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Different religions

 
Andrew
 
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Andrew
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30 May 2009 10:32
 

I suppose I could have dropped this in the Christianity forum, but that already has plenty of threads.  I’d like to say something about those—-Christian and atheist—who seek to conflate the Jewish and Christian religions. 
Non-believers discover something in the Christian Bible that contradicts something in the Jewish Bible and say, Aha!”  Christians, especially, like to say that Christianity is the extension of Judaism. 
Nothing could be further from the truth…they’re two different religions and two different revelations.
Judaism is monotheistic—Christianity is poly-theistic.
Judaism promises salvation by following the Law—Christianity promises salvation through faith in the resurrection of their “Christ”.
Judaism denies the efficacy of (and denounces in no uncertain terms) vicarious sacrific—vicarious sacrifice is the foundation of the Christian religion.
Judaism abhors the consumption of blood—-Christianity celebrates the consumption of blood in their most important ritual.
There are many examples.

Paul and the early Christians arrogantly—and unsuccessfully—tried to tie themselves to the apron strings of an old and respected religion—to commandeer it for their own purposes. 
They were disappointed and dismayed (at least) when the Jews didn’t enthusiastically jump on board…and maintained (to this day) their own religion.

 
 
LogicAndReason
 
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LogicAndReason
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31 May 2009 13:45
 
Andrew - 30 May 2009 08:32 AM

I suppose I could have dropped this in the Christianity forum, but that already has plenty of threads.  I’d like to say something about those—-Christian and atheist—who seek to conflate the Jewish and Christian religions.

Excellent thread my friend.  I posit that Christianity was dependent on Judaism for it’s epistemology.  I further posit that the antecedents of Christianity lie in both Greek savior plots and Hebrew sectarianism that date back to Cyrus releasing the Jews from Babylon and the conflict that ensued with the Jews who had remained in Palestine for two centuries (we see this culminate in the Maccabean revolt).  Who is to say that early Christians, like Paul (an educated Greek-speaking Pharisee and the first author of Christian canon), didn’t ‘create’ the whole tie between a Greek cult and Judaism through exegesis of the Torah and the ‘revealed’ Jesus communities?  Historically, while some OT characters are in fact referenced by many cultures, Jesus is not. Suffice it to say that a struggling early church needed the established Judaism, ideas and infrastructure, to achieve any level of validity.

Andrew - 30 May 2009 08:32 AM

Non-believers discover something in the Christian Bible that contradicts something in the Jewish Bible and say, Aha!”  Christians, especially, like to say that Christianity is the extension of Judaism. 
Nothing could be further from the truth…they’re two different religions and two different revelations.

Well said again my friend!  This linear relationship is simply the later Christians borrowing from the earlier Hebrews and there is no connection beyond what people create through conjecture and exegesis.  Let’s notice that even in Judaism, the ‘Messiah’ is never discussed or predicted until the Jews are captive in Babylon.  Can’t we see this was a hopeful wish that grew from a tough reality?

Andrew - 30 May 2009 08:32 AM

Judaism is monotheistic—Christianity is poly-theistic.
Judaism promises salvation by following the Law—Christianity promises salvation through faith in the resurrection of their “Christ”.
Judaism denies the efficacy of (and denounces in no uncertain terms) vicarious sacrific—vicarious sacrifice is the foundation of the Christian religion.
Judaism abhors the consumption of blood—-Christianity celebrates the consumption of blood in their most important ritual.
There are many examples.

And the Jewish Messiah is a ‘this world’ king, ruler of the nations of ‘this world’ while Christianity is predicated on the ‘next world.’  A simple critical reading of Psalms 22, Isaiah 53 and Micah 5 reveal that no early Jewish thinker expected God to send his son to die for our sins.  Islam and Christianity are more related to one another than are Christianity and Judaism.

Andrew - 30 May 2009 08:32 AM

Paul and the early Christians arrogantly—and unsuccessfully—tried to tie themselves to the apron strings of an old and respected religion—to commandeer it for their own purposes. 
They were disappointed and dismayed (at least) when the Jews didn’t enthusiastically jump on board…and maintained (to this day) their own religion.

