Philo's guide to decoding the Hebrew Bible

The study of religious or heroic legends and tales. One constant rule of mythology is that whatever happens amongst the gods or other mythical beings was in one sense or another a reflection of events on earth. Recorded myths and legends, perhaps preserved in literature or folklore, have an immediate interest to archaeology in trying to unravel the nature and meaning of ancient events and traditions.

Moderators: Minimalist, MichelleH

Ishtar
Posts: 2631
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:41 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Post by Ishtar » Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:15 am

Forum Monk wrote:Well I guess I owe you an apology as I used "Eleusian Mystery rites" as my search term. And I admit while I have read your posts I don't usually check all the links because if I had, it may have sunk in better.
FM - there was only one link, so that was not the issue. The issue is that you are not reading with an open mind. What in fact you've been doing is reading all these posts with one view in mind and one view only - that is to find hooks where you can come in and show how your brand of Chistianity is nothing to do with present day Gnosticism.

I didn't give any such hooks in the last mentioned posts, which is why they have not been registering with you. I was giving background on what the Gnostic/Mystery landscape was like in the broader geographical region when Jesus was supposed to have lived. This is background that you know next to nothing about and that was highly relevant to reaching a view. So you really needed to pay attention and read these posts with an open mind. Because you haven't done that, you are ill-prepared to debate with me.

You are also veering between wanting to having an open-spirited and friendly discussion and, the next minute, being on a highly confrontational crusade or mission to save your religion from us 'heretics' who are below contempt and will probably burn in hell. That's how you've been coming over, anyway.

So get that sort of Inquisitorial behaviour out of the way, and we can have the friendly and open spirited discussion you seek.





8)

seeker
Posts: 394
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:37 am

Post by seeker » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:08 am

Frankly, as I said before, I found The Jesus Mysteries to be well researched. The footnotes are really the only serious criticism I've ever seen of it. The thing is that they actually went to the trouble of going to the sites they wrote about and experiencing some of the things that initiates did in their rituals. To me that detail alone was what makes the book a great resource.

Ishtar
Posts: 2631
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:41 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Post by Ishtar » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:21 am

I must get it, in that case! :D

The other great plus with Freke and Gandy is, I think, they were the first authors to cotton on to the fact, or at least publish the fact, that the Gospel stories were allegorical and Gnostic/Mystery, and not Literal. That was a big step in the right direction.

The downside to the two books I mentioned earlier is that the authors hadn't yet made that leap, and were still thinking that the characters were historical and came to live in France and formed the Merovingian dynasty and all that rubbish...well, I believe it's rubbish.

However, their research was brilliant for showing me how similar Christianity was to the other practises in the Middle East and Mediterranean area to the point of being identical, had the forgers and censors not got hold of it.

seeker
Posts: 394
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:37 am

Post by seeker » Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:17 am

I think you'd really like The Jesus Mysteries, Ish. Between that and Mythmaker by Hyam Macoby (an out of print book but an outstanding examination of Paul's role in creating Christianity) I think you could get a pretty complete picture of where Christianity came from.

Minimalist
Forum Moderator
Posts: 15788
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:09 pm
Location: Arizona

Post by Minimalist » Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:38 am

Forum Monk wrote:

Your evidence is out of context quotations and does not hold up when shown in complete context in spite of your declarations.


Once a week at EvilBible.com some fundie shows up and claims the same exact thing. I have a routine with them.
I pick one of the OT's murderous episodes, such as:

Deut 2:
2:32 Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz.
2:33 And the LORD our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people.
2:34 And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain: 2:35 Only the cattle we took for a prey unto ourselves, and the spoil of the cities which we took.

And then invite them to put it in any context they wish and explain how 'good' their 'god' is. Oddly, very few of them ever return to step up to the plate for their deity.

Wonder why that is?
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

Ishtar
Posts: 2631
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:41 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Post by Ishtar » Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:13 am

Seeker, if you're not going to field this one, may 1?
Forum Monk wrote:
seeker wrote:
In fact your desperation was so great you ended up proving that the bible contains Gnostic doctrine.
Not at all. Your claim is that reference contains gnostic doctrine. So it is your burden of proof. Logos=christ emerged well after the gospels.
How could it have emerged "well after the gospels", Monk, when John, in the original Greek says, right in the first sentence: "In the beginning was the Logos, the Logos was God and the Logos was with God."

