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Thanks for the pictures, Punky.

Jesus' birth was anticipated, because there was a constellation which occured like only once in 100 years. The biblical Magi were in reality high priests of the Order of Melkhizendek (a very ancient order which was founded by Spitama, the first Zarathushtra like 4000 years prior), who came to visit the infant – they had known completely what role he would play later.

Not of the one of redemption, but according to Coptic scriptures mastering the "squaring of the circle". That means he wasn't born as God's son, but became divine perfection after his life ended, and he proved it by materializing whenever he wanted: like going thru the door in Emmaus.
And he was not the first to achieve it on this planet. And he completely knew what this planet will undergo... what tribulations it will suffer... because still 2/3 diabolism rules this planet. Spiritually it is still a very dark place, as we can see it thru wars, suffering and the constant violations of Mother Nature's laws.
Only those who break this bond will come to God. This bond which binds us to the contradiction, to Satanas...
 

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the videos i took for u, the second is the second floor




 

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These are great photos, thank you for sharing. @Punky

'He shall be called a Nazarene' is itself a great mystery. Nazareth was by no means a great town. My pastor once described it as a ghetto of ghettos (the broader ghetto being Galilee). In fact the Pharisees question whether Jesus is a prophet on the basis that 'no prophet has ever come out of Galilee' (John 7.52), and Nathanael, one of Jesus' disciples remarks upon hearing of his hometown, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:43-46) as if in a derogatory sense. Either the town had poor reputation or was considered lowly and insignificant in those times.

John 7:40-52:
On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.”

Others said, “He is the Messiah.”

Still others asked, “How can the Messiah come from Galilee? Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?”

Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.

Unbelief of the Jewish Leaders
Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and the Pharisees, who asked them, “Why didn’t you bring him in?”
“No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards replied.
“You mean he has deceived you also?” the Pharisees retorted. “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law—there is a curse on them.”
Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?” They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.”

Ironically the Pharisees answer their own questions, one correctly, the other not. Jesus was born out of Bethlehem in accordance with Micah 5, but moved to his mother's town of Nazareth. And Jonah and Hosea were both prophets out of Galilee! which they may have forgotten about in disdain. Notably Jonah was renegade while Hosea married a prostitute to symbolize God's unfaithful wife, and then restoration.
last night was the 25th of December 2018. According to Christian tradition, Jesus was born, the most famous Jew in the world.

So who was Jesus?


Jesus was a son of the Galilee, and therefore belonged to the offspring of the ancient kingdom of Israel (not proven, conjecture).
The kingdom of Israel, unlike the kingdom of Judea, was secondary to its importance because the Temple was in Jerusalem and thats in the Kingdom of Judea. After the destruction of the First Temple and exile, many of the people of Israel were not exiled and remain in the north of the country.
By Dr Liora Ravid, the Apocrypha that did not enter the Bible were written at that time by the people of northern Israel, descendants of the ancient kingdom of Israel, who were not exiled and are the ones according to which we live today, not the Bible.
During the Second Temple period, the people collapsed under the "cost of living" if you will, in those days, the taxes of the government were heavy, and the class distinctions were evident.

The High Priests and those close to the government lived a life of wealth and pleasure and disdained the people, while the simple people groaned and suffered. This created longing among the people for a Savior, a Messiah who would redeem them from their suffering.
Against this background, Jesus grew up. Besides Jesus, there were many other messianic "messengers" who, like Jesus (or rather like Jesus' disciples), did not succeed in convincing their righteousness.

Jesus took the idea of ​​baptism from his relative John the Baptist (who according to Christian tradition baptized Jesus), who took the idea of ​​baptism from baptism in the mikvah, to remind you that all were Jews for all intents and purposes until the third century or so.

There was a period that these two baptismal institutions operated concurrently, as competing institutions, with minor changes and after John's death, only the baptism of Jesus remained in fashion.
On the miracles he supposedly did (including the ability to be reborn after death) we only know in retrospect what his students told and distributed, especially Marcus, after his death.
even Josephus Flavius ​​writes about him one sentence, but researchers argue that this trial was added later to the testimony of Flavius ​​..
It took about three hundred years until Christianity became established and Jesus became the superstar we know today. Like every superstar, the rumors are as wide and spread as wildfire, the myths are created, the believers believe with their eyes closed and the interests take advantage of faith for profit Just as it did in Judaism, and as happens in every religion..

Jesus was actually introduced into some framework that served both the people and the interests. He fulfilled a particular need for the people, someone who would come and take all their sins on himself and "reward" them of sin, for whoever sins will not reach heaven (an idea that originates from the external books) and poverty is seen as God's punishment for something bad you did at the time, So the poor were considered sinners, and the rich were sure they were righteous and to repay them, God made them rich.
By about the third century, the "disconnect" between the religions had been completed and since the Middle Ages the Jews were persecuted by the Christians.
Oh, what an absurdity.



btw i thought According to the New Testament Jesus was born not at the end of December but in Sukkot (around September and October its a jewish holiday sukkot).


ur thoughts?
 

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I know that there is a higher purpose behind almost everything.
I know that there is not just a mere material side (which most people are able to see), but there is also a spiritual and an intellectual side.
I try to apply myself by developing my material/spiritual side, because my intellectual side is quite accomplished.

.
I do not think you "know" that. You just "think" that. Nobody knows that.

Nobody "knows" whether or not there is a god. That is why we are all agnostics, by definition, so it is, indeed, a weasel word and irrelevant. In the lack of evidence one way or the other, it is what we think that defines our believer/non-believer decidsion.

The only decision we make is whether we think there is a god or whether we think there is no god.
 

