Any bible scholars out there?

Can a christian deny the old testament?

Abrahamic religion, you know, the one with the cross...

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Any bible scholars out there?

#1  Postby PensivePenny » Apr 21, 2017 12:27 pm

I've forgotten most of what I ever knew about the bible (thank god hehe) so I was wondering if there is any requirement in the new testament that requires a belief in the old testament. I don't recall such a thing.

The reason I ask is that it occurred to me that just about every atheist/christian debate I've witnessed eventually descends into a defense of the old testament on the christian part, which is arguably infinitely more difficult to defend than defending Jesus' teachings of love and passivity. The disparity of the teachings in the two collections of books is so great, it is almost like saying one follows a religion based on both the Hindu Bhagavad Gita and the Wiccan Book of Shadows. Well, maybe not quite so dissimilar but you see my point. So, wouldn't it be more advantageous for christians to divorce the teachings of Jesus from the teachings of the old testament? Personally, I can't help think the world would be a better place.

So, disregarding any debate about whether or not Jesus truly existed or whether or not miracles could have been performed, based solely on the scrolls themselves, what scriptures mandate following the old law?

Just curious.
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Re: Any bible scholars out there?

#2  Postby zulumoose » Apr 21, 2017 12:40 pm

Google "jot or tittle"

That is the most quoted bible reference regarding the old testament, basically it is Jesus saying that the entirety of the old laws are valid, jot and tittle is, I believe, the Hebrew equivalent of dotting your i's and crossing your t's.
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Re: Any bible scholars out there?

#3  Postby PensivePenny » Apr 21, 2017 1:31 pm

Thanks zulu.
The full verse (I had to look it up):
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Don't a lot of christians already claim that all the old testament has been "fulfilled?" In terms of prophecy? Or am I misreading that?
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Re: Any bible scholars out there?

#4  Postby crank » Apr 21, 2017 1:33 pm

Of course it also says the opposite, or at least Jesus made excuses for not following certain restrictions, like not stoning someone for working on the sabbath. You can find extreme views on both ends of this spectrum around, like the biblical literalists, or just about every christian who give it almost zero thought.

To me, the important way to look at it is that christianity flows out of the OT, it makes no sense without adam and eve and original sin, to discount it is to dissolve the foundation christianity is built on.
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Re: Any bible scholars out there?

#5  Postby theropod » Apr 21, 2017 1:43 pm

Without the Old Testament notion of original sin there is no need for the perfect sacrifice of the Christ to atone for said sin.

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Re: Any bible scholars out there?

#6  Postby PensivePenny » Apr 21, 2017 1:51 pm

Crank, I'm not so sure. A multitude of apologists have proven that enough verbal gymnastics can change entire meanings. Surely, there is an argument that "God's law" consists of nothing but the ten commandments... no more no less. "God's law" could just as easily be considered a moniker for that codified list of "thou shalt nots." If so, "God" could just as easily be argued to be symbolic of good just as many are now arguing satan is not a fallen angel, rather a symbol of the evil in man. The whole idea of the "son of God" certainly becomes more palatable or believable. I'm not making these arguments, but I am suggesting that strictly defining God and God's law and the foundation the old testament is to christianity is a convenient target for atheists and a liability for anyone trying to construct a religion impervious to attack (like so many apologists do). To me, attacking the old testament resembles a strawman argument, one that christians could avoid and save themselves some grief. There'd be a whole lot less twisting and warping of words to defend christianity I should think.
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Re: Any bible scholars out there?

#7  Postby PensivePenny » Apr 21, 2017 1:57 pm

theropod wrote:Without the Old Testament notion of original sin there is no need for the perfect sacrifice of the Christ to atone for said sin.

RS


"Original Sin" isn't a requirement to make sense of the crucifixion. Growing up, our church scoffed at the catholics for their belief in original sin, as I recall. Maybe I'm wrong about that. It was a long time ago. In our church, we were all born innocent. Baptism was by immersion and only happened when a child reached an age where they personally felt responsible for their actions and recognized the difference between right and wrong. I'm just saying that as an example that the marriage between the old and new testaments are always cheatable.
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Re: Any bible scholars out there?

#8  Postby theropod » Apr 21, 2017 2:12 pm

Then your church taught/believed something that cannot be considered Christianity. I am sure you will find the New Testament states quite clearly that the Christ is consider the Lamb of God, which represents the unblemished sacrifice required to antone for our sinful nature, which was established according to the Old Testament notion of original sin, and the required type of sacrifice.

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Re: Any bible scholars out there?

