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Thread: The root of Christianity

  1. Top | #61
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    It's also important to understand the religious nature of the Roman empire. It was full of weird sects. The Roman government had a hands off attitude. As long as the sects were nice to each other and showed respect they were left alone. The moment they started sectarian violence they were ruthlessly suppressed.

    Its important to understand that early Christians were often violent. It was so common they had a special word for Christian violent thugs. The Parabalani. Its arguable that Constantine converted the empire in order to be able to control the Parabalani.

    In 3'd century Christian rhetoric anything Christian was good. Anything Pagan was bad.

    Since Christians got to write the history of course they frame themselves as innocent victims. But any closer reading reveals what's really going on.

    Christians weren't above historical revisionism. Obviously

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    It's also important to understand the religious nature of the Roman empire. It was full of weird sects. The Roman government had a hands off attitude. As long as the sects were nice to each other and showed respect they were left alone. The moment they started sectarian violence they were ruthlessly suppressed.

    Its important to understand that early Christians were often violent. It was so common they had a special word for Christian violent thugs. The Parabalani. Its arguable that Constantine converted the empire in order to be able to control the Parabalani.

    In 3'd century Christian rhetoric anything Christian was good. Anything Pagan was bad.

    Since Christians got to write the history of course they frame themselves as innocent victims. But any closer reading reveals what's really going on.

    Christians weren't above historical revisionism. Obviously
    No surprise we (including stevebank) will have different views of the early Christians, although I do see the rhetoric "Christians are often Violent" is a view you seem quite strongly about.

    Just as Poli highlights below:

    "anyone can pick up Pliny the Younger and read about vicious persecutions from the lips of the persecutor. Why put forth an argument that anyone who has ever studied the issue at all knows is misrepresenting the subjecty?"

    People will notice misrepresentation, when reading from Pliny the Younger and others. Borrowing a few excerpt examples: Accordingly to A. Harnack, C.J. Cadoux, and G.J. Herring, the most eminent students of the problem, few if any Christians served in the Roman Army during the first century and a half A.D.; and even in the third century there were Christian conscientious objectors.":: -

    "The rise of Christianity led to a rapid growth of conscientious objection.




    CLEMENT "In the third century Clement of Alexandria contrasted war-like pagans with the peaceful community of Christians.’ "20 "Clement of Alexandria calls his Christian contemporaries the ‘Followers of Peace,’ and expressly tells us that ‘the followers of peace used none of the implements of war.’"21 "Above all, Christians are not allowed to correct by violence sinful wrongdoings. For (it is) not those who abstain from evil by compulsion, but those (who abstain) by choice, (that) God crowns. For it is not possible for a man to be good steadily except by his own choice.


    CYPRIANUS (250 A.D.) "Cyprianus declaims about the ‘wars scattered everywhere with the bloody horror of camps. The world, ‘he says, ‘is wet with mutual blood (shed) : and homicide is a crime when individuals commit it, (but) it is called a virtue, when it is carried on publicly. Not the reason of innocence, but the magnitude of savagery, demands impunity for crimes.’ He censures also the vanity and deceitful pomp of the military office."23

    IRENAEUS (180 A.D.) "For the Christians have changed their swords and their lances into instruments of peace, and they know not how to fight.


    JUSTIN MARTYR (150 A.D.) "That the prophecy is fulfilled, you have good reason to believe, for we, who in times past killed one another, do not now fight with our enemies."26 "We, who had been filled with war and mutual slaughter and every wickedness, have each one-all the world over-changed the instruments of war, the swords into plows and the spears into farming implements, and we cultivate piety, righteousness, love for men, faith, (and) the hope which is from Father Himself through the Crucified One.

    TARAKHOS (304 A.D.) "Tarakhos of Cilicia, on trial because he had left the army, told the governor he had been a soldier, ‘but because I was a Christian, I have now chosen to be a civilian.’" He was martyred in 304 A.D.59

  3. Top | #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Learner View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    It's also important to understand the religious nature of the Roman empire. It was full of weird sects. The Roman government had a hands off attitude. As long as the sects were nice to each other and showed respect they were left alone. The moment they started sectarian violence they were ruthlessly suppressed.

    Its important to understand that early Christians were often violent. It was so common they had a special word for Christian violent thugs. The Parabalani. Its arguable that Constantine converted the empire in order to be able to control the Parabalani.

    In 3'd century Christian rhetoric anything Christian was good. Anything Pagan was bad.

    Since Christians got to write the history of course they frame themselves as innocent victims. But any closer reading reveals what's really going on.

