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The Bible. Myth or Reality?

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The Bible. Myth or Reality?

 

 

As a Gnostic Christian I see literal reading of the Bible as a gross distortion of what the Bible was written to do. That being to inspire people to seek God and his best laws and rules. Literal readers just become idol worshipers and do not seek God the way Jesus instructed.

 

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/03132009/watch.html

 

Literal reading has created and idol worshiping closed minded people who have settled for an immoral God whom we name as a demiurge as his morals, if literally true, are more satanic than God like.

 

Literal reading has also created a climate where scholars and experts, historians and archeologist, and all the academically well accepted information they uncover, --- is being ignored or called lies by those who are not academics of the various disciplines.

 

What is the point of producing good academics if literalists are going to ignore facts because of blind faith?

 

Remember please that if not a book of myths, then real talking serpents are somehow supposed to still exist and believers have to believe in a lot of supernatural phenomenon without any evidence whatsoever. Literalist Christians, it seems to me, have suspended rational judgement that has created in Christians a new Dark Age of thought and an Inquisitional attitude towards all other thinking. They no longer seek God and are true idol worshipers instead of the God seekers that Jesus wanted to see.

 

 

 

Do you think the Bible to be a book of myths or a book trying to show reality and history?

 

Regards

DL

 

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I am by no means a bible expert and it's been eons since I've bothered reviewing its content - most of which I'm not familiar with, as I've ever only paid attention to the parts I found the most interesting - so please forgive me if my ignorance shows, but wasn't it Satan who was speaking through the snake, and not the snake itself speaking on its own?

I mean I can understand the skepticism towards talking animals, but assuming one believes in God, Jesus, Satan, Heaven and Hell etc, it shouldn't be too hard to believe Satan could speak through a snake.

Plus if I recall correctly the entire talking snake episode occured with Adam & Eve, in the Garden of Eden. So again if one believes in the theory of creation, Garden of Eden etc having Satan speak through a snake shouldn't be that crazy. :P

 

Anyway again in my personal opinion I think the bible is a mix of both. It's not entirely historically innacurate like, say, the Lord of The Rings or the Star Wars universe, both of which are entirely fictional. But it's also not to be taken literally, though a lot of Christians will argue otherwise I suppose. I feel its a bit more like Harry Potter, a book that teachs you life lessons, is somewhat accurate in the sense it happens in England and all of that and has magic and things that don't exist.

 

My conclusion when it comes to the bible is that I feel its possible a God can exist, and that Jesus Christ existed, but that a lot of what's in it was embellished to make the religiom seem more incredible and respectable, because unfortunately at the time people were... dumb and more easily influenceable.

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I am by no means a bible expert and it's been eons since I've bothered reviewing its content - most of which I'm not familiar with, as I've ever only paid attention to the parts I found the most interesting - so please forgive me if my ignorance shows, but wasn't it Satan who was speaking through the snake, and not the snake itself speaking on its own?

I mean I can understand the skepticism towards talking animals, but assuming one believes in God, Jesus, Satan, Heaven and Hell etc, it shouldn't be too hard to believe Satan could speak through a snake.

Plus if I recall correctly the entire talking snake episode occured with Adam & Eve, in the Garden of Eden. So again if one believes in the theory of creation, Garden of Eden etc having Satan speak through a snake shouldn't be that crazy. :P

 

Anyway again in my personal opinion I think the bible is a mix of both. It's not entirely historically innacurate like, say, the Lord of The Rings or the Star Wars universe, both of which are entirely fictional. But it's also not to be taken literally, though a lot of Christians will argue otherwise I suppose. I feel its a bit more like Harry Potter, a book that teachs you life lessons, is somewhat accurate in the sense it happens in England and all of that and has magic and things that don't exist.

 

My conclusion when it comes to the bible is that I feel its possible a God can exist, and that Jesus Christ existed, but that a lot of what's in it was embellished to make the religiom seem more incredible and respectable, because unfortunately at the time people were... dumb and more easily influenceable.

