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04/03/2008 12:29:04 PM · #1
Scalvert said:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:



Basically chalice and I simply need to ignore the Mithras argument because it is potentially specious having no data cited (other than modern scholar) to back it up.


Weren't you given a source last night? "By at least the 3rd century BCE, Mithra was identified as the progeny of Anahita... The largest temple with a Mithraic connection is the Seleucid temple at Kangavar in western Iran (c. 200 BC), which is dedicated to 'Anahita, the Immaculate Virgin Mother of the Lord Mithras'

Message edited by author 2008-04-03 12:31:17.
04/03/2008 12:29:18 PM · #2
DrAchoo said:

Originally posted by Scalvert:



Weren't you given a source last night? "By at least the 3rd century BCE, Mithra was identified as the progeny of Anahita... The largest temple with a Mithraic connection is the Seleucid temple at Kangavar in western Iran (c. 200 BC), which is dedicated to 'Anahita, the Immaculate Virgin Mother of the Lord Mithras'


I didn't see that linked before, but you didn't finish the quote and I honestly don't understand what they mean:

The largest temple with a Mithraic connection is the Seleucid temple at Kangavar in western Iran (c. 200 BC), which is dedicated to "Anahita, the Immaculate Virgin Mother of the Lord Mithras" though no historical evidence is found to support this.

No historical evidence is found to support what?

Message edited by author 2008-04-03 12:32:41.
04/03/2008 12:29:36 PM · #3
Scalvert said:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:



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No historical evidence is found to support what?


I don't understand that part either, although as noted the same could be said of the story of Jesus' virgin birth. In each case, we only have the claims of writers.

Message edited by author 2008-04-03 12:33:20.
04/03/2008 12:29:53 PM · #4
Scarbrd said:

Originally posted by Scalvert:



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Is it way over the top to suggest that Jim Jones or David Koresh or even Joseph Smith would decide to fake a good story so they could be ostracized by the mainstream religions from which they came and in which they were well-schooled?


I've been reading this thread from the sidelines, good stuff.

One observation, I would not call David Koresh "well-schooled" by any means. He was a sorry excuse for a preacher that found some people dumber than him that bought into his BS.

Message edited by author 2008-04-03 12:33:46.
04/03/2008 12:30:17 PM · #5
Originally posted by DrAchoo:



I do love reading and learning this stuff. At the least this thread has opened a way to learn more about ancient cultures.

Anyway, wiki has an article on the temple itself: The Anihita Temple at Kangavar In that article the date of 200 BCE seems a lot more suspect and the inscription, interestingly, isn't even mentioned. If the temple had many overhauls, as was probably the case with many ancient buildings, then why couldn't the inscription have come much later?



Message edited by author 2008-04-03 12:34:01.
04/03/2008 12:30:31 PM · #6
Louis said:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:



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I thought we were off Mithras after Louis pleaded uncle about 10 posts back.


I plead uncle? I must admit, I missed my own pleading. Sorry. Must have been about the time you started to look at these issues critically.

Message edited by author 2008-04-03 12:34:32.
04/03/2008 01:21:29 PM · #7
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

One observation, I would not call David Koresh "well-schooled" by any means.

Yeah, not the sharpest knife in the drawer by any means, but a born-again Christian in the Southern Baptist Church and later a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church who studied the Bible with great interest. To be fair, we don't really know that Paul was "well-schooled" in his former religious order.
04/03/2008 01:33:26 PM · #8
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

One observation, I would not call David Koresh "well-schooled" by any means.

Yeah, not the sharpest knife in the drawer by any means, but a born-again Christian in the Southern Baptist Church and later a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church who studied the Bible with great interest. To be fair, we don't really know that Paul was "well-schooled" in his former religious order.


If you take the internal evidence at least you can assume he was. Paul is proud of his pedigree (which I'm sure David was too), but his commission to persecute the early Christians, his tutelage under Gamaliel (a well known Rabbi), his Roman citizenship, his belonging to the Pharisee sect would all indicate he was no schlep.

