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Religious Fraud

Discussion in 'Culture & Religion' started by Mare Tranquillity, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    Having read about the oldest known copy of the Old and New Testament in the world, the Sinai Bible, this article was no real surprise to me, though some of the Catholic/Vatican sources were interesting. The Nexus article isn't terribly long, but it is informative and gives many additional sources where an interested person could go for more information. Christianity is a scam, a fraud, a hoax of Biblical proportion.

    For the dyed-in-the-wool religious folks who have given me so much grief, let me be the first to say that the good teachings of Jesus are in no way diminished in value by the recognition of the story of Jesus being a fable. The ideas, the concepts for which Jesus is credited are good and useful: loving others, returning good for evil, forgiving, and turning the other cheek are all things that could make the world a better place if people would simply DO THEM. We don't need a supernatural source to give these ideas validity, we can decide that they are valid all on our own and make the world a better place--not for the sake of Heaven or the fear of Hell--but because we have decided that they are good things to do.


    http://www.nexusmagazine.com/articles/NewTestament.html

    Why there are no records of Jesus Christ
    It is not possible to find in any legitimate religious or historical writings compiled between the beginning of the first century and well into the fourth century any reference to Jesus Christ and the spectacular events that the Church says accompanied his life. This confirmation comes from Frederic Farrar (1831-1903) of Trinity College, Cambridge:
    "It is amazing that history has not embalmed for us even one certain or definite saying or circumstance in the life of the Saviour of mankind ... there is no statement in all history that says anyone saw Jesus or talked with him. Nothing in history is more astonishing than the silence of contemporary writers about events relayed in the four Gospels."
    (The Life of Christ, Frederic W. Farrar, Cassell, London, 1874)

    This situation arises from a conflict between history and New Testament narratives. Dr Tischendorf made this comment:
    "We must frankly admit that we have no source of information with respect to the life of Jesus Christ other than ecclesiastic writings assembled during the fourth century."
    (Codex Sinaiticus, Dr Constantin von Tischendorf, British Library, London)

    There is an explanation for those hundreds of years of silence: the construct of Christianity did not begin until after the first quarter of the fourth century, and that is why Pope Leo X (d. 1521) called Christ a "fable" (Cardinal Bembo: His Letters..., op. cit.).
     
  2. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.
     
  3. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    I'm afraid that's not true. Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, Lucian, and Celsus all wrote about Christianity in the Second Century. Christianity didn't "begin" in the Fourth Century.
     
  4. ilikeboobs

    ilikeboobs Member

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    Up your butt, Jobu.
    Correct - and, in fact, if you consider that the Apostles of Jesus spread his good news to all they could find, the very act of being a Christian (Christianity) began while Jesus was still on earth and really picked up once he ascended into heaven.
     
  5. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    Not only is the conclusion that Nexus draws laughably wrong but the research methods used are so grossly wrong that it is nothing less than hate and lies disguised as scholarship.
     
  6. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    The codification of Christianity as we know began then, there were many sects and groups but no consistent philosophical thread running through them. Bringing all of the different groups together allowed them to come to a consensus and present a somewhat united front to the world. That united front of course has splintered into more than 3500 different sects now, but at the time it was a bit more coherent.
     
  7. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    Ok so at least you now admit that it began before the 400's and if you want to dismiss it as a bunch of sects be my guest but it existed.

    In fact since you accept the existence of Christians as evidence for the existence of Christianity (kind of redundant) then there are all sorts of evidence for its beginning in the first century around the time of His death.

    The date of writing for many NT books is in the double digits. We don't have any of them but we do have tiny little scraps. One of the dead sea scroll scraps is carbon dated to between 50 BC and 50 AD. And we can't forget the writings of the leaders of the early church also in the double digits. And then there is the archeological evidence: ossuarys belonging to James the brother of Jesus and other family members - 63 AD, the pilate stone, shard of pottery referencing Jesus, the existence of Qumran 66 AD, the Bishop of Antioch was fed to lions in 68 AD, the non canonical gospels, the existence of Clement the fourth bishop of Rome 88 AD, and the references to a historical Jesus that some criticize and only mentioning christians, etc.
     
  8. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    I'm having a hard time figuring out what your point in this thread is.

    At first you seemed to be saying that there was no Christianity prior to the Fourth Century, but you seem to be taking that statement back with this one, replacing it with the assertion that while Christianity existed, its core philosophy was undefined. I'm not sure how you can support that assertion, since our views of Christianity during the Early Christian Period are a little murky. The people writing the history during that time period weren't particularly interested in Christianity - or, as with Celsus and Lucian, were only interested in writing about it satirically.

    I guess my question is - where is this going?
     
  9. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    It's unfortunate for me to relate, but I have to work for a living part of the time, so it'll be a day or two now before I can get back to this. Part of the issue is one of definition: what do you mean when you say "Christianity"? I have yet to see any authoratative source demonstrate that Jesus even existed, let alone did any of the things which are attributed to him. Anyway, more later, save up your ammunition or post lots of abuse for me to deal with when I get back into town--hopefully this weekend sometime.

