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Is The Bible Just An Old Storybook Or A Manual For Living?

IS THE BIBLE JUST AN OLD STORYBOOK (HISTORY BOOK) OR IS EVERY VERSE IN IT WHOLLY APPLICABLE TO US TODAY?

An offshoot of the topic "To Tithe or Not" Herein are some questions that have been bothering me. Your opinions are welcome!

1. How do we, or how should we read and study the bible?,

2. do/should we read and study it from historical perspectives i.e. based on the accounts of the people of that era, such as israelites/gentiles and their practices then, most of which are no longer applicable to us today?

3. Or should we read and study it based on how we can apply every verse of such scripture to our lives in today's world? 2 Tim 3:15,16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. {throughly, : or, perfected}" (KJV)

4. The coming of Jesus Christ was to connect us "gentiles" to the Abrahamic order of blessings, or did it make Abraham's and other blessings obtainable unnecessary? (gal 3:13-14).

5. Is there a way we can compare the levites and priests of those days to today's preachers or should we entirely discard that notion since we're not israelites?

6. What is Zion in today's world, as against Zion in the scriptures? Compare this two:

Ps 87:2 "The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. (KJV)" and

Heb 12:22 " But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, (KJV)"

7. Why are most people these days taking the bible as a history book and failing to see the potent power it has to produce results in our lives today? Where is faith today?

8. Does giving generally lead to an increase in blessings? YES. Was it right for God to have told Abraham to sacrifice his son? What if Abraham hadn't obeyed him? Did God proclaim blessings on him as a result?

9. Why did Elijah (or is it Elisha?) ask a widow with her last meal, ask her to prepare food for him, even though she had explained her condition to him? Did the meal get finished or did it increase?

10. Why did Jesus have to come to the earth to even die for our sins, when God, the all-knowing God, could have used other methods rahter than sacrificing his son?

11. Why does Prov 3:9-10 say "Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.(KJV) What are firstfruits, or are they not a kind of tithes?

12. Why do we accept some scriptures, and not accept others? I'm sure most of us love the book of Proverbs, or don't we?

Your responses would be highly appreciated.

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81 answers

The Binle is the believer's manual for daily living

so when a believers stop studying the bible he/

she starts dyeing. God bless you all.

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Agree again largely. But Christianity has a way of making things so simple as to render it useless. Look for instance at Jesus injunction about turning the other cheek. The idea here is that we should be meek and soft towards our enemies. But can any society live on that basis. If an intruder came into your premises and took your shirt, do you also give him your coat?

All the good side of Christian are more or less in other philosophical systems, some predating Christianity. In fact, in some of these systems, they are better articulated in Christianity.

I sympathise a great deal with the thoughts of Epicurus and in their time, they were miles ahead with respect to their positions of communitarian way of life, etc, etc. If it was not for the Christians, there would most likely be a strong school of Epicureanism today.

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Although I'd agree with you that there's a lot that can't be defended or shouldn't be defended, I don't think that one can say everything is bunk.

Take the basic precept of Christianity which is Love itself. And what is Love? Is it not the only Truth? That, in my book is worth defending.

Now you may say that there is no such love and that it's only a few synaptic responses produced in response to our day to day surroundings. But I prefer to think that there is much more to it than that. And that's why I say "All is not lost". Yet.

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Thanks. Most helpful. You approach very much mirrors mine. This is how I see the domain currently occupied by religion today:

1) Spirituality and man's need thereof.

2) The organisations and institutions of religions, such as charities, schools, hospitals, etc

3) The beliefs, doctrines, claims, precepts and tenets of religions.

All known religions have (and attempt to address) all three elements. On the whole I have no problems with 1) and 2) except in the sense where 2) interfere with public life on the strength of 3)

My biggest problems are with 3). Can any of the claims of religions be rationally defended? I think the answer to this is overwhelmingly NO.

Thus with respect to 1) and 2) they are no different from any other people or institutions concerned about the betterment of the human condition.

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I'm interested simply because I believe that it's such a big issue. But neither can I just blindly follow the herd, so I question the "established" order and recognise the holes where I see them. I've also dabbled in Quantum Mechanics when that's become relevant!!!

In one sense, my approach is no different that yours. I hit the textbooks on most subjects that have anything to do with religion - philosophy, history, science, sociology, etc. In the other sense, I also try to look for spiritual answers and see how they apply to me.

I don't see religion as a closed book as many do and recognise that if it doesn't adapt and we don't adapt, there's a good chance it will cause even more misery to humanity than it already has. That's not to say that it's all bad - I do recognise that religion can be very beneficial and am often on the receiving end of that side myself!! But dogma should be classified as a crime against humanity. It goes against everything it is to be human and that's why I debate against it when it rears it's ugly head.

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LOL. I have got some experience of her and your characteristion of her is exactly spot-on.

Interestingly, I notice you said earlier that you are non-atheist. How did you come to be so interested in these matters? How do you generally approach such matters - philosophically, scientific rationalism, etc, etc?

I have been on this forum since the start of the year 2008 and my other accounts have been therationa, tpaine, in case you were wondering the author of the original "Diabolical Mimicry" post.

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Good luck with this one, Huxley.

Rest assured, there will be plenty of long posts making false accusations against you, but if you ask a simple question, it will be answered very, very vaguely or ignored altogether. All the while she will bleat the same thing over and over again, even when you've made your point in rebuttal as plain as can be. But then bleating is the habit of a sheep isn't it?

She's basically like any other brain-washed drone - if it doesn't fit her agenda, she'll either lie about it, create a cloud of bullshit to hide the reality or just flat out ignore it.

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If you are not inclined to reasonably engage in dialogue, what then has been your problem with dashy and shady scuttles here and there? After spending how many pages, you left me with only one assumption - you never stay on one issue and must dash here and there. No worries, if that's what suits you best. But rather than leave things where you have arrived and not given any substance, you haggled on and on about Marcion until I asked that if you believed that Marcion had any substance to his postulations, please follow my invitation to go into his own canon and let's see for ourselves.

What did not surprise me was the way you immediately backed off, backed down and retorted with your disinclination to investigate that matter. If you felt my answers for your assertions about Marcion were incorrect, I invited you to his own canon - and if you were not going there, what then is the substance to your arguments afterall? Such disinclinations only establishes the fact that you really don't hold any reason in your arguments.

Others with whom I have discussed do not scuttle around issues like that and then come back noisily accusing fellow discussants the way you do. Most of them are interested to ascertain issues for themselves, we make simple challenges, ask questions, go into the texts, quote them in precise statements, evaluate the, before drawing any further inferences. Even when huxley and I have discussed issues and not agreed, I can't remember where he has demonstrated this scuttling dishy-dashy attitude. And after all said and done, you are now proposing the Gilgamesh fray - what gaurantee in previous discussions have you offered that you really attend to simple questions offered you? And if you cannot hold a sane discussion, it probably would have to be the same thing I recommend as you have: "why should I?"