#9  Postby PensivePenny » Apr 21, 2017 2:39 pm

theropod wrote:Then your church taught/believed something that cannot be considered Christianity. I am sure you will find the New Testament states quite clearly that the Christ is consider the Lamb of God, which represents the unblemished sacrifice required to antone for our sinful nature, which was established according to the Old Testament notion of original sin, and the required type of sacrifice.

RS


You're conflating "original sin" with our "sinful nature." Man has a sinful nature, sure (according to the bible). What is in dispute is that a child is born carrying the sin of his/her father. That didn't come along until long after Jesus purportedly died. It, like much in religion, is a man-made construct, passed down through tradition, accepted as the "truth."

Your argument that the church in which I was raised isn't Christian is fallacious, no true Scotsman. Many protestant religions don't recognize the Nicene creed. Christianity in it's purest form, is a philosophy that follows the teachings of Christ. Just because some interpret it differently than others makes them no less Christian.
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Re: Any bible scholars out there?

#10  Postby theropod » Apr 21, 2017 3:19 pm

Bullshit. How did "sinful nature" come to be? The only support for such is a bastardization of "original sin", which is directly tied to the Old Testament. Like much of religion is a man made construct? All religion is a man made construct.

So, in order to avoid the central tenets of Christianity one cherry picks the dogma and doctrines one chooses to the point it isn't recognizable as Christianity, but it is my fault for pointing this out? If you just want to argue about the Bible find someone else to debate. I could not care less what your church taught. You asked. I answered. Do you think Jim Jones taught Christianity? There comes a point where these bastardizations are no longer Christianity.

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Re: Any bible scholars out there?

#11  Postby PensivePenny » Apr 21, 2017 4:14 pm

Theropod, you make it sound as if there is only one interpretation of the bible. I'm not the one arguing the bible. That would mean I hold a position that the bible means this or that. I'm merely pointing out that what you insinuated is a rock solid argument that inextricably binds the old and new testament, is already denied by many many christians out there. You don't buy it, that's fine. It's your prerogative.

The church in which I was reared isn't fringe like Jim Jones. The comparison is ridiculous. Why do you think some church's teach infant baptism and others don't? The purpose of baptism is to wash away the individual's sin. Many, many churches, perhaps even a majority, teach against baptizing infants/children because they are innocent. The exact opposite of what I understand "original sin" to mean. Perhaps you have a different definition. Myopathy in what does or doesn't qualify as "christian," isn't very useful especially when comparing one interpretation of a mythical text vs another interpretation. It's akin to arguing Batman isn't a real super hero because his only super power is that he owns a utility belt. lol.
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Re: Any bible scholars out there?

#12  Postby theropod » Apr 21, 2017 4:35 pm

You didn't answer the question. Was Jim Jones teaching Christianity or not? I didn't compare him to your church, that is your evasive misrepresentation of my query. It seems rather clear you avoided a response because if YOU deny his way was Christianity then your accusation of strawmanning on my part becomes a reflection of your own. If you claim he was teaching Christianity then the baggage of his murderous shit becomes the baggage of all Christianty, and from that point on anything and everything can be called Christianity. Which do you choose? Your thread title asks opinion of bible experts. I studied Bible in Religious Education in college as my major. If you don't actually want the input of a Bible scholar why start a thread asking for such?

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Re: Any bible scholars out there?

#13  Postby scott1328 » Apr 21, 2017 4:37 pm

There is a reason it is called "the big book of multiple choice"
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Re: Any bible scholars out there?

#14  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Apr 21, 2017 4:38 pm

[*]
PensivePenny wrote:Thanks zulu.
The full verse (I had to look it up):
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Don't a lot of christians already claim that all the old testament has been "fulfilled?" In terms of prophecy? Or am I misreading that?

If something is fulfilled it's done. Go ask those Christians whether we can chuck out all the OT laws, including the 10 commandments since there's supposedly done.
Alternatively point out that laws can never be permantly fulfilled. They can only be contiously fulfilled by obeying them and executing the appropriate punishment.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Any bible scholars out there?

#15  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Apr 21, 2017 4:40 pm

PensivePenny wrote:Crank, I'm not so sure. A multitude of apologists have proven that enough verbal gymnastics can change entire meanings.

That's not changing the meaning, that's changing the interpetation.
And unless those apologist can provide evidence that their interpetation is the way it was intended by the biblical authors/god, they haven't got anything to go on.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Any bible scholars out there?

#16  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Apr 21, 2017 4:41 pm

PensivePenny wrote:
theropod wrote:Without the Old Testament notion of original sin there is no need for the perfect sacrifice of the Christ to atone for said sin.

RS


"Original Sin" isn't a requirement to make sense of the crucifixion.