Later on in John 10, Jesus says "I and my father are one". And as we know Jesus was the son of God, he is obviously referring to God, his father, the Logos, meaning he and his father are one and the same, the Logos.

You can't get any clearer than that.... and it's pure Gnostic teaching as taught by Philo and the Greek philosophers like Heraclitus (535–475 BC) before him.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logos

Heraclitus established the term in Western philosophy as meaning both the source and fundamental order of the cosmos...... After Judaism came under Hellenistic influence, Philo adopted the term into Jewish philosophy. The Gospel of John identifies Jesus as the incarnation of the Logos, through which all things are made. The gospel further identifies the Logos as God (theos).
Also, this might interest you (it's written by Christians!)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_the_Logos
It is now widely believed among Jewish scholars that Phariseeism, Sadduceeism and the Pre-Gnostic cults which appeared in the second century BCE were a result of a syncretism of Hellenistic philosophy (in particular Platonism) and various Jewish beliefs [5]. Likewise, it is now widely accepted that even though fully developed Gnosticism did not appear until the beginning of the second century AD, pre-Gnosticism was present in the second century BC[6]. This syncretism is clearly seen in the parallelism of the Rabbinic writings, the Old Testament apocrypha, Philo, and the writings of the Greco-Roman philosophers[7]. It is further attested to by the Greco-Roman gifts that decorated Herod’s temple which were donated by Caesar, and the Greco-Roman mosaics that decorated the synagogues[8]. ....

Even though post-apostolic Christian writers struggled with the question of the identity of Jesus and the Logos, the Church’s doctrine that Jesus was the Logos never changed. Each of the first six councils, from the First Council of Nicea (325) to the Third Council of Constantinople (680-681) defined Jesus Christ as fully God and fully human.[9]. Christianity did not accept the Platonic argument that the spirit is good and the flesh is evil, and that therefore the man Jesus could not be God. Neither did it accept any of the Platonic beliefs that would have made Jesus something less than fully God and fully human at the same time. The original teaching of John’s gospel is, "In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God . . . And the Logos became flesh and dwelt among us"[10]. (The Greek rules of grammar determine the correct word order in English.)
I would like to add that although the Christians that wrote the above say: " Likewise, it is now widely accepted that even though fully developed Gnosticism did not appear until the beginning of the second century AD", they omit to mention that neither was there any trace of Literalist Christianity until that time, and in fact, they are dating the Gnostics to those Literalists attacking them - in other words, Literalists and Gnostics are neck-and-neck when it comes to attestation.
Last edited by Ishtar on Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

seeker
Posts: 394
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:37 am

Post by seeker » Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:32 am

Ishtar wrote:Seeker, if you're not going to field this one, may 1?
Have fun

Personally I think FM is doing the equivalent of covering his ears and shouting "La La La" in regards to this argument so the more people bashing him over the head with it the better. Until he realizes that his 'interpretations' of the text are really centuries of Christian apologia designed specifically to obscure the meaning of the plain text no one person will get through to him.

kbs2244
Posts: 2472
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 12:47 pm

Post by kbs2244 » Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:15 am

Min:
A little doctrine;

All of your “ethnic cleansing” examples fail to appreciate a simple thing.
You are attempting to put human judgment standards on a divine personality.
The time frames and moral standards just do not match.

Some of us view life as very precious because, while we can take it away, we cannot give it back, once taken.
YAWH doesn’t have that limitation. He can give back life to whoever he wants, whenever he wants.
And with an infinite memory, that may be 1000’s of human years after their death.

And as the creator YAWH had the right to say who and what could live where and when.
He literally owns the planet.
He is, in a sense, a landlord.
If he had squatters, who were not behaving up to his standards, he was, and is, within his rights to evict them and turn the property over to someone that is.