Oh, by the way, I was minding my business before you guys dribbled your way in here to cause problems for yourself. I already saw the threads where these reactions from such authors as Freke and Gandy were being posted, and I simply did not want to go there. But when the matter was brought over here, I knew that after all said and done, not one of the supporters of such authors would have any substance left to their arguments - because the authors actually had no substance in their books. I didn't bring these matters here - you guys did: and after discussing them, you don't surprise me with your reluctance to look directly into te texts and works of those whom you have brought in here.

What? Are you playing a new worn-out gimmick here? Who brought in Marcion here in the first place that has forever been disinclined to look into Marcion's works? Just who? Bastage, why are you too given to this sort of allegations?

I have given you the answer already: we both do not agree with Marcion from different perspective; but if you can't take that as an answer and must hoot all day about him, then please go to his own canon and show that Marcion was not wrong and should not have been barnded wrong as such from within his own canon. Does Marcion's canon even defend his postulations? My answer is no; your answer has not been as definite - and that was why I invited you to go to the text and defend them from there. If you are too reluctant to do so, why should anyone take you seriously with all this endless evasions?

Then please come let's go to the text - I want you to directly defend Marcion from there, no? Why is that an anathema to you, Bastage?

If Timothy and Gandy were of least interest to you, I wonder why you had to be so you would hoot about the Diabolic Mimicry excuse - I don't take that approach, others who take it know why they do so; and you could either let it pass or point out that my sources were wrong. I have answered all your musings as requested; and if you have nothing better than your distractions, you will continue to receive the auto-response.

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My argument was that there is documented evidence from the past about the charges of plagiarism levelled at early Christians by their critics (such as Celsus) at the 1st and 2nd century.

Was this a source of concern to Christians? You bet it was, to the extend that Christian apologist like Justyn Martyr, Tertullian, etc were compelled to try to counter these claims.

Forgetting about the presentation of Freke&GAndy and using the version of Tertullian your presented, can it be established that there were charges of plagiarism made against the Christian doctrine?

Freke&Gandy, by themselves are NOT the issue we are discussing with respect to diabolical mimicry. The issue are:

1) Was such a charge made?

2) Are the charges justified in the light of the pagan cult practices at the time?

Dwelling on the Freke&Gandy source is a distraction to the core of the debate.

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Actually, Bastage, I don't like to treat anyone the auto-response way - those with whom I've discussed and debated issues know me too well for that. If I ask simple questions, and they refuse and constantly decline to oblige, a point comes when I post a terse auto-response notifying them that I would no longer pay them any attention. You have affirmed your unwillingness to engage in a dialogue on these matters, accused me of all sorts, asserted you were "done" with these matters, and yet returned with more slurs; . . and for all that, I would not harangue you thereto.

If you are not willing to discuss on the same premise that you point out the Marcion's case, I don't see where this is going or why I should bend backwards to try and please your ego. That is why you have been receiving the auto-response lately. If I find a willingness to dialogue, I would attend upon it just as I promised; if otherwise, I may have to keep the auto-response botton on for as long as that same situation persists, thanks.

You commented on it and went so far as to say this:

   "LMAO. Even the most misguided fundamental Christian apologists

    very rarely go for the misquote angle. They much prefer the

    Diabolical Mimicry excuse. But that's just as easily blown out of

    the water."

As I do not "prefer" the "Diabolical Mimicry excuse" that others have been sadly led to believe from deliberate misquotes from Timothy and Gandy, I have also -

    ● extensively discussed this matter,

    ● laid out the pointers,

    ● provided the direct references for Tertullian,

    ● shown the misquotes from Timothy and Gandy,

    ● and challenged any who disagrees to proffer

        any independent sources for the misquotes

. . . and on all that, the only person making all the noise and complaints here is you, Bastage.

If you're so passionately disinclined to investigate matters for yourself, is it not a sorry case you make for yourself that you are neither here nor there, making all these noise about not believing this or that, and yet making these same disproportionate remarks to hoot for the same authors whose works you are too withdrawn to discuss? What kind of scholarship feeds this hubris that you have been spouting all this while?

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I'm not interested in "obliging" simply because it has no relevance whatsoever to my argument. I haven't propounded Diabolical Mimicry in any way at all other to say that you haven't used it in what little response you gave to my Giglamesh query. I don't know if you've noticed, but that actually doesn't put me on a different side of the fence.

Your problem is that you want people to argue on things that have no relevence to the subject in hand.

As you're the one who brought the subject of Marcion back to the fore, I merely asked you the simple questions.

Why do I need to use the contents of Galatians in my argument? What relevance do they have to my argument?

That's neither irrelevant or dodging the issue is it? I'm returning to the issue that you bought up and addressing the point that you made.

I've explained to you why Timothy and Gandy are of no interest to me, so you now have three choices. You can answer the questions regarding Marcion. Explain to me why Timothy and Gandy are of any relevance to any of my argument and why I should involve them in my argument or you can just repeat your so-called "terse" posts over and over again.

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Thanks again. May I remind you:

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All you've done is quoted back my own post. You haven't answered the question. Why not?

And how many times do I have to tell you I'm not interested in Timothy and Gandy? That's between you and Huxley and has nothing whatsoever to do with my argument. Why keep repeating it?

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Thanks again. May I remind you:

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What's that meant to be? It's certainly not a justification that my argument should rest on the contents of Galatians.

All it contains is the assertion that I should defend Marcion's Galatians yet again. It's simple repetition of the kind I've already addressed.

Where is the reasoning behind the idea that I should "go to the text and defend Marcion's postulation's from there"? I see absolutely zero of an explanation in that paragraph you've quoted.  

So I'll ask you again.

Why do I need to use the contents of Galatians in my argument? What relevance do they have to my argument?

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Reminder:[list][list]

Thanks. Thanks. .  thanks again. I don't see where huxley has been complaining the way you do; nor has he been disinclined to discuss anything - does it not make sense that he could offer rather to discuss and reconsider than come back accusing me the way you do?

Thanks again. May I remind you:

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*Takes deep breath*

Tell you what. Explain to me what relevance the contents of Galatians has to my argument. Explain to me why I need to justify it when I don't even believe Marcion's take on it (as I've repeatedly told you).

And I wouldn't gloat. You've already dodged, ducked and dived the issues repeatedly in this thread. I've been too busy shaking my head in amazement at how you think you're getting away with it to be bothered with gloating.

