Question to theists.

Is there a god? What is the meaning of life?
1nick
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Re: Question to theists.

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Good post hobbyguy.
Crazy post joe.

hobbyguy wrote:What gets muddled is the difference between religion and the possible existence of a power, continuum, existence or whatever label you choose, and religions.

Religions are a different kettle of fish as they always morph into a way to control people. It is probably easiest to recognize that if you look at religions that have not been brought up with. far more difficult if you look at religions that you have been exposed to while growing up.

The potential existence of a something that transcends human existence? That is a vexing question, and one that requires "us" getting over our own innate arrogance, and recognizing our own ignorance and limitations.

The ancient Greeks postulated the atom. They had no proof and despite being one of the civilizations that elevated logic. accepted the idea. We have been able to "prove" that atoms exist.

How many of us understand what the heck a Higg's boson is, and what the heck it does? Not me. But I accept that scientists have "proven" that it exists. That acceptance is based on my "faith" that those scientists know what they are doing and are being truthful. I certainly can't examine their papers/methods/results and make a judgement as to whether or not they are correct, or simply found what their expectations lead them to.

So "we" have gone from the Greeks postulating the atom as the smallest particle, to electrons, protons and neutrons, and down to quarks and bosons, and to the smallest particle - the Higg's boson - but wait! - now "techni-quarks" are postulated as smaller than the Higg's boson. And I accept all of that, based on my faith in science that is beyond my understanding.

In order to "prove" or "disprove" the existence of a transcending something, we, as individuals, would have to be able to understand everything. I'm not there. "We" aren't there.

There are a couple of things that that are fairly clear. "We" have a desire to make "sense" of things. That means that we have to have faith (for lack of a better expression) in some regime of thought. The question posed implies a faith and belief in science and the scientific method. I subscribe to that faith and belief in science, but I also do so conditionally. Science has evolved, and continues to evolve precisely because it is an abstract human invention designed to help us understand our human experiences. All human inventions have limitations.

Science can not measure everything. Twenty years ago we could not do the measurements needed to prove or disprove the existence of the Higg's boson. The lack of evidence and proof of existence of the Higg's boson did not turn out be evidence of the Higg's boson not existing. And just because I don't understand the Higg's boson, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. And who knows, maybe in twenty years we will find out that the Higg's boson is a conglomeration of a half dozen different types of "techni-quarks", and so on.

From the small to the large. Virtually every culture has a creation myth. The science culture seems to have settled on the "big bang" theory. From nothing comes everything in one big explosion. That's not a far cry from every other creation myth's basis, and seems just about as logical.

Something from nothing.

There is indeed a lot more that we don't know than we do know. That leaves a lot of room.

So I'll stick to the agnostic position and basically continue to believe that there is something overarching, and that it may "prove" to be outside of the realms of possibility for science, logic, and human understanding. Infinite chaos is too big for me.



averagejoe wrote:Many Israelite names show up in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. This from the deportation of Israelites from the Northern 10 tribe Nation of Israel in the around 612 B.C. by the Assyrians. (10 Tribes or know as the Lost Sheep of Israel) To be freed later by Scythians who destroyed the Assyrian Empire about 90 years later. Also the Nation of Judah ( 2 Tribes, Benjamen and Judah were taken into captivity by the Babylonians.)
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averagejoe
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Re: Question to theists.

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Whats so crazy? It's history of God's people. Maybe you shouldn't look at just Greek history. Maybe you should look at other historians.

The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus

Flavius Josephus was a Jewish historian. He wrote around the end of the first century AD, and his two most significant works were the 'Jewish War' and the 'Antiquities of the Jews'.

Josephus was born around 37 AD, and became a Pharisee. He then joined the zealots who rebelled against Roman rule between 66 and 74AD, becoming a leader of their forces in Galilee, and living through the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. He was captured by the Romans, and would have been executed, but he went over to them.

Josephus became the Roman emperor's adviser on Jewish affairs, and died in about 98 AD. 'Josephus' was his Jewish name, and he took the name 'Flavius' in honour of the family of his imperial sponsor. His 'Jewish War' was largely based on his first-hand experiences. It focuses on the period AD 66 to 73. 'Antiquities of the Jews' covers the whole of history up to AD 66. Out of twenty books, six cover the period from the reign of Herod the Great to AD 66 - i.e. the period when Jesus lived.

In his writings, Josephus mentions the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Herodians. He mentions Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, John the Baptist, Jesus (twice) and James the brother of Jesus. He also mentions the Essenes - the strict religious sect within Judaism that founded the Qumran community, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. In fact, Josephus says that he spent some time with the Essenes. This is how he describes it (Cited by Carsten Peter Thiede in 'The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Jewish origins of Christianity.'):
When I was about sixteen, I wanted to gain first-hand experience of our different movements. There are three: first, the Pharisees, second the Sadducees, and third the Essenes - as I have noted frequently. I thought I would be able to choose the best, by learning about all these schools. Thus I steeled myself for the task and studied the three courses with some effort.

