The Virgin Birth: Fact, Fiction, or Truth?

The Virgin Birth: Fact, Fiction, or Truth? December 17, 2014

Giovanni dal Ponte [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This post is part of the “Modern Magi on the Mysteries of Christmas,” featuring myself, Scot McKnightKyle Roberts, and Billy Kangas, and is a response to Kyle Robert’s post about the Virgin Birth.  It is also written in a single draft and without much thought so – kind of jumbled.

In his post about the miracle of the Virgin Birth, Kyle Roberts expertly sums up the arguments offered by Moltmann and Barth both for and against believing that Mary, Mother of Jesus, conceived our Savior by the power of the Holy Spirit and not by “knowing her husband” in, quite literally, the “biblical sense”:

To sum up, for Moltmann, the infancy narrative is a legend with great theological meaning, whereas the virgin birth itself is a dispensable miracle account whose significance has nothing to do with biological mechanisms of reproduction. It offers, in itself, no key to the theology of Jesus, but is an interposition from later, post-resurrection, understandings of Jesus’ divine person. As he puts it, “The confession of faith in Jesus, the Son of God, the Lord, is independent of the virgin birth, and is not based on it.” For Moltmann, the infancy narrative tells us about the Spirit and Jesus in fellowship with the Father bringing salvation to the world. For Barth, on the other hand, the virgin birth is an indispensable miracle of God’s free grace, a miracle which ensures that the beginning of Christ’s story matches its ending–supernatural intervention, divine initiative, salvation. 

Barth did note, however, that the virgin birth is not an element of belief required for having faith. For Barth, God’s gift of grace in salvation is not contingent on ‘orthodox’ theological beliefs. 

Kyle goes on to ask: what about us?  What do we believe when it comes to the *Virgin Birth?

Great question. I happen to agree with Moltmann and Barth that affirming the medical accuracy of the Virgin Birth is not an element of belief required for having faith. I also understand why believing in the Virgin Birth can seem like believing in a fairy tale and not anything anyone would believe who actually uses human reason and listens to the requisite hours of NPR. Yeah, it’s kind of nuts.

Yes, belief in the Virgin Birth is not compulsory for having faith, but it is part of our confession of faith. “I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only son, our Lord who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.”

In these debates about what you as an individual HAVE to believe – what you have to intellectually assent to in order to be really  Christian, I wonder if we have lost what it means to just simply confess our faith as the church. We spend so much time apologizing for our faith, defending our faith, or proving our faith that we forget that this whole Christianity thing started by regular people just confessing their faith (dismissed by some as the idle tales of women), a faith that yes, seems preposterous to those who do not believe.

See, confession is a different order of discourse than proving. It allows us to place ourselves in the stream of the faithful, a stream that has flowed long since we stepped in it and will flow long after we have gone.  Confession of faith is what we do in the Sanctus during the Eucharist – when we join the chorus of praise that sings through eternity – when we join with angels and arch angels and all the broken saints and redeemed sinners around the throne of God who sing Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Power and Might. Heaven and Earth are full of your Glory, Hosannah in the Highest, Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord. 

In joining the church in a confession of faith – whether in the Sanctus or in the Creed – we say, this is our story. And to say something is our story is a powerful, life-shaping thing. But it is not YOUR story. It is not YOUR creed. It is the CHURCH’S story, the CHURCH’S creed and you and I are a small part of the church.

If you do not intellectually assent to the idea that Jesus’ mom was a virgin, it’s ok. I will believe it for you. Sometimes that’s what it means to be the church. We carry this faith on each other’s behalf. Some days you might have to believe it for me.

And I know it’s weird and naive and perhaps simple minded for an educated person to say this, but I confess: I believe in Jesus Christ our Lord who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.

Wait, Nadia, are you saying it is a FACT that Jesus was born of a virgin?

Is it a fact? That feels hard to know or prove. But is it TRUE? Yes, it is absolutely true. It’s true in the way that the physical resurrection of Jesus is true. So yeah, I don’t get my Christology from the Historical Jesus scholarship, but I do get my faith from the holy catholic and apostolic church of which I am a small, small part. And the preposterous physicality of that faith matters to me. It matters because I believe the Christian story unites things human and divine in surprising, can’t-scientifically-account-for-them kind of ways. So I’m raising my hand. I confess my faith in the virgin birth.

———————————————————————

*I get that  for centuries Mary has been adored for being “good”  – the docile picture of purity and virginity. As a matter of fact, some believe that unlike other women, Mary was born without sin. Which, of course, implies that God could never choose to make God’s home in the womb of an actual woman, since we know that actual women are sinful, fleshy, temptresses. So Mary had to have been a special one-off kind of woman who was really, really different than all the other women out there. And so it was her really, really differentness from actual women that earned her God’s favor. This feels like woman-hating nonsense (the theological bread and butter of so much Christian theology over the last 2,000 years).

(I have written a chapter in my upcoming book that details my devotion to Mary, which runs deep.)

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  • Joseph (the original)

    Nadia: as a cradle Roman Catholic that had a very dramatic spiritual epiphany at 20-years of age, my uneasiness about the doctrinal boundaries, or barriers, built up around Mary, the young maiden that I do believe was the mother of Jesus through a supernatural pregnancy by the Holy Spirit, prevented me from developing a devotion to her according to the traditional teachings I was indoctrinated with. The traditional understanding of original sin and its automatic pox upon all mankind simply because we are ‘human’ is not something I can trust as the most accurate understanding of the current human condition. It seems to me the attempt to sanitize her ‘humanity’ by constructing a doctrine of the Immaculate Conception and Mary’s Ever Virgin status actually removes her from the very humanity Jesus came to engage with. If Mary needed to be the only Holy Exception to become a suitable handmaiden of God by some divine exemption as to keep her unsullied from sin or sexual relations (heaven forbid!), then it makes her less of a person we can identify with, places her on a unattainable platform, and reduces the humanity factor of her Son, Jesus. I understand the traditional reasons for the doctrines of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption, however, I feel they are not only theologically unnecessary, but they minimize the humanity, and its universal condition, that Jesus unashamedly embraces as Immanuel. Mary doesn’t need to be sinless or a perpetual virgin, to ‘protect’ the divinity of her Son. His Father is the source of that unblemished nature and Mary could not have been the source of any biological, or spiritual, taint that would mar the nature of Immanuel. In fact, if Mary was sinless (what a funny consideration), then I would suspect that Jesus could not have fully identified with sinful humanity (my own armchair theological notion). Yes, Jesus did walk on water, but he didn’t walk/hover 3″ above the grime and grit of His homeland, nor did Mary His mother. Why would theologians make such an effort to remove both Mary and Jesus from the very humanity God wanted to redeem? Why the effort to remove, or protect, Mary and Jesus from the artificial ‘ick’ factor of our human nature?

    • Felicity Sibindi

      Joseph The Original =) Thank you for that, I feel exactly the same way. I am currently struggling with my faith. I dare say I’ve lost most of it save a tiny tiny wee little bit, and part of my struggle is exactly what you point out. The theological acrobatics that were performed and that one has to accept which I think are unnecessary, and push away the reality and humility of Mary and her Son Jesus. I work for the Catholic Church here in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe; the Catholic Church in Africa is still very rigid (o.k. we follow Vatican II and Benedicts Africae Munus (yawn) which in social terms really isn’t much of an improvement I guess), the woman-hating, the homophobia, the lack of analysis and real debate on issues of faith. It is quite frightening and intimidating for a doubting Thomas such as myself. Also the hunger to dig into this is enormous, but the clergy here take questions to be heresy. Hmmmm….. anyways, thank you for your post. It feels good to know there are others out there in the world.