The killing of the wives and children comes under the heading of family responsibility.
When you become a husband and father, you take on responsibilities.
Your family’s future raises or falls based on your decisions.
A bad decision by a father can even today be fatal to his family.
In the days of the Canaan conquest, they were, on occasion, evidently removed to avoid any chance of their becoming a corrupting influence.
But as the story recorded at Number 31 points out, it was not a hard and fast rule.

No reason is given for why the distinction is made.
After all, who are we to question god’s decisions?
It will be YAWH’s decision as to weather or not, and when, the wives and children have a second chance at life.

The concept of a resurrection back to a human life is not very popular in today’s “Christian” churches. They have painted themselves into a corner with the going to heaven or hell as the only alternatives concept.
But this concept is one of the ones that early Christianity shared with the Hebrew religion.
(Not necessary with Judaism. The Pharisees did believe in the resurrection, but the Sadducees did not.)
In fact Jesus had a hard time getting the disciples to understand the concept.
The idea that some are to be resurrected to a heavenly life while some may be resurrected to an earthly life, and some may not be resurrected at all, may be one of the Gnostic mysteries Ish is looking for.
If you try, you can dig it out of The Revelation.
After all, it was written "well after the Gospels"

kbs2244
Posts: 2472
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 12:47 pm

Post by kbs2244 » Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:28 am

BTW Ish;
Your quote of John 1:1 is pretty well recognized by those with no axe to grind as being written that way after the Trinity doctrine was adopted.
If you can find an original Greek copy, or what is called an interlinear translation, where they put a word for word translation one line above another, you can see that John used 2 different Greek words for “god”
One meant “The God”, the Creator. The other meant “a god.” Some one super human, but not The God. An angel
So, with proper English capitalizing, your quote should read
"In the beginning was the Logos, the Logos was a god and the Logos was with God."
It refers to Jesus pre-human existence.

Ishtar
Posts: 2631
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:41 am
Location: UK
Contact:

Post by Ishtar » Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:32 am

kbs2244 wrote:BTW Ish;
Your quote of John 1:1 is pretty well recognized by those with no axe to grind as being written that way after the Trinity doctrine was adopted.
If you can find an original Greek copy, or what is called an interlinear translation, where they put a word for word translation one line above another, you can see that John used 2 different Greek words for “god”
One meant “The God”, the Creator. The other meant “a god.” Some one super human, but not The God. An angel
So, with proper English capitalizing, your quote should read
"In the beginning was the Logos, the Logos was a god and the Logos was with God."
It refers to Jesus pre-human existence.
So the original John was a polytheist!?! :lol: :lol:

Minimalist
Forum Moderator
Posts: 15788
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:09 pm
Location: Arizona

Post by Minimalist » Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:41 am

You are attempting to put human judgment standards on a divine personality.

Completely wrong, kb.

I don't accept for a single moment that any such 'god' exists.

These are stories written by MEN. In this case, men living many centuries after the "facts" they claim to be writing about.

Archaeology has shown convincingly that none of this stuff ever happened.

Jericho had no walls to come tumbling down. The reason is simple...the Egyptians who dominated the area would not permit the towns of Canaan to build defensive walls.

Ai was unpopulated for a 1,000 years. From the end of the Middle Bronze Age to sometime in Iron Age I there was no settlement for "Joshua" to destroy.

Two hundred years of digging in Egypt has failed to uncover any evidence that there were any "Israelites" in bondage there. Egyptian dominance of Canaan continued from roughly 1500 to 1150 BC with no indication that the Empire was ever "laid low" by any set of disasters. Israeli archaeologists scoured the Sinai in the aftermath of the Six-Day war and found NOTHING. NOt so much as a shard of broken pottery dating from the Late Bronze Age which could remotely suggest any wandering in the friggin' desert.

Other Israeli archaeologists went scouring the West Bank in the aftermath of that war and ascertained that the populations which later came to be "Israelites" and "Judahites" formed sometime after 1200 BC in the early Iron Age and after the area was ravaged by the Sea Peoples.

