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Old 02-26-2001, 12:23 PM   #1
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I've long found that puzzling. It seems to claim that all government has been established by the Biblical God, which is especially odd when one considers that the author of Romans in the NT had lived under the Roman Empire, whose leaders had been pagan idolators.

Furthermore, the US Constitution is directly contrary to it, claiming that the establishment of the US Government was a result of a decision by "we, the people", with no deities in sight.
 
Old 02-26-2001, 02:43 PM   #2
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You can be sure that Christians were happy to read or insert this sentiment into the Bible after they gained control over the civil government.

The current Pope appears to have ignored it in his struggle against communism.

This particular verse has also been cited by Ed Doherty in support of his idea that the entire trial of Jesus by the Roman authorities was invented after Paul wrote this epistle. How could Paul have written that all government derives its power from God if his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ had been crucified by the Roman government within living memory?
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Old 02-26-2001, 03:33 PM   #3
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by lpetrich:
...which is especially odd when one considers that the author of Romans in the NT had lived under the Roman Empire, whose leaders had been pagan idolators.

</font>
There seems to be attempt in the NT to get on the 'good side' of Rome. One also sees it in the gospels where the writers often make efforts to show that Christ's death was the responsibilty of the Jews rather than the Romans and how they try to exonerate Pilate.
When the epistles and gospels were written, missionary work was really getting underway and I think the writers knew that it was important to seem nonthreatening to Rome.

[This message has been edited by not a theist (edited February 26, 2001).]
 
Old 02-26-2001, 04:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by lpetrich:
I've long found that puzzling. It seems to claim that all government has been established by the Biblical God, which is especially odd when one considers that the author of Romans in the NT had lived under the Roman Empire, whose leaders had been pagan idolators.

Furthermore, the US Constitution is directly contrary to it, claiming that the establishment of the US Government was a result of a decision by "we, the people", with no deities in sight.
</font>
It is not a NT concept, or a latter "interpolation", but a common concept of the OT.

Daniel 7 shows the rise and fall of several kingdoms as ordained by God. in Daniel 5 God takes away the "kingdom" from Nebuchadnezzar's "son"(grandson) Belshazzar and gives it to Darius the Mede. Read Isaiah, Ezekiel and other OT prophets and you see how God claims authority to cause the rise and fall of nations. This concept should have been theologically obvious to any religious Jew, such as Paul and Jesus could have been classified as. The OT prophets saw even the pagan invaders as unknowing "servants of God" accomplishing His purpose to punish His people for their idolatry.

So the NT carries on the traditional belief of Judaism in this concept.
 
Old 02-26-2001, 08:39 PM   #5
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[Romans 13: all governments created by God and must be obeyed...]

[a_theist...]
It is not a NT concept, or a latter "interpolation", but a common concept of the OT.

Daniel 7 shows the rise and fall of several kingdoms as ordained by God. in Daniel 5 God takes away the "kingdom" from Nebuchadnezzar's "son"(grandson) Belshazzar and gives it to Darius the Mede. Read Isaiah, Ezekiel and other OT prophets and you see how God claims authority to cause the rise and fall of nations. This concept should have been theologically obvious to any religious Jew, such as Paul and Jesus could have been classified as. The OT prophets saw even the pagan invaders as unknowing "servants of God" accomplishing His purpose to punish His people for their idolatry.

[Me:]
Most of these examples claim that God is simply acting like a Ruler of the Universe, making pagans punish his Chosen People; it's just like those who seem to think that God fixes football games.

However, these examples don't state that they acquire legitimacy from the God of the Bible; all these nations claimed legitimacy from other deities. Unless one is willing to argue that Amon-Ra and Marduk and Ashur and Ahura Mazda and Zeus and Jupiter are the Biblical God in disguise, a theory totally absent from the Bible.

When Paul went to the Areopagus in Athens, he claimed that the Biblical God was some "Unknown God", not Zeus under some other name (a shoe that would certainly have fit, it must be said).
 
Old 02-26-2001, 10:54 PM   #6
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Daniel 7 shows the rise and fall of several kingdoms as ordained by God. in Daniel 5 God takes away the "kingdom" from Nebuchadnezzar's "son"(grandson) Belshazzar and gives it to Darius the Mede. Read Isaiah, Ezekiel and other OT prophets and you see how God claims authority to cause the rise and fall of nations. This concept should have been theologically obvious to any religious Jew, such as Paul and Jesus could have been classified as. The OT prophets saw even the pagan invaders as unknowing "servants of God" accomplishing His purpose to punish His people for their idolatry. </font>
What does this have to do with rebellion against governing authorities? All the instances you have cited involve a foreign "governing authority" taking over a presently existing "governing authority." Romans 13 forbids rebellion against a governing authority by its subjects.

And also, you're under a new covenant now. Paul says submit to governing authorities and this has precedence over any Old Testament situations because it is a rule in the context of the new covenant. Is genocide okay because God says it's okay in the Old Testament? If someone says they're divinely inspired by God to wipe out a group of people who have "wicked" practices (like Native peoples)--is this okay just because it's approved of in the Old Testament?
 
Old 02-27-2001, 12:14 AM   #7
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[La pede:]
And also, you're under a new covenant now. Paul says submit to governing authorities and this has precedence over any Old Testament situations because it is a rule in the context of the new covenant.

[Me:]
And another bizarre thing about this is that the Roman authorities had persecuted the early Christians for not worshipping the Empire's official deities. But according to Romans 13, it's one's duty to worship pagan deities if the authorities decree that one must do so.

[La pede:]
Is genocide okay because God says it's okay in the Old Testament? If someone says they're divinely inspired by God to wipe out a group of people who have "wicked" practices (like Native peoples)--is this okay just because it's approved of in the Old Testament?

[Me:]
Actually, the Nazi genocide of Jews was claimed to be justified because Jews had supposedly done lots of Evil Things, such as

* Being wicked capitalists
* Giving the world Marxism
* Stabbing Germany in the back in WWI
* Corrupting and debasing culture
* Lusting after virtuous Nordic women (yes, that's in Mein Kampf)
* Plotting to take over (Protocols of Elders of Zion)
* Killing non-Jewish babies so as to use their blood in Matzohs

And defenses of Biblical genocide are IMO worse than much Nazi apologetics, because the usual Nazi apologetic is that the Nazis had never committed genocide. To me, the common defenses of Biblical genocide are like a Nazi apologist claiming that Jews are so evil that they deserved to be exterminated and that it's a pity that Hitler's regime was not more successful in doing so.
 
 

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