      • Joseph (the original)

        Hello Felicity. Yes, there have been traditional and historical explanations, doctrines, theological extrapolations, etc. that result in what I understand as more of an insulation of what is normally understood as being ‘holy’: set apart for God for divine purposes. In the case of Mary, looking at her simple act of faith and obedience, has generated layers and layers of doctrinal suppositions much like the Medieval drapery of finest cloth that appears on paintings and statues of a European fashonista of those times. Gone were the simple robes of a Jewish maid and mother. Her ‘heavenly’ assumption and status as co-redemptrix seems to me to emphasize her ‘no earthly good’ status. God’s favor then translates into divine insulation from the rest of humanity, not something of a blessing to the rest of us. My older relatives that were pious Catholics did have a deep devotion to Mary, the litany of saints and the religious traditions they too were raised in. My exit from RCC teaching and worship practice was not a theological protest on my part. I do not have an anti-Catholic agenda or need to make some proclamations highlighting my disagreements with traditional doctrines of one sort or another. Mary is to be called blessed because she braved the social stigma and religious scrutiny of close friends and family that also knew of her obvious pregnancy and the stares it caused. But it is these very visceral human responses in her very human condition that such obedience and faith makes her approachable for many of us that do have a real reverence for her unique place in the redemption narrative. However, constructing convoluted theological minutia around her very humanity so as to expunge any perceived flaw, taint, corruption, etc. in order to keep her from soiling the Incarnation in any way is simply a misunderstanding of what the Incarnation was intended to be: God with us, not insulated from us in Mary’s womb or the Palestine countryside He eventually trudged through…

  • Love this – I too can walk THIS part of faith – that God CAN DO more than we ask or imagine, but sometimes I need my friends to carry me over other tricky geography quicksands of faith. Blessings on speaking out Nadia.

  • Mark Bruce

    One of the things I love about popular medieval ways of seeing Mary is that her “special” nature doesn’t spring from some kind of pre-existing difference between her and the rest of humanity, but rather springs from her very unique relationship, AS a very normal human woman, to the incarnate God: she gave birth to him; she, as his mother, had to watch him die horribly. If it’s of interest, I’ve written a little more about one such medieval song here: http://surfingedges.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/god-becomes-meat-the-medieval-incarnation/

    • bill wald

      Agree. The dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary is unnecessary to the doctrine of the virginal conception of Mary. She was a very normal human mother.

  • Human beings are not rational, but rationalizing animals. If they find it frightening to think and painful to change, this is in large part because thinking and changing represent major threats to the beliefs that make up their sense of self.

    Self-Deception I: Rationalization
    by Niel Burton, M.D. | Psychology Today
    psychologytoday.com/blog/hide-and-seek/201203/self-deception-i-rationalization

  • The science part of me wants to work on a sermon title “Jesus:Haploid or Diploid?”…the Faith part of me says that isn’t the point.

    • Guest

      Ken:
      Yes, the consideration of biological detail surrounding the Incarnation and how
      that impacted the chromosomal ploidy of The Christ can be a bit of a
      head-scratcher. I believe the gospel
      narrative that includes the angelic visitation to Mary and Gabriel’s
      pronouncement of the divinely sourced pregnancy and Offspring to be the only
      exception to an otherwise normal biological progression of fertilization and
      fetal development. I believe this only
      because Jesus’ humanity would be in doubt, so could He really have been
      haploid? Did his Paternal genetic
      complement only exist as a theological consideration? And along these lines of thought this
      Christmas season, did this very human Jesus ever suffer from common childhood sicknesses? Did He ever skin His knees or hit His thumb
      with a hammer? Did He ever make mathematical
      errors? Give the wrong answer in synagogue
      school? Get teased as a kid? Discover He really wasn’t all that good at
      sports? Did He really share our humanity
      in all its visceral expressions? Is it
      any wonder why the gospel accounts do not include such details about His
      earliest childhood development? I think
      there are deliberate ‘gaps’ of information about some of the more curious
      aspects of the Incarnation simply because each generation must grapple with the
      mysteries of our faith handed down to us.
      What does it mean to you and to me that Jesus truly, ‘dwelt among us’ as
      the creeds declare?

  • Jimmy Guy Tucker

    This the typical buffet style Christianity. Pick the corn over the carrots. So, Jesus rising from the Dead is less fantastical? Or the Virgin Mary and Jesus being assumed into Heaven are just not physically possible. Picking the truth you want to believe to suit your personal needs or intellectual reasoning is the work of the Deceiver. You lack of faith may be showing.

    • Faith means trust, not intellectual assent. It isn’t a race whereby those who believe the most hard-to-believe doctrines, win.

      • Jimmy Guy Tucker

        That is a complete mischaracterization of what I said or meant. But, by all means spin it to whatever makes you feel warm and fuzzy.

        • KentonS

          You know, Jimmy, you might want to get the “complete mischaracterization” beam out of your own eye before you pick the “complete mischaracterization” mote out of Dan’s eye.

          Just sayin’

          • Jimmy Guy Tucker

            Since you said “just sayin” you must be serious. I guess real discussion is forbidden here on this site. But, I guess I shouldn’t have expected much.

          • KentonS

            Oooh… I think that’s the blog-comment equivalent of “I’m leaving! And I’m taking my ball with me!”

            See ya’ ’round, Jimmy Guy.

          • Jimmy Guy Tucker

            I’m really very sorry. Your comments reflect more of your character than about my input.

          • KentonS

            I forgive you.

          • Jimmy Guy Tucker

            Typical passive aggressive response. I forgive you too x 2. Does that make me better than you now? Wow

          • KentonS

            So let me understand this: Dan has the complete mischaracterization mote in his eye, and I have the passive aggressive mote in mine.

            You’re a real riot, Jimmy Guy!

        • Andrew Dowling

          So taking your ideas to logically where they lead to is mischaracterizing?

    • Greg Gorham

      Jimmy,

      Who are you saying is picking and choosing?

  • juju47

    Bravo, Nadia! Beautifully and clearly said. Thank you.

  • jimoppenheimer

    It’s one of those things that could be either way, and Mary the Virgin is a literary device or a myth which is simply there to point to the distinctness of Jesus (as well as reflecting the disdain for the Incarnation having anything to do with real women).
    Scholars invented the virgin birth because they didn’t really get it that God can and does do whatever God chooses to do, and there really are no limits at all. God could take the offspring of an illegitimate one-night stand (see early Jewish traditions about Mary and some Roman) and use that one for Her purposes. You only need the virgin birth if you place limits on what God can do.
    On the other hand, folks in virtually all times and places keep reporting that they have encountered the Blessed Virgin Mary. And tons of miraculous events have been ascribed to her. I stood in a room filled with dolls, each a testimony to a miracle: generally a child in a sailor suit with a sash proclaiming “Die Vierzehnheiligen haben geholfen” (“The fourteen saints have helped”).
    Bernadette said The Lady was very beautiful. To the end of her life she never backed down.

    • Karen Pidcock

      Does “Mary’s beauty” depend on her literal virginhood?

    • Palamas

      This is utterly illogical. If it is true that “God can and does do whatever God chooses to do,” by what stretch of the imagination can you say that he couldn’t have brought about the Incarnation in a virgin? As to “scholars” having “invented” the virgin birth (virginal conception, actually, but whatever), you do know that the Gospels weren’t written by “scholars,” right? Oh, one other thing: that story about Mary and the Roman was a fabrication designed to defame the “so-called Messiah.” Tossing that around as if it has as much validity as the Gospels is bizarre in anyone this side of the village atheist.

    • Andrew Dowling

      I honestly don’t understand what you’re trying to say . . .

  • Wes

    I love this reflection, I really do. It speaks volumes in this short-answer sort of way. However, this answer requires a certain understanding of the role of the church in the Christian’s life (or more properly, the role of the Christian in the church’s life). I fear that we have so Americanized and individualized our faith that the idea of a Christian community — a real Christian community where each Christian submits to the other, believes for the other, forgives the other, etc. — will sound foreign to many (most?) American Christians.