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Now gentlemen, rather than fill this thread with these diversionary arguments and not seeing anyone provide a direct and independent reference for Timothy and Gandy's misquotes of Tertullian, I would like to get on with the original purpose for this thread by sleekymag.

If anyone has a direct and independent source for the Tertullian quote in the TJM, then I would come back to pay some more attention in the relevant thread. If that simple request cannot be obliged, I would be left with no alternatives than to ignore henceforth any further distractions.

Do you have any independent sources to ascertain that Timothy and Gandy were not misquoting Quintus Tertullian? If so, I'll be glad to see it; if not, I would have to ignore all other complaints.

Thank you for your understanding.

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Thank you, Bastage, for your complaints. I think to save you the last dregs of your sanity, please entertain your reluctance and disinclinations elsewhere.

If you had any real substance to your musings, one would not be reading these kinds of dodgy protests from you - new versions of "Why should I?" and "I feel no need to either justify or condemn them" are not demonstrating any serious concerns. If I were using such dodges, we know how you would gloat at that. When you are willing to drop these dodging acrobatics, I may pay you some more attention. For now, it may help to save your drama for some other thread.

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Why is it a lame complaint? Personally I couldn't give a crap about Timothy or Gandy and I feel no need to either justify or condemn them as they're not even a part of any argument I'm interested in or involved in. It's like you keep harping on about Marcion - the contents of his version of Galatians were of no relevance whatsoever to my argument. "Oh but you should argue about the contents of Galatians, Bastage!!". Well duh. Not if they don't have anything to do with my proposition whatsoever.

Why do you want me to justify issues that are either totally irrelevant to my argument or which I don't even believe in??!!!

So like I said, deal with Huxley and then come back on the Gilgamesh subject if you can. Be warned though. I don't intend to debate with you as much as I did over the Marcion issue if you resort to the same tactics of smoke-screening, lying and making lame accusations.

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@huxley,

I'm alright, thanks. And you? Once again, my thanks for granted me the opportunity to comment on the TJM, seeing that I was initially not wanting to push myself to react to your post in the other thread.

Actually, there are several versions and translations of Tertullian's works that I have read both in Latin, English, French, German, Spanish and Italian.  I'm informed that there are many, many more translations and versions, and during my search for these quotes, several friends have sent me published works to verify for myself if Timothy and Gandy were actually stating the precise statement of Tertullian - up until now, I am still sending out appeals to see if anyone could locate a version from an independent source where those authors got their precise quotes verbatim, hard luck so far.

Thanks for the geniality. Actually, they are not "mine" - I was following the quotes from established sources, as already referenced.

There are issues involved here that would warrant another long and unending discussion (another thread, perhaps?), but for simplicity and particular reference on mimicry and plagiarism, I have shown above what Tertullian was pointing to in the use of the term "imitated". It is not a question now as to whether or not he inferred about "vying, mimicry, copying, or plagiarism" - what is far more important are these few issues:

   (a) that Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy would have misquoted Tertullian

   (b) that such misquotes were applied to unjustified inferences

   (c) that such misquotes were taken out of contexts for other pointers

   (d) and up until now those misquotes have not been corrected by others cloning them

As to (c) above, I showed above the contexts of Tertullian arguments with regards to the devil's imitation of the moroseness of the Jewish law in reference to the “Numa Pompilius”.

All the same, whatever inferences one draws, my one simple question is this: could those applauding Timothy and Gandy please point us to the direct source where they got their quotes from?

Cheers.

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Hello Pilgrim,  How are you?

A propos, the quotations from Tertullian regarding "Diabolical Mimicry",  let us accept, arguendo, that the version from Freke and Gandy are incorrect and go with the version you have presented.

I will make no further reference to the Freke & Gandy version and stick with "yours".  Does your version that  refute the charge of mimicry or plagiarism?

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@Pastor AIO,

I understand your concerns - and no, you don't have to take that position of being forced to accept anything. Actually, when I first used these matters against Christians before my conversion, I was staggered to discover that I was perpetuating the misgivings of someone else without having checked the direct sources and quotes - a very humbling matter that taught me unforgettable lessons in life. Many people pander such misquotes and deliberately force unjustified inferences where they do not exist; and it is up to us as careful readers to check them out - especially because the publishers may not help us in these matters, since most often they just take these authors without conducting literary researches of confirmation.

As for the latin words so translated, I would not want to offer anything of my own for now - and I already responded to huxley's intimation about the question of "copy" and "imitate" to show what Tertullian was addressing in context of the "moroseness of the Jewish law" by Roman pagans.

However, there are indeed so many translations of the works of the Church fathers – and not all translations bear the same things. Infact, to be honest with you, some translations have used the words “imitate” for unjustified reasons where most scholars agree that it should rather be “vie”. But that is a different matter from someone trying to deliberately misquote Tertullian and pass such misquotes as “scholarly” – that would be quite shameful to the honour of academia.

First, let me point out a few of those translations (some of which I have not read myself, a few others I have), then I shall post you the latin text of Tertullian’s “De Præscriptione Haereticorum”.

Translations of Tertullian’s work:

1. Joseph Betty, Tertullian's Prescription against Heretics. Oxford, 1722.

2. T. Herbert Bindley, On the Testimony of the Soul and On the 'Prescription' of Heretics (SPCK). London-New York, 1914

3. Fr. Oehler, Q.S.F. Tertulliani opera omnia, Leipzig, 1851-1854, 3 vols. and also Leipzig, 1854  (Vol. I & II contain Tertullian’s works).

Latin text of Quintus Tertullian’s “De Præscriptione Haereticorum Haereticorum”, Chapter XL:

[list]Sed quaeritur, a quo intellectus interuertatur eorum

quae ad haereses faciant? A diabolo scilicet, cuius

sunt partes interuertendi ueritatem qui ipsas quoque res

sacramentorum diuinorum idolorum mysteriis aemulatur.

Tingit et ipse quosdam utique credentes et fideles suos;

expositionem delictorum de lauacro repromittit, et

si adhuc memini Mithrae, signat illic in frontibus milites

suos. Celebrat et panis oblationem et imaginem resurrectionis

inducit et sub gladio redimit coronam. Quid,

quod et summum pontificem in unis nuptiis statuit?

Habet et uirgines, habet et continentes. Ceterum si

Numae Pompilii superstitiones reuoluamus, si sacerdotalia

officia et insignia et priuilegia, si sacrificantium ministeria

et instrumenta et uasa, <si> ipsorum sacrificiorum

ac piaculorum et uotorum curiositates consideremus, nonne

manifeste diabolus morositatem illam Iudaicae legis imitatus

est? Qui ergo ipsas res de quibus sacramenta

Christi administrantur, tam aemulanter adfectauit exprimere

in negotiis idololatriae, utique et idem et eodem ingenio

gestiit et potuit instrumenta quoque diuinarum rerum

et sanctorum christianorum, sensum de sensibus, uerba

de uerbis, parabolas de parabolis, profanae et aemulae

fidei attemperare. Et ideo neque a diabolo inmissa esse

spiritalia nequitiae, ex quibus etiam haereses ueniunt,

dubitare quis debet, neque ab idololatria distare haereses

come et auctoris et operis eiusdem sint, cuius et idololatria.