 

Well put but slightly contradictory.

 

You indicate that it should not be read literally then you indicate that a literal Jesus lived.

 

Eden is a Jewish myth. They venerated the serpent and that is why Christianity vilified it.

 

That aside though, if the serpent talked via control of either Satan or God, then the serpent was not guilty of any misbehaviour and it would have been immoral for God to punish it as well as A & E for what they were supernaturally conned into doing.

 

You say that the bible gives us lessons. I agree completely but see lessons showing a rather poor God who to me is more Satan like than God like.

 

So the lessons I see I have to reverse the usual Christian take on the story and make God the demiurge that we Gnostic Christians write about.

 

Do you see a moral God in scriptures or one more like this description.

 

 

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

 

Regards

DL

 

 

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You indicate that it should not be read literally then you indicate that a literal Jesus lived.

Well, I believe a Jesus Christ existed, but that doesn't necessarily mean I believe in all the miracles that are attributed to his person.

I'm not saying I don't either, I just think people should take the bible with a grain of salt because books of the sort are often embellished to give them more credibility. Nowadays its the opposite, but back then the masses didn't have the knowledge we have now and it was easier to influence them.

I view the Bible a bit like the Odyssey, the Aeneid or the Epic of Gilgamesh. The latter for example is based on a sumerian king that existed but is a poem obviously embellished, exaggerating greatly his feats.

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You indicate that it should not be read literally then you indicate that a literal Jesus lived.

Well, I believe a Jesus Christ existed, but that doesn't necessarily mean I believe in all the miracles that are attributed to his person.

I'm not saying I don't either, I just think people should take the bible with a grain of salt because books of the sort are often embellished to give them more credibility. Nowadays its the opposite, but back then the masses didn't have the knowledge we have now and it was easier to influence them.

I view the Bible a bit like the Odyssey, the Aeneid or the Epic of Gilgamesh. The latter for example is based on a sumerian king that existed but is a poem obviously embellished, exaggerating greatly his feats.

 

Close enough.

 

As a Gnostic Christian, I prefer Jesus as an archetypal good man and use what follows to try to have people seek that archetype within themselves.

 

A bit of history and then a mindset and method to do what I that I promote.

 

 

The thinking shown below is the Gnostic Christian’s goal as taught by Jesus but know that any belief can be internalized to activate your higher mind.

 

 

This method and mind set is how you become I am and brethren to Jesus, in the esoteric sense.

 

 

When you can name your God, I am, and mean yourself, you will begin to know the only God you will ever find. Becoming a God is to become more fully human and a brethren to Jesus.

 

Regards

DL

 

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The Old Testament stories: Myth

 

The New Testament stories (that concern Jesus miracles): Myth

 

Jesus Christ as a person in history: Reality

 

Jesus Christ as a teacher: Debated (though generally accepted reality)

 

Fun fact: It is widely believed that Jesus was a very poor man and considered incredibly low on the social class, precisely about one peg up from a peasant.

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The Old Testament stories: Myth

 

The New Testament stories (that concern Jesus miracles): Myth

 

Jesus Christ as a person in history: Reality

 

Jesus Christ as a teacher: Debated (though generally accepted reality)

 

Fun fact: It is widely believed that Jesus was a very poor man and considered incredibly low on the social class, precisely about one peg up from a peasant.

 

Yet he was a Rabbi with a following of many students and rich patrons like all Rabbi would have had to have to gain that status.

 

He would also almost have had to have a wife.

 

I do not mind your realistic view though and we will likely never know for sure from this far up the time line.

 

I do use some of what he taught though as you have seen above.

 

Regards

DL

 

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The Old Testament stories: Myth

 

The New Testament stories (that concern Jesus miracles): Myth

The first is something many Christians believe but not all. Some go half way and say "it's not supposed to be taken literally."

 

The second is something most (like 99.9%) Christians do not believe. It's believed that Jesus Christ used miracles to put validation into his son of god persona.

 

If we go more into detail we'll basically be arguing over whether Christianity is actually the word of God, which is an argument that doesn't have much of a proof (that can be placed on the internet, anyway).

