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Old 03-11-2001, 09:29 PM   #21
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Teutonic:
1. Jesus?
Um, well Jesus hadn't come yet, so no, obviously.
2. The Holy Spirit? (as known in Christianity)
They would have a basic understanding of God's Spirit, especially how it acts through the prophets. But if by 'as known in Christianity' you are limiting it to the coming of the holy spirit - as described in Acts, and afterwards then you're answering your own question: ie no.
3. The Trinity?
Yes and no. The alien would have a definite idea that God was complex and existed in more than one form. I don't know whether he would be able to deduce that there were exactly three forms and exactly how they inter-related.
4. The way to salvation thru Jesus?
Yes and no. The way to salvation through God he would know. The way to salvation through Jesus as god, no - see 1.
5. That the laws of the OT were somehow removed (by Jesus' sacrifice)?
No, because it hadn't happened.
6. That the God of the OT was loving and merciful, or angry and destructive?
He would know very well that God was immensely loving and merciful. He would also be aware that many times the people had been so bad that God was forced to anger and had punished them. Reading the OT would give our Alien a strong idea that God was good and the people on earth very bad often.
7. In eternal punishment by fire?
Not so far as I'm aware. (I'm not sure on this point)

What would the alien expect, if anything, about a Messiah?
Now that's a difficult question. I would say that they would expect almost everything that happened to Jesus in the NT. Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12 spells it all out fairly clearly except the idea that Jesus was God. But the idea of Jesus being far more than a man is conveyed very clearly (as Jesus points out in Matthew 22:41-46) in Psalm 110:1.

Would the Alien recognize Jesus as Messiah??
If you mean "would the Alien after reading the Gospels agree that Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the Messiah?", then yes I would.

[This message has been edited by Tercel (edited March 11, 2001).]
 
Old 03-12-2001, 06:08 AM   #22
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Originally posted by turtonm:

You skeptics fell down on the job! Luke and Matthew DO contradict each other in the Egypt/Nazareth thing.

Besides the problem of the presentation at the temple vs. the flight into Egypt, there is another contradiction between Matthew and Luke’s accounts of the nativity. Where did Jesus’ family originally come form? Luke says Nazareth. Matthew does not specifically say, but clearly implies that it was not Nazareth but Bethlehem.

The account in the Gospel ascribed to Matthew has Joseph dreaming that he saw an angel, and deciding on the basis of this dream that his fiance hadn’t been cheating on him. How many women must wish that their husbands or boyfriends (or both) would have similar dreams and be so credulous of them? We are not told at this point where they lived. The author simply tells us that Jesus was born “in Bethlehem”. He does not feel the need to explain why they happened to be in Bethlehem, so we might be justified in assuming they were residents of that city.

This is supported by the fact that when the Magi appear they turn up at “the house” (Matt. 2:11). Not the stable or the inn, but the house - a permanent residence. Afterwards we have the foolish story of the flight into Egypt and the massacre of the infants - a seventy year old king, practically on his deathbed, is afraid that a baby is about to overthrow him. But tellingly, in this account, we are told (2:16) that “he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time they had learned from the Magi”. In other words, a considerable time - up to two years - had passed between Jesus’ birth and the visit of the Magi, and the family were still in Bethlehem. Can this really mean that they were just there for a Census? And if they had already returned to Nazareth the Magi and Herod were looking for him in the wrong place, and there was no need to flee. No - the author believes that the family were permanent residents of Bethlehem before they fled into Egypt.

Further support for this view comes from the fact that when Joseph returned from Egypt “when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea… he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee and lived in a town called Nazareth…” (2: 22-23, NIV). In other words, Joseph didn’t dare to go back to Judea, but went to Nazareth instead - the first time Nazareth is mentioned in the account. Obviously Nazareth was not his home town, but somewhere he went to keep a safe distance between himself and Herod’s successor.

Now, can anyone honestly say that if they read this, without knowing the contents of Luke, that they would conclude anything other than that Joseph and Mary lived in Bethlehem, and only moved to Nazareth after the birth of Jesus?

Not much needs to be said here about the account of Luke, except that he clearly states (1:26, 2:39) that the family lived in Nazareth, and only went briefly to Bethlehem for the historically dubious census. They came straight back - no time for a visit by Magi. The story of the flight into Egypt is also inconsistent with this account, for the reasons which others have already stated.