Deum aut fingunt alium aduersus creatorem aut si

unicum creatorem confitentur, aliter eum disserunt quam

in uero est. Itaque omne mendacium quod de Deo

dicunt, quoddammodo genus est idololatriae.[/list]

I hope you would find them helpful to your request.

Warm regards.

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Dear huxley,

There are three issues involved in this kind of scholarship, and I cannot say it any better than Pastor AIO has aptly put it. Without reference to ‘hybris’, I think he leaves a reflection of the mistake you may have been making all along in your critic of issues when he addressed my question as to “why?”

However, if I may just add some comments to Pastor AIO’s summation of the whole matter in the said issues involved:

(a) It is one thing to quote an author, quite a different matter altogether to deliberately misquote that author in “scholarship”. What Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy did in their book is hardly scholarly, seeing that they deliberately misquoted Quintus Tertullian in order to arrive at their “itch” – and that virus has spread far and wide, even to such proportions that their publishers just took their word for it and never made any research to confirm the quotes. Incidentally (though unrelated), pardon me to mention that Richard Dawkins made that same mistake (‘deliberate’? I don’t know) in using such internet verbosity in his critic against Christianity – until he was challenged to produce the source of his quote, which he then reneged. If T. Freke and P. Gandy had presented us with the precise quote from Tertullian’s works, perhaps then we may have had the fortune of perusing the contexts that they sought to address in their critique against Christianity.

(b) Second, that critique is skewed in terms of the fact that what Timothy and Gandy arrived at is totally a different thing from what Tertullian actually discussed in his “De Praescriptione Haereticorum”. This morning, I received an email from a most unhappy reader who was so miffed at my repostes. He had argued hard and long (failing to quote Tertullian as well); but adviced that I ‘educate’ myself on the correlation between the words “vie” and “mimic”. My answer is to simply check the basic meanings of the words in question. At the end, Timothy and Gandy tried to use their misquotes of Tertullian to force the idea that Christianity is recycled and cloned “paganism”; whereas Tertullian’s apologetic was simply to the point that “the devil imitated the well-known moroseness of the Jewish law”.

(c) What then was Tertullian pointing to in his quip of the devil imitating “the well-known moroseness of the Jewish law”? In that same “De Praescriptione Haereticorum”, he already pointed out the elements of the “Numa Pompilius” paganism in alluding to the term “imitated”. Let’s quote Tertullian again in that section -

           Suppose now we revolve in our minds the superstitions of Numa Pompilius,

            and consider his priestly offices and badges and privileges, his sacrificial services,

            too, and the instruments and vessels of the sacrifices themselves, and the curious

            rites of his expiations and vows: is it not clear to us that the devil imitated

            the well-known moroseness of the Jewish law?

Please note carefully what Tertullian was saying about the term “imitated” – and the question is: what exactly did he state the pagans were imitating – “Christianity” or a “morosness of the Jewish law”? Look at the elements again:

     ●  priestly offices

     ●  badges and privileges

     ●  sacrificial services

     ●  instruments and vessels of the sacrifices themselves

     ●  the curious rites of expiations and vows

Quite often, in their vociferous criticism against Christianity, authors who misquote the Church fathers miss out the details and draw unjuctified inferences. Could you tell if those elements listed above were properly a depiction of Christianity? Do they not belong to the “imitation” by pagans of the “moroseness of the Jewish law?” A casual perusal of the OT will help settle the case for any unbiased reader.

(d) However, for those who desire to see a bit more about these matters, especially as appertaining to “Numa Pompilius”, there’s enough material about such matters that point out these rites which Tertullian refers to as ‘the superstitions of Numa Pompilius’. A quick reference:

[list]In Ancient Rome, the Vestal Virgins (sacerdos Vestalis), were the virgin holy female priests of Vesta, the goddess of the hearth. Their primary task was to maintain the sacred fire of Vesta. The Vestal duty brought great honor and afforded greater privileges to women who served in that role. They were the only female priests within the Roman religious system. Due to the nature of their work the term "vestal" is sometimes used to describe someone who maintains an archaic tradition.

>snip<

Plutarch attributes the founding of the Temple of Vesta to Numa Pompilius, who appointed at first two priestesses to which were added another two with Servius raising the total to six. Ambrose alludes to a seventh towards the end of the pagan era. The second century Roman antiquarian Aulus Gellius writes that the first vestal virgin taken from her parents was led away in hand by Numa Pompilius. Numa also appointed the Pontifex Maximus to preside over rites, prescribe rules for public ceremony, and watch over the Vestals. The first Vestals, according to Varro, were Gegania, Veneneia, Canuleia, and Tarpeia.

Source: Wikipedia on “Vestal Virgins”[/list]

Now huxley, my aim in bringing out all these matters is to remind you of what I said earlier – that I do not settle my thoughts or take my lessons from those who are given to misquoting their sources in order to draw unjustified inferences. This is what Timothy and Gandy have done, and you can see that even when we highlight the word “imitated”, Tertullian was not arguing what the authors of the TJM were forcing others to believe. There really is no need to entertain these authors who were hardly playing to the rules of scholarship.

Regards.

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Of course Christianity copied from other religions!!!

Take Pilgrim's argument that the OT is as relevant to Christianity as the NT.

In that case, how does one explain the story of Noah against the older Epic of Gilgamesh? How does one explain away the Enuma Elish?

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May I make as suggestion as to 'why'.

Me, I think that it is because Huxley's thought process is so pathetically agenda driven. Not just Huxley but many of those that are not prepared to properly research and explore their subject. They are like that because for a totally unrational reason, an emotional reason, they need to arrive at a certain point. That certain point is not the Truth, in fact truth has nothing to do with it. The point is where the itch is. Once they've arrived at something that helps to scratch the itch, the itch being an emotional antagonism against christianity, the feel a sense of satisfaction and their searching stops at that point.

ps. @Pilgrim1 I really liked your last 3 posts. Although I feel that without being able to read or translate the original manuscripts for myself, I am just forced to accept the translations that I'm presented with. What are the actual latin words that can be translated either as :

mimics the exact circumstances of the Divine Sacraments

or,

vies even with the essential portions of the sacraments of God.

Has anyone got the original latin?