Which speaks to the importance of this discussion; Christians have and will justify murdering, segregating, stealing from and rape of Jews in senseless pograms as long as we uncritically read the redacted oral traditions, known as the ‘New Testament.’  There is not a person alive than can reasonably prove from history that a man named Jesus ever lived…much less was killed by the Jewish Temple elite by Roman proxy.  Christians…leave the Jews alone.  If you are right, God will deal with them and us heretics.

 
GAD
 
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31 May 2009 14:28
 

Paul (an educated Greek-speaking Pharisee and the first author of Christian canon),

The argument that he wasn’t is stronger then the one that he was, which comes form acts which says Paul said and did things he didn’t.

 
 
LogicAndReason
 
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31 May 2009 15:20
 
GAD - 31 May 2009 12:28 PM

Paul (an educated Greek-speaking Pharisee and the first author of Christian canon),

The argument that he wasn’t is stronger then the one that he was, which comes form acts which says Paul said and did things he didn’t.

Granted…and not important as this discussion goes.  My posit is that educated Jews (to include a letter-writer we identify as Paul) took a Greek cult and married it to Judaism.  From what Josephus tells us about the Essenes in Antiquities, they exhibited beliefs and behaviors that would be cast as Christian later.  Sectarian Judaism and Greek philosophy both contribute to what become Christianity…but Judaism is not the progenitor of Christianity (as the Christians claim)...it is merely a borrowed epistemology.

As Bart D. Ehrman writes in many of his books, the New Testament was written in Greek, not Aramaic nor Hebrew.  Ignorant fishermen and day laborers from Galilee did not write any of these books.  Nothing presented in the NT is from an eye-witness and the connection to Judaism is clearly a Christian association, not Jewish.  Notice that the Jews wrote nothing about Jesus until the 3rd century (it is as if he never existed for them to know about.  Ever wonder why the first Gospel written, the one we call ‘Mark’ is not written until after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus?  Maybe too many witnesses existed before that calamity that could have disputed Mark’s ‘Truth.’

 
GAD
 
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31 May 2009 15:36
 
LogicAndReason - 31 May 2009 01:20 PM
GAD - 31 May 2009 12:28 PM

Paul (an educated Greek-speaking Pharisee and the first author of Christian canon),

The argument that he wasn’t is stronger then the one that he was, which comes form acts which says Paul said and did things he didn’t.

Granted…and not important as this discussion goes.  My posit is that educated Jews (to include a letter-writer we identify as Paul) took a Greek cult and married it to Judaism.  From what Josephus tells us about the Essenes in Antiquities, they exhibited beliefs and behaviors that would be cast as Christian later.  Sectarian Judaism and Greek philosophy both contribute to what become Christianity…but Judaism is not the progenitor of Christianity (as the Christians claim)...it is merely a borrowed epistemology.

As Bart D. Ehrman writes in many of his books, the New Testament was written in Greek, not Aramaic nor Hebrew.  Ignorant fishermen and day laborers from Galilee did not write any of these books.  Nothing presented in the NT is from an eye-witness and the connection to Judaism is clearly a Christian association, not Jewish.  Notice that the Jews wrote nothing about Jesus until the 3rd century (it is as if he never existed for them to know about.  Ever wonder why the first Gospel written, the one we call ‘Mark’ is not written until after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus?  Maybe too many witnesses existed before that calamity that could have disputed Mark’s ‘Truth.’


When Paul wrote there appears to have already been an established Jesus movement in Jerusalem and related stories floating about, do you consider that a Greek cult or a variation of Judaism?

 
 
Andrew
 
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31 May 2009 20:14
 
LogicAndReason - 31 May 2009 11:45 AM

Excellent thread my friend.

(Andrew):  Hi, guy!  Welcome aboard..good to see your name!  Have you been here, yet?

LogicAndReason - 22 February 2009 04:50 PM

I posit that Christianity was dependent on Judaism for it’s epistemology.

(Andrew):  Whatchoomean?

LogidAndReason - 31 May 2009 11:45 AM

Suffice it to say that a struggling early church needed the established Judaism, ideas and infrastructure, to achieve any level of validity.

(Andrew):  They grabbed, but they weren’t very successful.  The overwhelming majority of early converts were not Jews, but Gentiles.  The Jews knew better.

LogicAndReason - 30 May 2009 08:32 AM

Let’s notice that even in Judaism, the ‘Messiah’ is never discussed or predicted until the Jews are captive in Babylon.

