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Author Topic: How'd THEY do it??  (Read 9215 times)

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sasscell

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Re: How'd THEY do it??
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2007, 11:45:23 AM »

Hi Dean.  Question for you.  You mentioned friends of yours turning away after hearing that the scriptures were corrupted.  Do you think that there was something in them that wanted a reason not to believe?  We have ALL heard somewhere along the line that the bible is a myth, corrupted by men, etc.  We never bought any of that, but some obviously do.  I'm not sure if I believe that an HONEST Christian could be swayed so easily, but you know some personally, what do you think?
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Kat

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Re: How'd THEY do it??
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2007, 12:28:52 PM »


Hi Joe,

Thanks for that little nudge.  That just made me see that in a whole new way  :)  It's funny how those truths are just sitting there waiting for God to show them to us.

mercy, peace, and love
Kat
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Pax Vobiscum

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Re: How'd THEY do it??
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2007, 05:58:47 PM »

Anyway, the question that keeps comming up, and HAS for years for me, is WHAT DID PEOPLE DO BEFORE THE SCRIPTURES BECAME COMMONLY AVAILABLE?  

Just when I was ready to lay low again for a while, a question comes up that deals with a particular focus of my own journey.

There is plenty of material out there about the early believers in the "Christian" movement (they weren't called "Christians" until way after the Ascension, btw) and what they believed, used as Scripture, etc...  Much of it is no longer accepted by the "modern" community.

Think of how diverse the world of orthodox Christianity is today.  We have New England Congrgationalist, "Snake-handling" Pentacostals from the southern Appalachians, Wide-eyed healers in independent churches, Pious Greek Orthodox monks, and so forth.  Each calls upon the name of Jesus as Lord and Savior, but in such a way that makes them the target of other worldviews from within the believing community.  Even within this online community, we see how easy it is to "condemn" a brother or sister who disagrees with us on very minor points of theology or practice.

The early church was just as bad, I am afraid to say.  If we were searching for a "Christian" church in the middle of the second century, we could choose from communities which taught that there are 2, 30 and even 365 different gods.  There was a parish who taught that the OT is a evil book.  The diversity is astounding (and one of my passions) because each of these communities counted themselves as followers of Jesus!  Each of these communities could verify that Jesus himself taught these lessons and many had written apostolic truth penned by those who walked and talked with Jesus!  "The more things change...."  as they say!

The earliest form of Christian religion in the second century were the Adoptionists (a fascinating viewpoint, btw).  For them, to call Jesus God was a blasphemous lie.  They used a Hebrew text which is very similar to the Gospel of Matthew less the first two chapters.  To them, Paul was the arch-heretic blasphemer.

Another group -- a very large group (early "superchurch?") were the Marcionites.  Marcion was a scholar and evangelist who maintained that Paul was the true apostle.  Marcionites were also at odds with the differences between the OT God and the God of Jesus.  Their views on Jesus also maintained that Jesus was not a flesh-and-blood human -- he only seemed human.

There were Gnostic Christians who were numbered largely in the urban areas.  Agreeing largely with Marcion, they also adopted a Jesus of two distinct beings:  the human Jesus and the divine Jesus.  Some forms of Gnosticism claimed 30 gods and up to 365 gods and yet still, the One True God was not the God of the OT.  (Ever wondered where the title "Children of a Lesser God" came from?)

The group that finally prevailed and whose teachings changed to accomodate more and more heretics (I interrupt this post to reveal to you that the word "heretic" has its roots in the Greek word for "choice" -- as in those heretics over there choose not to believe our way!  It had nothing to do with being "wrong" or "evil" until loving, adoring Christians gave it power over peoples' lives) and, of the course the Jesus -- fully human/fully divine discussions of the Johannines.

It's hard to keep this short...

The long and short of it is that many Christians had access to one or two books which were regarded as apostolic and used them as their holy library.  There was no authorized NT for hundreds and hundreds of years.  The Gospels being handed down through generations stayed mainly in their own groups:  The Gnostics prefered the Gospels of Peter (probably the most widely-read Gospel in the early church), John, Philip, and Thomas.  Jewish Christians preferred Matthew.