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Discussion Starter #245 (Edited)
last night was the 25th of December 2018. According to Christian tradition, Jesus was born, the most famous Jew in the world.

So who was Jesus?


Jesus was a son of the Galilee, and therefore belonged to the offspring of the ancient kingdom of Israel (not proven, conjecture).
The kingdom of Israel, unlike the kingdom of Judea, was secondary to its importance because the Temple was in Jerusalem and thats in the Kingdom of Judea. After the destruction of the First Temple and exile, many of the people of Israel were not exiled and remain in the north of the country.
By Dr Liora Ravid, the Apocrypha that did not enter the Bible were written at that time by the people of northern Israel, descendants of the ancient kingdom of Israel, who were not exiled and are the ones according to which we live today, not the Bible.
During the Second Temple period, the people collapsed under the "cost of living" if you will, in those days, the taxes of the government were heavy, and the class distinctions were evident.

The High Priests and those close to the government lived a life of wealth and pleasure and disdained the people, while the simple people groaned and suffered. This created longing among the people for a Savior, a Messiah who would redeem them from their suffering.
Against this background, Jesus grew up. Besides Jesus, there were many other messianic "messengers" who, like Jesus (or rather like Jesus' disciples), did not succeed in convincing their righteousness.
There's a few things here so I'll split my response into two posts to deal with your questions independently. Yes, there were two kingdoms, that of Israel, and that of Judah derived from David. This is implicit in 1 Kings 12 when Israel is split in two. Israel's ten tribes are sent to exile by Assyria in 722 BC, followed by Judah to Babylon over 100 years later. While Judah is kept relatively intact as a people, and return to Jerusalem, the fate of Israel is less positive, the problem being the people intermarried with foreigners and the tribes rather dissolved. When they came to inhabit Samaria (northern Israel), by that time the Jews considered Samaritans 'impure' and arose much bitterness and condescension, such that Jews and Samaritans did not associate with each other. Jesus acknowledges this when he meets the Samaritan woman in John 4 and asks her for a drink, which shocks her because he was a Jew by birth, descended from David (Joseph's line and Mary's both derive from David according to Matthew 1 and Luke 3). Jesus did settle in Galilee but was born in Bethlehem in accordance with Micah 5:2. God actually prophesied: "Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—" Isaiah 9:1.

Jesus then tells the Samaritan woman this (I explained this also in my response to you about the Christian interpretation of temple events https://www.menstennisforums.com/40729956-post223.html):

 
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”


In effect Jesus was saying all people, both Jew and Samaritan could worship God independent of where they were or of a physical temple. Remember also Ezekiel 37:15-28: God would put both Israel and Judah back together into one nation, and he would cleanse them and save them from their sinful backsliding (v23) and David would rule over them forever.

The hope for a Messiah was not simply a reaction to class differences and suffering. It was something God had promised to deal with sin and establish an everlasting kingdom. Don't the Jews believe that God would send for them a Messiah?

Daniel 7:13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man (bar enash),[a] coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

One in the form of human being, who approached God, and was given all power, and people from all over the world of every nationality and language worshipped this person. Consider that it was Daniel the prophet wrote this, who was a Jew centuries before Jesus came. Isaiah also writes after the 'honoring of Galilee' in 9:6-7
 

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.

So a child, who will have the government on his shoulders, called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,...,Prince of Peace, who will reign on David's throne forever. Both Isaiah and Daniel speak of one in the likeness of man/child who would be worshipped and called Mighty God and reign forever.

I will also present here the Messianic prophecy out of Daniel 9:24–27. Of many prophecies this is one of the few to actually use the word Messiah. Thus the prophecy spoken here concerns the Messiah directly.

 
24 “Seventy ‘sevens’[c] are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish[d] transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.[e]

25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One,[f] the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing.[g]The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’[h] In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple[j] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”


What do we learn? “There is a time to finish the transgression, put an end to sin and atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness.” These are strong words almost to indicate completeness: “finish”, “put an end to”, “atone for”, “everlasting righteousness”. This is a plan beyond the temporal to finally deal with sin once for all.
“To seal up vision and prophecy”- i.e. there will not be any further revelation or prophets, because all that God has to reveal regarding his plan has been revealed and fulfilled. In fact, in nearly 2 millenia there has not been a prophet arising.

“Anoint a most holy place” - set up a tabernacle/temple greater than the one already existing

““Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One,[f] the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. ” The weeks in this prophecy are understood to represent years. 7 weeks is then 7x7 years = 49 years to rebuild the temple and its outer courts. The city continues to be rebuilt but with much opposition from Israel’s enemies and those occupying the land.

“And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing” - this is a reference to the Anointed one having to die (cut off).

Remarkable feature of the prophecy is accuracy of time period. The total 7+62 = 69 weeks = 69x7 = 483 years. Now taking from Nehemiah’s request to rebuild Jerusalem “In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before…” Nehemiah 1:2, the 20th year of Artaxerxes reign is thought to be 445 BC. 483 years in the ancient Babylonian calendar of 360 days/year is equivalent then to 476 years. Adding 476 years to 445BC gets us to AD 31, which is about the time Jesus was crucified, and again in the month of Nisan.

“The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.” This is pretty self explanatory. After the Anointed One is put to death, there is the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, and the city is laid desolate.

“He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’[h] In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple[j] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” - Jesus’ disciples take the gospel of the new covenant to Judea and the rest of the world, and with the new covenant sacrifice and offering is stopped (also when the temple is destroyed by the abomination that causes desolation).