In book 18 of the Antiquities, 63-64, the text of Josephus as we have it today says:
About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it is lawful to call him a man, for he was a performer of wonderful deeds, a teacher of such men as are happy to accept the truth. He won over many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the leading men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again on the third day, as the prophets of God had foretold these and ten thousand other wonders about him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.'

In fact, this text is a bit too much of a good thing for our purposes. It seems unlikely that a Jew such as Josephus would have written some of the things in this passage. Most scholars today agree that it has been altered by early Christians seeking to 'improve' it. It seems more likely that Josephus originally wrote something like this:
About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, for he was a performer of wonderful deeds, a teacher of such men as are happy to accept the truth. He won over many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. When Pilate, at the suggestion of the leading men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him at the first did not forsake him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.'

Even without the questionable additions, notice what this passage tells us about Jesus:

He was a real historical person
He was a teacher
He was a worker of wonders (miracles)
He gathered a band of followers, who continued to follow him after his death.

However, there is a second reference to Jesus in the works of Josephus. In Antiquities 20.200, he describes how, in AD 62, the high priest Ananus was deposed because he had illegally
convened the Sanhedrin [the highest Jewish religious court / governing body]. He had brought before them the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ, who was called James, and some other men, whom he accused of having broken the law, and handed them over to be stoned.

Notice the following points from this quotation from Josephus:

Jesus had a brother called James
James was executed by the Jewish leaders in AD 62
There were claims that Jesus was the Messiah (that is, the Christ).

There is one other important point to notice from this quotation. Most scholars do not doubt the authenticity of this second reference to Jesus. Yet this passage refers to Jesus as the 'so-called Christ'. This brief comment appears to link back to Josephus' earlier reference to Jesus, and may even show that what he originally wrote there included some such comment as 'Jesus the so-called Christ.' Several of the books listed include some discussion of these passages from Josephus.


http://www.facingthechallenge.org/josephus.php
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Re: Question to theists.

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At the time of Jesus, Israelite's were of great multitudes across the Euphrates River. (Which is Iraq and Iran, at that time was called Parthia).

Josephus Wrote About the Lost Tribes of Israel

Where was the exact place of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel to be carried captive in Assyrian Empire? The Bible records:
"the king of Assyria carried Israel away captive to Assyria, and put them in Halah and by the Habor, the River of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes." (2 Kings 18:11)
These places are located in today's northern Iraq or Northwest Iran called Kurdistan. The Ten Tribes of Israel were firstly compelled to emigrate there, and this is also a starting point of our research.
There is a Jew named Josephus Flavius, a very reliable historian who lived in the first century C.E.. In his book of history, there is a description about whereabouts of the Ten Tribes:
"...the Ten Tribes who are beyond the Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude, whose numbers cannot be estimated." (Antiquities 11:2)
Josephus wrote that in the first century C.E., the Ten Tribes of Israel lived as an immense multitude beyond Euphrates River. This may mean that some of of them lived in the close area east of Euphrates River and others moved to a place far beyond east of the Euphrates.
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Re: Question to theists.

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Is this thread intended for proof of Jews or a deity? We already know Jews exist.
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Re: Question to theists.

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The Behistun Rock in Iran shows Israelite's going into captivity by the Assyrians after the fall of Samaria, Capitol of Israel.
Carved by the Assyrians in around 600 B.C.

This monument, including the writing (which can be seen on the face of the rock) in the three languages, Persian; Elamite, and Babylonian, provides the missing historical link between ancient Ten Tribed Israel. The rock on which it is engraved stands out prominently in an elevated position 1700 feet above the plains of Iran.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behistun_I ... Period.JPG

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behistun_Inscription
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Re: Question to theists.

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jennylives wrote:Is this thread intended for proof of Jews or a deity? We already know Jews exist.


As God's children.....
Ecclesiastes 10:2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.

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Re: Question to theists.

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averagejoe wrote:As God's children.....


Well that's the little detail you should provide some evidence for.
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Re: Question to theists.

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jennylives wrote:Is this thread intended for proof of Jews or a deity? We already know Jews exist.


A lot of people say Jesus didn't exist. Josephus the Jewish historian says what our books say today that he was the Christ if you had read what I posted. And that was at the time of Christ.

The Greek name "Jesus" is a transliteration of the Hebrew name Yehoshua or Yeshua, the English form of which is "Joshua." This name literally means God is salvation. So the angel's message to Joseph was "You shall call His name ' God is salvation,' for He will save His people from their sins." That name tells us of Jesus' purpose in God's plan—that it is through Him that God carries out His plan to save humanity from death, giving us eternal life in His family.
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Re: Question to theists.

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My name means god is gracious and my partner's means gift from god so what's your point? Even IF Jesus did exist as a person that doesn't mean he is a deity or son of one.

