Jesus the Jew

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jack stowaway
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Jesus the Jew

Post by jack stowaway » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:57 am

ABC Australia screened this interesting BBC program the other night. The creator of the program, Howard Jacobson, is a British writer and Jew --or should that be 'British Jew and writer?'

No matter. His intention in the program is to take back Jesus as a Jewish thinker and teacher. 'Take back' means reclaiming Jesus from his appropriation by Christians as the Messiah.

According to Jacobson, Jesus was 100% Jewish in all he thought, wrote or achieved. Jacobson states that even 20-years after Jesus' death, his family would have been shocked to hear him described as anything other than a strict, observant Jew.

Jacobson attributes Jesus's appropriation to Paul of Tarsus: "Paul turned Jesus the Jew into Jesus the Messiah".

Jacobson claims that Christianity is entirely an invention of Paul and that it has no historical connection to Jesus or his mission --which was to reform or purify Judaism.

In the program, Jacobson identifies the Pauline appropriation of Jesus as the root cause of Christian anti-semitism. "Just as beauty needs ugliness, Christianity demonised Judaism to suit its own purposes.' [Not the exact quote, but close enough]

Jacobson admires Jesus as a great Jewish rabbi and wishes to reclaim him as such.

I had always thought of Jesus in 'Christian' terms --i.e. as standing at the head of Christian thought and tradition from the Gospels onwards. Jacobson reminds us that Jesus was a Jew --from first breath to last and that "Everytime you celebrate the words or thoughts of Jesus you are celebrating Judaism."

A most interesting program. I wonder if any Australian posters saw it?

Jacobson speaks about the Jewishness of Jesus at length at
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/ja ... ty-judaism

Brendan

Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by Brendan » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:28 am

I thought it was a yawn, to be honest. The theory that Paul invented Christianty has long been refuted by serious academics - not all of them Christian or religious at all. Every crank theory concerning Jesus gets TV time these days. I place it alongside such notions (although I await with dread a doco based on such extreme twaddle as Caesar's Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus by Joseph Atwill).

That Jesus was a Jew, and the Messiah (Christ) is a basic truth of Chirstianity from the earliest days - and there is little doubt that the Epistles of Paul are the earliest of the NT. Paul was something of a self-proclaimed devout Jew himself, and recounts encounters with other figures within and authors of scripture - all of whom were Jewish save Luke and the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Trying to understand Revelation without some understanding of Jewish Apocalyptic is, I would suggest, very limiting at least.

Most good commentaries on the New Testament discuss such matters, often in detail - such as the Jewishness of Matthew (see Davies and Allison or Nolland). The likelihood of an oral tradition and accurate transmission of events in the lives of those involved - at least the Crucifixion and some of the establishment of the Church in Acts - decreases the likelihood of over-reliance on Paul in creation of early dogma. Paul himself says that transmits the Gospel he learned from the Disciples, and there is little in the extant texts and evidence to overturn his confession. 1st Corinthians, I think, where he admonishes them against talking of Paul, or of Peter etc, but to be united in Christ before declaring Christ Crucified - the essntial component of the Gospel - a scandal and a folly to Pagan and Jew alike.

I'm reading The New Testament and the People of God by N.T Wright at the moment, and regard it highly so far.

Carnivorous Sheep
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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by Carnivorous Sheep » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:40 am

Well, there is little doubt that the writers of the Synoptic Gospels and stuff like Paul regarded themselves as Jewish. The entire Christianity movement began as what was basically "progressive Jewism" in the first century, where they rejected the orthopraxy of orthodox Jewism and tried to incorporate more people. Indeed, the major point of the Epistle of Paul is to refute the Jewish ritual practices such as circumcision, and to put forth a new ideal where one can be religious (Jewish, in this case) through belief, and not through ritual. The entire Book of Matthew is built around portraying Jesus as the direct descendant of Solomon and David, and as the Jewish Messiah foretold in the Old Testament.

I find it interesting that you bring up Revelations, when it is the book of the Bible that is most often thrown into question, because it just seems so out of place when compared with, well, anything. Many Popes even tried to remove it from the official canon, and it's not just a trying-to-break-from-Jewism thing, Jewish scholars also denounce it as rubbish generally :lol:

Brendan

Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by Brendan » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:58 am

Nothing like it. Christian imagery and symbolism would be so much the poorer without the dragons, horsemen, plagues, angels, judgement, lambs, beasts with seven heads and ten horns, the Whore of Babylon, swords, stars, seals and keys to Hades. The list goes on from there.

The main rhetorical goal of the literary argument of John’s Apocalypse is to exhort God’s people to remain faithful to the call to follow the Lamb’s paradoxical example and not to compromise, all with the goal of inheriting final salvation. This, however, is not the most significant theological idea in the book. The major theological theme of the book is the glory due to God because he has accomplished full salvation and final judgment. Even the notion of Christ and the church reigning ironically in the midst of their suffering and the idea of unbelieving persecutors experiencing spiritual defeat in the midst of their physical victories demonstrate the wisdom of God and point accordingly to his glory.
Beale, G. K. – Revelation [NIGTC 1999 p. 172]

Carnivorous Sheep
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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by Carnivorous Sheep » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:13 am

I'm not personally attacking the Book of Revelation, I'm just saying that it is the book that draws the most heat for being so different than the others.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Re ... al_history

Brendan

Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by Brendan » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:16 am

Sorry, I didn't think for a moment it was an attack. Just musing "out loud".

jack stowaway
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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by jack stowaway » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:08 am

I don't know how much serious scholarship goes into these programs, but I remember a series on Christianity screened on the History Channel which included interviews with Elaine Pagels and other reputable academics.

I particularly liked the one episode on the many 'Jesuses' that were apparantly running around at the time of Christ -- each claiming to be able to work miracles etc. The program makers suggested that the historical Jesus may have been a conflation of several of these figures or simply the most successful of them.

Because I don't accept Jesus as a divine figure (perhaps not even as an actual person) I view the documentaries strictly as inquiries into history.

What was interesting to me about the Jacobson documentary was that the question of Jesus's actual existence was never discussed. However, I did miss the first 15-minutes, so perhaps it was raised in the Introduction.

jbuck919
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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:13 am

I don't have anything to add to Brendan's excellent thoughts on the matter.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

DavidRoss
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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by DavidRoss » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:09 am

jack stowaway wrote:According to Jacobson, Jesus was 100% Jewish in all he thought, wrote or achieved. Jacobson states that even 20-years after Jesus' death, his family would have been shocked to hear him described as anything other than a strict, observant Jew.

Jacobson attributes Jesus's appropriation to Paul of Tarsus: "Paul turned Jesus the Jew into Jesus the Messiah".

Jacobson claims that Christianity is entirely an invention of Paul and that it has no historical connection to Jesus or his mission --which was to reform or purify Judaism.
Most of this is patently obvious. Jesus clearly was a reformer, a back-to-basics rabbi teaching how to have a personal relationship with God rather than an impersonal one through the mediation of a priestly caste more concerned with secular matters than spiritual ones. And it's fairly clear from the Gospels that he probably regarded himself as the Messiah--the culmination of a long line of prophets, messengers who speak for God.

