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Author Topic: My Issues with THE DA VINCI CODE  (Read 9468 times)
indianasmith
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« Reply #45 on: September 01, 2007, 07:52:12 AM »

Been a few days since I posted anything - sorry about that!  Beginning of school craziness has had me busier than a one armed man with a bad case of poison ivy.  I must say I am a veteran of MANY religous discussions and debates on a wide variety of message boards, and this is one of the most civil and informative ones I have ever been party to!  I'm gonna karma everybody after I write this reply!

Cheeze, you mentioned this -
"while some (actual many) non-canonized gospels per date very books like the Fayyum Fragment (70CE), Sophia of Jesus Christ (50CE), Gospel of the Nazoreans (100CE) just to name a few non canonized early Christian text. there is a bunch, and some are in question and hotly debated by scholars as the who, what, when, where and why? Like the    Passion Narrative (30CE), Didache (50-100CE) and    Lost Sayings Gospel Q (40-80CE)}"


The thing about the Gnostic gospels is that many of them indeed are lost, and some are probably legendary.  I haven't heard of the Fayvum Fragment, but the Sophia of Jesus is almost certainly late Second Century.  The Gnostics were particularly fond of personifying "wisdom" and in their later works actually came to consider "Sophia" as a feminine incarnation of the Godhead.  I'm pretty sure the Gospel of the Nazarenes is known to us only by its title, from an early Third Century reference, and any attempt to nail a date to it is vain.  The Didache, as well as
I Clement and The Shepherd of Hermas, are still well-known and complete.  The early church never denounced or censored those works - they were encouraged as devotional reading, in fact.  They were just not included in the canon because they were not authored by an apostle.
    Both the Passion Narrative and the Q Document are theoretical constructs by 19th and early 20th century Bible scholars - there is no ancient proof that either actually existed as a separate document, but they are considered to be the source of the accounts of Jesus' death in the three Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke),  and Q is supposedly the source of all the sayings of Jesus found in Matthew and Luke but not in Mark.    The problem with both those theories is that they presuppose the death of all eyewitnesses before the Synoptics were written, so that Matthew and Luke HAD to have separate written sources.  The more recent thinking on the dates for Matthew and Luke renders the whole idea of the Q Document and a written Passion narrative unnecessary - since Matthew was an eyewitness and Luke interviewed numerous eyewitnesses, by his own account.

   I think the real reason the Gnostic gospels and other works have faded away is that they simply failed the test of time.  They don't reflect many, if any, actual historic words and deeds of Jesus - they are simply vague theological ramblings that are totally at variance with the plain and understandable accounts contained in the New Testament writings.   The God of Gnosticism is not a dynamic, personal incarnation of the creator of the universe - he is (according to which Gnostic gospel you're reading) a misogynistic Zen master spouting wise sayings and incomprehensible  analogies, or an obviously embellished, frequently psychotic legendary figure that is almost scary at times (like the story in the Gnostic gospel I Infancy, in which Jesus curses a neighborhood boy to die for pushing him into a puddle).  One scholar I was reading this week commented that the Gnostic traditions reflect exactly the kind of legendary development that builds up around historic figures a century or more after their death, like the miracle stories in the Hadith about Muhammad and the embellished accounts of the Knights of the Round Table grafted onto the historical Briton warlord Artorius.  They are a fascinating window into the thinking of this splinter sect that branched off of Christianity in the Second Century, but they add little to our understanding of the real Jesus.
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CheezeFlixz
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« Reply #46 on: September 01, 2007, 12:43:14 PM »

Quote
I must say I am a veteran of MANY religous discussions and debates on a wide variety of message boards, and this is one of the most civil and informative ones I have ever been party to!

Ditto that ... they say you shouldn't talk religion or politics, the 2 single most important subjects going. I talk both all the time, oddly enough while I take what is call a 'left wing liberal' view of religion, I take a 'ring wing conservative.' view of politics. So I guess I'm truly fair and balanced.   

The Fayyum Fragment is just that a fragment and reads a lot like Mark 14:26-31 so there is a little bit of it just not much. It's just another old writing that some regard as the real and some don't, it's really very minor as it only consist of about 100 Greek letters.
One the Sophia of Jesus I guess I missed the part and will have to refresh my knowledge of it as you noted it "was consider a feminine incarnation of the Godhead." I always thought "Sophia" was just a Greek word for 'wisdom' in antiquity, I'll have to research that at some point and enlighten myself.

