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A-Way-Of-Life
04-29-2007, 08:24 PM
The message of the prophets were to worship on god. This is a question that has been on my mind for a while. Who invented these other religions. I want to get there questions of my mind. Who made up Judaism and Christianity. Who changed the torah and the gospels that were revealed to Musa (AS) and Isa (AS)?
Do people in there other religions know that there books they have today were written by people?
I just want to get these questions of my mind!
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Umar001
04-30-2007, 12:07 PM
Originally Posted by A-Way-Of-Life
The message of the prophets were to worship on god. This is a question that has been on my mind for a while. Who invented these other religions. I want to get there questions of my mind. Who made up Judaism and Christianity. Who changed the torah and the gospels that were revealed to Musa (AS) and Isa (AS)?
Do people in there other religions know that there books they have today were written by people?
I just want to get these questions of my mind!
1. With regards to who changed the books of Isa and Musa, we don't even have the names of who wrote them with credability let alone which scribes added things. and when I say we I mean Biblical Scholars too not just muslims.

2. People do know, some dont but majority do.
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Pygoscelis
04-30-2007, 05:38 PM
Originally Posted by A-Way-Of-Life
Do people in there other religions know that there books they have today were written by people?
All books are written by people.

Well, except for that one written by the two million monkeys randomly tapping away on typewritters.
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Keltoi
04-30-2007, 05:44 PM
I find it strange that you disregard the religions of Judaism and Christianity as a "man-made" faith, when Islam itself is an offshoot of these same religions. Just my opinion of course.
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azim
04-30-2007, 11:31 PM
Asalaamu alaykum.

I find it strange that you disregard the religions of Judaism and Christianity as a "man-made" faith, when Islam itself is an offshoot of these same religions. Just my opinion of course.
Muslims do not regard Judaism and Christianity as 'man-made'. We believe them to be true, revealed by Allah to mankind. The difference between Judaism and Christianity and Islam is that we (Muslims) believe Islam to be a universal faith for all-mankind, whereas Judaism and Christianity are focused towards a certain nation/tribe during a certain period.

Back to the original post: -

The message of the prophets were to worship on god.
Correct.

Who invented these other religions.
No one invented them, they were revealed by Allah to mankind.

Say (O Muslims), "We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Ibrahim (Abraham), Ismail (Ishmael), Ishaque (Isaac), Yaqoob (Jacob), and to Al-Asbat (the twelve sons of Yaqoob (Jacob)), and that which has been given to Moosa (Moses) and Iesa (jesus), and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted (in Islam)." Surah al-Baqara - Verse 136

Who changed the torah and the gospels that were revealed to Musa (AS) and Isa (AS)?
With regards to the Torah - we believe that changes creeped in made by the corrupt scholars (I say corrupt, but keep in mind Judaism had many upright and noble scholars as well) of Judaism.

The Gospel of Isa (as) is another issue. The New Testament, as it stands today, has been written by individuals very loosely connected to Jesus. The earliest Gospel was written 90 years after Isa (as) left the earth. So we cannot rely on any of these for credibility. The biblical scholars are agreed that the four gospels borrowed heavily from a source called Q (Q from the Quelle for Unknown). Some Muslim scholars have determined that this Q is infact the original Gospel sent down to Isa (as). The arguments are various however, and none are completely certain.

An excellent book worth reading is "The Gospel of Jesus". Brother Ansar al-Adl posted it on this forum a long time ago, insha'allah he may still have the link. I can't seem to locate unfortunately.

Asalaamu alaykum.
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Grace Seeker
05-26-2007, 05:47 AM
Originally Posted by A-Way-Of-Life
The message of the prophets were to worship on god. This is a question that has been on my mind for a while. Who invented these other religions. I want to get there questions of my mind. Who made up Judaism and Christianity. Who changed the torah and the gospels that were revealed to Musa (AS) and Isa (AS)?
Do people in there other religions know that there books they have today were written by people?
I just want to get these questions of my mind!
Those people in the Judaism and Christianty who take the time to learn about Islam, know that Islam teaches that the Tanakh and the New Testament are corrupted. But the believers in these religions do not think this teaching of Islam to be true and rather are more likely to believe that if there is a set of scriptures that were written by men that it was the Qur'an, and that while they recognize there own scriptures were penned by men, that these men were inspired by God to write what they wrote.
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zoro
05-26-2007, 09:45 AM
A-Way-of-Life:

