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How Christianity Became Pagan

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by godnotgod, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. LegionOnomaMoi

    LegionOnomaMoi Veteran Member
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    Claims. Great. Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that all biblical scholars are biased an can't be trusted. What could we then say about Aramaic? Lots. Why? Because the number of linguists, Semitic specialists, and other experts on languages like Aramaic exist whose work is not religious but concerned with language and linguistics. What do these specialists say?

    1) The Aramaic spoken in Jesus' day is hazy, but whatever dialect he spoke is not represented in the Pe****ta, because no dialect of Aramaic at all existed in Jesus' day which is represented by the Pe****ta.

    2) Actual Aramaic specialists, like Casey (whose work your last source not only manipulated, but, just like Yonan and the Khabouris debacle, actually cited him as in some way supporting a position he states absolutely on the second page is WRONG) disagree with the information available on websites, which anybody can put up and say anything in. Once again, we have pseudo-"scholars" of Semitic languages misrepresenting their sources and relying on the incapacity of their audience to recognize this.

    3) The Pe****ta is less akin to the Aramaic of Jesus than certain Hebrew dialects. Jesus didn't speak Syriac, didn't know Syriac, and the Syriac of the Pe****ta didn't exist while he was alive.

    4) The irregularities in Pe****ta and Syriac NT references in general can be traced to Greek. Why? Because like a large amoung of Jewish writing in Jesus' day, the Gospels were all written in Greek.

    5) "Translating" Aramaic makes no difference at all relative to Greek. We can actually compare Aramaic translations of Greek, and Greek of Aramaic, along with Greek and Aramaic translations of Hebrew. Turning any of these into English makes any claim about the importance of "Aramaic" utterly baseless even if there were some truth to Pe****ta/Aramaic primacy.]

    6) Once again, the entirety of this "Pe****ta movement" exists because of the number of people who can't read NT Greek, Middle Aramaic, Lat aramaic, and the other languages used to write texts about the history of the NT canon in general.

    7) Calling something "Aramaic" is as useful and meaningful as calling Beawulf English. Sure, it's English. But modern English speakers can't read it.
     
    #141 LegionOnomaMoi, Nov 17, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
  2. LegionOnomaMoi

    LegionOnomaMoi Veteran Member
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    In that case, as I said, I apologize. I assumed, and as so often happens, I did so inaccurately.
     
  3. Ingledsva

    Ingledsva HEATHEN ALASKAN

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    The Israelites had human sacrifice. There are books out on this subject.

    Leviticus 27: 28, 29 Notwithstanding NO devoted thing, that a man
    shall devote unto the Lord of all that he hath, BOTH OF "MAN"
    and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed:
    every devoted thing is most holy unto the Lord.

    29 - None devoted, which shall be devoted of men shall be redeemed;
    BUT SHALL SURELY BE PUT TO DEATH.
     
  4. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    Where in the ^above^ verses does it say human sacrifice as in burning up a human?
    Is a 'thing' a man or beast ? A 'thing devoted' is something that a person has or uses.

    Previously at chapter 18 [verse 21] doesn't it already state no human sacrifice ?____

    'Put to death' would mean 'capital punishment' [death sentence] Not sacrifice.
    Please notice Exodus 22 v 20.
    To sacrifice to a false god would mean to be utterly destroyed [put to death].
    A false religious 'thing' to be devoted to Jehovah God for the purpose of extermination.
    The false object or thing to be destroyed, and the false worshiper destroyed by being put to death [executed].

    To have a 'devoted thing' [idol] 'thing' is not a living person which to burn in fire.
    -Deuteronomy 7 vs 25,26
    What does Deuteronomy 18 v 10 and 12 v 31 state ? ______________
    So, every 'devoted thing' is an inanimate object that was being used in false worship would Not be a person. A person devoted to a false devoted thing. That false devoted person would be the one not obeying God. As 1st Samuel 15 v 22 says ' to obey God is better than sacrifice'.