Yes the original Gospel of the Nazorenes (Nazarenes) are likely lost and first mentioned by Hegesippus around 180CE, and "what we know now mainly come from the writings of Jerome (ca. 400CE), who incorrectly identifies this gospel with the Gospel of the Hebrews, but who, his testimony notwithstanding, certainly had firsthand knowledge only of the Gospel of the Nazoreans." For those out there in b movie land reading this that don't know The Gospel of the Nazoreans is an expansion of the Gospel of Matthew, translated from Greek into Aramaic or Syriac.

Quote
Both the Passion Narrative  and the Q Document  are theoretical constructs by 19th and early 20th century Bible scholars - there is no ancient proof that either actually existed as a separate document, but they are considered to be the source of the accounts of Jesus' death in the three Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke),  and Q is supposedly the source of all the sayings of Jesus found in Matthew and Luke but not in Mark.

Correct, and on that note we have no more proof that the original 10 commandment every existed, but yet we place card broad signs in our yards and argue there merit to be displayed on government property. (Which I have no problem with in the least)
So my point is that even if we do not have the original it doesn't always mean that it never existed, if that is the case then much of the canonized Bible will have to be thrown out. After all we come closer to validated the truth behind the some of works of Homer than the works of the Bible.

Quote
One scholar I was reading this week commented that the Gnostic traditions reflect exactly the kind of legendary development that builds up around historic figures a century or more after their death, like the miracle stories in the Hadith about Muhammad and the embellished accounts of the Knights of the Round Table grafted onto the historical Briton warlord Artorius.

Or others like walking on water, feeding the masses with 5 fish and a loaf of bread, healing the blind, making the cripple walk, turning water to wine, and rising from the died. See I never understood how scholars accept without question or debate some miracles and flatly disregard others as flights of fancy or heresy. Again we go back to cherry picking. Many of the non-canonized text are not canonized in my opinion simply because they don't fit the mold set forth by scholars and experts, and if I have not learned anything else in life, I have learned one thing ... there are no experts.

See my outside of the box observation has seen that Christianity is a great religion because ... 1.) It's all about peace, love, acceptance and forgiveness. That's a great concept even if few practice them. 2.) It requires no proof it's all about faith. I can tell you it happened, I can tell you it existed and tell you I have nothing physical to show you, just trust me it was here at one time long ago ... have faith.
I find it interesting that nearly all Christian celebrations fall on pagan holidays. Some even in name like Easter which is named after Astarte another name for Beltis who was/is/called the queen of heaven. Both are Chaldean in origin, the easter bunny is a Pagan symbol of fertility... Semiramis.
And just a little more useless trivia for you, Sunrise Service is also pagan as Christ did not rise at sunrise it was still dark, see John 20:1. It was a pagan worship service to the sun god.  And 'lent' can you say 'Tammuz.' Easter has more to do with Ishtar, than Jesus Christ ... but I digress. (Great thing about having ADHD is you can wonder in 50 directions at once.) 

On the other hand if I show you (I'm using 'you' collectively) a dinosaur bone or a prehistoric skeleton of an early human and say this is 3.5M years old or 200M years old, I will get a cornucopia of bazaar logic as to how and why those are here from them being just rocks that look like bones to works of the devil to trick and tempt us. I actually had a preacher tell me once that dinosaur bones came from some proto-earth were God had made the earth several times before experimenting until he got it right ... I was 'WHAT? God was experimenting? That sort of flies in the face of being God-like doesn't it?" So  what did God say ... 'Well damn that didn't work back to the ole drawing cloud.' I couldn't find the duct tape fast enough as my brain was about to explode. God was practicing, warming up for the big final project. Mind you this wasn't some back road preacher it was at a church we were going to that had 2500 member and active services of nearly a 1000 ... I never went back there after that. It was just to far fetched for even fundamental Christian logic. I have many stories about this preacher, some would scare you more than than some of the Gnostic text.     

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indianasmith
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« Reply #47 on: September 01, 2007, 08:09:04 PM »

Lots of good stuff there to respond to, Cheeze, but I am in the middle of writing a newsletter for my artifact club that is a month overdue . . . so please accept this raincheck.


BTW, besides being a minister, I am an amateur archeologist and paleontologist . . .  I personally discovered and excavated the mosasaur in my avatar!
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CheezeFlixz
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« Reply #48 on: September 01, 2007, 10:57:34 PM »

Lots of good stuff there to respond to, Cheeze, but I am in the middle of writing a newsletter for my artifact club that is a month overdue . . . so please accept this raincheck.


BTW, besides being a minister, I am an amateur archeologist and paleontologist . . .  I personally discovered and excavated the mosasaur in my avatar!

No problem ... there's some sort of irony to a Minister being an amateur archaeologist and paleontologist. It's almost an oxymoron, The Minister of Bones. I enjoy both as well, I have a rather extensive fossil and Indian artifact collection, but by no means am I a plethora of knowledge. I chalk it up to neat stuff I like.

