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Thread: Creation vs. Creationism

  1. #61
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Smith View Post
    It was the theology that came out of the Synagogue - the theology post exile that in Jesus' time was exemplied by the Pharasees - that morphed into magic and science fiction by the second and third century CE - that got it wrong. Most of us are completely ignorant of this because it is out of our cultural line. We therefore do not know what Jesus was arguing against in his statments against the Pharasees - whitewashed tombs - nor do we truly understand that the religious leaders of the day clearly and specifically understood that Jesus was claiming to be God Himself - and thus, to their minds, blaspheming.
    I take it you are making reference to the Babylonian captivity of the Jews and their eventual return to their lands. During this time they were deprived of Temple worship. There was about 300 years or so, between their return and the time of Jesus. There were two temples build, the last and great one of Jesus time was built by Herod the Great. The Romans destroyed this temple in 70 AD and there has been only Synagogue worship ever since. There was indeed a rise in Jewish mysticism in various Synagogues following their dispersal after this period.

    I have to go now, but will continue in a an hours or so, about the Jewish religion at the time of Jesus. It is, at least to me, very interesting and something folks who are interested in Jesus need to know.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  2. #62
    Boolit Master

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    Thank you. I've not read the Mishna or the other Jewish books directly. Edelstein's The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah is as close as I have come.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  3. #63
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    OK Guys, I am going to assume that some folks want to read this and I will be investing some time in doing so. I will break this up into several posts to avoid anything being very long and to allow folks to comment on which portion they choose, and not comment on others. It will enable any following conservation to be more focused. First a few introductory words;

    We are living in a time two thousand years removed from Jesus. In that two thousand years, the Christian faith has splintered, splintered again, made wars against each other, made war against other non-Christians, and have developed a bewildering number of groups and understandings, some of which are solid and some are truly idiotic and loonie.

    When Jesus came on the scene, the Jewish people and their religion was thousands of years old and had splintered into many different groups and expressions, again some of which were solid and some of which were truly idiotic and loonie. The Jews also made war against themselves and others. As a consequence the Jewish faith was not unified in politics nor belief, just as today's Christian faith is not unified in politics nor belief.

    The OT is a quite accurate record how how a wandering bunch of nomads became the worshiper of just one God and later came to believe that all others gods were false, i.e. non existant. Non-Jahwehism proceeded Mon-Theism by centuries.

    The ancient Jews warred among themselves and others and as can be expected, victories were thought to be signs of God's favor, and defeats were through to be signs of God's disfavor. Look at the Christian faith and you will see countless example of the same thinking. Thus the OT is as much of a political history of the Jews as a religious history of the Jews. These two strains are woven together like a fabric in the OT and failure to try and tease these things apart results in myriads of misunderstanding and all kinds of theological disharmony.

    I am not going to take time to footnote any of this, and will working from memory, this will be the result of over 40 years of study on this matter. I am likely to dis-remember some fine point and somebody will point that out no doubt. There are as many books on this subject as their are understanding and opinions and you can expect disagreement in the various books. I will deliver to you what I understand to basic mainline understanding.

    OK: Now on to the next post, The Jewish Faith in Jesus Time.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  4. #64
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    When Jesus came onto the scene, the Jewish people were a captive people in their own homeland. It was a kind of house arrest sorta thing, with the Romans being the captors. The Romans were only concerned about that the taxes were paid and sent to Rome and any rebellions were put down quickly. How the Jews governed themselves were of little or no interest to the Romans. The daily administration of Jewish affairs were turned over to the Sanhedrin which were 70 well to do Jewish men, with the High Priest being on top of the heap.
    At that time, the Sanhedrin was in control of two major groups the Pharisees and the Sadducees, which were anything but good buddies. There were other groups, but they had little or no political power. Of all the groups in Jesus's time, the Pharisees where the tall hogs at the trough having the vast majority of the power and control. Let's take a look at the various groups.

    1. The Zealots: These bunch was far more political than religious. They were dedicated to getting the Romans out, by violence. Threats, murder and assassination were their methods. They would kill any Jew that collaborated with the Romans, with the Tax Collectors being their favorite target. Tax Collectors were Jews empowered by the Romans to collect taxes. They had to collect a set amount for the Romans, but anything beyond that they would keep. The Romans would give them a squad of Roman soldiers when they need muscle to back up the tax collecting. The net result was tax collectors extorted money from the Jews, sent some of it to the Romans, kept the rest and became filthy rich. They were hated by all Jews of every stripe.