    Christians weren't above historical revisionism. Obviously
    No surprise we (including stevebank) will have different views of the early Christians, although I do see the rhetoric "Christians are often Violent" is a view you seem quite strongly about.

    Just as Poli highlights below:

    "anyone can pick up Pliny the Younger and read about vicious persecutions from the lips of the persecutor. Why put forth an argument that anyone who has ever studied the issue at all knows is misrepresenting the subjecty?"

    People will notice misrepresentation, when reading from Pliny the Younger and others. Borrowing a few excerpt examples: Accordingly to A. Harnack, C.J. Cadoux, and G.J. Herring, the most eminent students of the problem, few if any Christians served in the Roman Army during the first century and a half A.D.; and even in the third century there were Christian conscientious objectors.":: -

    "The rise of Christianity led to a rapid growth of conscientious objection.




    CLEMENT "In the third century Clement of Alexandria contrasted war-like pagans with the peaceful community of Christians.’ "20 "Clement of Alexandria calls his Christian contemporaries the ‘Followers of Peace,’ and expressly tells us that ‘the followers of peace used none of the implements of war.’"21 "Above all, Christians are not allowed to correct by violence sinful wrongdoings. For (it is) not those who abstain from evil by compulsion, but those (who abstain) by choice, (that) God crowns. For it is not possible for a man to be good steadily except by his own choice.


    CYPRIANUS (250 A.D.) "Cyprianus declaims about the ‘wars scattered everywhere with the bloody horror of camps. The world, ‘he says, ‘is wet with mutual blood (shed) : and homicide is a crime when individuals commit it, (but) it is called a virtue, when it is carried on publicly. Not the reason of innocence, but the magnitude of savagery, demands impunity for crimes.’ He censures also the vanity and deceitful pomp of the military office."23

    IRENAEUS (180 A.D.) "For the Christians have changed their swords and their lances into instruments of peace, and they know not how to fight.


    JUSTIN MARTYR (150 A.D.) "That the prophecy is fulfilled, you have good reason to believe, for we, who in times past killed one another, do not now fight with our enemies."26 "We, who had been filled with war and mutual slaughter and every wickedness, have each one-all the world over-changed the instruments of war, the swords into plows and the spears into farming implements, and we cultivate piety, righteousness, love for men, faith, (and) the hope which is from Father Himself through the Crucified One.

    TARAKHOS (304 A.D.) "Tarakhos of Cilicia, on trial because he had left the army, told the governor he had been a soldier, ‘but because I was a Christian, I have now chosen to be a civilian.’" He was martyred in 304 A.D.59
    Again there was and is now no singular Christian group. Any ancient commentary rom those times is inherently subjective and based on limited first hand knowledge due to immitted travel and communications.

    Constantine made Christianity a state religion. The Crusades, crosses onshields.

    Look at Christians in the USA today. Pacifists to patriotic holy warriors in the name of god and country. The English proclaim 'god save the queen'. One creates an image of Christianity to suit one's views. You can find any number of authors to quote that support any Christian view. There is no 'Christianity'.

  4. Top | #64
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Learner View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    It's also important to understand the religious nature of the Roman empire. It was full of weird sects. The Roman government had a hands off attitude. As long as the sects were nice to each other and showed respect they were left alone. The moment they started sectarian violence they were ruthlessly suppressed.

    Its important to understand that early Christians were often violent. It was so common they had a special word for Christian violent thugs. The Parabalani. Its arguable that Constantine converted the empire in order to be able to control the Parabalani.

    In 3'd century Christian rhetoric anything Christian was good. Anything Pagan was bad.

    Since Christians got to write the history of course they frame themselves as innocent victims. But any closer reading reveals what's really going on.

    Christians weren't above historical revisionism. Obviously
    No surprise we (including stevebank) will have different views of the early Christians, although I do see the rhetoric "Christians are often Violent" is a view you seem quite strongly about.

    Just as Poli highlights below:

    "anyone can pick up Pliny the Younger and read about vicious persecutions from the lips of the persecutor. Why put forth an argument that anyone who has ever studied the issue at all knows is misrepresenting the subjecty?"

    People will notice misrepresentation, when reading from Pliny the Younger and others. Borrowing a few excerpt examples: Accordingly to A. Harnack, C.J. Cadoux, and G.J. Herring, the most eminent students of the problem, few if any Christians served in the Roman Army during the first century and a half A.D.; and even in the third century there were Christian conscientious objectors.":: -

    "The rise of Christianity led to a rapid growth of conscientious objection.




