Subject: Re: God revealing himself Date: 10 Feb 90 04:17:38 GMT References: <11142@attctc.

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Path: ncsuvm!ncsuvx!mephisto!uflorida!rex!samsung!zaphod.mps.ohio-state.edu!uwm.edu!lll-winken!sunlight!loren From: loren@sunlight.llnl.gov (Loren Petrich) Newsgroups: talk.religion.misc Subject: Re: God revealing himself Message-ID: <48034@lll-winken.LLNL.GOV> Date: 10 Feb 90 04:17:38 GMT References: <11142@attctc.Dallas.TX.US> <22162@mimsy.umd.edu> <4233@daffy.cs.wisc.edu> <11345@attctc.Dallas.TX.US> <4266@daffy.cs.wi Sender: usenet@lll-winken.LLNL.GOV Reply-To: loren@sunlight.UUCP (Loren Petrich) Organization: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Lines: 75 In article <14903@cs.yale.edu> bitting-douglas@CS.YALE.EDU (Douglas Bitting) writes: > >You know, I kinda think that he already has (revealed himself). No, I >am not talking about the wonderful sunsets that you see everyday (at >least occasionally), I am referring to an event that took place about >2000 years ago. > >Yes, I know that that was Jesus, not "God" per se; however, according >to the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), it's pretty much >the same thing. Why is that harder for people to believe than it is >for them to believe that there was ever a guy named Caesar? > >Comments? Tell that to someone who follows some religion other than Christianity. Jews believe Jesus Christ's claim to be the Messiah to be in error, and that he was a heretic -- one of Judaism's "lost sheep". Orthodox Jews certainly have not accepted his laxness regarding the Sabbath. Muslims believe him to be a prophet, like Abraham, Moses, and Alexander the Great(!), but that his revelation was superseded by that to Mohammed. Muslims also believe that the editions of the Bible available at the present day are corrupted, and not the "true" revelations. I get the impression that Bahais also believe him to be one of several prophets. I wonder what other religions say about him. For my part, I think the Gospels are difficult to take seriously as history. Just check out Randel Helms's book _Gospel Fictions_, available from Prometheus Books. Though much that Randel Helms discusses is probably old hat to some of you net.people, he provides a good synthesis of modern scholarship on the writing of the Gospels. An example: the Virgin Birth. There are no virgin births in the Old Testament; and the only OT support cited turns out to be a mistranslation of a word for "young woman". The Virgin Birth is featured in detail only in the Gospel of Luke; it is hinted at in the Gospel of Matthew, and it is not mentioned in the Gospels of Mark and John. I wonder how it fares in the non-canonical Gospels. Furthermore, an old manuscript of Matthew states that Joseph was the actual father of Jesus. Both Matthew and Luke contain genealogies of Jesus Christ's father; genealogies which are suspiciously numerological and which contradict each other. There is the amusing discrepancy of an elaborate genealogy of Joseph, after which we learn that he is not the "real" father. Greco-Roman mythology, however, is riddled with virgin births. There are a host of heroes who were reputed to be children of gods and mortal women, and even some historical figures. Pythagoras and Plato were reputed to be sons of Apollo, and Alexander the Great a son of Zeus. I'm a bit puzzled that those who readily believe in the divine parentage of Jesus Christ are so unwilling to believe in the divine parentage of Alexander the Great, for instance. The evidence is at least as strong. Indeed, the early theologian Justin Martyr complained that some of his co-religionists don't find the doctrine of the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ very convincing; they compared it to Zeus making Leda pregnant. My favorite interpretation of the doctrine of the Virgin Birth is that God "knew" Mary (in the Biblical sense of the word), thus making her pregnant. Maybe that is the true meaning of the infamous music video "Like a Prayer" made by the one quoted in my signature. ^ Loren Petrich, the Master Blaster \ ^ / loren@moonzappa.llnl.gov \ ^ / One may need to route through any of: \^/ sunlight.llnl.gov <<<<<<<<+>>>>>>>> lll-lcc.llnl.gov /v\ lll-crg.llnl.gov / v \ star.stanford.edu / v \ v "Crucifixes are sexy because there's a naked man on them" -- Madonna

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