This Messianic prophecy in Daniel shows all of this must take place before the desolation. Thus the death of the Messiah was predicted by Daniel (just as in Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22), and it was not a failure of God’s purposes. This prophecy was made in response to Daniel's humble prayer for God to show mercy to his people.
His mission as described by Daniel was not to restore Israel physically at his time of coming, but to put an end to all sin, fulfil all prophecy and set up the Most Holy Place first, and then afterwards in times to come permeate the physical restoration of all things, the 'new creation' spoken of in Revelation, and to fulfil the "Mountain of the Lord". I feel that many Jews look for the Messiah to accomplish a physical restoration of Israel first, rather than the other way round. But physical peace is temporal respite, remember that David and Solomon brought Israel to the peak of their powers, yet it did not take long for them to forsake him. In Joshua 24:14-28, the people declare that they will serve the LORD and obey him but Joshua tells them they cannot serve the LORD who is a holy God. Moses also foretold that the Israelites would turn away from God in the future, just before he dies, and the Israelites had seen with their own eyes all the things God did. The people might have intended to follow God as long as they lived, but in generations to come, they would forget. This becomes obvious in Judges where there is cycle of disobedience and defeat, then deliverance. Even David committed two of the greatest sins of the Ten Commandments, and his son Solomon, who asked for wisdom and built God's temple ironically was led astray to worship other gods by his many foreign wives, and from them almost all of the rulers on David's throne, and Israel's were corrupt and failed to obey God, which is why prophets were sent to warn Israel and Judah.

So if Israel is to be restored, physically won't be enough. They will inevitably fall prey to the same issues that affected their ancestors. A restoration has to be spiritually bound and done by God, and not of a temporal kind either, or restoration would simply be a meaningless cycle of old. When spiritually perfected, in the future, God will then raise Israel physically when they can truly reap the benefits of God's blessings to Abraham for good, with people of other nations who share the same faith in that promise of blessing and a land to call their own, free of trouble. It should not surprise you that the Old Testament speaks of God cleansing his people, forgiving them of sins and remembering them no more whenever a 'physical' restoration is also spoken of (Jeremiah 31:33-34, Micah 7:18-19).

I will discuss Jesus's death and resurrection in another post to come.
 

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I'm as non believing as they come. Did study theology for a year while studying history. But that was purely to get more understanding as a scholar. The whole religion thing just never worked for me. Too many important questions that can't be answered and too many things happening on earth that can't even get a simple explanation from a religious viewpoint in my eyes. For me religion is the most powerful tool mankind has ever come up with to get power over other people. Nothing more nothing less.
 

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Discussion Starter #248 (Edited)
Jesus took the idea of ​​baptism from his relative John the Baptist (who according to Christian tradition baptized Jesus), who took the idea of ​​baptism from baptism in the mikvah, to remind you that all were Jews for all intents and purposes until the third century or so.

There was a period that these two baptismal institutions operated concurrently, as competing institutions, with minor changes and after John's death, only the baptism of Jesus remained in fashion.
will answer the second part of the response now in bits and pieces. Most modern scholars tend to agree regarding the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist as a primary event in his life, starting his ministry. John's baptism of people was in order to prepare the way for people to recognise Jesus as Messiah (Mark 1).

 
1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah,[a] the Son of God, 2 as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way”[c]—
3 “a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”[d]

4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with[e] water, but he will baptize you with[f] the Holy Spirit.”


Consider Malachi 4:5-6 “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse." John the Baptist was sent as a metaphorical Elijah, who appeared like Elijah in the wilderness, wearing camel hair, eating locusts and wild honey, preached repentance and appeared to many high profile authorities and was hated by them (Ahab, and then Herod). After Elijah, came Elisha who received a double portion of his spirit. John spoke of the one to come after him, “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” The reference to Elijah is more direct in Luke 1:16-17, when the angel of God says to Elizabeth, John's mother:

"He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Once Jesus came into the came to begin his ministry about age 30, John the Baptist's chief mission had been accomplished.
Many disciples of Jesus did baptize people in water but Jesus never baptized with water, but with a baptism of the Holy Spirit (water baptism is symbolic of rebirth - "death to old life, and start of new life"). Baptism by the holy Spirit occurs for believers to initiate spiritual rebirth and believers may then undergo water baptism to demonstrate this in their lives physically.

On the miracles he supposedly did (including the ability to be reborn after death) we only know in retrospect what his students told and distributed, especially Marcus, after his death.
even Josephus Flavius ​​writes about him one sentence, but researchers argue that this trial was added later to the testimony of Flavius ​​..
Miracles aren't simple to prove of course. What I can say is that Mark was one of the first gospel writers, after came Matthew, Luke and then John. the first three are called synoptic gospels which summarise Jesus' ministry, and teaching. There are some parallel accounts but enough unique material from each gospel to indicate independent sources. Extra-biblical sources such as you mentioned included Josephus, Tacitus for instance. Josephus' writings are somewhat disputed but there is general consensus the core was authentic, meaning people could deduce some guy called Jesus lived, performed signs and was executed. Tacitus similarly writes in one part of theAnnals in the second century, from the perspective of a Roman official, about Jesus and Christians, who was not so positive about them:

 
But not all the relief that could come from man, not all the Bounties that the prince could bestow, nor all the atonements Which could be presented to the gods, availed to relieve Nero From the infamy of being believed to have ordered the Conflagration, the fire of Rome. Hence to suppress the rumor, he Falsely charged with the guilt, and punished Christians, who were Hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of the name, was Put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign Of Tiberius: but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time Broke out again, not only through Judea, where the mischief Originated, but through the city of Rome also, where all things Hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their Center and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first Made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an Immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of Firing the city, as of hatred against mankind.

