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Old 04-15-2001, 10:12 PM   #11
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by aikido7:
Ish, Ish, Ish! What ARE we going to do with you? The Jesus Seminar DOES speak for "all good scholars" in that the Jesus Seminar also rightly recognizes that some of the words and deeds attributed to Jesus in the New Testament were never spoken or enacted by him .</font>

Meta =&gt;That's like saying that Madyline Murry O'Hair spoke for Kant and Bertrand Russell becasue she didnt' believe in God either. The JS does not speak for all good sholars, not by a long shot. I went to a very liberal seminary, one of the most liberal and big name seminaries in the U.S of A and I know scholars there who think they are clowns.


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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
The four gospels are not "biographies" in the modern sense; they are faith documents. Scholars have known this for nearly 300 years. It's time the public got on board here! </font>

Meta =&gt; But it's also time the public, and espeicially skeptics on the internet, learned something else that scholars have known for 300 years as well, and that is totally ignorned by the Sec Web, there are major scholars who sound very liberal who walk through the most difficult problems everyday and still beleive and it does not shake their faith. When I was an atheist I wanted to write a book to disprove the Bible. I was an undergraduate, and someone had given me a copy of Evidence that Demands a Verdict. I assaulted it withy my old Monarch notes and was so outraged that i was determined to disprove the Bible once and for all. I wen to the library and found an old book, The Primative Chruch by Canon B.H. Streeter, cira 1923. I was overjoyed. He just raked the Bible over the coals and there was nothing left with it when he finnished.

One day I thumbed through is work and there was a statement that blew me away.It was his own declaration of faith in Christ, and in the resurrection! How in the hell could this guy possibily believe this stuff when he just got through destorying it? I couldn't believe it. The answer was simple. In my own limited fundamentalist background I assumed that faith means belief in inerrency and anything other than that is an attack upon faith. That is far from the truth.So sure, the four Gospels were not histories, nothing back then was, Josephus was no histoiran by modern standards, nor was Tascitus, they had no concept of history as an academic discipline; Plato had no degree in Philosohpy and couldn't do modal loigc. But that doesn't mean that the Gospels are not historically valid, in now way does it mean that. In fact most histoirans today do not assume that for if they did they would have to decide that Ceasar had Gaullic war, because that was a politicl propaganda peice, and most of the writtings of Tacitus woudl go out the window because they were polemitcs, and so on. So that is not nearly as important as yout think it to be.

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By the way, Josh McDowell is no more a scholar than Benny Hinn is a physician. He is a Christian apologist and a biblical literalist.</font>
Meta =&gt;McDowell is no shcolar, But "apologist" does not mean hack. Paul Tillich and Soren Keirkegaard were apologists as well, although in a much more porfessional league.


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I thought the program was put together to answer the recent ABC special narrated by Peter Jennings, which gave viewers a small opening into what biblical scholars are discovering about Jesus in the context of his first-century world. Did you notice, Ish, that there were no unanswered questions brought to awareness throughout the program?To me this showed a bias towards the gospel accounts as CNN video instead of the powerful parables and fascinating historical windows that they are.</font>

Meta =&gt;I didn't see either show. It thought the PBS speicial, From Jesus to Christ a couple of years ago was pretty good. They have a web site still up, see PBS.org.

 
Old 04-16-2001, 06:18 AM   #12
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ish:
turtonm, yes, it was a serious question. I have not read McDowell's stuff mainly because I have heard so much negative about him.

BTW, if you're wondering why several people have been down on you and rodahi lately, it's because of things like: "the laughable Robert Turkel AKA JP Holding", "leading comedians" and "Christian Reich". Maybe it's just light-hearted fun, but it doesn't come across that way. I've seen several posts about turning down the harsh rhetoric, and I think it's a good idea.


Ish

[This message has been edited by Ish (edited April 15, 2001).]
</font>
I'll be happy to tone down the rhetoric, as soon as the Christian Right stops its attacks on gays, women, non-whites, human rights, civil rights in this country and Church-State separation, as well as its support of terrorism against the government, abortion clinics and moderates among its co-religionists, and stops attempting to rewrite American history. Are you familiar with any of its politics? They are Facists of the first water.

It's not light-hearted fun. What do you think would happen to me if somebody started prayer in my son's school and I tried to challenge it? In Alabama recently Christians burnt the house of a family that led a fight for church-state separation there. Here in Texas, in the recent case, death threats,, harassments, etc, though fortunately the case was resolved before the Christians hurt anyone.

As for Turkel/Holding, his site is laughable. His "Golden Duh" awards are classic -bad, bad, bad (my personal favorite is his Golden Duh for who killed Saul) -- BTW, I am only using his rhetoric. Have you read his site?

