Religous debates and questions [2]

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Re: Religous debates and questions [2]

Post by David H on Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:00 am

halfwise wrote:The historical progression makes so much sense as well:

.......
AD 390: Apostle's Creed.  Doctrinal declaration that Christ was manifest on earth, gospels not symbolic.

Not convinced here without more evidence.
First on the date. I think it's believed by many to be older than that.
Second on the 'gospels not symbolic'. It doesn't say that explicitly, though many modern Christians may interpret it that way now.
But the litany of 12 points, one for each apostle, could easily be seen as exactly the sort of mystery cult document you were talking about: something that appears to the uninitiated as a simple set of facts, but to those who've been initiated into the mystery, each may have symbolic meanings.

And what about the Nicene Creed which has coexisted right along side the Apostle's Creed to this day? It speaks of a Jesus who was begotten by, and existed with, God the Father from Before all Words, and who came down and was made incarnate, and several other points of belief that seem to speak openly of a non-Earthly Jesus that Carrier is saying is saying was left behind by the Church.

I like the astrology angle, Petty. These ages of Taurus, Aries and Pisces that you talk of, do you know how their beginnings and endings are measured, and about what dates those are? I always like to double-check the numbers before I repeat a theory like this.

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Re: Religous debates and questions [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:22 am

Well its not a science-  so important to remember that. So there is some dispute about exact dating- but an in the ballpark rough set of dates are-

+/- 4700 BC- 2500 BC- Age of Tauros- equates to the rise of the bull cults of the Minoan Empire. (2000- 1000BC) the Egyptian Apis Bull cult  came about in the same time period-  2890 – c. 2686 BC Tauros is also symbolized by earth, the land itself, and this was of course the great age of agriculture.

+/- 2500 BC - 300 BC- Age of Aries- this period coincides with Moses and the Biblical Exodus. As well as covering the time period of Akenaten and his one God cult.
Aries is a fire sign whose characteristic is expansion and consumption. This was the period of the great empires- Egyptian (some believe its beginning was marked with the building of the Great Pyramid in 2500bc- also tying into the rise of the cult of Amon ,the ram headed God) Assyria, Chinese, Persian and then Roman.

+/- 300 BC - (?) Age of Pisces, the end date of this period seems to be a matter of great dispute at the moment! Some have it ended in 1900

Pisces is associated with water, the subconscious mind and spirituality- and this age saw the great religions emerging- from Buddha and Jesus to Mohammad.

But we are now in, or about to be in depending who you listen to, the Age of Aqauirus- which is supposed to represent individual freedom and enlightenment, the hippy movement would be an outward sign of this, as arguably is the internet and the age of twitter and facebook. As well as the rise of science and answering fundamental questions about reality- creations like the Hadron collider for example would be our generations contribution to the enlightenment aspect, just as the Great Pyramid was Egypts contribution to the age of Aries.
And what we are seeing with Christianity and Muslims are the violent death throws of that type of religious thought now their age is drawing to its close.

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Re: Religous debates and questions [2]

Post by David H on Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:18 am

Since Aquarius is a water-bearer, he's probably responsible for rising sea-levels too. Wink

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Re: Religous debates and questions [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:48 am

You never know- but you did ask.

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Re: Religous debates and questions [2]

Post by David H on Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:42 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Well its not a science-  so important to remember that.
Understood.

+/- 300 BC - (?) Age of Pisces, the end date of this period seems to be a matter of great dispute at the moment! Some have it ended in 1900
..........
But we are now in, or about to be in depending who you listen to, the Age of Aqauirus- which is supposed to represent individual freedom and enlightenment, the hippy movement would be an outward sign of this, as arguably is the internet and the age of twitter and facebook.

I just did some googling. As you say, there's nothing at all like a consensus, is there? Shocked

People seem to feel free to pick their favorite historical trends and then bend the dates and interpretations of the Signs to fit, weaving interesting patterns in the process.

It's a lot like any interpretation of scripture really, but in this case with no standard text that's been agreed upon. I guess that's why humans since the beginning of time have always had a Priestly Class to interpret these things for us. cyclops


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Re: Religous debates and questions [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:37 am

Well we humans are nothing else if not spotters of patterns that don't exist! We excel at that Nod (Mind you finding out why we were wrong about our pattern assumptions does tend to lead to interesting breakthroughs so not all bad)

I think the more fruitful question to find out, if possible, is what did the astronomers/astrologers back then think?
It seems to me to make some sense that if you think the Gods reside-up there- and you think the constellations are somehow representative of the Gods, then which Gods are in power and which are off shift as it were, would be dictated by which is in ascension at the time in the night sky.
So I have no problem with the broad strokes idea, exact dates aside, that during the time when Taurus was important and most obvious that was top religion of its day with bull cults springing up as state religions, and when the positions switched, and Aries came into prominence that the Priesthoods of those Gods would come into favour during that time. And the bull cults would diminish in popularity as Ram headed gods rose.

