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Question # 1
I would like to ask about the word “christianity”?
where in bible Jesus said that your religion is called “christianity”?
if Jesus didn’t mention that , then who called them so?
Jesus never uses the term Christianity. As far as we know, none of the earliest Christians (his immediate followers and/or disciples) used the term. For instance, when looking at the work of Paul, the term is absent.
The reason for that is quite simple. Jesus, the earliest movement, and Paul, were still working under Judaism. Christianity, at that time, had not yet emerged as a separate entity.
Acts is the first time that we see the term Christian being used. However, it really doesn’t tell us anything in particular, besides that the term was first used in Antioch. At that time, it probably still referred to members of a sect within Judaism. Many scholars believe that it was first used by Roman authorities (partially as a insult or slur) to differentiate this new group from other recognized form of Judaism.
The term Christianity doesn’t come around until later than that. Acts is written around 80-90 C.E. (possibly a little bit later), so we can push back the term Christianity a little bit further than that time. It arose out of the rift that was forming between these members of the Jesus movement, and Rabbinical Judaism that started after the first Jewish Revolt. At that time, Rabbinical Jews began centralizing their religion, and essentially pushed out other sects. This included the newer sect of Christians. They were being pushed out of Judaism and eventually formed a separate religion.
The term Christianity was a very good suit because Jesus was also known as Christ. So a derivative of that was a simple way to make a distinction.
Question # 2
What is your view of the Desposyni?
Before I actually started doing serious research into Historical Jesus scholarship, and New Testament scholarship in general, I did spend quite a bit of time reading pseudo-scholarship (I wasn’t aware that it was poor research at the time), and other shoddy research on the family of Jesus. In all of that poor research, there were some good gems.
I do accept that Jesus had siblings, and I have no doubt that they were blood brothers. I know some claim that they were either cousins, or step-brothers/sister; however, such arguments have never convinced me as the Gospels and Paul seem quite clear on the point that they were full brothers, and sisters of Jesus.
Of all of the family members of Jesus, James is the one we know most about, and probably the only one that we have definite information about. And even that is skimpy. Basically there is the treatment in Acts and Paul as well as the short reference in Josephus. I would say what we can know for definite about him is that he was the leader of the Jerusalem church which led the Jesus movement, was quite well respected, and was killed which caused a good deal of upset.
I would say that is nearly all we can really know about the family of Jesus. There is a brief mention of the brothers of Jesus in Paul, and that they were married, but other than that, I don’t think they were all that important in Christianity once it moved away from the original movement. Since there is a reference to the brother of Jesus being married though, I would say it is quite likely (especially since he also had sisters) that at least one of his siblings had children. So there was probably some form of bloodline that formed and continued on; however, I doubt it could ever really be traced with any accuracy as I just don’t see the early Church being to interested in such matters.
As for the story in Eusebius about the two Desposyni that were brought before Domitian, I wouldn’t put much stock in it. I could see how it could have a grain of truth in it, but I doubt it. I see it to be similar to the story about Herod and the massacre of the innocences. Mainly because I can’t see an emperor being afraid of the advent of Christ.
Then there are those stories about Jesus having a child and a direct bloodline still in tact; however, those are hardly based on any credible evidence. And when it all boils down, I don’t see the Desposyni, to whatever extent it really was, to be that important. I think James was important for the initial movement, but as soon as it moved from Judaism to a separate religion, the family of Jesus would lost any actual importance. As soon as they joined Christianity, they essentially would have moved away from what Jesus actually taught. Now, if they continued the actual tradition that Jesus began, it would be different, but we just don’t see that.
So to sum up, I just don’t see much importance in the Desposyni. I do enjoy reading some of the stories that have come up about them, but in regards to Christianity, or the Jesus movement, I don’t think that as a whole, they played a major part. And after Christianity separated into a new religion, there role, if any, just was nothing important.
Do you think it’s possible Paul was one of the false apostles who Jesus warned would deceive the elect and was the “False apostle of Ephesus” warned about in Revelation?
My opinion on Paul has changed greatly, especially lately since I’m spending more time researching him and his life. As a very simple answer to your question, I would say no.
A more complicated answer; I think Paul is interesting. I would label Paul, before his “conversion” an extremist Jew. He tells us himself that he persecuted this new Jesus movement, and that he was very fervent in his beliefs.