Remember also, outside of the Torah, there was no hard-and-fast layout of the Jewish scripture.

There certainly was scripture, but we are nowhere near an authorized Bible.

The points I would like to address in response to your question are:

1.  Diversity in believers is not a new thing.  People who walked with those who walked with the earliest saints had varying ideas, customs, and outlooks.  Why can't we?  As long as we keep to the basic tenets of Jesus' teaching, are we not on solid ground?  If the Bible is the most researched and scrutinized book in history, can we not use it as an authoritative, reliable source for these teachings?  If the earliest believers were confused, whence comes our arrogance that we can discern who is "elect", "chosen", or "condemned to Johnny Cash's 'Ring of Fire'" played for an eon??

2.  The canon of the Bible was not authorized until around the 16th century (give or take -- I'm flying without notes).  Is that when we should take it to heart as a believing community?  What about the Christians (and there were thousands) who relied on non-canonical books where is their salvation?
Books like the Didache, and the Shepherd of Hermas among others were used to establish the earliest sacred traditions in the early communities.  Are they then "God-breathed"?  Parts of them?  BY THE WAY, when the book of Tim makes the bold statement that all scriptures are "God-breathed," what Scripture is he talking about?  The Book of Revelation had not even been written yet, while other major book were being referred-to as Scripture that never made it into the canon.

3.  Finally, and I apologize (pun intended!) for the length here, the biggest danger I see is that of history repeating itself over and over and over.  Our modern terminology aside, a Pharisee is Jesus' day was the person who knew the words and traditions better than anyone. The studied the Scripture and tried to maintain the purity of it.  Trouble is, they got so lost in the words that they forgot their meaning.  Along comes Jesus and he preaches a new interpretation of the Jewish Law and He is killed for it! 

Of course, I am sure that there are good and bad Pharisees, but generally, their sacred duty was to preserve the witness of the words (logos for those of you taking notes), rather than the presence of God beyond all understanding of the words (mythos, again for the note-takers)!  Jesus was the marriage of the logos and the mythos.  Why not us?

Peace
« Last Edit: July 19, 2007, 06:04:43 PM by Pax Vobiscum »
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gmik

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Re: How'd THEY do it??
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2007, 06:08:05 PM »

Fascinating Pax.  I love that stuff. (history)  Thanks.
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YellowStone

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Re: How'd THEY do it??
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2007, 06:32:09 PM »

Pax, you wrote the following and I quote:

Diversity in believers is not a new thing.  People who walked with those who walked with the earliest saints had varying ideas, customs, and outlooks.  Why can 't we?  As long as we keep to the basic tenets of Jesus ' teaching, are we not on solid ground?  If the Bible is the most researched and scrutinized book in history, can we not use it as an authoritative, reliable source for these teachings?  If the earliest believers were confused, whence comes our arrogance that we can discern who is  "elect ",  "chosen ", or  "condemned to Johnny Cash 's  'Ring of Fire ' " played for an eon?I

I read your post with great interest; however, I must comment your statement above.

Yes there are many bibles, just as there are beliefs. BUT, there is only one Spirit of Truth, hence there can be only one Truth.

One must never forget this.  Man's truth should not be the basis of understanding. Prob 3:5,6

So how does one know lif one has the truth. All I can say is that,  when God makes Himself known, one knows and the Truth is seen for what it is.

Love on Christ,
Darren
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Kat

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Re: How'd THEY do it??
« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2007, 06:37:53 PM »

Hi Pax,

Interesting bit of info.
What I got is that regardless of what actually is used as a source of our knowledge of God, we must be guided by the Spirit of Christ.  That is what unites all elect/believers down through the centuries.

