03-02-2013, 02:23 PM #1
The New Testament WARNING: Long Initial Post!
So lets start with my reasoning of why I am posting this. Though I have my own personal belief system, and this system affects my personal ethics and moral codes, I do not let my personal ideas affect my ability to learn. For me, the personal study and the academic study of a subject are quite different, but beneficial. I cannot understand or improve upon my personal ideas without the academic knowledge associated with them. An example would be, I personally believe Jesus was the real messiah, so if I approach any other messianic religion from a personal point of view I will instantly know it is false, but this is very limiting to me. If I am able to approach other messianic religions within an academic mind set, I can truly learn about the history, teachings, cultures, rituals, politics, and so on. So metaphorically speaking, my academic studies allow my left brain to hold the knowledge that is not based in personal bias’ and my right brain can still believe what it wants and draw from the unbiased information I can achieve academically. This is done with science, religion, and any other discipline. So let’s start the thread, well kind of. (keep in mind that this is what I TRY to do, and as a human, sometimes I fail to do so)
Let’s take an academic approach to the New Testament, this will require us to understand of few academic basics for studying religion. The academic study of religion is multidisciplinary, Psychology, Sociology, History, Politics, Theology, The Arts, Anthropology, are just a few disciplines covered. The academic study of religion is without bias and not approached from a personal belief point of view, but for the desire to study the academic disciplines associated with religion as a whole.
Academically, religion is defined quite differently than the standard dictionary definition. Religion is defined by characteristics and all of these characteristics do not need to be present, and even the characteristics themselves can vary. These characteristics include; belief systems, ethics, community central myths, rituals, sacredness, material expression, and emotional experiences.
So now we are finally back to the New Testament(NT), the NT is a sacred work of the Christian religion, and is used for rituals, ethics, belief system, and myths. Without consideration of authorship, translation, or authenticity, with the stripping of right and wrong, theism, and politics, and by using an academic approach, let us take a look at the written work we call The New Testament, the whole Canon and how it came to be.
In 140 AD, a Roman Christian named Marcion proposed doing away with the Old Testament completely and only using The Gospel of Luke and Paul’s letters as the New Testament. He was expelled, but the church decided they needed to create an official list of scriptures. By the end of that century they had agreed on the works to be included in the New Testament, the Muratorian Canon. The list included 24 (not the 27 we have now) and the list will surprise you; the four Gospels, 13 letters of Paul, excluding Hebrews, Jude, 1st Peter, 1st John, 2nd John, The Wisdom of Solomon, Revelation, and The Apocalypse of Peter. This New Testament lasted for a century, then the list was revised to the 27 we know today (let me know if you want me to list them). Bishop Athanasius officially released the list in 367 AD. What really sealed the deal was the church quickly allocated the production of the Latin Vulgate Bible, which these chosen 27 books were translated into common Latin, unifying the language for easy translation and transcription.
My personal notes on the NT:
Here are some of the differences between the NT and other religious works; the NT was not written by the religion’s founder, nor was it introduced by their founder, nor mentioned by the founder. The NT was not written by the direct order of the divine and was not used by the earliest of practitioners. Partial writings from the NT date within a century of the founding of their religion and are the closer, in age, to their origins than most religions. The contents of the NT was chosen by a church council, under Roman rule, three hundred years after the founder lived on earth, and many of what early Christians considered sacred Christian writings were left out, man literally chose what was going to be in them. The church manipulated the NT works for their own interests, such as; the downplay of females, the need for a church, the need for church guidance, alms, prayer, diet, ceremony, sacred relics, and explanation of “hot topics” in the NT, such as the Holy Trinity, the "lost days" of Jesus, Sainthood, and even the idea of “The Holy Bible”.
So does this take away the religious legitimacy of the New Testament? This is not easy to answer, the NT was created by the Christian church and contains sacred writings from their religion, but it was created, customized, manipulated, and influenced by man, but even with those facts considered, this does not take away from the works contained within the canon and this is an important difference.
03-02-2013, 05:51 PM #2
From that, you have been indoctrinated to the death by an adult, or several of them. I truly, truly feel sorry for you.
03-02-2013, 07:01 PM #3
Better than being indoctrinated by children
Judging by the amount of evidence brought forth, I'd say you're wrong, Hice.
Don't feel sorry for him. He's at least, and quite obviously, put a lot of genuine thought into it. Fell sorry for the ones who haven't. Feel sorry for the ones who use hatred of religion to deny existence of God. Feel sorry for the ones who blindly and without thought follow a religion.
Don't feel sorry for one of the very few who is actively seeking answers and puts thought into his beliefs. It is wasted sympathy.
Jay, I want to respond, but I'm not 100% sure what you're looking for here.
03-02-2013, 07:03 PM #4
03-02-2013, 07:29 PM #5
wickabee, not looking for anything, just kind of trying to respond to all the holy new testament posts around here.
cent, so being academically educated and having a personal opinion is wrong?
what I posted was pure academic teachings, non theistic, and backed with historical records, most were from college courses. so you must be talking about my personal thoughts on it, so what exactly did I post that you label as me being indoctrinated by whomever?
03-02-2013, 09:33 PM #6
#1 We have NO IDEA who wrote the gospels in the NT, and thus their legitimacy is almost impossible to prove.
#2 We have NO IDEA what the original text said and thus we don't know how good the translations are, and also consider the fact that the English Bible is the translation to the translation(s)!
#3 These gospels were canonized by humans not god, and many books were left out.
#4 The fact that we can't decide (and by "we" I mean anyone that reads the bible) on simple but very important things such as whether or not Jesus is god, what is hell and heaven, what is a sin, what is immorality, and who is actually a christian......deeply brings into question the entire legitimacy of this religion.
#5 The fact that the entire bible can be interpreted a million different ways is further proof it is neither infallible, perfect, or the actual word of god.
What does all this mean?
Well, IMHO the Bible is a very flawed book which created a DEEPLY flawed religion which currently causes a lot of havoc around the world.
Let's forget about whether or not god is real for one second and address this, and let's be honest with ourselves......this religion does not work and even if it does make people feel good, it is centered around a big lie (the Bible).Logic and Reason is all you need.
03-02-2013, 09:54 PM #7
03-03-2013, 10:44 AM #8
do not fear, I come back to tell you that you may post upon this thread.
Let's forget about whether or not god is real for one second and address this, and let's be honest with ourselves......this religion does not work and even if it does make people feel good, it is centered around a big lie
the bible itself makes no promises and makes no claim, the bible does contain the teachings of Jesus and the thoughts of these teachings expressed by men, it is not lies, but facts and opinions.
the issue is some people, including yourself, cannot differeniate between facts and opinions, much like when we discuss evolution
Last edited by shrewsbury; 03-03-2013 at 10:48 AM.
03-04-2013, 11:25 AM #9