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By "reality", I assume you talk about whether or not the Bible is historically accurate.

 

From a historical point of view, the Bible does have fragments of actual individuals and events that occured, but is extensively filled by events that can be disproven or is in stark contrast to other sources found in archaeological digs, as well as primary sources dating back from these moments of time.

 

The Bible is a fascinating book, yet it serves little historical purpose as a primary source. However, it is quite valuable from a anthropological or sociological context. The sad thing is that the Bible is primarily a tertiary source at best (primarily in parts of the New Testament), and far inferior than that at worst. The New Testament in particular is infamous for this, since most early copies of these texts date from around the year 100 CE. The first historical figures mentioning Jesus (Jeshua, the Christos) would be the likes of Tacitus, Josephus (both of which mention Jesus) and even Pliny the Younger (even if Pliny comments on the religion Christianity). Thus one can surmise that there was someone named Jesus, yet his status as the Messiah descendant of David (Messiah ben David) is not proven.

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Eden is a Jewish myth. They venerated the serpent and that is why Christianity vilified it.

What do you mean? My Orthodox Jewish friends have the same view of Eden as my Orthodox Catholic friends. I don't understand how that makes Biblical or historical sense either.

 

Yet he was a Rabbi with a following of many students and rich patrons like all Rabbi would have had to have to gain that status.

In Luke (ok, maybe John), Rabbi is defined as synonymous with "teacher" and not a bureaucratic religious title. In addition, when Jesus accepted students he demanded they give up all they have, wealth and family included, to join him. Later on in the development of the early church, a husband and wife are said to be struck dead because they claimed they had given all the proceeds from the sale of their land while they secretly retained a small portion as an emergency fund for themselves. I'm not sure where you're drawing claims of a popularly approved Rabbi with a hearty pile of cash to reinforce their standing, but I know of no verse in the Bible that supports your claim. Even Paul approved the killing of many of Jesus' early followers according to Acts- I really don't think you can say the Biblical Jesus had any positive public status.

 

At this point I believe your claims are beyond a matter of interpretation.

 

At this time, anything said of Jesus is conjecture as we cannot even prove he existed. As a Gnostic Christian, I think it is irrelevant unless you want to believe in miracles, magic and the supernatural.

 

We tend to stick to reality and Gnosis.

 

Ask your Jewish friend what happened to the Jewish concept of Original sin. He will tell you that to Jews, becoming as Gods is a good thing and not a fall.

 

http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/10/20/comparative-theodicy/

 

This is seen not as a ’fall’ but as a ‘gift’ – the gift of free will. As the Hertz Chumash, the classic Hebrew-English edition of the Pentateuch and Haftorahs, observes, ‘Instead of the Fall of man (in the sense of humanity as a whole), Judaism preaches the Rise of man: and instead of Original Sin, it stresses Original Virtue, the beneficent hereditary influence of righteous ancestors upon their descendants’.

 

Further, ask if Moses would have used a serpent headed staff and assigned the tribe of Aaron, the Levites, the serpent tribe, as the main priesthood if the serpent was not well respected.

 

Regards

DL

 

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"it's not supposed to be taken literally."

I personally think the better thing to say is that everything needs to be looked at in context because I think 'literally' has lost its meaning in this debate in general. When people don't care about nuance and context, that's when the multitude of problems pop up, theological or otherwise.

 

At this time, anything said of Jesus is conjecture as we cannot even prove he existed.

The AskHistorians subreddit has a good amount of answers as to the historical Jesus and why he probably existed.

http://www.reddit.co..._jesus_exist.3F

Edited by reepicheep

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The Old Testament stories: Myth

 

The New Testament stories (that concern Jesus miracles): Myth

The first is something many Christians believe but not all. Some go half way and say "it's not supposed to be taken literally."

 

The second is something most (like 99.9%) Christians do not believe. It's believed that Jesus Christ used miracles to put validation into his son of god persona.

