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.

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Ishtar
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Post by Ishtar » Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:45 pm

Minimalist wrote:
This board is about archaeology...not fairy tales.
Er.. ahem ... Min ... he is in the mythology section ... the bit that is about fairy tales? Remember?

The whole point is that these are fairy tales, but they were fairy tales told for a reason. If we understand the reason, as we've been trying to do here, then the whole house of cards comes tumbling down. Yelling at it, threatening it and even ridiculing it has not so far, anyway, caused it to budge an inch.

8)

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Post by seeker » Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:02 pm

Yeah but sometimes its fun to howl at each other and wave sticks

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Post by Ishtar » Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:34 pm

Well ... you know what bonobos do when a fight breaks out? It's much more fun, imo. :lol:

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Post by seeker » Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:43 pm

Kind of makes you wonder if male bonobos don't just start fights to impress the girls

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Post by kbs2244 » Mon Aug 11, 2008 5:08 pm

Min:
I am surprised that you didn’t call me on the “written after the Gospels” thing.
By most accounts John wrote his after he wrote Revelation.

And I understand your point of view; I am just trying to explain why this sort of thing doesn’t bother those who have another point of view.

I do understand it.
I was a landlord for a while.
And I had some people I had to call on the legal system to throw out,.
(Given the lack of authority He has.)
And it cost me a bunch to fix the problems they left behind before I could let someone I trusted live there.
My property. My responsibly. My choices.

Ish:
You have to understand the God vs. god thing.
English doesn’t have the shades of meaning that Greek does.
A “god” was something super human.
“The God” was the supreme One.
Even Satan is referred to as “the god of this system of things” in 2 Corinthians 4.
Super human for sure, but not Supreme.

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Post by Minimalist » Mon Aug 11, 2008 5:11 pm

No point in arguing over the NT when the OT is such a sham. No building can stand on an insecure foundation.
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

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Post by seeker » Mon Aug 11, 2008 5:14 pm

kb - The only reason its different now is that the church didn't want people calling the angels gods. Would have been embarrassing for a 'monotheistic religion'.

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Post by rich » Mon Aug 11, 2008 6:25 pm

Seeker wrote:
kb - The only reason its different now is that the church didn't want people calling the angels gods. Would have been embarrassing for a 'monotheistic religion'.
Question for you Seeker:

What difference would monotheism or polytheism make? The Romans were polytheistic.
i'm not lookin' for who or what made the earth - just who got me dizzy by makin it spin

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Post by john » Mon Aug 11, 2008 7:16 pm

All -

A nice precis of the Elusinian logos and rites.

http://www.witchesway.net/links/elusinian.html

First, for Demeter you can also read Cybele and/or Isis,

Her "Grandmothers".

Second - and far more important -

Topologically logos

Fits rather beautifully into

Yin/Yang.

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

Rather than Jesus as Son of God,

Which in my opinion was a political/power

Ripoff from both sides of the argument.

Which, in turn, also fits

Rather beautifully into the Shamanic tradition,

Which places above all the awareness of the "Holy"

As balance

Rather than heirarchy.

Which leads us right back

Into the Paleolithic,

And the Bicameral.

And What are Zen Koans,

Or the Gnostic "Gospels",

Or the Elusinian rites,

- just as a few examples - but

Outcroppings of the Bicameral mind?


hoka hey

john
"Man is a marvellous curiosity. When he is at his very, very best he is sort of a low-grade nickel-plated angel; at his worst he is unspeakable, unimaginable; and first and last and all the time he is a sarcasm."

Mark Twain

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

rich wrote:Seeker wrote:
kb - The only reason its different now is that the church didn't want people calling the angels gods. Would have been embarrassing for a 'monotheistic religion'.
Question for you Seeker:

What difference would monotheism or polytheism make? The Romans were polytheistic.
:lol:
None really but then, strictly speaking there really aren't any monotheism's since even the most rabid ones believe in satan as well as god.

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Post by Minimalist » Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:36 pm

seeker wrote:Yeah but sometimes its fun to howl at each other and wave sticks

Uh-huh,

Image
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

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Post by john » Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:27 pm

Minimalist -

Since you asked, kinda.............

http://songweaver.com/info/bonobos.html

hoka hey

john
"Man is a marvellous curiosity. When he is at his very, very best he is sort of a low-grade nickel-plated angel; at his worst he is unspeakable, unimaginable; and first and last and all the time he is a sarcasm."

Mark Twain

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Post by Minimalist » Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:12 pm

Actually it was seeker who started with the bonobos but it is an interesting web site nonetheless.
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

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Post by Ishtar » Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:54 pm

kbs2244 wrote:
Ish:
You have to understand the God vs. god thing.
English doesn’t have the shades of meaning that Greek does.
A “god” was something super human.
“The God” was the supreme One.
Even Satan is referred to as “the god of this system of things” in 2 Corinthians 4.
Super human for sure, but not Supreme.
KB, thanks for lesson ... I'm sure I really needed to be shown the difference between God and gods.