The message of the prophets was to worship one god. This is a question that has been on my mind for a while. Who invented these other religions? I want to get that question off my mind. Who made up Judaism and Christianity? Who changed the torah and the gospels that were revealed to Musa (AS) and Isa (AS)? Do people in their other religions know that their books they have today were written by people? I just want to get these questions off my mind!
Well, although your desire to “get these questions off my mind” is totally understandable (as Aristotle said: “People by nature desire to know”), yet you should take care in how you proceed. Some options are as follows.

1. You can accept someone else’s answers.

As an example, someone might respond to your question with: “The authors of the other books were agents of the devil; pay no attention to those books; the author of our book is God himself.” The problem with that type of answer, however, is that it might not be right. If the answer is given by someone “in authority” and with substantial “pomp and ceremony”, then you might accept the other’s answer for quite some time, even for the remainder of your life, but on the other hand, you may someday find yourself with two major questions: i) Was that answer right? and ii) Was I foolish to accept someone else’s answer?

2. You can try to answer the question yourself.

For the particular question you have raised, you will need to dig and dig and dig to try to find the answer. You should dig, first, to try to discover the origins of the ideas of spirits. Next, dig to try to find how some of the spirits became gods. Then dig to find the origin of the idea of “a most powerful god”; for example, check out the origins of Hinduism ~3,000 BCE and of the monotheism proclaimed by Pharaoh Akhenaton (or Amenhotep IV, 1364-1347 BCE). Continue to dig and you’ll discover the ideas of Zoroaster (or Zarathustra), who lived in Persia sometime between the 18th and 6th centuries BCE (Yes! It’s that uncertain!) and whose ideas about a most powerful good-god fighting a most powerful bad-god, plus his ideas of a host of angels (including Gabriel), and for the people, either a paradise or a hell after death (depending on whether they struggled for good or evil during their lives) are still apparent in the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). And then, continuing to dig (although the digging is now not so difficult), you can find the possibility that, when they were captives in Babylon and on behalf of the Persian emperor, Ezra and co-authors of the Old Testament mixed old Hebrew myths with Zoroaster’s ideas to foist off a new religion on the Israelites. Next you’ll find a new breed of clerics mixing together Judaism with various other religions of the Roman Empire to form Christianity. And you can find similar origins of Islam. As I sketch in my book at www.zenofzero.net, I’ve found that, in each case, the new religion was a mixture of a few new ideas with many old ideas (with enough distinction so that the people could distinguish new from old and be convinced that “the truth” was finally “revealed”), plus a new political structure in which the new breed of clerics could prosper – at the people’s expense.

3. You can learn to live with unanswered questions.

No matter what option you take, almost certainly you will end up in this state, anyway! That is, there are a huge number of questions for which no one yet has satisfying answers, e.g., if the universe was created from nothing in the Big Bang, then what is this “nothing”? But just as do the rest of us, eventually you’ll learn to live with unknowns, e.g., as Einstein said: “Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, [then] wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.” Further, though, Einstein also advised:

The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reasons for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when [one] contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.
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E'jaazi
05-26-2007, 10:20 AM
Originally Posted by Keltoi
I find it strange that you disregard the religions of Judaism and Christianity as a "man-made" faith, when Islam itself is an offshoot of these same religions. Just my opinion of course.
Islam is not an offshoot of Christianity. Christianity, as it is today, was founded by Paul, whose teachings contradict those of Jesus, whom, by the way, was not a Christian, and did not practice Christianity.
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Trumble
05-26-2007, 11:09 AM
Originally Posted by E'jaazi
Islam is not an offshoot of Christianity. Christianity, as it is today, was founded by Paul, whose teachings contradict those of Jesus, whom, by the way, was not a Christian, and did not practice Christianity.
As one of the most fundamental Christian doctrines revolves around Jesus' death it is meaningless to say he "was not a Christian, and did not practice Christianity"! The religion not only did not, but could not, exist until after his death.

