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The Davinci Code - Page 6

post #76 of 117
I see it like this (and pardon me, Alan, for commenting on something that you believe in, I mean no disrespect)

a number of gospels were written. maybe as many as 10 times as many as were included in the bible. all were written 1-3 generations after the events had occured, and each held slightly different perspectives. each included what they knew and what they considered relevant and important about the events and about jesus. at one point, some of these were included, and many were not, in the bible.there would be a debate as to wether the final editor was divinly guided, or not. the various churches have a stake in protecting the idea that the "right" gospels were included - if not, this raises the possibility of weaknesses in the whole story.

so, I don't see it so much as a problem of what if jesus had a family, as much as "what if we chose the wrong books to include in the bible?" this would freak me out, too.
post #77 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter
I see it like this (and pardon me, Alan, for commenting on something that you believe in, I mean no disrespect)

a number of gospels were written. maybe as many as 10 times as many as were included in the bible. all were written 1-3 generations after the events had occured, and each held slightly different perspectives. each included what they knew and what they considered relevant and important about the events and about jesus. at one point, some of these were included, and many were not, in the bible.there would be a debate as to wether the final editor was divinly guided, or not. the various churches have a stake in protecting the idea that the "right" gospels were included - if not, this raises the possibility of weaknesses in the whole story.

so, I don't see it so much as a problem of what if jesus had a family, as much as "what if we chose the wrong books to include in the bible?" this would freak me out, too.

i've just got the book Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman, it will be an interesting read. it's about just such a question. Indeed, it is well known that the text of the Bible is inconsistent and self-contradictory in many places. Adding to this vexatious problem is the fact that hardly any of the text is "original scripture"; in other words it has been transcribed, translated, and interpreted many times by many people from many eras, spanning hundreds of years. There is absolutely no way to know what the original, so-called 'inspired' text was.

And we base our current religious beliefs on this. Not a big deal for most christians, but to the evangelicals and fundamentalists, who believe in the literality of it...

For example, what if Judas was not 'the betrayer', but rather, as his recently-discovered gospel suggests, was merely playing his part in helping fulfill the prophesy? This would seem to be a radical new way of looking at the crucifixion story. Did the right books get picked for inclusion in the canon? Did the right translations and interpretations get made? How far removed are we, exactly, from the true Word of God?

In the end, the bible is a book for humans, written by humans. Belief creates its truth, not the other way 'round.

humbly submitted,

/andrew


***edit - just to keep it on topic, i haven't read the DV Code. it sounds like a fun book though. i don't care if it's fiction or if it claims facts that aren't true. (same way i don't care if the bible is fallible or even *gasp* fiction.)
post #78 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by faustian bargain
For example, what if Judas was not 'the betrayer', but rather, as his recently-discovered gospel suggests, was merely playing his part in helping fulfill the prophesy? This would seem to be a radical new way of looking at the crucifixion story. Did the right books get picked for inclusion in the canon? Did the right translations and interpretations get made? How far removed are we, exactly, from the true Word of God?

But the so-called Judas Gospel is not "his gospel". No one argues that he wrote it. It is a Gnostic gospel written 150+ years after Judas. It would be like me writing a gospel narrative of, say, John Wilkes Booth, and calling the 'Gospel of Wilkes' and then insisting it tells the real story.

There is actually a phenomenal amount of documentary evidence for the NT (and OT for that matter) writings, and their historical integrity, moreso than any other ancient documents. We have portions of Biblical texts that extend at least to the early 2nd Century, which is amazingly early for an ancient document. We have Biblical quotes within the writings of early Christian writers dating to the very early years of the 2nd Century. These quotes and early fragments match up with the known texts. The reality is there is very little question about the integrity of the Biblical texts, perhaps 2% have some question about them and almost none of those passages have doctrinal import.

The idea that there was some sort of systematic attempt to change Scripture is quite frankly ridiculous. Any such attempts would be checked by the sheer volume of Biblical documents out there.

As for the process of developing the canon, it too was not the decision of some council hundreds of years after the fact, but was rather the recognition of what were already accepted books. There are early canon lists from the 2nd Century that match up very closely with what have today, and where those don't match up it's because they were more exclusive than our current list, not less. Sure, some books were excluded, but this was based on authorship, etc. If Bob the Crackpot ran up with a book that he just wrote it's likely it would be excluded. Not everything has equal claim to consideration. We recognize that in every aspect of our lives.

I would suggest taking a look at The New Testament Documents by F.F. Bruce and The Canon of the New Testament by Bruce Metzger.
post #79 of 117
Apostle: Please go away!
Comicus: All right all right! Jesus!
Jesus: Yes?

Judas: No. No. Leave us alone!
Comicus: All right, all right! Jesus!
Jesus: Yes.
Comicus: What?
Jesus: What?
Comicus: What?
Jesus: Yes.
Comicus: Jesus!
Jesus: Yes.
Comicus: What?
Jesus: What?
Comicus: You said what.
Jesus: Yes.
Comicus: Nothing.

