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Featured Grailhunter’s Corner

Discussion in 'Christian Theology Forum' started by Grailhunter, Apr 10, 2020.

  1. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    <<<There are several titles and several topics presented here.>d>>
    *************The concepts of the Trinity in motion************

    Note: Feel free to verify all scriptural references in your own favorite translation.

    This is a topic that is easy to prove because it connects to hundreds of scriptures, which will be referenced directly and or indirectly through this discussion. Then again, the reason for the creation of the formula for the Trinity by the councils and the history of the evolution of the various doctrines of the Trinity and the associated religious politics will be discussed in the article on the Logos. The topic as a whole is interesting because it involves the thoughts and beliefs of the Early Church Fathers and the Ecumenical Councils, that eventually influenced Catholic and Protestant beliefs. But here I am only going to touch on that and give the reasons for the Trinity formula in another post.

    Most Christian denominations proclaim a belief in the Trinity, and its existence is certain, it is the details that vary. Some define the Trinity as three persons in one God, some turn the perspective around and believe that the Trinity is one God with three aspects. Some reduce the Trinity to a duo, the Holy Spirit merely being the projection of Yahweh or Yeshua’s spirit...a spirit, different type of being than Yahweh or Yeshua. Then there are those that believe Yeshua is the “one” and only God...representing three aspects of God or even Christ being the God that created the Heavens and Earth. (This will be covered with the discussion of the Logos and the Gospel of John.) Which would pretty much invalidate the entire Old Testament and the Apostle’s Creed, where God the Father is the creator, or even the concept of God being the Father. Now this concept places the Son as the Father! Oddly enough, the “confusion factor” is a “qualifying condition” in this time period, thinking if it makes no sense or cannot be understood, it is of God! This is an interesting topic in itself. Debates over what the Trinity meant, and or what it is, have continued throughout the centuries. The winning point always has been and is, that the Gospels clearly document the presence, actions, communications, and movements, of three persons (Gods). But the most commonly accepted doctrine of the Trinity, is that there are three persons in one God, called God, named God. This is the larger intent and underlying reason for this doctrine of the Trinity, and that is to say “one God” not Gods. This is the political element of the doctrine of the Trinity. That is to change the names of the Gods to God. Rather than a spiritual position, to change it to a proper name. At which point they can manipulate it very easily. The political side of this being that, when they took God’s name (Tetragrammaton) out of the Old Testament and replaced it with Lord or God, they could argue that the Trinity was a functional unnamed trio in the Old Testament….because God is now their name! There by nullifying the old arguments that the character of the God of the Old Testament was different than the God of the New Testaments.

    But, but, but, as with many official doctrines, what the regional churches and the people believed, were many times different than the prescribed doctrine. The concept is abstract and incongruent. So many in the time period did not agree with the one God concept, much less defining in human terms the individual presence, personality, or thought, or even that anyone could know or define or compare the substance and nature of the Trinity.

    The problem with these assumptions is that as whole the scriptures do not support these beliefs as well as the storyline of the Gospels that is obviously Father and Son interacting. The Church’s frustrations with the scriptures led them to actually adding verses to certain Bibles to clarify their point and add authority to their doctrine. The most well known of these forged scriptures is called “the Comma Johanneum Addition.”

    The Comma Johanneum as it is referred to, originated as a common literary explanation or formula for the Trinity. The first discussion of the Comma may have been around the 3rd century. Some mention a connection with some of the early church fathers, like Cyprian which debated the oneness concepts of the Trinity. It first appeared in written form during the 4th century in the Latin homily Liber Apologeticus, which was probably written by Priscillian of Avila. This theological formula was circulated from then on, but was not accepted, or at least was not quoted by most of the early Church Fathers in which there was a continual disagreement on the construct of the Trinity.

    At some point this short summary of the Trinity made its way into the margin notes of some of the manuscripts that were written after the 5th century. Unlike other examples of popular margin notes that made their way into the scriptures, the Comma Johanneum found its way into the verses of the Bible by way of another avenue. After the early 16th century, the Byzantines began to recopy and retranslate the available Greek texts of the New Testament. At this point some of these copies became known as the “Textus Receptus.” ---Erasmus--- It was in some of these that the formula was added and then later included in some of the Bibles. Most notably the King James Version, which relied heavily on these texts. On the 2nd of June 1927, Pope Pius XI decreed that the Comma Johanneum was open to dispute. The updated " Nova Vulgata" edition of the Vulgate, published in 1979 as a result of the Second Vatican Council, does not include the Comma. In the Catholic study Bible I have that was printed around 1960 it includes a combination of these two scriptures, with a side note that explains that it is a re-phrasing of the scriptures by the Holy See, as it is his prerogative.

    As it happened the Comma Johanneum Addition was much more than a re-translation, or an addition, but rather a replacement of the original scriptures with a popular theological statement. They kept the verse numbers in sequence so that it would not be as noticeable, but replaced the words.

    The scriptures involved are 1st John 5:6-8. The original scriptures read as follows... (Quoting 6 through 8, so it can be read in context)

    “6. This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. 7. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth. 8. And it is the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.”

    This was replaced with what came to be called the Comma Johanneum Addition.

    6: This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7: For there are three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8: And there are three that bear witness in Earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

    As one can see there is no chance that this is simply a different translation, but rather a removal of the scriptures and an insertion of a known theological statement for an intended purpose. Of course and again, there is no question that the Trinity exists, just that the Bible does not support the commonly explained formula or description of it. And this is the larger problem, if everybody changes the scriptures to what they believe, then we do not get an accurate reading of the Word of God, but instead a denominational sermon. The Comma Johanneum Addition is a good illustration of the frustration that some had with trying to promote their beliefs and to what extent they would go to, to promote their beliefs above and over the Bible. This is not a unique observation but rather the option of many scholars and most of the well known reference material explains the Trinity as more of a doctrine than a biblical teaching.

    For example:
    The McKenzie Bible Dictionary explains it this way.... “The Trinity of God is defined by the Church as the belief that in God there are three persons who subsist in one nature. The belief as so defined was reached only in the 4th and 5th centuries AD and hence is not explicitly or formally a biblical belief.” Which hold true to the fact that the word Trinity does not occur in the Holy Bible.

    The Truth is, the Trinity is not the merging or mixing of three entities into one, like you would a cake mix, nor is it a three headed God. It is a condition and a reality that is beyond our understanding, but in loose terms..... I believe and define that there are three Gods in one Godhead.
     
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  2. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    Which exists simultaneously in an unexplainable spiritual condition of union, that allows for the sharing of traits, principles, powers and abilities, but prevents any possibility of disagreement. Still, this being true, they have their own individual presence, minds, wills, and characters. Three Gods that can sit side by side on three thrones. (I am not going to address spiritual thrones thing, it is just referenced that way in the Bible.) The Trinity makes sense, the scriptures that describe Them, make sense. The following discussion includes scriptures that speak of the Trinity as it is referenced in the Gospels. So we are going to put this in motion and as reality and the truth, it will move through the story of Christ’s mission in the Gospels. The best example of the Trinity we have is how the three Gods interacted with each other during the Gospels. What they said to each other and about each other. Much of the proof comes from the lips of Christ Himself as He describes Himself and His Father as two persons in and at two different places. Father and Son. This is the Trinity in motion.

    1. If Christ’s throne is on the right hand of God, He is not within God and that position although important is second to God the Father. Mark 16:19 “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into Heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.”

    2. If one had to leave before the other could come, as in the case of the Holy Spirit, this would suggest individuality.

    3. If there is any conversation at all between the three entities; that would indicate some individuality.

    4. If the conversation included a request, like Yeshua asking His Father to bypass the cup (so-to-speak); it indicates individuality and hierarchy.

    5. If the conversation is in the form of a pray. For example; Our Father which art in Heaven.....But the Son was standing before them. This indicates individuality and hierarchy.

    6. If one God refers to Himself or others refer to Him as the Father and the other God refers to Himself or others refer to Him as the Son; This indicates individuality and hierarchy. This is particularly significant because this is a self defined and self described definition by God Himself. God decided to define their positions as God the Father and God the Son. God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son….

    It was God that chose to describe Himself as a Father, so we could understand our relationship with Him and His relationship with His Son, in human terms. There is a clear authoritative aspect associated with the Father. There is no possible way of mistaking this relationship as equal or the same person. Yeshua was the begotten Son of God. God did not begot Himself.

    7. Again, for God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son...John 3:16 There is no part of this verse that suggest that He begot Himself, or sent Himself, or that his Son was Him. The meaning of the verse is that, it took a lot of love for God to offer His real Son as a sacrifice for the world. This verse is talking about two Gods. God the Father, gave His Son.

    8. If a person can sin against one God worse than the other...as in the case of the un-pardonable sin. This indicates separation of some sort as well as a very special uniqueness in regard to the Holy Spirit.

    9. If Yeshua said, “...the father is greater than I.” John 14:28 --- then this is proof of His understanding of individuality and hierarchy.

    10. then He said, "Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good, but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments." Matthew 19:27

    11. Then he said, "And do not call anyone on earth your father, for One is your Father, He who is in Heaven. And do not be called leaders, for One is your Leader, that is, Christ." Matthew 23:9 This refers to Yahweh as Father and Christ as leader. Similar to other scriptures referring to Christ as the head of the Church.

    12. But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. 1st Corinthians 11:3 This clearly defines hierarchal positions.

    13. John 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. (How many ways does this prove two persons, in two places, God the Son
    referring to His Father as His God.)

    14. There is not a single verse that would indicate or suggest that God the Father was crucified, or that they were crucified together, or that all three were crucified. Christ the God was crucified and ascended to His Father.

    15. Matthew 20:20….Mark 10:35…When asked by the mother of John and James if they could sit on the right and the left of Christ in the kingdom to come, One of the things Christ said to her (them) was “....this is not Mine to give....” This would indicate that it was someone else’s to give...another God...Not Himself and higher authority. This point is further exemplified by John 3:35 The Father loves the Son, and hath given all things into His hands. John 13:3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come forth from God, and was going back to God; >>> Definitely defining two persons, giving and receiving occurs between two persons and so does coming from and going back to. These verses indicate hierarchy and individuality. God the Father had the authority to give, you will never see where Yeshua gave authority to His Father.

    16. If the conversation includes an element of surprise, like when Yeshua was on the cross and asked His Father why He had forsaken Him. This would be strong evidence of individuality.

    17. If the conversation indicates disparity of location and movement between the two deities, such as ascended to my Father, I came forth from the Father, or because I go to the Father, this would all indicate individuality, hierarchy, and different location.