This basically says that the Emperor Nero blamed and punished Christians for the fire in Rome, and speaks of a their founder, Christus (Jesus Christ)'s demise under Pontius Pilate, but even after he died, his followers and belief broke out again in number even into the city of Rome. So at the very least, in the second century, this indicated Christians existed based on Jesus, who was executed, but the faith increased, and they were persecuted by the Emperor Nero.

Also in the Talmud written somewhere from AD70-200, Sanhedrin 43a (by Jews):

On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, 'He is going forth to be stoned because he has practised sorcery and enticed Israel to apostacy. Any one who can say anything in his favour, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.' But since nothing was brought forward in his favour he was hanged on the eve of the Passover!

This Jewish source claimed Jesus was going to be executed for practising sorcery (they attributed his miracles to dark magic) eg. Matthew 12:22-28, when Jesus heals a demon possessed man, some Pharisees say he does it by Beelzeebul's (Prince of demons') authority but Jesus asks them how can a kingdom be divided by itself, and how then by whose authority do Jews drive out demons? They wished to stone him but he was hanged (i.e. crucified) thanks to the trial before Pilate. So external sources even against Jesus were pretty much saying Jesus did in fact die by Roman execution, and was accused of sorcery and apostasy.

It took about three hundred years until Christianity became established and Jesus became the superstar we know today. Like every superstar, the rumors are as wide and spread as wildfire, the myths are created, the believers believe with their eyes closed and the interests take advantage of faith for profit Just as it did in Judaism, and as happens in every religion.
Part of what you say is true, in the 3rd century CE, Constantine made Christianity almost official, and encouraged learned people to become Christians, as well as his successor declaring it unlawful to worship pagan gods in public. However, we read in Acts 2:41 that 3000 Jews were converted shortly after Jesus' death after being convinced by Peter that Jesus was their Lord and Messiah, and in Acts 4:5, this number extends to 5000 after Peter speaks to the people following a healing of a crippled beggar at the temple, despite Peter being arrested for doing so. Peter and the apostles continue to perform miracles among the people and teach about Jesus, with the number of Christians growing, all the while being challenged by the Sanhedrin and often put in prison and flogged. After one such incident it says "The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah." (Acts 5:41) This was still very early in Acts, and it wouldn't surprise me if the number of Christians by 50 AD reached over 10,000.

However I will say that it is unlikely to be a myth. Myths and legends generally arise about a person at least 200 years after they had died. Although the New Testament 27 books was not compiled till 300 CE, the individual books that made up it have been agreed by scholars to have been written within 15 - 90 years of Jesus's death. Moreover there are so many copies of such manuscripts available, nearly 6000 complete or fragmented parts of the books. By contrast, many well attested ancient works often do not have over 100 copies and these copies are suggested to have been made several centuries to a millenia after the original writing. For example, Homer's Iliad has about up to 2000 copies with the earliest in the 10th century CE. And Julius Caesar's book on Gallic War has just over 250 copies with the earliest arising in the 9th century CE, but most in the 15th century CE. The New Testament books have vastly more copies and with the earliest surviving copies noted within a century of the original text which means there is pretty darn good preservation for an ancient text, also aided by a move from papyri to parchment and codex (book format). Also some historians have discovered some discarded manuscripts which had scribbles and dashes through them indicating mistakes, so scribes often started from scratch if they made errors. Nevertheless there will be some errors of transmission but the large number of copies and dates so close to the original (rather than millenia or more in the case of Illiad and of Caesar) means there has been strong preservation.

Additionally, the letters from the apostle Paul were all written within a 20-30 year period of Jesus' death. Paul was a Pharisee who had been persecuting Christians (Acts 8-9) before Jesus appeared before him in a vision and transformed him into his messenger for the Gentiles. Paul doesn't mention major historical events apart from the death and resurrection of Jesus in his letters as his intent was theological teaching, but nevertheless paints a picture with a Christian creed in 1 Corinthians 15, dated about 5 years earlier than the letter mentioned.

 
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

This is evidence that within 15-20 years after Jesus's death, the death and resurrection was what was taught in the early Christian church (which were gatherings at Christian homes moreso than an official building). Way too short a time span for myths/legends to develop when the person is still alive and contemporary with Jesus and his disciples. Moreover, there are no reports around the time, especially from Jewish sources to refute the death and resurrection of Jesus. Considering the Jewish authority had Jesus arrested and sent to trial, they could have produced Jesus body in his tomb to indicate he hadn't been resurrected. Instead they claim the disciples stole the body but it's an absurd claim given the fact the disciples were described in the gospels to be disillusioned and in fear (Peter denied Jesus three times), and the fact it was a very heavy stone they covered the tomb with, and heavily guarded as well. Certainly if their Lord had died and not raised, it would not have empowered them to be so confident about their message directly related to his resurrection.