    Think of the Zealots much as you would think of ISIS and you would not be too far off. They played a major role in a rebellion that eventual lead to a full on Roman conquest, destruction of the Temple and the end of any Jewish political state until the founding of Israel in 1947 or 48.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  5. #65
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    2. The Essenes: This was another group that held no power. They were all balled up in secret teaching about the end of time. Therefore, they didn't care much about what was going on around them. The withdrew into small communities and neighborhood in larger communities. They read, studies, prayed, and didn't get married.

    Some of their writings were found in the caves above Qumran in what is known as the Dead See Scrolls. This has been the happy hunting ground for all kind of contemporary nuts who think they have discovered some lost scripture. What was found in addition to real OT material was some cultic Essene stuff, which was not lost, but well know at the time and rejected by the other expressions of Jewish faith.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  6. #66
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    3. The Saducees: These were the liberals or intellectuals of the Jews. The often held high economic wealth, which accorded them power. They did not believe, in the resurrection of the dead, any kind of spirits such as angels and demons. They also did not see devotion to "The Law" as necessary to faith. This is what put them at loggerheads with the Pharisees. Due to their wealth and social position they were in charge of the Temple, which in itself accorded them lots of power.

    4. The Pharisees: What they lacked in economic power, they made up for in shear numbers and influence over the average Jew of the day. They were hyper legalistic. They took the 10 Commandments and granulated them into over 300. Each of these sub-commandments has dozens of interpretations and applications rendered by scholars over the years. None of these was written down, but held in the minds of the "Scribes" or as the KJV called them "Lawyers". These Scribes and Pharisees were two side of the same coin and together the controlled the religious life of the average Jew of the day. Jesus refereed to this "law" as the Traditions of the Elders" and he found himself in conflict with these people. Over the generations, these convoluted tradition found themselves in conflict with the true Law, i.e. 10 Commandments and were used by the Pharisee party to control the people and enrich themselves.

    Next up the conflict.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  7. #67
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Much of what Jesus taught and did was consistence with but inconsistent with the Traditions of the Elders that the Pharisees used as a control mechanism. Jesus flaunted his breaking of these tradition and condemned the Pharisees for their leading the Jewish people astray.

    As the popularity of Jesus grew, he became a real threat to the Pharisees and their control of the Jewish people. This probably delighted the Sadducees no doubt. How ever that was to change.

    As the people began to understand the true nature of Jesus, that went beyond his breaking of the traditions of the elders, he became a threat to far more than the Pharisees. As people came to consider him as the Messiah, he became a threat to Temple worship in general and the entire power strutted of the Jews. The various groups began to send on spies to all his gatherings to gather information about him and in the end evidence against him.

    The whole thing came together when the Pharisees, Saducees and the Herodians got together and decided Jesus had to go. The Herodians were the lackies of the Roman puppet king. That these three groups could agree on anything is a great testimony to just how great a threat to the Jewish power structure he had become.

    These conspirators could not kill Jesus themselves for two reason.

    1. Only the Romans had the "power of the sword", i.e. the right to legally execute somebody.
    2. If the Jews executed Jesus, extra-legally, they would further alienate the Jewish people. All the Jews hated the Romans anyway, and the Romans could do it legally.

    Jesus was arrested by the Sagan, the police of the Sanhedrin and taken before them in a nigh time illegal star chamber trial. When he Jesus responded to their questions by acknowledging he was Messiah, they condemned him as a heretic. However heresy against the Jews was not a Roman crime.

    Jesus was hauled off to stand before the Roman Governor and presented as a person who claimed to be a king, which was in fact a Roman crime that could be punished by death. You know the rest of the story.

    KNOW THIS IS JUST A POLITICAL HISTORY OF THE TIMES. THIS IS NO WAY DEALS WITH JESUS AS MESSIAH, HIS TEACHING, HIS DIVINITY AND HIS RESURRECTION ALL OF WHICH I AFFIRM.

    On to the last post....
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  8. #68
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    The death of Jesus did not solve the problem as the various leaders thought it would. The death and resurrection only pour gasoline on the flame of the people's faith in him. Read the book of Acts to understand all about that.

    In only a short period of time the believers in Jesus as the Christ, grew to become as large or larger than even the Pharisee party. They were known as the "Sect of the Nazarine". They were the 5th major division of Judaism at the time of the destruction of the Jewish state by the Romans.

    The Roman state with their good roads and pirate free seas became the hollow rod through which the Christian faith was spread first to the Jews across the Empire and then to the non-Jews (Gentiles).