But this is a small point so I won't belabor it.
04/03/2008 01:39:24 PM · #9
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

The Anihita Temple at Kangavar In that article the date of 200 BCE seems a lot more suspect and the inscription, interestingly, isn't even mentioned.

Perhaps because they're not sure if the site they're digging is the correct temple (or even a temple at all)?
04/03/2008 01:51:44 PM · #10
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

If you take the internal evidence at least you can assume he was.

We have only Paul's word of his background. Acts says that Paul studied in Jerusalem under Gamaliel, but Paul writes that he was unknown in Jerusalem until he visited as an adult.
04/03/2008 01:56:11 PM · #11
This thread is continued from here.
04/03/2008 02:19:28 PM · #12
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

The Anihita Temple at Kangavar In that article the date of 200 BCE seems a lot more suspect and the inscription, interestingly, isn't even mentioned.

Perhaps because they're not sure if the site they're digging is the correct temple (or even a temple at all)?


Wait, so are you saying the temple with the inscription is not the one they are talking about in that article?
04/03/2008 02:32:27 PM · #13
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Wait, so are you saying the temple with the inscription is not the one they are talking about in that article?

You just said there was no mention of an inscription, and the article states, "Dispute exists among scholars on the correct identity of the main structure at the site. The Encyclopedia Iranica in this regard concludes: 'Until detailed further excavations are carried out, no definite judgments may be declared on the function of Kangavar platform''
04/03/2008 02:36:02 PM · #14
I must have really missed a post up there about all this. So to be clear, do we have an actual inscription on a building somewhere that has been found or do we only have accounts of a building that has such an inscription?
04/03/2008 02:43:25 PM · #15
The real question is: Do you have a release from the building owner?
04/03/2008 05:57:39 PM · #16
The thread has become a bit derailed with attempts to justify or disprove Christianity. I would argue vehemently that Christianity is no more persuasive than any other religion.

If you were to rely on some of the justifications in part A of this thread, (especially all the references to historical validation of x y or z as being persuasive for the existence of a god), then surely Islam offers a far more pure, historically validated, and accurately reproduced holy text? Indeed, scientology offers a true multimedia smorgasbord of evidence for validating the words of its holy leader.

The truth is that the theologian writers here are Christian for no reason other than exposure in their particular time and place - the kinds of arguments being used to "prove" Christianity in this thread are appalling.

If you are going to choose or be co-opted into the most popular religion of the day (Manchester United supporters take note) then at least have the good grace to acknowledge that it is little to do with the particular tenets of that religion and everything to do with circumstance.

Trying to prove the existence of god through a self serving interpretation of history and ancient literature may be compared to the apple tree after Eve - fruitless.

04/03/2008 06:15:32 PM · #17
I think you are getting a little ahead of us Matthew. I'm certainly not trying to "prove" Christianity. I was working at least one step back at trying to prove what Christianity was about at its beginning. There are arguments that could be had from there, but we weren't even close to that.

Christianity, or other religions, like Chalice has mentioned, are not things to be "proven". They do not fall within the realm of Science and thus are not subject to their rules. It's like asking someone to conjugate the german verb "kaufen" using French rules of conjugation. It makes no sense.
04/03/2008 07:56:42 PM · #18
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Christianity, or other religions, like Chalice has mentioned, are not things to be "proven". They do not fall within the realm of Science and thus are not subject to their rules. It's like asking someone to conjugate the german verb "kaufen" using French rules of conjugation. It makes no sense.


As I think gets mentioned every page or so in these threads. That's fine. Then why should religious beliefs like intelligent design get taught in science classes ? It makes no sense. If religion, like you says, falls out of the realm of science, then it has nothing to say about the formation of the world, or origin of species.

If it does have something to say about that, then it doesn't fall outside the realm of Science.
04/03/2008 07:59:29 PM · #19
Originally posted by Gordon:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Christianity, or other religions, like Chalice has mentioned, are not things to be "proven". They do not fall within the realm of Science and thus are not subject to their rules. It's like asking someone to conjugate the german verb "kaufen" using French rules of conjugation. It makes no sense.


As I think gets mentioned every page or so in these threads. That's fine. Then why should religious beliefs like intelligent design get taught in science classes ? It makes no sense. If religion, like you says, falls out of the realm of science, then it has nothing to say about the formation of the world, or origin of species.

