Why Mary's virginity is so important to christians.
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I'm looking at your sources and none of them say the Bible was written in 324 so I'm still so confused why you stick to that belief. I'll concede that prior to this date, there was no official canon. but even the text you quoted says that the early Christians wrote the gospels and letters though not all were widely accepted. This indicates that the books of the Bible were in fact written way before 324.
I'm actually glad you've looked into some more reliable sources (though not all are). Keep up the good work!
@ Jon of C.
Don't be condescending!
The Canon of Nicea took place in 325ADE
Before that Canon, there was no bible. There may have been letters even some scrolls and Torahs laying about, but nothing official or consistent. The Canon was financed, commissioned an overseen by Emporer Constantine.
Bishop Arius was in attendance at the command of the Emporer. His presence was because he represented the official word of both the Emporer and god. Romans believed they were one in the same. Arius dictated the council. The first order of business was to recognize christ as god which was a huge battle because most of the bishops in attendance did not believe christ even existed let alone was a god. In fact, after the council ended there was a tremendous revolt that was put down by the Emporer over this matter.
Here is an official christian version that YOU will like but it leaves out a great deal of actual history.
The fact is that there was no official church or even a bible before the council met. After the council concluded Constantine used it to justify consolidation of power and forcibly converting people at the pain of death. Mainly he confiscated land and money from different religious groups. The followers of various gods, the jews, and what YOU would call pagan.
Constantine gave power to bishops. This centralized his government because the bishops didn't act in the interest of the church but instead were official representatives of the Emporer.
As Arius was the chair of the council of Nicea and dictated how the meeting went and was there on the behalf of the Emporer, it is easy to conclude why the bible ended up the way it did. Constantine needed to be perceived by all Romans as having divine rule. He didn't want to consult various oracles, or obey a senate or have to recognize the restrictions of rabbinic tenets.
The whole reason christianity came to be was for the gift of absolute power for Emporer Constantine and for no other reason.
The myth that Constantine was losing a battle until he saw a cross in the sky is bullshit. Constantine never came close to actually losing a military battle. What he lost was a political battle.
I'd have to disagree on a number of things. A church did in fact exist well before the council of Nicea. You can check out the succession of pope from Peter all the way to Pope Francis.
Secondly, the Council of Nicea wasn't officiated by Arius. He was in the Council but because he was teaching a heresy called Arianism which taught that Jesus was not God, but a mere creature.
Again, I'm very curious as to your sources. Not even James White (the author of the link you shared) claimed this. I've known about James White and he's a defender of the doctrine of Sola Scriptura (Bible alone) so I doubt he'll actually state anything to say categorically that it was the church through the Council of Nicea that declared Arianism to be a heresy (he claims that the Bible declares this... somehow).
The only indication I see of Constantine having any influence was he pretty much forced the church to settle the issue so he wouldn't have to have the problem of a divided state.
Jon the Catholic,
You guys may not know early church history as well as you think you do. You might want to verify your basic assumptions using multiple sources.
Jon the Catholic,
The Catholic church wouldn't allow the people to read the Bible for about a thousand years.
"Why Christians Were Denied Access to Their Bible for 1,000 Years"
Well first of all, when was the printing press invented? The church had to function without a printed Bible. So how did the RCC bring this to the people? The simple answer is thru the mass. I hadn't realized but having heard mass for the past 25 years of my life, I've actually heard most of the readings of the Bible. In fact, the priest told us last week that the readings cycle every 3 years. So you saying the RCC didn't want the word of the Bible known is just silly.
The link you provided cites a local council. Not one of the ecumenical ones. But even then, it's made to sound as if the council was called for the specific purpose of disallowing translation of the Bible.
There was a heresy going around and prohibiting them from translating the Bible (or somehow changing the meaning willingly or unwillingly) was just a way to stop this heresy from spreading. It was a prudent course of action on the part of church. You can do a quick experiment to prove how translating a translated text could change the original intended meaning.
Type any sentence in google translate. English to Chinese. Then copy the translation, then translate it to English again. Big chance you'll get a sentence that doesn't capture the real essence of the original text.
Based on what I have read on these forums for the last 7 months or so, one of the most effective ways to get a theist to abandon their faith is:
Have them read their version of the bible, cover to cover, in order, read it as a text book, take notes. Read it much as possible like the bible has to convince you the god is real, that you do not already accept that the god depicted is real.
-It may help to read something like the Quran first, to practice reading a holy book where you are not already convinced that the depicted god is real and have no affirmative bias towards.
Jon the Catholic,
Here's a link to an interesting article.
