroque assumptions," below are two "claims" as examples of how civilization advanced in direct correlation to certain teachings.


The Jews were in the lowest condition as captive slaves under Pharaoh when Moses appeared.   Not only did Moses release them from that yoke, he raised them to a high state of civilization.  Most of his basic ten commandments are still the basis of today’s legal systems, and it was during Solomon's reign that science and art became known to man.  Even Greek philosophers (e.g., Pythagoras, Socrates) became students of Jewish thought.  Hippocrates and other philosophers of the Greeks who visited Palestine studied the basis of ethics and morality, returning to their country with contributions that made Greece famous.


When Muhammad appeared amongst 7th century Arabs, scattered desert tribes engaged in continual bloodshed with each other.  Their barbarism was such that it was common to bury infant daughters alive.  In a short period of time after receiving the teachings of Muhammad, hundreds of tribes became united under the banner of Islam and attained a superlative degree of civilization which extended as far west as Spain and afterward influenced the greater part of Europe.  During the Middle Ages, while Europe was steeped in its own barbarism, the Arabs were superior in education, government, the arts, mathematics and other sciences.  Judicial concepts commonplace today were first introduced by Muslims, as were the concepts of higher education and hospitals.


(Speaking in moderator mode:  Everyone has their personal beliefs at Beliefnet, including atheists, and these should be respected by others regardless of how they differ.  Debate doesn't necessitate barbs aiming to demean other Beliefnet members.  Everyone should be able to state their case without resorting to ad hominem.  wc)

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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2 years ago  ::  Feb 21, 2012 - 2:44AM #19
Namchuck
Posts: 11,266

Feb 20, 2012 -- 5:56PM, world citizen wrote:


Feb 19, 2012 -- 2:51PM, Namchuck wrote:


Feb 19, 2012 -- 12:46PM, world citizen wrote:


Namchuck,


"... purely hypothetical God ..."


Not realizing you were an atheist, I apologize for having attempted a meaningful discussion on this subject and wasting your time.  We must agree to disagree and let it go at that.


Peace, wc



Fair enough, world citizen, and you are right, there cannot be a "meaningful discussion" as long as one of the discussee's has little to offer other than baroque assumptions accompanied by unjustified claims (i.e., "exponential" development of civilization following a supposed incarnation of God, something that, at least in regard to Jesus, Gibbon's great work thoroughly undermines).


Meaningful discussion for a believer seems to imply that, at a minimum, his or her beliefs remain immune from criticism, revision, or rejection. Of course, this stand utterly guts any meaning from the word 'meaningful'.



You obviously preferred NOT to let it go at that...  First, I don't believe in ANY incarnations of God on this earth, which includes Jesus, and don't think you'll find I suggested same.  Whether the sun is reflected in a perfect mirror, or many mirrors, it is nevertheless not THE sun but its reflection having the sun's attributes.  As for my "baroque assumptions," below are two "claims" as examples of how civilization advanced in direct correlation to certain teachings.


The Jews were in the lowest condition as captive slaves under Pharaoh when Moses appeared.   Not only did Moses release them from that yoke, he raised them to a high state of civilization.  Most of his basic ten commandments are still the basis of today’s legal systems, and it was during Solomon's reign that science and art became known to man.  Even Greek philosophers (e.g., Pythagoras, Socrates) became students of Jewish thought.  Hippocrates and other philosophers of the Greeks who visited Palestine studied the basis of ethics and morality, returning to their country with contributions that made Greece famous.


Oh, come on, world citizen, you're surely not seriously advancing fables as evidence for your outlandish claims?


Even if we entertain the Exodus story - of Hebrews, not 'Jews - out of Egypt, did that "high state of civilization' which supposedly followed also include a propensity for genocide that the Bible relates incident after incident of? If anything, the Hebrews were leaving a far more advanced civilization behind when they left Egypt.


And your assertion that Solomon's reign saw the introduction of art and science to mankind amounts to nothing more than flagrant nonsense. There isn't the slightest historical or archeological evidence that Solomon or his kingdom even existed, let alone that he or it introduced art and science to the human species.


And, as many a scholar has shown, out legal systems are not built upon the Ten Commandments at all. One could also add that the Bible clearly shows that there might not be any connection between religion and morality.


And please, cite the compelling evidence that seems to have escaped all the relevant scholarship that Greek philosophers studying the ethics and morals of Hebrew sheep and goat herders in Palestine contributed anything to Greek learning?  


When Muhammad appeared amongst 7th century Arabs, scattered desert tribes engaged in continual bloodshed with each other.  Their barbarism was such that it was common to bury infant daughters alive.  In a short period of time after receiving the teachings of Muhammad, hundreds of tribes became united under the banner of Islam and attained a superlative degree of civilization which extended as far west as Spain and afterward influenced the greater part of Europe.  During the Middle Ages, while Europe was steeped in its own barbarism, the Arabs were superior in education, government, the arts, mathematics and other sciences.  Judicial concepts commonplace today were first introduced by Muslims, as were the concepts of higher education and hospitals.


Now, here you are on slightly firmer ground. There is no disputing that Islam enjoyed a golden period bookended simply by different expressions of barbarism, largely typified by dogmatic fanaticism. Mohammed himself was responsible, for instance, for the murder and eradication of many who refused to align themselves with him, including a tribe or two of Arabian Jews. And let one not forget that, in speaking of 'Muslim science' (not forgetting all of its wonderful contributions) that it was undergirded and overridden by the most intense superstition. Like all other religions, it didn't have the foggiest idea of mankinds true historical context.


But I'm still waiting, world citizen, for you to advance the evidence that civilization developed "exponentially" following Jesus's mission to set family members and everyone else at each others throats? This should be interesting as Gibbon's brilliant and compellingly documented work identifies the exact opposite of what you are claiming.


(Speaking in moderator mode:  Everyone has their personal beliefs at Beliefnet, including atheists, and these should be respected by others regardless of how they differ.  Debate doesn't necessitate barbs aiming to demean other Beliefnet members.  Everyone should be able to state their case without resorting to ad hominem.  wc)





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2 years ago  ::  Feb 21, 2012 - 9:02AM #20
JRT
Posts: 339

The gospels were written 40 (Mark) to 70 (John) years after the death of Jesus. The real problem, as I see it, is whether or not the historical Jesus actually spoke these words or do they refect several generations of christological and theological speculation. I am convinced it is the latter.

the floggings will continue until morale improves
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