    18. If one knows something that the other does not, like in Matt. 24:36 where Yeshua said, He did not know when the “end of the age” would occur, only the Father knew. This definitely indicates individuality and is conclusive proof that we are not talking about a single mind.

    19. If the Son was sent by the Father. This indicates individuality and hierarchy of authority. One person sent somewhere by another. You will never read that Yeshua sent the Father anywhere.

    20. If Christ said, (John 5:30) “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” The statement regarding the will of the one Who sent Him, occurs in other verses. John 6:38 & 39 Matt 12:50. Then there is Mark 14:36 “And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” This is a request from one person to another and a designation of two separate wills... “not what I will, but what thou wilt.” The wills and minds of two Gods, clearly defined in words and actions with a clear show of respect from Son to Father agreeing to subject Himself to the will of the Father.

    21. The Apostle’s Creed defines God the Father as the creator of Heaven and Earth....not Christ....not the Holy Spirit, and not the three of them.

    22. And Christ said this while He walked the earth...But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 10:33 God the Father and God the Son. Two persons in two different places and the Son denying someone before His Father.
     
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  3. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    23. “The My Father verses” are the most prevalent and best examples of Yeshua’s relationship with Yahweh. Over fifty times in the Gospels Yeshua refers to Yahweh as “My Father.” As far as understanding the interconnecting relationship between Yeshua and Yahweh these verse are very important to understand in content, context, and perspective. In most of these verses the differences between Yahweh and Yeshua are expressed, either by hierarchy, authority, interaction, will, mind, movement, communication, or physical location. In John 2:16, Yeshua indicates that the Temple is His Father’s house.....not His. Christ never indicates that the Temple belongs to Him, the temple belongs to another. Nor did Christ ever suggest that after He left they should worship Him in the Temple. In John 14:2 Christ tells of a place that would await the Apostles. He says, “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” Note that He is not saying, His house. In 14 of the “My Father” verses, Yeshua refers to Yahweh as the Father in Heaven, precisely written, “Father which is in Heaven.” In 7 of these verses He is referring to His Father in Heaven, worded “Father in Heaven.” So Christ was standing on Earth referring to God the Father in Heaven, two different places. In John 5:37 Christ says, “And the Father who sent Me, He has borne witness of Me. You have neither heard His voice at anytime, nor seen His form.” In this verse one should understand that it takes someone else to bare witness of another, and the voice and form they were hearing and seeing then, was not that of God the Father. He was not baring witness of Himself. In Matthew 18:10, where Christ was warning not to offend the “little ones”....Christ indicates that their Angels constantly behold the face of Yahweh...in Heaven. Now surely, there is an understanding of the concept of omni-presence, but if you notice, Christ is not saying, they behold My face, or Our faces. Throughout the storyline of the Gospel, Christ makes it clear that He and His Father are in two different places. Christ’s overall mission on Earth is to fulfill the will of God which is Yahweh....and He makes it clear that Yahweh, His Father sent Him. Yeshua never said in the Gospels that He sent Himself or came on His own behalf, or was doing His own will, or begot Himself. Over 40 times Christ says in the Gospels that His Father sent Him. This denotes the higher authority of the Father and that His Father is another person at a different place. In several verses Christ indicates that God the Father gives or appoints certain things to Him. To appoint or give is an indication of hierarchy, authority, and an indication of two positions, given and received. You will not find a scripture where Christ says He gave anything to the Father, it is not His position to give. Other examples, Christ would not say, I gave Myself, all things, nor would He say that He loved Himself. In John 10:17, Christ says, “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.” The same is true of honor or glory. Honor is a heartfelt expression from one person to another. Christ does not honor Himself or love Himself. John 8:54, “If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honoreth me; of whom ye say, that He is your God. All three of these expressions describe something happening from one...to... another.

    Apostolic Perspective. There is a continual reference to Father and Son and a designation of God the Father in Heaven while Christ was on earth. And if you look closely the scriptures refer to God as the Father and Christ as Lord in the same sentence. As in the benediction of some of books in the NT...2nd Corinthians, Ephesians, and Philippians.

    1st Timothy 6:13
    “I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate.”

    Matthew 5:16
    Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

    Matthew 5:48
    Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

    Matthew 6:1
    Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

    Matthew 7:11
    If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

    Matthew 7:21
    Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

    Matthew 10:32
    Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.

    Matthew 10:33
    But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

    Matthew 12:50
    For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.

    Matthew 16:17
    And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

    Matthew 18:10
    See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven.

    Matthew 18:14
    So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.

    Matthew 18:19
    Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.

    Matthew 23:9
    Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.

    Luke 2:49
    And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” (Note again: His Father’s house, not His house, not Our house.)

    The True concept of “oneness” is really not a matter of arithmetic. In modern times we are all about numbers, but a modern first grader would know more about numbers than most of the people of antiquity. The concept of one had a symbology in this time period, not just the literal one, but also the concept of “unity.” The word “one” in regard to relationships can also mean solidarity. Again, in relation to the Trinity it is the unity and the solidarity, in mind, in heart, and in spirit between Yahweh, Yeshua, and the Holy Spirit. God the Father gives us in Genesis 2:24 an idea of how the concept of two people being one can be applied; “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” Yeshua reiterates this concept in Mathew 19:5 & 6 and Mark 10:8, specifically saying, “And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.” Certainly everyone understands that husbands and wives do not merge to be one physical human, nor do they lose their character. They certainly join physically but they are not absorbed into one person, even though the condition of solidarity may exist between them. So in that case the word one is not denoting “the number one” or the singularity of the two persons in the marriage. Beyond what is listed in the examples above, in the New Testament Yeshua gives us a clearer explanation of the concept of one. Speaking to God the Father (He is not talking to Himself) Yeshua says this about the concept of one...John 17:22 “And the glory which to them; that they may be one just as We are one.” Because Yeshua says “just as” this is an exactness, a duplication of a condition that we can achieve, and He states that this condition of “oneness” can apply to us, but it has nothing to do with absorption or singularity, but rather a condition of spiritual union and solidarity between God and us. The next verse further defines this by describing a unity with Christ that would cause the same condition with us as it did with them, a condition of perfection. Again, not talking to Himself, in John 17:23 “I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that You did send Me, and do love them, even as you do love Me.” In this context millions of people could be made one...one being a abstract concept of one, but a more literal meaning of unity, solidarity, and perfection and even a “body” that is considered one....the body of Christ or the body of the Church. And then, the next verse is probably one of the best verses to put this oneness concept into perspective. The leading verses are speaking of the works of the Holy Spirit and then ends with this explanation. 1st Corinthians 12:11-13 “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.”

    The same is true of the Godhead, in this case three, but if there would have been a hundred named Gods that talked with each other and did all the above, the Church would have labeled them one in order to get their theology to work. Certainly multiple persons in one God is a difficult concept, but the more persons the more difficult the concept becomes. If there would have been eight, sixty, or a hundred persons it would have
     
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  4. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    been a concept near to impossible to convey. Tri-unity is difficult enough, but sixty-unity would have been intolerable and unacceptable. But as it was, three aspects of one god was a common scenario in Pagan beliefs, the triple goddess is a good example. The multiple aspects of God was within their mythology and made their conversions comfortable but made matters more confusing for everyone else. The one God formula and changing Yahweh's name to God literally changes the meaning of hundreds of scriptures, maybe over a thousand.

    The first documented time the word Trinity was used in relations to Christianity was written in the second century. (Now, the definitions that follow are not that hard to lookup and for anyone that is truly interested, I recommend it.) The Greek word used for Trinity was Τριάς, meaning "a set of three." The only meaning of one in this word was that it was one set of three. As time went on and the Church’s definition for the word Trinity changed, the next word for Trinity came from two Latin words. Trinitas, meaning, "the number three” and Unitas, meaning, unity; state of being one or undivided · sameness, uniformity · agreement, concord.

    Latin is not a biblical language. Latin is a very “loose” language, it has a few meanings. Within the meaning of this word the Church could fit its new definition. The English word for Trinity, in the Webster’s Dictionary references Old French and Latin, and I quote..... “1. a set of three persons or things that form a unit. 2. in Christian theology, the union of three divine persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) in one Godhead.” end quote..... Which is exactly the definition of the Trinity.

    The biblical testament of the authority of the Father has always been a thorn in the side of the Church’s doctrine of the Trinity, because hands down, the Old Testament and Christ Himself testified clearly and definitively, of the authority of the Father, over a hundred times, dozens of these coming from Christ Himself. In the Old Testament Yahweh makes it clear that He is singular God. He never functions as a trio, and specially indicates that He is the only one. There are zero suggestions of a Godhead in the Old Testament. Yahweh never suggested that there is a Godhead. There are zero suggestions that Yahweh recognized any other entity but Himself. There are zero suggestions that He recognized any name of a Deity other than Himself. There is One God in the religion of the Jews. You shall have no other Gods before me. There is zero evidence of God having a Son in the Old Testament.

    On the other hand, these biblical proofs of the authority of God the Father in no way conflict with beliefs regarding the Trinity. In the Old Testament it is easy to see that Yahweh proclaims Himself as the ultimate authority and does not define Himself as a trio. In the New Testament after Yahweh begets a Son, His Son repeatedly attests to the authority of the Father. A numerical count of the three Gods occur as the Gospels progress, but descriptions or discussions regarding the trio of Gods does not occur until after Christ ascends to Heaven, and rightly so, the trio did not form until He ascended to Heaven. At which time, God the Father still remains the ultimate authority and all three have equal authority over us. The Truth makes sense. The Shield of the Trinity is still compatible as a representation of the Godhead, in that God in center represents that spiritual unity, while there is a God called Yahweh, a God called Yeshua, and a God called the Holy Spirit. But still I see people scratching their heads over it.


    1aaattrinity.jpg

    I challenge anybody to produce an article near this size with even a tenth of the number of New Testament scriptural references to support their belief that the Trinity is one God, one person.
     
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  5. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    **************The Gnostic Side of Christian History**********

    Gnosticism….the Logos….and the Trinity in the Early Church
    I cannot take credit for noting that parts of the Gospel of John has some Greek-Gnostic influences….it is a topic discussed by biblical scholars today, but it was noted within the first century. The Word-Logos was a very popular Greek metaphysical term or concept five to six centuries before Christ. A divine being manifesting as the Word, is a very metaphysical concept. In the period…it was sort of a buzz-word or term that appeared in various Greek metaphysical philosophies and then resurfaced in Gnosticism and Christianity. The concept was used over and over again with different spins on its meaning, long before it ends up in the Gospel of John.

