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A little bit of history about Easter

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Easter is celebrated in Christian countries by Christians and non-Christians alike, but with different meanings. Much like Christmas which was adopted to accomodate the pagans of the time, Easter is another one of those celebrations which was used to convert the pagans. Unlike Christmas, Easter actually has roots in early Christian history. Although this is a Christian holy day, literally, many of the pagan customs of the time were weaved into the Christian celebration to make it favorable to the new converts.

Easter Sunday falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after March 20th which marks the Spring Equinox. Easter Sunday can fall anywhere from March 22 to April 25th. Eastern Orthodox churches have a different method in determining Easter and sometimes will be observed on the same day as other Christian religions.

Easter Sunday, which is what people mostly refer to when they say Easter, is at the end of the Lent period (40 days - Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday, Sundays are not counted as part of Lent, but are spent in commemoration of Easter Sunday, so technically there are 40 days of Lent and 40 is always a symbol of completion in the Holy Scriptures.)

The Christian celebration of Easter is observed mostly from the beginning of Lent to the culmination at Easter Sunday with many days marked as special to note a special event in connection with the last days of Jesus before cruxifiction. The Holy Week is the last week of Lent which begins on Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday is supposed to mark the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem when the crowds laid palms at his feet. Holy Thursday is for the Last Supper. Good Friday marks the day of the Crufixion when Jesus Christ was crucified and died on the cross.

Easter Sunday marks the day when Jesus is supposed to have risen from the dead proving He has the power over death to redeem those who will simply believe in Him, saving those believers from the wrath of hell.

The word Easter is believed to be from the Scandinavian word Ostra or the Teutonic word Ostern or Eastre which were both Goddesses of spring and fertility whose festival was celebrated on the day of the vernal equinox.

Christians spend Easter Sunday in celebration and at church reflecting upon the risen Christ. Some choose to not make merriment of this day as it seems to holy while others enjoy some of the pagan remnants of the day.

The Jewish people also had a celebration around this time of year which is pointed out in Scripture known as the Passover, the observance when the angels of death passed over the homes of the faithful who marked their doorposts with the blood of the lamb (a blood sacrifice) to spare them from death. Ironically, the Christian holiday is sort of the same thing - Jesus, the lamb of God, being the blood sacrifice to spare believers from death in hell.

Some religious historians believe the death and resurrection legends were first associated with Attis. Attis was the Good Shepherd of the Roman Empire around the time of Christ. Attis' death and resurrection were celebrated at the time of year we would call Easter. The reed bearers are similar to the palm bearers of Jesus on His way to Jerusalem. The procession of the tree is simialar to the Via Dolorosa when Jesus was carrying of the cross. The effigy of Attis hanging from a tree again is just like Jesus. Some will argue that Jesus may or may not have been a real person to whom all these grand myths were attributed. Christians regard Jesus' death and resurrection account as being true and unrelated to the Roman tradition.

The Holy Week is the culmination of events marking the final days of Jesus before Easter Sunday. These are the days:

Palm Sunday - The Sunday before Easter Sunday recalling Jesus' entry into Jerusalem a week before dying on the cross.

Holy Monday - Jesus' cleansing of the temple and turning over the tables of the money changers to purify the house of worship.

Holy Tuesday - Jesus' talk with his disciples on the Mount of Olives about the soon to come destruction of Jerusalem.

Holy Wednesday - The day Judas decided to betray Jesus in exchange for 30 pieces of silver.

Maundy Thursday - The Last Supper of Jesus and his time in the garden with his disciples who would not stay awake before his arrest.

Good Friday - The day Jesus died on the cross.

Holy Saturday - The final day of Lent and the Holy Week.

Easter Sunday - The resurrection of Jesus.

Some religions also observe the following as part of the Easter celebration:

Feast of the Ascension - The celebration of Jesus ascensending up to heaven.

Pentecost or Whit Sunday - 49 days after Easter Sunday recalling the visitation of the Holy Spirit to 120 Christians with the speaking of the tongues.

The traditions associated with Easter are primarily derived from Pagan traditions which include:

Hot Cross Buns: The pagan festival had the Saxon fertility Goddess sacrifice an ox and the horns in the form of a cross became a symbol of the season, carved into the breads. The cross represented the moon, the heavenly body associated with the Goddess, and its four quarters. The word boun, from which the word bun came, means sacred ox.

As Christianity spread throughout Europe, buns were made in the traditional method, but the cross now symbolized the cruxifix of Jesus.

Easter Rabbit and Eggs - Both represent fertility. Dyed eggs were also used as part of the rituals of the Babylonian religions. In the pagan spring and fertility festivals eggs were painted and given as gifts. Eggs represented fertility and to be given one was to wish upon the receiver that they may have many children. The rabbit is another symbol of both springtime and of fertility which was strongly associated with this celebration. Has no real merit in the Christian holy days.

Easter Lilies - Without getting too graphic, the shape of an Easter lily is almost the shape of a male organ, another sign of fertility for the season when these flowers would bloom. Has no real merit in the Christian holy days.

Easter Sunrise Service - It was a pagan custom to welcome the sun God at the vernal equinox at sunrise. Christians use this early hour to attend church to greet the promise of the day for a hope of life in heaven.

Easter Candles - The Pagans would light bonfires to welcome the rebirth of the sun God. On the night before Easter, many will go to a service to light a candle at a special Mass.