    CLEMENT "In the third century Clement of Alexandria contrasted war-like pagans with the peaceful community of Christians.’ "20 "Clement of Alexandria calls his Christian contemporaries the ‘Followers of Peace,’ and expressly tells us that ‘the followers of peace used none of the implements of war.’"21 "Above all, Christians are not allowed to correct by violence sinful wrongdoings. For (it is) not those who abstain from evil by compulsion, but those (who abstain) by choice, (that) God crowns. For it is not possible for a man to be good steadily except by his own choice.


    CYPRIANUS (250 A.D.) "Cyprianus declaims about the ‘wars scattered everywhere with the bloody horror of camps. The world, ‘he says, ‘is wet with mutual blood (shed) : and homicide is a crime when individuals commit it, (but) it is called a virtue, when it is carried on publicly. Not the reason of innocence, but the magnitude of savagery, demands impunity for crimes.’ He censures also the vanity and deceitful pomp of the military office."23

    IRENAEUS (180 A.D.) "For the Christians have changed their swords and their lances into instruments of peace, and they know not how to fight.


    JUSTIN MARTYR (150 A.D.) "That the prophecy is fulfilled, you have good reason to believe, for we, who in times past killed one another, do not now fight with our enemies."26 "We, who had been filled with war and mutual slaughter and every wickedness, have each one-all the world over-changed the instruments of war, the swords into plows and the spears into farming implements, and we cultivate piety, righteousness, love for men, faith, (and) the hope which is from Father Himself through the Crucified One.

    TARAKHOS (304 A.D.) "Tarakhos of Cilicia, on trial because he had left the army, told the governor he had been a soldier, ‘but because I was a Christian, I have now chosen to be a civilian.’" He was martyred in 304 A.D.59
    Early Christianity varied wildly. New pagan converts often continued behaving as pagans. As it spread it varied over time. When Christianity was a tiny sect of mostly slaves, it was marginalised and weak. 300 AD it was the main source of power in the empire and violent retribution would come to those who threatened the church or its members.

    Your blanket statements show that you don't know the background that well.

    You seem to only have read Christian propaganda about the period?

    If consciousness objection was as common as you claim, the Roman empire would have collapsed much sooner. Empires depend upon a willingness to fight.

    The barbarians who sacked Rome and crushed the Western half, they were all Christian. Imagine that!

  5. Top | #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post

    Again there was and is now no singular Christian group. Any ancient commentary rom those times is inherently subjective and based on limited first hand knowledge due to immitted travel and communications.
    The variations of Christianity, for example the churches, that were already established in the 1st century, long before Constantine and the scriptural canonization, in which bewteen them, only had trivial differences. ALL Churches (the few that existed at that particular time period), believed in Christ as the saviour etc..


    Constantine made Christianity a state religion. The Crusades, crosses onshields.
    Constantine & Rome had NO choice but to become a Christian state, since Christianity was spreading throughout the empire on it's own legs. Can't beat them join them, sort of thing.

    Look at Christians in the USA today. Pacifists to patriotic holy warriors in the name of god and country. The English proclaim 'god save the queen'. One creates an image of Christianity to suit one's views. You can find any number of authors to quote that support any Christian view. There is no 'Christianity'.

    Well yes, I agree, 2000 years later there's bound to be many 'influential' differences, affecting them by a history of tnaditional, social & political environment distractions, especially living in the modern age community.

    Depending on the types of Christians or perhaps denominations. One could measure up with, which church fits with one of the 7 churches mentioned in revelation, which describes 5 of the 7 churches... about the not to do things being a church, which funny enough, is a parrallel reflection of Paul's letters to the first century, 7 churches.

    And, by the 3rd century, the strong presence of gnosticism and various counterfeits was more apparent which indeed would be problematic, mingling in the religious community circles - although, these issues should be easier to understand and differentiate today imo.

  6. Top | #66
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    How deep are those influential differences, before they mark off an essentially different path? The largest Christian denomination worldwide is Catholicism, which still, as far as I know, proclaims "Outside the church there is no salvation", and has some features that distinguish it indelibly from Protestantism. There are the sacraments, performed by a priesthood acting in persona Christi; there is the importance of Virgin Mary; there are over 10,000 saints, all of whom can be offered intercessory prayer; and of course there is the papacy and its authority. Outside of a limited number of sacraments, Protestants accept almost none of this. Mormonism, which goes officially by the title The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is even farther afield in differences (sacraments, three extra books of scripture, concept of heaven.) Is this what the Christian god intended when he sent his "son" to earth, and then inspired the gospel writers? If faith is the way to know God and what he requires, why this tropical rain forest of creeds, practices, claims of authority?

