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A big bloke in black carrying a scythe - Page 3

post #81 of 227
About this stuff, I wanted to recommend a book I read last year. It's actually three books, called the "Christ clone" books.

It starts out following some scientists examining the Shroud of Turin, and they take some organic substance off of it to test it. One of the scientists keeps it and then clones it, and hires someone to carry the baby.

It then goes through all the biblical prophecies, but makes them happen in this era - nuclear wars and stuff like that.

It kinda had me freaked out for a few days after I read it.
:eek:

But it really does try to stick to the biblical end-time prophecies, so if you're Christian, I think it would have an even bigger impact.

Has anyone else read this?
post #82 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by THT:
<strong>[qb]Originally posted by The Blue Meanie:
"...we would be fools to believe them"? What, you mean even if they passed the tests it would have to be some sort of trick? Hmmm, the words "closed" and "mind" come to mind
</strong>

Or maybe it is "fool"

Lets just say I'd be more rigorous than you would be. There's a difference between being close minded and rigorous. Closed minded is refusing to believe despite the evidence. Rigorous is making sure the test was done correctly.

John Edward is a medium, that is, a person who talks to the dead, with his own show on the Sci-Fi channel and is in syndication now as well.

[ 03-13-2002: Message edited by: THT ][/QB]<hr></blockquote>

Well, even though I think there is a bit of an aspersion on the Blue Meanie's intellect lurking in your response there , I have absolutely no problem with scepticism or intellectual rigour. Very healthy. Read "We Don't Die" and see what you think of the tests described before dismissing it out of hand.
This John Edward geezer has a show on the Sci-Fi channel?? Hmm, that says a lot, doesn't it?
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post #83 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote] Can you show me where you found this evidence. I really am interested. Were they quoting from the Apocrypha? (SP?) <hr></blockquote>

Okay, Noah, as promised , here is my evidence. It is a long (sorry!) quote from ps 333-337 (UK edition) of the 1982 book 'The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail' by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln:

[quote] The more one studies the Gospels, the more the contradictions between them become apparent. Indeed they do not even agree on the day of the Crucifixion. According to Johns Gospel, the Crucifixion occurred on the day before the Passover. According to the Gospels of Mark, Luke and Matthew, it occurred on the day after. Nor are the Gospels in accord on the personality and character of Jesus. Each depicts a Jesus who is patently at odds with the figure depicted in the others - a meek, lamblike saviour in Luke, for example, a powerful and majestic sovereign in Matthew who comes not to bring peace but a sword. And there is further disagreement about Jesus last words on the cross. In Matthew and Mark these words are, My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me? In Luke they are, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. And in John, they are simply, It is finished.
Given these discrepancies, the Gospels can only be accepted a highly questionable authority, and certainly not as definitive. They do not represent the perfect word of any God; or, if they do, Gods words have been very liberally censored, edited, revised, glossed and rewritten by human hands. The Bible, it must be remembered and this applies to both the Old and New Testaments - is only a selection of works, and in many respects, a somewhat arbitrary one. In fact, it could well include far more books and writings than it actually does. Nor is there any question of the missing books having been lost. On the contrary, they were deliberately excluded. In AD 367 Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria compiled a list of works to be included in the New Testament. This list was ratified by the Church Council of Hippo in 393 adn again by the Council of Carthage four years later. At these councils a selection was agreed upon. Certain works were assembled to form the New Testament as we know it today, and others were cavalierly ignored. How can such a process of selection possibly be regarded as definitive? How could a conclave of clerics infallibly decide that certain books belonged in the Bible while others did not? Especially when some of these excluded books have a perfectly valid claim to historical veracity?
As it exists today, moreover, the Bible is not only a product of a more or less arbitrary selection process, it has also been subjected to some fairly drastic editing, censorship and revision. In 1958, for example, Professor Morton Smith of Columbia University discovered, in monastery near Jerusalem, a letter containing missing fragment of the Gospel of Mark. The missing fragment had not been lost. On the contrary, it had apparently been deliberately suppressed - at the institutioon, if not the express behest, of Bishop Clement of of Alexandria, one of the most venerated of the early Church fathers.

(There follows an account of Clements dispute with an heretical Gnostic sect called the Carpocratians, and several long quotes from a letter sent by Clement to someone called Theodore who had been persecuting the sect and had written to the bishop about this. At one point in the letter, Clement quotes the following passage from the Gospel of Mark:

And they came into Bethany, and a certain woman, whose brother had died, was there. And, coming, she prostrated himself before Jesus and says to him, Son of David, have mercy upon me. But the disciples rebuked her. And Jesus, being angered, went off with her into the garden where the tomb was, and straightway a great cry was heard from the tomb. And going near, Jesus rolled away the stone from the door of the tomb. And straightway, going in where the youth was, he stretched forth his hand and raised him, seizing his hand. But the youth, looking upon him, loved him and began to beseech him that he might be with him. And going out of the tomb they came into the house of the youth, for he was rich. And after six days, Jesus told him what to do and in the evening the youth comes to him, wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the kingdom of God. And thence arising, he returned to the other side of the Jordan.

The authors continue...