Finally, the term "Christian Reich" includes only facists like Robertson, Buchanon, etc.

Clarified enough?

Michael
 
Old 04-16-2001, 07:14 AM   #13
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turtonm, ok, much of Holding's "humor" is a little to strong for my taste, but he's got some good points elsewhere on his site. I guess if he's going to make fun of skeptics so much, he can only expect this back. My fault.

However, I also live in Texas, and I know many from the Christian Reich as you call it. They will not burn your house down for disagreeing with them. They will not attack gay people, women, non-whites, etc. Frankly, this sounds like paranoia of a militant and wrong minority.

As far as this kind of thing, I could make the same case the other way around. I was recently asked to pray for the missionary of a church in San Francisco. This missionary is basically like any other pastor. He addresses the issues around him and did so a few times on the gay lifestyle surrounding his church. For this, his church has been disrupted many times. He has to have plexiglass and bars on the windows at his house because a militant gay minority was destroying his home and endangering his young family.

With this example and others, I could say the same thing about the militant minority with your views, turtonm. It's just not right to paint everyone with the same prejudiced brush.

Ish
 
Old 04-16-2001, 07:47 AM   #14
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Originally posted by Ish:
However, I also live in Texas, and I know many from the Christian Reich as you call it. They will not burn your house down for disagreeing with them. They will not attack gay people, women, non-whites, etc. Frankly, this sounds like paranoia of a militant and wrong minority.

Of course all of them won't. But some of them will. That's what atheists have to reckon with. Do you think we keep a low profile because we like to? Like I posted on the other thread, in the philosophy forum, where are the atheists in the US hanging out outside of gay bars, or bombing abortion clinics, or committing terrorist acts against the government? That kind of behavior is non-existent among atheists.

Certainly not all right-wing Christians commit violence. Not all Nazis killed Jews either. But when you support hateful, facist, murderous philosophical positions, you're providing aid and comfort to the enemy. If you donate money to Pat Robertson, as many "non-violent" right-wing Christians do, you're aiding and abetting.

As far as this kind of thing, I could make the same case the other way around. I was recently asked to pray for the missionary of a church in San Francisco. This missionary is basically like any other pastor. He addresses the issues around him and did so a few times on the gay lifestyle surrounding his church. For this, his church has been disrupted many times. He has to have plexiglass and bars on the windows at his house because a militant gay minority was destroying his home and endangering his young family.

When you preach hate, you get hate back. I doubt they would have reacted if he had been preaching love and acceptance. I'd sure like to hear what he preached.

With this example and others, I could say the same thing about the militant minority with your views, turtonm. It's just not right to paint everyone with the same prejudiced brush.

What "militant minority" of atheists? Show me the atheists carrying out violence against Christians in the US. Gays are a physically persecuted minority. From Human Rights Watch:

"Harassment of gay adults in the military paralleled the harassment of students perceived to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or
transgendered in public schools. Instead of providing a safe learning environment, school was experienced by many of these students
as a place that accepted intolerance, hatred, ostracization, and violence against youth who were perceived as different. For the most
part, school officials refused to intervene to protect these students, and what began as harassment escalated in many cases to
physical violence. Studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the states of Massachusetts and
Vermont had concluded, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered youth were two to three times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts."


Is there anything happening to the Christian Right that compares to this? Is it any wonder that with violence used against them on a constant basis, that gays have elected to fight back?

Tell, you what, though, I'll stop. You are right in one way. It is unbecoming, and it can be offensive.

Michael
 
Old 04-16-2001, 07:49 AM   #15
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So, Meta, let me get this straight. You read a fictional story and then say, "I know it's not true, but that doesn't mean it didn't actually happen?"

Does that mean Bilbo Baggins isn't a gnome, he's just little ?
 
Old 04-16-2001, 10:51 AM   #16
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turtonm, I share your disgust with those who do horrible things, but giving your heart-felt opinions about perceived wrongs does not equate to hate. Those who physically attack are the ones that hate.

Perhaps the missionary said something on the questionable side at some point (don't we all?), but that will never justify the hateful acts of those who oppose him physically. This also goes for those theists that bomb abortion clinics and do such things.

On another note, Buchanan and Robertson may have some flawed ideas and questionable tactics, but I really don't think they want to see anyone hurt or oppressed.

Anyway, I appreciate the offer to adjust the rhetoric. I need to watch mine as well, so call me on it. I think conversations are much more productive without it considering none of us seem to be the physically abusing types. BTW, a little poke here and there with a smiley face is fine by me. I'm not completely humorless.

