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You are actually touching on a very important point there, Alan. (Is it ok if I use the shortened form?) What you are seeing is the description/prescription that the Jewish religious belief-system have provided of one being, a god whose name was YHWH--Yahweh, or Yahovah (Jehovah).
It is for this reason, that that model can be tested against the passage of time and emiprical knowledge of human kind, up to now, regarding (especially) the natural universe. By extension, that is how we can test that database; the Bible.
If you were to go back and check the opening of chapter 31 in Numbers, you'd see that the act described there had been at the basic command of Yahwah--Moses simply being the agent through which it had been coordinated.
In post number 14, you brought up the concept of 'the condemnation to eternal hell is that penned by god . . . .' Actually (and if need be I can address that later on down the road) that is not penned anywhere really. The concept of 'condemnation to eternal hell' came later, and was forced from an interpretation to make it fit.
So as Alan had highlighted in post #20, it might be that there is inspiration...might, we have to suspend conclusion until we check further. (of course I am proceeding in this thread in that format, while having already done a fair amount of the search)
Other additional points, quickly, in the Christian canonical documents which are used by some, at times, to support the notion of the instruments' having been inspired are: [INDENT] 2 Peter 1:19~21; 1 Peter 1:12, 23~25; 2 Tim 2:15; Heb 4:12; 1 Thes 2:13; 1 Cor 14:37; 2:13 (note reference for 'we'); Rom 15:4; Jn 14:25, 26; 15: 26; 16:13, 14; 17:17; and a couple or so in Revelation.
[/INDENT]Only the passages in Revelation are specific in wording and directed to the containing instrument. By careful examination of the immediate and overall context of each document, we can see that none of these reflect any clear indication on behalf of the author (other than Rev) that the document which they appear in were known by the author to have been supernaturally superentended.①
Next, we can check for examples to the contrary (such expressions of human involvement and opinions), and check for non-natural claims (such as geographical errors, or historical errors).
① If anyone wishes to look into the details of any of these further, please do bring them up, and I'll join in.
---------- Post added at 11:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:33 PM ----------
I just caught your post, xris, as I had been in posting process at the time, and didn't know about it.
I would like to stress (and do hope it would help some, in some way) that while we can be sure there had been any number of Yeshuas back in that cultural, historical setting, we cannot be so sure of the specifics of the 'general message' of that historical personage. The beauty of the gospel accounts can be said to fall in their articulation of natural 'laws' (if you will, such as reciprocation, human social building measures in the exercise of agape, etc.).
If one were to hold that those documents had been inspired by a suprenatural source, that source would be YHWH (or a slightly later Christian model). We can test that through the documents--I argue. I would say, additionally, that we, in a way of seeing it, can change the message (relative to what the belief-systems of today say) by understanding the detail of, and related to, it.
I have mentioned it earlier, but I call myself a non-theist agnostic.
Thanks for the compliment, Alan. Yes, I have a copy of the Mahabharata in my study, and used to have a real nice interlinear (Sanskrit/English) of the Bhavadagita. I also had a translation of some of the Rig Vedas (almost all, as I recall) and the Ramayana. Alas, things do get lost in moving between oceans a couple of times.
Regarding beautiful truths, I feel we can find them because they are there, and as you have kind of hinted at, we don't really need any particular religious belief-system texts. However, in this thread, we'd best be sticking to the biblical texts (as defined earlier). I'll try to get back here by Saturday night, at the latest.
How do you decide what is not fabricated?
Hey, xris ! Taking the above as a general question (regardless of original intent or application--if I may) I'd argue that it takes as thorough a check of related documents of the same class, and a pragmatic methodology of thought as possible. The 'pragmatic methodology of thought' would require a test based on the aggregate of our best attested to understanding of nature and natural events. I also plan to go into some matters relating to this (as regards biblical literature) on the down the road, but will share a bit here, now, so as to offer an example.
[INDENT]" Here too is a miracle which Apollonius worked; a girl seemed to have died just in the hour of her marriage, and the bridegroom was following her bier lamenting as was natural, his marriage left unfulfilled, and the whole of Rome was mourning with him, for the maiden belonged to a consular family.