This episode appears in no existing versions of the Gospel of Mark. In its general outlines, however, it is familiar enough. It is, of course, the raising of Lazarus, described i the Fourth Gospe, ascribed to John. In the version quoted, however, there are some significant variations........it is....likely that the whole episode refers to a typical mystery school initiation - a ritualised and symbolic death and rebirth of the sort so prevalent in the Middle East at the time.
In any case the point is that the episode, and the passage quoted above, do not appear in any modern or accepted version of Mark. Indeed the only references to Lazarus or a Lazarus figure in the New Testament are in the Gospel ascribed to John.......Quite simply the entire Lazarus incident was completely excised from the Gospel of Mark.<hr></blockquote>

[ 03-14-2002: Message edited by: The Blue Meanie ]

[ 03-14-2002: Message edited by: The Blue Meanie ]</p>
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post #84 of 227
[quote] It is a long (sorry!) quote from ps 333-337 (UK edition) of the 1982 book 'The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail' by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln:<hr></blockquote>

For me, that was a fascinating read, specially as I was raised Christian with the standard simplistic 'sunday-school' drivel being forced down my throat. The extraordinary story of Rennes-le-Chateau, the Cathars and and the possibility/probability that Jesus may have even survived the crucifixion and had offspring may seem "blasphemous" to some but makes no less sense than the 'official' version. I attended a lecture by Henry Lincoln a few years back, some years after the "Grail" book was published where he expanded on some of the theories raised in the book. There are also legends that Jesus, who, after surviving the crucifixion escaped and travelled throughout Western Europe.

An area totally overlooked by official Christianity is the period, some 20 years or so, from when Jesus was about 12 years old to when he reappeared in his early 30s and started his ministry. There is nothing in the gospels to indicate what he was doing for two-thirds of his life. There are many stories from the Indian subcontinent from that same time period about a person (name "Issa" and similar) from the West who spent years studying spiritual disciplines in Buddhist monasteries. Original Christianity embraced eastern philosphical concepts such as karma and reincarnation, and despite being deliberately erased from the Bible, quite a number of subtle references escaped the censors.
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post #85 of 227
I will be editing this post as I go along. So sorry. The first claim he makes is that they disagreed on the date of the Crucifixion.

[quote]According to Johns Gospel, the Crucifixion occurred on the day before the Passover<hr></blockquote>

Read John 13. That happened before the crucifixion, he washes their feet and then they share the Passover Meal. Sorry, point 1 is wrong already.

Point 2 means nothing. The Disciples were all men and they held onto portions of what Jesus said that meant the most to them. That is why all the Gospels are included, so you get a full picture of Jesus. He is all those things.

Point 3:
[quote]And there is further disagreement about Jesus last words on the cross. In Matthew and Mark these words are, My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me? In Luke they are, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. And in John, they are simply, It is finished.<hr></blockquote>

Matthew and Mark both speak of him crying out after "My God My God, why have you forsaken me?" Read Matthew 27:50 and Mark 15:37. Neither say what his last cry was, but they both say he said something.

In Luke and John the last words were "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" and "It Is Finished." The Two phrases are very similar in what they are saying. Not sure, maybe they wrote them in different languages and over they years they were interpreted differently? Same meaning, different words. Point 3 is really shaky.

The last points made have to do with historical thoughts on whether the Bible is complete and if things have been left out or not that compromises the integrity of the scriptures. I am not well enough studied in bilical history to make a good go at the truth of the matter but with this guy seemingly batting 0 I put no faith that his assertions are fully truthful, he seems to have an agenda that the facts are not backing.

[ 03-14-2002: Message edited by: NoahJ ]</p>
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
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post #86 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by NoahJ:
<strong>Read John 13. That happened before the crucifixion, he washes their feet and then they share the Passover Meal. Sorry, point 1 is wrong already.</strong><hr></blockquote>
I'm afraid it's not. The Blue Meanie's source is correct.

According to the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus eats a passover meal before his crucifixion.

However, John states that the last supper is eaten before the start of passover.
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post #87 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by Samantha Joanne Ollendale:
<strong>

For me, that was a fascinating read, specially as I was raised Christian with the standard simplistic 'sunday-school' drivel being forced down my throat. The extraordinary story of Rennes-le-Chateau, the Cathars and and the possibility/probability that Jesus may have even survived the crucifixion and had offspring may seem "blasphemous" to some but makes no less sense than the 'official' version. [snip]</strong><hr></blockquote>

You should have looked and verified what was said in the post before praising it as a "fascinating read" that was abviously more truthful than the Bible itself. <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />

And Jesus survuving the Crucifixion and raising a family would be blasphemous. If that were indeed the case then man has no chance of redemption when they die. <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" />
NoahJ
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post #88 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by Belle:
<strong>
I'm afraid it's not. The Blue Meanie's source is correct.

According to the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus eats a passover meal before his crucifixion.

However, John states that the last supper is eaten before the start of passover.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Read it closer. It does not say it was the day before the Passover Feast. It says in John 13:1 "It was just before the Passover feast." (I cut that first sentance from the rest of the verse.) They had had the evening meal and the passover feast would happen that night. Try to read it again and see if you still disagree.
NoahJ
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NoahJ
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post #89 of 227
So 1 out of 4 gospel writers disagree. Maybe John just had a little too much Manischewitz at Passover?
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post #90 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by NoahJ:
<strong>Read it closer. It does not say it was the day before the Passover Feast. It says in John 13:1 "It was just before the Passover feast." (I cut that first sentance from the rest of the verse.) They had had the evening meal and the passover feast would happen that night. Try to read it again and see if you still disagree.</strong><hr></blockquote>
It's an age-old argument, perhaps almost as old as the gospels themselves.

The expression "Passover feast", or more commonly "the feast of the Passover" clearly refers to the day of the festival itself, not merely the meal.