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quote:

Holy Thursday is for the Last Supper.

quote:

The Jewish people also had a celebration around this time of year which is pointed out in Scripture known as the Passover, the observance when the angels of death passed over the homes of the faithful who marked their doorposts with the blood of the lamb (a blood sacrifice) to spare them from death. Ironically, the Christian holiday is sort of the same thing - Jesus, the lamb of God, being the blood sacrifice to spare believers from death in hell.

Not so ironic, since the Last Supper was actually Jesus and his disciples, all observant Jews, celebrating the Passover seder.

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quote:


The Jewish people also had a celebration around this time of year which is pointed out in Scripture known as the Passover, the observance when the angels of death passed over the homes of the faithful who marked their doorposts with the blood of the lamb (a blood sacrifice) to spare them from death. Ironically, the Christian holiday is sort of the same thing - Jesus, the lamb of God, being the blood sacrifice to spare believers from death in hell.

I agree this isn't very ironic, many of the rituals practiced by the jews in the Old Testament are a type or picture of the redemptive work of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Beyond that I agree, there really are no truly Christian holidays. Easter is probably the closest we have.

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Guest rtoolooze

Which brings up a good point. Really, there should'nt be all these so called holidays. No where in the Bible are we commanded to celebrate christmas, or even easter for that matter. Also, most people associate things like Santa and the easter bunny to those holiday's before they do spiritual things. Things that are in no way related to what the real meaning is.

There is however ONE celebration we should observe every year, once a year. The memorial of Jesus death, or the last supper as some people call it. Jesus himself said, "Keep doing this in remembrance of me. He also demonstrated how it should be observed, with the praying over the wine and bread, and passing these around.

Also, there's a reason why this was done on the Jewish passover celebration. Jesus and his disiples had just finished celebrating the passover meal. It was after this was finished that Jesus instituted this new celebration. Because christians were to now start observing this celebration from this time forward. And since the passover was celebrated once a year, on Nisan 14, Jesus replaced that with the memorial of his death, which is even more important, to be observed once a year.

This year, the memorial of Jesus death, on Nisan 14th, fell on Sunday April 4th. (Not this Maundy Thursday or whatever. This puzzles me. Its seems like some christians put Easter Sunday way ahead of the memorial of his death. And he never even told us to observe an Easter, or his resurrection. His giving his life and buying back what Adam lost is what is most important, as its what gives us hope.)

Anyone else observe this one and only celebration that Jesus, Gods own son, told us to observe?

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Guest

And the celebration that you speak of, the eating of the body and the drinking of the blood is a VERY ancient Pagan tradition.

The religion of Mithras had this as one of it's MAJOR religious practices. Also, many Pagans used this type of celebration for the teacher to show his students metaphorically that they had passed his tests, and were now able to become a part of him, by eating the bread, that was symbolically the teachers body, and drinking the wine, which was symbolically the teachers blood, they were taking a part of the teacher within themselves.

This is a VERY ancient tradition, and does not at all originate with Christianity.

Christians do not have ANY of their own holidays, each and every one, including the last supper, were stolen from other religions to make them more palatable to the pagans that used those same celebrations in their own, and therefore more easily converted.

Christianity is a conglomeration of just about every religion that existed, there is nothing original about christianity at all.

It is fascinating to study the christian religious history, because as it spread to different regions and ran into different pagan traditions, it changed and added things, such as Jesus dying and being raised from the dead after 3 days. This occurred after the christians ran into sun worshipping Pagans, who celebrated the death and rising again of the sun god URR like a phoenix.

Jesus was never said to have died and risen again, until after he had to compete with the sun god, then he not only had to be equal to, he had to surpass the god that he was displacing.

The historical study of Christianity is a very interesting study. VERY interesting.....

The Pagan traditions that are in it, become so obvious that it is real hard to not realize what was going on.

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Guest $iLk

I think an important historical study would be to gain access to the official documents of the Roman Empire which are no doubt stored in the Vatican or somewhere in old Rome which would no doubt archive the historical points of Jesus' death by crucifixion.

Prophecy and testaments in the Torah are said to fortell the coming of Messiah - and the probability of one man meeting every single prophecy was considered so remote that there would be no doubt. Before his birth leading up to his death, Jesus apparently had fulfilled all the the prophecies, and instituted a new covenant... including relations to the Old Covenant which fortold of events well over 1000 years before these events happened - such as the reformation of Israel. I can't think of any country that has been obliterated - having come back. The Jewish leaders at the time rejected Jesus because he wasn't a member of the "elite" and was 'simply' the son of a no-account carpenter from all they could tell - despite testimony to the miracles and such that he performed.

While apparent similarities may can be draw to pagan traditions, etc. - I personally don't see any pagan churches around to explain their belief systems to me. Although I have been told that apparently some cultures had views of God and a savior without actually having access to written translations of actual events. They just knew - and some assumed certain things which parallel Christianity although given that they did not have access to a written medium - imagine the word of mouth inconsistencies that could have led to dispariging beliefs based on the same ideals?

Just something to consider from my rambling.

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Guest rtoolooze

I too am part of those millions who do not celebrate christmas, easter, ect.

Indeed, the Bible does have an important message. And when you finaly know the truth, the scriptures are clear as water, and completly makes sense.