    More than anything I thought the article I posted was interesting since I've read about the Sinai Bible and the vast differences between it and the current accepted versions of the Bible.
     
  10. Richard Savage

    Richard Savage Member

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    Bible Warning Label

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. 9sublime

    9sublime Active Member

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    Best. Picture. Ever.
     
  12. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    To say that the records of the time were a little murky is a vast understatement, at best we have a mish-mash of many points of view and no real facts that can be verified.

    I'm having a hard time figuring out why I have to explain what my point is to you. I see threads all the time that have no particular point--is this a double standard?

    I posted the article because I thought it was intersting, it didn't contradict anything else I seen about early Christianity, and the fact that one or two mistakes were found in it simply brings it down to the level of the Bible which has many mistakes in it.

    Having read Stephen Mitchell's JESUS: WHAT HE REALLY SAID and Robert Price's THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING SON OF MAN, and Freidman's THE BIBLE WITH SOURCES REVEALED, and THE FIRST COMING: HOW THE KINGDOM OF GOD BECAME CHRISTIANITY by Thomas Sheehan, and THE SECRETS OF MOUNT SINAI about the oldest copy of the old and new testament still in existence, which is very different that what passes for the Bible of today, I just thought that introducing some balance into the Bible-fest we have here on the site might be useful. And I haven't even got around to mentioning Thomas Paine's THE AGE OF REASON. Then of course there is also Ben Edward Akerley's THE X-RATED BIBLE which asks about all those scriptures that Christians don't want to discuss.

    Anyone who's read much of British theologian Andrew Linzey or Norm Phelps or Richard Young will know that there is little consensus about how scripture is to be interpreted. Even St. Francis and Friars Minor give good evidence that what we think of as the "proper" interpretation of the Bible is wildly different than what people used to think.

    There have been many very good scholarly works delineating the mistakes, mistranslations, contradictions, and blatant falsehoods in the Bible, yet still today people are using this crippled remnant of myth and lies as a weapon to hurt others. I find that somewhat offensive.

    I enjoyed all the "oh, yeah, what about....so and so" claims about documentation for Jesus existence. I've heard all of them, and I have yet to see one be proved, they are popular stories with little or no factual basis in history as far as I have seen. If people were not still using all those weird old fantasies to hurt people today, then I would have no problem with folks believing them, but when they use that nonsense to pass laws and justify violence, then I have a problem with it.

    Does that adequately justify my starting this thread?
     
  13. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    You don't have to get so defensive, I just wasn't sure what your point was. If you would have preferred for me to just assume you didn't have one, let me know, and I will do so in the future. Otherwise, you can see that my asking means you've got my attention, whereas many of the other pointless threads here I just skip over (unless they're as entertaining as Steveox's used to be).
     
  14. Richard Savage

    Richard Savage Member

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    Christianity was the hoax of a confidence man named Saul of Tarsus (“Paul”), who made up the story of Christ’s resurrection from the dead and his vision of him on the road to Damascus to fool gullible people of the time through a series of chain letters (the “Epistles”). When charges were brought against him, he managed to escape prosecution by claiming Roman citizenship, under which authority he was transported to Rome and imprisoned in the Carcer of the Forum Romanum until Nero had him put to death.

    Other than Paul’s improbable stories, there is very little in the way of historical record of the existence of Jesus Christ, and none of it a contemporaneous account of a percipient witness. (None of the subsequent gospels can be authenticated.) Philo of Alexandria, who was contemporaneous with Jesus and Paul, does not mention Christ or the Christians; and the brief account of Flavius Josephus in the Testamonium Flavianum appears to have been added by a later hand. The most reliable historical reference is by Tacitus; and even that is, at best, second-hand hearsay (most likely from his friend and correspondent Pliny the Younger, who was Governor of Bithynia and active in rooting out Christian sects under Trajan). See Pliny the Younger, Letters, Book X, 96. In the Annals, Tacitus wrote:

    “But neither human resources, nor imperial munificence, nor appeasement of the gods, eliminated sinister suspicions that the fire had been instigated. To suppress this rumor, Nero fabricated scapegoats - and punished with every refinement the notoriously depraved Christians (as they were popularly called). Their originator, Christ, had been executed in Tiberius’ reign by the governor of Judea, Pontius Pilatus. But in spite of this temporary setback the deadly superstition had broken out afresh, not only in Judea (where the mischief had started) but even in Rome. All degraded and shameful practices collect and flourish in the capital.

    “First, Nero had self-acknowledged Christians arrested. Then, on their information, large numbers of others were condemned - not so much for incendiarism as for their anti-social tendencies. Their deaths were made farcical. Dressed in wild animals’ skins, they were torn to pieces by dogs, or crucified, or made into torches to be ignited after dark as substitutes for daylight. Nero provided his Gardens for the spectacle, and exhibited displays in the Circus, at which he mingled with the crowd - or stood in a chariot, dressed as a charioteer. Despite their guilt as Christians, and the ruthless punishment it deserved, the victims were pitied. For it was felt that they were being sacrificed to one man’s brutality rather than to the national interests.” Tacitus, Annals, XV:44.
     
  15. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    Okay, I won't be so defensive.
     
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