  7. Top | #67
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    It is the Roan Catholic Church emphasis in Roman. It was modeled after the Roman authoritarian system. The pope is the empower and in the past had dictatorial powers. They had their own military at times and wealth.

    The Vatican has an army of PHD type theologians whose job is to spin theology as times change. Been at it for over 1000 years.

    The premise for the authority is a clam of an unbroken line of succession back to Peter as the first bishop of Rome, which is mystical. As such they claim to be the one and only true Christian church and the only way to heavenly salvation.

    Catechism 101 when I was a kid in Catholica schools. The pope as the sole moral authority second to god.

  8. Top | #68
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    Learner

    Counterfeits? It is all counterfeit if you see Jesus as a Jew preaching Jewish faith to Jews. If there was a 'true' group of followers we have no ay to know that historically, there is insufficient information and what exist is open to wide interpretation. Hence the fractured Christianity that developed.

    What you have as Christianity should be called Paulism. He dispensed with the food and circumcision requirements for being Christian.

    Until then to be Christian was to be Jewish. Paul said it is what in the heart not circumcision that makes a Jew a Jew.

    Christianity as a gentile religion was a fabrication an adaptation. What can be deduced there was multiple competing factions sometimes violent with different interpretations. Some believed in the divine Jesus some did not.

    It was decided by consensus at Nicaea. The Nicaean Creed which I recited as a kid was a loyalty oath to the new synthesis, much like our Pledge Of Allegiance was. Suppression of counter interpretations began in earnest leading to the RCC dominance.

    The more I think about the show I watched on the origin of the Artur legend the more obvious the fiction of the gospels becomes.

    A 111th century monk, Jeffery I believe, wrote a history of England. H e added oral tales of a warrior king and embellished with magic and the supernatural. It was an action adventure story of the day and was popular. Arthur's birth connected to magic.

    The Jesus ad Mary virgin birth story Jesus fathered by a god was pure Greek mythology. Jesus of the gospels was a demigod. Offspring of human and god, possessing some but not all the powers of the god, and dying in an act of salvation going to the to be with the god.

    You can't have the demigod wandering around, it is inconvenient. As fiction it is called a tragedy, which means in the end the hero dies. In modern terms, a 'tear jerker'.

    As is said at the end of the game show I've Got A Secret, 'Will the real Christian please stand up'.

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    Veteran Member Tharmas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Learner View Post

    The variations of Christianity, for example the churches, that were already established in the 1st century, long before Constantine and the scriptural canonization, in which bewteen them, only had trivial differences. ALL Churches (the few that existed at that particular time period), believed in Christ as the saviour etc..
    I’m not sure how much harmony there really was in the early church. You say they all “believed in Christ as the savior, etc.” Sure, but there’s a lot covered by that “etc.”

    For one thing, Paul mentions several times in his genuine epistles that members of the churches he addresses should not listen to other, false preachers preaching false doctrine. So Paul was under the impression that there were different messages and important differences that needed to be addressed. Acts describes a meeting between Paul and James in Jerusalem, and their disagreements, presumably over whether non Jews could be members of the church.

    That last question erupted in only the second century with Marcion, the first to codify the New Testament (he included the letters of Paul and a modified Luke). Marcionism rejects all of Jewish teaching in what we now call the Old Testament, including worship of Yahweh. For a good period of time Marcionism was the most popular version of Christianity.

    As for violence, while you may be correct that many early Christians were pacifists, nevertheless they could still display violence, by overturning pagan statues and defiling pagan temples, which was one of the chief complaints pagans had about Christians. My source for that information is Robin L Fox, Pagans and Christians.

    The myth of a unified Christianity is exactly that – a myth. Schisms go back to the earliest days of the church.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post

    Counterfeits? It is all counterfeit if you see Jesus as a Jew preaching Jewish faith to Jews.
    What you have as Christianity should be called Paulism. He dispensed with the food and circumcision requirements for being Christian.
    Oh, I agree. After telling the disciples to preach only to Jews, calling the Canaanites dogs, advising people to consult their rabbis, defending each 'jot and tittle' of the law, and especially after claiming he would reinstate the 12 tribes of Israel in heaven -- to have JC then say, when he returns as a ghostlike entity, that they should now preach to all nations -- nah. (And that quote is in the interpolated ending to Mark, written by who knows.) He was Jewish, he apparently wore the prayer garments, he celebrated Jewish holy days -- if he comes back again, don't ask him to try your Christmas ham.

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