I can see the human thinking behind such an assumption.

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Re: Religous debates and questions [2]

Post by halfwise on Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:41 pm

David H wrote:
halfwise wrote:The historical progression makes so much sense as well:

.......
AD 390: Apostle's Creed.  Doctrinal declaration that Christ was manifest on earth, gospels not symbolic.

Not convinced here without more evidence.  
First on the date. I think it's believed by many to be older than that.
Second on the 'gospels not symbolic'. It doesn't say that explicitly, though many modern Christians may interpret it that way now.
But the litany of 12 points, one for each apostle, could easily be seen as exactly the sort of mystery cult document you were talking about: something that appears to the uninitiated as a simple set of facts, but to those who've been initiated into the mystery, each may have symbolic meanings.

And what about the Nicene Creed which has coexisted right along side the Apostle's Creed to this day? It speaks of a Jesus who was begotten by, and existed with, God the Father from Before all Words, and who came down and was made incarnate, and several other points of belief that seem to speak openly of a non-Earthly Jesus that Carrier is saying is saying was left behind by the Church.

You misunderstand Carrier's thesis.  He says that in the original cult Jesus NEVER lived an earthly life.  All variations of the cult (including the modern one) have Jesus starting and ending in heaven (the Arian heresy has no existence before conception).  The Nicean creed specifically addresses the Arian heresy, saying that God and Jesus have always been one rather than Jesus was created at conception.  It never mentions an earthly existence!   'Incarnate' could in fact refer to a physical body in the heavens, which is allowed in the cosmology of the time.  It's the Apostle's Creed that puts Jesus on earth being crucified by Pontias Pilate, dead and buried (buried also implying an Earthly existence).

The apostle's creed refers to the gospels, the Nicene creed works as well with the proto-cult Carrier refers to.

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Re: Religous debates and questions [2]

Post by halfwise on Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:54 pm

Mrs Figg wrote:Muslims seem to think Jesus existed. where did they get that information from?

From Christianity. Islam did not come from a vacuum. Mohammed saw his religion as simply an extension and fulfilment of the religions of the "people of the book", which included both Jews and Christians. He had great respect for these religions he drew from. That didn't last long after his death. Just like Christian respect for the Judaism from which it arose didn't last long.

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Re: Religous debates and questions [2]

Post by David H on Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:00 pm

halfwise wrote:
You misunderstand Carrier's thesis.  He says that in the original cult Jesus NEVER lived an earthly life.  All variations of the cult (including the modern one) have Jesus starting and ending in heaven (the Arian heresy has no existence before conception).  The Nicean creed specifically addresses the Arian heresy, saying that God and Jesus have always been one rather than Jesus was created at conception.  It never mentions an earthly existence!   'Incarnate' could in fact refer to a physical body in the heavens, which is allowed in the cosmology of the time.  It's the Apostle's Creed that puts Jesus on earth being crucified by Pontias Pilate, dead and buried (buried also implying an Earthly existence).

The apostle's creed refers to the gospels, the Nicene creed works as well with the proto-cult Carrier refers to.

OK I get that. But if the Gospels where originally written for symbolic interpretation (and that's part of Carrier's thesis, isn't it?) then why isn't the Apostle's Creed equally open to that interpretation, if not more so? If so, what does it add to the chronology above, and if not, what does Carrier think it implies?

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Re: Religous debates and questions [2]

Post by halfwise on Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:36 pm

The Apostle's Creed says "I believe", not "I read meaning into". Carrier maybe only referenced the Apostle's Creed once, and since it's only late evidence for belief in an earthly christ, it's not part of his thesis. We know later christianity believed in an earthly Christ, Carrier was only trying to show that the earliest christianity did not, and it took over 600 pages (800 if you count his methodology book "Proving History"). He wasn't going to spend another several hundred mucking around to pinpoint exactly when the transition occurred.

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Re: Religous debates and questions [2]

Post by David H on Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:50 pm

halfwise wrote:The Apostle's Creed says "I believe", not "I read meaning into".
No, but then you wouldn't if you were a mystery cult, would you? That's the beauty of conspiracy theories involving mystery cults: you can't really disprove anything!
He wasn't going to spend another several hundred mucking around to pinpoint exactly when the transition occurred.
Fair enough. Still, some sense of the who, where, when, and why of an earthly Jesus would go a long way toward grounding the theory.