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You don't have to be disturbed about pilgrim.1, no really. If anyone has a complaint, they would have raised them; so far, it seems you're the only one shouting about what you are so disinclined to investigate for yourself.

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. . . but sir, it is one thing to copy, but it is quite another thing to copy i[b]n anticipation[/b]. From what I can tell, the cults of mithras started around 1C£ so maybe we can acknowledge that they were contemporary with the start of christianity but there is no evidence of their predating it.

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If these are Tertulians real words, how does it detract from the charge of "diabolical mimicry"?   Is Tertullian not say here that the devil has copied?

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(3)

Still on Tertullian, that quote having been endlessly pandered about in countless sources seem to have been traced in recent times to no other source than Tomothy and Gandy in the TJM. The sad thing here is that gullible people (including Muslim apologists) quote these authors directly without the slightest clue that they are perpetuating their hubris and duplicity. Why do skeptics like forcing themselves to largely misrepresent and beli  texts and documents, huxley?

But hang on – enough of the questions. Now let me directly point the source to you and we shall compare them, yes? Yes!

These are the statements ascribed to Quintus Tertullian:

Quoting yours, huxley:

[list]The father Tertullian also used the diabolical mimicry excuse

to explain the close similarity between Christianity and the pre-existing

cults at the time. This is Tertullian;

"The devil, whose business is to pervert the truth mimics

the exact circumstances of the Divine Sacraments.

He baptises his believers and promises forgiveness o fsins

from the Sacred Fount, and thereby initiates them into the

religion of Mithras. Thus he celebrates the oblation of bread,

andbrings in the symbol of resurrection. Let u stherefore

acknowledge the craftiness of the devil, who caopies

           certain things of those that be Divine".[/list]

Tertullian’s actual quote:

[list]The question will arise, By whom is to be interpreted  the sense of the passages which make for heresies? By the devil, of course, to whom pertain those wiles which pervert the truth, and who, by the mystic rites of his idols, vies even with the essential portions of the sacraments of God. He, too, baptizes some'that is, his own believers and faithful followers; he promises the putting away  of sins by a layer (of his own); and if my memory still serves me, Mithra there, (in the kingdom of Satan, ) sets his marks on the foreheads of his soldiers; celebrates also the oblation of bread, and introduces an image of a resurrection, and before a sword wreathes a crown.  What also must we say to (Satan's) limiting his chief priest  to a single marriage? He, too, has his virgins; he, too, has his proficients in continence. Suppose now we revolve in our minds the superstitions of Numa Pompilius, and consider his priestly offices and badges and privileges, his sacrificial services, too, and the instruments and vessels of the sacrifices themselves, and the curious rites of his expiations and vows: is it not clear to us that the devil imitated the well-known moroseness of the Jewish law? Since, therefore he has shown such emulation in his great aim of expressing, in the concerns of his idolatry, those very things of which consists the administration of Christ's sacraments, it follows, of course, that the same being, possessing still the same genius, both set his heart upon, and succeeded in, adapting to his profane and rival creed the very documents of divine things and of the Christian saints 'his interpretation from their interpretations, his words from their words, his parables from their parables. For this reason, then, no one ought to doubt, either that "spiritual wickednesses," from which also heresies come, have been introduced by the devil, or that there is any real difference between heresies and idolatry, seeing that they appertain both to the same author and the same work that idolatry does. They either pretend that there is another god in opposition to the Creator, or, even if they acknowledge that the Creator is the one only God, they treat of Him as a different being from what He is in truth. The consequence is, that every lie which they speak of God is in a certain sense a sort of idolatry.[/list]

               Source: Tertullian, Prescriptions Against Heretics, Chapter XL.

One wonders whether such authors like Timothy and Gandy were actually quoting Tertullian or deliberately making him say what they wanted him to say rather than what he actually said. Many people today quote these authors precisely as they have stated in the TJM and don’t care that much to check the sources directly for themselves. My concern, however, is WHY?

I just wonder why such authors would attempt to falsify and belie the precise quote and use that as a “scholarly” work, published by reputable publishers? I wonder why people like you would gleefully quote them and constantly make recourse to them without first having ascertained the sources to see if your authors were playing straight by the rules of scholarship? I wonder why we should take these guys seriously if they pass such misrepresentations publicly as if they were saying it as quoted from their sources?

However, even if anyone was to look directly at the sources for Tertullian’s quote, is it not obvious what he stated? Did he state that the devil “mimics” the divine sacrements or he said something else that was taken out of context? Please see again and compare them:

          (a) part 1

          ●  Timothy and Gandy:

          – “the devil . . . mimics the exact circumstances of the Divine Sacraments”

          ●  Tertullian himself:

          – “the devil, . . .  vies even with the essential portions of the sacraments of God.”

_________________________________

         (b) part 2

          ●  Timothy and Gandy:

          – “Let u stherefore acknowledge

          the craftiness of the devil, who caopies certain things of those that be Divine”

          ●  Tertullian himself:

          – >snip< [does not appear in Tertullian’s works]

          [rather, the only closest line to that would be this:

                           “is it not clear to us that the devil imitated

                            the well-known moroseness of the Jewish law?”]

I would not push myself here, huxley: but I might have missed it if Timothy and Gandy were actually quoting Tertullian or putting words in his mouth. Do you care to show me Timothy and Gandy’s direct sources and how they appear in those sources in their quotes for Tertullian?

In all of this, let me remind you of what I stated earlier:

      ______________________________________________________________________

      "I'm sorry to disappoint you that I don't draw my lessons from sources as such"

      ______________________________________________________________________

These authors (Timothy and Gandy) have cause a great shame to skeptic scholarship – and if this is what you guys would like to push across for us to be amazed with, it would really be sad for what is truly “scholarly”.

Regards.

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(2)

The statement of “mimicry” in question has been quoted too many times by skeptics that even apprentices discussing such issues in other fora/forums have confused the statements and apologists between themselves. Sadly, they take their assertions mostly from Timothy Freke & Peter Gandy who alleged that - 

[list]Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and Irenaeus, were understandably disturbed

and resorted to the desperate claim that these similarities were the result

of diabolical mimicry. Using one of the most absurd arguments ever

advanced, they accused the Devil of "plagiarism by anticipation"

[T. Freke & Peter G, The Jesus Mysteries, p.5, 1999].[/list]

Skeptics are gleeful to follow such quips, and that was (probably) why you had attributed the statemet of mimicry to “Justin Martyr” rather than to “Quintus Tertullianus”.

Here is the statement attributed to Tertullian, drawn from your quote in the other thread:

[list]The father Tertullian also used the diabolical mimicry excuse

to explain the close similarity between Christianity and the pre-existing

cults at the time. This is Tertullian;

"[/b]The devil, whose business is to pervert the truth [b]mimics

the exact circumstances of the Divine Sacraments.