Where do you believe Paul's teachings 'contradict' those of Jesus, and based on what?
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Joe98
05-26-2007, 01:21 PM
Originally Posted by A-Way-Of-Life
Do people in there other religions know that there books they have today were written by people?

The Gospel of Mark was writen by Mark ( or by his followers).

The Gospel of Luke was written by Luke ( or by his folowers)

When Paul wrote letters to the Ephesians they were written by Paul. If they were not written by Paul who do feel might have written them?
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Grace Seeker
05-26-2007, 03:33 PM
Originally Posted by E'jaazi
Islam is not an offshoot of Christianity. Christianity, as it is today, was founded by Paul, whose teachings contradict those of Jesus, whom, by the way, was not a Christian, and did not practice Christianity.
E'jaazi, Paul was an important missionary of the Christian faith, but he was NOT the founder fo Christianity. I don't think there is one teaching recorded in Paul's letters which is not also found somewhere else in the New Testament. It was Jesus' companions that conveyed to the early church the faith that has been passed on to us to this day. Paul just wrote more is all.
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zoro
05-26-2007, 07:44 PM
Grace Seeker: Would you please clarify your Post #11? I don't disagree with your claim, but I thought that the accepted interpretation was that Paul's writings came first (by several decades) -- and then the other authors copied Paul's ideas.
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Zulkiflim
05-26-2007, 08:11 PM
Salaam,

Allah sent a GUIDE to all races,so you cna be sure that every race in this world has received the message to worhsip the ONE GOD.

Look thru out various religion,there is always a SUPREME GOD or the most powerful,like Zues,Buddah,Jehovah,....and so on..

But in all cases as generation pass,these teaching are perverted by man due to greed ,it may be also that they wanted to worship something that they cna see feel and touch...as in the case of statues.they wanted a god that is like them,who would empathise with them,who feel who lust who is greedy..

so they in the end made god out of themselves.

Alhamdulilah for Islam,for it is the seal of religons.,,,the quran unchaged and cannot be chaged..
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Grace Seeker
05-26-2007, 11:46 PM
Originally Posted by zoro
Grace Seeker: Would you please clarify your Post #11? I don't disagree with your claim, but I thought that the accepted interpretation was that Paul's writings came first (by several decades) -- and then the other authors copied Paul's ideas.

Yes, it is most likely that the first of the New Testament documents was either Paul's letter to the Galatians or his first letter to Thessalonica. But that is not the same as making him the father or originator of Christianity. The ideas weren't initially Paul's. What Paul preached was a message that he received from Christ in this encounter on the road to Damascus and from the disciples.

While the book of Acts may have been composed some time after Paul's letters. It records events that took place before that. Among them the teaching of Peter within weeks of Jesus crucifixion and resurrection. Also the teaching of John and Stephen (who was not an apostle). As Jesus told them before he left them, these disciples would become his "witnesses". That is they would give testimony about him. And we see that testimony in the very first sermon of the church on Pentecost Sunday -- which just so happens this year to be this Sunday.
Acts 2
22"Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
When people ask Peter what they should do, he tells them:
Acts 2
38 "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call."

40With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." 41Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

Peter with John proclaim this in the temple courtyard:
Acts 3
13The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.
Because Peter and John had healed a cripple in Jesus' name, there arose a great commotion and they were brought before the very Sanhedrin that had tried Jesus.
Acts 4
8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people! 9If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11He is
" 'the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the capstone.[a]'[b] 12Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
These types of activities became so frequent, and thus the Jewish religious leaders that they gave them strict order not to teach in Jesus' name anymore.
Acts 5
29Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men! 30The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead—whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. 32We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."
This so infuriated the leaders of the Sanhedrin that they wanted to put the apostles to death for it, and actually did have them flogged and repeated the order to quit teaching, but....
The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ. (Acts 5:41-42)

Paul doesn't even enter the scene until some time later, and when he does it is as a persecutor of the church because of their teachings about Jesus, because those teachings are blasphemous to any good Jew. So, it is the companions of Jesus, not Paul, who first teach the very things that Islam claims are a corruption of Jesus' teachings. Paul has to be converted to that point of view.