Many versions of the text don't include the word "just", but those that do merely highlight the fact that according to John, the last supper took place the evening before Passover - you would not eat "supper" or "the evening meal" before Passover feast, and you would certainly not eat it just before.
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post #91 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by Willoughby:
<strong>So 1 out of 4 gospel writers disagree. Maybe John just had a little too much Manischewitz at Passover? </strong><hr></blockquote>

Maybe...
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
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post #92 of 227
<strong>Originally posted by The Blue Meanie:
Read "We Don't Die" and see what you think of the tests described before dismissing it out of hand.</strong>

I'll get a library card and see if it's available. Er, I'll see if it's available at the library, than get a library card.

<strong>This John Edward geezer has a show on the Sci-Fi channel?? Hmm, that says a lot, doesn't it?</strong>

Yes, he's the James Van Praagh of the 2000s. The Sci-Fi channel is a network that shows genre television including horror, fantasy, and just plain weird stuff. It has absolutely nothing to do with science. Even the science fiction shows have nothing to do with science. There is not a science network on TV, probably because people can't handle the tremendous heart palpitating excitement it would cause upon viewing.
post #93 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by Belle:
<strong>
It's an age-old argument, perhaps almost as old as the gospels themselves.

The expression "Passover feast", or more commonly "the feast of the Passover" clearly refers to the day of the festival itself, not merely the meal.

Many versions of the text don't include the word "just", but those that do merely highlight the fact that according to John, the last supper took place the evening before Passover - you would not eat "supper" or "the evening meal" before Passover feast, and you would certainly not eat it just before.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Fine, you can disagree all you want. The facts do not seem to back you up though. This game of semantics will not get anywhere though unless you wish to hit the origional texts and once and for all prove me wrong. (now where did I lay that scroll...? ) It has withstood scrutiny through ages of scholars who were not all sure that the bible was right, and now it is coming off like a dog that won't let go of a bone. I won't convince you obviously until I ask John himself and I don't speak or read Hebrew Greek or Aramaic... Shoot!
NoahJ
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NoahJ
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post #94 of 227
I just like being argumentative.

I've said before that I can't allow myself to believe in something without irrefutable evidence.

That's not to say that I don't believe in the potential.

I believe, given the weight of evidence, there's a good chance there's life elsewhere in the universe. Why? Because there is very little evidence to suggest this isn't so, and certainly no proof.

I don't believe, given the weight of evidence, there are any such things as gods, ghosts, werewolves, and that Jesus existed. Why? Because there is very little evidence to suggest this is so, and certainly no proof.

It's an irony, really, considering the amount written as fact about gods, ghosts, and werewolves.

The trouble I have is that the existing evidence comes from the writings of man, and from that alone. There is no corroboratory evidence in nature.

But I do believe in the potential, if only someone could give me the evidence I need.

Incidentally, there's a nice article that argues your point about John's gospel rather eloquently <a href="http://www.cin.org/users/james/questions/q060.htm" target="_blank">here</a>.
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post #95 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by Belle:
<strong>
... I believe, given the weight of evidence, there's a good chance there's life elsewhere in the universe. Why? Because there is very little evidence to suggest this isn't so, and certainly no proof.

I don't believe, given the weight of evidence... that Jesus existed. Why? Because there is very little evidence to suggest this is so, and certainly no proof.</strong><hr></blockquote>

You don't believe he even existed? Do you believe Julius Caesar existed? How about Socrates? I can understand skepticism about things like the virgin birth or the resurrection but even doubting the existence of Jesus of Nazareth seems to me to go quite a bit beyond mere skepticism. And by your standard for allowing yourself to believe in extra-terrestrial life, your position seems to be even more tenuous. Where is the evidence to suggest that Jesus didn't exist? There's certainly no proof.
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post #96 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by Belle:
I just like being argumentative. <hr></blockquote>

I have noticed.

[quote]I've said before that I can't allow myself to believe in something without irrefutable evidence.

That's not to say that I don't believe in the potential.

I believe, given the weight of evidence, there's a good chance there's life elsewhere in the universe. Why? Because there is very little evidence to suggest this isn't so, and certainly no proof.

I don't believe, given the weight of evidence, there are any such things as gods, ghosts, werewolves, and that Jesus existed. Why? Because there is very little evidence to suggest this is so, and certainly no proof.<hr></blockquote>

Interesting. So you believe in Aliens, have you met one? Anyone seen one that can be corroborated? Seen any on other planets? No. Not anymore than have, in your opinion, seen Jesus. Yet you choose to believe in them. There is far more evidence that Jesus existed than there is that Aliens exist. You Choose to put more weight on the Alien evidence. It is a choice, not an inability to be convinced.

[quote]It's an irony, really, considering the amount written as fact about gods, ghosts, and werewolves.

The trouble I have is that the existing evidence comes from the writings of man, and from that alone. There is no corroboratory evidence in nature.

But I do believe in the potential, if only someone could give me the evidence I need. <hr></blockquote>

Sure lump together Jesus, gods, ghosts, and werewolves. Makes it easier for people to dismiss, and for you too. Show me the corroboratory evidence in nature for life on any other planet. People live and die on earth every day, is that not corroboratory evidence of the same magnitude as aliens? <img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" />

[quote]Incidentally, there's a nice article that argues your point about John's gospel rather eloquently <a href="http://www.cin.org/users/james/questions/q060.htm" target="_blank">here</a>.<hr></blockquote>

Thank you for that link, basically says what I said, only much more thoroughly research. Me, 10 minutes and an open Bible. Him, much more time and thought, likely 10 years of schooling.
NoahJ
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NoahJ
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post #97 of 227
To all who believe. What makes you believe? Why?
post #98 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by MarcUK:
<strong>To all who believe. What makes you believe? Why?</strong><hr></blockquote>

I believe that this questions has been answered many time through many of these threads. If you have a specific question about the assertions made I will be glad to respond though.
NoahJ
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NoahJ
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post #99 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by MarcUK:
<strong>To all who believe. What makes you believe? Why?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Makes me believe? Sounds to me like an odd way of putting it.