    Logos (UK: /ˈloʊɡɒs, ˈlɒɡɒs/, US: /ˈloʊɡoʊs/; Ancient Greek: λόγος, romanized: lógos; from λέγω, légō, lit. 'I say') is a term in Western philosophy, psychology, rhetoric, and of course religion. The word is derived from a Greek word that has various meanings depending on the application i.e. "ground”, “order”, "plea", "truth", "expectation", "message", "speech", "account", "reason", "proportion", discourse" and even the universe or nature based intelligence and of course in Christian lore, the metaphysical manifestation of the Word of God.

    It became a technical term in Greek Western Philosophy beginning with Heraclitus (535 – c.  475 BC), who used the term for a principle of order and knowledge, of which then the Gnostics expanded upon. The writings of Heraclitus was the first place that we know of, where the word Logos was given special attention in ancient Greek philosophy. For Heraclitus, logos provided the link between rational discourse and the world's irrational structure.

    Ancient Greek philosophers used the term in other ways. The Sophists (5th century BC) used the term to mean discourse. Aristotle (4th century BC) applied the term to refer to "reasoned discourse" or "the argument" in the field of rhetoric, and considered it one of the three modes of persuasion alongside ethos and pathos. Pyrrhoist philosophers (4TH century BC) used the term to refer to dogmatic accounts of non-evident matters. The Stoics (3rd century BC) spoke of the logos spermatikos (the generative principle of the universe, in other words the birth of the Universe.) which foreshadows various related concepts in Neoplatonism.

    Within Hellenistic Judaism, a philosopher named Philo (c.  20 BC – c.  50 AD) adopted the term Logos into Jewish philosophy. Philo distinguished between logos-prophorikos ("the uttered word") and the logos-endiathetos ("the word remaining within"). It is through this path that some connect this belief with some Gnostic sects and Jewish mysticisms.

    The term is also used in more modern Sufism, and the analytical psychology of Carl Jung. (1875-1961) Despite the conventional translation as "word", logos is not used for a word in the grammatical sense; instead, the term lexis (λέξις, léxis) was used. However, both logos and lexis derive from the same verb légō (λέγω), meaning "(I) count, tell, say, speak".

    Gnostic views--- First as a matter of accuracy, the Gnostics labeled or named themselves in different ways but considered themselves Christians. The term Gnostic was a label given to them from outside sources. The meaning gets lost because, it is many times applied to any writings or texts or beliefs outside of the Canon. So it effectively means non-canonical. So as the classification of early Christian texts are at times debatable. Many texts are classified Gnostic simply because someone did not like them. Some are classified due to writing styles. The possibilities of the historical progression of some Christian texts can be a matter of popularity and the work and expense of the copy process. In some instances and text that is dated to the 4th or 5th century may have existed for centuries but the text we have is a copy of that.

    Defining the Gnostic sects would be like defining the Protestant denominations today. Just as it is hard to define “Mainstream Christianity” today. Since their beliefs were secret….we only know so much about them. What we know of Gnosticism today is through surviving texts that have been labeled Gnostic and also the derogatory writings of the ECF’s about the Gnostics.

    Like the Christians, the Gnostics were developing a growing animosity towards the Jews because of the crucifixion…hard to get over the “crucify Him!” thing. Beyond that the Gnostics considered the Old Testament God somewhere between crazy or evil, because of His cruel and wrathful nature. But in both religions there is a focus on Christ and a focus to place Him as the primary God and to down play the role of God the Father…it is this effort that causes the Gnostic beliefs to show up in canonical texts and so called Mainstream Christian beliefs.

    That being said, the Gnostic views or beliefs concerning the Logos varied but eventually they saw Christ as the revealed Logos, the word or expression of God animated in a spiritual-physical form that walked the earth in the personification of Yeshua-God. Early Christians liked Valentinus and Marcion at one time were very popular with the church but as their views and writings became more “Gnostic/mystical” in nature, they were condemned. The Gnostics did consider themselves as mystics, but they were faithful to the worship of Yeshua in their own way, not in His physical form as having been born in the flesh, they expanded the spiritual mystical side of the existence of the Logos. As in the manifestation of the Logos and the liberation of His spiritual aspect on the Cross. The concept of the Logos led some sects of Gnosticism to nearly deny the flesh and blood side of Christ.

    In this way they believed that He was the Logos personified, and in that sense, He could have never been born in the flesh, because He was ever present since the beginning of time. The existent Word….present…but not flesh…present in the physical only as an illusion. But to the Gnostics, the Word had a germinating spiritual affect which placed a spiritual spark into Mankind, and then salvation was from within in this sense. (John 17:23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.) This verse even if it is not Gnostic, goes along with Gnostic beliefs.

    So then the Gnostics believed that what Yeshua taught was inside of all of us, so that if we could just merge/join ourselves with that spark…that knowledge that was within us could save us. (Which is where the term Gnostic comes from…Greek for knowledge.) This philosophy shared some Platonic features as well, for it was the “inner” existence and knowledge of Christ, that was in the individual, in that so realized could cause one to be saved. At some point the Gnostics developed secret rituals to cause enlightenment or awareness of this inner “Christ.” Logos was the focal point and the key, the connecting force and principle that bound the eternal cosmos to the individual Soul, in whose image it was created and placed in a world of darkness and evil. This concept, that all that is matter/physical is dark and evil is distinctly connected to Greek philosophical thought and the Gnostics married these Greek beliefs with Christ’s teaching to formulate their own beliefs.

    The Gnostic elements of the Gospel of John are not a modern observation and if it was not for the popularity of the Apostle John, it might not have been included in the Canon. The Gospel of John identifies the Christian Logos, through which all things are made, as divine (theos), and further identifies Yeshua as the incarnate Logos, And from their stand point Christ was the Creator God. Early translators of the Greek New Testament such as Jerome (in the 4th century AD) were frustrated by the inadequacy of any single Latin word to convey the meaning of the word Logos as used to describe Yeshua in the Gospel of John. The Vulgate Bible usage of “principio erat verbum” was thus constrained to use the (perhaps inadequate) noun verbum for "word", but in the later translations they had the advantage of nouns such as “le mot” in French. Reformation translators took another approach. Martin Luther rejected Zeitwort (German verb for word) in favor of noman fur (German noun for word), this concept in Protestant denominations moved away from the original Greek meanings of the word Logos to a more dynamic but less philosophical explanation that came forward as “the living word” as in the Word of God was living as opposed to Christ being the walking Word.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
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  6. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    Then again John has other issues, the story line is choppy enough to suggest removal of some sections and as it is additions have been proven. In regard to Gnostic beliefs the conception of Yeshua as Logos was a metaphysical-physical-spiritual conception, in which Yeshua’s spirit descended from heaven where He previously resided. (No one gets into the explanation of the Son of God title as in He was called the Son of God before the New Testament.) There are several scriptures to this effect, even outside of John aluding to the pre-existent Christ. The point and intent being to elevate Yeshua above the Jewish God. The scriptures in the NT indicate that it is Yeshua that is Almighty, not His Father…Yeshua is Alpha and Omega…not His Father. Yeshua existed before His birth, so conception is indefinable. Yeshua created the World…not His Father. Yeshua had all authority….not His Father. This becomes a problem for early Christianity because this belief is straight up Gnostic, and later comes back to haunt them when they try to denounce Gnosticism, but then hold Gnostic beliefs themselves. So they ended up having to defend their own beliefs while denouncing the Gnostics that had similar beliefs.

    The superiority of Yeshua was not a belief held by many Christians in the era. Frequently the Bible references and designates Yahweh as God and Yeshua as Lord, and this lead some to believe that Christ was a demi-god. The words in the scriptures were rearranged so that the phrase Jesus Christ shows up 115 times in the NT, leading some to believe Christ was Yeshua’s last name. When the phrase Jesus Christ never appears in the actual scriptures. Then you have these scriptures that differentiates the descriptions and designations between the two, i.e. Yahweh as God and Yeshua as Lord. Romans 1:7, Romans 5:1, Romans 5:11, Romans 10:9, Romans 15:6 1st Corinthians 1:3, 1st Corinthians 6:11, 1st Corinthians 8:6, 1st Corinthians 15:57, 2nd Corinthians 1:2, 2nd Corinthians 11:21, 2nd Corinthians 13:14, Galatians 13:14, Ephesians 1:2, Ephesians 1:3, Ephesians 1:17, Ephesians 5:20, Ephesians 6:23, Philippians 2:19, Colossians 3:17, 1st Thessalonians 1:1, 1st Thessalonians 1:3, 1st Thessalonians 3:11, 1st Thessalonians 3:13, 1st Thessalonians 4:1, 1st Thessalonians 5:9, 1st Thessalonians 5:23, 2nd Thessalonians 1:1, 2nd Thessalonians 1:2, 2nd Thessalonians 1:8, 2nd Thessalonians 1:12, 2nd Thessalonians 2:16, 1st Timothy 5:21, 2nd Timothy 4:1, Titus 1:4, Philemon 1:3, James 1:1, 1st Peter 1:3, 2nd John 1:3, Jude 1:4, Jude 1:21 Acts 11:17, Acts 20:21, Acts 20:24,

    Considering the scriptures listed above and than these scriptures….

    1st Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father or our Lord Jesus Christ…. And John 14:28 which states ….I go unto the Father: for my Father I is greater than I….This caused some confusion. Early Christians were taught their religion, they did not have a bound Bible, nor copies of texts….very expensive…even if they could read…the scriptures were either read to them or they had a few pamphlets. Either way Christian beliefs varied as they do today, particularly the beliefs regarding Yeshua. Was He a powerful prophet, was He a demi-god, or was He an equal God, Was He the Supreme God, even out ranking His Father Yahweh? The term Trinity is not in the Bible and most likely most early Christians had not heard of the term.

    It is a matter of Christian history that beliefs varied. Some believed He was not a God, but rather a powerful prophet, that He was also the human Messiah spoke of in the OT. Some of this maybe because Christ and the Prophet Ezekiel both called themselves “Son of man.” Part of the confusion came from the Jewish religion that considered Elijah senior to the coming messiah. The coming messiah was prophesied to be a human warlord king that would take down the oppressors of the Jewish people…and thus would have blood on his hands and would be seen as with David, not worthy of a highly religious office. It was for this reason that the Jewish people believed that Elijah would return in a fiery chariot to “nationally” introduce the Messiah to the Jewish people. The arrival of the Messiah would be a spectacular event for the Jewish nation to see. So there were a lot of questions going on.

    So then we come to the period from the end of Paul’s ministry up to the time of the Ecumenical Councils, starting around 325 ad. During this time the Gnostics are growing strong, even challenging Christianity in numbers, (Because the Christians were being killed by the Romans) and as I explained they had issues with the OT God and focused on Christ as the Supreme God, but did not really believe that Christ was of the God of the OT. Some Gnostic believed in the birth of Christ but did not believe in the physical conception of Yeshua, believing that it was more of a spiritual-cosmic-mystical manifestation of Christ in Miriam’s womb. Some of these beliefs make their way into many Christian beliefs. Ask a few Christians to explain how Christ was conceived, and see what you get.