But Saul/Paul did not turn Jesus into the Messiah. He turned him into God incarnate, in his "ministry to the Gentiles" outside of the Jewish world of Jesus and his followers, creating his own religion with elements of Jesus's reformed and streamlined Judaism grafted onto a Greek mystery religion that was right at home in the Hellenic world of the time.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

Image

SaulChanukah

Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by SaulChanukah » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:13 am

Jesus was an Orthodox Jew who was a student of the Great Tana Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Perhchia.
Got himself kicked out from Yeshiva by his Rabbi after insulting him. Jesus sent messengers to persuade his rabbi to accept him back as a student.
Three times he had sent, and the Rabbi refused to get him back.
Therefore Jesus decided to get back at his Rabbi by turning all the greatness, Wisdom, and Spirituality he had mastered from his Rabbi, against him and against the Jewish religion.
He began creating ideas that were considered heretic in Judaism and began claming that he was the Messiah. All of the Jewish people rejected him, and knew that he was a liar and a false prophet.
The Talmud even says that regarding his Rabbi :"One hand should push back and the other should bring back', which means that it would have been better for his Rabbi to forgive him and accept him back as a student.

This is the truth of what happened. The entire Christian faith was created as a 'get back' of one Jewish student against his Rabbi.

This Christian faith in its early beginnings was a Jewish heretic sect, much like the Tzadokim and the Baytuseem, who were Jews that only accepted the written Torah and not the Oral one.
They were so crazy in their twisted beliefs that they made their young children fast on Yom Kippur, and many have died because of that. The Written Torah says that one should fast on Yom Kippur, but the Oral Torah explains who is required and who is exempt, for God says that he gave us these laws so that we may live and not die. The Torah without its oral teachings and traditions, can't be observed. Judaism can't work without both the written and the oral Torahs.

In its beginning the Christians were following Jewish Law and were lead by Jesus' brother, James. He wanted all the Christians to be observant Jews, but with the anti Jewish belief that Jesus was the son of god and the Jewish messiah as written in the Tenach. Paul also in the beginning wanted to follow the Jewish Law, but since he saw that the entire Jewish community flatly and totally rejected this new heretic Christian movement, he then decided to make Christianity 'international'. The best way for him to achieve this was to preach for neglecting the Jewish law, and only 'believing' in Jesus as a means to achieve salvation. Another essential ingredient for the internationalization of their sect was anti Semitism. Paul used the hate that the gentile world had for the Jews to his advantage, by portraying the Jews as worst then devils, god killers and treacherous. Without anti Semitism and the demonization of the Jews, Christianity couldn’t have survived or expanded.

Essentially, these two camps of James and Paul carried two versions of Christianity. James was leaning towards Judaism by trying to keep the Law of the Torah, and Paul by inserting heretic and pagan motifs within this sect, to make it international.

When the Romans came and waged war against the Jews, these two camps were also attacked by the Romans. Virtually all of James' camp was wiped out and destroyed. But Paul's camp survived, and that is why today his version of Christianity remained, more pagan by its very nature, more anti-Semitic, more heretic and more distant from Judaism.
Last edited by SaulChanukah on Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Agnes Selby
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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by Agnes Selby » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:14 pm

Jack,

Have you read "Jesus the Man" by Barbara Thiering,
an Australian academic? You might find it interesting.

Agnes.

Brendan

Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by Brendan » Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:47 pm

jack stowaway wrote:I don't know how much serious scholarship goes into these programs, but I remember a series on Christianity screened on the History Channel which included interviews with Elaine Pagels and other reputable academics.

I particularly liked the one episode on the many 'Jesuses' that were apparantly running around at the time of Christ -- each claiming to be able to work miracles etc. The program makers suggested that the historical Jesus may have been a conflation of several of these figures or simply the most successful of them.

Because I don't accept Jesus as a divine figure (perhaps not even as an actual person) I view the documentaries strictly as inquiries into history.

What was interesting to me about the Jacobson documentary was that the question of Jesus's actual existence was never discussed. However, I did miss the first 15-minutes, so perhaps it was raised in the Introduction.

Pagels is the champion of Gnosticism, Thiering of rank stupidity. No one takes her seriously at all (see Luke Timothy Johnson's The Real Jesus for a real tearing of Thiering) because her notions are so ludicrous and unsupprted by evidence or logic. The Alternative Jesus industry is totally bogus (Jesus the Jew, Jesus the Roman, Jesus the Egyptian, Jesus the Magician, Jesus the Buddhist, Jesus the Myth . . .).

For a thorough critique of the whole thing, start with Reinventing Jesus: How Contemporary Skeptics Miss the Real Jesus and Mislead Popular Culture by Komoszewski, Sawyer and Wallace. I have plenty more detailed scholarship at hand if required.

As Pagels says at the start of The Gnostic Paul: she studies the Gnostic viewpoint - that of an unreal Jesus.
I have little respect for anyone in the The Jesus Seminar, built up over time and extensive reading and thought.

It's a scam, and controversy rakes in the $$$.

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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by david johnson » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:03 pm

Saul and Jacobson should get together and push their brew of incorrectness.

dj

jack stowaway
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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by jack stowaway » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:12 pm

Agnes,

Thanks for the recommendation. I made a note to read the book when it first came out but, in the way of these things, it slipped from my thoughts.

Brendan,

Thanks also. I really would like to do more reading in this area. At Uni one of the most informative courses I took was on the Old Testament. The professor approached it as a historical document rather than an inspired revelation; which approach has, I suppose, conditioned my own views.

I was surprised at your comments on Pagels. I've always thought she was regarded within the academic community as a serious and reputable scholar.

I've some some of Pagel's writings on gnosticism and find them, and it, intriguing. Some of the gnostic sayings are really quite startling, as in the following from the Gospel of Thomas

53. His disciples said to him, "Is circumcision useful or not?"

He said to them, "If it were useful, their father would produce children already circumcised from their mother. Rather, the true circumcision in spirit has become profitable in every respect."

Brendan

Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by Brendan » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:18 pm

I'll be back, but after an intial enthusiasm for Gnosticism (coming from Buddhism) I began to read actual Christianity, and realized how superior, deeper and more accurate it is.

In this process the interpretive method of allegory and symbolism, widely diffused in the ancient world, was freely employed. That is, a statement of the text was given a deeper meaning, or even several, in order to claim for it one’s own doctrine or to display its inner richness. This method of exegesis is in Gnosis a chief means of producing one’s own ideas under the cloak of the older literature – above all the sacred and canonical. What contortionist’s tricks were performed in the process we shall see at various points. We may frankly speak of a “protest exegesis” in so far as it runs counter to the external text and traditional interpretation.

