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American Christianity’s White-Supremacy Problem

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  • Hypatia_Alexandria
    replied
    Originally posted by Sparko View Post
    Not mere fragments. An intact manuscript of say, Luke, without a name attached. Or with some other name on it.
    I do not understand what you mean by "complete". In what sense? The gospels as we have them today?

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  • Sparko
    replied
    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
    What do you mean by "complete"?
    Not mere fragments. An intact manuscript of say, Luke, without a name attached. Or with some other name on it.

    Leave a comment:


  • oxmixmudd
    replied
    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
    Is it?

    Why do the four canonical gospels have the Jews [the people ὁ λαὸς ] demanding the death of Jesus? Why does Matthew 27.25 have the Jews calling a curse upon themselves and their children? Why does Acts 3.13 have Peter [apparently a Galilean Jewish artisan fisherman] referring to his fellow Jews as "You Israelites"? Why does that chapter continue at verse 14 with Peter denouncing his own people for rejecting "the Holy and Righteous One " and instead asking that "a murderer given to you"? Verse 15 then has Peter accusing his own people of killing "the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead".

    While there were individual Christians in past centuries who did try and offer some protection to Jews in their midst, anti-Judaism was within Christianity from the beginning.

    I am now going to make a rather contentious comment. In my opinion, much of the positive and affirmative attitude towards the Jews that is expressed by many Christians today seems to have arisen post 1945.
    Early, but not 'the beginning'.

    Anti Christian sentiment from both Judaism and Rome was predominant at first. Paul himself was one who sought out and even killed Christians (re Stephen). And after his conversion, he was many times beaten, stoned and whipped on account of it. The hostility of the Jewish leaders to Christ is part of the history of what happened to Jesus. The Jewish leaders were in fact very hostile to Jesus because he exposed their hypocrisy AND he was a danger in that if the people saw him as their King, it would invite scrutiny and possible hostile action from the occupying Rome. After the diaspora, the predominant persecution towards Christians was from Rome alone. That changed of course when Constantine converted and Christianity became the official religion of Rome - and thus the RCC was born.

    But we are talking about 300+ years when Christians were killed for their beliefs. And sometimes early on by Jewish leaders that viewed them as a threat to Israel under occupying Rome.

    Why Jewish persecution arose withing the Romanized Christian church is complicated, but contrary to the teachings of scripture. The RCC had a LOT of conflicting practices and actions relative to what the scriptures teach. Hostility to the remaining Jews was just one of them. Indeed, those conflicts with scripture was what spurred the Protestant Movement, even though Luther retained a hostile attitude towards the Jewish people.

    And yes, I think you are probably correct in that the more positive attitude of Christians to the Jewish people is a more modern thing, something that was a consequence perhaps of the Holocaust paradoxically enough.

    Nevertheless, none of that changes the fact that Christian faith is sourced in Judaism and there is nothing in scriptures or the teaching of scriptures that condones or in any way encourages hostility towards the Jewish people - or ANY people for that matter.

    The idea of Jewish people as 'Christ killers' is nothing more than human nature ignoring what scripture teaches and acting on purely carnal instincts to 'protect' what is their own - something the scriptures teach quite strongly against. Christ healed the ear of the guard Peter attacked. Jesus rebuked the disciples for trying to fight back, and for wanting to 'call down fire from heaven' on sinners. Jesus taught us to love our enemies and pray for those that persecute us. So even if Christians erroneously thought of the Jewish people as "Christ killers" (Not understanding this was simply what was foretold would be the case) the reaction scripture teaches them wrt that is to LOVE them, not hate them, not attack them, not do any of the things they historically did.

    It has puzzled me my entire life HA. I remember one time (very young) in church asking my dad what happened to the Jewish people. He said they were still here. I said, wow, they must all be really great Christians then - after all Jesus is Messiah. He said, "no, it didn't work out that way. Most modern jewish people don't believe in Jesus". I was surprised, but my reaction inside was that what a wonderful thing it would be to be part of the same people from whom Jesus came, and I just didn't have a clue about the history, the holocaust, the centuries of persecution that would have been a really good reason most Jewish people don't actually believe in Jesus. Nevertheless, I'm saying all that to say that there really is nothing in the faith itself that should cause Christians to be hostile to Jews. That is something else from somewhere else (Hell, not to put too fine a point on it).
    Last edited by oxmixmudd; 09-17-2020, 12:51 PM.

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  • Hypatia_Alexandria
    replied
    Originally posted by Sparko View Post
    Can you point out a complete manuscript of a gospel without the current author on it?
    What do you mean by "complete"?

    Leave a comment:


  • Hypatia_Alexandria
    replied
    Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
    The very fact that we don't have other contenders for their authorship and that the names associated with them have been accepted from the start is a good indication that while the authors don't name themselves in their works the original audience knew who they were.
    Well that is an opinion premised upon absolutely no historically attested evidence. These four canonical gospels were all written at different times, in different places, and for different communities.

    Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
    Plus the fact that two of them (Mark and Luke) are attributed to relatively unknowns (as compared to, say, the Apostles) is strong testimony in favor of that being who wrote them.
    Once again that is an opinion premised upon absolutely no attested evidence.

    Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
    If they were written by truly anonymous authors then the overwhelming tendency would be to assign them to major players as a way of increasing their gravitas.
    There were other gospels around you know, as well as other Acts.

    Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
    And as I said, there are no contradicting attributions. No very Early Church Father or other source quoting Luke but attributing it to someone else.
    Pious tradition played its role.

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  • Hypatia_Alexandria
    replied
    Originally posted by oxmixmudd View Post
    As I've noted previously, such actions against the Jewish people are 100% contrary to all Christian beliefs and teachings.
    Is it?

    Why do the four canonical gospels have the Jews [the people ὁ λαὸς ] demanding the death of Jesus? Why does Matthew 27.25 have the Jews calling a curse upon themselves and their children? Why does Acts 3.13 have Peter [apparently a Galilean Jewish artisan fisherman] referring to his fellow Jews as "You Israelites"? Why does that chapter continue at verse 14 with Peter denouncing his own people for rejecting "the Holy and Righteous One " and instead asking that "a murderer given to you"? Verse 15 then has Peter accusing his own people of killing "the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead".

    While there were individual Christians in past centuries who did try and offer some protection to Jews in their midst, anti-Judaism was within Christianity from the beginning.

    I am now going to make a rather contentious comment. In my opinion, much of the positive and affirmative attitude towards the Jews that is expressed by many Christians today seems to have arisen post 1945.

    Leave a comment:


  • rogue06
    replied
    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
    I have just had this out on this thread with SeanD. We do not know the identity or names of the anonymous authors of the four canonical gospels. The names of the four evangelists were added much later.
    The very fact that we don't have other contenders for their authorship and that the names associated with them have been accepted from the start is a good indication that while the authors don't name themselves in their works the original audience knew who they were. Plus the fact that two of them (Mark and Luke) are attributed to relatively unknowns (as compared to, say, the Apostles) is strong testimony in favor of that being who wrote them. If they were written by truly anonymous authors then the overwhelming tendency would be to assign them to major players as a way of increasing their gravitas. And as I said, there are no contradicting attributions. No very Early Church Father or other source quoting Luke but attributing it to someone else.

    Leave a comment:


  • oxmixmudd
    replied
    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
    I have just had this out on this thread with SeanD. We do not know the identity or names of the anonymous authors of the four canonical gospels. The names of the four evangelists were added much later.

    Unfortunately the earliest Christians interpreted those texts to denounce and revile, and on occasion harm, the Jews [the earliest recorded example being in the second century when a Christian mob, having heard the Easter sermon of Melito of Sardis, went out and murdered their Jewish neighbours].

    The Christian church and its adherents continued to persecute, revile, and murder the Jewish people for upward of the next 1700 years.
    As I've noted previously, such actions against the Jewish people are 100% contrary to all Christian beliefs and teachings. People often act contrary to what they are taught is right, and unfortunately hatred of the jewish people somehow became entrenched in many Christian traditions. But that is the fault of the very nature Christ came to save us from, not faith in Christ Himself.

    In Romans Paul makes the point that sin becomes its most utterly sinful self when it takes that which is in fact good and uses it to perpetuate evil. The history of the Christian church, and really all of mankind, is full of people that because of their own selfishness, greed, hatred, ego, etc distorted good things and used them to make evil things happen. It is the very nature of humanity, and the very real reason we need to be remade into a new creation, infused with the nature of Christ, truly changed from the inside out by the Spirit of God. It's what is needed, It's what Christ offers, but it is rarely fully realized.
    Last edited by oxmixmudd; 09-16-2020, 11:58 AM.

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  • Sparko
    replied
    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
    I have just had this out on this thread with SeanD. We do not know the identity or names of the anonymous authors of the four canonical gospels. The names of the four evangelists were added much later.
    Can you point out a complete manuscript of a gospel without the current author on it?

    Leave a comment:


  • Hypatia_Alexandria
    replied
    Originally posted by seer View Post
    But those "Christian texts" were largely (save Luke and Acts) written by Jews.
    I have just had this out on this thread with SeanD. We do not know the identity or names of the anonymous authors of the four canonical gospels. The names of the four evangelists were added much later.

    Originally posted by seer View Post
    And no where in those "Christian texts" are they called to harm other Jews.
    Unfortunately the earliest Christians interpreted those texts to denounce and revile, and on occasion harm, the Jews [the earliest recorded example being in the second century when a Christian mob, having heard the Easter sermon of Melito of Sardis, went out and murdered their Jewish neighbours].

    The Christian church and its adherents continued to persecute, revile, and murder the Jewish people for upward of the next 1700 years.

    Leave a comment:


  • seer
    replied
    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
    And? That is not quite the same as the calumnies that are heaped on the Jews in various Christian texts.
    But those "Christian texts" were largely (save Luke and Acts) written by Jews. And no where in those "Christian texts" are they called to harm other Jews. Unlike in the Old Testament where they actually put fellow Jews to death.
    Last edited by seer; 09-16-2020, 07:47 AM.

