'Rationalising the Bible'

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Re: 'Rationalising the Bible'

#81  Postby Alan B » Apr 15, 2016 2:51 pm

That's about right. If you start off with:
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for their's is the kingdom of heaven.

We have 'poor in spirit' meaning humble in their approach to and acceptance of a 'spiritual' teaching. That is, assume nothing, accept what is given (by the teacher) with humility and without any pre-conceived ideas of what to expect. Material pride, wealth, lineage, etc. has no place in being 'poor in spirit'. Then the seeker is on the way to the 'kingdom of heaven' within as Jesus described in Luke 17:20-21.

An Eastern approach if ever there was one. No wonder that Westernised Christianity hasn't a clue and keeps quoting chapter and verse from any part of the Bible and out of context just so that the priests can maintain control of the gullible flock.

As I see it, this Jesus fellow was not trying to form a following like the Temple hierarchy required of the faithful (and wrongly assumed of Jesus), he was teaching an individual discipline to achieve a personal better way of life.

(Unfortunately for Jesus, I don't think his disciples were very bright and really hadn't got a clue what he was on about - except, perhaps, Mary...)

Edit.
Last edited by Alan B on Apr 15, 2016 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 'Rationalising the Bible'

#82  Postby Alan B » Apr 15, 2016 3:02 pm

As for the so-called Sermon on the Plains in Luke, that gives me the impression that whoever was 'reporting' what Jesus was saying didn't quite understand what Jesus was on about (or was too far away) and so left out the bits he couldn't grasp.
To compare both and argue their merits and differences is meaningless and is confined to the realms of Western theological pedantry which in the light of an 'Eastern' approach is a pointless exercise.
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Re: 'Rationalising the Bible'

#83  Postby Agrippina » Apr 15, 2016 5:31 pm

Yes. And thank you for pointing that out to me because now I can see the Eastern influence throughout the narrative. Back to the drawing board a little.
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Re: 'Rationalising the Bible'

#84  Postby Agrippina » Apr 25, 2016 8:56 am

I've changed my mind a little about how to present the book on the New Testament. I'm leaving the commentary on the Gospels, but rather than wade through the Epistles, verse by verse, which I'm going to do later anyway, if I live long enough, I'm going from Acts to a history of Christianity, and it's position in the empire until the end of the western empire. So I'll cover the epistles under the first and second centuries, then do a chapter on the rest of the empire and how Christianity developed. What do you think of this idea? It's really too boring to pick odd verses and then just say what a load of rubbish they are over and over, I'd rather try to make this one at least interesting enough to elicit some sales.
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Re: 'Rationalising the Bible'

#85  Postby aban57 » Apr 25, 2016 9:18 am

You already gave partial information about how Christianity developed in the first two books, didn't you ?

Agrippina wrote:I've changed my mind a little about how to present the book on the New Testament. I'm leaving the commentary on the Gospels, but rather than wade through the Epistles, verse by verse, which I'm going to do later anyway, if I live long enough, I'm going from Acts to a history of Christianity, and it's its position in the empire until the end of the western empire. So I'll cover the epistles under the first and second centuries, then do a chapter on the rest of the empire and how Christianity developed. What do you think of this idea? It's really too boring to pick odd verses and then just say what a load of rubbish they are over and over, I'd rather try to make this one at least interesting enough to elicit some sales.


Sorry, habits :lol:
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Re: 'Rationalising the Bible'

#86  Postby Alan B » Apr 25, 2016 9:37 am

Whad'yer mean "If you live long enough"?

As far as I'm concerned (back to the Bible), the only 'spiritual' message in the NT is the Sermon on the Mount. All the rest is historical imaginings, mumbo-Jumbo and fakery by various authors who were relying on 'hand-me-down' stories for their own agenda and who hadn't a clue what this fellow Jesus was really on about. Much the same as today, I suppose.
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Re: 'Rationalising the Bible'

#87  Postby Agrippina » Apr 25, 2016 9:46 am

Alan B wrote:Whad'yer mean "If you live long enough"?


There's a lot still to be read verse-by-verse. I'm only about to start Numbers. So a few years till I can do the epistles. :grin:

As far as I'm concerned (back to the Bible), the only 'spiritual' message in the NT is the Sermon on the Mount. All the rest is historical imaginings, mumbo-Jumbo and fakery by various authors who were relying on 'hand-me-down' stories for their own agenda and who hadn't a clue what this fellow Jesus was really on about. Much the same as today, I suppose.


Indeed. I read through what I had written and it's really just angry ranting. I don't want to do that, especially after the conversation I had on Saturday evening. I want people who read it to question their belief, not toss it aside as yet another atheist wanting to discredit the NT based on a few selected verses.

So I thought a history lesson, showing how for example Paul wrote his admonitions about "sins of the flesh" while being in Rome and seeing the hedonism that was their society. Also to debunk the claims of "extreme persecution" with something about how they worshipped their emperors and weren't terribly worried about a bunch of Jews worshipping a criminal. I'm doing the rewrite this week, then I'll publish summaries of what I've written on my blog as a teaser, maybe that will drum up some interest in reading the actual book.

