Tell me the pros and cons about these thoughts of mine. Let me know if They are wrong. Expound on it please! I don't want to tell anything if it is wrong.

The bible was composed for governments. It was never intended to be a people's book. The council of Niccea composed this book as more of a constitution. A book to put fear into any nation who opposed them (like the Hebrews). Now you could only pray to God using the Christian method and our savior from our country. Only in the name of Jesus would God hear you from now on.

Thanks for any input.

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"Matt, you claim that worshipers of Dionysus only got wasted in the forest and had orgies: yes the Maenads did that. But they were only one of the groups of mystics of Dionysus.

The other group, the celebrants of the Orpheic mysteries, were vegetarians and concerned with purity and virtue, plus they did not eat meat (and hence could not partake of the goat sacrifices of the Maenads and replaced these rituals with offering bread)."

Ah, that's very interesting. I did not know that (though my statement that all the Dionysus-worshippers were wasted was meant to be a humorous generalisation rather than my actual position: the point was simply that they weren't very similar to early Christian sects).

It doesn't help your claims though, which were that there was an identical communion, grand parallels with Christian theology, and that Dionysus was a good "model" for a Christ. Oh, and that Jesus declared himself to be Dionysus when he said "I am the vine".

You've yet to substantiate any of those.

"Please look it up and confirm facts before you lash out like Glenn Beck again.

Oh, and quit including yourself among us rationalists. Rationalists don't have to insult people to get points across. They remain, by definition, cool and rational."

Cool and rational? I've been both of those every moment in this thread, or on this forum for that matter. Just because some people confuse me using an expletive with me getting emotional or upset doesn't mean that I actually was.
And I never insulted you at all, so I don't know what you're going on about.

So don't compare me to Glenn Beck just because I called one of your arguments bullshit, please. Unless you're now going to defend those claims.

Sorry about you being dragged into that discussion about my supposed sins, by the way.
Matt, u said:
It doesn't help your claims though, which were that there was an identical communion, grand parallels with Christian theology, and that Dionysus was a good "model" for a Christ. Oh, and that Jesus declared himself to be Dionysus when he said "I am the vine".

I say:
I do not believe that Jesus said this. The only empirical study that has been done re: the possibility of a historical Jesus is the 'Jesus Seminary', and they claim that Yeshua most likely did exist but he only said and did about 18 percent of what the evangelists say he said and did. Most of what we know as Christianity evolved during the 'oral' age of the development of the early sect, which according to the Jesus Seminary is roughly between the years 40-70 of Common Era.

The Gospels were written as propaganda by early Christian writers in order to present their own versions of Christianity.

And I believe that it was these Gospel writers who attributed the words 'I am the Vine' to Jesus. They would have done this to attract Greeks who were familiar with these Orpheic and wine mysteries. It was mythography on their part.

Also, the Orpheic mysteries predate Christianity by at least six centuries.
Ah, OK. That doesn't really change the fact that you need to prove this though (see below).

As for the Jesus Seminar, I'm actually not that big of a fan; many scholars have noted that when researchers (especially Christian ones) examine the gospels, they tend to discover a Jesus that always just happens to have eery similarities to what they already believe. Fundamentalists like William Lane Craig look at the gospels and find a fundamentalist Jesus. Atheist apologists (yes, it's not always Christians) look at the gospels and find a non-existent Jesus or one that is a reflection of pagan parallels. And the overwhelmingly liberally Christian Jesus Seminar finds a liberal hippie Jesus.

None of this is surprising, and because it conforms to their own beliefs so much, I can't give any of them the seal of authenticity.
What the Jesus Seminar has essentially done (besides discarding John almost in its entierity, which is just common sense) is discarding all the apocalyptic and just plain awkward sayings as ahistorical, and accepting all the nice and happy sayings (Good samaritan, turn the other cheek, etcetera) as historical.

I don't find that very convincing at all. Considering that most of the earliest material on Jesus' teachings (Mark) is explicitly apocalyptic, and that this fits with our expectation of Jewish preachers in the First Century AD, I'm much more inclined towards the apocalyptic Jesus as proposed by scholars like Bart Ehrman and Geza Vermes.

At least they are arguing for a Jesus that isn't simply a reflection of their own identity.

"They would have done this to attract Greeks who were familiar with these Orpheic and wine mysteries. It was mythography on their part."

So you keep claiming. But the fact remains that this "I am the vine" thing was just one of the many dozens of analogies and metaphors that Jesus used (or rather: the gospel writers depict him as using). So what is your evidence that this is one is special; and is an indication of he Gospel writers trying to woo pagans, no less.