A further peculiarity of the gnostic tradition, connected with this, lies in the fact that it frequently draws its material from the most varied existing traditions, attaches itself to it, and at the same time sets it in a new frame by which this material takes on a new character and a completely new significance. Seen from the outside, the gnostic documents are often compositions and even compilations from the mythological or religious ideas of the most varied religions and culture: from Greek, Jewish, Iranian, Christian (in Manicheism also Indian and from the Far East). To this extent Gnosis, as has already been repeatedly established, is a product of hellenistic syncretism, that is the mingling of Greek and Oriental traditions and ideas subsequent to the conquests of Alexander the Great. The gnostic expositions gain their thread of continuity or their consistence just through the gnostic “myth” which we shall examine more closely in what follows. The individual parts of this “myth” can be called the gnostic myths; they confront us throughout as parts of one or another gnostic system. Since they are built together out of older mythological material they give the impression of artificiality as compared with the old developed myths of primal times. Yet the expression “Kunstmythen” for the gnostic systems is misleading and should for preference be avoided. It is not at all a case of “artificial” and fundamentally unimportant compilations, but of illustrations of existential situations of the gnostic view of the world. Since this view of the world attaches itself in the main to the older religious imagery, almost as a parasite prospers on the soil of “host religions”, it can also be described as parasitic. To this extent Gnosticism strictly speaking has no tradition of its own but only a borrowed one. Its mythology is a tradition consciously created from alien material, which it has appropriated to match it own basic conception. Considered in its own light, however, it is for Gnosticism a further confirmation of its truth, which it often traces back to a primal revelation, i.e. derives from primitive times; the knowledge of it was only temporarily extinguished or concealed.

Rudolph, Kurt Gnosis p54-55 [Harper SanFrancisco 1977, 1987]

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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:20 pm

Here's a gem of a little book on Jesus that I'll bet Brendan already knows. Alas, it appears to be out of print (available used from Amazon).

Image

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DavidRoss
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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by DavidRoss » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:17 pm

jack stowaway wrote:At Uni one of the most informative courses I took was on the Old Testament. The professor approached it as a historical document rather than an inspired revelation; which approach has, I suppose, conditioned my own views.

I was surprised at your comments on Pagels. I've always thought she was regarded within the academic community as a serious and reputable scholar.
An approach that does not examine the Old Testament (or the New) first as an historical document, applying the standards and techniques of rigorous scholarship, isn't worth spit--except perhaps as indoctrination rather than understanding.

Pagels is a serious and reputable scholar. The folks at Oral Roberts or Bob Jones "University" might have a hard time with her since her research--like that of every academically legitimate Biblical scholar--hardly supports the bizarre literalism of so-called "Christian Fundamentalism," but the folks at Stanford, Harvard, and Princeton, and the MacArthur, Guggenheim, and Rockefeller foundations all vouch for her credentials.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

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jack stowaway
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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by jack stowaway » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:20 pm

DavidRoss wrote:An approach that does not examine the Old Testament (or the New) first as an historical document, applying the standards and techniques of rigorous scholarship, isn't worth spit--except perhaps as indoctrination rather than understanding
The difficulty is that once any text is approached critically and analytically --and all the layers and redactions, flaws and political/religious agendas of the various authors are exposed it becomes harder to accept as a sacred document.

It is for this reason that Islam has proscribed secular critical analysis of the Koran. The sacredness attached to the text is inevitably stripped away.

It is still possible to accept that the sum is greater than the parts -- in the same way that critical deconstruction of a poem can result in greater admiration for the whole.

However, it is impossible to accept a critically deconstructed text as the literal word of God, especially when that text has been (mis)translated from an original language. This is obvious to all save fundamentalists.

Examination of the bible shows that it is very much a man-made document. It is up to individuals to decide if the message in whole or part is divinely inspired.

A question worth asking is whether the various authors of the 'historical' books believed they were transcribing the mind of God or simply developing a 'back story' to justify and explain current realities?

For example, I seem to remember studying the Book of Genesis as a conscious attempt to flesh out later doctrine by providing a creation account and legitimying geneology for later generations.

Simply thoughts.

DavidRoss
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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by DavidRoss » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:48 pm

jack stowaway wrote:
DavidRoss wrote:An approach that does not examine the Old Testament (or the New) first as an historical document, applying the standards and techniques of rigorous scholarship, isn't worth spit--except perhaps as indoctrination rather than understanding
The difficulty is that once any text is approached critically and analytically --and all the layers and redactions, flaws and political/religious agendas of the various authors are exposed it becomes harder to accept as a sacred document.
Only if one holds a peculiar and very narrow--albeit woefully common--conception of "the sacred." There is nothing intrinsically contradictory about regarding divinely inspired books to still be the works of man and subject to human flaws and errors, both in their creation and in their interpretation.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

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Carnivorous Sheep
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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by Carnivorous Sheep » Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:07 pm

jack stowaway wrote: For example, I seem to remember studying the Book of Genesis as a conscious attempt to flesh out later doctrine by providing a creation account and legitimying geneology for later generations.

Simply thoughts.
The Book of Genesis is the first book that I had someone explain to me and break it down to show how it was constructed. It is very interesting to note how you can pick out the parts of the different stories and accounts that were pieced together to form a single book.

An interesting book I read is an attempt to strip from Genesis all the later additions down to the "original" creation story of a god, Yahweh, and the first two humans, Adam and Hava. The Book of J was a pretty interesting read, though I think that some of the commentary that the author, Bloom, made in the preface/appendices were kind of unsubstantiated and seemed to be placed in there just to attract interest, without anything coming out of it. The book itself (ie, the Book of J part) was pretty interesting. One disappointment is that Bloom's hypothesis that the hypothetical author, J, was a woman in the court of one of the Jewish kings, ended up being not backed up by any evidence.

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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:16 pm

For example, I seem to remember studying the Book of Genesis as a conscious attempt to flesh out later doctrine by providing a creation account and legitimying geneology for later generations.
I can't imagine studying Gensis as anything but poetic metaphor: the bid gestures might be right metaphorically, but the details can't qualify as history.

Brendan wrote:I'll be back, but after an intial enthusiasm for Gnosticism (coming from Buddhism) I began to read actual Christianity, and realized how superior, deeper and more accurate it is.
I'm stickin' with Gnosticism
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DavidRoss
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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by DavidRoss » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:44 am

Corlyss_D wrote:I'm stickin' with Gnosticism
Knowing's good!
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

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jbuck919
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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:50 am

Corlyss_D wrote: I'm stickin' with Gnosticism
From Wikipedia: "The gnōsis referred to in the term [gnosticism] is a form of mystic, revealed, esoteric knowledge...."

This would tend to explain a great deal. :wink: :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:08 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote: I'm stickin' with Gnosticism
From Wikipedia: "The gnōsis referred to in the term [gnosticism] is a form of mystic, revealed, esoteric knowledge...."

This would tend to explain a great deal. :wink: :)
:D Funny thing is, I didn't know the significance of the "religion" until 2000. If you google "modern gnosticism" one of the synonymous terms is "Theosophy!" That was what my mother raised me on!
Corlyss
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Brendan

Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by Brendan » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:50 pm

I tend to associate modern Gnosticism with the New Age, Scientology, Madame Blavatski, Shirley MacLaine and a host of other charlatans. Then there's the Mormon Church. Given our revered moderator's disposition and location, extreme caution with my heresiology must be the order of the day.