 

If we go more into detail we'll basically be arguing over whether Christianity is actually the word of God, which is an argument that doesn't have much of a proof (that can be placed on the internet, anyway).

 

To not believe the N.T. and read at least some of it literally, the belief that Jesus is real cannot be formed.

 

You seem to be saying that 99.9 % of Christians are not Christians.

 

Or did you mean that that many do not think it a myth and that that many believe in miracles, magic and fantasy?

 

Regards

DL

 

By "reality", I assume you talk about whether or not the Bible is historically accurate.

 

From a historical point of view, the Bible does have fragments of actual individuals and events that occured, but is extensively filled by events that can be disproven or is in stark contrast to other sources found in archaeological digs, as well as primary sources dating back from these moments of time.

 

The Bible is a fascinating book, yet it serves little historical purpose as a primary source. However, it is quite valuable from a anthropological or sociological context. The sad thing is that the Bible is primarily a tertiary source at best (primarily in parts of the New Testament), and far inferior than that at worst. The New Testament in particular is infamous for this, since most early copies of these texts date from around the year 100 CE. The first historical figures mentioning Jesus (Jeshua, the Christos) would be the likes of Tacitus, Josephus (both of which mention Jesus) and even Pliny the Younger (even if Pliny comments on the religion Christianity). Thus one can surmise that there was someone named Jesus, yet his status as the Messiah descendant of David (Messiah ben David) is not proven.

 

+ 1

 

Do you think it is presenting a story of a moral God?

 

Regards

DL

 

"it's not supposed to be taken literally."

I personally think the better thing to say is that everything needs to be looked at in context because I think 'literally' has lost its meaning in this debate in general. When people don't care about nuance and context, that's when the multitude of problems pop up, theological or otherwise.

 

At this time, anything said of Jesus is conjecture as we cannot even prove he existed.

The AskHistorians subreddit has a good amount of answers as to the historical Jesus and why he probably existed.

http://www.reddit.co..._jesus_exist.3F

 

Countered by the Jesus Seminars that have reams to the contrary.

 

Do you believe in the water walking miracle working type of Jesus or Jesus the man?

 

Do you think the policies he teaches to be moral and loving?

 

This last I ask because I see much of what he is said to have taught as un-workable rhetoric and some, like his no-divorce policy for women to be downright anti-love and immoral.

 

Thoughts?

 

Regards

DL

 

 

Edited by Gnostic Christian Bishop

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Countered by the Jesus Seminars that have reams to the contrary.

I don't see why I wouldn't believe historians here.

Do you believe in the water walking miracle working type of Jesus or Jesus the man?

Jesus the Son of God, but my point is that Jesus the man most probably existed regardless of his divinity.

Do you think the policies he teaches to be moral and loving?

Yes, but let's stay on topic.

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Do you think it is presenting a story of a moral God?

Historians generally does not involve themselves in fairy tales and myths, but rather seek to prove or disprove the authenticity of it. You should ask a religious expert or a believer about whether or not it portrays a deity in a positive or negative light.

 

 

Countered by the Jesus Seminars that have reams to the contrary.

 

Oh please.

 

If you are going to comment on the works and processes of historians (with what seems to be a lack of understanding or competence of these), you should be aware that that group has been heavily criticised both in terms of methodology, handling of sources and treatment of its "finds". Every scientist, philosopher or researcher alive can find evidence to the contrary of something. That does not make them right, which is why serious historians value cold, hard, facts above assumptions, conjecture and biases.

 

Fact of the matter is, AskHistorians is one of the more reliable subreddits around, simply because it does not deal in conjecture or assumptions. It deals in cold, hard, historical and archaeological facts. No opinions, no faiths, no biases.

Edited by Yuanrang

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Countered by the Jesus Seminars that have reams to the contrary.

I don't see why I wouldn't believe historians here.

Do you believe in the water walking miracle working type of Jesus or Jesus the man?

Jesus the Son of God, but my point is that Jesus the man most probably existed regardless of his divinity.

Do you think the policies he teaches to be moral and loving?

