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"Revelations belongs to a particular literary type known as Apocalyptic and it follows the conventions of that type. While the only two surviving examples I can think of are part of the book of Daniel and - I think - 2 Esdras (Apocrypha) there were probably others floating around at the time."

 

There's also the Apocalypses of Peter and Baruch, respectively, and the Apocalypse of Paul, which is pretty much a padded out copy of Peter's.

 

They were big on the ol' imagery, obviously... :shock:

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I have to say - and it's not directly related to religion & theology - but it is sort of a...cousin is, something that REALLY gets on my wick is this garbage industry spawned in this "New Age" to

Before we go any further with this pointless debate can we first ascertain whether the Jesus guy even existed? Historical evidence only please, no anecdotes or hearsay,

Right! Fire away.

 

Na, whack in some herstorical! :wink:

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On Nazareth...

 

The Encyclopaedia Biblica, a work written by theologians, and perhaps the greatest biblical reference work in the English language, says: "We cannot venture to assert positively that there was a city of Nazareth in Jesus' time." 

 

Nazareth is not mentioned in any historical records or biblical texts of the time and receives no mention by any contemporary historian. Nazareth is not mentioned in the Old Testament, the Talmud (the Jewish law code), nor in the Apocrypha and it does not appear in any early rabbinic literature.

 

Nazareth was not included in the list of settlements of the tribes of Zebulon (Joshua 19:10-16) which mentions twelve towns and six villages, and

Nazareth is not included among the 45 cities of Galilee that were mentioned by Josephus (37AD-100AD), a widely traveled historian who never missed

anything and who voluminously describes the region. The name is also

missing from the 63 towns of Galilee mentioned in the Talmud. For me, Josephus is particularly significant. In his writings, he documents in great detail Roman military operations in this region, yet never once mentions Nazareth.

 

The first reference to Nazareth is in the New Testament where it can be found 29 different times. It is mentioned only in the Gospel and Acts. These books do refer to Nazareth, but they did not originate at this time, they are later writings. The earlier writings of the New Testament mention Jesus 221 times - but never once mention Nazareth.

 

It's known from archaeological digs in the region that there were settlers in

this area as far back as 700 B.C., however the founding of Nazareth as a "modern" settlement is believed by scholars to have taken place late into the

2nd Century, early into the 3rd.

 

.

 

Josephus also says that there were two hundred and four towns and villages in Galilee. Two hundred and four minus the 45 he actually mentions gives - um - 159 that he doesn't mention, but that he still says exist. Based on Josephus, this writer talks about 'Villages across the Landscape'.

 

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=WJPEwiPDjWUC&pg=PA190&lpg=PA190&dq=josephus+towns+of+galilee&source=bl&ots=Zj97mDNk8I&sig=NWDSAkupAMfUV2bbFkbLPx0YtZQ&hl=en&ei=9-pnTrOrM4zB8QOizaXJCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CFwQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=josephus%20towns%20of%20galilee&f=false

 

I don't see the relevance of the absence of Nazareth from a description of a few villages established in really ancient times (Joshua) and still less from it not being mentioned in the Old Testament or Apocrypha. Why should it be?

 

Do you have a reference for the Talmud list? I can't trace it.

 

By the earlier writings of the NT, I presume you mean mainly the writings of Paul? Paul mentions hardly anything about the life of Jesus, so the fact that he doesn't mention Nazareth is of no significance at all.

 

It's possible, of course, that Nazareth didn't exist and the term as applied to Jesus is derived from some variant of Nazarene as applied to the Essenes, possibly with John the Baptist as intermediary. But it seems to me to be very speculative. The argument for the non-existence of Nazareth remains an argument of silence - the idea that it is significant seems to me to be anachronistic, ie, to assume that it would be mentioned is an illusion created by the fact that it became famous later. At any rate, there doesn't seem to be nearly enough to justify the statement that the non-existence of Nazareth can be proven historically.

 

Another point is why, if the village didn't exist, it had to be invented at all. Jesus must have come from somewhere, so what would have been wrong with stating where he did come from - why invent a mythical homeplace that no-one could find? It doesn't seem to have been in order to fake the fulfillment of a prophecy, because the only Gospel writer who ties it to a prophecy (as far as I can think) - Matthew - uses a prophecy that doesn't seem to be Biblical, and that no one to my knowledge can trace - suggesting that he fitted a half-remembered text to the village rather than the other way round. You could conjecture that there was something wrong with the name 'Nazarene' that the early Christians didn't want to be associated with Jesus - such as a connection with the Essenes - but speculations are beginning to pile up.

 

Who are the scholars who believe that the founding of Nazareth as a "modern" settlement happened late into the 2nd Century, early into the 3rd?