If it does have something to say about that, then it doesn't fall outside the realm of Science.


You'll have to ask someone else. I'm not a fan of ID being taught in class and believe that evolution is a theory that explains the history of life very well.
04/04/2008 12:23:49 AM · #20
I'm with DrAchoo too. Evolution works just fine.
04/04/2008 05:56:23 AM · #21
First off I am a Christian. I know that God exists without a doubt. I have a personal relationship with him. He talks to me through his Holy Spirit who lives in me and through me and all other true Christians. I know without a doubt that he (being intelligent beyond all comprehension) did design this universe and in particular us intelligently. You have a greater statistical chance of a rollex watch (much less complex than a human or any animal) coming together in the primordial ooze than you ever would the formation of for instance an eyeball without intelligent design. Think about that. As many have pointed out science and God are not mutually exclusive. Science is merely the study of God's creation and is by it's very nature rarely fully correct. It is always being revised when new information becomes available. For instance it was once thought that the smallest particles were protons, neutrons and electrons. It's what I was taught in school. Now they say there are even smaller particles I believe one of which is called a quark. Science agrees with itself that it was wrong. Since God is so much more intelligent than the created we don't really know squat about the universe. We are limited by our meager 5 senses. If we can't see it, touch it, taste it, smell it or hear it then we tend to assume it doesn't exist. I thank God that he gave us only these senses as our tiny little brains couldn't handle the full truth. Not sure if this falls in line with the rest of what you all are discussing but these are my thoughts on Science and Religion.
04/04/2008 07:12:52 AM · #22
Originally posted by chalice:

I'm with DrAchoo too. Evolution works just fine.


Evolution could offer several explainations for apparent inconsistencies like the age old question of whom did the son's (Adam and Eve) have children with? If evolution were nearly complete, and Adam was the first true man, then...

This does not explain the "rib" creation of Eve. Some literary license is identifiable in scripture (in my opinion), however the use of some literary license does not make the entire work false - no more than the tales an angler tells of his latest catch, qualify him as a liar. His story is filled with many accurate facts and truths, just some get embellished for impact.

...and I really enjoy fishing.
04/04/2008 07:24:08 AM · #23
Originally posted by chalice:

The point of all this is that the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke were written early enough to be accurate histories of Jesus' life and ministry.


Originally posted by Louis:

I'm just wondering what your sources are. Anectdotally, I know that Mark was written first and that it was written no earlier than 70. The best source I have at my fingertips is wiki's article on The Gospel of Mark. The sectioned titled "Date" is excellently sourced. You said that "scholars generally view" Mark as dating from 50, but it seems that scholars generally view Mark as dating from 70.


I should repeat what I said, so there is no confusion: "Since Mark is one of the source documents for Matthew and Luke, it must have been written before early 60s. Scholars seem to be divided on a date in the mid to late 50s on the one hand, and to as early as the early 50s on the other hand."

I had a couple of sources handy and was working with several explanations of dating the books of Acts, Luke and Mark (working backwards in time). William MacDonald and Art Farstad, Believers Bible Commentary (1990)-Acts was written before Nero's Great Fire persecutions about A.D.62-63. (pp.184 and 392) "Nearly all agree that Luke must precede Acts in time...." "...a date of about A.D. 61-62 is most likely [for the Gospel of Luke]." (p. 184) "...if Mark is the first gospel written, as most now teach, an early date is necessary in order for Luke to have used Mark's material. Some scholars date Mark in the early 50's, but a date from 57-60 seems quite likely." (134).

I checked with another source, Kenneth L. Barker, Ed., The NIV Study Bible (2002) translated by over 100 scholars with notes that include the following: Mark written in the 50s or early 60s AD; Luke written 59-63AD. (p.1461) The view that Mark was composed in the 50s or early 60s is derived from scholars who hold that Mark was a source document for Matthew and Luke. William L. Lane, notes on Mark (p.1523)

I have a few other sources, including one from Oxford University, but they are in storage on the east coast and I didn't have access to them. It would be interesting to see what they say.