That's quite a claim.
I can understand Historians studying all these myths as a way to understanding mythology's effect on society but my view would be that they are all B/S so splitting hairs about which of them was borne of a virgin and which was'nt is absolutely irrelelavent.
The old adage 'history is written by the victors', what is relative to us now is not this anylitical paring about the inner workings of these cults, what they believed or why they believed it, but the way such machinations are used upon the societies that play host to them.
If you want living history as to what this means look at America and the beginnings of the dismantling of their Constitution and Bill of rights. Any reasoned analysis of the founding documents and the founding Father's intent is, I feel obvious, in the seperation of Church and State.
Why was the Bible written? It is a Codex of political and socio-psychological actions to dominate the individuals rights and freedoms, a complete fabrication created over centuries and therefore will include many comparable myths and legends who's exactitudes are only of interest to scholars. It is texturally and historically indefensible. All the stories have been added to over the aeons to try keep up to the development of the individual and society in general. It is no surprise therefore that people will draw, sometimes mistaken, parallels at the basic thrust of all religions.
Why on Nexus where we draw similarities in species to not only show evolution but within that that it is not linear and has many branches and dead ends. The beast religion has changed it's coat many times to adapt to changing conditions and influences but is and always has been the same beast. The Bible and all the other books going as far back into history as you wish reflect that as they have had to change in order to continue So all the time they have denied evolution the Bible and other books have in actual fact had to evolve. So it was composed to reflect those changes.
He did NOT exist so any book composed about him or any other make believe figures must have an ulterior motive. That motive must be power and politics as that is what is derived from them. So all the bible studies in the thread are merely knitting fog. However it is amusing to watch everyone disappear up their own theorems discussing which parts of the book of nonsense is true or factual.
P.S there was no government per se in the times under discussion there was the monarch and there was the church both of whom the holy books served very well. True universal sufferage is a phenomana only created within living memory.
It makes sense that this book served the church and state. Both of whom promoted it's infallibility giving reason why it is so highly regarded today.
Why are you sure that he did not exist?
Hi Orange,

I went back to the debate we had in the "Did Jesus Exist" thread (it's on page 67-68-70 if anyone's interested) and I thought I was perfectly gentle with you, since you proved yourself to be quite open-minded and courteous, so I was happy to be so in return.

In fact, I encourage everyone who thinks I'm so poisonous to rational discourse to read that debate again and tell me where I was offensive in any way or obstructed debate.
I have no idea if he did or did not exist. It would be nice to go back and find out for myself. It is an interesting subject no doubt. I have heard many great arguments for and against the existence of Jesus which puts me square in the middle. By the way, it has absolutely nothing to do with why you were attacked in retaliation (Just to set the record straight and quell any assumptions).
Matt, it isn't your facts that most of us have a problem with, it is in fact your character that you mentioned. We all suffer through your rantings to get to the point of your posts. It seems to lessen the quality of them.

"You know, for a rationalist, you really don't check your fucking facts"

"the moment is rapidly approaching where you admit that you don't have a clue what you're talking about"

"That's a load of crap"

"I'm calling bullshit on everything that's in your post"

"I don't even know where to begin with this cluster of misinformation"

"you're clutching at straws now"

"This is the second time you've done this: next time I won't be so gentle"

"The amount of misinformation gets nauseating towards the end"

"Total bullshit"

"Seriously mate, you need to check your sources more carefully. For a rationalist, that really shouldn't be too hard"

-Matt VDB

But fear not, he does have a good twin!

"I don't see any evidence for that at all" -Matt VDB

I'm afraid I don't see any insults there at all. I plead guilty to being combative (sometimes overly so) but none of the above are real attacks on someone's character; except maybe for the first one you stated, which in the heat of a debate, was about the nicest way I could tell someone that they weren't checking their facts: hardly an ad-hominem.

All the others are not insults, and they sure as hell aren't rantings. Telling someone that a paragraph of their post is a load of crap is often a statement of fact. As is telling someone that it's full of misinformation or that it's bullshit. Saying that it's false is always an option (the one I usually employ) but high degrees of falsity will often get a naughty word.

It is true that when someone fails to see a point and doesn't check their facts, I'll use some light sarcasm to edge them towards that (that's when you see words like bullshit etcetera coming out). Also, I think I can happily link you to several dozens of other posts where I've been perfectly gentle with people who have shown to be open-minded and not simply clinging to their myths.

So I will very humbly suggest that you get a thicker skin. Whenever you see me attacking a poster more than their points, or attacking a poster without adressing their points, feel free to call me out on that, but when I'm attacking content and arguments, I think I'm free to do that whichever way I want to.



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