The Bible fortold that after Jesus and the first century christians, a great apostasy would occur within christianity. Not only are there religious holidays that are not scriptural,there are many false doctrines that did come from pagan religions which christendom adopted into their own doctrine. (this happened after the first century)

But that does not mean that all chritians believe in such things as imortality of the soul, a literal burning hell, or even the notion that all good people go to heaven. ( I mean, do you really think that Gods original purpose was for humans to die and go to heaven?)

To be sure, the Bible teaches the truth. One only needs to study it and find out for themselves what it says, and what God requires of us.

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quote:

Originally posted by $iLk:

I think an important historical study would be to gain access to the official documents of the Roman Empire which are no doubt stored in the Vatican or somewhere in old Rome which would no doubt archive the historical points of Jesus' death by crucifixion.

Don't mean to be difficult, but those documents don't exist, biblical scholars have been over the Roman Records with a FINE tooth comb, (the romans kept maticulous records) and the ONLY place in any historical document that claims that Jesus was crucified on a cross, or died at all, is the bible, or more importantly The New Testament. There is NO other historical documentation to back up that claim. The documents do NOT exist.

quote:

Prophecy and testaments in the Torah are said to fortell the coming of Messiah - and the probability of one man meeting every single prophecy was considered so remote that there would be no doubt. Before his birth leading up to his death, Jesus apparently had fulfilled all the the prophecies, and instituted a new covenant... including relations to the Old Covenant which fortold of events well over 1000 years before these events happened - such as the reformation of Israel. I can't think of any country that has been obliterated - having come back. The Jewish leaders at the time rejected Jesus because he wasn't a member of the "elite" and was 'simply' the son of a no-account carpenter from all they could tell - despite testimony to the miracles and such that he performed.

The jews disagree with you, again, the ONLY document that says that Jesus fulfilled ANY prophecy is the bible, there is NO other documentation that backs it up, NONE, the documents don't exist, and the Jews do not believe that Jesus was the Messiah, and do not agree that he fulfilled ANY prophecy, let alone all of them.

quote:

While apparent similarities may can be draw to pagan traditions, etc. - I personally don't see any pagan churches around to explain their belief systems to me. Although I have been told that apparently some cultures had views of God and a savior without actually having access to written translations of actual events. They just knew - and some assumed certain things which parallel Christianity although given that they did not have access to a written medium - imagine the word of mouth inconsistencies that could have led to dispariging beliefs based on the same ideals?

First off, there are PLENTY of Pagan religions and believers that can tell you a lot about their beliefs, they number in the millions in the US and are growing faster then most Christian religions, believe it or not. You just have to look, if you're truly interested, Pagans do not prostlatize. And MOST if not ALL Pagan traditions are written, and have been written, 99% of that documentation was destroyed by the early Christian church, but some actually survived, and as a matter of fact the Vatican has a copy of EVERY book that was banned and destroyed by the early church.

quote:

Just something to consider from my rambling.

OK!!

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quote:

Originally posted by rtoolooze:

I too am part of those millions who do not celebrate christmas, easter, ect.

Indeed, the Bible does have an important message. And when you finaly know the truth, the scriptures are clear as water, and completly makes sense.

The Bible fortold that after Jesus and the first century christians, a great apostasy would occur within christianity. Not only are there religious holidays that are not scriptural,there are many false doctrines that did come from pagan religions which christendom adopted into their own doctrine. (this happened after the first century)

But that does not mean that all chritians believe in such things as imortality of the soul, a literal burning hell, or even the notion that all good people go to heaven. ( I mean, do you really think that Gods original purpose was for humans to die and go to heaven?)

To be sure, the Bible teaches the truth. One only needs to study it and find out for themselves what it says, and what God requires of us.

The scriptures are as clear as mud to me, read the bible from beginning to end, just once, don't jump around, just read it from beginning to end, some VERY interesting inconsistencies crop up.

The historical study of the bible is fascinating, but at the same time can be rather foundation shaking if you have "faith". I have no faith in anything, show me the money, or I ain't playing, sorry...(that's kind of the point of religion though, money and power over the flock)

The Mormon next door is losing his mind with me, he wants me to come to church with him, and it absolutely AIN'T happening.... And I can't tell him what I know, I mean, the guys my neighbor, I have to live with him. It creates a bit of a conundrum....

Anyway, thought this might be a fun thread, because MANY christians are clueless as to how ALL of their holidays are actually Pagan, and I find it fun to enlighten them.

Although sometimes, it is like hitting a bees nest with a stick.....

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Guest $iLk

Personally I've always wondered how the holidays came about - I never believed they were religiously mandated - but I do believe they were religiously inspired.

And about Jesus - it would be understandable that Jesus' birth would not have been recorded in the Roman records considering the circumstances of his birth - but why his death was not chronicled I find bizarre. Whether it is or isn't we won't know without the records - but I think it's pretty indisputable that he did in fact exist. Even the most fervent agnostics I've seen still acknowledge Jesus as a "great man" even though they don't acknowledge him as the son of God.

Even the Jews know he existed - they just do not believe that he was the Messiah. So I'm just wondering where the records went.

quote:

The jews disagree with you, again, the ONLY document that says that Jesus fulfilled ANY prophecy is the bible, there is NO other documentation that backs it up, NONE, the documents don't exist, and the Jews do not believe that Jesus was the Messiah, and do not agree that he fulfilled ANY prophecy, let alone all of them.