"Behind The Bible Fraud - What Was The Church Trying To Hide?"
Basically they just made it up.
@Jon the Catholic "The church had to function without a printed Bible. So how did the RCC bring this to the people? The simple answer is thru the mass."
How many people understood the mass said in Latin? And why did the Catholic church fight tooth and claw against attempts to translate the Bible into vernacular languages. William Tyndale was burned at the stake for translating the Bible into English, and Jan Hus was also burned for translating it to Czech.
I don't agree with your claim that the church was simply trying to prevent bad translations from somehow creating heresies. The Vulgate was itself a translation, allegedly done by St. Jerome, but corrupted by countless copying errors over the centuries.
No. I think the church was just trying to preserve it's very lucrative monopoly over the god business.
BTW, as a professional translator myself, I know the shortcomings of Google Translate. And I know how easy it is confuse words with similar meanings. I once mistranslated the Japanese word for "vasectomy" as "castration." (Fortunately we were only talking about sheep.) I'm sure you're aware that Mary's virginity is also the result of a mistranslation in the Septuagint--from the Hebrew word almah meaning young woman into the Greek word for virgin (parthenos).
Yeah. Translations can be tricky. With the readings I've done so far, the church has to be careful with translations so as to keep in tact the original meaning. As a professional translator, I'm sure you know how important that is. You may also know that a poor translation or one where the translator inserts some incorrect data would be dangerous. For the Catholic Church, that's akin to claiming God's word as your own, which is a very serious crime.
I'm unsure I'm aware of which Septuagint you're talking about as Mary only appears in the New Testament and the Septuagint is basically the Old.
@Jon the Catholic: "I'm unsure I'm aware of which Septuagint you're talking about"
Isaiah 7:14 :Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
It's quoted in Matthew 1:23.
Hmmm. It's actually in the Bible. If you know the story.
Luke 1: 35-38
You can read the whole narrative though. It's just this part where the thing you say isn't in the Bible is actually in the Bible.
What does luke 1 35-38 prove? Jon can you prove outside of your bible that mary talked with an angel?
All it proves is that this was mentioned in the Bible. Another commenter told me what I was saying wasn't in the Bible. I simply brought his attention to the Bible verse which does.
I'm iffy about something. You assume that just because it's a religious document, it's not backed by facts. You're in the right to be skeptical but simply throwing out the Bible as not true is just irresponsible.
I throw out all books that makes claims w/o evidence to corroborate it. Especially major claims such as: an all powerful invisible man in the sky that decides your afterlife fate. It is like challenging a book that says santa claus can reach every household in 1 night.
Outside of the bible what proof do you have that mary talked to an angel? Your right about me being skeptical of books, I read the book or article, then I look for other sources to confirm what I have read. There are no reliable sources to confirm the bible. The bible was written by humans, and alter by humans. Can you prove your bible is the same as the first bible written by the RCC?
At this minute aren't all of the Bible versions about 98% the same except some are missing 14 books and some have missing words and verses? But all of the stories are the same even if some of the characters have different names in different versions. In other words, there's no version where the character Moses built the ark and the character Judas killed a thousand people with a donkey's jawbone.
I agree with you about the bible. You would think that the god of the bible wouldn't allow them to remove books, words, and verse.
Oh good. That's actually good that you're skeptical. Let's remove the fact that I see the Bible as the word of God and you see it otherwise.
Can we agree that it can be considered a historical document? That is, it was written to record history?
If you wanna narrow it down further, let's just focus on the gospel of Luke as that includes the angel appearing to Mary.
If the bible is the word of god, why does god allow changes to happen to it's word? Outside of the bible what sources do you have that it's a historical document? Outside of the bible claiming mary talked with an angel, what proof do you have it every happen?
I'm taking a step bu step approach here when I ask if you accept that the books of the New Testament, as historical documents. Some may have happened. May not have happened. Some may be exaggerations, and all. Or are you saying it's purely fictional and was written for the same purpose the Harry Potter series were written?
I can sort of agree that the bible is history, and is a written history book. No denying the various bibles influence on culture and the course of humanity. The many versions of the bible are a very important historic document collection that helps us understand human history.
I explained earlier in this thread that: I in general do not trust history books, the older they are the more I distrust them. History books that rely heavily on archaeology and other tools of forensic like research to back the claims of history are better, but when anyone can sit down something very similar to the bible, you know there is an issue.