Then all of a sudden, he switches his ideas. And honestly, I think he was confused to a point. He had this new found idea, and he simply had not formed it all of the way. At the same, he believed that the end was near, and that he had to get this message out. In his view, there wasn’t really time to fully form this new belief, as it wouldn’t matter as shortly, the end would be here. So, he had more of an immature view of the religion.
This idea that the world was going to end soon, shaped many of his beliefs, or helped direct where his beliefs would go. I think this is why he was open to the idea of allowing gentiles into the movement as well. He wanted to save as many people as possible, and because of that, it opened his ideas quite a bit.
This belief that the end was soon also probably put him into somewhat of a panic, at least at first. Closer to the end of his ministry, we do see him settling down a bit. I personally think that if he ended up realizing that his first idea that the end was near was simply untrue (which I think he would have if he had lived longer), his message would have changed quite a bit.
So basically, I think he was some what confused. He didn’t think he had enough time to study the subject in depth. He saw the end was near, and wanted to get the message out as quickly as possible, and basically developed his theology while on the road, many times off the top of his head. Which is mainly why his teachings were the way in which they were. I wouldn’t call him a false prophet, just a confused one.
I am just curious as to what makes you think God exists? You say people are saved but you don’t believe in Hell. What are they saved from?
If you don’t believe Jesus was resurrected from the dead does he have the ability to still save you from death?Why should people not have the fear of death?
Do you assume Heaven exists but not hell?
Since none of your idealogies are based in scripture where do you get them from?
Sorry for so many questions but you have me puzzled.
I think God exists simply because I do. My belief in God is based on personal reasons, primarily a need for answers. It answers, for me, the question of how the universe came about. Now, I wouldn’t argue that God is the creator of the universe, but I do have faith in that. It also answers more mundane questions as well.
I also just like the idea of God. Growing up with such a belief, it really stuck. I find some comfort in my belief of God, and it just isn’t something that I want to give up. Really, I just believe in God because I do.
As for what people are saved from? That is a hard question. I don’t believe in hell, so people won’t be saved from that. I can see them being saved from death (obviously people would still die, but instead of just rotting in a hole, their soul would go to heaven or some equivalent). It could be being saved from the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth (assuming that the idea of reincarnation is true).
Really, I don’t have a definite answer (I don’t think much about death in general, or theological ideas). But I do think that something does happen after death. I don’t know exactly what, but I do think that something happens.
Now I don’t think that Jesus physically raised from the dead. However, I do believe that there was possibly some sort of resurrection (again, this is a very theological question, and I just don’t delve much into the field). I think that it is possible that a spiritual resurrection occurred, in which the physical body of Jesus was left, but his spiritual self (a spiritual body) was resurrected. So even though out physical body dies, we still do not fully die. Thus, we have no reason to fear death, as it is only this physical form of us that actually die.
As for heaven, I can’t say for. I think it is a possibility, but I also think it is possible that reincarnation is what really happens. I even am not opposed to the idea that we just die. I do like the idea of an after life, and the concept of heaven is appealing, but I just don’t have a definite belief on the subject.
Where do my beliefs come from? Part of them do come from scriptures. I just interpret them a little different. Many of them are influenced by different religions, including Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. Atheist thinkers have also helped influence my beliefs. However, much of it boils down to the scholarly research that I have done. It has influenced much of my religious thinking by seeing things in more historical terms, instead of theological terms.
How can Jesus’ words be right when there are hundreds and hundreds upon even more interpretations of the same Scripture? How can Christianity be correct or true, when the very Scripture upon it stands seems so completely undependable with various different people saying different things?
Can one just profess a simple faith in Jesus Christ via the New Testament and/or the Book of Mormon, repent, become baptised, and then live a life of charity and kindness towards others, of prayer and simple Christian gatherings?
I will first deal with the idea of Christianity being correct or true. The saying of Jesus only compromise a part of the Christian tradition. In fact, it is actually a small part of the tradition.
When dealing with the sayings of Jesus, it is a problem to know exactly what he said, and what he meant. The context that he lived in and that he was apart is very different from the context that we live in. So it is difficult to know what he was saying.