John 16:13  However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

God has brought about and used all of the things that you spoke of, but was more than capable of teaching those He chose His Truth.
We are blessed at this time to have all we have available to us, that is by His design also.
His plan is being worked out precisely as He see fit.

mercy, peace, and love
Kat



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TimothyVI

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Re: How'd THEY do it??
« Reply #26 on: July 19, 2007, 08:10:31 PM »

Sorry, I posted before reading all of the replies. ::)
Tim
« Last Edit: July 19, 2007, 08:13:05 PM by TimothyVI »
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GODSown1

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Re: How'd THEY do it??
« Reply #27 on: July 19, 2007, 09:32:35 PM »

Amen once again Kat & Darren :),
                                  Uz r so making life easier 4 me :D coz I dont hav 2 think & better still type :D, But! brother / sister U r so right. I jus wana say if I may :) , b4 being called out by GOD I so hated reading well I still do really but not so much hate now, bcoz I would read & not even no wot I had jus read so wot was da point in readn, But! now I hav read the whole Bible wit abit of understanding cumn frm it. So wot Im tryn 2 say is even tho I really didnt quite understand wot I hav read, I wouldnt let NO one  tell me jus bcoz I dont read  or dont understand wot I am reading much, I dont know!!! GOD or HE aint with me bcoz I cant read & not understand. WelL! I HONESTLY!!!can say I KNOW!!!! HES right HERE/THERE with mE! every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month & Every! year of my life & I hav learn't HE Always has & always Will be, & d@s da TRUTH!!, GODBLESS! uZ!!.
                                   muchLOVE!! Pera

Ps. I hope ive made sense, 2 me it does lol! :) :D PeacE!!!
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Dean Peterman

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Re: How'd THEY do it??
« Reply #28 on: July 19, 2007, 10:20:07 PM »

Dear Tracy,

I hope I can answer your question without making it appear that I reject the Sovereignty of God.  I believe that God in his Sovereignty has given human beings the ability to think and reason.  Therefore, I think it is possible for someone who truly believes in God to be convinced that God does not exist.   I do not think that rejecting God's existence is the will of God.

Sincerely,

Dean
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musicman

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Re: How'd THEY do it??
« Reply #29 on: July 19, 2007, 10:38:18 PM »

Of course it's not His will Dean.  However, it is His purpose that many will reject Him in this life.
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GODSown1

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Re: How'd THEY do it??
« Reply #30 on: July 19, 2007, 10:41:40 PM »

Amen! & Amen! 2 d@ musicman,
                                         muchLOVE!! Pera
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Dean Peterman

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Re: How'd THEY do it??
« Reply #31 on: July 19, 2007, 10:58:25 PM »

Dear Pax,

Let me begin by saying that if I have offended you in any way I am truly sorry.  I receive you as my brother in christ even though we have different views on this subject.  I just finished reading a four volume set of books on Systematic Theology.  It traces a great deal of the doctrinal development of many of the doctrines held by christians for the last 2000 years.  It is all very interesting.  However, I am learning from many of my new friends here at BT that there is more to being a christian then book knowledge.  I have always spent too much time and energy trying to understand everything.  Sometimes our great learning can drive us from the faith.  When we forget what is important we can become cynical and lose our faith.  If you have every read Dan Barker's book, Losing Faith in Faith, you know how easy it is to fall into despair when we lose our faith in God.  Dan went from christian to God hater.  What about Bart Ehrman?  What drove him to stop believing in God?  Although you admire his great learning, you ultimately have to acknowledge that you fundamentally disagree with his conclusions.  If you did not disagree, you would not be a christian.  So, while he may have some truth, his ultimate conclusions about God are wrong.  My basic concern with the things you have stated are that they can cause damage to people.  If Bart Ehrman went from being a christian to being an agnostic why would we want to recommend his books to someone.  There is something essentially flawed with his thinking.  If not, shouldn't we all follow his example?  

Did you know that Baha'is often claim that they are christians?  After all, wasn't Jesus speaking of Baha'u'llah when he predicted his second coming?  They have scriptures to prove it.  Perhaps this kind of false teaching is why we need to stick to the 66 books of the Bible.  There may be other truth out there but I certainly am not willing to put my trust in it.

Pax, I apologize if I come off as a Pharisee.  

Sincerely,

Dean  
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YellowStone

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Re: How'd THEY do it??
« Reply #32 on: July 20, 2007, 01:03:33 AM »

Thanks for the kind words Pera. :)

I read somwhere that knowledge is not anything on it's own; whereas wisdom is knowledge in action. I like that. I see you puting in action much you have learned, does this not by defintion, make you wise also.