He baptises his believers and promises forgiveness o fsins

from the Sacred Fount, and thereby initiates them into the

religion of Mithras. Thus he celebrates the oblation of bread,

andbrings in the symbol of resurrection. Let u stherefore

acknowledge the craftiness of the devil, who caopies

certain things of those that be Divine".[/list]

Dear huxley, the huge quotation marks are not typos - they are taking as the precise quote ascribed to Tertullian in your post - this was why I asked you pointed to please show precisely where one could find this exact quote from Tertullian’s works. No, I don’t mean “citations” from people all over the net gleefully cloning and repetitiously quoting the same thing endlessly from authors like Timothy and Gandy, without having checked their sources. So, could you just for simplicity’s sake try and show some substance here by referring to the actual documents where we find Tertullian actually making such an exact quote as ascribed directly to him by such people as Timothy and Gandy?

Could YOU, huxley? Many thanks.

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(1)

Now huxley, initially I hinted that it is not in my least interests to enter into such musings mainly because ‘various sources quoting that line’ were ‘using it to fit their arguments’ – which people love to do out of their misplaced disaffections against Christianity. Nevermind just now that indeed it is a fact that all those authors you had referenced were actually lying to one another and misleading their gullible readers, in just a moment I shall show you this plainly.

But rather than for their gullible readers to discuss issues objectively, any such assertions from those authors could just fit the wedge for these people as long as they attempt to discharge the claims of the Christian faith – and I know so many such sources besides the ones you had referenced, which in many instances contradict themselves or otherwise put words in the mouth of those they claim to be quoting (as Hoffman did with many quotes he ascribes to Celcus which are not true – but I shall focus on just the ones in question: Justin Martyr and Tertullian).

Let me help you on this one just for the moment. In the first instance, you might have confused Martyr for the author of what you asserted in bold (‘Diabolical Mimicry in Anticipation’) - the statement being referred to is perhaps not attributed to Flavius Justin Martyr (100 – 165AD), but rather to Tertullian (Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, ca.160 - ca220 AD). Even when you tried to ascribe that same line of inference to Justin Martyr, there was no such statements in his quote; but rather a forced inference to the effect to make it appear so in the line quoted as ascribed to him. Let me draw directly from your quote earlier:

[list]The 2nd century Christian apologist, Justin Martyr, on being countered

that Christianity had borrowed all its basic features from the existing

cults of the Greco-Egyptico-Romano-Persion world, this is what he had

to say;

"Having heard it proclaimed through the prophets that the Christ was

to come and that the ungodly amongst men were to be punished by fire,

the wicked spirit put forth many to be called Sons of God, under

the impression that they would be able to produce in men the idea that

the things that were said with regards to Christ were merely marvellous

tales, like the things that were said by the poets".[/list]

As you can see, your sources were forcing the inference of ‘diabolical mimicry in anticipation’ in that line, whereas Justin Martyr did not make any such statements in your quote. If one has to be honest, what Justin in your quote pointed to was simply this: the aim of the wicked spirit was to produce in men the idea that the claims of Christianity were merely “marvellous tales” – which the pagans did not assume.

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Hi huxley,

Actually, I understand the meaning of hubris (also spelt hybris). The talk of unfairness, my apologies again; but I don't think it is a healthy attitude that those who take the position of critics are often themselves not bothered about fairness. It was one reason why I don't push myself to answer to every post where such unfairness is in display, even though I had repeatedly called for "reason and rational" in discussions. In the issue of Timothy and Gandy, would you honestly say they were being quite fair in their assertions and they way they treated their subject in their book? I wonder what drives men with such overweening pride to attempt to ridicule the convictions of other people where they know for certain that they have largely misrepresented the statements.

I was actually going to come back tomorrow to treat the request you had raised (as I have a busy day tomorrow); but I shall post you a few lines of my thought thereto.

Cheers.

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Hello Pilgrim,

Am thankful that you have graciously taken up the challenge and I look forward to learning some new stuff from a different angle. 

However, must pull you on your incessant accusations of hubris on the side of the critics of religions. I think this is unfair.  I can only say that

1)  You do not know and understand the meaning of the word, or

2) You know and understand the meaning but are deliberate in unfairly attributing it to your critics.

Now these are the various meaning of hubris;

a) excessive pride, or

b) self-confidence, or

c) arrogance.

In what ways have your critics (or the critics of religions) displayed these behaviour?

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Dear huxley,

Actually, that was mild - and my apologies for my initial stance, although I still maintain that your "scholars" have done the most shameful thing and even misled their publishers (Oxford Publishers of late has been in the habit of playing to such deliberate fallacies). However, regardless what anyone may allege against, or names they call me, my approach is to carefully investigate matters for myself before making any public assertions - and it does not matter how many people in the majority may applaud those who dress themselves as "scholars".

Okay. .

okay. .

Granted. One more thing: when I do so, perhaps you would then understand that just because I choose to ignore certain over-reactions from atheists and skeptics does not mean that I have no answers to their hubris. I will find time to take all those 3 outlines and deal accordingly.

Cheers.

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You challenge my source. That is fine and acceptable. But on what grounds do you challenge them? You are in the habit of making ad hoc comments without so much as a reference to support your premise.

Ok, let's make a deal. I will go back and edit and remove them on the following conditions:

1) You prove that these sources are unreliable and untrustworth

2) Prove that these sources got these citations wrong

3) Demonstrate that Justyn Martyr and Tertullian have been misquote and wrongly misattributed. I will accepts any historical material generally accepted by the scholarly community as reliable

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@huxley,

You would have noticed that I have tried to help you by steering clear of your recent over-reactions to some issues that you really do not understand. When you kept noising the same thing over and over again, I deliberately left just one-liners as terse answers because I knew you were advancing the ignorance and deliberate duplicity of those whom you have quoted. How? Have you noticed that outside of those sources you referred to as "scholars", you could not ascertain what exactly Justin Martyr or Tertullian stated - and that was why even though I had seen the other thread before you noised it here, my answer was:

      ________________________________________________________________

      "I'm sorry to disappoint you that I don't draw my lessons from sources as such"

      ________________________________________________________________

My advice to you is please go back and edit your posts - you have only regurgitated the same deliberate fallacy from those fellows who have been too busy lying to one another. I'm sorry, but this is a serious matter; and as I did not want to initially make it hard for you, that was why I refrained and didn't mind people calling me all sorts of names. Do you care to go back and educate yourself a bit more - or you would like to remain on such fallacies?

Cordially yours.