I suppose there are as many different ways to approach this question as there are believers. And of course, there are some people who are more articulate than others. Here's a reading list I came across today - <a href="http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/001/012domqs.asp" target="_blank">The Books of Faith and Reason</a>. I've read some of these books. And some of these authors have books that aren't listed here that I've also read. They've been very helpful in sorting out some of my answers. (BTW, I'd definitely add Augustine to this list.) Can't say I'm a fan of Joseph Campbell but maybe I'll give him a shot.
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post #100 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by roger_ramjet:
<strong>You don't believe he even existed? Do you believe Julius Caesar existed? How about Socrates? I can understand skepticism about things like the virgin birth or the resurrection but even doubting the existence of Jesus of Nazareth seems to me to go quite a bit beyond mere skepticism. And by your standard for allowing yourself to believe in extra-terrestrial life, your position seems to be even more tenuous. Where is the evidence to suggest that Jesus didn't exist? There's certainly no proof.</strong><hr></blockquote>
This is the point I was trying to make, albeit in a roundabout way.

We have no proof of alien life. Absolutely none. All we have is theory, created by the minds of humans.

The reports of the existence of Jesus come from one original source. One. One single source was created by man. And that source has been hugely corrupted over time.

I believe Julius Caesar probably existed. Why? Because we have written evidence from a large number of different sources, different races on different continents. We also seem to keep digging up things with his name on them.

Of course, we could be misinterpreting the evidence. Perhaps Caesar never existed? Who knows?

The problem is we are, or rather should be, limited by the extent of our world, and our knowledge of it. That makes it possible to believe that just about anything could exist outside of it. Perhaps gods? Perhaps other life forms.

But Jesus was supposedly in our world - within our extent of knowledge. And yet we have one source. No corroboratory evidence.

If I believe the writings of A. A. Milne, there was a bear called Pooh who once lived in One Hundred Acre Wood. Oh wait, bad example. We have corroboratory evidence that Christopher Robin existed and had a toy bear called Pooh.

It's interesting to see the opinions on Genesis from theists who believe in the theory of evolution. The most common is this: Genesis was written much, much later than many parts of the bible, at a time when people were asking "why?". And within the scope of our knowledge, the story of Adam and Eve seemed a plausible allegory for the creation of the earth. Many agree that the events never occurred. So we have a part of a supposed truth that is now, within our knowledge, presumed false. Do we therefore blindly assume the rest to be truth?

A total lack of knowledge gives us infinite scope for belief. An abundant wealth of knowledge gives us a relative proof.

It would be foolish to believe totally in anything that falls in between.
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post #101 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by NoahJ:
<strong>Interesting. So you believe in Aliens, have you met one? Anyone seen one that can be corroborated? Seen any on other planets? No. Not anymore than have, in your opinion, seen Jesus. Yet you choose to believe in them. There is far more evidence that Jesus existed than there is that Aliens exist. You Choose to put more weight on the Alien evidence. It is a choice, not an inability to be convinced.</strong><hr></blockquote>
No. I believe in the possibility of alien life. Never met one. Nobody's apparently ever seen one, unless you believe the thousands of ludicrous abduction reports.

Read my post above. There is incredibly little evidence that Jesus existed, from remarkably limited sources. And he apparently lived on this planet.

I've never met Jesus. No reports that anyone ever saw him that can be corroborated.

I choose to believe in the possibility of alien life because we have no knowledge in an apparently infinite universe. I choose not to believe in the existence of Jesus because we have little evidence in a very small world.
[quote]<strong>Sure lump together Jesus, gods, ghosts, and werewolves. Makes it easier for people to dismiss, and for you too. Show me the corroboratory evidence in nature for life on any other planet. People live and die on earth every day, is that not corroboratory evidence of the same magnitude as aliens?</strong><hr></blockquote>
Why not lump them together? There's actually more "evidence" in the writings of men to support the existence of mythical creatures. We have corroboratory evidence from different cultures across different continents that go back to times long before Christianity came into being. Why is it wrong to lump them together? What, you don't believe in werewolves, NoahJ? For the record, neither do I.

I also think Darwin got a lot wrong, but it's the damnedest thing - a lot of his theories of evolution can be observed in nature.

Is it more arrogant to insist that God and Jesus don't exist than it is to believe this single planet contains the only life in this vast universe?
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post #102 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by Belle:
<strong>
The reports of the existence of Jesus come from one original source. One. One single source was created by man. </strong><hr></blockquote>

Not true. The Roman historian <a href="http://members.aol.com/fljosephus/home.htm" target="_blank">Josephus</a> referred to Jesus at one point in his writings. Also, we not only have one source but just one voice to verify the existence of Socrates - Plato. The Bible at least has many voices chiming in, telling us about Jesus. And given that Caesar was a military hero for an empire that once ruled a good chunk of the world and Jesus was just a carpenter from Nazareth, it's surprising we know anything about Jesus at all.

[quote]<strong>And that source has been hugely corrupted over time.</strong><hr></blockquote>

... in your opinion.