So, one could hardly call Paul the founder of Christianity if he originally opposed its teachings and had to be converted to it. Then in time Paul and many others went out to proclaim first to Jews and then to Gentile proselytes to Judaism, and finally to complete pagans this very same message that Peter had proclaimed at Pentecost. Even Jesus declared that he would build his church upon Peter (not Paul), and Peter is indeed in the forefront of the actions of the Apostles in the first half of Acts. However, once Paul comes on the scene, Luke (the author of Acts) travels with Paul on his missionary journeys and so we read more of Paul's exploits than we do of the other disciples from that point on. Yet, we do meet Paul meeting with the other disciples in Acts 15, so we can see that Paul submitted to the discipline of the original disciples and did not go off teaching his own message without their approval.

So, though Paul's letters are the first publish works of the church that are still preserved today, they are not the source of original Christian. There was the disciples teachings, the oral traditions of the church, and even apparently some other written documents (such as the Didache, which simply means "Teachings") that were in existant even before Paul's first letters that shaped Christianity before Paul ever even became a Christian.

And it is for this reason that I asserted above in post #11 that "Johnny Come Lately" Paul could hardly be classified as the founder of Christianity.
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zoro
05-27-2007, 12:05 AM
Grace Seeker: Thank you for your post (#14); I see what you meant. But if you have the time, can you address the question: are there specific aspects of Christiantiy (e.g., the proposed reason for Jesus' death, dealing with original sin) that seem most appropriately to be attributed to Paul?
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Grace Seeker
05-27-2007, 01:02 AM
Originally Posted by zoro
Grace Seeker: Thank you for your post (#14); I see what you meant. But if you have the time, can you address the question: are there specific aspects of Christiantiy (e.g., the proposed reason for Jesus' death, dealing with original sin) that seem most appropriately to be attributed to Paul?

I'll be glad to. It will help me if you can be specific. But in general I will say this. Paul does expand the concept of the Jesus' death into a fully developed theology of atonement more than any of the other Biblical writers. This is Paul's major theme.

There are those who want to make Paul the author of the concept of the Trinity. But, that really is found more in the writings of John than of Paul.

The center of Pauline thought is the realization of the coming of a new age of redemption by the work of Christ. Example:
2 Corinthians 5
16So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
Paul's theology is the exposition of new redemptive facts -- no longer the keeping of the law, but faith in Christ. The common characteristic of all his theological ideas is their relationship to God's historical act of salvation in Christ -- i.e. the cross: " When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." (1 Corinthians 2:1-2) This message is not new to Paul, as noted above Peter preached it long before Paul did. What is new with Paul, is the eschatalogical implications he brings to it. For Paul, the meaning of Christ is the inaugurations of a new age of salvation. No longer do we look to the Law, not because the Law is bad, but because all it is capable of doing is pointing out how far we are from being holy as God is holy and desires those who serve him to be holy. The Law cannot do anything to change our basic nature, and so if one simply tries to keep the Law, unless one does so perfectly (and no one can) then one is still stuck in one's sins. But Paul takes the implications of the Gospel message proclaimed by Peter and the others and applies to the whole framework of how God relates to humanity:
Romans 8
1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,[a] 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in sinful man,[d] 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
Therefore, according to Paul, we not only find Christ being a source of forgiveness of sins, as Peter proclaimed, but of actual justification, making the believer right with God. This is not something that was possible before Christ's atoning death. So, in the death and resurrection of Christ, a new age has begun one in which people do not gain eternal life by their own meritorious actions or submission to God, but by Christ's merit and his submission to the will of the Father to reconcile the world to himself. (This understanding of Christ's work is actually a bigger difference between Islam and Christianity than our respective views of who Jesus was.) Being "in Christ" -- which is far more than just belief about Jesus -- makes this new age break into the life of the believer, so that he/she can experience this connection with God in Christ in the here and now, not just the here after. And so, for Paul, the crucifixion is not just a moment of redemption of the individual, but an eschatalogical salvation made (at least potentially) available to the entire world and all of human history both before and since.

