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Featured Revelation without Jesus?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Kelly of the Phoenix, Jan 25, 2023.

  1. Kelly of the Phoenix

    Kelly of the Phoenix Well-Known Member

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  2. InChrist

    InChrist Free4ever

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    I find it fascinating that anyone would so easily believe some so-called scholar’s claim that Jesus was “pasted” into the book of Revelation.


    …For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
    Revelation 22:18-19
     
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  3. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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  4. The Kilted Heathen

    The Kilted Heathen Crow FreyjasmaðR

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    Given that Revelations is a coded Christian message during the time of Nero, I would say that no, a pre-Christian version of Revelations could not exist.
     
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  5. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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    It's interesting, but still just a blog, so it would be more interesting (to me) to see the comments on it once it acquires peer review if it makes it that far.

    In my opinion.
     
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  6. Ancient Soul

    Ancient Soul The Spiritual Universe

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    Well, that's what the bible is all about. It was too costly paying for all the scribes, ink, crude "paper" of the time, etc. to invent a "new" money making religion, so they HAD to take other ancient pagan religious texts and alter them to somehow fit in the "Jesus" mythology. That's why there are so many similarities with several other PREVIOUS competing mythologies of the time and so full of inconsistencies and errors.
     
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  7. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Turned to Stone. Now I stretch daily.
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    Subtracts parts of Revelation 1 which mention 'Jesus' or 'Christ' and it continues to be readable. I get it.

    It is interesting but does not make it pre-christian, since it could represent such text an earlier form of Christianity. There are no texts unrelated to catholicism which contain part of Revelation 1. You'd need to find something extra to make this more than a passing guess.
     
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  8. Windwalker

    Windwalker Veteran Member
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    Yet you don't find it equally fascinating that some such as yourself are so quick to dismiss it? I for one find it an intriguing possibility, considering there are other examples of this sort of thing from the history of the time.

    So, your scholarly reasons to summarily reject it is fear of a curse? For all you know, if those extra Jesus parts were in fact inserted, maybe that later redactor is frying in hell right now for messing with a Jewish apocalyptic text. :)

    I'm just saying, I'm not as quick to rule these things out. My faith is not dependent on my ideas about the Bible as others' apparently is. There is God, and then there is the Bible. They are not the same in my view.
     
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  9. Windwalker

    Windwalker Veteran Member
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    I don't believe that is his basis for conceiving at as pre-Christian, just because you can cut those out so easily. It reads like a Jewish apocalyptic text of those days. Even NT Christian scholars do not believe John was the gospel John. They call him John of Patmos, a Jewish Apocalyptic Christian. Meaning, he fits the Jewish Apocalyptic genre. If you take out the Christian references, then his in fact an Apocalyptic Jew, and not a Christian.

    It's an intriguing argument. It wouldn't surprise me, actually, given the level of other messing with the texts of the day, such as all of the pseudo Pauline texts that are included in the Bible, such as all the Pastorals.

    Except that it fits better with the Apocolpytic Jewish literature, far better than in does with Christian literature. It is such a radically different Jesus that the Jesus of the gospels. "Turn the other cheek, love your enemies", that is until he slices them all open and wades in a river of their blood for 200 miles! :)

    To me, the NT is far more Jesus like, without Revelation. I know more than few of those who debated which books to include in the canon of scripture consider that book an outlier that should not be included. They hotly fought against it.

    I don't see this as a passing guess. I see there are some intriguing and possibly compelling reasons to imagine this might be the case. What would be telling of course, would be to find an older MSS of Revelation that in fact was absent the Jesus references. That would be a smoking gun. But of course, that would be a miracle to find anything like that. I'm sure that's not the only thing that would provide support for this though.
     
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  10. PearlSeeker

    PearlSeeker Well-Known Member

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  11. Kenny

    Kenny Face to face with my Father
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    In considering the possibility of a “pre-Christian” apocalypse embedded in our current Book of Revelation

    It sounds more like they are pasting "pre-Christian" into the subject than reality. :)

    That being said, Revelation can be found in TaNaKh just as you can find Jesus hidden in the same scriptures.