Probably ought to take a break anyway, me thinks some don't care for my post.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2007, 11:13:07 PM by CheezeFlixz » Logged

indianasmith
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A good bad movie is like popcorn for the soul!


« Reply #49 on: September 02, 2007, 03:00:57 PM »

I wanted to comment some on Cheeze's earlier post -
(translation - I think the dead horse twitched - let's flog it some MORE!!!!  TeddyR)


First, he said:


Or others like walking on water, feeding the masses with 5 fish and a loaf of bread, healing the blind, making the cripple walk, turning water to wine, and rising from the died. See I never understood how scholars accept without question or debate some miracles and flatly disregard others as flights of fancy or heresy.

Here is the difference - there are some 35 documented miracles of  Jesus mentioned in the Gospels.  All of them are, first of all, consistent with his character; secondly, they are documented in sources that go back to the original apostles and eyewitnesses of Jesus; and last, were performed for the benefit of others, not himself.  Of course, skeptical scholars like the Jesus Seminar reject all miracles on the principle that they do not believe God intervenes in this world (frankly, I think most of the guys in the Jesus Seminar don't even think God exists).  Thomas Jefferson cut all the miracles out of his Bible for the same reason.  But starting with a flawed premise leads first to a flawed hypothesis and finally to a flawed conclusion.  If God exists, and were going to incarnate Himself into the world to save mankind, then one would expect Him to validate the claim to divinity with miraculous claims.  Jesus said "the works which I do testify of me."  However, the miracles that occur in the Gnostic gospels are generally either selfish and vindictive in their motivations, or else out of character with the Jesus that was written about by those who actually knew Him, which none of the Gnostic authors did.

The next comment is this:

I find it interesting that nearly all Christian celebrations fall on pagan holidays. Some even in name like Easter which is named after Astarte another name for Beltis who was/is/called the queen of heaven. Both are Chaldean in origin, the easter bunny is a Pagan symbol of fertility... Semiramis.
And just a little more useless trivia for you, Sunrise Service is also pagan as Christ did not rise at sunrise it was still dark, see John 20:1. It was a pagan worship service to the sun god.  And 'lent' can you say 'Tammuz.' Easter has more to do with Ishtar, than Jesus Christ ... but I digress. (Great thing about having ADHD is you can wonder in 50 directions at once.) 


You will get no argument from me there.  The fact is when Constantine legalized Christianity, he knew that if he were to ban or discourage all of Rome's traditional pagan holidays he would have a riot on his hands.  So he just Christianized them.  Christmas replaced Yule and so on . . . actually the birth of Jesus was probably in late summer or early fall, not in December.  I will say, however, that if we want to celebrate his birth, December is as good a time to do it as any.  Christmas is, you might say, not a Scriptural holiday, but it is (or at least was) a Christian holiday on the old grounds that possession is nine tenths of the law.
  As for Easter, while the name itself is pagan, at least we have the season right.  We know Jesus was crucified at Passover, and since the Jews have kept Passover for over 3000 years, we know the month and possibly the day that Jesus was crucified (The year is another matter - some scholars argue for 29 AD, others for 30 AD, and a few still hold out for 33).  As far as sunrise services - the women set out before daylight and probably arrived just as dawn was breaking or a bit before.  But have you ever tried to get a churchful of Baptists to assemble BEFORE dawn?  Heck, one church I belonged to held their "sunrise" service at 8 AM.  (Sluggards!)

  As far as evolution and the Genesis creation narrative go, I honestly have no idea how to fully reconcile the two.   I firmly believe that God placed us here for a reason, and the idea of me being a cosmic accident with no eternal significance is unacceptable to me.  Whether God formed me out of clay or genetically engineered me over millenia, I am His child and He's stuck with me!
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Allhallowsday
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« Reply #50 on: September 02, 2007, 08:26:17 PM »

I don't think indignation at purposeless existance is enough evidence for me, but I can relate!   Twirling

I've read CHEEZEFLIXZ comments and I tend to agree or at least see whence they came.  I've grappled with similar questions.  Any thinking man has.  I do avoid religious discussions for personal reasons.  But, comment about certain festivals on the calendar is getting nearer my own interests, and should point out that Christmas supplanted two roman festivals: the six to five day SATURNALIA ending December 24, and the DIES NATALIS SOLIS INVICTI (birth of the new sun, or the sun unconquered) which was celecbrated on December 25, and traditionally the beginning of the new year... Yule is a Scandanavian festival, celebrated at the same time, but documented in later centuries.  All of these terms are well known to Christian scholars, and their familiarity to us is due to Christian scholarship.  However, it is well noted that history is written by the victors. 
Sol invictus. 
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indianasmith
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A good bad movie is like popcorn for the soul!