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Much obliged.  The pagan philosopher Celsus was a vociferous critic of Christianity and he wrote a whole series of critical works about Christianity, The True Doctrine c. 170 CE.  The book does not survive stand-alone, but survives as quotations in the work of Origen, who took it upon himself to respond to Celsus criticism.

These saga are address in the following books:

1) Hoffman, R. J., Celsus on the True Doctrine, Oxford University Press, 1987

2) King, C, W., Gnostics and their Remains, David Nutt, 1887

3) The Jesus Mysteries, Timothy Freke & Peter Gandy

4) Kingslan, W 1937, 99.

The Church father Tertulian also writes of the Devils "diabolical mimicry in creating the Mysteries of Mithras:

'The devil, whose business is to pervert the truth, mimics the exact circumstance of the Devine Sacraments. He baptises his believers and promises forgiveness of sins from the Sacred Fount, and thereby initiates them into the religion of Mithras. Thus he celebrates the oblation of bread, and brings in the symbol of the resurrection. Let us therefore achknowledge the craftiness of the devil, who copies certain things of those that be Devine'

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I didn't say that. I specifically used the words "tried to". I've already pointed that out. As usual I have to repeat the same thing over and over again. It doesn't matter a dot whether you referred to all religions or just the Jews. The fact is that I never said it about either. You seem to take delight in being an .

Now I really am done with you. People can see for themselves how you lie and twist and just repeat the same crap over and over again.

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Why are you so upset with yourself, Bastage? It "doesn't matter" that you ascribe something to me that I never said - and you use that hubris to cower over your endless drivel while alleging that I twist your empty drivel? So much for all your wasted efforts, sleep well and nurse your worries.

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@Pastor AIO,

One could be forgiven for jumping in the middle of the thread and just assume things. I don't think anyone has denied the crusades or Catholic persecutions - if anyone should know, they cannot deny that I have pointed this out clearly in my discussions with Catholic on the Forum.

However, since that time, I have been humbled to understand what I did not formerly grasp. Persecutions have happened from all sides, and not just from Catholics alone. This is a bitter truth that many people are unwilling to admit; but when I saw this, it taught me to distinguish between events and not seek to make wild statements to blame everything on Catholics alone! if someone says that Catholic persecutions are to be interpreted as the "stamping-out" of Jews, I don't know how to defend that idea for me to agree with such a thought. Did Catholic persecutions happen? Of course, they did - and I have pointed that out in other threads. But are those persecutions to be interpreted as "stamping out" the Jews? If that is the case, would those who are persuaded as such then tell us why we still have Jews today?

If people are given to find a few dashy cases in order to make wild statement and use them as generalized assertions, I'm sorry that is not my approach. If that is to be read as not attending to the issues being discussed, what is my worry?

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I haven't read the whole of this thread but I don't think that it is possible to deny that the Albigensian crusade occurred. Of course it possible to deny it, all you have to say it no, but it cannot be reasonably denied.

The doctrines of Christianity have always been a work in progress. Even at the times of the apostles there were ideological differences between Paul and the Church in Jerusalem. Differences have always persisted all the way through the history of the church. It is inevitable that some groups will denounce others as heretics. Whether one calls them Catholics or not there are core ideological differences between certain churches and certain others. It is quite possible that Bastage and Pilgrim are having an argument over words rather than facts.

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@huxley, Great backslap. But could you please do me the fav of not burying your head in sand and point out something for me? Here:

Could you point me to the particular document where you got that quote ascribed to Justin Martyr?

Thanks.

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Bastage, looks like you have been give the head-in-sand treatment, haven't you. You will not have been the first. Great stuff though and I admire your persistence.

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You're a joke.

Even when the evidence is in front of your eyes, you refuse to accept it. Are you seriously telling me that the text I've posted from Wikipedia doesn't show that the Catholic Church destroyed Catharism?

I think anyone who reads the passages I posted regarding the Cathars will be able to see that they weren't just persecuted but stamped out. What happened was way beyond persecution and any independent can see that.

I'm done with you. I simply can't be bothered to converse with somebody who defies reason and treats facts with such contempt.

I'll leave the last word to you. You can post a sarcastic comment about how I "ran away" or how you win, but we both know that your reasoning and logic are totally and utterly flawed.

Ciao!!!

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Reading "stamped-out" into the text is one thing; finding that same thing in the text is quite another. Any other games you wish to try for the Jews?

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From the first link.

"Innocent III declared a crusade against Languedoc, offering the lands of the schismatics to any French nobleman willing to take up arms. The violence led to France's acquisition of lands with closer cultural and linguistic ties to Catalonia (see Occitan). An estimated 200,000 to 1,000,000 people died during the crusade.

The Roman Catholic Church had always dealt vigorously with strands of Christianity that it considered heretical, but before the 12th century such groups were organized in small numbers, around wayward preachers or small localized sects. The Cathars of Languedoc represented an alarmingly popular mass movement,[4] a phenomenon that the Roman Church had not seen for almost 900 years, since Arianism and Marcionism in the early days of Christianity.

The area was reconquered by 1229, and the leading nobles made peace. After 1233 the Inquisition was central to crushing what remained of Catharism. Resistance and occasional revolts continued, but Catharism's days were numbered. Military action ceased in 1255. In the end, the Albigensian Crusade killed an estimated 1 million people, not only Cathars but much of the population of southern France.

A campaign started in 1233, burning vehement and relapsed Cathars wherever they were found, even exhuming some bodies for burning. Many still resisted, taking refuge in fortresses at Fenouillèdes and Montségur, or inciting small uprisings.

The Cathar strongholds fell one by one. Montségur withstood a nine-month siege before being taken in March 1244. The final holdout, a small, isolated, overlooked fort at Quéribus, quickly fell in August 1255. The last known Cathar burning occurred in 1321."

But then if you'd have bothered to read the link you would have seen this.

I think that anyone who actually read the link would have a hard time not believing that it speaks about Catharism being stamped out by Catholicism.

And just so you don't try to wriggle out of yet another truth:

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

"The Catholic Church regarded the sect as dangerously heretical; faced with the rapid spread of the movement across the Languedoc region and the failure of peaceful attempts at conversion, which had been undertaken by Dominicans, the Church launched the Albigensian Crusade to crush the movement.

he independence of the princes of the Languedoc was at an end. But in spite of the wholesale massacre of Cathars during the war, Catharism was not yet extinguished.

In 1215, the bishops of the Catholic Church met at the Fourth Council of the Lateran under Pope Innocent III. One of the key goals of the council was to combat the heresy of the Cathars without explaining exactly what that heresy originated with: the Cathar's interpretation of the doctrine of the resurrection as meaning, "reincarnation".