    What does God say at Jeremiah [32 vs 34,35] but that burning people did Not enter into God's mind. It was wrong.- Jeremiah 19 v 5
    It was wicked people like Ahaz [ 2nd Chronicles 28 v 3 ] that burnt their children, not ordered by God, but done after the detestable things of the surrounding nations.
    -2nd Kings 16 v 3
     
  5. Ingledsva

    Ingledsva HEATHEN ALASKAN

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    Both man and beast devoted - and nothing devoted shall be redeemed - but shall be put to death.

    The Israelites had human sacrifice. There are books out on this subject.

    Leviticus 27: 28, 29 Notwithstanding NO devoted thing, that a man
    shall devote unto the Lord of all that he hath, BOTH OF "MAN"
    and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed:
    every devoted thing is most holy unto the Lord.

    29 - None devoted, which shall be devoted of men shall be redeemed;
    BUT SHALL SURELY BE PUT TO DEATH.


    As I said above - there is available research on this.

    Exodus 22: 29 - Thou shalt not delay TO OFFER the FIRST of thy ripe
    fruits, and of thy liquors:
    THE FIRSTBORN OF THY SONS SHALT THOU GIVE
    UNTO ME.


    A BOOK - THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF THE BELOVED SON
    The Transformation of Child Sacrifice in Judaism and Christianity Jon D. Levenson

    "Tracing from Canaanite to Christian thought the humiliations, deaths, and exaltations of sons and heirs, Levenson intrigues, astounds, and undermines many dearly held theological beliefs. This tour de force offers fascinating discussions of such matters as child sacrifice and the deity's right to the first-born; the paschal sacrifice and other Israelite rituals as symbolic substitutes for the son and heir."--A. J. Levine, Choice
    ****

    Child Sacrifice http://www.rockinauburn.com/columns/sacrific.html


     
  6. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

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    According to Scripture No humans were burnt up in offering to the true God.
    Only the surrounding nations had people 'pass through the fire' in human sacrifice to pagan gods.

    Child sacrifice [burning in fire] was Not done by faithful Israelites, but by those disobeying God.
    Unfaithful kings doing a pagan practice did not make Scripture wrong, rather it made the king wrong.
    When Abraham was willing to offer up Isaac it was Not to be a live burning.
    Abraham was demonstrating his belief in the resurrection.
    In other words, Abraham believed Issac would be resurrected right back to physical life because Abraham knew that only through Isaac would the promised 'seed' [Messiah] come through him.
    Isaac would have to be alive in order to have offspring.
    What Abraham was willing to do was Not part of the future Constitution of the Mosaic law.
    Remember God did Not let Abraham kill Isaac, but God provided the animal that would be sacrificed.

    What does Jeremiah 32 vs 34,35 state?__________________
    What does 2nd Chronicles 28 vs 1- 3 state?__________________
     
  7. godnotgod

    godnotgod Thou art That

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    I tend to go along with the following argument, here taken from another forum on Pe****ta primacy:

    ********************************************************************************************************

    Aramaic Albion [​IMG]
    New Member
    Join Date: September 8, 2007
    Posts: 26
    Religion: Anglican


    [​IMG] Re: Exploring evidence of Pe****ta primacy
    Dear LT,

    Let's see, let's go with the imagination here.

    I'm originally from Arkansas. From Western Arkansas to be precise.

    Let's imagine for the purpose of this experiment that I have a written document in English. I want to bring it to you, and let's say that you live in Oklahoma (which is of course, to the West of Arkansas) and you are a Southern Cheyenne ('Indian') who does NOT speak English.

    It would not do either of us any good if I brought you this document written down in English, would it?

    No, you only speak Cheyenne.

    I have bring you the document in your own language.

    I'm not sure if the Southern Cheyenne's have a written alphabet or not in real life.....but let's assume that they DO.

    I'd need to learn that language enough to speak it fluently, and that would require learning the Cheyenne alphabet and it's particular sounds first wouldn't it?

    And of course, I'd need to also learn the idioms of Cheyenne too to aptly understand what certain words actually mean.

    Then, and only then, would I be prepared to bring you the document written to where you could really understand it and appreciate it, in your own language.

    What happened with Aramaic and it's close cousin Syriac, is not so different than this, really.