With difficult study, we can narrow that down (and narrow down what he actually said). This sometimes can be very difficult, and at times, means we have to abandon some sayings as being outdated, or just not productive.
In my opinion though, it should all come back to love. Jesus stressed that point.
However, none of this would show that Christianity is true. Simply, one can’t show that Christianity is true. In my opinion, it is just one of the possible paths. For some, it works, for others it don’t. So I wouldn’t say it is the truth, but one form of the truth.
This path, Christianity, can be very different for different members. I still think that it should boil down to love though. That should be a litmus test (and really, I think that should be with any religion or belief form). Some forms don’t require the New Testament or any form of scripture. It may just rely on the perceived idea of Jesus’s teachings. It may not require baptism, or prayer, or anything like that.
three questions. (one) Jesus is son of God, Mary is mother of Jesus then is Mary wife of God ?
( two) God is the creator of all thing. is Satan also created by God ? you pray to God for what ?
(three) do christian believe in plant or animal soul . we see pet animals cry and express their feelings by different way which indicate that they have mind and they can think also. how their acts will be judged and what will be the end of their soul after death ?
No, Mary wouldn’t be the wife of God. Most likely, she was the wife of Joseph (even though one could debate that to a point).
There is also reason to doubt that Jesus is the actual son of God. Historically, it is not a defendable position. Since it would be a miracle, it becomes, by the definition of miracle, to be unlikely. Not impossible, but not likely.
However, if we take the story literally, God is only the catalyst to the birth of Jesus. There is no sexual union, no intercourse. Jesus is just miraculously conceived. So the father does not actually have to be the husband.
To the second question, yes, Satan is created by God. Personally though, I don’t subscribe to the idea of Satan. I think he is a man made entity that developed out of various traditions. But yes, if Satan exists, and God is the creator of all, Satan would have been created by God.
However, believing in God, doesn’t mean one has to believe that he is the creator of all. Personally, I don’t subscribe to that idea either. I think he is the beginning catalyst that started the creation of everything, but not the actual creator of everything.
As for praying, I only do it for comfort. For me, praying just allows me to process information, and it allows me to release stress.
To your final question. That depends on various Christians. Most accept that humans have souls (I would probably say all accept that). As for animals, that depends. I personally have no opinion on it. There are those who do not believe that animals have souls. That would be something that definitely separates us from “lower” life forms. I would say this is probably the more dominant view.
Others believe that animals do have souls, but not all animals have souls.
Then others accept that all animals have souls. It really is dependent on each individual.
Faith vs works, which do you believe in, and which view really represents mainstream Christianity?
I personally believe in both.
As for mainstream Christianity, there is somewhat of a split. Various groups will say that it is faith that saves us. They focus primarily on faith while ignoring the idea of works. Others accept both as well. However, most will still do what they consider works. It is just not part of salvation.
I read somewhere that Jesus when young, killed a boy by pushing him off a cliff or something, is this correct? If so, how do you reconcile this with his divinity?
There were later stories written about Jesus when he was a little boy. As we see in the canonical Gospels, there is little about the early life of Jesus. Early Christians also noticed this, and developed various stories for the boy Jesus.
The Infancy Gospel of Thomas speaks of Jesus as a boy and having killed a number of individuals (and also resurrecting those who he killed). However, this is a later work, and really shows no sign of credibility. There is noearly tradition of these ideas, no early records, and it really isn’t attested to in any independent sources.
More so, it is highly unlikely that anyone would have recorded the early life of Jesus. In that culture, it really just wasn’t done. People weren’t really written about until they made an impact.
regarding the Bible, how long after Jesus do you believe was the Bible written and by who?
Most of the New Testament documents were written by 100 C.E. Paul was writing in the 50′s and 60′s. The first Gospel, Mark, was written in 70 C.E. So the New Testament was written between 20-70 years after the death of Jesus. However, it isn’t until 367 C.E. that we see the 27 books of the New Testament being placed together. And then the canon of the New Testament was still debated for centuries after that. Even Martin Luther questioned a few of the books of the New Testament.
As for by who. The only one we can really pin down is Paul. Other than that, we can’t know for sure. Most simply left their works anonymous. It wasn’t until later that names were placed on them in order to make them more authoritative.