Jon.
post #80 of 117
Where 'Da Vinci' meets Style Forum:

post #81 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanC
Where 'Da Vinci' meets Style Forum:



Now you've gone too far.
post #82 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tck13
Now you've gone too far.

Indeed, very bad form insulting the SF like that!

Jon.
post #83 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanC
.... Not everything has equal claim to consideration. We recognize that in every aspect of our lives....

which further illustrates my point that the scriptures evolved over time. humans, with their own beliefs, desires, and foibles, influenced by their culture and zeitgeist, wrote the collection of texts that make up the current bible. i never implied that the inconsistencies, exclusions, and contradictions inherent in the christian bible were put there systematically. all i'm saying is that it's more than possible that the text considered today (by some) as the infallible word of god, may in fact be quite fallible and not necessarily the word of god.

it was not created overnight, but instead over a period of hundreds of years, by many different authors, and subsequently reinterpreted, copied, and translated by many others. (what language did god speak? probably not english.) there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the transcribers 'tweaked' the text here and there, to make it agree with what they believe it meant to say. this is not systematic, it's just human nature. i would guess that movable type tempered this tendency.

according to Ehrman (who was a student of Metzger's and expresses great debt to him in shaping his career), IIRC the first listing of the NT canon that fully agrees with the books in the current one occurred in the 3rd century. that wasn't the resolution - there was much debate during the ensuing centuries over orthodoxy - but it was the first that matches the current one.

BTW Ehrman was an evangelical who first went to Moody Bible College, then to Wheaton, and then ended up in Princeton I think, and now is head of religious studies at UNC-CH. after all that bible study, now he writes as a nonbeliever. i find that amusing.
post #84 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanC
.... The reality is there is very little question about the integrity of the Biblical texts, perhaps 2% have some question about them and almost none of those passages have doctrinal import....

have only just started the Ehrman book, so i can't address the statistics nor the doctrinal import. however, clearly he thinks there's something significant enough to warrant writing a book aimed at the lay audience. his reality - that of scholarly textual criticism - is that there is in fact much to question about the integrity of the texts.
post #85 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanC
But the so-called Judas Gospel is not "his gospel". No one argues that he wrote it. It is a Gnostic gospel written 150+ years after Judas. It would be like me writing a gospel narrative of, say, John Wilkes Booth, and calling the 'Gospel of Wilkes' and then insisting it tells the real story.

To me, this line of reasoning would then discredit the four gospels you're trying to defend.

I can see the argument about the weakness of relying on a document 150+ years after the fact. At its worst, it could become a game of telephone. However, the four gospels run into this same problem as they were written many years after the fact as well. Some scholars estimate that the following gospels were written around:
Mark: 68-73
Matthew: 70-100
Luke: 80-100
John: 90-110

If you're not going to believe something because it was written 150+ years after the fact, then why should anybody then believe something that was written only 40-50 years earlier?

And, of course, there's much academic debate how actually wrote the gospels. What if somebody else wrote the Gospel of Luke? Does that invalidate the message of that particular Gospel?
post #86 of 117
Who the fuck cares? The wordly details of the Bible are superfluous. Good Christians understand the message loud and clear, and don't care if Acts 2 was actually written by a bisexual Jew with halitosis.
post #87 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanC
Where 'Da Vinci' meets Style Forum:
It's personally chosen by Tom Hanks. That's like a Royal Appointment.
post #88 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by esquire.
To me, this line of reasoning would then discredit the four gospels you're trying to defend.

I can see the argument about the weakness of relying on a document 150+ years after the fact. At its worst, it could become a game of telephone. However, the four gospels run into this same problem as they were written many years after the fact as well. Some scholars estimate that the following gospels were written around:
Mark: 68-73
Matthew: 70-100
Luke: 80-100
John: 90-110

If you're not going to believe something because it was written 150+ years after the fact, then why should anybody then believe something that was written only 40-50 years earlier?

And, of course, there's much academic debate how actually wrote the gospels. What if somebody else wrote the Gospel of Luke? Does that invalidate the message of that particular Gospel?
Those dates are within the lifetimes of eyewitnesses and apostles. (I would put Luke in the early to mid 60s.) 100 years ago scholarship was in the ascendancy that placed the gospels much later. Evidence has now pushed the dates solidly into the 1st Century much to the dismay of liberal scholarship. The current fascination with the Gnostic gospels is the latest attempt to undermine the Canon. If someone is desperate to find a reason not to believe he can always find one.
post #89 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by Violinist
Who the fuck cares? The wordly details of the Bible are superfluous. Good Christians understand the message loud and clear, and don't care if Acts 2 was actually written by a bisexual Jew with halitosis.
Great, since you don't care, I assume you will be leaving this thread.
post #90 of 117
Quote:
Originally Posted by LabelKing
It's personally chosen by Tom Hanks. That's like a Royal Appointment.

HAHAHAHA

Jon.
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