  • One of the things that struck me most, thinking for myself why the virgin birth matters…. is that the virgin birth is a narrative that asks us to believe Mary when she said she hadn’t slept with another man. It’s a pivotal moment of religious history which could only be vouched for by a single woman. The world had to believe that Mary, as a woman, was to be trusted when she made a claim about what had or had not happened to her. And when you think about, that’s asking a lot, even in our modern society. So, in that way, I think it’s really marvelous.

    And as regards the worship of Mary, I always kind of gave it a good old protestant dismissal, but lately in my grad studies I have been looking in depth at European prayer books from circa 1500. One in particular really struck me because it’s this humble little manuscript owned by some Danish nun, whose name we do not know. Over a third of the prayers are to Mary, and almost every prayer to the saints is to a female saint. I can’t imagine 1500 Denmark would have been the nordic gender equality powerhouse that it is now, and so, in the face of a God portrayed as completely masculine, having a woman to worship would be an enormous comfort. And although we know that, of course, she wasn’t sinless, I can imagine a woman in the late medieval ages being comforted by the thought that everyone held up Mary in awe and admiration, even men. It has always been my opinion that most women knew they were equal, at least in some capacity, but had to live life keeping that truth quiet and being talked down to by men their whole lives. To know that at least one woman was given respect and honor would have been a truly comforting and hopeful idea. Many prayers in the above mentioned manuscript talk about getting to heaven and achieving parallels with Mary. Perhaps women praying 500 years ago saw in Mary and all her mystery a hope that in heaven things would be different.

    • Karen Pidcock

      I submit that while you may have enjoyed your research into Mariology, the virgin birth narrative is not a “pivotal moment of religious history”, unless you mean the creeds!

  • davend

    I think that what seems like a centuries-long obsession with Mary’s sexuality and the state of her uterus and hymen before and after Jesus’ birth is more than a little sick. This obsession also promotes idea of “purity” as something defined strictly in terms of who had sex with whom when and how.

    it’s really none of our business. Leave it alone.

    • Salt

      Then why do you wish to bring it up if you want to “leave it alone?”

  • Tim

    Very good! Thank you Nadia!!

  • I appreciate your wrestling with this and especially the part where you point out our corporate identity as Church means that we can confess these truths for each other. At the same time, I’m struggling with the part of this article that feels like an anti-logical leap. To be more plain, why should someone who is not a member of a Church now believe that this confession is literally true? Are we going to say that the Virgin Birth is just a nice thought or something that actually happened? Sometimes I feel like we make this leap as Christians into the realm of the spirit that then fails to intersect the real flesh-and-blood world. Would be really curious as to your thoughts and thanks for a thoughtful engagement with a tough creedal belief.

    • Salt

      Rebecca, there is so much more to tackle than simply the virgin birth for historical fact. So many other theological doctrines rely on this fact and historical reality. The whole teaching of the Incarnation is one. The virgin birth of Jesus and His Incarnation as the Son of God are seen as one. Jesus had a heavenly Father and was begotten of the Holy Spirit. This then surfaces another essential teaching of the Christian faith – the Trinity.

      To dismiss the reality of the virgin birth is to leave the other teachings in shambles. All of them are integrated To question one questions all of them. The intersection of historical reality of God entering that reality made all the difference for faith. The Son was from all eternity with the Father and Spirit as one God. God is the Creator, making the entire Trinity as participant in creation. The gospels and Paul’s letters affirm this and are consistent about the Triune God in creation. God is also of a different order than creation as the Creator. He took the initiative to to take on the form of man in Jesus and entered into His own creation to bring redemption to a rebellious humanity who rejected Him.

      The gospel writers substantiated these historical facts and presented them as “Glad Tidings” for humanity so that people will know from revelation that God indeed did take the initiative to make all things right, and that He will bring all things to their conclusion in His timing. All the Scriptures testify of this grand truth.

      • I think either I was unclear in my comment perhaps. I do believe in a literal Virgin Birth. I was attempting to respond to the positive in Nadia’s piece (we can confess this for each other when it is difficult to confess it for ourselves because of the doubts and struggles that creep into the human mind) while questioning the part that didn’t sit well with me: Nadia’s weaving in and out of literal/not-literal Virgin Birth. I agree with you on all of the ramifications of the Virgin Birth.

        • Salt

          Rebecca, allow me to respond to what I think you are saying. Confession is believing, because we confess what we believe so that they become united in one event. Paul wrote, “If we confess with our mouths the Lord Jesus and believe in ours hearts that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9-10).

          In this sense, we cannot confess and believe for another. One must do that for oneself since true biblical confession involves personal faith.

          I hope I am on point in this reply.

          • I’m curious if you come from a denomination that says the Creed regularly in Church. Of course we must individually put our faith in Christ, but what do we do in the moments when we struggle to keep believing? We rely on the Church Universal and we trust that we are part of something that is bigger than our own individual expression of faith. Then a little later when we are strong again, we can hold up our brothers and sisters as well. While individual faith is important, so is corporate faith. Corporately, together, we as the Church say, “I believe.” If we don’t support each other through moments of doubts, what is the remedy when we experience those things? Do we slide in and out of salvation with the rising and falling of our emotions? Of course not. Jesus says in John 10 that no one can snatch His sheep out of His hand. One way that Jesus continues to hold onto us is through our corporate faith.

          • Salt

            Rebecca, I do not attend a church that recites the creeds. I know a large number of them and have studied them all the way from the Apostles Creed to the Nicene and the ones from and after the Reformation.

            You ask a very good question about struggles in faith. Indeed, we depend on others within the faith – listen to our pastor, etc. Being part of a small group is strengthening. However, the strength of our faith is the Word of God: “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:!4). The Holy Spirit also keeps us and helps us in our doubts and struggles.

            I believe in the church universal but also a personal faith.

            Thanks for asking.

      • lorasinger

        Pope Joseph Ratzinger made this confession as to
        the origin of the chief Trinity text of Matthew 28:19. “The basic form of our (Matthew 28:19 Trinitarian) profession of faith took shape during the course of the second and third centuries in connection with the ceremony of baptism. So far as its place of origin is concerned, the text (Matthew 28:19) came from the city of Rome.” The Trinity baptism and text of Matthew 28:19 therefore
        did not originate from the original Church that started in Jerusalem around AD 33.

        • Bingo

          Horse hockey.

          • lorasinger

            Why would the pope lie?

          • Bingo

            He passes on lies he has been fed, and that he believes. He can’t help it. He is enmeshed in a religion, but not Christianity.

          • lorasinger

            It’s the same for everyone – all passing on lies we have been fed and believe.

          • Bingo

            No, it is not the same for everyone. Many people are free from the pull of sin in their lives and live a righteous life. We are telling you how, as we need to. Knowing God is wonderful! You appear to be quite full of negativity—even hatred and mockery for things that you do not understand.

          • lorasinger

            Nah, just playin’. Lots of non-Christians are doing the same thing with the help of other religions too, Bingo. Yours isn’t the only show in town.

          • Bingo

            You are NOT playing, and if you really think you are, it’s a deadly game.

            A relationship with Jesus Christ is the only thing in life anyone needs.

          • lorasinger

            I’ve been looking up your Pentecost and I almost hate to say it, seeing as how it upsets you, but that’s Catholic too. Check out origins of Pentecost and you’ll see.

          • Bingo

            LOL! I gather you never looked it up in the bible. There is NOTHING catholic about it.

          • lorasinger

            There’s nothing Jewish about thousands turning to a man god either.

          • Bingo

            Jews come to Jesus as their Lord and Saviour every day. It’s called salvation.

          • lorasinger

            Nope. It just means that they are no longer Jewish.