I've started doing that with Genesis on the blog, here. Those are just summaries of each chapter. The actual book chapters go into a lot more detail, so once I've got the NT book up for sale, I'll polish the individual books, and publish those. (I'm going to end up with a store full of bible books :grin: ). Sheesh it's not fun living with my OCD that needs to have everything in a collection, and in neat order. :lol:
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Re: 'Rationalising the Bible'

#88  Postby TopCat » Apr 25, 2016 9:59 am

Haven't been following this thread for a while, but I'm a bit confused about the versions that are currently available to buy.

Are they now the edited ones that you mentioned some weeks ago? Or still the very first version that you were planning to proofread?

Sorry, I could probably answer this myself if I read the whole thread again!
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Re: 'Rationalising the Bible'

#89  Postby Agrippina » Apr 25, 2016 11:54 am

They are the second edition, edited versions. If there are errors, or if I need to change anything, I'll take suggestions, then upload the third edition later in the year. I've read both books through a couple of times before I uploaded them, I am about 95% certain there are no more typos.
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Re: 'Rationalising the Bible'

#90  Postby TopCat » Apr 25, 2016 12:49 pm

Agrippina wrote:They are the second edition, edited versions. If there are errors, or if I need to change anything, I'll take suggestions, then upload the third edition later in the year. I've read both books through a couple of times before I uploaded them, I am about 95% certain there are no more typos.


Thanks for this.

Expect another couple of sales shortly :)
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Re: 'Rationalising the Bible'

#91  Postby Agrippina » Apr 25, 2016 1:02 pm

Awww. That's so kind, thank you. I hope you're not too disappointed. :thumbup:
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Re: 'Rationalising the Bible'

#92  Postby TopCat » Apr 25, 2016 1:14 pm

Agrippina wrote:Awww. That's so kind, thank you. I hope you're not too disappointed. :thumbup:

So do I :lol:

Too late now - order placed on Lulu for vols 1 and 2. I would probably have ordered from Amazon (.co.uk) but only volume 1 was showing.

I'm sure I won't be disappointed. Even if I find it interesting I won't be disappointed, and if it helps me challenge a Christian friend on some of his beliefs about the content and authorship of the Bible, then that will be the icing on the cake.

PS I do like the way you've spelt 'Rationalising' with an 's' rather than a 'z' :cheers:
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Re: 'Rationalising the Bible'

#93  Postby Agrippina » Apr 25, 2016 1:58 pm

I've had someone on my website take me to task about that. Apparently I'd get more traffic if I spelt it with a "zee". :roll:

Thank you TopCat. I really appreciate the sale.
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Re: 'Rationalising the Bible'

#94  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 25, 2016 2:07 pm

It is the only way to spell it surely. It is English not American.
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Re: 'Rationalising the Bible'

#95  Postby Agrippina » Apr 25, 2016 2:11 pm

Yes, if I'd changed it, I would've had to change all the text to American. I don't want to do that, I write and speak English, not American.
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Re: 'Rationalising the Bible'

#96  Postby romansh » Apr 25, 2016 2:24 pm

Scot Dutchy wrote:It is the only way to spell it surely. It is English not American.


Funnily enough 'zed' is the older English spelling. Britain started spelling with 'esses' in the 1800s perhaps earlier. The Colonies followed suit. The US did not, and as a result Canada is ambidextrous.

My trusty copies of the Oxford dictionary still use 'zeds' as the default spelling where appropriate.

So I don't think moving over to the US spelling is required as such.
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Re: 'Rationalising the Bible'

#97  Postby Agrippina » Apr 25, 2016 3:11 pm

Thanks for that, romansh. I've never used American spelling, except for words like "skeptical" where somehow the "k" looks to me more correct. My dictionary says it's the US spelling, and I guess it is, I've just always, well mostly, used it that way.

Actually I think we're a little more relaxed about crossing over the two today. When I was in catholic school, we were just taught British English, and spelling, and apart from comic books, I didn't realise that there was another way to spell English, until I started reading American literature. In SA, we use British English, but now with the exposure to American television, and that we have 11 official languages, we seem to be developing some sort of hybrid English that is peculiar to us. Although academic writing has to be in proper British English, I've noticed a movement towards South African English in lecture notes, and university published study guides, so I hope I'm excused if I have used "skeptical" rather than "sceptical" in these books.
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Re: 'Rationalising the Bible'

#98  Postby Agrippina » Apr 26, 2016 12:56 pm

Yes, that's much better. Taking the epistles together, and discussing the creation of the religion, has not only taught me some things I didn't know, but it's also put the epistles into perspective. I've also spoken about persecution and the reformation. Remembering that I don't want to go much beyond 300 pages, I've had to summarise, but I've found a lot of information.

Now Revelation. Ugh!
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Re: 'Rationalising the Bible'

#99  Postby Alan B » Apr 26, 2016 1:22 pm

Yeah, Revelations. Now, if you can find some historical evidence that there were some popular recreational substances in use when John was around, then, that could explain a lot...
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Re: 'Rationalising the Bible'

#100  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 26, 2016 2:28 pm

Alan B wrote:Yeah, Revelations. Now, if you can find some historical evidence that there were some popular recreational substances in use when John was around, then, that could explain a lot...


I am quite sure opium was around. The earliest seeds were found to be from 5000 BCE.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium Could have been written in an opium den. :lol:
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