I went to your Wiki cite and see what you are referring to. I followed a link to another Wiki pageSynoptic Gospels and found this quote, which seems to be a little nearer to the "quite likely" estimate of 57-60 that MacDonald and Farstad suggest above:

"The widely accepted modern scholastic understandings (the two-source and four-source hypotheses) agree that Mark's Gospel was the first written, and published in Rome in the early 60s AD."

There will always be some scholars who have reasons for different dating, just as scientists don't always agree on the data they study. I am aware that the controversial Jesus Seminar group doesn't agree with most scholars about much of anything and I think I read somewhere that they favor the post 70 date. But I don't think anyone, including the Jesus Seminar themselves, thinks they are representative of what most scholars think.

In any event, those were my sources.


04/04/2008 07:25:51 AM · #24
Heres some more to think about. One should note that God does not want to be 'provable' scientifically. His is not a scientific phenomenon to be studied. As far as Atheism goes and all of the arguments against the existence of the Christian God (or any god for that matter) I know them well. I used to be one. Pretty adamant one at that. What changed things around for me was proof. It's not proof that can be shared with others in a scientific way. It's kind of like trying to prove you love your mother. You can't really prove it scientifically yet you know that you do for sure and without a doubt (well most of us anyway I would hope). You can only infer it by your actions towards her. That is why if we as Christians submit our will to the Holy Spirit which lives in us (the personal proof) we by our actions can infer that there is a God, in fact the Christian God, by our actions. My personal experience of finding God came from a sort of experiment to see if God did exist (trying to be the open minded guy that I am). I of course did not believe that he did. That was the hypothesis so to speak. I read the Bible and in particular the book of Mathew. It told me that I did not need to worry about what I will eat or wear or about anything else for that matter. It told me that all I needed to do was to seek his Kingdom and all things would be added unto me according to my needs. I thought to myself wouldn't that be great if that were true. Still did not believe. Still thougth it was a ridiculous idea. So I did as the book instructed me and I prayed to the God I absolutely did not believe in. This was my prayer "God I don't believe in you. I find the idea of there being a God any god to be ridiculous but if by some offhand chance I am wrong then I want what you are offering. If you are real and it is as you say that even faith in you is a gift from you then give me that gift. Your book says to knock and the door will be opened. I'm knockin. I'm not expecting anything from this but I think it would be great if I never had to worry about anything ever again. If it is as the book says that faith is a gift from you then I have no control over wether I believe in you or not. It seems that by your own rules that it is up to you to give it to me. If indeed you do exist then give me that faith."

I want to emphasize that I absolutely did not believe in God and absolutely did not want to. I was truly trying to prove my hypothesis that nothing would happen. Only problem was that it did. He did answer that prayer. He did give me faith and I don't have to worry about anything anymore. I am by no means some super bible thumping Christian political nut that everyone identifies with Christianity these day because the truth is that most people, including myself at one time are actually turned off to God or even the idea of God because frankly the only thing they have to identify God with are alot or moronic people who somehow equate going to church and having political ideas with a true and abiding relationship with the Saviour Jesus Christ. There are way more false Christians than their are true ones in my experience. Most think that if they practice a supposedly Christian religionthat they automatically are going to heaven. They do not read their Bible with understanding because it clearly states that the way is narrow and there will be few that will find it. They don't even know they are on the wrong path (Jeremiah Wright for one). In the process they give Christianity in general a bad name. If the salt has lost it's savor wherewith then shall it be salted. I'm here to tell you that most of the "salt" never even had a good taste to begin with. False prophets (teachers) abound everywhere you look. It's not surprising. This current state of Christianity was fortold in the Bible also.



04/04/2008 07:30:50 AM · #25
I should probably add to my quick comment about evolution a couple of posts back that I am referring to the point that I have no problem with evolution being taught in science classes as a prevailing theory. That does not mean that I think that the universe necessarily always existed or that it began out of nothing on its own. I think it is more probable that a Creator set things in motion. Science is mute as to facts before the Big Bang and as to what, if anything, is outside the boundaries of the universe from the point of singularity to its present expanded existence.
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