Jesus was actually introduced into some framework that served both the people and the interests. He fulfilled a particular need for the people, someone who would come and take all their sins on himself and "reward" them of sin, for whoever sins will not reach heaven (an idea that originates from the external books) and poverty is seen as God's punishment for something bad you did at the time, So the poor were considered sinners, and the rich were sure they were righteous and to repay them, God made them rich.
By about the third century, the "disconnect" between the religions had been completed and since the Middle Ages the Jews were persecuted by the Christians.
Oh, what an absurdity.
There is some truth to this regarding need. Jesus often spoke of opening banquets for the poor and also of the sick in his parables. In some cases, it would have been thought under Jewish custom that such people were greater sinners. For example in John 9, Jesus heals a man who was blind from birth. The Pharisees question the man and when the man declares that Jesus must be a man from God to have made him see, the Pharisees call him 'steeped from sin at birth, how dare you lecture us!" and threw him out. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john+9&version=NIV

Jesus speaks also 'blessed are the poor in spirit', here meaning those who recognise their spiritual poverty. It would be easier for those poor, homeless and sick to reach out to Jesus knowing that only God could provide their needs. But the rich and well off, in high position would often find it more difficult. Nevertheless many rich people still became Christians, like Matthew the tax collector, and Zaccheus the tax collector (Luke 19:1-10). In addition, there was attractiveness in that membership was open to all, even Gentiles and slaves were equal in God's eyes.
"There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:28

The early Christians all supported each other in giving and is important for charity and building of hospitals to this day. It is very cool that apparently there was no one 'poor' among them (Acts 4:34) because the wealth was redistributed to account for anyone in need. Communism in Jesus' time :p

 
Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Acts 4:32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

Nevertheless the ministry to the Gentiles is all the more astonishing. How Paul and Barnabas, and other missionaries sent in those times to proclaim Jesus to pagan and idol worshippers to turn them into Christians is stunning, given the harsh nature of travel to foreign lands with very different customs. I praise God for such a ministry, I do not think I would know of God's plans for his people, for I too am a Gentile.

Regarding the Crusades, that occurred in the 11-12th century CE perpetrated by the Roman Catholic Church. I do not in any way endorse this (nor the Inquisition of the 16th century), and this was definitely not taught by Jesus. I apologise for any persecution that occurred during this period but it is anti-Christian and certainly not endorsed in the New Testament. The kingdom would not come by physical force but through spiritual rebirth of a sinner.

btw i thought According to the New Testament Jesus was born not at the end of December but in Sukkot (around September and October its a jewish holiday sukkot).


ur thoughts?
yes, I am aware that Christmas time is very likely not the birthdate. Some traditions like Santa Claus are not Christian in nature (though somewhat derived from Jesus being a gift to us). Nevertheless, I do not have issue with Christmas, as much as it has been secularised or based somewhat off pagan tradition, the teaching of Jesus come as God's Messiah to bring hope, eternal peace and forgiveness of sins is paramount. Christians use Christmas to remember this moreso than direct accuracy of his anniversary, but is by itself not particularly a greater day than any other, even though it is considered an official holiday by many nations.
 

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I do not think you "know" that. You just "think" that. Nobody knows that.

Nobody "knows" whether or not there is a god. That is why we are all agnostics, by definition, so it is, indeed, a weasel word and irrelevant. In the lack of evidence one way or the other, it is what we think that defines our believer/non-believer decision.

The only decision we make is whether we think there is a god or whether we think there is no god.
This kind of definition of being agnostic never bothered me. I was being brought up as an atheist and my spirituality slumbered. Then I got awakened, my higher senses suddenly started to work and gradually understood more of the metaphysical.

You and your kin of people never get to that phase. You get stuck in scientific materialism and cheap 21st century sophism, but never acknowledge those true messengers who even dedicated their whole lives to bring those treasures available for all those who seek after the ultimate solution to attain a higher consciousness...
 

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I'm as non believing as they come. Did study theology for a year while studying history. But that was purely to get more understanding as a scholar. The whole religion thing just never worked for me. Too many important questions that can't be answered and too many things happening on earth that can't even get a simple explanation from a religious viewpoint in my eyes. For me religion is the most powerful tool mankind has ever come up with to get power over other people. Nothing more nothing less.
could you elaborate? I can understand that it is difficult to cover all bases. Life is exceedingly complex, but people have the same age-old questions: why are we here and is it even important?

Personally I will reveal the reasons behind my decision to accept faith, which I haven't actually done in this thread so far. @Pantelija @AskTheQuestion Many people tend to believe that human progress triumphs over everything. We do have many great things: technology, some common love and freedoms. But searching deeper down beneath the surface, I find that we are very ill-equipped to be governors. We do what we feel is best but often at the expense of others, or in a very superficial way, and it becomes even worse at a corporate level.

Racism was a good thing once upon a time and instituted (and still exists). I don't doubt for a second that Hitler thought his 'solution' was required and moral, and dragged his whole country into it. And many who followed him thought it was right, or at least right to obey Hitler's command. Milgram's experiment showed that a vast majority of people could behave this way. And there are many Hitlers and metaphorical Nazis today, though not in the same form nor as obvious to the eye.

A lot of problems have arisen from religion done selfishly of course, but I feel the root of all problems stems from human people. People not loving other people. People thinking they are far better than other people. People blaming other people for their mistakes. It's an insidious problem because people hate to admit that they are wrong. We have a lot of intrinsic pride and cannot accept personal failure. And when every single person does this, it compounds. In my mind, I could never accept any human (including myself) to perfectly govern their own lives let along those of others, as much as we try.

When I read through Genesis of the Bible, it resonated with me. People were apparently created equal in God's eyes and imbued with certain sanctity (created in the "image of God").

This is part of the preamble to the UN Declaration of Human Rights:

"Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world"

And Article 1
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."

It is amazing that one can say humans have inherent dignity and are born free and equal. This makes sense if God created man this way. I'm not sure one could easily that say "everyone was born with inherent dignity and equal in dignity and rights" outside of that.

Genesis 3 shows that we are prone to reject sound advice for life in order to do what we personally feel is right, and then lay the blame on others when our mistakes are exposed. And that is a crashcourse on human history. Regardless of whether one believes in the creation and fall of man/Adam, Eve story, we are plagued with people wanting to do everything for themselves, installing themselves as their own governors, thinking they have it right, often failing to respect and love others in the right way.