    So at the time, many believed that Yeshua was a flesh and blood man. Some believed He was a mixture of both. Some believed He was a lesser god…a demigod. Some believed that He was a God but junior to God the Father. Some believed that He was the Supreme God, and senior to God the Father. Then there were Gnostics that believed that Yeshua was the only true God. Christian beliefs are not standardized during this period. The Early Church Fathers found themselves fighting on two fronts. Struggling against the Gnostics and trying to standardize “Mainstream Christian” beliefs. As a whole they were losing. Gnosticism was growing and Christian beliefs continued to be unorganized and very diverse. As a whole the ECF’s were preaching the truth, that Yeshua was the Son of God and a God….but not all believed that.

    By the time of the Ecumenical Councils, they were contending with many different beliefs within Christianity. First and foremost they wanted to nail down the fact that Yeshua was the Son of God and a God. There were many scriptures that supported this belief… but they had went too far…as I said, the scriptures indicated that Yeshua is Almighty, not His Father…Yeshua is Alpha and Omega…not His Father. Yeshua existed before His birth, so conception is indefinable. Yeshua created the World…not His Father. Yeshua had all authority….not His Father. And they were also contending with the Gnostic beliefs that the OT God was evil or crazy and some of these beliefs were becoming very popular. (The first Bible did not include the Old Testament) And the Gnostic Logos present Yeshua in a non-physical term just added to the heated arguments. Then there were some that believed that Christianity was trying to demote God the Father. Nothing left for Him as a God except maybe a broom to clean the hallways.

    Their solution for all this….was to make them all One God and determine that God the Father and God the Son are of the same substance and nature. So in that way everyone had a part in everything. Although this solution more or less defused the arguments, this decision was not popular and people did not like it for different reasons. There was a general understanding and beliefs regarding unity, but the One God concept was not supported by Christians as a whole….because it violated the beliefs of people in many ways.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2020
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  7. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    So the Roman Church had a problem and they handled it as Romans do. It was decreed that if you did not believe in the one substance and one God Trinity doctrine…you would not go to heaven…if you spoke against it or preached another doctrine, you could be excommunicated or executed as a heretic….because the Roman Church was under the rule of the Roman Empire a heretic was also an enemy of the Roman Empire.

    The Coptic Church went into hiding. Their congregations were in North Africa, many located in Alexandria, Egypt. They were so far south that they could minister to their congregations in secret. In 451 the Coptic Church split from other Christian churches in a major schism at the Council of Chalcedon over the nature of Christ and the Trinity.

    Then there is the schism between the Roman Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Church. With Emperor Charlemagne's crowning, this made the Byzantine Emperor redundant, and relations between the East and the West deteriorated until a formal split occurred in 1054. The cause of the schism was mostly caused by political power struggles and some of the finer points in the doctrine of the Trinity. The Eastern Church became the Greek Orthodox Church, severing all ties with Rome and the Roman Catholic Church.

    Greek Orthodox Christians believe in the Trinity, three distinct, divine persons (hypostases), without overlap or modality among them, who each have one divine essence (ousia Greek οὐσία)—uncreated, immaterial and eternal. These three persons are typically distinguished by their relation to each other. The Father is eternal and not begotten and does not proceed from any, the Son is eternal and begotten of the Father, and the Holy Spirit is eternal and proceeds from the Father.

    But the decision of the earlier councils really did not have an affect on the individual beliefs of Christians and this will become the status of the reality of doctrines. It has always been the fly in the ointment, that is, trying to control beliefs. The confusion factor for Christians was when they read the interactions between Yahweh and Yeshua in the Gospels, they then had to juggle the beliefs of conception, oneness, and eternal existence. Then that meant that scriptures about Yeshua is Almighty, not His Father…Yeshua is Alpha and Omega…not His Father. Yeshua existed before His birth, so conception is indefinable. Yeshua created the World…not His Father. Yeshua had all authority….not His Father…….were then made erroneous because it pertained to all of them, in one person, and could not be contributed to or connected to any “one” of them. In this formula they are one God and one person so they do everything together. This concept nullified dozens of scriptures.

    At this point, the explanation of this was never addressed…and stood alone as a Catholic belief….that was until the Protestants. As a rule the Protestants accepted the early Roman Catholic doctrines, but in many cases combined Jewish and Christian beliefs which just adds to the confusion. As it is today, the One God formula is popular with the Protestants and most do not question the contradictions.

    Still again, many Christians embrace the metaphysical concept of “The Word” and the concept of the one God…one person, which is fine with me….Christ spoke the Word of God….but for me I just keep it simple. But then I firmly believe that it was God the Father that conceived a Son and created the world and all that is. Which does not take away from the fact that Christ and the Holy Spirit are also full-fledged Gods and are united in a spiritual way. I also believe in the living word of God in that the scriptures can speak to us in different ways.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2020
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  8. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    The Mystery of the "J" Slam

    Just to start out with a few facts and examples….
    Jewish Y’s have an e tang sound, e-Yeshua or e-Yob. ˈdʒi is closely pronounce as use or uz
    The English word Jew comes from the Biblical Hebrew word Yehudi,


    Jesus the word, is of unknown origin and does not appear in the Old or New Testament, nor in the Hebrew or Greek languages or history. In the Greek, the Hebrew name Yeshua (ישוע) was spelled Iēsous (Greek: Ἰησοῦς) In Latin it was spelled Iesus. At this point… because Christ’s actual name was Hebrew and can be pronounced in English….the Greek and Latin….means nothing! Means nothing because the pronunciation and phonic spelling of Christ’s name can be translated straight from Hebrew to English. So we can pronounce the Savor’s name…. Yeshua. (e’yeshua to be more accurate.) We are not Greek or Latin so the explanation that the pronunciation of Jesus came from running it through the translational process from the Greek and then to Latin to English is a deception. “We have to take it from the Greek and run it through the Latin to get the English name for Christ.” This is a lie!

    A short word study…..
    Rabbinic Judaism describes seven names which are so holy that, once written, should not be erased: YHWH--Yahweh and six others which can be categorized as titles are El ("God"), Eloah ("God"), Elohim ("Gods"), Shaddai (“Almighty"), Ehyeh ("I Will Be"), and Tzevaot ("[of] Hosts").


    Jerusalem (/dʒəˈruːsələm/; Hebrew: יְרוּשָׁלַיִם Yerushaláyim; Arabic

    To see how Jerusalem is pronounced -à How to say Jerusalem in Hebrew


    John in Hebrew -- Yohanan (יוֹחָנָן),

    Jericho in Hebrew: יְרִיחוֹ Yeriḥo)

    Joshua (/ˈdʒɒʃuə/) or Jehoshua (Hebrew: יְהוֹשֻׁעַ Yehoshuʿa

    The Hebrew name for Judah, Yehudah (יהודה)


    Jeremiah in Hebrew (Yirmiya, Yirmiyahu) יִרְמְיָה (יִרְמְיָהוּ)

    Jezebel (/ˈdʒɛzəbəl, -bɛl/, Hebrew: אִיזֶבֶל) Hebrew אִיזֶבֶל ('Izevel),


    Job Biblical Hebrew אִיּוֹב‎ (ʾiyyōḇ), Ye-ob

    Jonah is a derived from the Hebrew: יוֹנָה, Yonā,

    Jordan in Hebrew ירדן (Yarden),

    If there is any doubt in your mind you can look in the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance or listen to the word(s) or names on the internet for yourself. This is not new information. So why haven’t most people noticed this? Faith is trusting and most people think the religion that they have been taught and the Bible they read is true. Why would people take God Father’s name out of OT? And God the Son’s name out of the NT? Why would they replace Christ’s name with a made-up name that has no meaning. Why would they do a “J” slam to all the names of persons, places, or things that start with a “Y” It seems like a lot of effort to induce inaccuracies. There seems to be no positive effect to it. So people are trusting and expecting their Bibles to be accurate translations.


    Depending on how you count it, the removal of the name, the insertion of a different word and the adjustment of the words to make the sentence make sense. For each replacement there could be three to five modifications to the scriptures. If you count all the modifications by each incident to remove an occurrence of God the Father’s name in the OT it amount to over 9146 modifications to remove Yahweh’s name from the OT. Seems like an awful lot of effort to erase God.

    Some explanations for this harbor on the ludicrous. Here is one….God’s name is to holy to be in the Holy Scriptures! WOW! God never said to never mention Him again. He said to not use His name in vain. He always intended for His name to be revered and known in the scriptures. I think that passing off absurdity is a talent. The ability to tell people that the ocean is dry while you are standing in it hip deep in water. Of course God wants His name in the Bible of course God wants His name spoken in reverence!

    Still the bigger question…Why? Who? The process of removing God the Father’s name, whether it be the Hebrew word for Yahweh or the Tetragrammaton took centuries. The process of changing Christ’s name took centuries. The “J” slam took place 1600 years after the biblical era….this could not be the plan of one man.


    The “J” slam is the translational process where they removed all of the “Y’s” for the names of persons, places, and things, and inserted the letter “J”. Why? The letter “J” and the sounding of its pronunciation was added to the alphabet 1400 years after the biblical era. There could no more be a “J” in the scriptures than an account of Christ traveling in a 747 jetliner. The “J” or its pronunciation did not exist in the biblical era. The only way Christ’s mother could have heard something that sound like Jesus, is if someone sneezed!

    It’s affects?…The average Christian does not know the name of God the Father. The average Christian does not know the name of Christ. There are people out there that actually think that Christ is Yeshua’s last name…rewritten in the scriptures as Jesus Christ. There seems to be a plan to deceive….a plan that was carried out over a time period that would indicate it could not be “a” human. Is this the footprints of Satan? I am not sure, but the conspiracy theorists should have a hay-day with this.

    In my own beliefs, the names of God the Father and God the Son have power. The pronunciation of Their names have power. That power has been removed from the Holy Bible. Why? The scriptures never revealed the name of the Holy Spirit but still the question is; Would Satan want a book with God the Father’s and God the Son’s name in it? Would he want that book printed and distributed worldwide? I think not!

    There are those that are trying to produce Bibles with God the Father’s and God the Son’s names reinserted into the scriptures, but that is not an easy thing to do, particularly with the Old Testament. God the Father went by or was referred to by several names in the Old Testament. When they replaced His name with the words God or Lord, it makes it difficult to figure out which name went where.