For Theosophy itself, or for a Christian esoteric tradition, try Versluis's Wisdom's Children: A Christian Esoteric Tradition or Fideler's Jesus Christ, Sun of God: Ancient Cosmology and Early Christian Symbolism. I'm not much into that kind of mysticism myself, but again prefer the Christian variety to the Gnostic after having studied and contemplated both.

Remarkably, the chief influence of Gnosticism on Irenaeus was that it forced him to take Athens seriously. Gnosticism had to be met near Plato. Reasoned argument had to guide a barrage of texts. As a result Gnosticism (theosophy) stimulated its opposite (philosophy) and exegesis to produce Christian theology. Argument and imagery presented to inquirers a better use of the Socratic tradition. Gnostics were strong on picture and myth but weak on argument. When we have seen this, we begin to understand the second century, that fertile period which formed Western thought.
Osborn, Eric – Irenaeus of Lyon [Cambridge 2001, p. xiii]

The Christian message of love conquering knowledge is reversed in Gnosticism, placing it squarely back in the Hellenic tradition Christianity—and Paul in particular—rejected. That Gnosticism reverses the Christian reversal of wisdom gives it some head-spinning value for the spiritually gullible - IMHO I hasten to add! - making an apparent extra twist to the infinite mystery, when in fact this twist effectively steers one away from the divine mystery back to human wisdom and self-deification. No wonder it is so beloved in modern times.

That God and the Divine Mystery are utterly unknowable and beyond any human conception of gnosis but can be experienced through love and a mind that transcends all reason and human wisdom is of course a scandal and a folly, and always will be. Most humans and their egos just cannot let go. The whole circles of secret sacred knowledge has nothing on the infinite unknowable mystery in plain sight and freely given to all if they only notice it, in my opinion and in harmony with my personal religious experience, contemplation and study.

But Gnosis and the Mysteries can lead one to the deeper aspects of philosophy and theology if one is willing to move on - IMHO, of course. It did with me, so I shouldn't be too harsh. The only "Gnostic" text I retain a fondness for is Thunder: Perfect Mind (http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/thunder.html) with its raw affirmation and negation of classical philosophical dialectic.

Finally, if the mysticism of the Mysteries seems to us sometimes crude and unedifying, it gains in interest when we remember that it was in some degree the harbinger and later the ally of that rich philosophic-religious mysticism of closing paganism, which, in sublimated form, has become the perennial possession of Christianity through Philo, Plotinus and the Neo-Platonists, Dionysius the Areopagite, Augustine and the Christian Platonists.
Angus, S. – The Mystery-Religions

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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:34 pm

Brendan wrote:I tend to associate modern Gnosticism with the New Age, Scientology, Madame Blavatski, Shirley MacLaine and a host of other charlatans. Then there's the Mormon Church. Given our revered moderator's disposition and location, extreme caution with my heresiology must be the order of the day.
Believe/say what you want to. It's of no concern to me. I've made my decision.
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Brendan

Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by Brendan » Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:41 pm

When I get going on other topics you are fond of (Apple gear, for instance) you get upset. Were I to let loose on your religion, I would be gone in very few posts indeed.

Saul is the only poster with a permanent "Get Out of Jail Free" card I can think of.

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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:11 pm

Brendan wrote:Were I to let loose on your religion, I would be gone in very few posts indeed.
I repeat, Brendan, I don't care what you think about it; your opinion about it isn't important to me. As a matter of belief, it's not your decision. If you want to waste your time trying to persuade me, that's up to you. I'm not going to read it, so knock yourself out.
Corlyss
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jack stowaway
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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by jack stowaway » Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:06 pm

Regarding Brendan's comments about Saul's 'get out of jail free card' [above]....

This is perhaps not the ideal thread to say it in but I would like to say, in defence of Saul, that I find his posts both interesting and intellectually informative.

I realise he is upsetting to some/many posters here including some of our most valued members; also, that my personal agnosticism means I don't have the same degree of investment in Christianity that other posters do, and therefore am less sensitive to his remarks.

But I am interested in religion and Jewish/Christian beliefs and Saul's posts are very informative of the Orthodox Jewish perspective. [I take his word for it that his views are authentically Orthodox.]

I realise now that I held a rather naive view of Judaism in the past. I believed that Jews were sort of fellow-believers and that the goodwill I and most Christians held towards Judaism were fondly returned!

This arose in part because my previous association with Jews has been restricted to the secular/liberal/Reformed branches of the faith. I have attended Synagogues at the invitation of the latter and always found the 'sermons' at such synagogues enlightening, humane and, unsurprisingly, in accordance with Christian values and beliefs generally.

I've also worked closely with many Jewish women in the past and found them to be refreshingly modern and feminist in their outlook and opinions, including their approach to female rights and the equality of genders.

Thus, it's come as something of a shock to discover Orthodox beliefs concerning Jesus, Christianity, Gentiles, Females etc -- not to mention the 'Master Race' stuff whereby 'God's Chosen' is taken literally as a sign of Jewish superiority to other religions.

For this reason I value Saul's posts as a necessary corrective to my earlier ignorance. I also take them as authentically representative of Jewish Orthodoxy. Again, I stress, I take Saul at his word that his posts do reflect genuine Orthodoxy.

I have always struggled to understand anti-Semitism. It has always seemed to me as vapid and bizarre as anti-Americanism. One may as well hate one's self (from a Christian perspective). Saul's posts are instructive in this regard also. Their unappolegtic frankness helps me understand how people get upset about, for example, the notion that Jews are Chosen to bring enlightenment to the rest of humanity.

Needless to say, perhaps, I reject Saul's views in almost every instance. And because I reject them, I do not find them threatening or personally offensive --as I do the beliefs of Islamists, for instance. This may be partly a function of numbers. 1.5 billion Muslims wishing to impose their medieval beliefs on the world is a far more frightening prospect than a few hundred thousand people who believe as Saul does. If you like, his views do not constitute a civilisational threat.

Because his posts do represent an authentic strain of Jewish belief [the authentic strain?] that I was previously unfamiliar with I continue to find them of value and interest. If they disturbed me --as they obviously and genuinely disturb other posters, I would ignore or take issue with them. But they don't.

If I may draw an analogy: I find the views of Creationists baffling and plain wrong. But their views don't cause me to question my belief in evolution or to get upset at their position. I sometimes joust with them on this forum but the jousting forces me to better define and justify my own beliefs as well as to better understand theirs.

And, incidentally, Saul's posts have helped in this regard, too. Through reading them I now better understand the religious objection to evolutionary theory --even though I am no closer to agreeing with that objection. For example, a recent post of Saul's on this issue gave me the insight that he cannot afford to accept evolutionary theory as it would mean abandoning his basic religious precepts; i.e. either his religion is true or Darwinian evolution is true. That is illustrative of the contradiction that literalists of other faiths besides Judaism, find themselves in. They simply cannot afford to accept evolutionary theory, no matter how persuasive the evidence. That insight alone was well worth his post.