Ish
 
Old 04-16-2001, 11:11 AM   #17
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ish:
Aikido7, I completely understand the Jesus Seminar and their agenda. I also understand what you are saying about them.</font>

This is getting tiresome. You do not "completely understand" the Jesus Seminar. They have no "agenda" other than to work to a consensus in public! Are you confusing "agenda" with "conclusions?" Jesus Seminar scholars' personal agendas or conclusions do not matter here. Consensus is the key. Geeze Louise!

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Yes, scholars have known that not all the words of Jesus can be exact. They come to us through the disciples. This does not mean that at least one of them didn't get the words right or at least close enough for government work.</font>
To extend your metaphor, I would like to leave the world of ecclesiastical "government work" and give the gospels back to the people. Many believers may be shocked to learn that the evangelists elaborated upon actual events and even created stories and sayings about Jesus to meet the particular needs of their own faith communities. This is a far more important matter than merely asserting that the gospel writers didn't get Jesus' words "exact." Even N.T. Wright, Raymond Brown and John Meier study the texts with these important presuppositions.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> The Jesus Seminar excises way too many words in an inconsistent fashion. They do not represent the views of all scholars because all scholars do not agree with their exclusions.</font>
The Jesus Seminar's methodology is by consensus determined by vote. This is how every reputable biblical translation is arrived at. There is no "mandated methodology" because each scholar must use his/her own and make their own best choice. Your judgement of "way too many" does not stand alone, but you must be honest and see it for what it is: a judgement. And it is understandable that non-scholars who have not spent years studying a wide variety of data from a wide assortment of texts should be expected to view scholar's results with an open mind.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Many scholars believe that though the words may not be exact, they are very close to what Jesus said. This is obvious by looking at the parallels. No, the words are not exactly the same, but they are close enough to get the same general idea across.</font>
The Jesus Seminar uses four guidelines: Jesus said this, Jesus probably said something like this, Jesus probably didn't say this and Jesus never said this. These are provisional but informed judgements and the Jesus Seminar has never claimed otherwise.

Ish, you can read the gospels for yourself and decide whether Jesus kept his messianic claims secret as in Mark or talked on and on about himself and his status as in John. Did he have his last meal on Passover or before? Were his miracles the result of faith or were his miracles intended to produce faith? Was he an open-hearted rabbi with concern for the poor or a bitter, badgering teacher with no expressed concern for the poor and marginalized? Did he die in agony calling out for an absent "Abba," or in quiet resignation--or in triumph?

There are no "general ideas" coming across here in a parallel study of the gospels. Bible Study is actually "studying the Bible!"


 
Old 04-16-2001, 11:51 AM   #18
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Metacrock:

O'Hair, Kant and Russell speak for each other in that they share the same presupposition: they do not believe in a transcendant God (assume that presuppostion to be true for this discussion!).

The Jesus Seminar speaks for itself by consensus. Of course anyone writing about another person or a particular event has some degree of personal bias: this is as true of the Jesus Semniar as it is of its critics. Both conservative and liberal scholars worth their salt try to minimize their biases in two ways: state beforehand the criteria to be used for data selection. Rather than start with an image of Jesus and then try to find data to match, good scholarship involves determining standards of authenticity beforehand and then matching all of Jesus' sayings against that standard.

I appreciate reading about your educational resume, but I have a hard time imagining any scholar describing members of the Jesus Seminar as wearing white make-up, honking red noses and long floppy shoes! What were the scholars at this liberal university really saying about the Jesus Seminar scholars?

Belief is like holding onto a rock in the raging river, Metarock, while faith is learning to swim. When Jesus praised the faith of the Roman pagan, he wasn't marvelling over the idea that the centurion could rattle off a set of beliefs! As the authentic Jesus seems to have used the term, faith is all about having trust--a lack of anxiety.

The gospels, as you say, ARE "historically valid," but only from the standpoint of being validly recognized texts written during the first century. "Historically valid" does not mean they correspond exactly to historical events--or were even meant to. They do not show what may have been captured on videotape. They are interpretations for various communities living in different times and circumstances. My interest is in getting behind those interpretations to eliminate the "middle man" and get closer to what Jesus was really saying and doing--and meaning.
Unfortunately, this hard work involves letting go of a lot of comforting religious and cultural baggage and letting Jesus speak for himself.

The recent A&E special "From Jesus to Christ" is a good start, but biblical literacy and common sense is not going to happen overnight. It has only been less than 500 years since the Bible was rescued from the province of the priestly domain of interpretation. And while most believers are technically literate, they often led by clergy to read the Bible with inattention and to confirm their own prejudices.





[This message has been edited by aikido7 (edited April 17, 2001).]
 
 

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