    I believe these names have power. I believe that God the Father and God the Son deserve to have their names in the Bible. I believe that Their names should be used in worship and hymns. And as the Apostle Paul said, There is only one name that can be called upon for salvation. If a person does not know that name, what does that mean? Would Satan want us to know the only name that could be called upon for salvation? Acts 4:12 “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." If Christians do not know that name, what does it mean?


    If you look this up you will find different excuses of why they did this, but none are relevant. Mostly what you are going to be told is that there were Hebrew words that could not be pronounced in Greek or Latin because they did not have alphabetic sounds to correctly pronounce those words. Which is true, but that is not true of English and there is no reason to run the words through Greek and or Latin to translate them to English. Most Hebrew words can be phonically spelled and pronounced in English.

    Similarly this scenario played out for other Hebrew names and words. For example; King Solomon’s name is pronounced King Shlomo in the Hebrew, but it was pronounced “King Solomon” in Greek because Ancient Greek had no ‘sh’ sound. But this is not true of the English language. The English language can accurately accommodate the words in the Holy Bible, so there is absolutely no reason not to translate them straight into English.

    Is it all about the Bible? No. Many ancient names were hit by the “J” slam. For example Julius Caesar….Julius is correctly pronounce Hulius in the Greek.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
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  9. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    Man-made sins….Man playing God?
    What are man-made sins? And what is the difference?


    I am sure for those that have been on this forum, most have involved in discussions regarding sin in its various forms and severities and the fact that it is impossible to be sinless.

    The question I am going to address is how close can we come to living a sinless life? (Not that perfect is possible.)

    I believe the first thing you would have to know is, what is a sin and what is not a sin. No matter what denomination you are, it is very likely that it has a long list of sins that extend way out of what is discussed in the Holy Bible.


    Why is it important to know what is a sin and not a sin?
    It is normal for a religion to add sins to their beliefs. I say normal because it always happens, not that it is good thing. As far as sins in relations to our life, it is like a field of landmines and as we step through it, we try not to step on the mines. But if the field is full of fake mines, we tend to step on the real mines trying to avoid the fake mines. But then even the fake mines have consequences, because if we judge people by the fake sins, then we can commit a far greater sin. Where there was no sin to begin with, but only our judgment and our actions that is sinful. This sin has its own compound troubles. We judge unfairly and that is a sin against us. Then there is the harm it causes others, which is another sin against us. If the accusations turns a person against Christianity and is lost, that lose is also a sin against us. No one needs a millstone for a necklace. So we need to know what sin is.
    For the basic definition:
    Strong's Concordance 266
    hamartia: a sin, failure
    Original Word: ἁμαρτία, ας, ἡ
    Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
    Transliteration: hamartia
    Phonetic Spelling: (ham-ar-tee'-ah)
    Definition: a sin, failure
    Usage: prop: missing the mark; hence: (a) guilt, sin, (b) a fault, failure (in an ethical sense), sinful deed.
    266 hamartía (a feminine noun derived from
    1 /A "not" and 3313 /méros, "a part, share of") – properly, no-share ("no part of"); loss (forfeiture) because not hitting the target; sin (missing the mark).

    Strong's Concordance 264
    hamartanó: to miss the mark, do wrong, sin
    Original Word: ἁμαρτάνω
    Part of Speech: Verb
    Transliteration: hamartanó
    Phonetic Spelling: (ham-ar-tan'-o)
    Definition: to miss the mark, do wrong, sin
    Usage: originally: I miss the mark, hence (a) I make a mistake, (b) I sin, commit a sin (against God); sometimes the idea of sinning against a fellow-creature is present.
    Cognate: 264 hamartánō (from
    1 /A "not" and 3313 /méros, "a part, share") – properly, having no share in; to sin, which always brings forfeiture – i.e. eternal loss due to missing God's mark. Like 266 /hamartía, 264 (hamartánō) is regularly used in ancient times of an archer missing the target (Homer, Aesch., etc). Every decision (action) done apart from faith (4102 /pístis) is sin (Ro 14:23; cf. Heb 11:6).

    Webster’s Dictionary
    sin (sin) noun 1. the breaking of religious or moral law, especially through a willful act. 2. any offense or fault: as a social sin. Verb: to commit a sin. [Sinned or sinning]


    Now before I go on I need to point out the use of the language here. Most would have been expecting to see some connection to trespassing in these definitions. Biblical Greek-Koine Greek does not have a connection to trespassing directly. Then again some Lexicon’s show an implied meaning. Of which I am going to agree. The Greek word for trespass, trespassed, or trespasses does occur in the NT, but most of the time it is referring to wronging another person. Part of the issue is that in Greek mythology the word sin did not have a religious context. So finding the exact Greek word for the Christian scriptures was difficult.

    So the word chosen meant aiming at a target…in that language an archer that missed his target sinned, in the non-religious context. Errored in a non-religious way. So the question is; does it mean anything that the writers of the NT scriptures chose this word for sin, rather than transgression? In a religion that shoots for a moral life….is sin defined as a miss? Good topic for discussion if nothing else?


    Keep in mind, if you choose to do a serious study of the biblical languages of the NT, all the biblical languages in the NT are Pagan. There is no such think as a Christian language and the Pagan definitions of the words in the Bible may at times be somewhat different than the Christian definitions of the Pagan words.

    So let’s say a new Christian starts out trying to learn, and besides having faith in Christ, we want to try to live a moral life. So he starts to ask around as to what is considered sin. Of course he is making a list…after a year or so he has a long list of sins. And of course he is reading the Holy Bible, but after he had read it and re-read it, he notices that the sins are not matching up with what the Holy Bible says. So then he goes looking for the reason why?

    It does not take him long to realize that over the years the Christian leadership had repeated history! The Christian leadership had done the same thing that the Jewish leadership had done in the biblical era. They had added to the rules of morality, sometimes called the “Christian moral code” to the point that it was nearly impossible to live a day without sinning. Then after a while he even realizes that some Christians still observe the Mosaic Law, believing that Christians are still under the law. He knew this was an attempt to place a heavy burden on the backs of Christians, just like the Jewish leadership in the Holy Bible. Now he had read that Christ had spoke very harshly against Jews for doing this so he figured that, that adding fake laws and sins was a great sin. So he decided to look deeper into subject.

    He started with the Gospels. He found that the word sin occurred, on the average 25 times in each Gospel and most of the time referencing Jewish sinners and Jewish sins in general and of course most of these are duplicates. (No Christians or Christian sinning in the Gospels…right? The sins that Christ forgave in the Gospels are Jewish sins …Mosaic Laws broken.) So what is Christ teaching about morels? He does give us list of wrongs; Matthew 15:16-20 “Jesus said, “Are you still lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with

    unwashed hands does not defile the man.” He gives us a list of things not to do and indicates these things defile us. He also changes some of the Mosaic Laws…or at least the interpretation of the Mosaic Laws. The rule on divorce and defense of oneself….the turn the other cheek thing.


    Christ’s most lengthy and condemning discussions were on judging, hypocrisy, and not helping one another (The parable of the Sheep and the goats.) Now Christ does discuss some pretty severe consequences for some wrongs actions. Matthew 18:6 “but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Now what is the most devastating sin? Here it is…John 3:18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 8:24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” So it appears heaven is for those that believe.

    Alternatively there are things we should do in relation to salvation…Belief in Him is required, Mark 16:16-17 “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues;” And then also John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” And then John 6:53-58 “So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.” What does Christ say about repentance; Luke 24:46-47 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”
     
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  10. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    So for me, anyone that adds to this or takes away from this, takes away from their heavenly reward.

    Still did Christ specifically call anything a sin? Yes He did. Matthew 12:31-32 “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” And this sin has no reprieve…no forgiveness. Many Christian explain this away…one way or another. That might be a mistake that will follow you beyond the grave!


    Righteousness…some scriptures say no one is righteous. Some scriptures say that we should strife to be righteous. Some scriptures say we can achieve righteousness. Some scriptures say that we have achieved righteousness.

    Righteous by the Grace of God. So it is a noble intent to be right with God. Leading a good Christian life is much more than not doing certain things. So many people miss this, what to do…in modern religions what to do, they gets lost in the lists of what not to do and doing good deeds is almost considered anti-religious. The best moral guide or code that Christ gave us, was His attitude, His love, and His actions. Think of the meaning of a God taking His clothes off and kneeling down and washing the feet of the Apostles. This is the Spirit of Christianity, it is the true meaning and application of Christ’s Church. This is the measure for all Christian scriptures, beliefs, thoughts, and actions. Reading the scriptures with this context, measure, and Spirit always in mind, is the only way to know the true meaning of any scripture beyond the Gospels.


    Christ was talking about doing right things and doing wrong things. So where did the focus on sin occur. The word sin occurs about 25 times in the Gospels and 233 times outside of the Gospels. This focus on sin to some degree can dilute Christ’s teaching and the Spirit of Christianity. Christ’s teachings were first and foremost about doing the right things and the forgiveness of sins. Ten to one compared to the direct topic of sins. That is why Christ came, for the forgiveness of sins!

    The focus on sin does three things; One, it takes away the emphasis of doing the things Christ taught and demonstrated, and two, it gives the impression to some that sin-transgressions place us back under the Law of Moses. Many ignore what the Apostle Paul said about this and quote Old Testament Law. Old Testament sins were against God the Father and were unforgivable. Sacrifices did not forgive sins, they appeased God the Father’s wrath. Hebrews 10:4 “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” The wrongs we do are between us and Christ and if we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But all the while we are perfect before God the Father. Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And three, the longer the lists of sins the more ammunition we have to condemn and judge one another thus generally committing far worse a sin than what we are condemning people for. There is an element of self-righteousness, just as the Jewish leadership of old, that walked around in their robes and condemned others. The like that Christ stood up against, and reminded us that the measure that we judge will be levied against us in return.

    What are the things we should not do? Well we do have a list in the scriptures….

    1st Corinthians 6:9-10 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”


    Galatians 5:21 “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

    Revelation 21:8
    But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”


    As far as lists go…this is plenty and again a good topic of discussion. Most words are straight forward…but not all of them.

    Definitions in the Greek.
    Sexual wrongdoing: As you will see there are some over lapping terms.


    Adultery…comes into Christianity as a property crime, because women were considered property and men were free to have more than one wife or concubines. The Greek word itself… moichaó …is only going to address having sex with another man’s wife…because it is Greek. In biblical usage, it includes a man or woman having sex with someone that is married to another. The topic in the Gospels on divorce and marrying someone that is divorced is not much more than short blurb and leaves many questions.

