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Is Jesus God?
01-18-2018, 08:44 AM (This post was last modified: 01-18-2018 08:45 AM by muhammad_isa.)
Post: #201
RE: Is Jesus God?
(01-18-2018 05:11 AM)Amememhab Wrote:  This is because Paul took pains to inform us when he was speaking for himself, attributing very little of his doctrine directly to Jesus, who was always just the one who’d died for us and risen from the dead..

I'm sorry to keep repeating myself, but I have asked numerous times in various threads:

How does somebody (God or not) dying and rising affect our religion/lives?

..merely stating that it has saved mankind is meaningless, unless you can explain how.
I mean, what guidance or wisdom can we gain from it, as you say it doesn't affect "the law"?
What does it do then?

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.
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01-18-2018, 09:00 PM
Post: #202
RE: Is Jesus God?
(01-18-2018 08:44 AM)muhammad_isa Wrote:  How does somebody (God or not) dying and rising affect our religion/lives?

The answer is simple: The death and resurrection of someone else—whether that person’s thought of as God or not—affects our beliefs and hopes because it raises the possibility that we might rise from the dead, too. If no one else has ever been resurrected, prospects look dimmer—so dim, in fact, we might just adopt atheism, and think of Death as terminating our existence as conscious beings, with no afterlife following this event.

As no one’s ever reported back to us from an afterlife status, that’s the simplest view of Death, and by Occam’s Razor, therefore the best. But I don’t like the pessimism involved in simply going to coffin dead as a doornail. Eternal life sounds more appealing to me. To young millennials, however, for whom death remains a remote outcome they don’t expect for 50 or 60 more years, atheism holds intellectual appeal. I can understand why. It avoids the baggage, the history, the bloodshed involved with religious traditions.

Yet when they get my age, or yours, Isa, they may feel differently. Lots of former atheists passed through the doors of a church only to exit those doors as Christians! Clives Staples Lewis was one of them. Or they may go the Christopher Hitchens route and cling to atheism to the end. It’s their choice, as God never forces belief on us.
~ Wink
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Yesterday, 05:45 AM (This post was last modified: Yesterday 05:45 AM by muhammad_isa.)
Post: #203
RE: Is Jesus God?
(01-18-2018 09:00 PM)Amememhab Wrote:  ...
The answer is simple: The death and resurrection of someone else—whether that person’s thought of as God or not—affects our beliefs and hopes because it raises the possibility that we might rise from the dead, too.

It seems that billions of people are convinced there is an afterlife without such an example..
Both Jesus and Muhammad, peace be with them, taught us about life after death .. either we believe them or we don't Smile

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.
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Yesterday, 06:06 AM (This post was last modified: Yesterday 06:23 AM by JerryMyers.)
Post: #204
RE: Is Jesus God?
Amememhab Wrote:  Fair enough. You did include the qualifier, “first,” although I don’t get how “faith scriptures” differ from plain old scriptures.

Maybe the way I put that in writing was not very clear and I apologize for that. When I wrote “..without FIRST having the proper understanding of the respective Faith Scripture”, what I meant to say was, if you want to know about a religion (Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc) then, read and understand their sacred Books or in other words, read and understand their respective Faith’s scriptures - I was not trying to create a new buzz words called ‘Faith Scriptures’ or something like that.

Amememhab Wrote:  Question is, how do we get the understanding you stipulate, if not by consulting teachers who already know? I’ll leave that in the air, as I promised I’d finish replying to the comments you made in post #194. Returning to it,

Sure, you do consult these teachers (hopefully, the right ones), BUT, you too, need to do your own readings/researches of your own scriptures and NOT just rely on these teachers/scholars. God give us the faculty of intelligence to think and rationalize and so, we should use it to think and reason out what we heard or read and not just accept them as absolute truths – they could easily guide you away from God under the guise of bringing you closer to God.


Amememhab Wrote:  You’re pretty close to the truth here. The Egyptians believed the name was an integral part of a person’s soul, part of what made him who he was. They reasoned that they could deprive a person’s soul of afterlife existence by chiseling his name off the walls of his tomb; such vandalism of names is all over Egypt in the archaeological record. Although we have less information, similar beliefs may have prevailed in the Canaan of the Hebrews who, after all, had borrowed Egypt’s Hermopolitan cosmology to write Genesis 1.