An additional thought:
Paul's new understanding sets him in sharp contrast to his prior views as a Jew. As a Jew, Paul felt that revelation was embodied in its totality in the Law, the Torah. Nothing more in this age was to be expected from God beyond the Law. God was no longer active in self-revelation, in the prophetic word or in historical events. The good Jew today will tell you that Malachi was the last of God's prophets, some 400 years before the time of Jesus. Now they were awaiting the Messiah, but Jesus didn't present himself in the way the Messiah was expected, so Paul would have none of the proclamation that the Apostles were making that he was the Messiah. (Nor, unsurprisingly, will Jews today.) For Paul, the Law alone was the focus of revelation -- and again go to the thread on Questions for Jews answered by Jews to see how this is still true. But Paul's Damascus Road experience radically changed his views on all of this. His experience convinced him that God had acted again to reveal himself and his salvation to the world in an historical event. And now he understood it as not just for the nation as a whole, but for all individuals everywhere, of every nation. For Paul, his conversion meant a recovery of the sense of redemptive history (like that of God leading Moses leading the people from slavery in Egypt to a promised land or of Joseph being in place to receive his brothers and save them at the time of a famine or of Noah being God's agent to preserve a remnant) that Judaism had lost. His experience of Christ forced him back beyond the Mosiac Law to rediscover the promise given to Abraham (compare Romans 4 and Genesis 15) and to see its fulfillment in the recent events in the person and work of Jesus.



Is that sort of what you were looking for, Zoro?
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zoro
05-27-2007, 12:08 PM
Grace Seeker:

Is that sort of what you were looking for, Zoro?
Yes – and I sincerely thank you for spending so much of your time to help me. Your exposition comports with my limited understanding of Paul’s ideas, in particular, your summary statement:

…in general I will say this. Paul does expand the concept of the Jesus' death into a fully developed theology of atonement more than any of the other Biblical writers.
And though I’m reluctant to seek that you spend (waste?!) any more of your time helping me, let me try to take advantage of your statement:

It will help me if you can be specific.
Toward trying to be more specific, I would first set aside the concept of the Trinity: I, too, wouldn’t attribute it to Paul. Also, of course I agree with you that Paul promoted the idea of the spirit rather than the letter of the law (similar to Rabi Hillel) and the idea of the “universal” applicability of his views.

Toward being more specific, I would first ask not only for your reference (to Peter) for your statement

Therefore, according to Paul, we not only find Christ being a source of forgiveness of sins, as Peter proclaimed…
but also ask: How reliable do you think is the evidence to support the suggestion that this is Peter’s idea rather than Paul’s (in view of the suggestions, as you no doubt know, that the First Letter of Peter seems to have been a forgery written in about 130 CE and that the Second Letter of Peter seems to have been a forgery written after 170 CE)?

And now, to get even more specific, let me spend a few sentences describing my problem. In my (draft!) book (which now acknowledges, with thanks, your earlier help), multi-times I, too, have identified Paul as the true founder of Christianity (at least as it is now practiced, in the main). What I want to try to discern, then, is if someone such as you, who knows more about the matter than I, has sufficient evidence to justify saying that I’m wrong – and therefore that I should revise the text.

Here, in outline, is my position. For me, the teachings of Jesus (if he existed, i.e., if he was more than “just a model”) were much different from the teachings found (in the main) in Christianity. I find only “smatterings” of his teachings in the NT – but I do find many of them, here and there. From those “smatterings” plus much more clearly from the “Gnostic gospels” (found at Nag Hammadi – and I realize that some experts object to their being called “the Gnostic gospels”), especially the Gospel of Thomas, I find a very different theology than is found (in the main) in Christianity. Without taking appropriate time, here, to try to say it well, I’ll “wing it” with something similar to the following.

Jesus seemed to preach that “the light” (God) was already in each of us and only needed to be recognized by ourselves; that heaven, too, was here on earth and only needed to be recognized by each of us. I even see this in his otherwise strange “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” (in the sense that he felt that his “light” was leaving him – as he should have expected it would!). Further, I can imagine that, should he see what has happened to his ideas (with all the money, power, and trappings of all the competing Christian hierarchies) he would feel revulsion – and might again go about upsetting the tables of all the money changers! As far as I’ve been able to see, Jesus not only advocated separating Church and State (with his give unto Caesar…) and separating money from theology (upsetting the tables), but even separating clerics (in his case, the Pharisees) from the people!