Yes, but let's stay on topic.

 

The morality of what is said in the bible is a good indicator of it being myth or reality.

 

Reality would have it give good morals if it is the son of a God speaking. Right?

 

That puts those issues within the topic.

 

I think you are fearful of actually looking at the policies the bible sells by steering to the issue of Jesus reality or not.

 

That being the case, do you think Jesus' divorce policy, or no divorce policy is a loving and moral one?

 

Have no fear my friend. This is my O.P. and I can choose what is kosher to discuss or not. Do you have what it takes to look at Jesus' morals?

 

Regards

DL

 

Do you think it is presenting a story of a moral God?

Historians generally does not involve themselves in fairy tales and myths, but rather seek to prove or disprove the authenticity of it. You should ask a religious expert or a believer about whether or not it portrays a deity in a positive or negative light.

 

 

Countered by the Jesus Seminars that have reams to the contrary.

 

Oh please.

 

If you are going to comment on the works and processes of historians, you should be aware that that group has been heavily criticised both in terms of methodology, handling of sources and treatment of its "finds".

 

Fact of the matter is, AskHistorians is one of the more reliable subreddits around, simply because it does not deal in conjecture. It deals in cold, hard, historical and archaeological facts. No opinions, no faiths, no biases.

 

I do but am also asking you.

 

Have you not formed an opinion?

 

Regards

DL

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You might want to read my edited post where I pointed out a few things to you in greater detail.

 

Also, I do not need to form an opinion to this. You asked if the Bible was rooted in reality. I answered you. My spiritual view on the matter is utterly insignificant, because I deliberately decided to not participate in that half of the debate. I deal with facts, finds and sources from the past. These will tell any historian that the Bible was, as a whole, mostly fictional and founded on only a very few instances of historical events and people, but there are some parts that are slightly true. These are in a vast minority.

Edited by Yuanrang

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Reality would have it give good morals if it is the son of a God speaking. Right?

Our ideas of what is right and wrong have been warped since the fall of man. Our rebellious nature means that we're not going to agree with God to begin with. That's practically shown in half the bible.

Have no fear my friend. This is my O.P. and I can choose what is kosher to discuss or not.

Since I don't feel like the argument is relevant I choose not to discuss the matter.

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Strange how so many think that when Genesis says that we have become like Gods in the knowing of good and evil, it is a fall.

 

What you are saying that developing a moral sense is evil when it is quite good.

 

You are correct, some peoples morals are corrupt and it is mostly Christians and Muslims and that is why they have both institutionalize homophobia and misogyny.

 

The original Jewish view is a lot more intelligent and moral.

 

http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/10/20/comparative-theodicy/

 

Regards

DL

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Strange how so many think that when Genesis says that we have become like Gods in the knowing of good and evil, it is a fall.

 

What you are saying that developing a moral sense is evil when it is quite good.

I'm not saying developing morals is evil. I'm saying that our morals (as the whole human race, including me, you and the king of Brunei) are corrupt. It's a fall because it pulled us away from God.

 

You are correct, some peoples morals are corrupt and it is mostly Christians and Muslims and that is why they have both institutionalize homophobia and misogyny.

This is an extremely general and frankly meaningless attack on organised religion based on a point I didn't argue.

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The first is something many Christians believe but not all. Some go half way and say "it's not supposed to be taken literally."

 

The second is something most (like 99.9%) Christians do not believe. It's believed that Jesus Christ used miracles to put validation into his son of god persona.

 

Sorry I'm replying a bit late but I haven't been on in a while. Anyways, to the first, I think the whole "don't take it literally" is fine, as the Bible is up for interpretation (at least the OT for sure). As to the second, you are right again, but I was simply stating my beliefs on the two things, not what I think all Christians thought. Though if I could extend my thoughts on Jesus, I don't believe he was a manifestation of God, but rather the utmost perfect being that could ever exist in full devotion to God (thus making the title "Son of God" more metaphorical than literal). If you need further understanding of this view point, John Crossan, a very respected and well known scholar/historian, shares similar thoughts about Jesus in his works/discussions.