Apollonius then witnessing their grief, said, 'Put down the beir, for I will stay the tears that you are shedding for this maiden.' And with that he asked what her name was. The crowd accordingly thought that he was about to deliver such an oration as is commonly delivered as much to grace the funeral as to stir up lamentation; but he did nothing of the kind, but merely touching her and whispering in secret some spell over her, at once woke up the maiden from her seeming death; and the girl spoke out loud, and returned to her father's house, just as Alcestis did when she was brought back to life by Hercules. And the relations of the maiden wanted to present him with the sum of 150,000 sesterces, but he said that he would freely present the money to the young lady by way of dowry.
Now whether he detected some spark of life in her, which those who were nursing her had not noticed--for it is said that although it was raining at the time, a vapour went up from her face--or whether life was really extinct, and he restored it by the warmth of his touch, is a mysterious problem which neither myself nor those who were present could decide."
[INDENT]Philosratus, Life of Apollonius 4, 45 Loeb. 1,457-59 (c. 170 CE)
[/INDENT][/INDENT]This is from literature from the general age and culture of the time of the Christian document development. It is presented as a report, and effort appears to be made to hold conclusion on the reality of the details. Could it have been a case of clinical death? We can be very sure that cases of somatic death are final. Is this entire story fabricated? Here, based on the tone of presentation, we can only say that a misfortuned event of the sorts could have been possible in those days of lack of understanding--the maiden had not been dead somatically.
[INDENT]"But the highest reputation belongs to Asclepiades of Prusa, for having founded a new schooll, despised the envoys and overtures of King Mithridates, discovered a method of preparing medicated wine for the sick, brought back a man from burial and saved his life, but most of all for having made a wager with fortune that he should not be deemed a physician if he were in any way ill himself; and he won his bet, as he lost his life in extreme old age by falling down stairs."
[INDENT]Pliny the Elder (mid to late first century) Natural History 7, 37 Loeb. 2,589
[/INDENT][/INDENT]So bringing folks back to life was to have been not such a big deal in those days? Actually, more people are 'brought back to life' today, I'd say; of course, that they have not died, is the key. Therefore, when we consider the case of Lazurus, as reported on by the authors of the work entitled according to John, we can understand that an event of some sort which may not have occurred as written verbatim, may have happened. What can be concluded as for fabrication (or possibly lack of knowledge?) would be some of the details . . . such as having been dead for three days, having been placed in a sealed tomb in the 'simi-embalmed state,' etc.
However, we'd still have to keep this on hold a little bit until we can get further results from other details. I'll keep on that track, as per thread purpose and intention. . . little by little.
Thanks for your reply,I admire your detection but to what ends? Who wrote these accounts and what motivated them? I read a news item today, by the paper and the writer i see a bias .Could you ever see anything else other than the writer proposing a miracle, if thats what he would desire.Do you question the individual miracle or the possibility of any miracle?
The whole story of Christ is an invention by well meaning souls, in my opinion and if any one can prove otherwise ide be pleasantly surprised.Thanks Xris
When you say the 'whole story' are you actually saying that you don't believe that Jesus was a historical figure? Miracles aside, are you rejecting that Jesus was an actual historical person?
There is no historical evidence of the man they called Jesus.The gospels are secondhand stories by those who are believed to have known those who knew Jesus.I do believe there was a teacher who brought to our notice a better example of morality.The rest is invention and assimilation to older gods to make his message more profound.
But xris there is historical evidence in the writing of one "Josephus" a historian, who lived at the time of Jesus.
Do a web search you might find it interesting?
Much of the gospels are secondhand , but there are beautiful even eternal truths within them
"do unto others as you would have them do unto you"
Love one another
Forgive those who hatefully use you
Im not doubting the value of the text Alan but you can see many of these repeated in other faiths.I may be wrong but all the gospels where written secondhand,not by his immediate followers.Ive never heard of this historical reference ill try searching for him.Thanks xris.