But I'm still waiting for you to produce this 'original manuscript' of John's, all written in his fair hand, with this anomaly in.

You should know KB that we don't have originals, or anything like it, for any of the biblical texts. The earliest we have is third century and most of those are riddled with scribal errors and doctrinal interference.

Fact is, KB, all gods or God start off in human history as gods - Yahweh began life as a Canaanite god. It was only later that monotheists said 'there are no gods but God.'

But as I showed with Heraclitus, the Greeks saw the Logos as the Prime Cause and so, in this case, 'God' would be the nearest we can get in English to Prime Cause.

The simplest answer is always the one that's most likely to be true. You only have to twist yourself in semantic knots when you're trying to prove the unproveable.

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Post by Ishtar » Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:34 am

rich wrote: Question for you Seeker:
What difference would monotheism or polytheism make? The Romans were polytheistic.
Has this thread suddenly becomes Idiot’s Corner over night? What’s up, Rich? Was it a slow night on the Age of Conan, or something? I know there’ s not much else happening on this board at the moment, too. So I guess you had to come in here, like one of those dratted flies that always come in through my windows just before it rains.

I appreciate that you may have just discovered that the Romans were polytheistic and so wanted to rush on here and share it with the world and, more particularly, Seeker, who must have been very surprised by such news. But if you are going to post in this thread, please do a little research first - at least to the least extent of reading this thread before you post. That way, you won't find yourself asking stupid questions or stating the obvious.

I couldn’t decide between two options: Telling you to run along and play, and take your ball with you. Or giving you a Dummies Guide to where we’re at in this discussion. I decided on the latter, so you need to concentrate your brain cell now and pay attention to this next bit which is 101 if you want to avoid public embarrassment in the future:

Dummies Guide to this discussion

1. There is no evidence of Jesus in first century Jerusalem. No sign of a human man called Jesus Christ who performed miracles, had 12 disciples and died on the cross and rose again.

2. However, there is evidence at the time of groups of mystics or Gnostics, that told fictional stories about such a birth-death-rebirth deity as allegory in other words, to hide a deeper meaning which was a spiritual truth and not a historical truth. The word ‘gnostic’ is Greek for a sort of ‘inner knowing’ or mysticism. Each Gnostic sect had their own stories about this mythical godman and wrote their own gospels to support their spiritual practises. But none of them believed that these stories were true and historical and thus didn’t feel the need to harass others whose stories were slightly different.

3. The first evidence we have of any belief in a historical Jesus Christ is in the second century, when those who believed that Jesus had actually lived in the flesh started to attack in writing said peace loving, live-and-let-live Gnostic types. Because these second century attacking types thought the Jesus story was literally true, we call them Literalists. And it was the Literalists who canonised (made orthodox) the four gospels that we know today, and chucked out all the rest. Btw, not one of the Literalists was Jewish or came from Judaea.

4. In those days, practically the whole civilised Western world was then part of the Roman Empire. And, in the second and third centuries, its capital Rome was a hotbed of all sorts of religious and philosophical sects of which the Gnostics and the Literalists were just a small part. The Romans, as you rightly pointed out, were polytheistic and worshipped many gods. And one of their favourites was Mithras who was born on December 25 and whose body and blood they consumed in the form of bread and wine.

5. But then, in the early fourth century, along came the emperor Constantine. Constantine felt the need to consolidate what had now become the Holy Roman Empire under one law, and he decided the best way to do that was to establish one religion for all. So all these various sects and philosophy schools had to go and, for reasons best known to himself, he chose the Literalist Christian religion to become the religion of the empire – and now, with this kind of state backing, Literalist Christianity really took off.

6. Constantine got this bloke called Eusebius to write or create the history of the Christian Church, and so, until recently, most of what we knew about the history of Christianity was spun from Eusebius’s PR machine that advertised a real life, historical Jesus who lived from 1 CE to 32 CE. All the hundreds of different manuscripts of the stories of all the other sects were called in and those that didn’t fit the Brave New World were destroyed or rewritten out of recognition, over time. Libraries were burned and meeting places destroyed. Later on, tens of thousands of Gnostics, like the Cathars and Bogomils, were killed to keep the story of the historical Jesus the only one in town.

7. Some of the Gnostics in the fourth century, realising that this was happening, hid or buried their stories. But these didn't come to light until the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls between 1947 and 1979 on the West Bank, and the Nag Hammadi gospels in 1949.

8. But all of these Gnostic texts - for various reasons, including stalling by the authorities - have taken a long time to percolate down into the public domain. So it’s only really in the last 10-15 years that people have had free access to them, and have started asking these sorts of awkward questions of the Christian Church which is represented on here by Forum Monk and KB - you can see why the Christian Church is in trouble! :lol:

So I hope this helps.
Last edited by Ishtar on Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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