Then reading of Jesus' teachings, I figured the world would be much better place if people lived according to his principles, which are often counterintuitive and countercultural yet so applicable. Humility is the greatest virtue, to treat ourselves important less often and give more towards others without expectation of return. That was what Jesus was most known for. The Bible teaches that "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6) and “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word." (Isaiah 66:2) But humility is perhaps the most difficult virtue for any man to live by, because it means we have to give up our governship rights of being 'better' or expectations of having the best knowledge. Conversely pride is one of the worst of human vices which ensnares people to do evil unto others for their own selfish gains. Once we submit to humility and swallow our personal pride, we may find it much easier to love others the way we ought to. Of course this means I must admit I make plenty of mistakes and that's a hard thing, but necessary to do.

In short, I decided to make Jesus the governor of my own life knowing that he would be a far better governor than or any human being could ever be. Unlike other religious figures, Jesus wasn't about trying to perfect one's self by ritual or trying to discover enlightenment, but presented a message that God loves us, but rather than trying to do everything they could to earn his praise and be in his good books, one simply must humble themselves in order for God to lift them up and transform them to be more like Jesus. Since that moment, I have become more and more convinced that Jesus' words are true.

There is one book in the bible I recommend for atheists/skeptics to read. It is called Ecclesiastes, most likely written by King Solomon of Israel and is essentially a book about philosophy. It is relatively short (could be finished in the course of 15-20 minutes) but by reading it, one will see there is much accuracy in how Solomon, the teacher, records life as we know it, using a general perspective. A wise teacher attempts to do all things and search for all things that might make life fruitful and sees what results from his observations. These are not simple sayings or utterances as much as it is a study of what makes the human tick in this life and we must pause and wonder about these things.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ecclesiastes+1&version=NIV

I recommend listening to this interesting talk series to accompany which discusses about philosophy of everyday life (and I promise it won't be boring or preachy at all). Actually I'd like @Djoker to also have a listen to this talk(s) if he has time and see what he thinks.

lra8LW5e46E

other talks in the series here, I particularly recommend "The search for pleasure":
 

JtBbmLVlHxs
fpDn7geWbx8
zMrH8nUBd_4
 

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I'm not 100% in agreement with this guy but almost everything he points out is correct. Learn what your religious and political leaders really believe in.
 

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could you elaborate? I can understand that it is difficult to cover all bases. Life is exceedingly complex, but people have the same age-old questions: why are we here and is it even important?

Personally I will reveal the reasons behind my decision to accept faith, which I haven't actually done in this thread so far. @Pantelija @AskTheQuestion Many people tend to believe that human progress triumphs over everything. We do have many great things: technology, some common love and freedoms. But searching deeper down beneath the surface, I find that we are very ill-equipped to be governors. We do what we feel is best but often at the expense of others, or in a very superficial way, and it becomes even worse at a corporate level.

Racism was a good thing once upon a time and instituted (and still exists). I don't doubt for a second that Hitler thought his 'solution' was required and moral, and dragged his whole country into it. And many who followed him thought it was right, or at least right to obey Hitler's command. Milgram's experiment showed that a vast majority of people could behave this way. And there are many Hitlers and metaphorical Nazis today, though not in the same form nor as obvious to the eye.

A lot of problems have arisen from religion done selfishly of course, but I feel the root of all problems stems from human people. People not loving other people. People thinking they are far better than other people. People blaming other people for their mistakes. It's an insidious problem because people hate to admit that they are wrong. We have a lot of intrinsic pride and cannot accept personal failure. And when every single person does this, it compounds. In my mind, I could never accept any human (including myself) to perfectly govern their own lives let along those of others, as much as we try.

When I read through Genesis of the Bible, it resonated with me. People were apparently created equal in God's eyes and imbued with certain sanctity (created in the "image of God").

This is part of the preamble to the UN Declaration of Human Rights:

"Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world"

And Article 1
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."

It is amazing that one can say humans have inherent dignity and are born free and equal. This makes sense if God created man this way. I'm not sure one could easily that say "everyone was born with inherent dignity and equal in dignity and rights" outside of that.

Genesis 3 shows that we are prone to reject sound advice for life in order to do what we personally feel is right, and then lay the blame on others when our mistakes are exposed. And that is a crashcourse on human history. Regardless of whether one believes in the creation and fall of man/Adam, Eve story, we are plagued with people wanting to do everything for themselves, installing themselves as their own governors, thinking they have it right, often failing to respect and love others in the right way.

Then reading of Jesus' teachings, I figured the world would be much better place if people lived according to his principles, which are often counterintuitive and countercultural yet so applicable. Humility is the greatest virtue, to treat ourselves important less often and give more towards others without expectation of return. That was what Jesus was most known for. The Bible teaches that "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6) and “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word." (Isaiah 66:2) But humility is perhaps the most difficult virtue for any man to live by, because it means we have to give up our governship rights of being 'better' or expectations of having the best knowledge. Conversely pride is one of the worst of human vices which ensnares people to do evil unto others for their own selfish gains. Once we submit to humility and swallow our personal pride, we may find it much easier to love others the way we ought to. Of course this means I must admit I make plenty of mistakes and that's a hard thing, but necessary to do.

In short, I decided to make Jesus the governor of my own life knowing that he would be a far better governor than or any human being could ever be. Unlike other religious figures, Jesus wasn't about trying to perfect one's self by ritual or trying to discover enlightenment, but presented a message that God loves us, but rather than trying to do everything they could to earn his praise and be in his good books, one simply must humble themselves in order for God to lift them up and transform them to be more like Jesus. Since that moment, I have become more and more convinced that Jesus' words are true.