Another thing is that Egyptian and Northwest Semitic names alike often take the form of short sentences, for instance, Amenhotep = “Amun is satisfied.” We do something like that in English, where Mr. Baker is, of course, the town baker, and Mr. Wheelwright fixes the axle on your coach if you break it traveling over a bad road. Even today, knowing someone’s name gives you leverage, which is why identity thieves seek this data on random victims.

Yes, I agree with you, however, in today’s society, when someone ask you “What’s your name ?”, he/she is really asking for something that he/she can call you or identify you. In the old ages (or maybe, even in this new age in some societies) a name goes beyond that or as you said, “the name was an integral part of a person’s soul, part of what made him who he was”. Such was the case, in the context of Exodus 3, when Moses, who was representing his people asked God His Name, they were really asking what makes God the way He is, what make God ticks, His Attributes and such, to which, God, knowing He is beyond the understanding of the human mind to comprehend, just said, “I Am What I Am/I Will Be What I Will Be” which was wrongly interpreted by sectarians as a name for God.


Amememhab Wrote:  Nice question, as the pronoun in “believeth in him” is ambiguous in reference. Most scholars think it’s the son, because of proximity—the word “Son” is closer to the pronoun in the sentence…. Yet the alternative is possible, as the other pronoun, “his,” in the same sentence does refer to God.

Well, I would say, they are many verses in the Bible (and also in the Quran), that are ambiguous in reference, on their own. However, they need not remained ambiguous, as these verses are usually clarified and cross-checked by other verses. John 3:16 and John 5:24 are such examples of how one ambiguous verse is further clarified and cross-checked by another verse(s).

Amememhab Wrote:  —and because if we were just gonna believe in the God who’d sent that son, why would he send his son to begin with?

Well, just having faith in God would be meaningless if one did not understand the implications of believing (or not believing) in God. Thus, Jesus is sent and chosen by God, to teach these ‘implications’ to the people and guide ‘the lost’ back on the right path which leads to eternal life.


Amememhab Wrote:  Read Romans 5:8-10 more carefully. While it does say that Jesus’s death reconciled us to God (past tense), it tells us it was Jesus’s life that will save us (future tense). The tenses matter here. As of the date of Paul’s sermon, we’d been reconciled. But we haven’t been saved yet. Salvation can only be complete after the universe ends, on judgment day when we pass for review of our works before the great white throne. Fortunately for analysts, as a Western language unlike Hebrew, Greek does have definite tenses.
Scary thought, if you ask me. “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling,” Paul said (Philippians 2:12). Yet if we humble our hearts and obey God, Paul also assured us we can walk with confidence in our salvation. Our God loves us, and he is trustworthy.
Whether Paul’s teaching was consonant with Jesus’s goes unsolved, as we’re not certain what Jesus taught. The gospel of Thomas, a Gnostic document, gives a very different picture of Christ than any of the canonical gospels did; hence the church fathers’ rejection of it at the canonizing councils. Thomas’s Jesus isn’t even particularly loving, as was the Jesus we know, who bounced kids on his knee. I view Jesus as the brother who’s loved us as no one else ever will.

Yet we do know that Paul’s letters predate the gospels by 20 to 50 years. Paul may have been able to meet some of the original disciples, while the gospelists probably wrote after most of them were dead. Priority need not imply accuracy. However, when in doubt, historians tend to give sources closest in time to an event more credence than later sources, unless the later ones cite earlier material.

Again, your understanding of Jesus and what he preached seemed to derive from other people’s accounts (in this case, Paul’s) rather than from Jesus own sayings. To say “..we’re not certain what Jesus taught” would be a confirmation that your understanding did come from other people’s accounts and not from Jesus own sayings.

Jesus NEVER preached his ‘death’ will reconcile man’s sin or his death will save man. The past or future tense (of Romans 5:8-10) does not really matter IF Jesus did not preach as such, to begin with.

Amememhab Wrote:  Paul’s Jesus is crisp and concise, with less of the baggage that goes with the gospels. This is because Paul took pains to inform us when he was speaking for himself, attributing very little of his doctrine directly to Jesus, who was always just the one who’d died for us and risen from the dead. I don’t think Paul even told us where Jesus was from.

Well, Paul's 'Jesus' himself is questionable for anyone to conclude that “Paul’s Jesus is crisp and concise”, especially, when one considered the fact that Jesus DID warn of deceivers who will come in his name AFTER he left :

“Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah/Christ,’ and WILL DECEIVE many.” – Matthew 24:4-5.

“At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ DO NOT BELIEVE it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time.” – Matthew 24:23-25.