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Jesus must have come from somewhere, so what would have been wrong with stating where he did come from

 

Why should he have come from anywhere? To a lot of us he is simply a mythical figure copied from various other religious movements of the time. Unless you present any evidence to the contrary thats the way it will stay for me.

 

And your arguments are a bit on the straw man principal. You are not addressing the main issues.

 

Instead of picking away at a the lack of evidence for nazereth your position would be better served providing some of your own evidence that it was a real place at the time this jesus was supposedly born.

 

The evidence and logic to support a jesus/christian belief system is extremely weak, as it is for all religions. That is why we can arrive at the view that they do not deserve respect. If you can argue the contrary from either position I for one, would be interested in what you had to say.

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The original Irish Christian church derived much of their practices and beliefs from a group of Egyptian Coptic monks, who came to Gaul, establishing a monastery on the isle of Lerins. The Coptic Christianity derived from the Church of Jerusalem, and had no connection to the Roman or Byzantine churches. When the first Council met at Nicea, there were representatives there from the Irish Christian church.

 

Patrick, like his successor, Augustine, was given a mission by the Church of Rome, in which both were ordained. This was to convert Ireland to the true Christianity. The pre-Nicene Christianity extant there had much in common with other "heresies" of the day, including the Arians. They denied that Jesus was born a God, as part of the Holy Trinity, and insisted he had been raised to a higher state only after baptism. This was a standard teaching of the Coptic Christian church at this time.

 

Paganism was still present in Ireland, however the Church of Rome viewed Irish Christianity as being just as dangerous. They therefore dealt with it the same way they had the Arian "heresy". Eighty Benedictine monks were sent as missionaries to convert the lay folk and turn them against the "godless" ways of paganism, and of the Irish Christians.

 

On reflection, I do seem to have demonised Patrick somewhat. It was more Augustine and those who followed over the next few hundred years, who did the bulk of the damage. He simply laid the ground for them, with the mission to turn the populace against the early Irish church. One of the biggest sticking points was always the Irish insistence that Roma had no dominion over them, and that Christ was the only true leader of their church. This was a real red rag to successive popes. It was only really resolved in the late 12th Century, when Diarmut, aided by Henry II, overthrew The High King. A Papal Legate was established around 1172, and the full process of "Catholicisation" of the country and of the Irish Church finally took place.

 

The "snakes out of Ireland" bit does indeed represent the paganism, which was still very well established in the country at the time of Patrick's mission there. In addition to the old earth serpent bit, there was also the link to the vile serpent that first tempted Man from God. Good imagery to the superstitious Gaels.

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J.D.Crossan and Bellarmino Bagatti are the sources on the refounding of Jerusalem during the Hasmonean period. Ask and ye shall receive...

 

Bagatti was the Franciscan that excavated there between '55 and '60.

 

By the way, I never said Nazareth never existed. That's twisting my words a tad. I said I believe, based on available evidence and logic, that Jesus (and his cousin John) was a member of the Nasorean sect of Essenes. I do not believe that Nazareth existed as a geographical settlement at the time of his life. I believe that this is a combination of confusion/mistranslation/human error, and a prevalent prejudice and distaste for the Essenic sect of Judaism at the time in question (you read of Pharisees and Sadducees in the NT, but not Essenes? Why is THAT, when we know they existed as a significant branch of the faith?).

 

"You could conjecture that there was something wrong with the name 'Nazarene' that the early Christians didn't want to be associated with Jesus - such as a connection with the Essenes - but speculations are beginning to pile up."

 

Well now, let me see. The Nasoreans preached pacifism and service to others. They eschewed the gathering of wealth, or power over others. They were intensely spiritual people, who believed their very belief and piety would succeed over violence.

 

On the other hand, the Roman Church of Paul's, believed in the spread and accumulation of power. They tied themselves to and endorsed the biggest, baddest, most violent bunch around at the time, blessing the killing and pillaging done by the Roman emperors and armies "in Christ's name".

 

Why WOULD the Roman Church - founded by a man who had never met, heard or seen Jesus - POSSIBLY not want anything to do with a sect of ultra-religious and orthodox pacifists that the man himself likely originated from...? Nope, that's a toughie! You've got me there, DP :roll:

 

"speculation"? Like the speculation of ANY legitimacy or basis in truth of ANY of the Roman Church, and, by dint of their having wiped out all opposing Christian sects - the Christian Church as we know it today, in ALL its many forms?

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DP, thought this might interest you...

 

"e) In GMark, "Nazareth" (1:9) shows in the Greek as 'nazaret' (simplified Beta code, as in next transliterations). "Nazarene" (1:24/10:47--as in the most reliable ancient manuscripts--/14:67/16:6) is 'nazarhne'/'nazarhnos'/'nazarhnou'/'nazarhnon' (vocative/nominative/genitive/accusative).