          • Bingo

            That’s a big fat lie. Jews who become Christians are still Jews.

          • lorasinger

            Nope. They are Christians of Jewish extraction, most likely shunned by their family and friends.

          • Bingo

            Many Jews who become Christians (saved by grace through their faith in Jesus Christ) are busy bringing their families to faith in Jesus. There’s nothing better than a Jew who has found Christ, for he knows how the Old Testament speaks of Jesus Christ from the very beginning. These kinds of believers are precious, and are Jews who have been completed by receiving their Messiah.

          • lorasinger

            No longer Jews, they’re just plain Christian converts of Jewish extraction. I guess that’s why they’re burning bibles in Israel.

          • Well, that certainly contradicts “there are none who are righteous, no, not one” and “there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.”

          • Bingo

            There is nothing contradictory there if you truly understand scripture. We who are saved are the righteousness of God in Christ. Bible says so. None of us are righteous on our own.

          • Sounds like you’ve spent so much time reading Romans 1 that you’ve neglected to read Romans 2.

          • Bingo

            I think you have forgotten the whole New Testament.

          • Yes, because if there was any message Jesus taught, it was that his followers were vastly superior to all men. That’s why he spent so much time praising them, and ignoring the sinners beneath him. Certainly not once were words ever spent to imply that what separated followers of God from others was less substantial than the followers might prefer.

            Hubris. The cost of being greatest is that you will find yourself least.

          • Bingo

            What balderdash.

  • Raymond Watchman

    The two nativity dialogues in the synoptic gospels are clearly contradictory fabrications. To argue that they are historically factual is to miss the point entirely. To me, the importance of the nativity stories is that they are an integral part of Our Story; a part of who we are. They are deeply woven into the cultural fabric which clothes us as a people. I will celebrate the nativity accounts this Christmas, not because I believe them to be factual – I don’t – but because they are Our Story; because of what they tell us, not about Jesus, but about myself and ourselves; of what it means to be human. For me, a celebration of the Christmas story is a celebration of Our Story – a celebration of our common humanity; our need to love and to be loved; to find our creative meaning in being profoundly connected to one another, to our environment, and to the eternal mystery of Being which some choose to call God. Given this realization, any “fact or fiction” approach to the nativity stories pales into irrelevance.

    • Salt

      Raymond, you show you have not read the synoptics well. Each gospel writer presents their eye witness for their specific audiences, which was some 40-50 years after the events. You clearly do not have that fact in view. To argue that they are NOT historical reality is for you to miss the point entirely. That is, they wrote as eye witnesses and their intent was to present an accurate historical account of what they witnessed. See the beginning of Luke.

      It does not matter what it means to you. That totally dismisses the author’s intent and purpose and not only dismisses that they presented their narratives as historical fact and truthful, but it makes them out to be liars and creators of fiction. That is beyond the pale and dismissive.

      • Andrew Dowling

        Luke doesn’t even claim to be an eyewitness, and both rely on copying an earlier Gospel (Mark) for much of their narratives. A Gospel of Mark which clearly doesn’t understand Palestinian geography. So no, we are not talking about eyewitness accounts.

        • Salt

          Andrew, yes we are. John and Matthew were eyewitnesses of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection as were numerous others. Mark and Luke both knew and associated with Jesus’ family and disciples. They told the truth about what they saw. Luke was very adamant in representing the truth. Yes Mark was the earliest of the four written. However, he was not the only source for Luke, because Luke has far more history and narrative than Mark. He knew the families and disciples. He was eyewitnesses of their lives.

          You can quibble all you want over “eyewitness.” However, that simply becomes a distraction from the original issue, that of fact, truth, and historical reality. Do the Confessions agree with the historical reality of Jesus Christ? Yes. Do we have accurate records of His life, death, and resurrection? Yes. Have they been corroborated? Yes. Hundreds of times over. Are they the substance for Christian faith? Yes.

          Ridicule, logical fallacies, and misrepresentations of the facts do not discount or dismiss the historical reality of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection. I suggest those here read Drs. Groothius, William L Craig, Gary Habermas, Scot Mcknight, and Mark Mittelberg on these events. Once you read them, make notes and then come back with your questions of substance and not ridicule. Ignorance does not substitute for scholarship and ridicule.

          Besides, I am not interested in quibbling over individual quotations or he said, she said. There are more substantial issues related to truth and faith. If you and the others wish to continue down that road, then do not address me with such trivialities and trifles. But if you wish to engage in more substantial matters, then do your homework first and then cite sources to back up what you claim.

          • Andrew Dowling

            Sorry buddy, you are debating with the wrong person. I have forgotten more about early Christian history than you have ever learned. What evidence we do have points to the Gospel writers not being eyewitnesses and writing many decades after Jesus’ s death. Mark is the first Gospel and was clearly written after the start of the Jewish-Roman war. He was also clearly not a Palestinian Jew nor writing for a Judaen audience

            Knew Mary? No early church tradition even posits that . It was that Luke was a companion of Paul and Mark knew Peter. And those are first mentioned in the 2nd and 3rd centuris and are not reliable. The Gospels dont emit any signs of being eyewitness accounts; rather they are amalgamations of oral history and the writers own theological concerns.

            Ridiculous theories about Luke knowing Mary don’t arise until centuries later when apologists tried to reconcile the differences between the genealogies in Luke and Matthew. I don’t even know where you got any claim of Mark knowing Jesus’ s family . .that’s a new one.

          • Salt

            Andrew, you have no idea what I know. So you are being very presumptuous and pompous in downplaying what I know and what you knew and forgot. Such pomposity is not an argument on the merits.

            Andrew>>”What evidence we do have points to the Gospel writers not being eyewitnesses and writing many decades after Jesus’ s death.”

            Are you sure you meant what you wrote? Who was arguing that they were not eyewitnesses? I wasn’t.

            You are relying on long refuted assumptions about Mark. Furthermore, you and the others who refute the historical record totally ignore other biblical sources than the gospels. No one surfaces Peter, James, and Paul. You and the others ignore the scholarship about them and what they also wrote.

            Peter clearly stated, “We were eyewitnesses of his Majesty” (2 Peter 1:16). That “we” refers to Jesus’ disciples and others who knew Him and the 500 to whom Jesus appeared after His resurrection. I suppose you forgot that also. James also affirms the events surrounding Jesus in his letter.

            Paul became a Christian after Jesus appeared to him just a few years after Christ’s resurrection. Very shortly after that, he visited the Apostles in Jerusalem, and they confirmed his message (Galatians 2:1). That was only three years after Christ. Can you clearly remember significant events that happened three years ago? Below is a citation from Dr. Gary R. Hebermas:

            “Further, the majority of critical scholars who answer the question (of what Paul & the Apostles discussed in Jerusalem) think that Paul received the early tradition recorded in 1 Corinthians 15: 3-7 during this visit to Jerusalem, and that he received it from Peter and James…Based on the usual date for Paul’s conversion of between one and three years after Jesus’ crucifixion, Paul’s reception of this material in Jerusalem would be dated three years later, or from approximately A.D. 34 to 36. On many occasions, I have documented this critical scholarly conclusion as to when and from whom Paul received this material” (Habermas in Craig, William Lane “God Is Great, God Is Good: Why Believing in God Is Reasonable and Responsible (p. 207). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.).

            Later Habermas writes, “Once again , Paul’s topic is clearly that of the gospel . In one of the most incredible comments in the New Testament, Paul attested that he specifically journeyed to Jerusalem to visit the leading apostles in order to set before them the gospel message that he had been preaching “for fear that I was running or had run my race in vain” (Gal 2: 1-2)” (ibid,209)

            And again he writes, “It is to this group (Apostles in Jerusalem) that Paul presented his gospel message, for their inspection. The verdict was that the other three apostolic leaders “added nothing to my message” (Gal 2: 6). Further, they extended fellowship to Paul and Barnabas, recognizing their mission to the Gentiles (Gal 2: 9)… Paul could not have hoped for a better verdict! We assume that he, Peter and James were all on the same page during Paul’s first visit to Jerusalem” (Ibid).