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  • Hypatia_Alexandria
    replied
    Originally posted by seer View Post
    But they did kill other Jews for violating certain laws of God.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...s_in_the_Torah
    And? That is not quite the same as the calumnies that are heaped on the Jews in various Christian texts.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hypatia_Alexandria
    replied
    Originally posted by oxmixmudd View Post
    The author of Acts was Luke, the physician and companion of Paul. He was indeed a gentile convert, but well acquainted with Paul himself, and thus qualified to fill in some of the biographical information wrt Paul.
    That is the Christian tradition. The fact is we have no idea who wrote the gospel of Luke or Acts although the two works are agreed to be by the same author.

    Originally posted by oxmixmudd View Post
    BTW my point in asking these questions is not necessarily to argue with you specifically but just to get an idea of whether we have any common ground.
    That is reasonable.

    Originally posted by oxmixmudd View Post
    We know that most of Paul's writings were well known and circulating in the church very early on from the writings of the early church fathers.
    There was no "church" in those early centuries. There were disparate groups of Christians who believed in often quite different things.

    Originally posted by oxmixmudd View Post
    Do you not suppose that if some massive adjustment in what he wrote or what his credentials were took place over time, we'd have some evidence in those early patristic writings in terms of clear conflicts with what they preserve and what was recorded later? And yet we do not.
    Are you referring to Paul? We do not have any originals of his epistles either. However, I see no reason why his epistles should have been redacted or interpolated in any major way, although we now know that some of the epistles previously ascribed to Paul are now accepted to be Deutero-Pauline.

    We can see from reading those early ECFs that there were various different sects of Christians that certain individual ECFs railed against. Justin Martyr describes a sect [he gives no name] that persisted in observing Mosaic law and make that a requirement. Irenaeus refers to a heretical Judaizing sect as Ebionites.

    We know very little of such sects because they and their writings were destroyed by the early Church and what we do know comes from those other Christians who viewed them as heretics and/or Judaizers. Certainly a group that denied that Jesus was divine, but saw him as a holy man chosen by the Almighty to introduce the Kingdom of Heaven, a group that followed Jewish dietary and religious laws while also living an ascetic existence, would appear to have far more in common with an itinerant, pious, and ascetic first century Jewish holy man warning his fellow Jews to repent for the End of Days was at hand, than would other Christians who saw this Jew as some sort of anthropomorphic deity.

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  • oxmixmudd
    replied
    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
    Paul never calls himself a "Jew". He may have been a Jew but he never refers to himself as one. In Romans 11.2 he states "I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin." He does not say "I am a Jew". Nor does Paul ever mention in his letters that he came from Tarsus even when he is at his most autobiographical or that he was a pupil of Gamaliel even when he is most concerned to stress his qualifications as a Pharisee.

    All that information is given to us by the author of Acts who puts the words into the mouth of Paul.
    The author of Acts was Luke, the physician and companion of Paul. He was indeed a gentile convert, but well acquainted with Paul himself, and thus qualified to fill in some of the biographical information wrt Paul. BTW my point in asking these questions is not necessarily to argue with you specifically but just to get an idea of whether we have any common ground. We know that most of Paul's writings were well known and circulating in the church very early on from the writings of the early church fathers. Do you not suppose that if some massive adjustment in what he wrote or what his credentials were took place over time, we'd have some evidence in those early patristic writings in terms of clear conflicts with what they preserve and what was recorded later? And yet we do not.

    Oh yes, pious and observant Jews. The Ebionites, a sect that was persecuted by the early Christians, may have had much more in common with those Jewish followers of the flesh and blood man behind the various Jesus' figures we are given in the gospels.
    I doubt very much we can make the jump from someone wholly different from what is in the Gospels giving rise to what was recorded in the Gospels. Again, we have very early fragments of these books, and they do not differ in any significant way from what is records in the later complete copies of those manuscripts. I don't think you have a means to a very strong case that the actual Jesus taught anything significantly different from what is recorded in the Gospels themselves.

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  • Hypatia_Alexandria
    replied
    Originally posted by seanD View Post
    No, you specifically offered your opinion with statements such as: "I would contend that both Charlesworth and Hengel appear to be engaging in an unwarranted degree of speculation possibly premised on their own personal religious preconceptions."
    And that is my opinion, premised on the known theological persuasion of both Charlesworth and Hengel.

    It is not surprising that their views will be predicated on their own religious preconceptions; just as are the opinions of N.T. Wright, William Lane Craig or any other academic who holds to an evangelical Christian viewpoint.

    Originally posted by seanD View Post
    If you want to offer specific counterpoints from other credible scholars, that's cool, but again this really isn't the section for that.
    Do you consider VanderKam, Vermes, and Chancy not to be credible scholars?

    Originally posted by seanD View Post
    And the fact you don't consider the scathing accusations against Jews and Israel in the Old testament on the same level as the accusations you bring up in the NT is either because you don't know about such accusations or you're just being disingenuous.
    I repeat, provide the Hebrew bible texts where: Jews accuse other Jews of being children of the devil who are liars like their father; Jews crucify other Jews; Jews curse themselves with the blood of a fellow Jew.

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