[ 03-15-2002: Message edited by: roger_ramjet ]</p>
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post #103 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by roger_ramjet:
<strong>Not true. The Roman historian Josephus referred to Jesus at one point in his writings. Also, we not only have one source but just one voice to verify the existence of Socrates - Plato. </strong><hr></blockquote>
Josephus' writings are generally agreed to be dated sometime in the late first century, round about the same time most agree the first texts upon which the modern bible is based were written. Neither are contemporary.

There also seems to be a huge amount of skepticism about the authenticity of Josephus' account, specifically that it's based on other writings, and not an independent account of events.
[quote]<strong>... in your opinion.</strong><hr></blockquote>
Isn't this all about opinions? Would you like to argue the case that the modern bible is what it was 500 years ago? 1000? 2000?

As for the existence of Socrates, who knows? Perhaps he didn't exist, and the words attributed to him were in fact written by others, intended to offer some guidance. And we now hold those words in high regard. And the name Socrates. But maybe he never lived?

Substitute "Socrates" with "Jesus". It's not an argument that you should not have your faith, just that you've shown why we would perhaps be gullible to simply assume that Jesus was a real person, and that the words of the modern bible are maybe merely a collection of allegories.
[quote]<strong>The Bible at least has many voices chiming in, telling us about Jesus.</strong><hr></blockquote>
You said it. "The Bible". Many voices, in one source.
[quote]<strong>And given that Caesar was a military hero for an empire that once ruled a good chunk of the world and Jesus was just a carpenter from Nazareth, it's surprising we know anything about Jesus at all.</strong><hr></blockquote>
But Jesus was the Son of God! Our savior! If you're one of around 2 billion Christians in this world, the events that took place a couple of millennia ago were the most monumental that ever did, and ever will! Who is Caesar compared to that?!

[ 03-15-2002: Message edited by: Belle ]</p>
Chicanery.
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Chicanery.
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post #104 of 227
[quote]Interesting. So you believe in Aliens, have you met one? Anyone seen one that can be corroborated? Seen any on other planets? No.<hr></blockquote>

There was a (casual and nonscientific) survey (The Hope Report was it?) some years ago and out of their sampling, 3% of Americans felt that they may have had an "alien abduction". That is many millions of people. I have no clue as to what these people may have experienced in cold hard reality but if you examine the files of MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) you will find hundreds, if not thousands of cases which have been exhaustively examined, in which the victims/subjects were not hallucinating, or lying, or faking it.

Whether any have actually had an "alien encounter" is unknown as far as any third party is concerned, but personally, whatever these people went through was often harrowing and life-changing, and seems to have commonalities re. strange looking lifeforms and metallic vehicles, many of which have been captured on film, video, still photos, and civilian and military radarscopes. Most MUFON examinations have found that 95% of cases turn out to have mundane, or 'everyday' explanations. But there remains 5% that are still classified as 'unknown'. Similarly with USAF sponsored programs like BlueBook, Sign and Grudge, but in those programs there was a preset agenda and the resulting reports were changed for public consumption, or if deemed too strange for general release, were reclassified.

I have been fascinated in the "life elsewhere" question from when I was really little, and have read most of the popular literature on the subject. I also have a couple of family members in the military and intelligence community; as a teen I bugged them nonstop with questions, I am sure nobody ever violated their security clearances but when it came to questions about the UFO/alien issue, the response was never 'ridicule' but always a particular look that implied "were just not going there" always followed by a subtle change of subject.

Like Belle, I am one of those pesky people that requires nuts'n'bolts "proof" before I can commit myself. I have never seen a 'flying saucer' or a little grayskinned character with big black wrap-around eyes. Many people claim to have, but thats not good enough for me. If the President and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and CIA/NSA etc personnel appeared on national network TV and announced that "aliens have been visiting this planet", would you believe it then? Would I? My answer, no, that wouldn't cut it either. {actually it would probably reinforce my skepticism } Mere belief doesn't work for me. I cannot place faith in something in which I have no personal proof or firsthand evidence; I require at least the 2nd hand evidence produced by some 3rd party's rigorous science.

[quote]Not anymore than have, in your opinion, seen Jesus. Yet you choose to believe in them. There is far more evidence that Jesus existed than there is that Aliens exist. You Choose to put more weight on the Alien evidence. It is a choice, not an inability to be convinced.<hr></blockquote>

I know people also who claimed to have seen Jesus. I have read accounts of Indian yogis, Tibetan lamas Catholic nuns and others (Sri Yukteswar etc) who claim to have seen and even conversed with Jesus. I haven't seen him, so thats all irrelevant to me. I haven't seen an alien either, to my knowledge.

Looking back at the biblical story of Jesus' birth, what with the tales of the Star of Bethlehem, the "angel" at the crib, the "virgin birth", etc; this could just also be explained away as as a flying saucer hanging over the area, with an alien in a space-suit examining the newborn baby of an artificially induced pregnancy in a pre-selected mother. This interpretation is no more far-fetched than what the Christian Church expects its followers to believe. And, Jesus in his later life apparently was able to perform some really bizarre and mindboggling feats which turn some of the classic laws of physics upside down, re. human capabilities.

Most Christians I have met would readily concur that Jesus was definitely no ordinary human being. Perhaps he was an alien? I just don't know, and neither does anyone else, so I cannot believe or but faith in that possibility. Similarly, I cannot place faith in what Church officials (ordinary human beings) have decided to be the interpretation of the story that surrounds that teacher/shaman/yogi/alien/spiritual master/etc etc, whoever he was who lived 2000 years ago in the middle east. However I can accept that there is enough evidence that he existed as a historical figure, just as I can with, for example Plato, or Caesar, or Henry VIII etc etc.
Why of course the people don't want war ... But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a...
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Why of course the people don't want war ... But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a...
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post #105 of 227
Interesting. So you believe in Aliens, have you met one?