    The folks who were bringing the New Testament as they conceived it to be (a 22 Book Canon) had it in a Western Palestinian Aramaic version, that they took "to the folks across the river" who spoke Syriac, who wrote it down in the First Century, and who Faithfully transmitted it forward through time, to US.

    As it was taken to other people, the Greeks, and the Armenians, the Copts, etc., etc., *it was later written down in their languages*.

    Why would the Good News NOT be in the language of those first followers of Eshoo (Jesus), ARAMAIC?

    And LATER, it was written down in other languages??

    What's so strange about THIS?

    It only amazes YOU, because your NEW to this idea.

    I've been studying this since 1989, and it no longer seems so amazing to me at all.

    On the other hand, it seems sequential and logical that it happened in such a manner, as the Good News about Messiah spread out geographically, from It's home base.

    Why are the word plays and poetry in the P'****ta NT, all MISSING IN THE GREEK??

    Because the Greeks did NOT understand most of the idioms contained in the Aramaic.

    If I'm taking something as important as the Good News to my neighbor, I want it IN HIS LANGUAGE.

    The Assyrians *WERE EVANGELIZED FIRST*. Please read this AGAIN!

    The Assyrians *WERE EVANGELIZED FIRST*, with a Syriac version of the New Testament.

    It's really as simple as THAT!:)

    Shlama, Albion


    Exploring evidence of Pe****ta primacy - Page 7 - Catholic Answers Forums
     
  8. LegionOnomaMoi

    LegionOnomaMoi Veteran Member
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    Why? It's utterly irrelevant. Greek has an alphabet, as does Aramaic, but Navajo does not. The reference works and texts on the language use a version of the Latin alphabet. Yet Navajo is farm more challenging to learn than Russian, Greek, and other IE langauges which use a different alphabet.

    So clearly this individual hasn't studied linguistics or languages.


    And here's the fundamental problem. Why the Pe****ta? We have other Syriac texts of the gospels. We have other semitic texts of the gospels that aren't Syriac as well. They are all more similar to Middle Aramaic than is Greek.

    The problem is that we don't have any Semitic versions which do not rely on the Greek. The logic of the argument here is like saying a Hebrew translation of the KJV is a better way of understanding Jesus or the NT. It doesn't matter whether he spoke only Aramaic, or spoke Hebrew, Aramaic, & Greek. What matters is that all what we have for the records of Jesus' sayings, teachings, deeds, etc., were written in Greek.

    My grandfather, a native speaker of English, wrote his dissertation in Latin. Italian is closer to Latin than is English. Imagine his dissertation was translated into Italian, and into English, but also that the Italian translation of the Latin was translated into English. Which would be "closer" to the original? The English translation of the Latin, or the Italian translation of the English?


    The problem is this is completely wrong. There is no evidence that the NT was written in Aramaic, no good reason for thinking it would be, plenty of good reasons to think it wasn't, actual Greek texts dating to a time before the language of the Pe****ta existed, and plenty of experts in both Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek working on the manuscripts we have.

    On the other hand, we have guys like Yonan who first lie about the specialists they paid to look at their texts, and then (when exposed) come up with another version which has such a convoluted history even if it mattered how the manuscripts were actually obtained, we couldn't.

    From what? The earliest fragment we have of any manuscript is a scrap of John, from the first half of the second century. We have manuscripts of the "church fathers" quoting the gospels in Greek. We have various Semitic versions, from Old Syriac to the Syriac of the Pe****ta to Arabic and beyond, all of which rely on the Greek.

    Why, before Jesus was born, were the Hebrew scriptures translated into Greek? Why do we Jewish writings from Qumran, Josephus, Philo, etc., originally written in Greek and sometimes translated back into some semitic language? Because not only did many Jews speak either no Aramaic, and spoke Greek, or they were more familiar with some Greek than Hebrew.

    Why were Jesus' words recorded at all? And when? In a world of oral transmission and tradition, recording wasn't the norm. Even after the gospels were around, we know of people in the late first/early second century who prefered third-hand oral information than these texts.