« Reply #51 on: September 02, 2007, 08:33:19 PM »

That is indeed one of the laws of history, however, the exception that proves the rule is the American Civil War . .  . for a century after it ended the scholarship on it was done largely by Southern historians, which is why so many people to this day insist it was not about slavery, but state's rights.  Jefferson Davis pretty much invented that excuse in his retirement after the war, although he sang another tune at its beginning . . . .
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"Carpe diem!" - Seize the day!  "Carpe per diem!" - Seize the daily living allowance! "Carpe carp!" - Seize the fish!
"Carpe Ngo Diem!" - Seize the South Vietnamese Dictator!
Allhallowsday
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« Reply #52 on: September 02, 2007, 08:38:40 PM »

Interesting comments about the Civil War, my Dad said it was about economics, but what about the Roman festivals supplanted with Christian holidays?   Smile
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CheezeFlixz
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« Reply #53 on: September 02, 2007, 09:58:48 PM »

While the urge to talk about the Civil War is killing me being a direct descendant of a Southern General and having many on both sides ... I'll reframe.

As for Roman festivals and many other pagan holidays were mainly adapted by the Christians in order to convert pagans to Christianity as some sort of religious practice compromise. Come join our religion and we'll let you keep Astarte and Yules but we're going to redesign them, and the pagan joined the Christians rejoiced.

So thanks to this co-mingling of religions we now have ...

Mistletoe (Norse and Celtic)
Santa Claus, Sinter Klaus, Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle (Assorted places)
Easter Bunny (Semiramis)
Easter Eggs (these date back to Egypt)
Gift Giving (Various)
Christmas Trees (Germanic and Norse)
Yule Log (Germanic)

Anyway you get the idea ... there are many and most of then come from some pagan ritual or holiday.

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Allhallowsday
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« Reply #54 on: September 02, 2007, 10:27:55 PM »

So thanks to this co-mingling of religions we now have ...
Santa Claus, Sinter Klaus, Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle (Assorted places)
Don't forget Papa Noel or Grandfather Frost or Befana... 

While the urge to talk about the Civil War is killing me being a direct descendant of a Southern General and having many on both sides ... I'll reframe.
Refrain.   
BUT, you should start a thread about your family history; it sounds fascinating.  There seem to be many history buffs on this board.   
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indianasmith
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A good bad movie is like popcorn for the soul!


« Reply #55 on: September 02, 2007, 10:47:26 PM »

While the urge to talk about the Civil War is killing me being a direct descendant of a Southern General and having many on both sides ... I'll reframe.

A topic for another day, then!!  In my own defense, I will say that I am a sixth generation Texan (my ancestors were the ORIGINAL wetbacks, they swam across the Sabine river INTO Mexico!), and all my ancestors on both sides fought for the South.  Still, I think they fought in a bad cause.

You may begin the thread on this  topic at the time and place of your choosing.


Draw! TeddyR
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CheezeFlixz
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« Reply #56 on: September 02, 2007, 11:23:17 PM »

You may begin the thread on this  topic at the time and place of your choosing.
Draw! TeddyR

Perhaps one day, I can only effectively annoy people in one subject at a time.

Quote
Gnostic gospels are generally either selfish and vindictive in their motivations, or else out of character with the Jesus that was written about by those who actually knew Him, which none of the Gnostic authors did.

Seeing that when they were first written and who wrote them is often not known or debated then that statement can not be made with 100% certainty. It can only be an hypothesis only.

Quote
You will get no argument from me there.

Thank God.


Sorry couldn't pass that up.

Quote
As far as evolution and the Genesis creation narrative go, I honestly have no idea how to fully reconcile the two.

That's a better answer than most of the stuff I heard from people. If you don't know, admit it instead of coming up with some bazaar story to explain away.
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Hammock Rider
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« Reply #57 on: September 04, 2007, 03:10:41 PM »

Hey Indiana,
 Not to get off-topic but I am a fan of paleontology. I gave you a karma for discovering that mosasaur. Fossils ROCK!(See what I did there?)
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Jumping Kings and Making Haste Ain't my Cup of Meat
indianasmith
Archeologist, Theologian, Elder Scrolls Addict, and a
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema
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Karma: 1378
Posts: 8010


A good bad movie is like popcorn for the soul!


« Reply #58 on: September 04, 2007, 10:31:26 PM »

Thanks Hammock!
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"Carpe Ngo Diem!" - Seize the South Vietnamese Dictator!
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