Finally, I mean no offense to Saul or any other poster by the above. They simply reflect thoughts I have held for a long time regarding the 'Saul problem' on this forum.

Brendan

Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by Brendan » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:00 pm

Actually, I didn't mean just his religious posts but his general behaviour and tone. But within the religious posts, it is his disregard and disrespect of all other points of view that rankle. As well as his total inventions, distortions and outright lies concerning Chirstianity (and science . . .), of course. It may show me that a fundamentalist is close-minded - but not why, nor has he demonstrated any capacity to learn either facts or manners.

Many Jewish posters here have been at pains to say that Saul does not represent them or their views, so please don't play the anti-Semitic card. Not so.

To get back to the original topic . . .

We have already seen too much evidence in studying the other seven members of the inner circle to think that Paul invented high Christology or the messianic community of Jews and Gentiles united in Christ. He was the last of all the apostles, not the first. Even Peter preceded him in reaching out to the Gentiles.
Witherington III, Ben – What Have They Done With Jesus? Beyond Strange Theories and bad History – Why We Can Trust the Bible [Harper SanFrancisco, 2006, p. 230]

jack stowaway
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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by jack stowaway » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:27 pm

Brendan wrote:Actually, I didn't mean just his religious posts but his general behaviour and tone. But within the religious posts, it is his disregard and disrespect of all other points of view that rankle. As well as his total inventions, distortions and outright lies concerning Chirstianity (and science . . .), of course. It may show me that a fundamentalist is close-minded - but not why, nor has he demonstrated any capacity to learn either facts or manners.

Many Jewish posters here have been at pains to say that Saul does not represent them or their views, so please don't play the anti-Semitic card. Not so.
I didn't mean to imply that anyone on this forum was anti-semitic. I don't think that's the case at all. Quite the reverse. Posters here have for the most part displayed admirable tolerance towards Saul.

What I meant was that Saul's posts gave me an insight into how certain tenets of Orthodox Judaism, most notably 'God's Chosen People' could contribute to anti-semtism generally. Previously, I had regarded the concept somewhat as a metaphor. Until Saul, I had never encountered someone who took it so seriously as a literal article of faith.

As to the more fanatical aspects of his posts, including the distortions of Christian belief, I fully agree that they can be offensive. Equally, his strange 'justification' of the Holocaust would be enormously upsetting to anyone who had lost a relative in the Nazi camps.

Saul's extreme religiosity seems to insulate him against the effect of his words on other people's feelings. I make no excuses for his lack of tack or sensitivity or lack of respect for other religions.

Again, the interest of his posts, for me, lies in their representation of a branch of Judaism I was not previously familiar with. If Saul is in fact misrepresenting Orthodox belief I would be pleased if other posters could point this out.

SaulChanukah

Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by SaulChanukah » Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:01 pm

Brendan wrote:Actually, I didn't mean just his religious posts but his general behaviour and tone. But within the religious posts, it is his disregard and disrespect of all other points of view that rankle. As well as his total inventions, distortions and outright lies concerning Chirstianity (and science . . .), of course. It may show me that a fundamentalist is close-minded - but not why, nor has he demonstrated any capacity to learn either facts or manners.

Many Jewish posters here have been at pains to say that Saul does not represent them or their views, so please don't play the anti-Semitic card. Not so.

To get back to the original topic . . .

We have already seen too much evidence in studying the other seven members of the inner circle to think that Paul invented high Christology or the messianic community of Jews and Gentiles united in Christ. He was the last of all the apostles, not the first. Even Peter preceded him in reaching out to the Gentiles.
Witherington III, Ben – What Have They Done With Jesus? Beyond Strange Theories and bad History – Why We Can Trust the Bible [Harper SanFrancisco, 2006, p. 230]
I'm not here to give ornaments of sensitivity to the truth. The truth is just that, pure and doesn’t need to be inflamed or decorated with things that will make people less 'insulted' by it.

My objective is to say the truth as it is, without any other additions.

My comments about the Holocaust are pure truths of Judaism. For Judaism can only be represented by those who actually believe in God, follow his commandments and practice the Jewish faith as was practices for thousands of years. The comments about the Holocaust I found in Books written by great Torah giants, the leaders of the Jewish people, Greats such as Rabbi Avigdor Miller and Rabbi Amnon Yitzchak. Both world famous Rabbis who are loved and respected by millions of Jews all around the world.

The history of Jesus that I posed above is taken from Jewish ancient sacred writings. No other then the Jewish people know the history regarding Jesus better. He was a Jew that lived in Israel, his first followers were Jews and the true history of what happened there, is recorded by the Jewish people. To claim that I distort what happened back then , is an insult to history and common sense.

What I wrote about Jesus was right on, and there is no other history and there is no other truth.

The fact that Brendan and some others might be 'insulted' by this truthful history makes no difference and is irrelevant.

If you aim for the truth, you must be clear, and not take into account what one or many may say about it. I don't care if people get insulted from this, because that's not my aim. I'm not trying to insult people. I want to present the truth, as it is, pure and complete.

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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by Donald Isler » Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:48 pm

Jack Stowaway wrote:

"Again, the interest of his posts, for me, lies in their representation of a branch of Judaism I was not previously familiar with. If Saul is in fact misrepresenting Orthodox belief I would be pleased if other posters could point this out."


Please remember that Saul speaks for Saul, and no one else. He is not a rabbi, or scholar or person of any influence within Judaism.

There are others who believe as he does. And there are also Orthodox Jews who have some sensitivity, and can speak with people of different backgrounds in a tolerant, respectful manner. I have known such people.
Donald Isler

jack stowaway
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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by jack stowaway » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:48 pm

Donald Isler wrote:Jack Stowaway wrote:

"Again, the interest of his posts, for me, lies in their representation of a branch of Judaism I was not previously familiar with. If Saul is in fact misrepresenting Orthodox belief I would be pleased if other posters could point this out."


Please remember that Saul speaks for Saul, and no one else. He is not a rabbi, or scholar or person of any influence within Judaism.

There are others who believe as he does. And there are also Orthodox Jews who have some sensitivity, and can speak with people of different backgrounds in a tolerant, respectful manner. I have known such people.
Thank you, Donald.

I've often wondered how representative Saul is of Jewish Orthodoxy, especially given his frequent claims to represent the authentic Jewish viewpoint on issues.

A related issue I omitted to mention from my earlier post --not wishing to cloud the waters, is my interest in Saul's posts as an expression of and illustration of religious fundamentalism.

Of great concern to me as an individual is the chilling effects of fundamentalism on societies -- a phenomonon which confronts us almost daily in the West.

The most signal feature of the fundamentalist mindset, in my view, is its intransigence, i.e. its unability to comprehend or respect any viewpoint other than its own. This poses great difficulties for civil society --which operates on principles of trust, good faith, good will, equality, tolerance and ability to compromise for the common good. None of which virtues are characteristic of religious fundamentalism.