As I said before, we know Abraham Lincoln existed but that doesn't mean he was a vampire hunter.
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Re: Question to theists.

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jennylives wrote:My name means god is gracious so what's your point? Even IF Jesus did exist as a person that doesn't mean he is a deity or son of one.

As I said before, we know Abraham Lincoln existed but that doesn't mean he was a vampire hunter.


We know Jesus existed but that doesn't mean he was a vampire hunter either.

Map of God's people nation of Israel. After the Exodus.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jso ... ribes.html

By the way, you can see the town where Jacob/Israel had his vision on the map. Bethel, means "House of God".
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Re: Question to theists.

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Yes, we have already established Jews are real.
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Re: Question to theists.

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jennylives wrote:Yes, we have already established Jews are real.


God's chosen people. Israelites.
Ecclesiastes 10:2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.

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Re: Question to theists.

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Correspondence between Jesus and King Abgarus of Edessa.

HE EPISTLES OF JESUS CHRIST AND ABGARUS KING OF EDESSA
CHAPTER 1
1. A copy of a letter written by King Abgarus to Jesus, and sent to him at Jerusalem by Ananias, his footman, 5. inviting him to Edessa.

1. Abgarus, king of Edessa, to Jesus the good Savior, who appears at Jerusalem, greeting.
2. I have been informed concerning you and your cures, which are performed without the use of medicines and herbs.
3. For it is reported that you cause the blind to see, the lame to walk, do both cleanse lepers and cast out unclean spirits and devils, and restore them to health who have been long diseased, and raise up the dead.
4. All which when I heard, I was persuaded of one of these two: either you are God himself descended from heaven, who does these things, or the Son of God.
5. On this account I have written to you earnestly to desire you would take the trouble of a journey here and cure a disease which I am suffering.
6. For I hear the Jews ridicule you and intend to do you mischief.
7. My city is indeed small, but neat, and large enough for us both.

CHAPTER 2
1. The answer of Jesus by Ananias the footman to Abgarus the king, 3. declining to visit Edessa.

1. Abgarus, you are happy, forasmuch as you have believed on me, whom you have not seen.
2. For it is written concerning me, that those who have seen me would not believe on me, but that they who have not seen might believe and live.
3. As to that part of your letter that relates to my giving you a visit, I must inform you, that I must fulfill all the ends of my mission in this country, and after that be received up again to him who sent me.
4. But after my ascension I will send one of my disciples, who will cure your disease and give life to you, and all that are with you.

The first writer to mention these Epistles between Jesus Christ and Abgarus was Eusebius in the early part of the fourth century, and for their genuineness, he appealed to the public registers and records of the City of Edessa in Mesopotamia, where Abgarus reigned, and where Eusebius affirmed that he found them written in the Syriac language. He was Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine and published a Greek translation of them in his Ecclesiastical History.

In the Ante-Nicene Church, Antioch was unquestionably the leading center of the West Syrian Church; however, the upper Mesopotamian city of Edessa became an equally important important locus of Christians in eastern Syria.

According to tradition, SS. Peter, Thomas, and Bartholomew visited and preached in Edessa, but the "founder" of the Edessene ecclesia was St. Thaddeus (known as St. Addai by the local Syriac-speaking Christians), as apostle "of the Seventy" and disciple of St. Thomas.

St. Addai was sent by St. Thomas to Edessa in response to King Abgar V's personal petition to Jesus Christ, who had promised to send one of his disciples to him. After a miraculous healing of the king, the entire royal family and many of the nobles were baptized, including some of the pagan who were called chief priests; the city's main altars to the gods Bel and Nabu were destroyed, and a church built. Addai was the first bishop of Edessa, followed by Aggai, a silk merchant who ecame Addai's closest disciple.

Thus, as the capital of the "first Christian kingdom" of Osrhoene, Edessa came to be known as "the blessed city." However, the non-believer King Abgar VI persecuted the bishop Aggai, who became the Edessene church's first martyr.




http://www.orthodox.cn/patristics/apost ... bgarus.htm
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Re: Question to theists.

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averagejoe wrote:God's chosen people. Israelites.


The story of the Israelites points out the real power of absurdity. Prior religions had gods that reflected actual reality. Gods for the elements, gods of war, gods of human traits, etc. As a result religion almost became an avenue for scholarly studies.

Then along comes Abraham.

A man who has a conversation with a voice in his head who convinces him to kill his son. As a reward for such an bazaar request his offspring will inherit some land. If that isn't absurd enough they manage to reverse engineer a notion of paradise lost due to eating fruit from the tree of knowledge. The result being the persecution of scholars for centuries to come.

One can never underestimate the power of absurdity.
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Re: Question to theists.

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averagejoe wrote:
The Greek name "Jesus" is a transliteration of the Hebrew name Yehoshua or Yeshua, the English form of which is "Joshua." This name literally means God is salvation.
Not exactly right, but close.
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