    Parallels between the visions of the Book of Revelation and the visions of the Prophet Daniel
     
    #11 Kenny, Jan 26, 2023
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2023
  12. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    The argument for that was pretty compelling. One can't just remove the word Jesus from your sentence above and have it still be grammatically correct and semantically coherent, nor from mine in this reply. Yet that can be done repeatedly in the text in question.
     
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  13. Windwalker

    Windwalker Veteran Member
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    I don't think it's as careless as all that. Revelation fits the genre of Jewish apocalyptic texts of the day, far better than it does the Christian texts of the day. If you simply remove the possibly inserted Christian references, like you have clearly injected into body of Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, the text reads coherently and fits right in with the other Jewish Apocalyptic texts.

    That's what this person who has researched the apocalyptic literature of the day for 30 years is saying. I don't see it as some willy-nilly guessing. It has some basis in factual reality. I'd say it's a fairly compelling possibility, and it would not surprise me if it turned out to be true.

    Well sure, of course it would. You don't think a Jewish apocalyptic writer wouldn't be drawing from the apocalyptic texts from previous Jewish scriptures, speaking of their ideas of the Jewish Messiah? If you remove specifically naming Jesus, it is that warring Jewish Messiah that they expected, not this "turn the other cheek, love your enemies Jesus of the gospels. Wading in a river his enemies blood stretching 200 miles? Yikes. What happened to the Jesus of, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do"?

    That you find references in Revelation of the messiah from Daniel doesn't make the book a miracle, or a sign God was behind its composition. It merely indicates that Daniel was in the author's mind when he composed this apocalyptic text, which you clearly would expect in a Jewish apocalyptic text! That's not a sign of Divine authorship. It's a sign of familiarity with the texts, just as you and I are. Those references aren't exactly "hidden".

    As I said above, faith in God, and our views of the Bible are not dependent on each other, nor in any way should be treated as equals. God is not the Bible, and the Bible is not God.

    Do you believe that if you question the Bible's composition, that that means you are denying God in your mind or putting your faith in God at risk? I'm genuinely curious about your views on that. Does your faith stand or fall based upon your assumptions of the Bible being accurate?
     
    #13 Windwalker, Jan 26, 2023
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2023
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  14. Sgt. Pepper

    Sgt. Pepper RF's resident Beatlemaniac. ☮ and ❤

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    I wouldn't be surprised if it were true because I already believe that either Jesus did not exist in biblical times or that he was merely an ordinary man and a popular religious teacher whose devoted followers devised and spread implausible stories about him, such as miraculously turning water into wine, walking on water, raising the dead, miraculously healing or curing the sick with his touch, and feeding at least 5,000 people with only five loaves of bread and two fish. In my opinion, the men who wrote these stories are more adept at writing fiction than telling the truth that there was nothing supernatural about Jesus at all. They may have been disappointed in Jesus and decided to spread false stories about him and adapt Greek myths to make him appear godlike in order to gain followers.

    Assuming that Jesus existed in biblical times, then it's most likely that his followers embellished the stories about him, and more embellishment and folklore were later added to these stories to make him appear to be more than he actually was. I think that it is more likely that he was simply a well-liked religious teacher whose devoted followers spread false stories about him to make him appear godlike. I also think that it's likely that a few stories about him were copied and adapted from Greek mythology and other pagan religions as well, which predate both Christianity and the Bible. In my opinion, paganism had a significant impact on the stories about Jesus, and as I've explained in other posts (such as this one), paganism also had a significant impact on Christianity as well.

    As I mentioned in other threads, the savior story of Jesus isn't the first of its kind, and in my opinion, it isn't any more believable than all the other savior stories that predate his, such as "10 Christ-Like Figures that Predate Jesus" and "Other Gods That Rose From the Dead in Spring Before Jesus Christ." In fact, these articles provide several more examples of pagan Christlike figures whose lives parallel Jesus', including being born of a virgin, being tempted by the devil before beginning an earthly ministry, miraculously healing the sick, dying to atone for humanity, descending into the underworld after death, and resurrected from the dead after three days.