I then searched for causes of the disconnect between what seemed to be the teachings of this Jesus and what’s taught (in the main) in Christianity – and found the prime cause to be Paul. Although there are many hints that Paul, too, was a Gnostic, and although there are many hints that Peter was the founder of hierarchies of Christian clerics (although, of course, Paul, too, was quite an organizer), yet it seems that the key ingredient for the start of “official Christianity” was Paul’s idea that Jesus had died to absolve people from their sins (especially their “original sin”). That idea gave the clerics “authority” to sell tickets to “salvation”, yielding both money and power for the clerics.

Without that idea – which as far as I can tell was never promoted by Jesus (although of course one can find attributions of that idea to him in the cleric’s NT) – then I expect that there would be no Christianity as we know it. I therefore conclude that Paul was the founder of Christianity (as we know it), whereas a religion based on “the teachings of Jesus” would be something very different. My impression is that a true “Jesusanity” would be an extremely private affair – not only to pray in the closet, but even (as in the Gospel of Thomas, 14) “if you pray, you will be condemned.”

How far off base can you justify claiming that I am?!
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Grace Seeker
05-27-2007, 02:13 PM
Originally Posted by zoro
Grace Seeker:



Yes – and I sincerely thank you for spending so much of your time to help me. Your exposition comports with my limited understanding of Paul’s ideas, in particular, your summary statement:



And though I’m reluctant to seek that you spend (waste?!) any more of your time helping me, let me try to take advantage of your statement:



Toward trying to be more specific, I would first set aside the concept of the Trinity: I, too, wouldn’t attribute it to Paul. Also, of course I agree with you that Paul promoted the idea of the spirit rather than the letter of the law (similar to Rabi Hillel) and the idea of the “universal” applicability of his views.

Toward being more specific, I would first ask not only for your reference (to Peter) for your statement



but also ask: How reliable do you think is the evidence to support the suggestion that this is Peter’s idea rather than Paul’s (in view of the suggestions, as you no doubt know, that the First Letter of Peter seems to have been a forgery written in about 130 CE and that the Second Letter of Peter seems to have been a forgery written after 170 CE)?

And now, to get even more specific, let me spend a few sentences describing my problem. In my (draft!) book (which now acknowledges, with thanks, your earlier help), multi-times I, too, have identified Paul as the true founder of Christianity (at least as it is now practiced, in the main). What I want to try to discern, then, is if someone such as you, who knows more about the matter than I, has sufficient evidence to justify saying that I’m wrong – and therefore that I should revise the text.

Here, in outline, is my position. For me, the teachings of Jesus (if he existed, i.e., if he was more than “just a model”) were much different from the teachings found (in the main) in Christianity. I find only “smatterings” of his teachings in the NT – but I do find many of them, here and there. From those “smatterings” plus much more clearly from the “Gnostic gospels” (found at Nag Hammadi – and I realize that some experts object to their being called “the Gnostic gospels”), especially the Gospel of Thomas, I find a very different theology than is found (in the main) in Christianity. Without taking appropriate time, here, to try to say it well, I’ll “wing it” with something similar to the following.

Jesus seemed to preach that “the light” (God) was already in each of us and only needed to be recognized by ourselves; that heaven, too, was here on earth and only needed to be recognized by each of us. I even see this in his otherwise strange “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” (in the sense that he felt that his “light” was leaving him – as he should have expected it would!). Further, I can imagine that, should he see what has happened to his ideas (with all the money, power, and trappings of all the competing Christian hierarchies) he would feel revulsion – and might again go about upsetting the tables of all the money changers! As far as I’ve been able to see, Jesus not only advocated separating Church and State (with his give unto Caesar…) and separating money from theology (upsetting the tables), but even separating clerics (in his case, the Pharisees) from the people!

I then searched for causes of the disconnect between what seemed to be the teachings of this Jesus and what’s taught (in the main) in Christianity – and found the prime cause to be Paul. Although there are many hints that Paul, too, was a Gnostic, and although there are many hints that Peter was the founder of hierarchies of Christian clerics (although, of course, Paul, too, was quite an organizer), yet it seems that the key ingredient for the start of “official Christianity” was Paul’s idea that Jesus had died to absolve people from their sins (especially their “original sin”). That idea gave the clerics “authority” to sell tickets to “salvation”, yielding both money and power for the clerics.