This is not news. These facts have been available to anyone who does not have their head stuck in the goddamn bible.

http://mideastfacts.org/facts/index.php ... &Itemid=34
Following 70 years of intensive excavations in the Land of Israel, archaeologists have found out: The patriarchs' acts are legendary, the Israelites did not sojourn in Egypt or make an exodus, they did not conquer the land. Neither is there any mention of the empire of David and Solomon, nor of the source of belief in the God of Israel. These facts have been known for years, but Israel is a stubborn people and nobody wants to hear about it

By Ze'ev Herzog

This is what archaeologists have learned from their excavations in the Land of Israel: the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is the fact that the united monarchy of David and Solomon, which is described by the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom. And it will come as an unpleasant shock to many that the God of Israel, Jehovah, had a female consort and that the early Israelite religion adopted monotheism only in the waning period of the monarchy and not at Mount Sinai.Most of those who are engaged in scientific work in the interlocking spheres of the Bible, archaeology and the history of the Jewish people - and who once went into the field looking for proof to corroborate the Bible story - now agree that the historic events relating to the stages of the Jewish people's emergence are radically different from what that story tells.
This board is about archaeology...not fairy tales.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

seeker
Posts: 394
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:37 am

Post by seeker » Mon Aug 11, 2008 12:55 pm

kbs2244 wrote:Min:
A little doctrine;

All of your “ethnic cleansing” examples fail to appreciate a simple thing.
You are attempting to put human judgment standards on a divine personality.
The time frames and moral standards just do not match.

Some of us view life as very precious because, while we can take it away, we cannot give it back, once taken.
YAWH doesn’t have that limitation. He can give back life to whoever he wants, whenever he wants.
And with an infinite memory, that may be 1000’s of human years after their death.

And as the creator YAWH had the right to say who and what could live where and when.
He literally owns the planet.
He is, in a sense, a landlord.
If he had squatters, who were not behaving up to his standards, he was, and is, within his rights to evict them and turn the property over to someone that is.

The killing of the wives and children comes under the heading of family responsibility.
When you become a husband and father, you take on responsibilities.
Your family’s future raises or falls based on your decisions.
A bad decision by a father can even today be fatal to his family.
In the days of the Canaan conquest, they were, on occasion, evidently removed to avoid any chance of their becoming a corrupting influence.
But as the story recorded at Number 31 points out, it was not a hard and fast rule.

No reason is given for why the distinction is made.
After all, who are we to question god’s decisions?
It will be YAWH’s decision as to weather or not, and when, the wives and children have a second chance at life.

The concept of a resurrection back to a human life is not very popular in today’s “Christian” churches. They have painted themselves into a corner with the going to heaven or hell as the only alternatives concept.
But this concept is one of the ones that early Christianity shared with the Hebrew religion.
(Not necessary with Judaism. The Pharisees did believe in the resurrection, but the Sadducees did not.)
In fact Jesus had a hard time getting the disciples to understand the concept.
The idea that some are to be resurrected to a heavenly life while some may be resurrected to an earthly life, and some may not be resurrected at all, may be one of the Gnostic mysteries Ish is looking for.
If you try, you can dig it out of The Revelation.
After all, it was written "well after the Gospels"
KB - Even by your reasoning God behaves pretty badly. he just as easily could have appeared to both sides and created not only a more peaceful situation but one that didn't encourage the kind of ethnocentrism that the OT is rife with. God clearly chooses violence over peace.

rich
Posts: 486
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:08 pm
Location: New York state

Post by rich » Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:00 pm

Seeker wrote:
God clearly chooses violence over peace.
Hmm - so do I - I like this guy :D
i'm not lookin' for who or what made the earth - just who got me dizzy by makin it spin

Minimalist
Forum Moderator
Posts: 15788
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:09 pm
Location: Arizona

Post by Minimalist » Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:24 pm

God clearly chooses violence over peace.

I guess god is a republican!
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

rich
Posts: 486
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:08 pm
Location: New York state

Post by rich » Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:26 pm

Nah - they're wusses too. Ya' gotta kill and mean it and not be afraid to declare it - even to your god. If he's any kind of god at all - he'll be glad ya' did and give you a reward!!! :D
i'm not lookin' for who or what made the earth - just who got me dizzy by makin it spin

Post Reply