It depends on whether or not you believe the bible was the inspired word of God or whether it was a bunch of people writing out stuff from their own minds... including fictionally creating a person and attempting to pass him off as real from what you appeared to have stated.

quote:

First off, there are PLENTY of Pagan religions and believers that can tell you a lot about their beliefs, they number in the millions in the US and are growing faster then most Christian religions, believe it or not. You just have to look, if you're truly interested, Pagans do not prostlatize. And MOST if not ALL Pagan traditions are written, and have been written, 99% of that documentation was destroyed by the early Christian church, but some actually survived, and as a matter of fact the Vatican has a copy of EVERY book that was banned and destroyed by the early church.


Yeah I think last I heard my ex-wife had gotten into some crazy stuff...

quote:

The scriptures are as clear as mud to me, read the bible from beginning to end, just once, don't jump around, just read it from beginning to end, some VERY interesting inconsistencies crop up.


Alright I'm asking for it - point some out.

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Guest rtoolooze

If you only knew how many times i've not only read the bible, but studied it, (there is a difference) you would'nt ask me such a silly task.

Its not clear to you because you really don't want it to be. You are not looking in it to find answer's. Jesus said some would look but not see, hear but not listen. If you knew what I knew, I think you would look at it differently.

Quote

"(that's kind of the point of religion though, money and power over the flock)"

Mabe for most of Christendom, but really thats an incorrect statement.

Actually, the historical study of the Bible is faith strengthening to those with faith. Those with TRUE faith. But make no mistake about it, my belief's are not on faith alone. I don't blindly take someone's word for it, I make sure of it myself.

Quote

"I have no faith in anything, show me the money, or I ain't playing, sorry..."

Did'nt you say awhile back that you do believe in some higher power? (I may be wrong, sorry if I am) If you do, that takes some sort of faith right? I mean, you have'nt seen him, and I'm sure he did'nt come down and show you the money.

Also, your right. There are many clueless christians on many things spiritual. However, there are those who are not clueless.

I've been studying History and the Bible since being able to read. I know you pride yourself on you knowledge of history. But so do I. And not just Biblical history. Yes, History is a wonderful thing.

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quote:

Originally posted by $iLk:

Personally I've always wondered how the holidays came about - I never believed they were religiously mandated - but I do believe they were religiously inspired.

And about Jesus - it would be understandable that Jesus' birth would not have been recorded in the Roman records considering the circumstances of his birth - but why his death was not chronicled I find bizarre. Whether it is or isn't we won't know without the records - but I think it's pretty indisputable that he did in fact exist. Even the most fervent agnostics I've seen still acknowledge Jesus as a "great man" even though they don't acknowledge him as the son of God.

Even the Jews know he existed - they just do not believe that he was the Messiah. So I'm just wondering where the records went.

quote:

The jews disagree with you, again, the ONLY document that says that Jesus fulfilled ANY prophecy is the bible, there is NO other documentation that backs it up, NONE, the documents don't exist, and the Jews do not believe that Jesus was the Messiah, and do not agree that he fulfilled ANY prophecy, let alone all of them.


It depends on whether or not you believe the bible was the inspired word of God or whether it was a bunch of people writing out stuff from their own minds... including fictionally creating a person and attempting to pass him off as real from what you appeared to have stated.

quote:

First off, there are PLENTY of Pagan religions and believers that can tell you a lot about their beliefs, they number in the millions in the US and are growing faster then most Christian religions, believe it or not. You just have to look, if you're truly interested, Pagans do not prostlatize. And MOST if not ALL Pagan traditions are written, and have been written, 99% of that documentation was destroyed by the early Christian church, but some actually survived, and as a matter of fact the Vatican has a copy of EVERY book that was banned and destroyed by the early church.


Yeah I think last I heard my ex-wife had gotten into some crazy stuff...

quote:

The scriptures are as clear as mud to me, read the bible from beginning to end, just once, don't jump around, just read it from beginning to end, some VERY interesting inconsistencies crop up.


Alright I'm asking for it - point some out.


Well, let's see, where did the records go.

They never existed...

The socalled census that occurred when Jesus was born, NEVER happened, the bible is the ONLY source for this tale. The killing of the children, again, NEVER happened, the bible is the only source, Jesus being tried bu Pilate, Never happened, the bible is the only source for this, and MANY scholars have worked hard trying to find the trial that the bible talks about, they have found MANY men with the name Jesus that were crucified, but none of them can be said to be the actual jesus. The crucifiction, historically, NEVER happened, there is absolutely no record of it EVER occurring, anywhere, except the bible, and the Gospel of Thomas, but don't read that, it'll scare you. The Jews choosing one criminal over another because of Passover, the Romans NEVER did this, NOT ever. The only place that says it happened is in the bible.

The bible is the ONLY source of some these occurances, and historically there is NOTHING to back up the bible, and as a matter of fact, much of it refutes what the bible says, actually not the bible, just the New Testament.

Now, for the inconsistencies within the bible itself.

Look to the 4 gospels, read about the birth of Jesus, it is talked about in 2 of them, both are TOTALLY different. Read about the crucifiction and the last supper etc, not all of them speak of it, and the ones that do tell different stories.