It is. It is the whole reason for the crucifixion and worship of Jesus.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Any bible scholars out there?

#17  Postby PensivePenny » Apr 21, 2017 4:50 pm

theropod wrote:You didn't answer the question. Was Jim Jones teaching Christianity or not? I didn't compare him to your church, that is your evasive misrepresentation of my query. It seems rather clear you avoided a response because if YOU deny his way was Christianity then your accusation of strawmanning on my part becomes a reflection of your own. If you claim he was teaching Christianity then the baggage of his murderous shit becomes the baggage of all Christianty, and from that point on anything and everything can be called Christianity. Which do you choose? Your thread title asks opinion of bible experts. I studied Bible in Religious Education in college as my major. If you don't actually want the input of a Bible scholar why start a thread asking for such?

RS


I'm sorry if I didn't answer your question(s). There was no "evasiveness" on my part intended. I thought all your questions were rhetorical. Whether Jones taught Christianity or not I wouldn't know or care. Nor do I see the question or my answer to it as pertinent to the op. It's so rare to find any two people who agree on what the bible means, let alone what defines a "christian," I would have thought that obvious... especially for a bible scholar. I'm inclined to let people self-describe themselves as christian and leave it at that. Whether or not they are is of no interest to me. I'm guessing, by the sound of your posts here, that you don't consider Mormons, JWs, 7th day Adventists, etc etc to be christian either. That's fine and again, not the topic of the thread.

I'm also sorry if my playing devil's advocate to your remarks is offending you. I assure you, I intended you no offense.
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Re: Any bible scholars out there?

#18  Postby Alan B » Apr 21, 2017 4:58 pm

I think that when Jesus 'confirmed' the laws of what we call the Old Testament, he was trying to placate the priests and temple elders. They could see that the followers he was gathering meant less followers for them - and that their revenue was falling.

The later writers of the Bible used this 'confirmation' (out of context) in order to justify including the Torah as part of canonical law. Since Christianity, being a new religion with which to control the populace, seemed to have no 'built-in' laws derived from the teachings of Jesus, adding the Torah (with it's 'built-in' laws) became quite convenient. :think:
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Re: Any bible scholars out there?

#19  Postby PensivePenny » Apr 21, 2017 5:06 pm

Thomas Eshuis wrote:[*]
PensivePenny wrote:Thanks zulu.
The full verse (I had to look it up):
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Don't a lot of christians already claim that all the old testament has been "fulfilled?" In terms of prophecy? Or am I misreading that?

If something is fulfilled it's done. Go ask those Christians whether we can chuck out all the OT laws, including the 10 commandments since there's supposedly done.
Alternatively point out that laws can never be permantly fulfilled. They can only be contiously fulfilled by obeying them and executing the appropriate punishment.


Yeah, this is getting way more theological than I intended.... but....

"Fulfilled." What does it mean? Depends on the individual I suppose. I take it that it isn't referring to "laws" being fulfilled, rather the prophecies. Like scott1328 said... multiple choice. I've never heard that, but I like it. I tend to avoid religious people. I just don't have the patience for them anymore. As a result, my opportunities to "point anything out to them" is rare. My experience is it's a futile exercise.
Evolution saddens me. In an environment where irrational thinking is protected, the disparity in the population rate of creationists vs that of rational thinkers, equates to a creationist win. Let's remove warning labels from products as an equalizer.
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Re: Any bible scholars out there?

#20  Postby PensivePenny » Apr 21, 2017 5:15 pm

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
PensivePenny wrote:Crank, I'm not so sure. A multitude of apologists have proven that enough verbal gymnastics can change entire meanings.

That's not changing the meaning, that's changing the interpetation.
And unless those apologist can provide evidence that their interpetation is the way it was intended by the biblical authors/god, they haven't got anything to go on.


Isn't that just it? Most DO provide "evidence" inasmuch as can be derived from a fallible collection of translated and cherry picked ancient scrolls. Certainly, some fall flat on their face in the attempt. One can "divine" almost anything from anything.

I watched a recent discussion AronRa had with someone claiming that Adam was the serpent all based on the scripture that said "Now, Adam..." as if he were bouncing back and forth between man and beast. AronRa didn't buy it, but the interpretation was based on some perception whether or not we agree with it. If we placed the same emphasis on the Holy Text of DC comics, we may divine the very essence of who Superman was. When it comes to the bible, the quibble is no less meaningless.
Evolution saddens me. In an environment where irrational thinking is protected, the disparity in the population rate of creationists vs that of rational thinkers, equates to a creationist win. Let's remove warning labels from products as an equalizer.
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