There is one book in the bible I recommend for atheists/skeptics to read. It is called Ecclesiastes, most likely written by King Solomon of Israel and is essentially a book about philosophy. It is relatively short (could be finished in the course of 15-20 minutes) but by reading it, one will see there is much accuracy in how Solomon, the teacher, records life as we know it, using a general perspective. A wise teacher attempts to do all things and search for all things that might make life fruitful and sees what results from his observations. These are not simple sayings or utterances as much as it is a study of what makes the human tick in this life and we must pause and wonder about these things.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ecclesiastes+1&version=NIV

I recommend listening to this interesting talk series to accompany which discusses about philosophy of everyday life (and I promise it won't be boring or preachy at all). Actually I'd like @Djoker to also have a listen to this talk(s) if he has time and see what he thinks.

lra8LW5e46E

other talks in the series here, I particularly recommend "The search for pleasure":
 

JtBbmLVlHxs
fpDn7geWbx8
zMrH8nUBd_4
I can't really elaborate that much on it. Let me say first that to each his own and I respect everybody in his or her believes. But for me it's all make believe. A fairy tale people are telling each other. Religion does not offer any answers or teaches us anything. People teach other people things. Love another, do not steal etc. Those aren't things religion have to teach us. Or the ways Jesus said we have to live? Just common sense every human being should know and do.

And beside that. A god that would allow young children to be frightened for days in a train. Only for them to end their life in agonizing fear in a gas chamber. That's either the worst dick in the universe or the most incompetent deity ever. God works in mysterious ways and we can't know what he means they then say. I stopped replying to that a long time ago. People want to believe all that, fine by me.

People want proof in life for everything, that's how we work as a society. But apparently religion is the one convenient exception. People like to fool themselves because we're afraid to die and don't understand everything. That's fine, just don't expect me to go along.

And the question of why we are here? Because life on earth began at some point and we're a direct result of that. Not too complicated.
 

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I recommend listening to this interesting talk series to accompany which discusses about philosophy of everyday life (and I promise it won't be boring or preachy at all). Actually I'd like @Djoker to also have a listen to this talk(s) if he has time and see what he thinks.

lra8LW5e46E
I can't relate to the daily grind, because even that I also have a stressful job, but learned to manage that in recent years.
Though I totally can relate to the meaning of God being behind of this Universe. In that I am on the same page with Christian people.
Even I am neither a rich man nor a rock star nor a scientist, I don't even have a degree, but am shrewd enough in a lot of things, regarding both daily life and the circumstances for out of the ordinary.
For me life is a continuous development in which I have to better myself, and accepting the people around me, I get more and more difficult tasks like currently... so I have to resolve all these tasks and attain a higher consciousness.
Eventually find a life partner, a real soulmate whom I can love unconditionally and with all my heart. Then develop ourselves along these lines.
My God who is in me expects me to do my best.
 

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And the question of why we are here? Because life on earth began at some point and we're a direct result of that. Not too complicated.
Well, everything begins and ends at some point. At the same time everything has its cause.

IMO the Universe is a huuuge mechanism steered by laws of nature (i.e. fundamental forces). Every action has a reaction. People like to think that they have a free will to change course of history but is that really the case? Behind every decision there are billions of brain operations that we have no control over. State of every cell is determined by the past states. IMO human's brain is a sophisticated, powerful biological machine completely steered by basic laws (chemical reaction, physical forces). It's tempting to say that the whole universe is deterministic like a big simulation or game (this is one of my favorite visions, some big minds like Einstein also thought so). It may be true in many cases but quantum machanics indicates that it may be more complicated (some say that unintuitive quantum effects prove that we live in a simulation of limited computational power). Science progresses but the more we know the more we realize we don't know (i.e. dark energy problem). Not sure if we ever reach a theory of everything.

Now the main question: how did it all started? I believe that every action causes a reaction and that everything has its cause. We live in a big complicated universe steered by laws of nature (when you realize how big and complicated it's in both macro- and micro- scales it can blow your mind) . So who created all these laws and all matter? (regardless if it's an illusion, simulation, matrix, multiverse etc). I have an open mind on possible answers: we could be created by God or maybe all of this is a reality show for some meta-creatures or maybe it was created spontaneously. I'm not a religion guy at all but the existance of universe is a food for thought when it comes to God discussion (although I think if God exists it's more like some kind of space energy, definitely not a lord described by religions). And even if this universe was created by God, the course of history is not influenced by him (but by laws of nature that were created at the beginning). I think I'm closest to agnostic option.
 

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Well, everything begins and ends at some point. At the same time everything has its cause.

IMO the Universe is a huuuge mechanism steered by laws of nature (i.e. fundamental forces). Every action has a reaction. People like to think that they have a free will to change course of history but is that really the case? Behind every decision there are billions of brain operations that we have no control over. State of every cell is determined by the past states. IMO human's brain is a sophisticated, powerful biological machine completely steered by basic laws (chemical reaction, physical forces). It's tempting to say that the whole universe is deterministic like a big simulation or game (this is one of my favorite visions, some big minds like Einstein also thought so). It may be true in many cases but quantum machanics indicates that it may be more complicated (some say that unintuitive quantum effects prove that we live in a simulation of limited computational power). Science progresses but the more we know the more we realize we don't know (i.e. dark energy problem). Not sure if we ever reach a theory of everything.