The whole New testament is confusing, if studied in that way. Also, the New Testament, when studied with historical documentation, has a number of flaws, and outright fabrications.

Read the Gnostic Gospels, the dead sea scrolls, and the Gospel of Thomas, you will find a lot of interesting information, that will A: Blow your mind, and B: tell a totally different story then the new testament. Also, those above have historical validation. There are records that back them up.

Yes, I love history, but do not get involved in religion anymore. Many have tried, and ALL have failed. From Christians, to Jehovah Witness's, to Mormons, to Muslims, to Pagans. They have all tried in one way shape or form to get me involved in their spiritually awakening religions. I just can't do it, I know far too much about the history of the religions, their founders, how they came about, and when and where the books were written, the historical validity of same, and of course the true motivations of such prostletizers. Money, and power.....

Politics is much the same, money and power, just that religions use god as the source of their power, and politicians use the people as theirs.

I have faith in neither. AS long as humans are involved, it's gonna get perverted and used for other purposes besides the ones it was indeed intended for. Religion: To control the baser animal instincts of humans, and force them to lead a moral life for fear of eternal damnation, and Politics: To protect people from each other, to remove those who cannot live peacefully with their neighbors, and to allow people to live their lives without being trampled by others.

Both have been perverted from their original purposes to gain control over other people and their lives, and to suck as much cash from them as humanly possible.

Yep, I am an optimist...

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Jag, you also should consider that in itself the New Testament itself is not one book but many. The 4 Gospels are 4 different accounts/perspectives of the life of Jesus. The Bible itself is just a binding of many different books of literature. Only time has made them known as "the Bible". And as for glaring examples of inconsistencies I too am interested in hearing some. In some ways I see the inconsistencies as proof the authors are writing the truth. They very well could have made their accounts 100% the same at some point but they chose not to do so. They all four wrote their story and stuck with it.

And as for faith I find it doubtful that you dont have any faith. Sounds to me like you have faith in a great many things. History for one seems to hold your attention. Although you yourself believe that history can be fabricated as you seem to believe in relation to the Bible...and yet you have great faith in it.

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quote:

Originally posted by Forever Light:

Jag, you also should consider that in itself the New Testament itself is not one book but many. The 4 Gospels are 4 different accounts/perspectives of the life of Jesus. The Bible itself is just a binding of many different books of literature. Only time has made them known as "the Bible". And as for glaring examples of inconsistencies I too am interested in hearing some. In some ways I see the inconsistencies as proof the authors are writing the truth. They very well could have made their accounts 100% the same at some point but they chose not to do so. They all four wrote their story and stuck with it.

And as for faith I find it doubtful that you dont have any faith. Sounds to me like you have faith in a great many things. History for one seems to hold your attention. Although you yourself believe that history can be fabricated as you seem to believe in relation to the Bible...and yet you have great faith in it.

Well, faith has never been something that was logical or necassary for me.

My understanding of history is not based on faith, it is based on historical documents, that either has other documents to back it up, or other evidence, such as archeological finds etc to back them up.

The bible has NONE of these thinga, as a matter of fact there is MORE evidence refuting the stories in the bible, then there is to back it up.

The bible was put together in the 4th century, the books that were put in were those that agreed with the men that put it together, all other books that were considered were added to a ban and destroy list. The gnostic gospels being one, the gospel of Thomas being another.

Biblical historians ALL agree that the 4 testaments were written either 2 or 3rd, or possibly even 4th hand, the names that are on them, were not written by those men. The historical validity of most if not ALL of the events are questionable in the extreme, being that most of them have NO historical veracity at all.

Some of the customs of the Romans for instance were outright made up. Everyone traveling to their hometowns for the census, never happened, Herod's killing of the children, never happened, Jesus being a criminal and the Jews choosing between him and Barabus, NEVER happened, I could go on and on and on, but I have to go to work this morning, so maybe I will get you more later.

The historical authenticity of the events in the bible are extremely questionable, the people who REALLY wrote the testaments and their motivations are again questionable, the motivations and the way they chose the books that went into the bible, again are VERY questionable, and the traditions etc that the Romans had in the bible, are in fact not at all like the true traditions that the Romans had.

The bible is Full of questionable and outright false information, therefore I can place no faith in it. It was a book created by man, for a manly purpose, power over people. It is not god inspired as far as I am concerned, or the book would be put together far better then it is.

If God is truly omnipotent, the book would make a lot more sense, and would not get caught in outright lies.

Just my opinion, based on true historical facts.

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Guest $iLk

quote:

Just my opinion, based on true historical facts.


One thing you may not be noticing - for Christianity and the Bible - the crucifixion of Jesus was a central element to our forgiveness.

For the Romans, etc. - it was just another day and is understandable that much history would not be compiled over the execution of what many deemed simply "some guy"

For all we know - it was an embarassment on both the Romans and Jews that it even took place, that it was simply public outcry that made it happen - and his trial, etc. wasn't even put into official records because it was embarrassing for an official of Rome to be forced by the conquered to do something.

There are likely many reasons that you can't simply go out and say that it doesn't exist. Just like Donald Rumsfield said of WMD - "Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence" and you'd be fooling yourself to think that this applies to a cache of WMD and not a single man.