    Enough that interpretations vary widely.
    So then there is a grey area: Extra-marital affairs…a term well known to Christians but it does not appear in the scriptures directly nor is there an example or a discussion of a two single people having sex or either one being referenced as fornication. The Greek words are not going to address it because the Greeks nor the Romans were monogamous. Some will suggest that a married man having sex with unmarried woman is better defined as fornication. Most Christians are going to call it all adultery…which is probably for the best…but most do not know that polygamy and concubinage continued for 1400 years after Christ’s ministry, even with the clergy. Swept under the historical rug? Also at times adultery and fornication are connected to idolatry.


    Fornication, porneia,. The “porn” of this word means prostitutes, So in the Greek language it is going to refer to prostitutes, whores, incest, and maybe orgies. Its biblical usages: The word fornication occurs 35 times in the NT and denotes unspecified sexual misconduct, nothing specific. Christian customs consider fornication to be, homosexuality, sexual intercourse between unmarried person, and the worship of idols, participating in Pagan rituals, the eating of the sacrifices offered to idols. Scholars do not agree on a precise definition, it usage mostly implies sexual misconduct. Christians as a whole, right or wrong, consider sex between single people as a sin or fornication, but there is no scriptural support for this belief, for a very good reason.

    Opinions vary…but still we are stuck on what scripture are we going to use to condemn two single people having sex? The fact is, this condemnation is matter of ignorance of the scriptures and again falls into false judging and the sins and harm it causes. People are going to believe what they believe regardless what the scriptures say or do not say. The fact is, marriage ceremonies are a Pagan custom and are mostly not practiced during the biblical era. I say mostly not practiced…you can look this up. The fact is, since there is no biblical requirement for a marriage ceremony, in the Old Testament nor in the New Testament-biblical era and for a thousand years after the biblical era. As it was the sexual union defined marriage. I am going to tell the reader to look it up for themselves because you are not going to believe me. Look to see when marriages were required.
     
  11. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    Also there is no clear category for rape because the word does not appear in the NT. Although in my opinion, whatever category it is, I consider it as serious as murder… child molestation is not mentioned in the scriptures either but I consider that worse than murder…not biblical…personal opinion. A sense of right or wrong, still it is wrong to try to piecemeal things out the Mosaic Law because we would get back to stoning and killing women for not screaming while they were being raped, as well as polygamy and having and selling our daughters into concubinage. So that type of moral instruction does not help at all.

    Homosexuals… The references to homosexuality in itself in the New Testament is based on the interpretation of three specific Greek words arsenokoitēs (ἀρσενοκοίτης), malakos (μαλακός), and porneia (πορνεία). Again the Greek words are not going to have the condescending meanings as the Christian uses of the word. Homosexuality with even children was nearly the norm in Greek and Roman cultures. As far as its meaning in the NT, it refers to sexual relations between two men. As far as sexual relations between two women…you are out on your own….No biblical support that will stand up to any real debate. The Mosaic Law does not address sexual relations between women…The reason is the same in OT as it is in the NT. Sex means the process of reproduction…to say it nicely. There is nothing that women can do that can cause reproduction or even be called sex, biblically. In polygamous relationships, bi-sexual females were very sought after and were considered gold! No sin. Still in the Christian culture… lesbianism is a horrible sin…just no real biblical support. Romans 1:26-27 does not stand up to scholarly debate and certainly not enough to condemn millions and millions of people. The scripture that says you must hate your mother and father to be a disciple of Christ, is much more clear…but we are not going to jump on that. People will take the vaguest things and make them concrete doctrine. Which is bad because it makes Christianity look like a religion that looks for a reason to condemn. Just more things to gossip about.
     
  12. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    Effeminate…the word itself…malakos…can mean soft or delicate…as in a person, soft, delicate, and female like. By natural appearance and or even feminine posture, or by effort, makeup, and or dress. A man that attempts to engage other men for the purpose of sex…male prostitutes. Wrong doing would be dependant on effort. This occurs in our cultures but not as much as with the Romans.

    Sensuality adjective….there are three words associated with sensual in the NT.
    αισθησιακός
    sensual, sensuous, voluptuous, sensationalistic
    φιλήδονος
    sensual, voluptuous, sensualistic, lickerish
    σαρκικός

    carnal, fleshly, sensual
    All three words are generally aimed at the feminine and they are both specific and general. Debatably a general condemnation of all that is sexual…sexual desire….sexual pleasure…the sexual act beyond emotionless fertilization…etc. I say debatable because considering all that was said about women in the NT and most of the early Christian writings, it could easily be thought that any kind of sex could be considered a serious sin, married or not. This belief carries on into the Middle Ages. You can look into this yourself and make your own determination. I would like to think they were referring to the ultra sensual or nudity…but the wording does not suggest that and as Christianity moved a long, even feminine beauty was considered a sin and some of the Early Church Fathers were even calling marriage a sin. You have the scripture in 1st Corinthians saying …it is better not to touch a woman…who does not want to be a better Christian. So some religions made it so. Some explain all this away….let me know your best efforts.


    Carousing…komos…1. originally, village-merrymaking that took place at the gathering of the grapes, Souter – a riotous party (drunken feast) which hosted unbridled sexual immorality; hence, revelings (debauched "partying"
    2. a carousal,' such as a party of revelers parading the streets, or revels held in Pagan religious ceremonies, wild, furious, and ecstatic.

    The meaning could be wild parties. Some Christians considered it to be any gathering that is not religious in nature. At the time the Romans had many gathering in the coliseums…gladiators, plays, and circuses. Parades in the streets, drinking and dancing. Christians did not usually participate in their parties, which earned them the name of haters of humanity. Today this can be equated as the average Friday night gatherings and activities that are popular in various eating, drinking, and dancing establishments. Again, a good topic of discussion.


    Idolatry… eidólo-latria…Idolatry is not a Greek word…lol…they worships their gods and had images….so they did not have a negative word of it. The writers of the NT but two Greek words together, a word that meant image… eidólo, and a word that meant worship… latria.

    The biblical usage of this word means the worship of false gods, idolatry: Galatians 5:20; used of the formal sacrificial feasts held in honor of false gods, 1 Corinthians 10:14; of avarice, as a worship of Mammon (which see), Colossians 3:5 in plural, the vices springing from idolatry and peculiar to it. So it is clear that idol worship is a sin.


    Cowardly--- άνανδρος…deilos---adjective
    In the ancient Greek world cowardice is the worst of traits. A despicable and lowly disgraceful individual. The same is true of the OT…in that the Hebrew word for coward or cowardice does not appear in the scriptures.
    άνανδρος
    coward, cowardly, unmanly, despicable, timid, craven, dastard, recreant, dreadful spirit and character.

    The Christian use of the word is similar but a little different.
    Cowardly--- cowardly, timid, fearful.
    Its use in the scriptures…
    1169 deilós (an adjective derived from deidō, "fear-driven") – properly, dreadful, describing a person who loses their "moral gumption (fortitude)" that is needed to follow the Lord.

    1169 /deilós ("fearful of losses") refers to an excessive fear (dread) of "losing," causing someone to be fainthearted (cowardly) – hence, to fall short in following Christ as Lord.

    Drunkards-drunkenness; The Greeks liked wine so the word means…likes wine or likely to drink wine.
    The Christian definition of this Greek word means intoxication and or frequent intoxication, maybe alcoholism, and the associated verses mean that if those words apply to you, that you will not inherit the Kingdom of God. One would think that this is a very serious thing and there are people that take it very seriously.
    Here is the deal: In a society that nearly everyone drinks, Christians and non-Christians, what defines drunkards and drunkenness? In a religion that the God drank wine frequently, in what context should we take that? Christ drank so much that He was accursed of being a drunk. One of the most significant events in the Gospels involved drinking wine. Communion in the early church occurred at nearly every service, so they were drinking at every service. Christ used parables to express the meanings of His teachings, many of His parable involved vineyards and wine. His first publicly documented miracle was to make high quality wine at His mother’s request, for a wedding. The Apostle Paul said, Do not let anyone judge you on what you eat or drink. But then he appears to indicate that drunkenness will keep you from heaven. So I guess Christ was flirting with the line of whether He was going to heaven or not and made a religion based on the same?

    No, that is not what it is. What is it to be a drunkard or what is drunkenness in a society where nearly everyone drinks…frequently….socially and in religious services. To condemn social drinking is to condemn Christ. To say that social drinking is a sin, you are saying Christ is a sinner. If you say drinking is immoral, you are saying Christianity is an immoral religion.


    Best advise….moderation and caution. Just like there are stone-makers and cancer-makers out there, there are people that can get addicted to any substance that touches the mind. Alcohol, drugs, tobacco, cold medicine, pain medications, and physiological drugs can be very addicting. Take note of how these substance affect you, because if one has a negative effect on you, so probably will the others. Just drinking is no sin, condemning people that drink is a great sin….

    Thieves and swindlers…Crooks, cons, people that steal.
    Lying deceivers, and false witness. Topic is lengthy…Santa Clause and Birthday parties versus Lying to someone with the intent to deceive or defraud.
    Slanders, gossipers, and condemners can fall under the category of liars and deceivers and false witnesses and hypocrites…topics well covered by Christ.

    Dissensions…dixostasía (from dixa, "separately" and 4714 /stásis, "a standing, stance") – properly, separate-standings ("standing apart"), used of divisions which wrongly separate people into pointless (groundless) factions.


    Envy---phthonos---noun masculine--- envy, a grudge, spite. decay, break-down, corrupt") – properly, strong feeling (desire) that sours, due to the influence of sin; (figuratively) the miserable trait of being glad when someone experiences misfortune or pain. "the feeling of ill-will" refers to the jealous envy that negatively "energizes" someone with an embittered mind. phthónos ("ill-will") conveys "displeasure at another's good; without longing to raise oneself to the level of him whom he envies, but only to depress the envied to his own level"

    Dispute... suzéteó… to discuss---to examine together, hence to dispute---debate---argue. How this gets you to hell is questioned by scholars. Something to consider.


    Factions—hairesis---feminine noun---a self-chosen opinion, a religious or philosophical sect, discord or contention. Another word that scholar disagree on, because in implies that unless all persons are told what to believe, and then believe that without exception, most will not enter the Kingdom of God. As it is, denominations interpret the scriptures in different ways, so the factions have already occurred.

    Anger---orgē---feminine noun---in the Greek, the natural disposition, temper, character movement or agitation of the soul, impulse, desire, any violent emotion, but esp. anger. Wrath, indignation, anger exhibited in punishment, hence used for punishment in itself or of the punishments inflicted by magistrates Greek writings from Hesiod down "the natural disposition, temper, character movement or agitation of soul, impulse, desire, any violent emotion," but especially (and chiefly in Attic) anger.