            And again, “Paul made it clear that early gospel preaching was concerned with the person of Christ, his death, burial, resurrection and appearances (1 Cor 15: 3-4). Paul is clear about this in other places as well, where he also quotes other very early creedal traditions (such as Rom 1: 3-4; 10: 9)” (Ibid, 210).

            While we have the gospels to confirm the historical reality of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection, we also have material much closer to the actual date these occurred with Jesus. Paul, Peter, and Jame CONFIRM the gospel records.

            Habermas then adds, “For ancient texts, perhaps never do we see this sort of cross-checking by the major authorities, all at such an early date. Howard Clark Kee amazingly asserts that this material is so strong that “it can be critically examined and compared with other testimony from eyewitnesses of Jesus, just as one would evaluate evidence in a modern court or academic setting” (Ibid).

            Consequently, actually testimony of the resurrection go back to within months after Jesus rose from the dead. You can reject it if you wish, but the evidence is overwhelming concerning the accounts of Jesus.

          • Andrew Dowling

            Floyd . .im.not sure if you are copying and pasting or what but your post is rambling and makes no coherent sense. Your paragraphs about Paul are completely off-topic (although ironically, Paul never speaks of a virgin birth)
            The fact that you say the letter of James “confirms events” . .that epistle makes zero mention of any events surrounding Jesus. . Also I I Peter is widely recognized as being a forgery. Your incoherency matches your knowledge about NT scholarship.

          • Bingo

            There is no forgery.

          • Andrew Dowling

            Well wow, you’ve really convinced me.

            If you able to honestly grapple with the evidence, try reading why the wide majority of people who study the Bible for a living do not think the Apostle Peter wrote I I Peter.

          • Bingo

            Vanity, thy name is Andrew Dowling. God is the true author, so I don’t worry about such things.

            Skeptics only want to justify their doubt.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            Just to be clear… The gospels are eyewitness statements – because the gospels say so? That’s it?

            So if a lost peice of the gospel surfaced in an excavation, claiming that Jesus was actually the adopted child of two gay men who hired Mary as a surrogate, as long as the author says, “I know because I was there”, we can be sure it’s true, and you would be faith-bound to accept it because God wouldn’t allow the gospel to be anything but objectively factual.

            As an aside, I don’t understand why so many conservative Christians were against Harry Potter when it’s a historical fact that there were 3 wizards at Christ’s baby shower!

          • Bingo

            Well, maybe you’d believe it, but not anyone who knows Jesus would…because the Truth is more than words on paper or papyrus. The truth of the word of God is alive and powerful and able to change minds and hearts and lives—body and mind.

            To your aside: the magi were not at the manger. they paid a visit to Mary, Joseph and Jesus when He was about 2 years old, and they were scientists—astronomers of the day. Stop making things up. The Harry Potter theme is tripe and is leading a whole generation of children into witchcraft or to the acceptance of it. It is not benign in any way.

          • Andrew Dowling

            “The Harry Potter theme is tripe and is leading a whole generation of children into witchcraft or to the acceptance of it.”

            I’m tempted to up your post simply for this nugget above!

          • lizzysimplymagic

            I was a witch before all the kids thought it was cool 😉

          • Bingo

            Christian kids wouldn’t think it was cool.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            Then you needn’t worry about J.K. Rowling’s devil-books. Only non-believing children will like mediocre fantasy novels, right?

            Seriously, I’m not actually much of a Potter fan. Give me Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, or His Dark Materials any day.

          • Bingo

            Rowling’s books are a menace to even Christian children and their families whose parents are not vigilant for them.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            But… You just said they will, by virtue of being Christian, find it uncool. So… Christian kids think it’s lame but become witches any ways because of the magic of reading?

          • Bingo

            Immature, rebellious and ignorant Christians, and those who claim to be Christian in name only are the kind that allow their children to feast on such evil tripe as Potter nonsense. Truly born again individuals who are Spirit led will not be tempted by the genre, and if they are, they would know what to do about the temptation.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            So again, nothing to worry about. HP will only draw out the fakers. Doing you a favor, really.

          • Bingo

            Balderdash. HP creates delusional people, and many who will become deeply entrenched in the Satanic.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            I didn’t know HP had the power to “create” people at all! This is even bigger than Princess Elsa creating living snowmen!

            Those who are called to be witches can do way better than Harry Potter. Witches find their crooked path between the lines drawn by those who would try to make them small and afraid, even of children’s books. Books don’t create witches, and witches aren’t why Satan troubles you so. Satan has enough employees already and most witches I know don’t require his aid. But if you want to submit your power to him, that is your prerogative. I don’t fear him, my soul already belongs to the Most High.

            I love the word “balderdash”, by the way!

          • Bingo

            Create as in influence. HP is a tool that Satan uses to influence minds away from God to silly fables and powers of witchcraft.

            No one is called to be a witch—except maybe by Satan. Any witches you know are already under his power. They need God’s aid, for Satan is always poised to kill and destroy such people. It never ends well for them.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            If you want to submit your power to Satan, that is your choice. You don’t have the power to give anyone else to him, including me. You can keep trying if it makes you happy, but you’re the one upset about delusional people claiming silly powers.

          • Bingo

            Your take on this is strange. Delusional people need to hear the truth of the word of God. Satan has their minds bound by his twisted values. they may seem silly to you or me, but they serve as insulation from the truth, and people will go to hell without receiving the truth about Jesus Christ and His freedom from such unproductive thinking, and dead end lifestyles.

          • lorasinger

            I think those are Satanists, aren’t they? Witches are the ones who make herbal medicine.

          • Bingo

            Anyone who is involved in witchcraft or Wicca, or anything to do with the occult is a Satanist by default.

          • lorasinger

            Nope. Witchcraft/Wicca is a nature religion like Druidism. Worshippers of Satan are Satanists but then they had better behave too because they can’t operate on their own without God and Christianity. They wouldn’t have anything to be opposite to. Ever think about it that way?

          • Bingo

            Yep, a satanic religion, that denies Jesus Christ as Lord.

          • lorasinger

            How do they impact personally on your life? I don’t know any and haven’t experienced any. Why carry on about it? To make yourself look good?

          • Bingo

            I am not carrying on about it. These cults are simply overt evidences of Satan at work in the world.

          • lorasinger

            Yeah, well… it happens. Nothing anyone can do about it.

          • Bingo

            Lots can be done about these people. They need Jesus.

          • lorasinger

            I doubt it. If they feel the need, I’m sure they’ll look for it.

          • Bingo

            These people can come to Jesus and be made free of their demonic attachments. Jesus is always available to deliver them.

          • lorasinger

            I hear medications work just as well in the modern age – you know, like 2014?

          • Bingo

            Medications only mask. Holy Spirit kicks them out.

          • lorasinger

            Oh yeah! Along with the medicine man’s rattle.

          • Bingo

            No such thing. Jesus is our Healer who heals all our diseases.

          • lorasinger

            That must be why our hospitals are full and everyone needs health care insurance, hmmm?

          • Matthew46

            Bingo, you should feel right at home with the rest of the delusional people.

          • Bingo

            The only delusionals I deal with are you and many others here. Most everyone I seriously associate with are right thinking believers…like myself, praise God.

          • Matthew46

            Bingo, my dear….You have a serious condition and it’s mental malignancy. Unfortunately, even surgery isn’t going to help.

          • Bingo

            There’s nothing malignant in me, feller. Jesus Christ lives His life in and through me. Your father appears to be His enemy…it shows in all its ugly ignominy, bigtime.