It seems "Mark" derived 'nazarhn/e/os/ou/on' according to what he wrote for "Gerasenes" (5:1) (inhabitants of Gerasa): 'gerashnwn' ("wn" is the common termination for genitive-plural-neuter nouns. The singular form is "ou"). That would explain the "hn"!

Josephus, in Wars, II, XVIII, 5, called the same inhabitants 'gerashnoi' ("oi" is the common termination for nominative-plural-neuter nouns. Its genitive form is "wn"), corroborating the spelling in GMark, even if he named the city 'gerasa' earlier in section 1 of the same chapter.

 

Another possible source of inspiration for "Mark": 2Co11:32 has "Damascus" and "Damascenes" in the following Beta transliterations: 'damaskw' ("w" is the dative termination, 'damaskos' for nominative) and 'damaskhnwn' ("wn" stands for the genitive form).

Josephus, in Ant., IX, XII, 3, called the same inhabitants 'damaskhnous'

("ous" is the common termination for accusative-plural-neuter nouns. Its genitive form is "wn"), corroborating the spelling in '2Corinthians'. In the same section, he named the city 'damaskon' ("on" is for accusative-singular-

neuter noun. Its dative form is "w"). "Damascenes" appears also in Wars, I, IV, 8, as 'damaskhnoi' ("oi" stands for the nominative form)."

 

and...

"Nazareth" is called 'nazara' in Mt4:13 & Lk4:16: would it be spelled that way to fit 'nazarhnos' ("Nazarene", singular nominative)? Not likely, considering Josephus (Wars, IV, VII, 3-5): he named a city 'gadara', and then its

inhabitants 'gadarewn' (plural genitive form; the singular nominative is 'gadareos', NOT 'gadarhnos'). Also, in Josephus' Life, a city is named 'gabara' (25) and its inhabitants 'gabarwn' (singular nominative: 'gabaros', NOT 'gabarhnos') (61)."

 

and...

"f) Mt2:22b-23 Darby "... he [Joseph] went away into the parts of Galilee, and came and dwelt in a town called Nazareth [Greek 'nazaret', as in Mk1:9] so that that should be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophets, He shall

be called a Nazaraean [Greek 'nazwrios', usually translated as Nazorean]."

'Nazwrios' cannot be a derivation of 'nazaret' (because of the 'w')."

 

I'll leave you to make sense of it. It's all Greek to me!

:wink:

 

PS

YOU call it "a village". Not so in Luke 1:26,27; Luke 2:3,4; Matthew 2:22,23; Luke 2:39,40. In each, it is referred to as "a city". It had a synagogue that Jesus was supposed to have preached in, remember? That makes it a fairly significant settlement, not just a wee village that might be overlooked...

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Still trying to find the Talmudic list. I can say that since he published his article, first citing this, there have been numerous attacks on Frank Zindler, for one or another aspect of his statements, but none regarding the Talmudic list of Galilean towns or villages (or cities! :wink:).

 

I'll keep at it...

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The original Irish Christian church derived much of their practices and beliefs from a group of Egyptian Coptic monks, who came to Gaul, establishing a monastery on the isle of Lerins. The Coptic Christianity derived from the Church of Jerusalem, and had no connection to the Roman or Byzantine churches. When the first Council met at Nicea, there were representatives there from the Irish Christian church.

 

Patrick, like his successor, Augustine, was given a mission by the Church of Rome, in which both were ordained. This was to convert Ireland to the true Christianity. The pre-Nicene Christianity extant there had much in common with other "heresies" of the day, including the Arians. They denied that Jesus was born a God, as part of the Holy Trinity, and insisted he had been raised to a higher state only after baptism. This was a standard teaching of the Coptic Christian church at this time.

 

Paganism was still present in Ireland, however the Church of Rome viewed Irish Christianity as being just as dangerous. They therefore dealt with it the same way they had the Arian "heresy". Eighty Benedictine monks were sent as missionaries to convert the lay folk and turn them against the "godless" ways of paganism, and of the Irish Christians.

 

On reflection, I do seem to have demonised Patrick somewhat. It was more Augustine and those who followed over the next few hundred years, who did the bulk of the damage. He simply laid the ground for them, with the mission to turn the populace against the early Irish church. One of the biggest sticking points was always the Irish insistence that Roma had no dominion over them, and that Christ was the only true leader of their church. This was a real red rag to successive popes. It was only really resolved in the late 12th Century, when Diarmut, aided by Henry II, overthrew The High King. A Papal Legate was established around 1172, and the full process of "Catholicisation" of the country and of the Irish Church finally took place.