(Andrew):  And then they thought the messiah was Cyrus the Great (Isaiah 45:1) who’d been sent by God to deliver them and rule the world.  No mention of anyone named Jesus coming along in a few hundred years.

 
 
Andrew
 
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31 May 2009 20:16
 
GAD - 31 May 2009 12:28 PM

Paul (an educated Greek-speaking Pharisee and the first author of Christian canon),

The argument that he wasn’t is stronger then the one that he was…

(Andrew):  I agree with that, if you’re talking about Paul being a Pharisee.  Have you read any Hyam Maccoby?

 
 
GAD
 
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31 May 2009 23:27
 
Andrew - 31 May 2009 06:16 PM
GAD - 31 May 2009 12:28 PM

Paul (an educated Greek-speaking Pharisee and the first author of Christian canon),

The argument that he wasn’t is stronger then the one that he was…

(Andrew):  I agree with that, if you’re talking about Paul being a Pharisee.  Have you read any Hyam Maccoby?

No, never heard of him.

Just looked him up, interesting that many of his view are in current books and articles.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyam_Maccoby

I found some of his writing on Paul here.
http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/maccoby2.htm

And a christian rebuttal here.
http://www.tektonics.org/lp/maccobyh01.html

 
 
LogicAndReason
 
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01 June 2009 00:23
 
GAD - 31 May 2009 01:36 PM
LogicAndReason - 31 May 2009 01:20 PM
GAD - 31 May 2009 12:28 PM

Paul (an educated Greek-speaking Pharisee and the first author of Christian canon),

The argument that he wasn’t is stronger then the one that he was, which comes form acts which says Paul said and did things he didn’t.

Granted…and not important as this discussion goes.  My posit is that educated Jews (to include a letter-writer we identify as Paul) took a Greek cult and married it to Judaism.  From what Josephus tells us about the Essenes in Antiquities, they exhibited beliefs and behaviors that would be cast as Christian later.  Sectarian Judaism and Greek philosophy both contribute to what become Christianity…but Judaism is not the progenitor of Christianity (as the Christians claim)...it is merely a borrowed epistemology.

As Bart D. Ehrman writes in many of his books, the New Testament was written in Greek, not Aramaic nor Hebrew.  Ignorant fishermen and day laborers from Galilee did not write any of these books.  Nothing presented in the NT is from an eye-witness and the connection to Judaism is clearly a Christian association, not Jewish.  Notice that the Jews wrote nothing about Jesus until the 3rd century (it is as if he never existed for them to know about.  Ever wonder why the first Gospel written, the one we call ‘Mark’ is not written until after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus?  Maybe too many witnesses existed before that calamity that could have disputed Mark’s ‘Truth.’


When Paul wrote there appears to have already been an established Jesus movement in Jerusalem and related stories floating about, do you consider that a Greek cult or a variation of Judaism?

You raise a great point and I will be the first to admit that we will never be sure due to lack of evidence.  But lets look closely to the ‘Pillars’ Paul references in Galatians 1 and 2.  He may call them ‘Those who cam before me’ but he never infers that they were followers of an earthly Jesus either. He tells us next to nothing about him.  Can we trust Luke’s Acts?  In fact, Paul never quotes a single Jesus phrase from the Gospels (written after his death) and never mentions Galilee, Virgin Births, Mary or Joseph, where and when Jesus lived or died…basically none of the later Gospel details.  His Jesus was the totally ‘revealed’ fellow found in his 1 Cor 15 speech.  Who tells us that this started in Jerusalem?  The Gospels.  Can anyone when the Gospels are written deny this…no Jerusalem was in ruins.  Please name me one church father, not a biblical apostle, that is Jewish…answer: there are none.  I think the antecedents were Greek first and the version we know today was the result of a syncretism between these cults and Diaspora synagogues.  This is total conjecture but so is the NT.

Christianity as we know it since Constantine is far from the many beliefs of its adherents in the 1st century.  Where were all the churches Paul was writing?  Were any in Palestine?  We think this because it has been part of Western religious hegemony since the 4th century.  But look closely my friend, what is the epistemology of this information?  Do we get if from sources other than the redacted NT?  Nope

 
LogicAndReason
 
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01 June 2009 00:23
 
Andrew - 31 May 2009 06:14 PM
LogicAndReason - 31 May 2009 11:45 AM

Excellent thread my friend.

(Andrew):  Hi, guy!  Welcome aboard..good to see your name!  Have you been here, yet?