God is working in all of us for His purpose. :)

In Him who cares,
Darren
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Pax Vobiscum

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Re: How'd THEY do it??
« Reply #33 on: July 20, 2007, 01:50:25 AM »

What about Bart Ehrman?  What drove him to stop believing in God?  

First of all, no one who is striving for truth can offend me -- no intended, none taken.

Remember I spoke only of Professor Ehrman's books.  His scholarship is excellent and for the question of Biblical development, there are few contemporary writers better.  Although he applies the ice-cold knife of history to his writings, I have read many, many published and unpublished writings of his and have never read that he denies a belief in God.

Thanks for the note,

Peace
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josh

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Re: How'd THEY do it??
« Reply #34 on: July 20, 2007, 04:57:22 AM »

Dean,

If I may... I would like to offer a few thoughts to you..

First...

Can Pax, Ehrman or anyone else for that matter, type or say any information that God has not already known and intended for us to see and hear at this very moment?

The only "damage" that can be caused to anyone... is what was already intended and is actively being worked out by God's perfect wisdom.

Second,...

"Being a Christian" has very little, if anything at all, to do with following Christ.

God's Peace.
Josh





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DuluthGA

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Re: How'd THEY do it??
« Reply #35 on: July 20, 2007, 05:26:24 AM »

Big replies!!  Good thread!

Joe's "Listen to hear His voice..." [exact quote] Bingo!  WINS THE PRIZE!
To the dear person who started this, Tracy, at this point, you can opt to receive more info from human kind, OR... shut off the superfluous sounds around you and humbly seek [like on a daily basis]... directly from "The Horse's Mouth..." ASK HIM for more of what He wants you to know.  You are gonna be surprised in a great way.  ;)   I will whisper a "sacred secret" to you....  who you gon' call??  ;)  [Ghost busters?????]

Dear Pax, thanks so much for bringing out in a detailed way that there were myriads of Christian-type peoples, some in caves, all various sects some with their own scrolls [I recently learned a lot from the History Channel] and different beliefs.  Yes, "the more things change, the more they do remain the same."  [It's actually quite funny!]  And thanks for the insight into the history and meaning of the word "heretic," I was taking notes.  Also, dear apologist, thanks for 'marrying' the two words logos and mythos for me; I learn something new every day.   :) 

Thanks for your input too Dean although it's hard for me to discern what the (slight) disagreement is about.

Kat --  Righto from me about your first paragraph.

Darren -- Your rhetorical question about "who knows if one has the truth?"  I would guess, because knowing is not being... that it would be upon resurrection, first or second, to confirm the 'being' aspect of how He has lined it all up. 

Pera -- I'm so very glad you have read the entire bible... now you know WHAT'S NOT IN THERE.... i.e., eternal torment and a bunch more unscriptural crap.... muah!  muah!   :-*  U r coool dude!!
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hillsbororiver

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Re: How'd THEY do it??
« Reply #36 on: July 20, 2007, 08:39:18 AM »

Fascinating stuff Pax!

All the denominations, cults, etc. certainly reminds one of the Tower of Babel.

Peace,

Joe
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Craig

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Re: How'd THEY do it??
« Reply #37 on: July 20, 2007, 08:52:46 AM »

Dean,

I need to speak up for Pax here.  I have read some of Ehrman's books and I felt they were very good at cutting out the fat and getting to the meat of religion, and christianity in general.  I think that anyone who wants to become more scholarly about religion should look them over.  Now I've not read all of his books and writings so I might have missed something.  Where did you hear that he did not believe in God?  I seem to recall that he talked about his faith being stronger since he began his studies.  I  can see where christianity might say that he is heretic, but they say that about us.

If what you say is a fact then I would like to know.

Blessings
Craig
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Dean Peterman

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Re: How'd THEY do it??
« Reply #38 on: July 20, 2007, 08:57:58 AM »

Dear Craig,

Here is a link that will give you some information.

http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/2006/03/misanalyzing-text-criticism-bart.html

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Craig

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Re: How'd THEY do it??
« Reply #39 on: July 20, 2007, 09:45:42 AM »

Thanks, I'll look it over closer.

Does Ehrman claim he is agnostic? Or do others label him as one?
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