    Biblical usage ; anger, wrath, indignation (on the distinction between it and θυμός, see θυμός, 1): Ephesians 4:31; Colossians 3:8; James 1:19 ὀργῆς, indignant (A. V. with anger), Mark 3:5 χωρίς ὀργῆς, 1st Timothy 2:8; anger exhibited in punishing, hence, used for the punishment itself.

    As you can see there are plenty of sins listed for us to consider. Those things that we are not to do are clearly listed. Those things that we are counting on Christ to forgive, but still it must be our mission to live a righteous life, the best we can. But over the years Christian leaders of various denominations
     
  13. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    have added to the lists of sins….playing the part of the Jewish leaders of old. The Jewish leaders that were the enemies of Christ. They had no right to play god, they had no right to add to the burden of Christians. Were they doing the work of the Devil to make Christians think that there is no hope? Turn people away of from Salvation. The whole thing smacks of Satan.

    How many man-made sins are there? Man-made sins are routinely used to unjustly condemn others. This is a sin in itself, and it can cause great harm to others, to the extent of offending someone and they turn away from Christianity. At which point the condemner is directly responsible for the loss of a soul, and will answer for it! Because they being self-righteous they will not think to ask forgiveness for it…so they will answer to Christ for the loss of a soul.


    What are man-made sins?
    Actually a survey of the various denominations provides a good list of man-made sins…not that any one denomination believes all of these.
    Tobacco use
    Sexual desire, married or single
    Sexual pleasure
    Sex in general
    Nudity
    Having sex in the nude
    Having sex using any other orifice but you know what
    Having sex in any position other than the missionary position.
    Having sex anyplace other than the bedroom, only at night, door locked, windows locked lights off
    Contraception
    Divorce
    Re-marriage after divorce
    not Tithing
    Various types of music
    Drinking alcoholic beverages
    Drinking coffee…tea...anything with caffeine
    Eating pork
    Eating food that is not Kosher
    Eating chocolate, made from the same plant that cocaine is made from
    Gambling
    Cards and dice and board games
    Not going to church regularly
    Women speaking in church
    Women wearing pants
    Women wearing shorts
    Women wearing make-up
    Women wearing dresses above the knees
    Women wearing dress or top that are not tight around the neck. In other words showing cleavage
    Women taking shoes off in church
    Wearing jewelry
    Men with long hair
    Women with short hair
    Women working outside the home
    Female alone in a room with any male not her husband or father
    Tattoos
    Dancing
    Swimming with men and women together
    Physical sports such as boxing and football
    Physical sports in general baseball, volleyball, croquet, golf
    Various holidays and celebrations, Halloween, Easter, Christmas, birthdays etc
    Military service
    Law enforcement
    Self-defense or the defense of others
    Karate martial arts
    Yoga
    Blood transfusions
    Various medicines
    Various medical procedures
    Television show with anything above a G rating
    The use of vehicles, trains, or airplanes
    The general use of any modern devices electrical
    Communication and entertainment devises TV, radio, phones
    The Catholic set of man-made laws could add several dozen to this list of which most are a matter of physical and belief control.
    The use of any other bible other than the King James Version
    Visiting or associating with other denominational churches
    not belonging to your denomination


    I am sure there are more….
    You can do what you want, but I consider the making of these man-made sins near to satanic and thereby reject all of them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2020
  14. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    Paganism In Christianity!!!..........The Catholics Worship Mary and Idols!

    Besides experiences, the brain rationalizes things using words and labels and labels work for simple concepts but invariably they are inaccurate when dealing with the details. The term Pagan is a relatively modern label and is inconsistent with the norm that it was in the biblical era. Some things are imbedded in the culture and perspectives of the time period. For example the Hebrews killed animals and had prescribed rituals that evolved the blood and organs of the animals, including smearing the blood on each other and the altar. Also their festivals were timed with the Moon and seasons and this is a norm within the cultures and religions of the time period. The legitimate objections that the Jews and Christians had with other religions involved the worship of other/false gods and human sacrifice….But the norm itself is so engrained into the society of the time period that nothing will progress out of that era without having some connections to it.


    It does not matter if it is the Catholics or Christmas, those that get on their soap box and bugle the objection to Paganism are those that do not know Christian history or the time period. For one, if anybody traces their history back to their ancestors, and to the first person in their line that believed in Christ, their ancestors were probably Pagan, not Jewish. By the turn of the first century the majority of Christians were Pagan converts called Gentiles and they were at the helm, in other words nearly all Christian leaders were Gentiles. It would be hard to find an Early Church Father that was not a Gentile, and a good majority of them had studied Greek philosophy.

    When the Pagans converted to Christianity they still retained much of their cultural / regional customs, superstitions, and ways of life. It was a religious shift not necessarily a complete cultural shift. By no means did Christianity erase their cultural customs. Their language, the clothes they wore, the foods they ate, what they drank, the houses they lived in, what they did for jobs usually remained the same. Alternatively Pagans converting to Christianity would find many similarities between Christianity and their Pagan religions. Some examples…..


    The custom of wedding ceremonies; The Hebrew language does not have a word for wed or wedding(s). They took women as possessions and the sexual union was the consummation of the marriage. They learnt of wedding ceremonies from the Persians. There was no requirement for a ceremony in the Hebrew culture or religion, nor does the New Testament subscribe to the custom or requirement of a wedding ceremony. So the belief of a requirement and the performance of wedding ceremonies have Pagan sources and if you list the various customs associated with modern weddings, you will find over a dozen Pagan rituals and symbolisms embedded in them.

    Certainly the monogamous state of couples became the Christian standard and surely at times Christians did use wedding ceremonies to marry, but there was no prescribed Christian wedding procedure in or out of the Bible. Up to the 9th century Christians were using Roman style ceremonies, but then had to contend with the Church leadership that preached that celibacy was the preferred and best Christian practice. (This concept haunts the Catholic Church even to this day.)

    The first official declaration that marriage was a sacrament was made in 1184 at the Council of Verona. This is the first time that the Church advocated for a marriage ceremony.

    The Council of Florence in 1439 again recognized marriage as a sacrament. This council made it a requirement that a Priest must affiliate and marriage ceremony and there had to be two witnesses. It also ended the requirement for parental consent.

    It was in the Middle Ages, in Europe, that Christian Marriage ceremonies began to develop a unique form and later became a legal requirement. The Marriage Act of 1753, known as Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act, was set in place to prevent clandestine marriages. (This was mostly done to address property and power divisions.) It was the first statutory legislation in England and Wales to require a formal ceremony of marriage. (Secret weddings is another topic) By this time the American Colonies are established but they do not address the legalities of marriage until after the American Revolutionary War. In 1913, the federal government formally recognized marriage as a legal union in the Revenue Act of 1913, at which time the states followed suite with requirements for marriage licences.

    Moving on….
    The virgin birth from a god is a common motif of Pagan mythology. A god walking on water is a common motif of Pagan mythology. The ability to cause or calm a storm is a common motif of Pagan mythology. The control of animals as told in the Bible, is a common motif of Pagan mythology. The use of animals as symbols of the deity, such as the eagle as Yahweh and the dove as the Holy Spirit are a common motif of Pagan mythology. The ability to call up the deceased is a common motif of Pagan mythology and practiced by witches and mediums. Religious services and blessings on the meal is a common motif of Pagan mythology. (Except for Jewish Seder meal (Passover) you will find no dinner blessings in the OT.) Resurrection or bring someone, or a god back to life is a common event in Pagan mythology. The concept of the metaphysical Logos originated five centuries before Christ with the Greeks. And it was the Magi who were witches and sorcerers that came to Christ first to worship him and fund his ministry. Of course the concept of sky gods or gods from heaven is a common motif in Pagan mythology as well as the existence of heaven and hell type places.

    The outward appearance of the Christian ritual of Communion has some similarities with Pagan rituals and that was how the Apostles took it. That can be seen in their reactions. In deed there were rumors going around that Christians were baking babies in loaves of bread and eating them in their evening services in the tombs. Christ understood the controversial nature of the ritual and its implications and it consequences. But still He gave the Apostles no choice and then performed the ritual. There was probably a good reason for that, because He said, if you do not do this, there is no life in you and you do not abide in Me. I think we all understand what abide means.


    Kneeling to pray is a Pagan custom. The Hebrews stood to pray and worshipped Yahweh, in or out of the Temple. The word kneel appears five times in the Old Testament and as such is referencing King Solomon twice, Daniel once, Psalms once, and a camel once. It was not a Jewish custom to kneel for prayer and still today they stand to pray. In the New Testament kneeling is associated with praying ten times, but does not become a custom until the majority of Christians were Gentiles.

    People think that they can throw the word Pagan up and it is all condemning ... they are just not paying attention. God turned the reins of Christianity over to the Pagan converts. When Christianity merged with the Roman Empire, customs and beliefs merged. Days of the week, months, seasons, planets, and holidays and holiday customs. Statues and symbols in Churches were common from then on. The Cross was always associated with Christianity but in the early years was seen as too morbid to be a popular Icon. In the Middle Ages it was introduced as the Holy Rood to promote the passion of the crucifixion. Most Protestants are comfortable with the cross because there is not a person on it.

    It is common for every generation to condemn the people in the past....but it is only because of ignorance and a condemning spirit that drives them to condemn. Many of the people in the future will think we are idiots. It is just the way it goes. If Christianity would have not merged with Rome, would it have survived? It is an open ended debate. If Rome would have continued to kill Christians and Gnosticism would have continued on, things today would have been a whole lot different. (Rome had a harder time rounding up Gnostics because they were much more secretive.)

    Of course I am not saying the Christianity is Pagan, there are several things that sets them apart, but what I am saying is that it is important to know the history of it all. What really sets Christianity apart from Pagan religions, even Judaism, is the relationship that Christians have with God and the application of Christian morals and the application of Christian compassion. Knowing the history of it all allows us to understand where customs in our society originated and some of the holiday customs, like Christmas and Easter.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2020
  15. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    Respect, a vital ingredient in love?

    The Greek verb and noun for respect...
    Stronge’s Exhaustive Concordance #4380
    prosópolémpteó: to have respect of persons
    Original Word: προσωποληπτέω
    Part of Speech: Verb
    Transliteration: prosópolémpteó
    Phonetic Spelling: (pros-o-pol-ape-teh'-o)
    Definition: to have respect of persons
    Usage: I favor specially, show partiality.

    Stronge’s Exhaustive Concordance #4382
    prosópolémpsia: respect of persons
    Original Word: προσωποληψία, ας, ἡ
    Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
    Transliteration: prosópolémpsia
    Phonetic Spelling: (pros-o-pol-ape-see'-ah)
    Definition: respect of persons
    Usage: partiality, favoritism.