          • Matthew46

            I’ve seen happy little kids turned into “Christian kids” and a tighter assed little bunch of very dull snobs you will never find. What a waste! In time, these kids will smarten up and leave the nonsense behind and you’ll be wondering why.

          • Bingo

            Well, your experience with Christians is obviously very limited. know countless, vibrant children and adults now who were once those same kind of children, all who profess Christ today and are some of the most wonderfully exciting people you;d ever want to know.

            Your circles must have been among religious people, and not necessarily Spirit-filled people who really walked with Jesus. when Jesus touches a life, the life lights up, and when His Spirit comes in like a flood, that life catches fire—the kind that people gravitate to, to warm their hands.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            Sorry, I was being rather mocking. But your response is rather telling… “The truth of the word of God”. Let’s agree that the Bible contains the pure, perfect, infallible and complete word of God, utterly free of human errors. Do you consider your -interpretation- of His word infallible as well? Because if you DO then you must be a divinity of some kind yourself. Or something.

          • Bingo

            What God has opened my heart to is His truth, and nothing can dissuade me from it. I have had an immature understanding of things when I first became a Christian, but over time, as my relationship with Jesus grew in intimacy and strength, I developed my understanding of spiritual things into maturity in Christ. That is the nature of a life lived according to God’s ways. We are supposed to grow. We cannot grow past the point at which we are disobedient or rebellious.

            1 Corinthians 13:11-12
            When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            Ok, so let’s work this out:

            If what you know right at this moment is, at best, “partial and incomplete” and in fact a little “disobedient and rebellious”, then you simply CAN’T tell someone that your interpretation of scripture is the -correct- one. The Bible has been endlessly and hotly debated by geniuses and fools alike, all of them limited by their very nature as flawed humans. None of them can really say with certainty which interpretation is absolutely true. Neither can I. Neither can you.

            At best, we can guess and form opinions. It is your opinion that the Scriptures are the perfect record of eyewitness accounts of real historical events. Lots and lots of people just as earnest as you have different opinions, and even if you think they might be wrong, you don’t know. You only have an opinion, not the absolute truth. Only God Herself knows what is true. So you may want to try to consider that before you claim you know as much as God, speaking for Her, when the most you can claim is a personal opinion.

          • Bingo

            As for disobedient and/or rebellious, that doesn’t fit me. Over many years of walking with the Lord and studying His word, I have come to understand much about Him. the bible can be well apprehended by those who walk in the Spirit and allow Him to lead and teach and guide, so when I post here, I am posting about what I know, or else I will either say “I think that…” or I will not post at all.

            The interpretation that is excellent and trustworthy is the one that Holy Spirit gives you. It’s God’s opinion that matters to me.

            God is a He—and that’s because He is Father…so you’ve given yourself away already as someone who has no clue about God and is ONLY speaking out of opinion yourself. I will pray that God will reveal Himself to you RADICALLY.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            You said, “we cannot grow past the point at which we are disobedient or rebellious”. I guess God specially chose you to be the exception? What else are you exempt from in the human condition? Sin? Error? That’s pretty impressive. You are posting what you know. Fine. You know your own opinion. Are you claiming to perfectly know God’s will? Because if you are I think you have entered dangerous, even blasphemous, territory. You do not speak for God. To claim otherwise, to claim that you alone know God’s will and speak for Him on earth, that’s pretty egotistical. Last I checked, that was someone else’s job, and He did it already.

            “The interpretation that is excellent and trustworthy is the one that Holy Spirit gives you.” On that we agree. So I will trust what the Spirit tells me, rather than you. You are welcome to share your -opinion- however, just stop trying to pretend YOU are the Holy Spirit.

            God is a He, because He is Father? So I guess you’ve decided to redact those passages in the Scripture that speak of God as Mother? Only someone more powerful than God can tell Her what She CAN’T be. Are you more powerful than God, to place limits on His power? If you can only worship God if She is a man, you might wonder – who are you worshipping, God or man?

          • Bingo

            I have learned what God’s will is concerning many things in my life—as well as in general. That’s because I know Him and His word. all born again believers have the “job” of speaking for God. He says we have the mind of Christ. It is our responsibility to get to know Him well—and have an intimate relationship with Him as our Abba—“Daddy”. Jesus has given all of His disciples His authority in the world. We are to be doing the works of Christ.

            If you think Holy Spirit is teaching you something that is contrary to scripture, then you are not hearing Him, but another spirit, the enemy of God. BY your coments here, I can see the latter to be most likely.

            God is our Abba, which means “Daddy”. Nothing there about “Mommy”. Your notions are absurd. god is not a man, but He present Himself as Father, and we need to accept that or risk being further deluded. If you have a problem with that, your delusion is already in place.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            Read your Bible again. Psalm 123:2-3, Isaiah 66:13, Deuteronomy 32:11-12, Job 38:29… That’s where I recommend you start. Jesus referred to himself as a mother hen in both Matthew and Luke.

            But… I forgot. You don’t need the Bible anymore, you are already perfect. You know God’s will, you possess Christ’s mind, and you speak for them both. You cannot err, and only you know what God wants for me and the rest of humankind. All I need to do is believe you and follow your teachings, you interpretations, and I will be saved.

            Remind me, was there anything in the Bible about false prophets?

          • Bingo

            God saying He is like a mother hen longing to gather in her young is not the same as Him being a female God. That’s quite the stretch!

            No…god is our heavenly Father, and as even Jesus His Son taught us to call Him that, as well as all the prophets and the apostles, there is no other way we need to think of Him. You’ve just been influenced by the New Age cult.

            You need to start from Genesis 1:1 and go from there, all the way to Revelation 22. you’ll discover that nowhere is God a Mother, or female.

            About false prophets? Lots of warnings are given about them. There are also warnings about people who argue silly points, and who follow after strange teachings….about silly women who are easily influenced by such false teachers. Your views reveal that you’ve been hoodwinked, yourself.

          • Matthew46

            Mostly, it’s about a pagan cult called Christianity that worships a demigod – You know, like Dionysus and all the others.

          • lorasinger

            Yeah, and don’t forget Hans Andersons and Grimms Fairy tales too.

          • Bingo

            As if you have a grasp on the truth. Not even a little bit.

          • lorasinger

            Well, gee, Bingo – I was trying to help you out. Grimms is full of witches and that mean hag that changed the little mermaid is in Hans Andersons. Can’t you tell what’s fact any more?

          • Bingo

            I doubt you could help anyone out of a wet paper bag.

          • lorasinger

            Well there’s gratitude for you.

          • Salt

            Andrew, try reading outside of liberal theology for gaining a number of sides. It is clear you have not read widely. I am still seeking your sources, unless they are not in your library.

          • Andrew Dowling

            It’s not my job to lead you by the hand to what is pretty easily attainable information. Here is a decent summary about II Peter, for those interested: http://earlychristianwritings.com/2peter.html

          • Salt

            Andrew, again, let me educate you. Ridicule is not an argument on the merits. Neither is sloppy sources. Peter Kirby’s website is simply a drone sight for liberalism and Higher Criticism. You thought you could hoodwink me with such nonsense? I recognize Higher Criticism when I see it, since I have encountered it numerous times in my career. He does not even present an accurate listing of Aprocrypha books. There are no NT Apocrypha books. He shows no credentials and remains anonymous. Besides, his datings of document are erroneous for the New Testament books. So this is your scholarship, eh? What a laugh. his website is a joke.

            So tell me about your credentials? High school?

          • Andrew Dowling

            I’m only replying to show how vapid and devoid of thinking your ideology is.
            -Higher criticism is using the same historical-critical tools a scholar would use on any ancient work on the Bible. That you speak of it as some horrid thing “you can recognize” simply shows that you are unwilling to look critically at all at the Bible because it would upset your rigid fundamentalist view of Christianity. That is the mark of a child, not a thinking adult.
            Kirby is simply the site’s architect and editor. The site is primarily a virtual cornucopia of links and citations to a variety of biblical scholars. But clearly you don’t even peruse it because your mind is that closeted.