    The stories of Jesus' crucifixion, death, and resurrection are similar to those of Attis, the Phrygian-Greek god of vegetation (1250 BCE). According to the stories of Attis, he was divinely born of a virgin; he was hung on a tree and died; he descended into the underworld after his death; he was resurrected after three days; and he brought salvation with him upon his rebirth. The article "Attis: Born of a Virgin on December 25th, Crucified and Resurrected after Three Days" contains more stories about Attis and Jesus that are similar.

    In my opinion, the other stories of Christlike figures demonstrate that some of the stories of Jesus were influenced by paganism and that Christianity isn't unique in its beliefs, despite the claims by Christians that the Bible is inspired by God and that Christianity is the only true religion in the world. The truth is that Christians bicker amongst themselves about biblical interpretation and theology, yet they seem to expect us, meaning unbelievers, to take whatever the Bible says at face value. In my opinion, the other stories of Christlike figures demonstrate that some of the stories of Jesus were influenced by paganism and that Christianity isn't unique in its beliefs, despite the claims by Christians that the Bible is inspired by God and that Christianity is the only true religion in the world.

    The truth is that Christians bicker amongst themselves about biblical interpretation and theology, yet they seem to expect unbelievers to take whatever the Bible says at face value. In my opinion, if they cannot agree with each other about what the Bible teaches, then why should we agree with them about the Bible or their interpretation of the Bible? "A house divided against itself cannot stand."
     
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  15. sayak83

    sayak83 Veteran Member
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    My global objection to all of this that such methods never seen to be used by any historians for any non-religious historical texts. But maybe I am wrong on that front. Can someone enlighten me if these methods of source analysis has mainstream use in analysing other types of historical texts?

    Also these kinds of text analysis seems ripe for AI based classification as ML systems are good at finding patterns and incongruities in texts etc.
     
  16. Kenny

    Kenny Face to face with my Father
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    "if you simply remove" is an arbitrary position. If I simply remove my name from a legal document, yes, it would fit a myriad of documents.

    Again. Quite arbitrary. With your position you are actually saying no book has God behind its composition. Certainly you have the right to say that but it wouldn't make it true because you said it.

    I think you have it wrong. My words make up who I am and I am by the words that I speak. God and His words are not dependent on your faith. As Paul so eloquently said (paraphrased)
    "Though everyone else in the world is a liar, God is not. Do you remember what the book of Psalms says about this? That God’s words will always prove true and right, no matter who questions them."

    I had a person come to me while I was trimming the lawn saying to me in an accusatory voice, "You have built a house on my land!".

    I have a document, a title deed, that said something different. With faith in what was written, I declared, "I built this house on my land!" He never came back for some reason.

    He could question what I said and every right to question what I said. You questioning the Bible (if it is done accusatorially), is in fact denying what was written and if I actually believed you, I would be putting my faith in jeopardy.

    The Bible is the Covenant document that details right, privileges and inheritance. Doubting what is written will cause someone to rob what is yours (as in any inheritance litigation)
     
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  17. Windwalker

    Windwalker Veteran Member
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    "Simply removed" was my sloppy use of language. I do not believe what the scholar was suggesting was arbitrary at all. From the article he explains the rational basis for removing these portions which appear inserted into the texts:

    One thing I had noticed in my own work on the Book of Revelation over the years was that the explicit references to either “Jesus” “Christ,” or “Jesus Christ” outside the letters to the churches of chapters 2 & 3 are mostly clustered in chapters 1 and 22, with few in the middle chapters.

    But what is even more astounding, to me at least, was the observation that nearly all of these references can be easily removed without detracting in any way from the structure or flow of the passages in which they occur. In other words, one could get the distinct impression that references to Jesus Christ lay quite lightly on the text and could even be seen as secondary interpolations.​
    In the references below I have put these interpolative elements bold italicized brackets. This exercise strongly suggests that these are later additions to an original Jewish text inserted to “Christianize” a book that in its origins had nothing to do with Jesus. This is a rather astounding phenomenon and once one sees it it seems clear that the underlying original text remains intact and makes complete sense without these references:

    It's hardly being arbitrary. It seeing something that stands out as strong possibility of being inserted into the texts based upon the nature of the text itself in the genre of Jewish apocalyptic literature, and then a high degree of confirmation leaps out as the texts being able stand on their own by removing them.