The greater the claim a history book makes the more skeptical I get. The various churches like RCC start looking even more guilty of "writing history" when they controlled almost all of the ability to write books, to read and to write. Do not forget other than a small spike of literacy around the roman empire, the average world wide adult literacy rate until after the dark ages remained below 5% (Certainly literacy on a level to truly read and understand a dense book like the bible.) And only in the last 70 years has literacy reached a majority of all adults.
Do you agree with the phrase "history is written by the victors?"
I personally have no need to narrow down further, I usually excuse my self from arguments regarding particular gospels or otherwise from holy books. Because I consider them works of fiction with tiny bits of nonfiction sprinkled in. To me citing the bible is as logically flawed as it would be for you to cite the Quran as proof of your god to other RCC theist.
That's fine. I do agree with history is written by the victors but the early Christians (the ones who wrote the New Testament books) were not victors but in fact persecuted. Being a Christian was considered a crime. It's true that Christianity was tolerated then made an official religion after but hy that time, the NT books had already been written.
@ Jon the Catholic.
" It's true that Christianity was tolerated then made an official religion after but hy that time, the NT books had already been written."
You'll have to PROVE that! I say that is a lie. The NT was a product of the Council of Nicea. In fact, the bible was a product of Nicea. There was no official christian church or written authority until after Nicea.
You PROVE that the NT was written before 325ADE. Nothing and I mean nothing corroborates your claim that there was an NT before 325ADE. A bible doesn't even appear until after 325ADE anywhere. You might say that there were letters, that I really doubt. There was nothing but oral teachings (propaganda) before 325ADE. Nothing from the time that it supposedly happened and NOTHING that can be directly attributed to ANYONE that lived in the first century. There ARE letters written centuries after the fact that talk about what Peter and Paul said or supposedly wrote, but there is NO proof whatsoever that those characters wrote anything. The only thing that states Peter or Paul wrote any letters comes ONLY from the bible which isn't credible.
An interesting documentary of how the Catholic Church lies to maintain power.
The church does have records of the early church fathers referencing some of the books. But I'll just stick to the text.
You can check this out and see if you still find it wanting.
Your source Jon the Catholic, says "The first three Gospels, and possibly also the fourth, were apparently written while the city of Jerusalem was still standing. " It doesn't say it came to that conclusion or give any facts. It is a pure assumption.
The proof of the bible is the bible?
That is like a killer pleading that he is innocent because he says so!
You complain about my research all the time but your only research is the bible claiming that it is fact.
I don't think you know how to read historical document. These are hints within the text which show give clues as to when they were written. It's like if I wrote a story detailing my high school experiences and said we shared them on a social media site called Friendster. From the text alone, you can tell I wrote it sometime after 2002 but say before 2005.
The authors of the gospels were talking about the city of Jerusalem as if it were still standing. The source outside the Bible? History. When was the city of Jerusalem destroyed? 70AD.
I know how to read a historical document, and I KNOW propaganda when I read it. You submitted a pure OPED propaganda piece as if it were proof. In the propaganda piece, it offers the bible as proof of the bible's validity. pure and simple. Jerusalem has always stood since before 70ADE till now. The sacking of Jerusalem in 70ADE was one small event in its long history.
Also, HEARSAY isn't evidence unless it can be corroborated.
It was the temple of Jerusalem which the gospels describe as still standing.
Had these been written after 70AD, it would actually make more sense for them to record this historical moment as it fulfilled a prophecy made by the man who they claim to be God. It wouldn't have taken away from their writing either. In fact, it would've added to their claim.
Unless you misunderstand me again, I'm not saying you should accept the gospels as truth, but to accept them as a group of historical documents which may have errors in them. As such, if you read them, you get clues as to who may have written them, when they were written, etc. What I've given you is just a clue within the text that when cross referenced to historical events gives a clue to when the document was written.
No, Jon, it doesn't make any more sense if they were written during or after the fall of Jerusalem in 70ADE. Folklore always comes AFTER an event based loosely on truth and embellished over the years. I doubt they were written in the 1st century of the GREGORIAN CALENDER. I stand that there was no authority and NO bible and very little written before 325ADE. I can't see, find, or uncover ANYTHING that remotely points to anything that can be called even part of the new testament before that time. Oh, I am SURE, even POSITIVE that monks, priest, charlatans, magicians, came with THEIR various documents to the Council of Nicea, wanting very much to add THEIR version of folklore to the FIRST bible. The problem was that ALL their documents were hearsay, folklore and NONE were first-hand accounts. PLUS they had to pass muster with the political agenda of Constantine. Constantine had his agent preside over the council, therefore making sure only the fables that the Emporer wanted made it in.