    It's an idea that's been around for centuries. Papias wrote about a gospel of Matthew being written in Hebrew. The early work on textual criticism and translation was around before anything in English existed. The fact a large number of people who cannot read Greek, Hebrew, Syriac, Aramaic, or any other possibly relevant languages think that because calling every dialect of Aramaic makes them the same, and because they haven't come across the lasdt several centuries of work on this (let alone that done before), doesn't make it a "new idea". It makes a tiresome rehash which involves people talking about languages, cultures, and time periods they have little to no knowledge of, and declaring that those who do are all wrong.
     
  9. Ingledsva

    Ingledsva HEATHEN ALASKAN

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    "Only the surrounding nations" is not correct. There are several books on this subject.

    2Ki 17:17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

    2Ki 17:18
    Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.

    This one below (a few verses above it) says they brought it with them when they left Egypt.

    Eze 23:37 That they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands, and with their idols have they committed adultery, and have also caused their sons, whom they bare unto me, to pass for them through the fire, to devour them.

    2Ki 16:3 But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel.

    We are in fact told in the Bible that the Israelites kept turning back to their original Gods.

    From Catholic Encyclopedia -

    "The custom of causing one's children to pass through the fire seems to have been general in the Northern Kingdom [IV (II) Kings, xvii, 17; Ezech. xxiii, 37], and it gradually grew in the Southern, encouraged by the royal example of Achaz (IV Kings, xvi, 3) and Manasses [IV (II) Kings, xvi, 6] till it became prevalent in the time of the prophet Jeremias (Jerem. xxxii, 35), when King Josias suppressed the worship of Moloch and defiled Tophet [IV (II) Kings, xxiii, 13 (10)]. It is not improbable that this worship was revived under Joakim and continued until the Babylonian Captivity …"

    “In the week's Torah portion, G-d says about the Mishkan( Tabernacle) "V'neekdash Bichvodi", I will be made holy in my honor (loosely translated). The Talmud says to read it that "I will be made holy through my honored ones" referring to Aaron's 2 son's who were killed. Their death was part of the dedication of the Mishkan…”
    http://www.torah.org/linkedlists/torah-forum/fu/0343.html

    And here God says HE dit it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Eze 20:25 Wherefore - I -gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live;

    Eze 20:26 And - I - polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the LORD.

    Jewish Ritual Murder, a Historical Investigation, by Hellmut Schramm, Ph.D

    THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF THE BELOVED SON
    The Transformation of Child Sacrifice in Judaism and Christianity Jon D. Levenson


    "Tracing from Canaanite to Christian thought the humiliations, deaths, and exaltations of sons and heirs, Levenson intrigues, astounds, and undermines many dearly held theological beliefs. This tour de force offers fascinating discussions of such matters as child sacrifice and the deity's right to the first-born; the paschal sacrifice and other Israelite rituals as symbolic substitutes for the son and heir."--A. J. Levine, Choice



     
  10. godnotgod

    godnotgod Thou art That

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    He's not referring to himself, but to the would-be person in the scenario he's creating to illustrate his point.

    Until we have evidence of the claim the Church of the East is making, that they, in fact, DO have in their possession the original Aramaic texts consisting of 22 books of the NT, we shall have to leave it at that.

    Victor Alexander, whom I have referenced earlier, is claiming to have created an English translation of the Aramaic NT from those same texts.


    The case may be similar to the claim the Buddhist monks at the Hemis monastery in the Himalayas, in which they claim to have ancient biographical accounts of Jesus and his teachings (St. Issa) in their possession, which several outsiders claim to have seen themselves, but which the monastery refuses to divulge to the outside world, for obvious reasons.
     
    #150 godnotgod, Nov 23, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
  11. LegionOnomaMoi

    LegionOnomaMoi Veteran Member
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    Right. That's the problem. Imagine you have a friend who happens to be a specialist in peripheral nerve damage & repair. A few months ago, you had surgery on a nerve in your wrist (which was severed in an accident), but the pain is more severe than your surgeon had anticipated, so you ask your friend about nerve pain and possible solutions. While she is in the middle of explaining why neurontin would be better than the extra-strength tylenol you are taking (and perhaps even more than the oxycodone/percocet & tylenol you took right after surgery) a nearby stranger butts in and declares "hey, I have no medical knowledge or experience, but I know that when I get headaches, tylenol works for that pain."