Without that idea – which as far as I can tell was never promoted by Jesus (although of course one can find attributions of that idea to him in the cleric’s NT) – then I expect that there would be no Christianity as we know it. I therefore conclude that Paul was the founder of Christianity (as we know it), whereas a religion based on “the teachings of Jesus” would be something very different. My impression is that a true “Jesusanity” would be an extremely private affair – not only to pray in the closet, but even (as in the Gospel of Thomas, 14) “if you pray, you will be condemned.”

How far off base can you justify claiming that I am?!


I can agree with your statement that there would be no Christianity as we now know it without Paul. And also, though for completely different reasons than you give, that the teachings of Jesus are not the kerygma of the early church. But even including those two points, I think you've completely missed what Christianity was, is, and was intended to be about. I don't have time to go into it now, but will put you in line behind Muslim Woman for the next chance I have at providing a more thorough response.
Reply

Rafeeq
05-30-2007, 07:21 PM
Originally Posted by A-Way-Of-Life
The message of the prophets were to worship on god. This is a question that has been on my mind for a while. Who invented these other religions. I want to get there questions of my mind. Who made up Judaism and Christianity. Who changed the torah and the gospels that were revealed to Musa (AS) and Isa (AS)?
Do people in there other religions know that there books they have today were written by people?
I just want to get these questions of my mind!
:sl:
Judaism and christanity are the invented names whereas the orignal name of those is ISLAM as QURAAN clearly says.
These are modified several times by people, these are not 100% changed but most of the part is changed and we are unawere where orignal content is available.
Poeple of their books are aware and accept those are man made books now.
Hope ur querry would be solved
maasalam
Reply

Grace Seeker
05-30-2007, 08:14 PM
Originally Posted by rafeeq
:sl:
Judaism and christanity are the invented names whereas the orignal name of those is ISLAM as QURAAN clearly says.
These are modified several times by people, these are not 100% changed but most of the part is changed and we are unawere where orignal content is available.
Poeple of their books are aware and accept those are man made books now.
Hope ur querry would be solved
maasalam

As one who is a follower of Christianity, can you please be more specific as to what you mean by the statement that "people of their books are aware and accept those are man made books now"?

If you mean that they were penned onto paper by human beings, then certainly we would accept that. But if you mean that they are a total invention and fabrication by men, then no we do not accept that view. Or perhaps you mean yet something else?
Reply

Talha777
06-01-2007, 04:30 PM
Originally Posted by GraceSeeker
I don't think there is one teaching recorded in Paul's letters which is not also found somewhere else in the New Testament.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, (Ephesians 2:13-15)

Of course, Jesus himself said: Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them (Matthew 5:17)

How could Paul have missed this important teaching of Jesus? Oh right, Paul never met or heard Jesus.
Reply

Grace Seeker
06-01-2007, 08:44 PM
Originally Posted by Talha777
Originally Posted by GraceSeeker
I don't think there is one teaching recorded in Paul's letters which is not also found somewhere else in the New Testament.

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, (Ephesians 2:13-15)

Of course, Jesus himself said: Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them (Matthew 5:17)

How could Paul have missed this important teaching of Jesus? Oh right, Paul never met or heard Jesus.
Hebrews 10:1-18 contains similar teaching to what you underscored, as does James 2:8-13.


Now, in saying that Jesus did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, it is not the same as saying that his sacrifice would not make surplant the Old Law. The Law still exists. The Law pointed out how God willed for us to live, in relation to him and in relation to each other. That is all still true. But Law doesn't have the value for us that some once perceived it to have. All the Law really accomplishes is to tell us just where we don't do a good job of living as God wills for us. It tells us where we fall short. Jesus in coming didn't change any of that. If you want to know where you fall short, look to the Law. But if you are already aware that you are a sinner and want to know how to get back to God, then the Law doesn't help you much. The way back to God is not through the Law, it is through Christ's offering. That is what Paul is talking about in Ephesians, and that is what Hebrews and James are talking about as well. Indeed it is this same message that lays behind Jesus' own teaching in John 7:25-58.
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Talha777
06-02-2007, 05:02 PM
Hebrews 10:1-18 contains similar teaching to what you underscored, as does James 2:8-13.