The Inquisition was established in 1229 to uproot the remaining Cathars. Operating in the south at Toulouse, Albi, Carcassonne and other towns during the whole of the 13th century, and a great part of the 14th, it finally succeeded in extirpating the movement. Cathars who refused to recant were hanged, or burned at the stake. [6]

From May 1243 to March 1244, the Cathar fortress of Montségur was besieged by the troops of the seneschal of Carcassonne and the archbishop of Narbonne. On March 16, 1244, a large and symbolically important massacre took place, where over 200 Cathar perfects were burned in an enormous fire at the prat des cramats near the foot of the castle.

After several decades of harassment and re-proselytizing, and perhaps even more importantly, the systematic destruction of their scripture, the sect was exhausted and could find no more adepts. The leaders of a Cathar revival in the Pyrenean foothills, Pierre and Jacques Autier, were executed in 1310. Catharism disappeared from the northern Italian cities after the 1260s, under pressure from the Inquisition. After 1330, the records of the Inquisition contain very few proceedings against Cathars. The last known Cathar prefect in the Languedoc, Guillaume Bélibaste, was executed in 1321."

What better example of "stamped out" do you need?

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I must admit that I'm getting bored of you.

You still post vaccuous statements and half-truths when presented with facts.

Very misleading. After the schism regarding the Nestorians, the Assyrian Church ceased to be regarded as Catholic.

No it doesn't. That's like saying a wife and a husband divorce and the wife is then guilty of attacking herself when they've split up. Even to the dumbest person, that simply doesn't make sense.

After the Schism, the Assyrian Church ceased to be Catholic. What was the schism caused by if not their support for the Nestorians? Why would they choose to then persecute the Nestorians? They even became the Nestorian Church!!

No? Isn't that what all churches have done before and since?

I've already explained why it's irrelevant. Let me repeat it yet again to you - the fact that you disagree with Marcion does not make him a heretic. Do you honestly need me to keep repeating myself or are you just being silly?

It's not idiosyncratic. It's a plain, cool, hard, set in concrete fact. Or do you disagree with the very evidence that sits before your own eyes? Or is your Bible written in the original Hebrew, Coptic and Aramaic? "Idiosyncracy" is probably the wrong word though. The fact I've laid out is the opposite to an idiosyncrasy.

Who said it has nothing to do with this? I didn't. I merely pointed out that you are confused as to it's relevance. Which part of that don't you understand? And there's no denying the fact that Nestorians were given sanctuary in Islamic nations. They reside there to this day.

The Assyrian Church ceased to be the Catholic Church with it's support of Nestor. It's as simple as that. You keep saying that the two sides were the "same". Utter trash. If they were the same, there would not have been a schism. Again you defy logic.

The only confusion here is the one you're trying to create to prove your dubious point.

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a) It was the absolute norm to edit texts. Everyone involved with early Christianity was editing. You speak as if this was some sort of great conspiracy unlike the absolute norm that it was back then.

b) I tell you yet again that I don't need to. You don't seem to understand that the contents are irrelevant when in the context of this topic.

Are you for real? The whole Bible has been edited by people who "never authored it in the first place". What do you think you read when you pick up your Bible?

Yet again you totallly ignore the fact that I stated that the Nestorian sect was protected prior to Islam. Which part of the word prior do you not understand?

Issues? I've shown repeatedly I understand the issues yet you seem not to understand plain English.

No. Because it was a progression. You're the one that doesn't seem to grasp the chronological timeline so let me put it in simple terms for you - First it was protected by the Eastern Church. Then the Persians. Then the Islamic countries.

There's no easier way to put it and no other way that can be taken in context. Got it?

You seem oblivious to the fact that if Nestorians needed protection, there must have been a persecutor. Who do you think this persecutor was? The Tooth Fairy?

From:

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

The Assyrian Church of the East refused to drop support for Nestorius or to denounce him as a heretic.

Yes it created a schism, but you seem to be totally denying that the Eastern Church defended Nestor when that is plainly untrue.

Are you being serious? No really. Are you? Are you honestly saying that the Catholic Church has never persecuted and stamped or tried to stamp out opponents?

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

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

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

But why post just three instances when there is a whole site full of examples here?

http://www.religioustolerance.org/

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@Bastage,

Which is hardly any different from what has been said already. We both disagree with Marcion, but from different angles - that disagreement with Marcion leads some of us to the inference that he was heretic; yours says "No, he wasn't heretical". Okay, in order to help you solve this problem, I offered that you go to the text and answer two simple questions for yourself: (a) why was Marcion editing documents which he did not author? (b) could you defend Marcion's postulations even from the texts he finally collated as his own canon?

At the end of these two premises, you disinclined with a "Why would I want to?" Which simply makes me wonder what exactly you are arguing here. Is there any logic in your position to foster an idea and yet be so unwilling to show these same postulations from the very texts that address Marcion's persuasions? If Marcion had nothing to fear in himself, one wonders why he would be busy editing documents he never authored in the first place, and yet those who seem to euphemistically acknowledge him are too busy applauding him and yet be so unwilling to defend him even from within his own canon!

Now, if you cannot understand these simple issues, how else could one help you, Bastage?

Which has no bearing yet on your earlier defence of "stamped out" in regards to following them on to the regions of "Islam" that did not yet exist at the time!

No, rather I call your attention to the fact that you're making vacant statements and positing them as "facts' whereas you cannot (and have not been able to) hold a coherence in what you assert.

I wonder why the hint to Islamic countries as if they had anything to do with protecting Nestorianism. The case is simply a fallacy, and it should not have even endured in your excuses. Second, even when you advance the idea of the Eastern Church being the protector of Catholic persecution, are you not once again making a weaker case for your postulations?

Nestor was branded a heretic by the same Catholic Church in the Ephesian Council in 431 AD - how does the resulting schism advance the idea that the Eastern Church was "protecting" Nestorius from the "persecution" of the Catholic Church? The schism was from within the same group - the posits of Nestorius resulted in the "Nestorian schism" and the separation of the Assyrian Church of the East from the Byzantine Church. This debate on Christology went on for years and even Ephesus could not settle the issue - where upon the Byzantine Church was soon split again over the same question, leading to the "Chalcedonian schism".

From all these splits arising from differences in opinions, where was the Catholic Church "stamping out" others whom they branded 'heretics'? How come these others were not "stamped out" as well as you assumed? I don't think that making wild statements just because one is disenchanted with Catholicism is a helpful position to take - more often than not, it simple blinds people to simple facts, which is why I have been trying to make you see the issues as they are instead of lumping them all under a Catholic "stamped out" that does not address these particulars.

If I offered "nothing", you may as well have said you didn't see them! I addressed your worries directly, or you would not have asked for another example than Nestorianism.

I don't think that shlepping your weak points and vacant statements are going to translate your arguments into reality.

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