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Strange how so many think that when Genesis says that we have become like Gods in the knowing of good and evil, it is a fall.

 

What you are saying that developing a moral sense is evil when it is quite good.

I'm not saying developing morals is evil. I'm saying that our morals (as the whole human race, including me, you and the king of Brunei) are corrupt. It's a fall because it pulled us away from God.

 

You are correct, some peoples morals are corrupt and it is mostly Christians and Muslims and that is why they have both institutionalize homophobia and misogyny.

This is an extremely general and frankly meaningless attack on organised religion based on a point I didn't argue.

 

True nevertheless and you know it as you did not argue against it.

 

How is learning morals, something all theologies and philosophies try to teach, pulling away from God?

 

Scriptures say we are to be like God.

 

Are you saying that God does not have a moral sensed?

 

If he does then we are clearly moving closer to him and not pulling away.

 

Give your argument and not some one line dogma.

 

Regards

DL

Edited by Gnostic Christian Bishop

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True nevertheless and you know it as you did not argue against it.

That's not how that works. It's a vague and meaningless argument for which you give no evidence and to argue against it would be to give it legitimacy which is something it does not deserve.

How is learning morals, something all theologies and philosophies try to teach, pulling away from God?

Again not what I said. I said that our morals our corrupt, not that knowing morals is corrupt. I mean, it's the basis of the entire bible, it's why Jesus died on the cross.

 

 

But I'm done with this argument, it's not something that will go anywhere but downhill.

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True nevertheless and you know it as you did not argue against it.

That's not how that works. It's a vague and meaningless argument for which you give no evidence and to argue against it would be to give it legitimacy which is something it does not deserve.

How is learning morals, something all theologies and philosophies try to teach, pulling away from God?

Again not what I said. I said that our morals our corrupt, not that knowing morals is corrupt. I mean, it's the basis of the entire bible, it's why Jesus died on the cross.

 

 

But I'm done with this argument, it's not something that will go anywhere but downhill.

 

I agree as now you do not even accept your own initial statement and try to fudge it showing your own corrupt morals.

 

Go away child. I seek adults to chat with.

 

Regards

DL

 

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Though if I could extend my thoughts on Jesus, I don't believe he was a manifestation of God, but rather the utmost perfect being that could ever exist in full devotion to God (thus making the title "Son of God" more metaphorical than literal). If you need further understanding of this view point, John Crossan, a very respected and well known scholar/historian, shares similar thoughts about Jesus in his works/discussions.

I suppose this is okay, but I wouldn't stray towards the non-God Jesus more than that. C. S. Lewis said that you should view Jesus either as God or a crazy man. There is no in between (like saying he was only a prophet as seen in the Koran or philosopher).

 

But I'm done with this argument, it's not something that will go anywhere but downhill.

Go away child. I seek adults to chat with.

Yeah GO AWAY CHILD!!!

 

I'm glad I'm not the only one sick of dealing with Reepicheep all these years. -.-

Edited by Sobend

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Though if I could extend my thoughts on Jesus, I don't believe he was a manifestation of God, but rather the utmost perfect being that could ever exist in full devotion to God (thus making the title "Son of God" more metaphorical than literal). If you need further understanding of this view point, John Crossan, a very respected and well known scholar/historian, shares similar thoughts about Jesus in his works/discussions.

I suppose this is okay, but I wouldn't stray towards the non-God Jesus more than that. C. S. Lewis said that you should view Jesus either as God or a crazy man. There is no in between (like saying he was only a prophet as seen in the Koran or philosopher).

 

But I'm done with this argument, it's not something that will go anywhere but downhill.

Go away child. I seek adults to chat with.

Yeah GO AWAY CHILD!!!

 

I'm glad I'm not the only one sick of dealing with Reepicheep all these years. -.-

 

Christians always run from discussions on morality because they know they do not follow a decent set of moral tenets nor can they justify those they follow.

 

Regards

DL

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