Now, in saying that Jesus did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, it is not the same as saying that his sacrifice would not make surplant the Old Law. The Law still exists. The Law pointed out how God willed for us to live, in relation to him and in relation to each other. That is all still true. But Law doesn't have the value for us that some once perceived it to have. All the Law really accomplishes is to tell us just where we don't do a good job of living as God wills for us. It tells us where we fall short. Jesus in coming didn't change any of that. If you want to know where you fall short, look to the Law. But if you are already aware that you are a sinner and want to know how to get back to God, then the Law doesn't help you much. The way back to God is not through the Law, it is through Christ's offering. That is what Paul is talking about in Ephesians, and that is what Hebrews and James are talking about as well. Indeed it is this same message that lays behind Jesus' own teaching in John 7:25-58.
What you are saying completely contradicts what Jesus himself said according to your bible:

I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. (matthew 5:18)

For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. (matthew 5:20)

Now read this passage from James's letter:

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? as not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,"and he was called God's friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. (james 2:14-26)

These verses from your bible clearly show that no one can be saved on faith alone (so much for the protestant reformation). in order to be saved, the new testament clearly says you have to obey the law intensely, be righteous not sin (which means not break a single law), to an extent that the Christian must be even more righteous than the pharisee with respect to obeying the law (matthew 5:20)

Paul, however, contradicted both James and Jesus on this fundamental principle of being saved by faith and deeds (Romans 3:28, galatians 2:16, etc.,)

Paul even went so far as to say that Jesus abolished even the rules and regulations of the law of moses!!! if this isn't a contradiction, than i don't know what is.
Reply

A-Way-Of-Life
06-02-2007, 05:45 PM
I think I understand, I found this article about the origins of the "trinity" http://outstead.googlepages.com/ptc.htm Did paul really beileve in what he was claiming or did he claim the trinity just to have followers?
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Talha777
06-02-2007, 05:50 PM
Continuing on this note, let's see what John had to say:

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known himDear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother. (1 john 3:4-10)

This is a radically different and fresh look at how some of the disciples, apostles, and authors of the new testament understood the concept of "redemption".

According to John, or the author of the First letter of John, sin is exclusively defined as breaking the law. Based on this, John writes that one who is saved is someone who does not sin. John writes that even if a person professes Jesus, and claims him as their saviour, etc., it does not matter. He writes: No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him So according to John, those who are truly saved by Jesus are the ones who don't sin, and are righteous. He writes that the way to identify the followers of Jesus is by judging their righteousness or lack of it. A righteous person is a true follower Jesus and is saved, whether he professes Jesus or not, according to John. Likewise, a follower of the devil is a sinner, whether he claims to be a Christian, believes in Jesus, etc., is irrelevant.

Furthermore, according to John, the reason Jesus appeared on Earth was to destroy the devil's work, by teaching against sin and teaching righteousness. In this light, Jesus is no different from any other of the Hebrew and Old Testament prophets who did the exact same thing!

in short, if you sin you have been expelled from the fold of christianity. Christianity, according to the new testament and in particular the author of 1 john is very similar to the kharijite heresy that appeared among Muslims

The epistle of James also identifies Paul as one of the false teachers:
http://www.jesuswordsonly.com/Free/ch13.pdf
Reply

Grace Seeker
06-02-2007, 07:24 PM
Originally Posted by Talha777
What you are saying completely contradicts what Jesus himself said according to your bible:

I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Lawuntil everything is accomplished. (matthew 5:18)

Until every what is accomplished? What thing do you think that Jesus might possibly have been speaking of being accomplished that might be significant enough to change the nature of heaven and earth?
Reply

Grace Seeker
06-02-2007, 07:27 PM
Originally Posted by A-Way-Of-Life
I think I understand, I found this article about the origins of the "trinity" http://outstead.googlepages.com/ptc.htm Did paul really beileve in what he was claiming or did he claim the trinity just to have followers?

Before you believe that Paul was the corrupter of Christianity and that he introduced paganism, take a moment to read the first half of Acts and compare the teaching of Peter and John there with what you have been told that Paul "invented". Peter and John talk much more about the concepts that influenced the formulation of the doctrine of the Trinity than Paul ever did.
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