Now the main question: how did it all started? I believe that every action causes a reaction and that everything has its cause. We live in a big complicated universe steered by laws of nature (when you realize how big and complicated it's in both macro- and micro- scales it can blow your mind) . So who created all these laws and all matter? (regardless if it's an illusion, simulation, matrix, multiverse etc). I have an open mind on possible answers: we could be created by God or maybe all of this is a reality show for some meta-creatures or maybe it was created spontaneously. I'm not a religion guy at all but the existance of universe is a food for thought when it comes to God discussion (although I think if God exists it's more like some kind of space energy, definitely not a lord described by religions). And even if this universe was created by God, the course of history is not influenced by him (but by laws of nature that were created at the beginning). I think I'm closest to agnostic option.
Nice read and interesting thoughts. The question of where laws of nature come from is the pivotal one. For at one point indeed it had to all have started somewhere. Or maybe not and there's an option we can't even see/understand right now. But it's not a god that looks on everything we're doing here and left books for us to decide all our life decisions on. For me the answer lies in/with science instead of a story that people itself came up with and is 100% fabricated. (and, sorry for all religious people out here, just plain stupid most of the times in my eyes).
 

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The question of where laws of nature come from is the pivotal one.For at one point indeed it had to all have started somewhere. Or maybe not and there's an option we can't even see/understand right now. But it's not a god that looks on everything we're doing here and left books for us to decide all our life decisions on. For me the answer lies in/with science instead of a story that people itself came up with and is 100% fabricated. (and, sorry for all religious people out here, just plain stupid most of the times in my eyes).
Tesla said that God and laws of physics are one and the same. Problem with the Bible is that it's been redacted many times for needs of religion. It's certainly not a uniform book written by God. But most stories from Bible are told all over the world with some differences, so it's based on some real events, however vague. For instance Sumer flood story, which Bible ripped off (or was edited and names changed), made much more sense than story of Noah. Sumerian Zuisudra takes "seed" (genome?) of all living things on the flood vessel, which sounds technically possible. Keep in mind that for primitive societies, tech is magic. Of course, with our current official views of history and pre-history, we're technically most advanced now, but I don't buy that.
 

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Tesla said that God and laws of physics are one and the same. Problem with the Bible is that it's been redacted many times for needs of religion. It's certainly not a uniform book written by God. But most stories from Bible are told all over the world with some differences, so it's based on some real events, however vague. For instance Sumer flood story, which Bible ripped off (or was edited and names changed), made much more sense than story of Noah. Sumerian Zuisudra takes "seed" (genome?) of all living things on the flood vessel, which sounds technically possible. Keep in mind that for primitive societies, tech is magic. Of course, with our current official views of history and pre-history, we're technically most advanced now, but I don't buy that.
Doesn't mean there is a God. Laws of physics are or should be what we would think of a God. I could even say they are my God because they're the only thing I believe in. And of course most stories in the Bible are based on some true events from which the writers drew their inspiration. But the end result is still, in my opinion, a fairy tale book which offers us nothing in this day and age. The only use I see in books as the Bible is trying to understand the past as a historian.
 

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Doesn't mean there is a God. Laws of physics are or should be what we would think of a God. I could even say they are my God because they're the only thing I believe in. And of course most stories in the Bible are based on some true events from which the writers drew their inspiration. But the end result is still, in my opinion, a fairy tale book which offers us nothing in this day and age. The only use I see in books as the Bible is trying to understand the past as a historian.
The problem with physics is as it reads - it is purely related to the physical world. It tells us the how but never the why. It also tells us nothing about the metaphysical world or of phenomenology. People can try to define love as purely an interaction of positive reinforcing neurotransmitters going off in the amygdala and other emotional centres but that reduces it in a way that is not representative of our true experiences. Similarly, science can't really explain morality. According to Darwinian Natural Selection, morality is almost against instinct to be the best and selfish to our own success and survival. Evidently though, we maintain morality in a societal sense to help function more productively than if it were each man for his own. However that doesn't hold for everything if you could surely advance at the cost of another person, many would not hesitate to do so. And no algorithm could really define morality in a scientific sense.

In my mind, there exists a spiritual realm that cannot be explained by the physical senses.

 

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Doesn't mean there is a God. Laws of physics are or should be what we would think of a God. I could even say they are my God because they're the only thing I believe in. And of course most stories in the Bible are based on some true events from which the writers drew their inspiration. But the end result is still, in my opinion, a fairy tale book which offers us nothing in this day and age. The only use I see in books as the Bible is trying to understand the past as a historian.
There is a lot we don't understand.
God is just a word for what we can't understand. Logically we can't define it. It's also a fact there there was almost no significant mind in history who was atheist.

As for Bible, saying that it offers us nothing "in this day and age" sounds both arrogant and ignorant. Specially if Bible is the distant echo of possibly much more technically advanced "day and age".
 

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Archaeology don't go well with Bible it seems. At least this Bible we have nowadays.
Yes, that's very true and most 'archaeological' parts of the Bible are neither confirmed by current science nor today's theology. Most of its scripture which seems to be 'hard facts' are rather worth to be taken metaphorically.

Finkelstein's theory is the Old Testament is a text document to describe Jerusalem's Temple from its Genesis (Book of Genesis gets the focus on why has been built the Temple and what does it have to do with God), through its history with Moses and Juda's judges and kings until its destruction in 587 BC. So it's the holy Scripture for God's chosen holy Temple which the Christian church(es) want to feel connected with.

Btw nice you've mentioned him, as I've met Finkelstein a few months ago in Tübingen. He's quite a serious guy with some wit, never misses the opportunity to hand you a competent answer.
 
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