          • Bingo

            “Closeted”? No, more like protected from lies, yet open to the truth by the only one who can manifest the Truth—Holy Spirit. Your brand of doubt, couched in human intellectualism is just another demonic ploy.

          • Andrew Dowling

            What is the absolute BS you just articulated above? It’s people like you who would’ve been Stalin or Mussolini’s bread and butter. To question is the mark of demons! To not think is to protect yourself from lies! Oh man, it would be comedic if it wasn’t so sad.

          • Bingo

            I don;t believe that you are in any position to judge what BS is. Your monstrous level of doubt and the attitude you’ve acquired to hold onto it is demonic.

          • Andrew Dowling

            You wouldn’t be on here trolling if you didn’t doubt amigo. You’re not fooling anyone.

          • Bingo

            I don’t have one single problem with doubt. I am here to challenge you to believe.

          • lorasinger

            Early church writings is an excellent website, Andrew. It just doesn’t jibe with what fundamentalists accept.

          • Salt

            It seems my post got deleted, so I will post it once again. Condescending ridicule reveals your character and anti-intellectualism. Your ridicule is typical of liberal thinking and reflects your inability to think and apply logic and reasoning.

            The website to which you point is no more than a liberal one espousing long refuted views. Its dating of NT manuscripts is totally wrong because it relies on speculation and not on the various contexts of those documents. Some of the datings are way after those who wrote the books lived, thereby showing that this anonymous Kirby does not know what he is talking about. He does not show his credentials, probably because he has none to his credit and no credibility either.

            Second, this Kirby does not accurately identify the Apocrypha. There is no such things a a NT apocrypha, at least not one recognized among credible scholars.

            So, tell us about your credentials for supporting your claims. I informed you of mine.

            If the Kirby website is the scope of your sources, then you have no credibility and show that you do not know what you are talking about. When I asked for sources, I was referring to credible scholars, not an amateur website.

            Therefore, I have concluded that discussions with you is simply a waste of time. GOODBYE!

          • Andrew Dowling

            “Condescending ridicule reveals your character and anti-intellectualism.”

            It’s a riot you are calling me anti-intellectual.

            “The website to which you point is no more than a liberal one espousing long refuted views. Its dating of NT manuscripts is totally wrong because it relies on speculation and not on the various contexts of those documents. Some of the datings are way after those who wrote the books lived, thereby showing that this anonymous Kirby does not know what he is talking about.”

            Again, you clearly haven’t even looked at the website because Kirby is the Editor; each page in each book is filled with quotes and links to various, world-renown biblical scholars (the likes of Dunn and Johnson are hardly liberals) and their opinions on those books. Those datings of the NT would be considered in the mainstream of any seminary that is not a conservative fundamentalist one. The site gives the logical reasons for those conclusions but of course you aren’t even refuting the arguments . .why go through the trouble when you can just brand something as “liberal” and move on?

            “There is no such things a a NT apocrypha”

            Apocrypha means “non-canonical” . . yes there are many non-canonical NT books. Guess they didn’t teach that in your Master’s program LOL.

            “If the website is the scope of your sources, then you have no credibility and show that you do not know what you are talking about.”

            I have repeatedly called you out on your BS . . that Mark and Luke knew Mary and Jesus’s family, that James somehow mentions parts of Jesus’s life etc. and you have responded with crickets. And you will continue to do so because I know all of the Patristic and biblical sources and there is not evidence for any of those claims . . you are simply lying.

            And you do know when Paul said “Gospel” he was referring to the death and Resurrection of Jesus, not the “Gospels” as in the narratives of the 4 Gospels? But that’s another basic thing I guess your advanced degree didn’t cover. You shouldn’t be passing an 8th grade history course with your lack of ability to clearly link available evidence to theories and propositions and then derive probabilities. But I guess why go through the trouble of engaging in actual scholarship when you can just make stuff up!

          • lorasinger

            The external evidence points most strongly to the inauthenticity of II Peter. If II Peter is authentic, then both epistles are authentic and both addressed themselves to the same church and were sent at approximately the same time (Peter’s stay in Rome). Thus, it is most reasonable to assume that the two authentic epistles of Peter would have circulated together. However, the external evidence reveals that several early writers have knowledge only of I Peter, and this tells against the authenticity of II Peter

          • Salt

            Bingo, you hit the target.

          • Salt

            Andrew,

            I cannot help that you cannot read, especially since you incorrectly refer to 2 Peter as a forgery without citing sources. 2 Peter is hardly widely recognized as a forgery. Perhaps by liberal theologians like those who hold to higher criticism and the documentary hypothesis crowd but not by real scholars. The forgery view is a minority liberal one held by those who reject the Bible as the inspired word of God.

            My post is clearly laid out with several citations from a book. I suppose you missed those citations. I clearly identified them by quotation marks.

            If you believe Paul is off topic, then you certainly missed the point I was making statements with supporting citations related to the main topic of this thread about historicity.

            And the fact that you dismiss James as not confirming the events of Jesus shows you have not carefully read James. Your reading skill has much to be desired. It also seems that your library of readings is rather thin if you hold to the views of your claims.

            Next time support your claims for you have yet done so. Perhaps I am “debating” the wrong person, because your command of the Bible is really poor as is your ability to support your claims. That way you can argue on the merits rather than lob meaningless generalizations.

            By the way, I have studied the scholars – liberal and conservative beginning with my Master degree from seminary. I continue to do so.

          • Andrew Dowling

            I don’t really care for whatever conservative evangelical “scholars” have neatly massaged your worldview. There’s a market to assuage close-mindedness and they fill that niche well (William James Craig, lol). To engage in scholarship that dare not reach certain conclusions is not scholarship; it’s a charade. That you are claiming James confirms events of Jesus’s life, while James is essentially a Wisdom sermon, says all one needs to say. You are attempting to engage in modernist conservative apologetics and you aren’t even doing a good job at it . . at least Craig can stay on topic and and make logical conclusions (even though his claimed evidence is often paper thin)

            Also your complete invention of Luke and Mark having personally known “Mary and Jesus’s family” . . .that has no support whatsoever. You are simply spouting lies and then being sanctimonious about your untruths.

          • Salt

            I really do not care what you say anymore. You have not shown that you know what you are talking about. you give no credentials or sources outside of this Kirby farce.

            It is a waste of time engaging in any discussion with you.

          • Raymond Watchman

            Andrew, why bother? If you could reason with Biblical literalism it would no longer exist. People of that ilk read selectively then parrot what they have read without having first exposed it to critical examination. As I guess you will have noticed, such people usually dismiss any legitimate questioning of their literalistic interpretations as “ridicule”.

          • Salt

            Raymond, please define “biblical literalism.” Who was talking about it. Non sequitur. Not an argument on the merits. Before you use terms, you should define them. What “ilk?” Define “critical examination.” Literalism can mean different things. Is that how you get around not giving a clear answer? You ridicule and accuse? Your meandering like Andrew strays from the topic and then you fail to define your terms as your stray.

            Oh, and cite your sources for your claims. You have not done so either. If you believe your claims are true, support them rather than lob accusations. Nothing you or Andrew writes are arguments on the merits. That alone disqualifies your claims.

          • Guest

            Speaking of straying, isn’t it high time you found your way back to your scribe’s desk at Answers In Genesis HQ? But first check with Ken Ham to make sure his carnivorous dinosaurs in the Creation Museum haven’t taken to eating trolls during your absence. There’s nothing quite so offensive as uncontrollable T-Rex flatulence.

          • Matthew46

            As a matter of fact, Paul says that Jesus was born “under the law” – in no different a way than any other Jewish child.