LogicAndReason - 22 February 2009 04:50 PM

I posit that Christianity was dependent on Judaism for it’s epistemology.

(Andrew):  Whatchoomean?

LogidAndReason - 31 May 2009 11:45 AM

Suffice it to say that a struggling early church needed the established Judaism, ideas and infrastructure, to achieve any level of validity.

(Andrew):  They grabbed, but they weren’t very successful.  The overwhelming majority of early converts were not Jews, but Gentiles.  The Jews knew better.

LogicAndReason - 30 May 2009 08:32 AM

Let’s notice that even in Judaism, the ‘Messiah’ is never discussed or predicted until the Jews are captive in Babylon.

(Andrew):  And then they thought the messiah was Cyrus the Great (Isaiah 45:1) who’d been sent by God to deliver them and rule the world.  No mention of anyone named Jesus coming along in a few hundred years.

Yep!

 
Andrew
 
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01 June 2009 08:53
 
LogicAndReason - 31 May 2009 11:45 AM

I posit that Christianity was dependent on Judaism for it’s epistemology.

(Andrew):  Can you flesh this out a bit?  To make sure we’re on the same page?

 
 
LogicAndReason
 
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01 June 2009 11:25
 
Andrew - 01 June 2009 06:53 AM
LogicA - 31 May 2009 11:45 AM

I posit that Christianity was dependent on Judaism for it’s epistemology.

(Andrew): Can you flesh this out a bit? To make sure we’re on the same page?

Sure my friend, Suetonius once wrote (in his Lives of the Twelve Caesars) that there was a legend in the East about a ‘Savior’ who would come to redeem the world. This legend had existed from ancient times and was told through many avatars. My theory is this, the dying/rising savior theme was developed further by Jews in the Diaspora…part of the sectarian schisms that started in the 4th century BCE when the ruling Jews returned from Babylon to assume control over the Jews who had remained in Palestine. When I read Josephus’ account of Essenes and about Philo’s Alexandian Judiasm, I can almost create the Jesus theology by combining the two. We both know there are rituals and beliefs in Christianity that are vestigial of Greek cults. So you have these sophist like the letter-writer Paul who are combing Asia Minor and making a living by preaching. They are the bees carrying this pollen of ideas and myth-making. Paul and others use the Jewish Epic to anchor this savior idea into a new religion.

You are well studied my friend. Ask yourself but these questions:

1. Outside the names recorded in the redaction we consider the NT, are there any Jewish Church Fathers? None

2. Why are all the churches we find in the Epistles and in Revelation outside of Palestine?

3. Outside of the Gospels and Acts (all written in Greek), where do we hear about the church in Jerusalem (besides Gal 1 and 2) or others of Palestine?

4. Without the OT, what is the epistemology of Christianity?

5. With so many extant writings of the 2nd and 3rd century being anti-heretical in nature, can we even say what percentage of ‘Christians’ believed what we know to be Christianity today with the Jewish connection?

6. Where is the mention of Jewish Christians in secular history?

 
GAD
 
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01 June 2009 14:00
 
LogicAndReason - 31 May 2009 10:23 PM
GAD - 31 May 2009 01:36 PM
LogicAndReason - 31 May 2009 01:20 PM
GAD - 31 May 2009 12:28 PM

Paul (an educated Greek-speaking Pharisee and the first author of Christian canon),

The argument that he wasn’t is stronger then the one that he was, which comes form acts which says Paul said and did things he didn’t.

Granted…and not important as this discussion goes.  My posit is that educated Jews (to include a letter-writer we identify as Paul) took a Greek cult and married it to Judaism.  From what Josephus tells us about the Essenes in Antiquities, they exhibited beliefs and behaviors that would be cast as Christian later.  Sectarian Judaism and Greek philosophy both contribute to what become Christianity…but Judaism is not the progenitor of Christianity (as the Christians claim)...it is merely a borrowed epistemology.

As Bart D. Ehrman writes in many of his books, the New Testament was written in Greek, not Aramaic nor Hebrew.  Ignorant fishermen and day laborers from Galilee did not write any of these books.  Nothing presented in the NT is from an eye-witness and the connection to Judaism is clearly a Christian association, not Jewish.  Notice that the Jews wrote nothing about Jesus until the 3rd century (it is as if he never existed for them to know about.  Ever wonder why the first Gospel written, the one we call ‘Mark’ is not written until after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus?  Maybe too many witnesses existed before that calamity that could have disputed Mark’s ‘Truth.’