    You can't do that that easily with just any text. You couldn't just rip verses out of Paul's letter to the Corinthians that is considered legitimate Pauline writing, without disrupting the flow of the passage. But you can however remove some later 2nd century injection into the Paul's letter such as the verse, that women should keep silent in the church, without disrupting the flow. In fact it flows better without that verse, which disrupts the flow. One of several reasons modern scholars recognize that as a later insertion.

    So since these happen with the Bible texts, it is hardly arbitrary or random to recognize the telltale signs of this with the book of Revelation either. Only 7 of the Pauline letters are considered to be authentic. The rest are later texts by 2nd century Christians penning Paul's name to their texts to lend credibility to them.

    Why is saying that the author of Revelation was aware of Daniel and made deliberate references to them as part of his acoplythic text, "quite arbitrary"? There's nothing arbitrary about it. It's common sense. It's not like the guy was unfamiliar with Daniel, wrote something that paralleled something he'd never read before, and then it surfaces a thousand years later for the first time in history and shows unexplainable parallels. That might be a miracle. But John of Patmos clearly knew Daniel, as did all Jews alive back then. Right?

    It says that to you. But my understanding of writing inspired by God, does not mean what it apparently does to you. I do not understand that as dictations. I do not understand that as passive speaking like someone in seance trance channeling a deceased loved one's word from the great beyond. I know many Christians tend to think of the Bible in terms like this. I don't.

    Yes, I believe the text speak the truth of God, or rather another way to put it, I believe that divine inspiration can be heard in those texts. I also hear the human being and his views of the world at that time in history being part of that painting. It's not, either all God, or all man. It's God or Spirit, through man, as a human expression of the Divinity of God as they understood him. That doesn't make it valueless. It makes it contextually relevant.

    To make the scriptures we have infallible and inerrant, is the key ingredients to creating atheism through a collapse of that house of cards. To me, that's building your house on shifting sand, not the Rock.

    No you aren't. Someone may speak all the right words, yet be a whitewashed sepulchre. On the inside they are full of rot. It's by one's actions that the Truth of who there are is made known, not by words.

    I do not consider God's Word, to mean linguist utterances. The lilies of the field speak of God's glory without uttering one single syllable of human language.

    The problem with equating God's Words, or Self Expression, with texts on a page, is that every single human who reads them has to read them through their own interpretive minds! A mind that is not illuminated by Spirit, simply will read them very differently than someone who has actual Spiritual awareness. That's not a mental activity. And reading texts and deducing meaning is a mental activity. All you need to do is look at how wildly differing in meaning and intent people see things from the exact same words on the page, to understand that!

    I have not problem with that understanding. But I do not equate words on a page in a book, to be God. God is Spirit, not ink and paper. We "hear" with the heart. We see through Spirit. And that does not require words on a page.

    Do you not hear God outside of what you read on a page? Is that outside your experience? What do you think this passage is saying?

    Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts

    They are doing God's will, without reading words of ink on a page of paper. God's word is not about language and texts. It's about an intuitive, nonverbal understanding with the heart. It clearly says this. Surely, "God's Word", must mean something far, far greater than mere words found in the Bible. Yes?
     
    #17 Windwalker, Jan 26, 2023
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2023
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  18. PearlSeeker

    PearlSeeker Well-Known Member

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    These methods are general - used in history science also outside biblical studies. It is used also in other fields...

    Source criticism - Wikipedia
     
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  19. Kelly of the Phoenix

    Kelly of the Phoenix Well-Known Member

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    I find it fascinating that someone will just take the word of an author who sounds like he’s tripping hard.
     
  20. Kelly of the Phoenix

    Kelly of the Phoenix Well-Known Member

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    But Paul outed himself as a liar.
     
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