I beleive that the logic goes:
There is a 1 in 1,000,000,000 (or some odd number) chance of life forming around a star. There are Hundreds of trillions of stars (probably more, Im just pulling numbers out of my ass) out there. There is a good chance that one has life

Religion now is just pure faith.


I just like being argumentative.


If you didnt you wouldnt be in the AO forums

This John Edward geezer has a show on the Sci-Fi channel?? Hmm, that says a lot, doesn't it?

This Christ character has shows on the religious channel?? Hmm, that says a lot, doesn't it?

I was beginning to wonder if The Blue Meanie was related to Bob Dole for a while there

I was just waiting for him to refer to the peoples eyebrow

b) an excuse to switch off your brain and stop thinking for yourself

Isnt that the point of religion? Wasnt Abelard castrated, prossecuted, and exiled because he tried to use reason to explain christianity?
Not that this is a bad thing, I personally would like to see the country united under one religion, but... I just dont think that you could find the right one.
Think Mercerism from "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" (The book that Blade Runner was bastardized from for those not in the know).

Entropy... entropy... poetic... entropy... So the worms won´t be eating me but something that have become "not me"

Excellent way to put it
For those who have no clue what entropy is, <a href="http://play.mp3.com/cgi-bin/play/play.cgi/AAIBQqI7FQDABG5vcm1QBAAAAFLjhgIAUQEAAAALAUN79Y48AQ DxgHLZaCq5X_kD4x8_9Q--/Entropy.m3u" target="_blank">Here</a>

Does this mean he thinks The Blue Meanie is crazy?
I dunno, I think that the Ble Meanie is crazy and I agree with him

as soon as I start mentioning things like reincarnation you start throwing words like "arse" around

Just to be irritating, didnt I mention reincarnation?
Of course me and NohaJ are used too arguing by now

Oh, and just so I have my quote of Smilies:


[ 03-15-2002: Message edited by: The Toolboi ]</p>
Those who dance the dance must look very foolish to those who can't hear the music
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Those who dance the dance must look very foolish to those who can't hear the music
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post #106 of 227
To all those who believe in a God part 2.

You obviously believe wholeheartedly in your faith. Without having to rephrase the question a hunderd times to make it comfortable to you, why do you honestly believe in your faith and why.

Im trying to understand the reasons why you truly believe in something unsubstantiated (from my point of view). There must be a reason right?
post #107 of 227
Thanks for an engaging discussion.

I thought I'd bring us back to the original question, and try to add a new thing or two:

(A) No.
I believe that our experience of the period after we die is like our experience of the period before we are born: none.

(B) As for religion, and the worth of living a good life, I'm with THT.
That is, we as a sepcies have evolved (along with the roses and the worms) to perpetuate our genes. Things have gotten pretty fancy in our brains in the last few million years, though, and now we have such innovations as:
  • altruism (which many other critters have had)
  • a sense of our own mortality
  • an emotional bond to our kinsmen (also invented by other species, too)
  • a sophisticated system for making sense of the world, which has invented ever-more beautiful and complex explanations, including animistic religion, monotheistics religion, and science.
  • a built-in set of morals, evolved to guide us to actions broadly favorable to our genes (and the genes we share with kinsmen)

We should and do strive to make our lives good ones according to (1) our built-in emotional system, and (2) the conclusions we draw from (1) plus our intellectual abilities.

Some popular humans, like Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, etc., have had great inspirations to help us make sense of and come to terms with the emotional and intellectual apparatus we are all born with.

Incidentally, do a <a href="http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=mithras" target="_blank">Google search on my username</a> for some interesting reading on another popular fellow that was around when that Jesus was.
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post #108 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by Samantha Joanne Ollendale:
<strong>Like Belle, I am one of those pesky people that requires nuts'n'bolts "proof" before I can commit myself.</strong><hr></blockquote>
I'm happy to be open to possibilities without irrefutable proof, but I cannot understand people who are willing to put so much belief into something that has so little proof.

Not only that, but by "choosing" a faith, you automatically preclude yourself from the possibility that your faith is misplaced - that there may be an alternative.

I currently don't believe Jesus existed. In the future, perhaps evidence will be found that will persuade me that he did. It's one eventuality that I will admit could happen.

It's not possible for a Christian to be open to the possibility that he didn't exist because that would negate the faith required of a Christian theist.

To me, that's an incredibly dangerous way to live your life.
Chicanery.
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Chicanery.
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post #109 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by Belle:
<strong>I currently don't believe Jesus existed.</strong><hr></blockquote>Wait a sec. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, right? (Who is it that said that?) Or do you know of some evidence that he didn't exist?
post #110 of 227
I currently don't believe Jesus existed.
Surely you have to beleive that there was a man, perhaps not named Jesus, who all this was based off of dont you? Its hard to have a martyr based religion without a martyr.

Im sure that he existed, as did Mohammed, and Napteshemu (or whatever his name was, the older version of Noah), and Buddah, and all of them.I just dont beleive that they turned water into wine, or got a book passed odwn from Gabriel, or survived a flood that wiped out all life, or didnt eat for 2 months, or whatever.
Those who dance the dance must look very foolish to those who can't hear the music
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Those who dance the dance must look very foolish to those who can't hear the music
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post #111 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by Belle:
<strong>
I'm happy to be open to possibilities without irrefutable proof, but I cannot understand people who are willing to put so much belief into something that has so little proof.

Not only that, but by "choosing" a faith, you automatically preclude yourself from the possibility that your faith is misplaced - that there may be an alternative.