When you really ponder on what Jesus said here and ask yourself who DID come in Jesus’ name and claimed he encountered Jesus or the likes of Jesus saying “I am Jesus/the Christ” AFTER Jesus had left, the name ‘Paul’ will pop up in your mind.

WHY ? Because in Acts 9, Paul claimed he encountered the likes of Jesus, that is, a voice claiming “I am Jesus/the Christ” on a wilderness road to Damascus. Some Christian scholars even claimed that Paul actually saw the physical Jesus and not just heard his voice. Whatever it was, doesn’t what Paul claimed here fit the warning of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 24 of an impostor/a deceiver claiming to be him, ‘the Christ’ who would deceive many, even the elect ?

Could Paul too had been deceived by this impostor ‘Jesus’ and in turn, Paul, guided by this impostor ‘Jesus’ he encountered on that wilderness road to Damascus, also had, knowingly or unknowingly, deceived billions of people to this very day by misleading them to believe that they are following the teaching of the real Jesus, when in reality, they are actually following the teaching of the impostor “Jesus” whom Paul encountered ?? Well, something to think about, wouldn’t you agree ?


Amememhab Wrote:  This gets to the problem of finding good sources. Blogs, forums and Wikipedia, while useful, are not citable academic material. Indeed, I’ve proffered guesses and opinions of my own on this forum. You shouldn’t take my word for it. I suggest reading scriptures concurrently with modern interpretive essays—to verify that the essayist is consistent with the biblical text, and to have a look at the context surrounding any bible quotations the essayist uses.


Your suggestion of reading the ‘scriptures concurrently with modern interpretive essays—to verify that the essayist is consistent with the biblical text’ sounds like a good idea, however, most, if not all, modern interpretive essays on the Bible, came from Christians themselves and thus, may influence your own logical and rational interpretation of what you read in the scriptures. Of course, the same can be said of modern interpretive essays on the Quran, which would be authored mostly, by Muslims themselves. I guess that’s why when I was reading the Quran to understand it’s intents, I was actually reading the Bible too, just to balance out the learnings by getting the perspectives of both sides. What I learn is rather surprising - when you compare what the Quran said with that of the Bible records of sayings of God and His prophets, in particular, Jesus, WITHOUT the ’noises’ of the other characters like Paul, you will find that the Quran and the Bible actually agree with one another.

But then again, Paul’s words have become so much an integral part of the Christians’ belief, so much so, the mere existence of Christianity today hangs on the words of Paul rather than on the words of Jesus.


Amememhab Wrote:  And transla-tion is interpretation, to a great degree. Translating the Hebrew bible isn’t like translating a modern German text. If we get con-fused about the German, we can buttonhole our friend Bridgit, a native German speaker, and ask her to explain the language in that text. We can’t do that in classical Hebrew. Logically, Exodus 3:14 is a tautology: a statement that says the same thing twice. That’s nice, but a tautology never gives us any new information. As it’s unconditionally true, there’s nothing further to investigate or learn about.

Well, in its real sense, translation is not interpretation. Translation would mean the conversion of the words (of a sentence(s), phrases, etc) from one particular language to another language, for example, Greek to English. Interpretation would mean one’s understanding of what the sentence or phrases mean or represents. Different people can have different understanding or interpretation of a common phrase. Of course, in today’s daily communications, translation is often synonymous with interpretation, so, you are not wrong either.


Amememhab Wrote:  To be honest, I haven’t a clue what the meaning of that verse is. I think your connotative interpretation of it, that God’s saying, “Just accept me as I am,” makes sense, and I thank you for putting it on the board. God asked Moses to trust him. However, I’m less sure regarding your comparison of the English translation’s tenses because, as I said earlier, Hebrew is mostly tenseless.

Yes, and that’s the point, ‘Hebrew is mostly tenseless’. If the original texts are in Hebrew, which is tenseless, the grammars of the English-translated texts really do not have much impact to the context of the passage.

To say ‘the passage supplies no context’ is not true either, because it’s the context that tells us why God responded with “I am what I am/I will be what I will be”. Without the context, God’s response would have no meaning to Moses or anyone else, for that matter.
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Yesterday, 06:45 AM (This post was last modified: Yesterday 06:46 AM by muhammad_isa.)
Post: #205
RE: Is Jesus God?
(Yesterday 06:06 AM)JerryMyers Wrote:  ..
When you really ponder on what Jesus said here and ask yourself who DID come in Jesus’ name and claimed he encountered Jesus or the likes of Jesus saying “I am Jesus/the Christ” AFTER Jesus had left, the name ‘Paul’ will pop up in your mind.