There's more than one way to look at this - and applying your logic in such a fashion is akin to the Democrats applying logic to say that WMD never existed. That is over a 12 year gap and not a 2000 year gap also.

*steps back*

Another view on the Gospel of Thomas and it's Gnostic embodiment.

[ 04-14-2004, 03:03 PM: Message edited by: $iLk ]

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I have two really good books (well actually I have hundreds of books on the subject.)

"Ancient Ways" Pauline Campanelli- This book intoduces all Pagan hoidalys their history and symbolism. Also includes ways to celebrate.

"The Chalice and the Blade" Riane Eisler- This book discusses the eveloution from Goddesses to God and the Christian Movement

I spent years researching all sorts of religions. I have yet to find what exactally suits me.

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Jaguar, thanks for the enlightening information. As a Catholic, I thought I knew everything there was to know about this holiday. I appreciate the time and effort you put into this.

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Hey Zwycky, good links, I'm waiting for Jaguar to read and comment, but for those who don't want the extended discussion, let me summarize since I've also been to seminary.

quote:

Jaguar wrote:

The bible has NONE of these thinga[sic], as a matter of fact there is MORE evidence refuting the stories in the bible, then there is to back it up.

Citation please Jaguar? You say you've studied this, well I have too. You want the full discussion, then lay out your sources and do it like a professional does it. If you just read a couple of books that have "the stuff they don't want you to know," then it's old news with a new hat and the discussion has not been advanced.

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Jaguar wrote:

The bible was put together in the 4th century, the books that were put in were those that agreed with the men that put it together, all other books that were considered were added to a ban and destroy list. The gnostic gospels being one, the gospel of Thomas being another.

The Bible was put together in the 4th century, but the 66 books that compose it (27 NT books and the 39 books of the Jewish scriptures that had already been canonized by the Jews themselves during the intertestamental period) were authored earlier. Of the books of the NT, internal evidence suggests that they were all written during the 1st century, within the lifetime of the writers and their Jewish critics. The Gnostic gospels (of which the Gospel of Thomas is one) are later writings (3rd 4th century) whose style is so clearly not that of the four canonical gospels that no one seriously supports their inclusion. However, if you choose to support their inclusion, can you explain what Jesus meant in this passage from the Gospel of Thomas?

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The gospel of Thomas (par. 114)

Simon Peter said to them: "Let Mary go away from us, for women are not worthy of life." Jesus said: "Lo, I shall lead her, so that I may make her a male, that she too may become a living spirit, resembling you males. For every woman who makes herself a male will enter the kingdom of heaven."

Critical scholars agree that early Christianity had a better place for women in the social order than the Roman or Jewish cultures did. Why would that be if Peter and Jesus thought that women had to somehow become men in order to attain entry to the kingdom of heaven? The Gospel of Thomas has more to do with a perverted version of Greek Dualism that made Spirit and men more valuable, and women and the body (for their sexual connections) less valuable. Those value judgments are nowhere in the four canonical gospels.

But I keep forgetting, you're not religious! Now I'm not sure why you even care what's in the canon, but as long as you're debating, then let's have it on record that the books you say were arbitrarily excluded were in fact neo-platonic fictions whose accounts of Jesus' life resembled nothing like the Jewish carpenter that even the atheist scholars affirm the historical details of.

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Jaguar wrote:

Biblical historians ALL agree that the 4 testaments were written either 2 or 3rd, or possibly even 4th hand, the names that are on them, were not written by those men. The historical validity of most if not ALL of the events are questionable in the extreme, being that most of them have NO historical veracity at all.

I think you mean 4 gospels, not four testaments. There are, in point of fact, only two testaments in the Christian Bible--Old and New. Where's your citation that "ALL" historians agree that the gospels were written in the 3rd and 4th centuries? I'll save you the trip to the library, that's false in point of fact (as many "ALL" statements are) because internal evidence in the texts dates their original composition to the 1st century. On that point critical scholars agree, although believers and critics disagree on whether they were composed prior to the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

Also, it's a rule of textual criticism that if a person writes that they are the author of a document (Luke for instance), then unless you've got reason to believe they're lying to you, then you should take them at their word. That's also true of other historical details (such as who was ruling, what the laws said, etc.) that the author has no reason to lie about.

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Jaguar wrote:

Some of the customs of the Romans for instance were outright made up. Everyone traveling to their hometowns for the census, never happened, Herod's killing of the children, never happened, Jesus being a criminal and the Jews choosing between him and Barabus, NEVER happened, I could go on and on and on, but I have to go to work this morning, so maybe I will get you more later.


The census of the population and their property was ordered by Octavian, known as Augustus Caesar, in order to consolidate the empire and determine the basis for recruiting the army and for taxation. This is not historically argued over by critical historians, so I'm not sure why you are.

The murder of innocent children in Bethlehem is not a big deal when you remember that the town would only be large enough to support a population whose infant male children would have numbered no more than ten or twenty. If history is silent on this point it's because it was a relatively minor footnote. Is Herod the Great that kind of guy? Oh yeah, he executed members of his own family in the final years of his life because he was so paranoid about his children overthrowing him for succession. Killing a dozen or so infants in an out of the way Galilean town? Not a big deal for this Idumean who had parleyed his way into Jewish Kingship.

The next statements of your last post rehash, so I'll not treat them again.