Saul's posts perfectly illustrate the problem. On the Creationism versus Evolution debate for example, he simply ignores the mountains of evidence offered by posters who are professionally knowledgeable in the field because the evidence conflicts with his faith position. The evidence is inadmissable on faith grounds.

This refusal to accomodate or compromise sacred 'truths' with secular fact and the social tension this causes is a huge and increasing threat to civil society.

To my mind, the increasing conflict between sacred and secular values spurred on by religious revivalism promises to be the single greatest challenge to social harmony in the coming century.

SaulChanukah

Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by SaulChanukah » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:15 am

jack stowaway wrote:
Donald Isler wrote:Jack Stowaway wrote:

"Again, the interest of his posts, for me, lies in their representation of a branch of Judaism I was not previously familiar with. If Saul is in fact misrepresenting Orthodox belief I would be pleased if other posters could point this out."


Please remember that Saul speaks for Saul, and no one else. He is not a rabbi, or scholar or person of any influence within Judaism.

There are others who believe as he does. And there are also Orthodox Jews who have some sensitivity, and can speak with people of different backgrounds in a tolerant, respectful manner. I have known such people.
Thank you, Donald.

I've often wondered how representative Saul is of Jewish Orthodoxy, especially given his frequent claims to represent the authentic Jewish viewpoint on issues.

A related issue I omitted to mention from my earlier post --not wishing to cloud the waters, is my interest in Saul's posts as an expression of and illustration of religious fundamentalism.

Of great concern to me as an individual is the chilling effects of fundamentalism on societies -- a phenomonon which confronts us almost daily in the West.

The most signal feature of the fundamentalist mindset, in my view, is its intransigence, i.e. its unability to comprehend or respect any viewpoint other than its own. This poses great difficulties for civil society --which operates on principles of trust, good faith, good will, equality, tolerance and ability to compromise for the common good. None of which virtues are characteristic of religious fundamentalism.

Saul's posts perfectly illustrate the problem. On the Creationism versus Evolution debate for example, he simply ignores the mountains of evidence offered by posters who are professionally knowledgeable in the field because the evidence conflicts with his faith position. The evidence is inadmissable on faith grounds.

This refusal to accomodate or compromise sacred 'truths' with secular fact and the social tension this causes is a huge and increasing threat to civil society.

To my mind, the increasing conflict between sacred and secular values spurred on by religious revivalism promises to be the single greatest challenge to social harmony in the coming century.
What evidence?

The fanatics are you who believe in something that belongs in the fantasy science fiction section of a book store.
Evolution is a theory, not a fact. There are no evidence. Many leading scientists say that evolution is a lie.

There is no single shred of any evidence to support the theory of evolution.

On the other hand the evidence of God's existence is enormous. Beginning with the history of this world, his relationship with his people and the greatness of the universe that he created.

Not to believe in God's existence in my opinion is the worst and most extreme fanatical fundamentalism that exists today, or that can exist any time.

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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by Carnivorous Sheep » Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:24 am

SaulChanukah wrote:
jack stowaway wrote:
Donald Isler wrote:Jack Stowaway wrote:

"Again, the interest of his posts, for me, lies in their representation of a branch of Judaism I was not previously familiar with. If Saul is in fact misrepresenting Orthodox belief I would be pleased if other posters could point this out."


Please remember that Saul speaks for Saul, and no one else. He is not a rabbi, or scholar or person of any influence within Judaism.

There are others who believe as he does. And there are also Orthodox Jews who have some sensitivity, and can speak with people of different backgrounds in a tolerant, respectful manner. I have known such people.
Thank you, Donald.

I've often wondered how representative Saul is of Jewish Orthodoxy, especially given his frequent claims to represent the authentic Jewish viewpoint on issues.

A related issue I omitted to mention from my earlier post --not wishing to cloud the waters, is my interest in Saul's posts as an expression of and illustration of religious fundamentalism.

Of great concern to me as an individual is the chilling effects of fundamentalism on societies -- a phenomonon which confronts us almost daily in the West.

The most signal feature of the fundamentalist mindset, in my view, is its intransigence, i.e. its unability to comprehend or respect any viewpoint other than its own. This poses great difficulties for civil society --which operates on principles of trust, good faith, good will, equality, tolerance and ability to compromise for the common good. None of which virtues are characteristic of religious fundamentalism.

Saul's posts perfectly illustrate the problem. On the Creationism versus Evolution debate for example, he simply ignores the mountains of evidence offered by posters who are professionally knowledgeable in the field because the evidence conflicts with his faith position. The evidence is inadmissable on faith grounds.

This refusal to accomodate or compromise sacred 'truths' with secular fact and the social tension this causes is a huge and increasing threat to civil society.

To my mind, the increasing conflict between sacred and secular values spurred on by religious revivalism promises to be the single greatest challenge to social harmony in the coming century.
What evidence?

The fanatics are you who believe in something that belongs in the fantasy science fiction section of a book store.
Evolution is a theory, not a fact. There are no evidence. Many leading scientists say that evolution is a lie.

There is no single shred of any evidence to support the theory of evolution.

On the other hand the evidence of God's existence is enormous. Beginning with the history of this world, his relationship with his people and the greatness of the universe that he created.

Not to believe in God's existence in my opinion is the worst and most extreme fanatical fundamentalism that exists today, or that can exist any time.
Oh you're funny.

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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by Agnes Selby » Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:12 am

It may sound funny but repeated a hundred times, it no longer
seems so. I agree with Jack. Religious fundamentalism poses
a threat to civilization as we know it and enjoy it.
The repeated opinions that Saul posts on this board are
a mirror of what faces the world today, be it Judaism in its
extreme, Islam or fundamental Christianity. The intractable beliefs of
fundamentalists and their need to impose their will on other
people are well represented by Saul on this board.

And thank you, Donald. In my entire life I have not met a
Jew who spouted the disrespectful nonsense Saul does all the time.
Saul knows perfectly well that his words hurt other people's feelings
but what does that matter to him, after all? He must know that
he will not convince anyone on this board, not one person will be
converted to his extreme form Judaism but he just keeps keeping on.