No .. he didn't claim to be the Messiah or Almighty God.
He came from a pious Jewish background.

He also owed much to his training in the law and the prophets, utilizing this knowledge to convince his Jewish countrymen of the unity of past Old Testament prophecy and covenants with the fulfilling of these in Jesus Christ.
-wikipedia-

I understand that he preached Jesus was "the son of God" .. but how did he convince his "Jewish countrymen" of this? Very simple. The Jews used the term "son of God" as an indication that they were sent by God .. simple as that! Smile

I believe that Paul/Saul was sincere in his faith. What happened in the following centuries is another matter

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.
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Yesterday, 08:23 AM (This post was last modified: Yesterday 08:26 AM by JerryMyers.)
Post: #206
RE: Is Jesus God?
(Yesterday 06:45 AM)muhammad_isa Wrote:  
(Yesterday 06:06 AM)JerryMyers Wrote:  ..
When you really ponder on what Jesus said here and ask yourself who DID come in Jesus’ name and claimed he encountered Jesus or the likes of Jesus saying “I am Jesus/the Christ” AFTER Jesus had left, the name ‘Paul’ will pop up in your mind.

No .. he didn't claim to be the Messiah or Almighty God.
He came from a pious Jewish background.


Actually, you misunderstood my words. I did not say it was Paul who claimed to be the Messiah/Christ, it was the vision of an entity or the voice whom he encountered on the road to Damascus, who claimed to be 'the Messiah/the Christ' to Paul and because of this encounter, Paul believed he was preaching in the name and guidance of Jesus.
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Yesterday, 10:40 AM (This post was last modified: Yesterday 10:44 AM by muhammad_isa.)
Post: #207
RE: Is Jesus God?
(Yesterday 08:23 AM)JerryMyers Wrote:  ..
Actually, you misunderstood my words. I did not say it was Paul who claimed to be the Messiah/Christ, it was the vision of an entity or the voice whom he encountered on the road to Damascus, who claimed to be 'the Messiah/the Christ' to Paul and because of this encounter, Paul believed he was preaching in the name and guidance of Jesus.

Some people do experience dreams/visions Smile
I agree we shouldn't rely on them without good reason. However, did Paul's experience contain detailed instructions on what he should do? Did he keep on receiving these visions?
The answer is "no" on both accounts, I would say.

Almighty God guides whomsoever He wills. From what I can see, the main problem was not from disagreement with the disciples of Jesus, but from the Pharisees, who disliked "gentiles" [non-Jews .. uncircumcised .. not kosher Wink] in the temples. Nothing new there then. Clearly, Paul/Saul thought that Jesus died on the cross .. why wouldn't he, unless somebody told him otherwise? Bear in mind, he was a Roman citizen and used to work for "the other side".

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.
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Yesterday, 11:44 AM
Post: #208
RE: Is Jesus God?
(01-18-2018 08:44 AM)muhammad_isa Wrote:  I'm sorry to keep repeating myself, but I have asked numerous times in various threads:

How does somebody (God or not) dying and rising affect our religion/lives?

..merely stating that it has saved mankind is meaningless, unless you can explain how.

You're asking for evidence?? And telling people that "merely stating something is meaningless" ?? That's worth a big fat LOL! Big Grin

Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it
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Yesterday, 11:54 PM
Post: #209
RE: Is Jesus God?
muhammad_isa Wrote:  Some people do experience dreams/visions Smile
I agree we shouldn't rely on them without good reason. However, did Paul's experience contain detailed instructions on what he should do? Did he keep on receiving these visions? The answer is "no" on both accounts, I would say.

Almighty God guides whomsoever He wills. From what I can see, the main problem was not from disagreement with the disciples of Jesus, but from the Pharisees, who disliked "gentiles" [non-Jews .. uncircumcised .. not kosher Wink] in the temples. Nothing new there then. Clearly, Paul/Saul thought that Jesus died on the cross .. why wouldn't he, unless somebody told him otherwise? Bear in mind, he was a Roman citizen and used to work for "the other side".

You are absolutely right, however, I don’t think Paul himself believed Jesus is God as he clearly drew a distinct line between God and Jesus – “yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; AND there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live” – 1 Corr. 8:6.

Paul, however, did believe Jesus died and rose again, a belief that really propel mainstream Christianity to what we know today.
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