I currently don't believe Jesus existed. In the future, perhaps evidence will be found that will persuade me that he did. It's one eventuality that I will admit could happen.

It's not possible for a Christian to be open to the possibility that he didn't exist because that would negate the faith required of a Christian theist.

To me, that's an incredibly dangerous way to live your life.</strong><hr></blockquote>

You are not applying the same standard across the board. For Aliens you believe they exist because no one has proved they don't. For Jesus, you don't because no once can give you his address and drivers license. You have other reasons for not believing or wanting to believe in Jesus. It has very little to do with fact finding as the facts and clues and stories and the very existence of Christianity and its pervasiveness attests to his existence as a man.
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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post #112 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by Belle:
To me, that's an incredibly dangerous way to live your life.<hr></blockquote>

Dangerous how? Will I die thinking I am going to heaven and be disappointed somehow such that it just kills me?

Maybe I will become the victim of a religious hate crime and be horribly maimed...

How dangerous? Are you only speaking metaphorically or do you believe the somehow that way of thinking will eventually lead all Christians to be come fundamentalist wackos that fly planes into buildings? Muslims are not the only ones that take things too far, but believing that Jesus existed will not cause anything bad to happen. Neither will believing in God or that Jesus was the Son of God.
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
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post #113 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>Wait a sec. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, right? (Who is it that said that?) Or do you know of some evidence that he didn't exist?</strong><hr></blockquote>
Read my other posts.

A complete absence of evidence gives infinite scope for possibilities.

An abundance of evidence gives proof within our knowledge.

A tiny amount of evidence from a single source without corroboration (contemporary or historical) is worthless.

Within our current knowledge, Jesus is a character in a single text. Why should we put so much faith into his existence?
[quote]Originally posted by Toolboi:
<strong>Surely you have to beleive that there was a man, perhaps not named Jesus, who all this was based off of dont you? Its hard to have a martyr based religion without a martyr.</strong><hr></blockquote>
Nope. Not one bit. I believe the writings upon which the modern bible is based were similar to Aesop's fables, allegories for people to live by.
[quote]Originally posted by NoahJ:
<strong>You are not applying the same standard across the board. For Aliens you believe they exist because no one has proved they don't. For Jesus, you don't because no once can give you his address and drivers license. You have other reasons for not believing or wanting to believe in Jesus.</strong><hr></blockquote>
I understand I'm not applying the same standard across the board. Read my response to BRussell.

What are my other reasons, out of interest? I'm not aware of any.
[quote]<strong>It has very little to do with fact finding as the facts and clues and stories and the very existence of Christianity and its pervasiveness attests to his existence as a man.</strong><hr></blockquote>
A bit like werewolves and ghosts, then? Sorry, that's mean.

How about the Roman gods, or Greek gods? Egyptian? Mayan? They existed for a long, long time, supported only by clues and stories and the pervasiveness of the religion within it's civilization.

Do you believe these gods exist, or existed?
[quote]<strong>Dangerous how? Will I die thinking I am going to heaven and be disappointed somehow such that it just kills me?
Maybe I will become the victim of a religious hate crime and be horribly maimed...

How dangerous? Are you only speaking metaphorically or do you believe the somehow that way of thinking will eventually lead all Christians to be come fundamentalist wackos that fly planes into buildings? Muslims are not the only ones that take things too far, but believing that Jesus existed will not cause anything bad to happen. Neither will believing in God or that Jesus was the Son of God.</strong><hr></blockquote>
Heh, no. I don't believe that organized religion drives people to such acts, just that individuals will use religion as a defense for their actions.

It's dangerous because to rule out the possibility of every other eventuality because you have complete faith in one is closing your mind. You lose a part of your free thinking. You "choose" God, but in doing so refuse all others.

How will you feel if your children choose an alternative?
Chicanery.
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Chicanery.
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post #114 of 227
[quote]Originally posted by Belle:

<strong>Josephus' writings are generally agreed to be dated sometime in the late first century, round about the same time most agree the first texts upon which the modern bible is based were written. Neither are contemporary.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Yes, he was a historian. That's what historians usually do - write about events that happened before they were born. We don't discount the other things he wrote about just because they didn't happen during his lifetime, why make a special exception for this?

[quote]<strong>There also seems to be a huge amount of skepticism about the authenticity of Josephus' account, specifically that it's based on other writings, and not an independent account of events.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Yes, that controversy is addressed in the link I provided.

[quote]<strong>... A tiny amount of evidence from a single source without corroboration (contemporary or historical) is worthless.

Within our current knowledge, Jesus is a character in a single text. Why should we put so much faith into his existence?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Let's back up here a minute. The New Testament is a single text today but in truth it is a compliation of texts by a number of different authors.
shooby doo, shooby doo
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shooby doo, shooby doo
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post #115 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Samantha Joanne Ollendale:
<strong>

For me, that was a fascinating read, specially as I was raised Christian with the standard simplistic 'sunday-school' drivel being forced down my throat. The extraordinary story of Rennes-le-Chateau, the Cathars and and the possibility/probability that Jesus may have even survived the crucifixion and had offspring may seem "blasphemous" to some but makes no less sense than the 'official' version. I attended a lecture by Henry Lincoln a few years back, some years after the "Grail" book was published where he expanded on some of the theories raised in the book. There are also legends that Jesus, who, after surviving the crucifixion escaped and travelled throughout Western Europe.