    At first the Romans paid little attention to this new sect of Jews, but later came to institute harsh persecution against them. In the end faith in Christ, won out over the religion of Rome and the rest is history.

    Modern "Jewish" faith evolved following the destruction of the Jewish state and took many different forms in many different places. It still has many different manifestations, with the majority having evolved the the remnants of the Pharisees with all of their laws and traditions.

    Modern Jewish faith bears only a faint resemblance to Jewish faith at the time of Jesus. Modern Christian faith also bears only a faint resemblance to the Christian faith that followed on the death and resurrection of Jesus. Many of the expressions of the Christian faith have morphed into hyper legalistic, preachers and teachers who use their rule and regulations to control people through fear, beating on the Bible until it is all worn out and declaring their mouthing is "The Gospel". The Pharisees are yet with us.

    As for me, I strive to be a 1st. Century Christian living in the 21st. Century. This puts me at odds with many other understandings that have come along in the last two thousand years. I try and use the best scholarship of the our time,to develop a true heart faith in Jesus Christ for myself and others. I have been condemned to hell more than a few times for trying to do so.

    Dat is it boys, flail away!
    Last edited by Char-Gar; 06-24-2017 at 01:50 PM.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  9. #69
    Boolit Master
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    Interesting reading, and things I was well aware of, but what does any of this have to do with the creation?

    The "law" really wasn't burdensome until man mucked it up. It was just incomplete.

  10. #70
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thundarstick View Post
    Interesting reading, and things I was well aware of, but what does any of this have to do with the creation?

    The "law" really wasn't burdensome until man mucked it up. It was just incomplete.
    It has much to do with the entire OT and our understanding of it. I am sorry you missed the point. I must have expressed it poorly. The basis direction of this thread is about how people understand scripture often without attention to the cultural, historical and purpose of the writing. I thought what I said was germane to the general purpose and direction of the thread, but I guess I wasted allot of time in doing so. I was hopping somebody would find it enlightening and helpful, that somebody isn't you for sure.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Char-Gar View Post
    It has much to do with the entire OT and our understanding of it. I am sorry you missed the point. I must have expressed it poorly. The basis direction of this thread is about how people understand scripture often without attention to the cultural, historical and purpose of the writing. I thought what I said was germane to the general purpose and direction of the thread, but I guess I wasted allot of time in doing so. I was hopping somebody would find it enlightening and helpful, that somebody isn't you for sure.
    I enjoyed what you wrote and it was as accurate and concise as I have ever seen written. Certainly no time or effort was wasted on your part.

    But I too have missed where this ties into how you believe the OT should be understood. I understand how Jesus' contemporaries "got it wrong", but I still do not see how the prophets and historians of the OT did. Are you suggesting the OT authors and stewards added to the original revelations given by God due to their own ignorance and biases? Or perhaps misunderstood what they were being shown? When you go down this type road, how can you determine what is true?

  12. #72
    Boolit Master
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    that somebody isn't you for sure.
    First, thanks for that personal jab in the eye brother, that really cleared things up!

    So the point is that the OT account of the creation was, is, just a big ole bunch of malarkey because we just can't really understand what they where saying? Or did you mean to show that the OT recorders just didn't mean what they said to be understood?
    When you go down this type road, how can you determine what is true?

    And this IS the reason for this discussion, is the Bible to be believed, or is it just a collection of tall tails, where we pick and choose the "true" scriptures from the made up ones? Inspired or no?

  13. #73
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thundarstick View Post
    that somebody isn't you for sure.
    First, thanks for that personal jab in the eye brother, that really cleared things up!

    So the point is that the OT account of the creation was, is, just a big ole bunch of malarkey because we just can't really understand what they where saying? Or did you mean to show that the OT recorders just didn't mean what they said to be understood?
    When you go down this type road, how can you determine what is true?

    And this IS the reason for this discussion, is the Bible to be believed, or is it just a collection of tall tails, where we pick and choose the "true" scriptures from the made up ones? Inspired or no?
    1. It was not a poke in the eye. You said you were well aware of everything I wrote so, I took you at your word.

    2. The Genesis 1 story of creation is far from malarkey, but is a beautiful statement about the power and authority of a creating God. The writer fully understood what was writing and why. It is just us who did not understand be we are far removed from the thinking, time and culture of the writer. For a full explanation of my thinking please read Post #4 again. Saying it again won't make it any better.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  14. #74
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ickisrulz View Post
    I enjoyed what you wrote and it was as accurate and concise as I have ever seen written. Certainly no time or effort was wasted on your part.