    Thayer’s Greek Lexicon and Linddell & Scott’s Greek Lexicons agree.
    προσωποληπτέω (L T Tr WH προσωπολημπτέω (see Mu)), προσωπολήπτω; a Hellenistic verb (derived from the following word (cf. Winers 33, 101 (96))), to respect the person (i. e. the external condition of a man), to have respect of persons:
    James 2:9.

    Cultural Conditioning is a social / religious process in that which, what is perceived as a norm, shapes the way we think and perceive the world around us. Factors such as religion, social customs, and experiences such as families and regional circumstances, form a template or filter where information and experiences are mentally compared and measured. Not to say that there aren’t those with a mind of their own.


    From where we came…..
    Mosaic Law and Jewish culture….Females as property…Bride price…. Polygamous marriages, concubines, selling our daughters into concubines, slavery, and the whole kill all that breaths and don’t forget the babies…but keep the virgins for yourselves……Eye for an eye….life for a life….WOW!

    Christianity did make some improvements in morality but at what cost and how long did it take us to catch on….and why? Sometimes we wonder why the vast intellect and moral nature of God did not show up sooner? This here could be the reason; We focus on and have been taught the wrong scriptures. We learn slowly from the overall spirit of the scriptures and apparently are confused easily. So it is baby steps over a painfully long period of time… Yeap, women actually do have souls…..550’s Is salvation through Christ or the Church?....1517…Freedom is worth fighting for….1776…. Hey, we might not want to make slaves of human beings ....1800's. Ya we know mom is human too.....1919. Satan does not necessary reside in our crouch .....1960's They may not be slaves anymore, but by golly they sure are second rate citizens….ooops! Wrong again! 1960s’…. Spare the rod and spoil the child…Ya think! National Child Protection Act 1993….Why did it take so long to understand these things? I propose that part of the problem for some, is understanding what love is.


    Are our issues with love and affection tied to a negative view of sex? God's actual first commandment and most repeated, His only repeated commandment was to be Fruitful and multiply and His promises were the same. Apparently very significant to God. This commandment is repeated over and over, at nearly every significant event. Demonized?…not in Eden…demonized by Christianity….sex is not respectful?….that is a problem…God created the whole process from attraction to delivery of new life. Can you have a family without sex?

    Marriage was given up as a concession in the NT. No focus on the family or romantic love in the NT. Eve was blamed for nearly everything….And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression….it is good for a man not to touch a woman…. notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety ….washing the feet of the saints….women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.


    The expansion of these negative views toward sex and women ended up warping Christianity. When you make sex evil in a male dominate society you link women to Satan, men blaming women for their desires. So then in the Middle-Ages, the things they did to themselves and to women in the Witch-hunts and inquisitions are unspeakable visions of evil and horror. Or was it a warped sense of love? …I save you by beating you, or myself…. Flagellants. Hard for us to imagine that they tortured people out of love and concern for their souls, but that was what was going on in their heads. In motion…the emotional and psychological result of removing the element of respect from love and the negative view of women allowed them to go that extra mile!...to the weird! And over time produced atrocities much worse than the holocaust. Oh that is those evil Catholics!...right? How could this happen? It is a matter of respect.

    Respect gets a bad name in Christianity. Not a respecter of men, or even humanity. In the KJV the word respect occurs 12 times with little good to say about it. So they missed the point. The moral side of platonic love or romantic love or even sex drives, is about respect for others and ourselves. Where did we get this belief? Now this concept is strictly apostolic…. did they get this from Christ? No. Did they misunderstand something? The Apostles and the Early Church Fathers should have thought it through a little more. Early Christianity missed an opportunity to steer us in the right direction.
    We get our noses so close to the letters written in ink that we miss the context….that is the spirit. If anyone thinks I cannot come up with about 100 contradictory scriptures and scriptures that do not make any sense, let me know.

    Psalm 137:9 NASB
    How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones
    against the rock.


    Psalm 137:9 KJV
    Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

    Luke 14:26
    If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.


    Matthew 12:47-49
    Someone said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.” But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers!


    But on the matter of respect….

    Acts 10:34
    Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:


    Acts 2:11
    For there is no respect of persons with God.


    Colossians 3:25
    But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.


    James 2:9
    But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.


    Ephesians 6:9
    And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.


    Colossions 3:22 NIV
    Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.

    Note: The Greek word that means slavery was translated to servant in nearly all Bibles from the Geneva Bible on, due to the controversial nature of the word slave. In other words, they intentionally mistranslated the scriptures for political reasons. Later on they would come up with the “Slave Bible” which was specifically translated for slaves….I guess they read it to them.


    This here is a taught Christian statement…love without respect….
    The first thing we need to recognize is that respecting persons is SIN, just like murder, idolatry, rape, theft, adultery, covetousness, fornication, etc; it's not just something passively frowned upon in Scripture. The great commandment
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2020
  16. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    of the law and prophets, to love the Lord God and your neighbor, cannot be kept if Christians are respecting persons; meaning that you are not loving the Lord God and your neighbor if you are a respecter of persons.

    Sounds a lot like….
    James 2:8-10 If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.


    That problem is, it not only does not work, it perverts. That is why it is important to be mindful to use the big picture to assess all scriptures. We have all heard that the scriptures are the living Word of God. But what does that mean? People read the scriptures, they may memorize the scriptures. They may understand sentence by sentence. You could memorize the whole Bible, cover to cover, but that is still the most elementary level of biblical understanding, the milk, if you will.

    People say, “The Holy Spirit guides my understanding of the scriptures. Or the Holy Spirit reveals the meaning of the scriptures to me.” Lord, if that was only true, we would not have so many denominations. One should seek to understand the scriptures as a whole, the spirit of the Gospels and then go back and read the scriptures. No one reads the Bible praying that they do not understand.


    Putting things in motion, people would have to read the scriptures over and over again to the point they think they understand them, then step back and study the spirit of scriptures and start all over again. You are looking for the overall spirit and purpose.

    But that is not what happened or what happens now. So Christianity moved forward…not the respecter of people. Whether you want to call it cultural conditioning or a psychological effect, once you remove respect from love, you have seriously damaged your ability to understand it, much less apply it.

    Once respect was directly targeted as not a character of God, and a sin for us, whatever lofty words that followed in the scriptures fell on hardened hearts. Hearts conditioned not to respect. It does not matter if it is romantic love or platonic love, what is left is a plastic rose, only a shell of what love means.

    Without respect, men can argue with me about treating women with respect.
    Without respect, men can argue with me about ruling over their wives.
    Without respect, men can argue with me about the moral righteousness of slavery.
    Without respect, men can argue with me about human rights.
    Without respect, a man can expect his mother, sister, and his wife to know their place.

    Without respect the whole “love one another” is just a cliché. Hey I’ll pray for ya! Have a nice day! Sorry for your loss! Christianity is love! Love ya brother! Easy to say, no danger, no commitment, very shallow. How can love abide without respect?

    Do all things in love. 1st Corinthians 16:14 How many Christians can actually do this? Good thing we have charities!!! Toss’em a few bucks and make yourself feel good. The problem with this is, most charities are as crocked as the day is long. With as many charities as there are, if they were actually helping, by now, there would be very few that need help. How much do you hear of charities helping….every now and again?


    The last thing you want to do, is do Good Deeds! They will say, You are trying to work your way into heaven! No, because that is love in motion. Put no fuel to drive it without respect, can you even have compassion without respect? Whatever you do, don’t give of yourself, your time and your money! Love without respect is like trying to build a brick building without mortar….It will end up misshapen. A twisted representation of what it was designed to be.

    They say charity begins at home. I say respect begins at home. Love one another includes respecting one another. The thing is, love and respect, would have changed Christianity a lot sooner….common sense…common dignity. With that, a man could say, My wife and I are a team and lifelong companions. lol All things in perspective….some of us get it! It changes your life! Because we genuinely care because we know people are important. Are we closet respecters? Did Christ think people were important?


    So that we do not just keep making mistakes of morality and common good, we need to stand back and reassess what love is and what it looks like when it is applied. In case you are wondering, love is not a picture of slavery or women subjugated.

    One of the common causes of divorce is stated as taking each other for granted…do you think that lack of respect could be one of the causes of this? One of the most suppressed statistics, is the failure rate of marriage. Take a survey, just pay attention, a general group, how many people over 50 have been divorced…..
     
  17. Prayer Warrior

    Prayer Warrior Well-Known Member

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    Interesting thread!

    You said, "Sex means the process of reproduction…to say it nicely. There is nothing that women can do that can cause reproduction or even be called sex, biblically."

    If you think about it, there's nothing two men can do to reproduce, so this argument doesn't hold water. Paul clearly addressed this in Romans.

    Romans 1:26-27--For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    I'm NOT condemning anyone here, but to engage in any form of homosexuality (male or female) will bring judgment. Of course, this applies to ALL sin, sexual or otherwise, not just homosexuality.
    .
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2020
  18. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    I am not alone in the observation. It is never a good idea to make a strong belief out of singular scripture. Gossiping and condemning others is a sin, so you better be sure. The OT singles out males. So the NT scripture in Romans stands alone. The concept of making strong beliefs out of singular scriptures would make some odd beliefs....hate your mother and father....it is better not to touch a woman....better not to be married....women to be silent in church and not take any authority....wash the feet of saints...Regardless of the reason, a divorced woman cannot remarry.....you have to give away all you own and live a bohemian life style to be a follower of Christ.....(You probably do not want to make it a belief that if you have a home and a family and the average luxuries of life that that makes you a sinner.)....let the dead bury the dead.....the apostles were living in the last days. (Which would imply that whatever it was, it has already came and went and does not apply to us 2000 years in future.) There are a lot you can read into the scriptures if you take singular scriptures and make them a religion. Sex and women are an easy target due to negative views of women and sex in Christianity...."Everyone knows that the fall of us good men was because of women. And all this can be seen in the early writings of Christian leaders, proof positive.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2020
  19. Prayer Warrior

    Prayer Warrior Well-Known Member

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    I would say that it depends on the individual scripture and what the rest of the Bible has to say about it. And it really doesn't matter what the Jews of the OT period thought about it if their thinking didn't line up with God's.

    The fact is that nowhere in the Bible is lesbianism condoned (talked about as if it is okay). Paul is saying that sex between women and sex between men are the same--"unnatural," "vile affections," and in "error". I think this is pretty conclusive.
     
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  20. Grailhunter

    Grailhunter Well-Known Member

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    The last thing the Bible is, is a sex manual. There is a lot that goes on with sex that is not condoned or condemned. As Christianity went on all sex, married or not was considered vile. Early writers of Christianity looked at the scriptures and said that married people should be ashamed.
     
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