An area totally overlooked by official Christianity is the period, some 20 years or so, from when Jesus was about 12 years old to when he reappeared in his early 30s and started his ministry. There is nothing in the gospels to indicate what he was doing for two-thirds of his life. There are many stories from the Indian subcontinent from that same time period about a person (name "Issa" and similar) from the West who spent years studying spiritual disciplines in Buddhist monasteries. Original Christianity embraced eastern philosphical concepts such as karma and reincarnation, and despite being deliberately erased from the Bible, quite a number of subtle references escaped the censors.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Yes, the Blue Meanie has also heard the stories about Jesus travelling in the East and the Bible originally containing references to reincarnation which were ruthlessly censored by the early Church with, as you say, only a few subtle references surviving. (Jesus tells his followers at one point that they will have to be born again. Hmmm, wonder what he meant by that? ) Samantha Joanne Ollendale is also officially broadcasting on The Blue Meanie's wavelength :cool:

[ 03-16-2002: Message edited by: The Blue Meanie ]

[ 03-16-2002: Message edited by: The Blue Meanie ]</p>
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post #116 of 227
Thread Starter 
dbl posts

[ 03-16-2002: Message edited by: The Blue Meanie ]</p>
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post #117 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by NoahJ:
<strong>

You should have looked and verified what was said in the post before praising it as a "fascinating read" that was abviously more truthful than the Bible itself. <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />

And Jesus survuving the Crucifixion and raising a family would be blasphemous. If that were indeed the case then man has no chance of redemption when they die. <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" /> </strong><hr></blockquote>

So Noah's true colours are showing again. Anything he doesn't agree with "blasphemous" Is this 2002 or 1502?
Until you have actually read the book in question, you have no legitimate right to dismiss it out of hand. I'm not saying "The Holy Blood" is necessarily true in its entirety, but it does at least present some evidence.
Allow me to quote you a news item in the latest edition of one of The Blue Meanie's favourite magazines <a href="http://www.forteantimes.com" target="_blank">The Fortean Times</a>:
[quote] "Behind that innocent face is the power of Satanic darkness. Harry Potter is the devil and he is destroying people," pastor Jack Brock, of the Christ Community Church, told reporters as the works of JK Rowling burned alongside those of Stephen King, AC/DC, Eminem and even Walt Disney. These books teach children how they can get into witchcraft and become a witch, wizard or warlock." Brock later admitted that he hadn't actually read any of the books. <hr></blockquote>
Sez it all really, doesn't it?

[quote] If that were indeed the case then man has no chance of redemption when they die. <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" /> <hr></blockquote>

Maybe Man has no need of redemption when we die? If the whole concept of Jesus "saving" humankind is bogus, then we don't have a problem.

[ 03-16-2002: Message edited by: The Blue Meanie ]</p>
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post #118 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote] In Luke and John the last words were "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" and "It Is Finished." The Two phrases are very similar in what they are saying. Not sure, maybe they wrote them in different languages and over they years they were interpreted differently? Same meaning, different words. Point 3 is really shaky.

The last points made have to do with historical thoughts on whether the Bible is complete and if things have been left out or not that compromises the integrity of the scriptures. I am not well enough studied in bilical history to make a good go at the truth of the matter but with this guy seemingly batting 0 I put no faith that his assertions are fully truthful, he seems to have an agenda that the facts are not backing. <hr></blockquote>

The New Testament was written entirely in Greek - the lingua franca of the eastern Mediterranean at the time.

[quote] I put no faith that his assertions are fully truthful, <hr></blockquote>

So, like, he must have been making it all up? Come on, Noah, that's not an answer. This is an internationally published book - ten years' research, one author a PHD. You can't just make stuff up.
If you don't have an answer to these allegations, but choose to continue believing that the Bible is the literally inspired word of God anyway, then of course, that's fine. I wouldn't want to knock you for that. But at least be big enough to admit it.
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post #119 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Samantha Joanne Ollendale:
<strong>

I know people also who claimed to have seen Jesus. I have read accounts of Indian yogis, Tibetan lamas Catholic nuns and others (Sri Yukteswar etc) who claim to have seen and even conversed with Jesus. I haven't seen him, so thats all irrelevant to me. I haven't seen an alien either, to my knowledge.

Looking back at the biblical story of Jesus' birth, what with the tales of the Star of Bethlehem, the "angel" at the crib, the "virgin birth", etc; this could just also be explained away as as a flying saucer hanging over the area, with an alien in a space-suit examining the newborn baby of an artificially induced pregnancy in a pre-selected mother. This interpretation is no more far-fetched than what the Christian Church expects its followers to believe. And, Jesus in his later life apparently was able to perform some really bizarre and mindboggling feats which turn some of the classic laws of physics upside down, re. human capabilities.

Most Christians I have met would readily concur that Jesus was definitely no ordinary human being. Perhaps he was an alien? I just don't know, and neither does anyone else, so I cannot believe or but faith in that possibility. Similarly, I cannot place faith in what Church officials (ordinary human beings) have decided to be the interpretation of the story that surrounds that teacher/shaman/yogi/alien/spiritual master/etc etc, whoever he was who lived 2000 years ago in the middle east. However I can accept that there is enough evidence that he existed as a historical figure, just as I can with, for example Plato, or Caesar, or Henry VIII etc etc.</strong><hr></blockquote>

<img src="graemlins/surprised.gif" border="0" alt="[Surprised]" /> Where do you find time to write these essays?
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post #120 of 227
Thread Starter 
[quote] Incidentally, do a Google search on my username for some interesting reading on another popular fellow that was around when that Jesus was. <hr></blockquote>

Yes, indeed. Noah and Fluffy might find Mithraism strangely familiar...
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