    But I too have missed where this ties into how you believe the OT should be understood. I understand how Jesus' contemporaries "got it wrong", but I still do not see how the prophets and historians of the OT did. Are you suggesting the OT authors and stewards added to the original revelations given by God due to their own ignorance and biases? Or perhaps misunderstood what they were being shown? When you go down this type road, how can you determine what is true?
    Paragraphs 4 and 5 of Post 63 is how I think the OT should be approached. The task of one who studies the OT is to separate God's revelation from the writers time, culture, and purpose. One must understand that time, culture and purpose before they can separate the revelation of God from the human context.

    The same will also apply to the NT material. For example, the letters to Paul were written to a specific group of people to deal with specific issues. We understand Paul when we understand to whom he wrote and why he wrote. The OT material is no different, just a different time, a changed culture and a difference group of readers/hearers.

    The Bible is fully God's revealing of himself and his purposes to people. Without understand the time, culture and purpose of the writer, we miss the ball more often than we hit it.

    Yes, this is very hard work and that is the reason so many people take easy way out and just consider all scripture to be verbally dictated by God to a bunch of mindless human scribes. That saves allot of work, a very lot of work.

    The history of the Jewish people as written in the O.T. is certainly not wrong. In fact it is amazingly accurate. Modern archaeologist, even those have no faith, rely on it as their primary source for understanding that period of history in that part of the world.
    Last edited by Char-Gar; 06-24-2017 at 04:53 PM.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  15. #75
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    Char-Gar, that was a great synopsis and condensation of it all - sort of the "Reader's Digest" version. Thank you for taking the time to punch it all in. I'm copying it, and running it by my preacher to see what he says, and then it'll go to my grandboys, and their parents. Just thought you should know this. And Thanks a bunch! Biblical history is a weak spot with me, and as a Baptist, I've heard so many versions of it all that it's been very confusing. But over the years, a glimmer of hope has shown its light, and I'm getting better, at least, in my appreciation for matters like these.

    Isn't that something? 68 years old and just now learning what I ought to have known all along! Truly our Faith has been fragmented so stridently that we've lost much of our way, and our focus. It's a wonder Christ puts up with us and our willful and divisive ways! But thank God he DOES! At least so far!

  16. #76
    Boolit Master
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    Yes I see exactly what your saying. It's a story, just like water to wine and raising Lazarus from the dead, all stories.

  17. #77
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thundarstick View Post
    Yes I see exactly what your saying. It's a story, just like water to wine and raising Lazarus from the dead, all stories.
    No, you missed the point entirely, if you think either the creation account, the raising of Lazarus or Jesus changing water into wine are just stories. It certainly not what I said. Scripture is far more complex than you allow for. I think I will just leave it at that.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Char-Gar View Post
    Paragraphs 4 and 5 of Post 63 is how I think the OT should be approached. The task of one who studies the OT is to separate God's revelation from the writers time, culture, and purpose. One must understand that time, culture and purpose before they can separate the revelation of God from the human context.

    The same will also apply to the NT material. For example, the letters to Paul were written to a specific group of people to deal with specific issues. We understand Paul when we understand to whom he wrote and why he wrote. The OT material is no different, just a different time, a changed culture and a difference group of readers/hearers.

    The Bible is fully God's revealing of himself and his purposes to people. Without understand the time, culture and purpose of the writer, we miss the ball more often than we hit it.

    Yes, this is very hard work and that is the reason so many people take easy way out and just consider all scripture to be verbally dictated by God to a bunch of mindless human scribes. That saves allot of work, a very lot of work.

    The history of the Jewish people as written in the O.T. is certainly not wrong. In fact it is amazingly accurate. Modern archaeologist, even those have no faith, rely on it as their primary source for understanding that period of history in that part of the world.
    So essentially you remove the miracles and any other direct acts of God that are recorded because they are only the perceptions of what people think is going on?

    Were Jesus' miracles historical facts or just what people thought was happening?

  19. #79
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ickisrulz View Post
    So essentially you remove the miracles and any other direct acts of God that are recorded because they are only the perceptions of what people think is going on?

    Were Jesus' miracles historical facts or just what people thought was happening?
    I take the miracles of Jesus as facts. I have seen a few up close and personal in my years of missionary service in the Ecuadorian Andes.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  20. #80
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Char-Gar View Post
    I take the miracles of Jesus as facts. I have seen a few up close and personal in my years of missionary service in the Ecuadorian Andes.
    Then why not take the direct acts of God in the OT as fact? Is it because of the passages that describe wrath and judgement?

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