When Paul wrote there appears to have already been an established Jesus movement in Jerusalem and related stories floating about, do you consider that a Greek cult or a variation of Judaism?

You raise a great point and I will be the first to admit that we will never be sure due to lack of evidence.  But lets look closely to the ‘Pillars’ Paul references in Galatians 1 and 2.  He may call them ‘Those who cam before me’ but he never infers that they were followers of an earthly Jesus either. He tells us next to nothing about him.  Can we trust Luke’s Acts?  In fact, Paul never quotes a single Jesus phrase from the Gospels (written after his death) and never mentions Galilee, Virgin Births, Mary or Joseph, where and when Jesus lived or died…basically none of the later Gospel details.  His Jesus was the totally ‘revealed’ fellow found in his 1 Cor 15 speech.  Who tells us that this started in Jerusalem?  The Gospels.  Can anyone when the Gospels are written deny this…no Jerusalem was in ruins.  Please name me one church father, not a biblical apostle, that is Jewish…answer: there are none.  I think the antecedents were Greek first and the version we know today was the result of a syncretism between these cults and Diaspora synagogues.  This is total conjecture but so is the NT.

Christianity as we know it since Constantine is far from the many beliefs of its adherents in the 1st century.  Where were all the churches Paul was writing?  Were any in Palestine?  We think this because it has been part of Western religious hegemony since the 4th century.  But look closely my friend, what is the epistemology of this information?  Do we get if from sources other than the redacted NT?  Nope

I don’t think I disagree with anything you’ve said above.  Do you think Jesus form the Gospels and Matthew, Mark and Luke were Jews?

 
 
Andrew
 
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01 June 2009 19:52
 

(Andrew):  OK. Well done. I think we’re together, but for this:

Without the OT, what is the epistemology of Christianity?

Is it your position that the dying/rising savior god motif was absorbed into the Jewish concept of the messiah by Hellenized Jews prior to the advent of Christianity…or by 1st Century Christians as a way to ride in on the coattails of Judaism?
If I’ve even asked that right….

In either case, the evidence is clear that the Palestinian Jews weren’t interested in what Paul was selling.  And that’s why he took his show on the road.

 
 
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hannahtoo
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01 June 2009 21:37
 

I often hear the idea that Jews were looking for a “king” messiah, not a suffering messiah, and this is why they rejected Christianity.  But I think there is another more basic reason.  Jews feel God rejected and prohibited human sacrifice back in the story of Abraham, when Judaism was officially “born.”  In Jewish thinking, rather than being the perfect sacrifice, Jesus was the totally inappropriate sacrifice. 

Some modern Christians have adopted the Passover seder ritual, and they reinterpret the significance of the elements.  I think they[re totally missing the point.  It doesn’t make sense that the Jews’ God would be waiting for a human sacrifice to pay for human sins.  That’s why they sacrifice a lamb!

 
Andrew
 
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01 June 2009 23:17
 
hannahfriend - 01 June 2009 07:37 PM

I often hear the idea that Jews were looking for a “king” messiah, not a suffering messiah, and this is why they rejected Christianity.

(Andrew):  That’s one of the reasons.  The Jewish concept of a messiah was a warrior king, sent by God to deliver the “children of Israel” from their torment, and rule over the world in the name of God.

hannahfriend - 01 June 2009 07:37 PM

I think there is another more basic reason.  Jews feel God rejected and prohibited human sacrifice back in the story of Abraham, when Judaism was officially “born.”  In Jewish thinking, rather than being the perfect sacrifice, Jesus was the totally inappropriate sacrifice.
Some modern Christians have adopted the Passover seder ritual, and they reinterpret the significance of the elements.  I think they[re totally missing the point.  It doesn’t make sense that the Jews’ God would be waiting for a human sacrifice to pay for human sins.  That’s why they sacrifice a lamb!

(Andrew):  Yes, human sacrifice was a big no-no…although Christians will waffle about Jesus’ “human-ness”.  But the big thing is vicarious atonement:  Judaism teaches (Deuteronomy 24:16) that each man shall suffer for his own sin, while Christianity teaches that Jesus’ death paid the price for everyone. 
They’re two different religions.

 
 
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