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Jaguar wrote:

The bible is Full of questionable and outright false information, therefore I can place no faith in it. It was a book created by man, for a manly purpose, power over people. It is not god inspired as far as I am concerned, or the book would be put together far better then it is.

If God is truly omnipotent, the book would make a lot more sense, and would not get caught in outright lies.

Just my opinion, based on true historical facts.

Unless you can show me some kind of mainstream texts on historiography, new testament studies, and ancient history, then I'm going to assume that you are full of questionable and outright false information. (I'll take a critical scholar over a believer as long as it's from a respected university, say Princeton, Harvard, Oxford, or heck, a professor from my alma mater at the UW there near you in Gig Harbor--the critical stuff I learned mostly from them anyway.) If I'm wrong, then show us all your facts, and we will assess for ourselves the "true historicity" of your opinions.

Now I'm going to lay my cards on the table. First, my sources:

Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology. 1994.

Geisler, Norman L. and William Nix. A General Introduction to the Bible 1986.

Tenney, Merrill C. New Testament Survey 1985.

For critical sources, see Jewish scholars, one of whom in a book I recently read said, "we know more about Jesus than we do about any other 1st century Jew."

As far as your overall thought about Paganism being included in Christianity, the reason that those occasions were setup in church history was so that Christians wouldn't be attracted to festivals in which they would be tempted to return to their pre-Christian beliefs and practices. It was a kind of alternative practice that would undermind syncretistic practices that were so prevalent in a period of history when belief in the gods was more like paying taxes then assembling a worldview. Multiplying gods was no big deal, but Judaism and Christianity were credal systems that denied the inclusion of other gods. That's one of a few reasons why alternative or transmuted pagan festivals were practiced in early Christianity. There are others, but that's sufficient I think.

Okay, bottom line: If you want to poke at people's beehives, then choose a different topic than one which touches the most deeply felt intuitions about the most fundamental realities in the universe. If I had your beliefs laid out before me and started showing YOU how YOUR most centrally held beliefs were not what you thought they were, it would be pretty rude.

Religion is not, as you say, about money and control. It is a universal part of human experience that manifests itself in every culture we have ever heard of, and continues to this day in nine out of the ten people you meet, eight of whom are Christian (according to The First Measured Century, published in 2000).

Religion is, at the very least, a human response to what is perceived to whatever is the most fundamental metaphysical fact of our existence. That's what I teach your kids when I teach Religion in the secular college where I work.

Religion as a social institution has its ups and downs, and you should remember that religion has fed orphans, built hospitals for the sick, and clothed the poor more often then it's ever raised the sword. (In fact, atheism has claimed more lives in the 20th century than Christianity has in its history, see the Black Book of Communism, published in France in 1997.)

I'll grant that many Christians today haven't done the research into their beliefs, but that doesn't mean they're wrong, it just means they haven't thought through all their beliefs yet. Have you thought through all of yours? Be careful how you answer, I wouldn't want someone else to come along and poke at your beliefs the way you've poked at these.

ZM out.

[ 05-03-2004, 03:43 AM: Message edited by: Zane Marlowe ]

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I will just say this about your links, they were ALL Christian websites, and all of them were in CYA mode.

Other then that, I am not going to debate you on this, I have far more facts then most people, and most of it I cannot share with you, because it is NOT accessible via the net. I have been to both France and Italy, as well as the Holy Land.

I have one other little Factoid for you as well.

Remember how he was ALWAYS called Jesus of Nazareth? Well, Nazareth did NOT exist as a city when Jesus was alive, it was actually Jesus the Nazarene, which is a TOTALLY different thing.

Maybe I already went over that somewhere else, but again, neither here nor there.

I think Christianity is a wonderful religion, it keeps peoples baser instincts under control, which is what religion was designed for, and it does a great job. I just like to show the history a little bit and see if I can get then to study their religion a bit.

At the same time, they need to quit concentrating so hard on the person, and concentrate more on the message, because if they don't, when the truth is finally revealed, the message will be lost in the confusion.

Oh, and the time is coming, when that truth will be revealed, and the Crhistians in this country anyway will be in major shock, but if you concentrate on the message, instead of the messenger, then you just might make it with your faith intact.

And the time is coming soon, he's needed now more then ever, and when he shows up, he will not be the person you think he should be.... and he will NOT be coming from heaven, which will be even a greater shock, and when he shows his genealogy, you Christians are going to realize what happened, or claim that he is the anticrhist.

Should be fun to watch. me? I am going to try and help if I can, and if not, I'll sit and watch it unfold.

Also, my religion cannot be attacked or impuned in any way, because I do not have an official religion, neat trick huh? My religion is my own and no one elses, it is right for me and no one else, whatever it is.

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More facts? Produce them. If they are facts, then you have as much of a duty to share them with us as we apparently have a duty to consider them as seriously as you suggest we should. Your travels in France, Italy, and even Israel do not alter the fact that facts themselves are public and open to inspection.

Perhaps you mean to tell us that your "facts" are hidden in those places and cannot be presented to the public for its inspection. What basis could we then have for believing your apocalypic implications except that you yourself seem to believe them?