 

The "snakes out of Ireland" bit does indeed represent the paganism, which was still very well established in the country at the time of Patrick's mission there. In addition to the old earth serpent bit, there was also the link to the vile serpent that first tempted Man from God. Good imagery to the superstitious Gaels.

 

Yes, but not being a church historian, I would really need to know your sources for this. For example:

 

"The original Irish Christian church derived much of their practices and beliefs from a group of Egyptian Coptic monks, who came to Gaul, establishing a monastery on the isle of Lerins."

 

Where do you get this information from?

 

Edit: Ah, Google is coming up with some stuff on this. Like I said, not being a church historian I like to see if I can ferret out where the info is from.

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Before we go any further with this pointless debate can we first ascertain whether the Jesus guy even existed?

 

One copypasted, clone, composite Christ, coming right up; homebaked in an unholy trinity...

 

The father

 

The life of Joseph, son of Jacob in the Old Testament, has some of the most interesting parallels to the life of Jesus...

 

The son

 

Caesarion was proclaimed a god, son of god and "King of Kings".

 

And

 

 

 

Mix ingredients thoroughly for best results. :wink:

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So then, Lerins? The Coptics? Patrick? Still needing sources?

 

" not being a church historian I like to see if I can ferret out where the info is from."

 

Nor am I and never laid claim to be.

 

"It doesn't seem to have been in order to fake the fulfillment of a prophecy, because the only Gospel writer who ties it to a prophecy (as far as I can think) - Matthew - uses a prophecy that doesn't seem to be Biblical, and that no one to my knowledge can trace - suggesting that he fitted a half-remembered text to the village rather than the other way round."

 

Which of his references to prophecy are you referring to? By my recollection there's more than one, although I may be wrong. I'm interested to know.

 

I'm aware of the significance of silence from an historical viewpoint. Like Philo of Alexandria is totally, utterly silent regarding anything at all about Jesus. He doesn't even make the most oblique reference to him, yet he was around at the time following Jesus' death, and is one of the most important sources of information on Jews and the Holy Land, from a Judaic religious viewpoint...

 

Anyway, believe it or not, I'm perfectly willing to accept that someone existed around this time, giving rise to the story. But I see you like to discuss the finer points rather than the elephant in the room...

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Maybe if you searched for the answers at church then maybe you would find Christ. When you find him you will know. When I was going through a tough time, my wife left me for a sleaze bag, she took the kids and the house. And the dog. She was called Susan, the dog not my wife. My wife is a dog but I digress. But when I looked behind me once at the beach there were two sets of footprints. Usually this was the dogs pawprints. But as Susan was being pampered by sleaze mcsleaze she wasn't there. These foot prints were jesus's but when I got tired Jesus carried me up the beach. And as such there was only one set of footprints. I asked Jesus why and... No wait im telling it wrong.

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Maybe if you searched for the answers at church then maybe you would find Christ. When you find him you will know. When I was going through a tough time, my wife left me for a sleaze bag, she took the kids and the house. And the dog. She was called Susan, the dog not my wife. My wife is a dog but I digress. But when I looked behind me once at the beach there were two sets of footprints. Usually this was the dogs pawprints. But as Susan was being pampered by sleaze mcsleaze she wasn't there. These foot prints were jesus's but when I got tired Jesus carried me up the beach. And as such there was only one set of footprints. I asked Jesus why and... No wait im telling it wrong.

 

You should be glad to be well rid.

She "took the house"!? How far?

In my experience the 'bodybuilding' type of women are selfish lovers.

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Maybe if you searched for the answers at church then maybe you would find Christ. When you find him you will know. When I was going through a tough time, my wife left me for a sleaze bag, she took the kids and the house. And the dog. She was called Susan, the dog not my wife. My wife is a dog but I digress. But when I looked behind me once at the beach there were two sets of footprints. Usually this was the dogs pawprints. But as Susan was being pampered by sleaze mcsleaze she wasn't there. These foot prints were jesus's but when I got tired Jesus carried me up the beach. And as such there was only one set of footprints. I asked Jesus why and... No wait im telling it wrong.

 

You should be glad to be well rid.

She "took the house"!? How far?

In my experience the 'bodybuilding' type of women are selfish lovers.

 

SHE doth totally protest! That's it, blame all us evil old hags again. Always the blooming woman's fault - the bloke couldn't have anything to do with it whatsoever now could he? Whilst separating and divorcing is FAR from easy (And I should know), us mere female mortals aren't all bad (Although according to some, we may definitely be deadlier).

 

Oh yeah, and 'selfish lovers' - err it takes two to tango (Der der da der der with red rose in mouth) :lol: :twisted: :cry:

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