Funny it is not but a bore it is.
---------------------

lennygoran
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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by lennygoran » Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:22 am

>Religious fundamentalism poses a threat to civilization as we know it and enjoy it. <

I agree with you completely. This is what impressed me so much about someone I knew about only from his opera productions-Jonathon Miller. They announced a few years ago a series he was doing on atheism--I thought what does he know about that subject--he's an opera man--anyway I taped and watched the 3 part series and thought it was excellent. He was especially hard on the Islamic terrorists blowing up innocents all around the world--I highly recommend this show--parts of it are available on YouTube or were at one time:

A three-part BBC TV (UK) documentary on atheism hosted by Google since August 11th, 2006: Program Title "A Rough History of Disbelief" but more commonly known as "Jonathan Miller's A Brief History of Disbelief" (Director: Richard Denton*; Running time: 3 hours approx)

Wikipedia: "The series includes extracts from interviews with various academic luminaries including Arthur Miller, Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion: Amazon UK | US), Steve Weinberg, Colin McGinn, Denys Turner and Daniel Dennett (Breaking the spell: Religion as natural phenomenon: UK | US). The series also includes many readings from the works of atheist, agnostic and deist thinkers, read by Bernard Hill, and has an original percussion score by Evelyn Glennie."

http://www.nowpublic.com/atheism_jonath ... ocumentary

Now if only he could get the opera productions right--a Rigoletto set in Little Italy, Manhattan! Regards, Len :)

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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by DavidRoss » Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:33 am

Agnes Selby wrote:Religious fundamentalism poses a threat to civilization as we know it and enjoy it.
Nah...only Islamic religious fundamentalism. Nutcases like Saul are very rare in other religions.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

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SaulChanukah

Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by SaulChanukah » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:50 am

Agnes Selby wrote:It may sound funny but repeated a hundred times, it no longer
seems so. I agree with Jack. Religious fundamentalism poses
a threat to civilization as we know it and enjoy it.
The repeated opinions that Saul posts on this board are
a mirror of what faces the world today, be it Judaism in its
extreme, Islam or fundamental Christianity. The intractable beliefs of
fundamentalists and their need to impose their will on other
people are well represented by Saul on this board.

And thank you, Donald. In my entire life I have not met a
Jew who spouted the disrespectful nonsense Saul does all the time.
Saul knows perfectly well that his words hurt other people's feelings
but what does that matter to him, after all? He must know that
he will not convince anyone on this board, not one person will be
converted to his extreme form Judaism but he just keeps keeping on.

Funny it is not but a bore it is.
---------------------
Keep on inventing things Agnes, you're pretty good at it.
I don’t want to impose anything on anyone. Judaism is not Islam, I have said it many times, yet you go there all the time, you just keep ignoring what I say, and write what you want regardless my position on what Judaism says. This means that you are not looking for the truth, you just blame, and you’re amazingly good at it, blaming and accusing.

You make it seem that I am the reason why you don’t believe in God when in fact you didn’t believe in him even before you heard of me.
Another fact is that when you hear what I say you begin to hate religion even more.

why?

Because truth always can have a double effect. Either you hear it and you believe it and it changes something within you for the better, or your self deception becomes even stronger, for the truth raises alarms in you, and your fear of what the truth can do to you, makes you even more defensive, and therefore you get away even further from religion.

The truth is that the holocaust was written in the Torah thousands of years before it happened. I even provided the portion of the torah that talks about it with stunning accuracy. Its all there, even the entire history of the Jewish people is based on reward and punishment, reward for their good deeds and punishment for their bad ones.
This is the truth, and there is no other. The fact that you ignore all of this and are not willing to accept it, makes no difference, the truth stays complete whether you accept it or not.

Your attempt of using the Holocaust as 'evidence' to discredit god's existence has failed miserably.

The center point is that God doesn’t want or need or desires a world without any ultimate aim. He doesn’t want a world where people will do whatever they want without any consequences.
He doesn’t want a world full of monkeys. He doesn’t want a world based on human made laws. He doesn’t want a world where humans don't want to do anything with him or not recognize him.

If there will be no people in this world that will follow his ways and crown him as their God and King, he will destroy this world.
Not only a number of millions will be killed, but everyone will be killed, both human and animal, plant and any living organism will cease to exist.

The way the evolutionists envision the world to be free of God and his law, is not what God wanted, it goes against his plan.

You should be thankful Agnes, that the secularists and all other human beings live in this world because there are those who keep this world running, and because of their merit god keeps this world intact, and doesn’t destroy it, as the Mishna in Avos says : On three things the world stands: On the Torah, On the Truth, and On the Peace.

Without the Living Torah and those who study it and follow its Laws this world will crumble and will be destroyed. Without an aim or purpose this world has no future.

Living in this world is a right, and not something to be taken for granted. Its not a free club where you go in for free and nothing is expected from you. No, all humans were created by God and he gave them life, and he expects certain things from them.

If the world will be filled with people ONLY like yourself and the scientists and evolutionists and their supporters who hate god and don’t believe in him, rest assure that you wont need Muslims to bomb you or to destroy you. God will do it himself. He will destroy this world just as he destroyed all who walked this earth except those who followed his ways, Noah and his sons and a number of animals. He will destroy it just as he destroyed the people of the Tower of Babel.


Therefore we understand that those who are close to God and follow his ways save this world from destruction.
Jewish sacred writing say that this world stands on the merit of 36 great righteous giants, who protect this world and maintain its existence.

The ignorant evolutionists are cutting the very branch they are sitting on. They try to cut off religion and faith in God, little they know that if they succeed and there will be no more people that will worship God, then God will destroy this world. Again, God has no reason to create an entire universe if people will not know him.

This is the truth of the matter, and I wish that you will stop making yourself busy with finding 'reasons' why God doesn’t exist, and rather concentrate on understanding what those who know try to teach you. if you can't understand you will never learn, and I do want you to learn, and I have nothing against you , and I would have said the same thing to anyone else, for the truth is not made for one person or some other person, its made for all people.

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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by Donald Isler » Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:37 pm

Excerpts from the Wikipedia article on reaction to the Holocaust, specifically important Orthodox Jewish leaders who reject it as God's punishment of the Jews:

"Most prominent among other Haredi figures who reject explaining the Holocaust as an act of divine punishment is the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who described it as blasphemous to depict God in this way. The roots of this view lie in the Hasidic, mystical love of every Jew, even potentially unworthy people. He stated[2]:

What greater conceit and what greater heartlessness, can there be than to give a 'reason' for the death and torture of millions of innocent men, women and children? Can we presume to assume that an explanation small enough to fit inside the finite bounds of human reason can explain a horror of such magnitude?"

"Another early voice who ultimately rejected the idea that the Holocaust was divine punishment, with Hitler as an instrument in a greater plan, was Rabbi Mnachem HaKohen Risikoff. When Rav Kook passed away in 1935, Risikoff—with 'a presentiment of the catastrophe' yet to come[3] -- published a eulogy in which he put forth his belief that Kook might have been taken early to spare him from even worse times to come.[4] His writings reveal his struggle to accept the idea that the Holocaust was punishment for sin, and a call to repentance—and early on considered that Hitler might be part of a divine plan.[5] But he ultimately wrote that it was not possible to accept this idea, because such extreme suffering could never come from God, for God acted according to Torah[6]"
Donald Isler

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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:07 pm

lennygoran wrote:>Religious fundamentalism poses a threat to civilization as we know it and enjoy it. <

I agree with you completely. This is what impressed me so much about someone I knew about only from his opera productions-Jonathon Miller. They announced a few years ago a series he was doing on atheism--I thought what does he know about that subject--he's an opera man--anyway I taped and watched the 3 part series and thought it was excellent.
He's a Renaissance Guy. They know everything worth knowing about everything worth knowing about.
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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:09 pm

Donald Isler wrote:What greater conceit and what greater heartlessness, can there be than to give a 'reason' for the death and torture of millions of innocent men, women and children? Can we presume to assume that an explanation small enough to fit inside the finite bounds of human reason can explain a horror of such magnitude?"
Backstories always warrant some skepticism for their contrivedness, don't you think? I mean, the Bible is full of them. Something awful happened to X, so obviously X did this, that, and the other to deserve it. I think there's a name for that in philosophy, but not cottoning much to philosophy, I don't remember what it was. It's not really as cut and dried as "I got burned because I stuck my hand in the fire."
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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by Donald Isler » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:37 pm

No I don't think that.