Your religion, whatever it is, is deeply held by you, and you have the Christian at a disadvantage in conversation not because your view is superior (as you seem to think but have failed to actually show) but because you haven't actually explained and defended it. My point someone to poking your views was not to suggest that I would or wanted to, but rather to say that it is pretty unethical of you to go around poking other people's beliefs because you think it's interesting when to them it represents some of their most deeply felt intuitions about the most fundamental and important aspects of reality. Whether you agree or disagree with organized religion, and whether you do or do not publish your view, that's not something you should be doing callously.

ZM out.

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quote:

Oh, and the time is coming, when that truth will be revealed, and the Crhistians in this country anyway will be in major shock, but if you concentrate on the message, instead of the messenger, then you just might make it with your faith intact.

And the time is coming soon, he's needed now more then ever, and when he shows up, he will not be the person you think he should be.... and he will NOT be coming from heaven, which will be even a greater shock, and when he shows his genealogy, you Christians are going to realize what happened, or claim that he is the anticrhist.

Should be fun to watch. me? I am going to try and help if I can, and if not, I'll sit and watch it unfold.

In those quotes, you sound like a free mason friend of mine, Jaquar.

"People can only recognize, that which they are capable, and at any given point in time. No more; and, no less.".............(i.e. appears as a relative truth for every individul. No one person, to be excluded)

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quote:

Originally posted by Zane Marlowe:

More facts? Produce them. If they are facts, then you have as much of a duty to share them with us as we apparently have a duty to consider them as seriously as you suggest we should. Your travels in France, Italy, and even Israel do not alter the fact that facts themselves are public and open to inspection.

Perhaps you mean to tell us that your "facts" are hidden in those places and cannot be presented to the public for its inspection. What basis could we then have for believing your apocalypic implications except that you yourself seem to believe them?

Your religion, whatever it is, is deeply held by you, and you have the Christian at a disadvantage in conversation not because your view is superior (as you seem to think but have failed to actually show) but because you haven't actually explained and defended it. My point someone to poking your views was not to suggest that I would or wanted to, but rather to say that it is pretty unethical of you to go around poking other people's beliefs because you think it's interesting when to them it represents some of their most deeply felt intuitions about the most fundamental and important aspects of reality. Whether you agree or disagree with organized religion, and whether you do or do not publish your view, that's not something you should be doing callously.

ZM out.

First off it is NOT my duty to do anything.

You believe what you are able and capable and what is best for you to believe at this point in time, and I know for a fact that I am NOT going to change it no matter what I say.

But, I feel it is in a Christians best interest to A: Understand the history of thier church, and NOT to take everything they see in the bible literally, and B: Help them to understand that it is the message, NOT the person that delivered it, that was and is important.

Because the time is coming, when the facts will come out, and those that worshiped the man, and not the message, are going to be shaken to the core, and that will be sad, because it is a beautiful message, but it somehow got lost in the translation.

That quote is wonderful, I like it, I like it a lot, because that is basically my understanding of life as well, and my feelings about others. They will be able to understand that which they are capable of understanding, or wanting, or needing to believe. It should not be any different. I just feel that they should concentrate more on the message, and so I tell them that.

They seem to get a little upset when I do though.....

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quote:

jaguar Wrote:

First off it is NOT my duty to do anything.

To the extent that you wish us to listen to you, you have a duty to back up what you say, or was it not you who said "show me"?

By the way, it's interesting that your "he who has eyes to see" mentality has completely eclipsed the "ALL scholars agree" sorts of statements. Apparently now we're supposed to believe your "facts" on the basis of your saying so rather than any kind of serious and genuine scholarship on the issue.

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Jaguar Wrote:

You believe what you are able and capable and what is best for you to believe at this point in time, and I know for a fact that I am NOT going to change it no matter what I say.

You've not yet asked me what I believe, and if you'll note previous posts, while defending Christianity I have not named myself Christian. Were I to do so, you would have little advanced your knowledge of my beliefs without a detailed discussion of my views on theology, church history, biblical authority, etc. Additionally, I have not tried to convince you not to believe what you believe, I have simply asked you to abandon your "informing" Christians about the "historical facts" of their faith because your knowledge of them is clearly questionable (at the very least) and you are therefore doing them no real service. Now if you believe that you have some stake in the beliefs of Christians, then the only qualifying reason is because you are part of that community of people and their beliefs are therefore yours in some sense as well. Except that if that's so, then the veracity of your beliefs can be measured publically the same as everyone else's (although you'll note that I have not asked you to produce your beliefs, only your "facts").

What's it going to be Jag? Are you going to tell us where you got your "facts," why you switched from "ALL scholars agree" to "you believe what you need to believe/the time is coming...", and why you are so cagey about your belief system when you feel so free to do an undesired "service" to the belief systems of others?

Somehow I doubt it.

ZM out.

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Poor Zane, it's OK though.

I have pretty much said as much as I can say.

The facts are there to be found if you bother looking, and the CYA articles are not at all historically accurate by the way.

I have been to both the vatican, France, and the Holy Land, I have not only studied it, I have been there.

Ever been to Ephesus? I have, interesting tale there, but that is for you to seek if you wish to.

I just plop out the info, you can believe or you can't. Doesn't matter a hill of beans to me.

The future will prove me correct, so I am not too worried about proving anything to you, because the future is going to do it for me.

So go ahead, and take your best shot, because it won't bother me in the least, I know the facts, and I just provide the info.

It's the message, not the messenger, remember that because it is VERY important...

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