    Why on Earth would you pay any attention?

    Here, with the issue of the Pe****ta, we have an intersection of many, many, disciplines, including linguistics, classics, philology, middle eastern studies, archaeology, textual criticism, Semitic languages, and so on.

    On the other hand, we have someone who doesn't know the first thing about translation, the dynamics of language use in a linguistically diverse setting in general (let alone first century Palestine), or anything else which would give us reason to believe the analogy used is appropriate.

    We have plenty of evidence that this claim is false. A truly staggering amount. No other document from the ancient world has anything approaching the number of textual witnesses the NT has (i.e., instances in which we have a manuscript, a reference to one, a quotation, a scrap, a translation, etc.). Nor are there any languages which have been the subject of study, research, and progress as with Greek and Hebrew. And while there are languages which had native speakers in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and are now either dead or dying, enormous grammars on Aramaic, Syriac, etc., were recently completed and were being written.

    This is the most studied document in history, and studied in so many ways by people in so many fields it boggles the mind. On the other hand, there are a group of amateurs running around calling Syriacn "Aramaic", claiming that this "Pe****ta" (which they can't read) is the Aramaic of Jesus (or close to it), and that it is for some reason natural given their almost complete lack of knowledge about the Hellenistic world and the dynamics of Graeco-Roman & Jewish interactions (including the effects on orality, textuality, and communication in general) to suppose that the Greek NT they also can't read is secondary to this "Pe****ta". Why? Because there are a tiny handful of people with the capacity to at least read certain older dialects of Aramaic who have webpages making saying so. And as the "Pe****ta first" supporters lack the ability to evaluate these claims, they make or point to arguments despite a complete inability to judge the veracity, validity, and support for these arguments.


    And I've translated some of the Gothic NT (it is, after all, the only real witness to the language we've had). Same with Latin, and even "high german".

    The problem is that this all seems to rest on a series of completely flawed premises:

    1) That Jesus, almost certainly a native Aramaic speaker, would not have had an early following of people who were more comfortable speaking other languages (esp. Greek, the lingua frana of the day), and who were "translating" Jesus' teachings into Greek probably while he was still alive.

    2) That because Jesus spoke Aramaic, it is only natural the first, second, and or third generation of followers would have written the NT texts in Aramaic, despite the fact that the Rabbinic teachings from around Jesus' time weren't recorded for centuries to come (the Mishnah only being written down about 200 CE).

    3) That someone like Paul, who was writing to an increasingly non-Jewish audience already in the 50s, wouldn't have written in Greek.

    4) That people after Paul, who were writing in what was a community of early Christians largely made up of non-Jewish converts, weren't just capable of writing the gospels in Aramaic, but would want to even if they could. That is, here is a language that fewer and fewer Christians can understand at all, let alone read, while Greek is widely used and spoken as a second language across the Roman empire (especially the East). But despite the missionary nature of 2nd and 3rd generation Christianity, and despite the precious few Christians who knew Aramaic compared to a vast number of already or potential converts who knew Greek, these people wrote the Gospels in Aramaic.

    5) That the nature of textuality and oral and written transmission in the first and early 2nd centuries made it at all plausible that this spreading community (which required texts for increasingly spread out churches in regions in which no Semitic language was commonly spoken), would have produced accounts (which have parallels in greco-roman literature) in a language which would severely limit the capacity to transmit the accounts of Jesus' mission and teachings.

    6) That the nature of the texts themselves don't read like translations at all, but rather show influence of Semiticisms.

    7) That the Pe****ta manuscripts show evidence of being original, rather than the numerous instances in which they reflect Greek influence.

    8) That the Pe****ta manuscripts, which don't agree with each other, somehow have some special status that other Semitic NT texts, including Old Syriac, do not possess.

    9) And finally, that the only people capable of understanding not just the languages of all these textual traditions (Greek, Gothic, Italic, Syriac, Armenian, Arabic, etc.), as well as the relevant history, are those who have no training in any of it.
     
    #151 LegionOnomaMoi, Nov 23, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
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