I believe, that the Rebbe, for whom Saul has expressed respect, has it exactly right, and that it is what most Jews today believe.
Donald Isler

SaulChanukah

Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by SaulChanukah » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:38 pm

Donald Isler wrote:Excerpts from the Wikipedia article on reaction to the Holocaust, specifically important Orthodox Jewish leaders who reject it as God's punishment of the Jews:

"Most prominent among other Haredi figures who reject explaining the Holocaust as an act of divine punishment is the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who described it as blasphemous to depict God in this way. The roots of this view lie in the Hasidic, mystical love of every Jew, even potentially unworthy people. He stated[2]:

What greater conceit and what greater heartlessness, can there be than to give a 'reason' for the death and torture of millions of innocent men, women and children? Can we presume to assume that an explanation small enough to fit inside the finite bounds of human reason can explain a horror of such magnitude?"

"Another early voice who ultimately rejected the idea that the Holocaust was divine punishment, with Hitler as an instrument in a greater plan, was Rabbi Mnachem HaKohen Risikoff. When Rav Kook passed away in 1935, Risikoff—with 'a presentiment of the catastrophe' yet to come[3] -- published a eulogy in which he put forth his belief that Kook might have been taken early to spare him from even worse times to come.[4] His writings reveal his struggle to accept the idea that the Holocaust was punishment for sin, and a call to repentance—and early on considered that Hitler might be part of a divine plan.[5] But he ultimately wrote that it was not possible to accept this idea, because such extreme suffering could never come from God, for God acted according to Torah[6]"
Not all Orthodox Rabbis have the same opinion on issues.

What is sure that what I have studied was based on the teachings of Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zt'll. World famous with millions of adherers.
Also if you listen to Rabbi Amnon Yitchak's lectures you will see that he says the same thing. Another great Rabbi that caused over a Million Jews to return to their faith.

Here Rabbi Avigdor Miller the Great speaks about the Holocaust:

Click Play , its a very short excerpt.

http://blog.authenticjudaism.org/rabbi- ... ermon_id=7

SaulChanukah

Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by SaulChanukah » Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:15 pm

Donald Isler wrote:Excerpts from the Wikipedia article on reaction to the Holocaust, specifically important Orthodox Jewish leaders who reject it as God's punishment of the Jews:

"Most prominent among other Haredi figures who reject explaining the Holocaust as an act of divine punishment is the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who described it as blasphemous to depict God in this way. The roots of this view lie in the Hasidic, mystical love of every Jew, even potentially unworthy people. He stated[2]:

What greater conceit and what greater heartlessness, can there be than to give a 'reason' for the death and torture of millions of innocent men, women and children? Can we presume to assume that an explanation small enough to fit inside the finite bounds of human reason can explain a horror of such magnitude?"

"Another early voice who ultimately rejected the idea that the Holocaust was divine punishment, with Hitler as an instrument in a greater plan, was Rabbi Mnachem HaKohen Risikoff. When Rav Kook passed away in 1935, Risikoff—with 'a presentiment of the catastrophe' yet to come[3] -- published a eulogy in which he put forth his belief that Kook might have been taken early to spare him from even worse times to come.[4] His writings reveal his struggle to accept the idea that the Holocaust was punishment for sin, and a call to repentance—and early on considered that Hitler might be part of a divine plan.[5] But he ultimately wrote that it was not possible to accept this idea, because such extreme suffering could never come from God, for God acted according to Torah[6]"

From the same Wikipage it mentions other great Rabbis who have a different point of view about the Holocaust then the Rebbe:

Satmar leader and Holocaust survivor Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum writes:

Because of our sinfulness we have suffered greatly, suffering as bitter as wormwood, worse than any Israel has known since it became a people...In former times, whenever troubles befell Jacob, the matter was pondered and reasons sought--which sin had brought the troubles about--so that we could make amends and return to the Lord, may He be blessed...But in our generation one need not look far for the sin responsible for our calamity...The heretics have made all kinds of efforts to violate these oaths, to go up by force and to seize sovereignty and freedom by themselves, before the appointed time...[They] have lured the majority of the Jewish people into awful heresy, the like of which as not been seen since the world was created...And so it is no wonder that the Lord has lashed out in anger...And there were also righteous people who perished because of the iniquity of the sinners and corrupters, so great was the [divine] wrath. [Aviezer Ravitzky, Messianism, Zionism and Jewish Religious Radicalism (1996 by The University of Chicago), p. 124.]

Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzinski, in 1939, stated that the Nazi persecution of the Jews was the fault of non-Orthodox Jews (Achiezer, volume III, Vilna 1939), in the introduction. This is discussed in "Piety & Power: The World of Jewish Fundamentalism" by Orthodox author David Landau (1993, Hill & Wang).
Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler had similar views, also discussed in Landau's book.
A few Haredi rabbis today warn that failure to follow religious law will cause God to send another Holocaust. Rabbi Elazar Shach, a leader of the Lithuanian yeshiva Orthodoxy in Israel until his death in 2001 made this claim on the eve of the 1991 Gulf War. He stated that there would be a new Holocaust in punishment for the abandonment of religion and "desecration" of Shabbat in Israel.

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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by lennygoran » Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:30 pm

>He's a Renaissance Guy. They know everything worth knowing about everything worth knowing about.<

Yeah, but his operas! Where's Heather Mac Donald when I need her! Regards, Len :)

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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by lennygoran » Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:36 pm

>The roots of this view lie in the Hasidic<

We like to go to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens before we join our friends and family for Passover--recently there are the Hassidic blowing their shofar and disturbing the peace of the garden--where's their consideration for the garden lovers! Also all over NYC they're putting in bike lanes--there were those Hassidics raising all sorts of objections! Phooey! Regards, Len

SaulChanukah

Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by SaulChanukah » Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:59 pm

lennygoran wrote:>The roots of this view lie in the Hasidic<

We like to go to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens before we join our friends and family for Passover--recently there are the Hassidic blowing their shofar and disturbing the peace of the garden--where's their consideration for the garden lovers! Also all over NYC they're putting in bike lanes--there were those Hassidics raising all sorts of objections! Phooey! Regards, Len

What?

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Re: Jesus the Jew

Post by lennygoran » Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:02 pm

>What?<

Trouble hearing--they must have blown that shofar loud and too close to you as well! Regards, Len :D

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