Now the question is, can any rational person seriously believe that Matthew and Luke are telling the same story? At least one, and probably both, must be telling wholly mythical accounts.

The fact that Jesus of Nazareth came from, well, Nazareth, seems to have been a source of some embarrassment to the early Christians, since the Jews seem to have been expecting a Messiah from Bethlehem. Two of the evangelists have gone to considerable trouble to place his birth in Bethlehem for this reason. Unfortunately for Christians they told completely different stories, and even more unfortunately both books were accepted into the New Testament canon, so they could sit side by side for all to see the discrepancies. An attempt has been made to reconcile these stories by combining them into the “traditional account” which children are made to act out at Christmas, but a close reading of the texts brings even this version crashing down.

It is probably no coincidence that the two most obviously mythical parts of the story of Jesus - his miraculous birth and his resurrection - are those where the Gospel narratives diverge most dramatically.


 
Old 03-12-2001, 04:04 PM   #23
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The context of Matthew 2 makes it clear that Jesus' family was still in Bethlehem at the time (verse 8-9, 12), despite it being two years after Jesus' birth (verse 16).

The discrepancies between Luke and Matthew are compounded by the fact that Luke is supposed to be the most detailed record of events. Luke should, in fact, have ALL the details (including the Egypt excursion); because, according to Luke 1:2-3: "...just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word have handed them down to us, it seemed fitting for me having investigated everything carefully from the beginning to write it..." If Luke investigated everything carefully based on the eyewitness accounts of those who handed the accounts down, why doesn't Luke have all the details?

And why isn't Matthew, who is clearly the most Jewish of the gospels, not concerned with the purification ceremony?

[This message has been edited by Le pede (edited March 12, 2001).]
 
Old 03-12-2001, 04:05 PM   #24
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Teutonic:
I'll ask my ubiquitous question again: If an alien came to earth, knowing nothing about any earth customs, and was given and read ONLY the OLD TESTAMENT, would that alien know about:
1. Jesus?
2. The Holy Spirit? (as known in Christianity)
3. The Trinity?
4. The way to salvation thru Jesus?
5. That the laws of the OT were somehow removed (by Jesus' sacrifice)?
6. That the God of the OT was loving and merciful, or angry and destructive?
7. In eternal punishment by fire?

What would the alien expect, if anything, about a Messiah? Would the Alien recognize Jesus as Messiah??

Please answer honestly.

</font>
An alien doesnt care about human religion. I am sure that they have thier own but one thing remains the same is the Love of God.
 
Old 03-13-2001, 04:02 PM   #25
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by LadyBarker11:
An alien doesnt care about human religion. I am sure that they have thier own but one thing remains the same is the Love of God. </font>
Does your god love the men, women, and children who are starving to death on this planet?

If I were a god, no one would starve to death, and I wouldn't care if my creatures loved me or believed in me or not. I am secure enough to be able to handle it. Your god, if he/she/it exists, must be a little insecure, and it is his creatures who must suffer the consequences.

rodahi


[This message has been edited by rodahi (edited March 13, 2001).]
 
Old 03-13-2001, 05:50 PM   #26
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Actually yes he does. Uhm, they chose thier lives before they entered thier bodies in this life. I know you problably dont believe that but we all come here knowing info and we all chose what or how we will live and what lesson we will learn to perfect our souls.
 
Old 03-14-2001, 04:08 AM   #27
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by LadyBarker11:
Actually yes he does. Uhm, they chose thier lives before they entered thier bodies in this life. I know you problably dont believe that but we all come here knowing info and we all chose what or how we will live and what lesson we will learn to perfect our souls.</font>
Huh? How do children who have no control over being born in a terribly poor nation have "control" over their lot in life?

Oh wait, is this some reincarnation thing? "They chose" before they entered life?
Ok, why don't we just stop trying to outlaw any bad thing, like stealing, assault, rape or murder? Afterall, the victims of the crime "already chose their lot in life before they were born!", according to your reasoning, right?
 
Old 03-14-2001, 08:26 AM   #28
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Check out this link:

www.hypertextbook.com/eworld/geocentric.shtml

If anyone had an inkling of belief in the scientific relevance of the Bible, it should vanish upon reading the article. Kudos to Glenn Elert for the enlightenment!
 
 

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