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Re: Religous debates and questions [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:21 pm

What about the generally accepted method by which the Gospels came into being?
By dissecting how they are constructed and laid out its being widely accepted they most likely started out as oral tales, were fairly quickly written down, but different people doing so in different places at different times so that exactly where Jesus said a thing, or where he went to next might be different, but the moral or the teaching remained the same, before they were then grouped according to type, so tales on healing went together, tales on exorcism ect before undergoing the longer process to their final form at Nicaea.
But that implies quite a driving force behind the original need to tell those stories and then to set them down and to get them out there in a surprising brief time frame. Mystery Cults don't usually work fast, they don't have the impetus.
What's the source accelerating everything else out from it?

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Re: Religous debates and questions [2]

Post by halfwise on Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:29 pm

David: Agreed.  But then the documentation multiplies and the transition was likely not uniform once Christianity had spread, and it just becomes a messier problem.  The guy is nothing if not thorough, and I think you're looking at a 1200 page tome.  Might be worth suggesting it to him, though.

The 'why' is fairly evident and he does go into some detail here: the initial earthly but symbolic stories made it easier for inductees to grasp the basic principles.  But as time goes by the literal reading takes over from the symbolic reading.  Of course we don't know exactly what the intentions of the original gospel writers were, but the evidence for fabrication is strong enough that we are on safe ground dismissing the gospels as attempts at realistic reporting.  We can even dismiss them as storybook settings for collections of sayings passed down from one man, for if such things were extant why did Paul and other epistle writers never quote directly, never use the phrase "Jesus said...or even Jesus did...."?  They had every reason to do so to bolster their statements, yet always fall back on direct personal/mystical revelation.

Petty: Some response to what you said is above. How can you possibly explain Paul, who had every reason to quote Jesus, not quoting him even once? Not referring to a single thing he did on earth except become crucified? And not just Paul, but the other epistle writers as well, followed by Pope Clement 1. It makes no conceivable sense under the assumption that Jesus had an earthly ministry that resembles at all what we find in the gospels.

At some point some genius who we'll call 'Mark' put together an elegantly concocted story with sayings in line with what Christians were feeling (and Carrier catalogues how most of these things attributed to Jesus were mirrored in earlier scripture) and produces a story so compelling that all Christianity was swept up in its wake.  Who knows his exact motivations, but it sure as hell worked.

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Re: Religous debates and questions [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:49 pm

How can you possibly explain Paul, who had every reason to quote Jesus, not quoting him even once? Not referring to a single thing he did on earth except become crucified?- Halfwise

That ones easy - human nature.
Paul was an egotist and saw himself as the centre of everything, he channeled the whole thing through himself, removing Jesus to all that was needed makes perfect sense to me given what Paul was trying to achieve, which was his own glory.
He openly admits to saying one thing to one set of people and another thing to yet another group, telling them what they want to hear, it doesn't matter to him so long as his message got out there. And that message was Paul-centric. Filtered through Paul.
There was also a more practical reason- someone had said, attributed to a real Jesus by now whether he was or not, that the Kingdom would come in their life times- and Jesus generation were dying off without it happening, the very people he said it too. This was a problem.
Downplaying Jesus the mortal man was expedient politics. The less said about that the better, much better politics to play up the important stuff Paul could use, that Jesus is resurrected, then claim he comes to you in visions and speaks through you, then tell them all there has been a slight change of plan.
So I see a mix of Pauls own egomania mixed with his showmanship, combined with a need to resolve a very real and pressing issue that could have destroyed the faith of the early church and collapsed it before it got rooted.

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Re: Religous debates and questions [2]

Post by halfwise on Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:59 pm

That's a very interesting and unique theory. And it's well established that ego centered jackasses often make the largest imprint on history. But somehow it doesn't ring true to me - I think Paul would do a mix of commonly known sayings and direct revelation; the fact that he cuts ALL earthly reference to Jesus stretches the imagination. And if such sayings and traditions were indeed extant, why do we not get them from other sources until around AD 90 or later? Was the church suppressing it out of fear of Rome? I find that somewhat hard to believe as well. If we have the epistles, why not the rest?

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Re: Religous debates and questions [2]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:12 pm

'That's a very interesting and unique theory.'- Halfwise


---- filtering and translating from scientist speak to Scots- ready---- Yer talkin' oot yer erse sunny-boy!

Mad

But these guys were politicians, and look how ours manipulate history to suit their own immediate needs. Temporarily airbrushinging someones past out the way whilst you big up the supernatural aspect and solve a major dilemma that keeps you in power? seems perfectly reasonable to me, I can think of a lot worse things politicians have done.

-------

http://www.hobbitmovieforum.com/viewtopic.forum?t=1282

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