          • lorasinger

            Biblical scholars consider 2 Peter to be spurious.

          • Bingo

            Bad ones do.

          • lorasinger

            Most of them must be bad then.

          • Bingo

            The ones who say what you want them to say are the bad ones.

          • lorasinger

            Following the Weyrich manual are you? If you repeat it often enough, it will become the truth? Hmmm, nope.

          • Bingo

            I don’t have to “repeat” anything but God’s word for truth.

          • lorasinger

            You have the words written in the bible, but you will never be sure what is original and what has been forged or edited, like Matthew 28:19 which is an interpolation, or Mark which has 12 verses added to the end? You can never ever be sure.

          • Bingo

            I am confident that the word of God I am given by Him is the whole truth and is not adulterated in any way that distorts the truth He is imparting. I am SURE.

          • Salt

            Sources? A vast majority do not. Only those from the Higher Criticism movement do for discounting it as the word of God. You are wrong.

          • Bingo

            Indeed! “Higher” is a misnomer!

          • lorasinger

            “Most biblical scholars have concluded Peter is not the author, and consider the epistle pseudepigraphical.[4][5] Reasons for this include its linguistic differences from 1 Peter, its apparent use of Jude, possible allusions to 2nd-century gnosticism, encouragement in the wake of a delayed parousia, and weak external support.[6]

            The questions of authorship and date are closely related. For Petrine authorship to be authentic, it must have been written prior to Peter’s death in c 65–67AD. The letter refers to the Pauline epistles and so must post-date at least some of them, regardless of authorship, thus a date before 60 is not probable.

            Chester & Martin say scholars consider the epistle to be written between c 100–150AD[7] and so contend that it is pseudepigraphical.

            The earliest record of doubts concerning the authorship of the letter were recorded by Origen (c. 185 – 254),

          • Salt

            Nice copy and paste job. Unfortunately the footnotes did not come across from what you copied. This shows you have not done your homework but simply have gone to some internet source. Anyone can do that. I cited primary sources from my own documents in my library or from credible sources (Christian Classic Ethereal Library, a primary source of all the church fathers and more, and Chester & Martin as authors are not listed because they are liberal and discount the Bible as the word of God).

            Again, you need to do your homework and stop going to secondary sources, especially when primary sources are readily available.

          • lorasinger

            Don’t get the knickers in a knot, guy. Remember you win more flies with honey than with vinegar.

            Well, I try to stay away from those who swing too far either way. One way, they spin like crazy trying to inch and pull things around to make it work. On the other side, they just discount everything so in the middle, I like the idea that they are just involved with showing what actual information they have without stretching it – impartial scholars preferably with a knowledge of early Jewish life at the time of Jesus and a knowledge of the Hebrew as a first language.
            ,,,
            In spite of its heavy stress on Petrine authorship, II Pet is nowhwere mentioned in the second century. The apologists, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Cyprian, Clement of Alexandria, and the Muratorian Canon are completely silent about it. Its first attestation is in Origen, but according to him the letter is contested (αμφιβαλλεται). Eusebius lists it among the antilegomena. . . Even down to the fourth century II Pet was largely unknown or not recognized as canonical”

            http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/2peter.html

          • Salt

            You still do not seem to get what I said. I was not talking about “scholars.” There are a lot of so-called scholars out there who make a lot of claims. What is your criteria for determining if one “swings too far?”

            I don’t know if it was you or not who cited the Peter Kirby website, the one you cited. That site is full of errors in dating and scholarship. Most who make claims of later dating of NT letters and gospels simply have not done their research, and they begin with certain assumptions. One major assumption is that they deny the Bible is the word of God. The second is methodology. They believe one could arrive at a true nature of a specific manuscript through the authority of “external” sourcing. These are those from the Jesus Seminar and Higher Criticism groups. In essence, they refuse to accept what the documents actually say and simply gloss over the content as though it were not even there. That is not scholarship but pure specualtion that lends to error.

            Peter Kirby does not show his credentials on the Early Christian Website. Much of what he places there are suspect. I know because I have read widely enough and have done my homework with a Master from seminary. That has given me the intellectual tools for making judgments about such websites and writings of others.

            Anybody can create a website and place a lot of stuff on it. He does this without giving critical examinations about the sources.

            Here is one scholarly website consisting of ORIGINAL writings of the early church fathers and other solid scholastic works:

            http://www.ccel.org/

            The scholars on this website date all the way back to the fourth century forward.

            Here is a website that has a collection of over 35 theological journals for only $50 annually:

            http://www.galaxie.com

            This site is heavy into scholarship written by real scholars. It has thousands of articles dating back to the early 1800s. If you want scholarship, these two websites have it.

          • lorasinger

            Well, I’d say scholars who just say “No, it can’t be” and dismiss everything and on the other side scholars who aren’t entirely neutral, who stretch facts to meet their beliefs, like the Discovery Institute people. I like Eisenman, McCoby, Ehrman, Humphries who meet the criteria of having a complete knowledge of the traditions, laws, history and understanding of the language of the bible. There are many others but their names escape me at this time.
            ………..
            I’m familiar with ccel and have used that site as well.
            ……………..
            I really don’t care much for scholarship of the 1800’s. A great deal more has been discovered since then in terms of archeology and of dating methods along with finds of artifacts.

          • Matthew46

            Floyd, my pompous old buddy. The moment the Jesus story stepped into the realm of God plus virgin produces sacrificial god man, you have stepped right into paganism and your burbling amounts to spinnery to try to justify it. The story of Jesus is no different than the god man stories of Rome. Christianity is pagan based in spite of all of the tedious ramblings of its believers. Even early pagan writers and the teacher of Origin, a church father, wrote to that effect.

          • Alonzo

            Matthew, I do not respond to ridicule and ignorance.

          • William Davis

            Floyd tried using the Fallacy from Authority on me when I deferred to the Jewish Rabbi’s for the original interpretation of Isaiah 7:14. When I explained that using any scriptures to prove anything is Fallacy from Authority, he basically responded that it isn’t because of “theological” reasons. When I said that was intellectually dishonest he went bonkers on me and said he won’t talk anymore. I told him I’ll take that as I one, and presented many more arguments to support my claim. I take it you have experience with him. A terrible writer, he gets mad when I don’t address rebuttals of his that aren’t even wrong, so there isn’t anything to say…

          • Matthew46

            I have the misfortune of having the Floyds, the Catholic Defensors and the Fundie Dougs (who stands on little stools on the street and preaches) types in my family. It’s an odd mix and they don’t get along (understandably) so, over the years, I’ve gained a good deal of experience in coping with the “wild ones”.
            .
            As always, your arguments carry a good deal of weight and your understanding is excellent. Keep up the good fight 🙂

          • William Davis

            “As always, your arguments carry a good deal of weight and your understanding is excellent. Keep up the good fight :)”
            Thanks for the compliment, and back at you. The truth matters, and is worth fighting for. I think we need religion, but most religions need to be “corrected” in so much as they encourage tribalism and devalue those who do not accept their beliefs. I equally apply this to atheists. Everyone has their reasons for their theology. It only matters when it affects their moral behavior. If you follow Jesus to show love and compassion to your fellow man, great. If you use it to belittle someone else’s views for no objective reason, not so great.

          • Matthew46

            There’s another poster on these forums. I think his name is Jim who’s a creationist and uses the gish gallop method of bombarding you with a truth, several half truths and a whole lot of BS and then if you miss one of his points, of course, he accuses you of not knowing your stuff. Just a tip!

          • Bingo

            You are completely wrong, friend. Jesus was a real Person who lived, and died and rose again. He is alive today. No one else can compete with that. Pagan stories are just that—pagan stories.

          • William Davis

            ” One major assumption is that they deny the Bible is the word of God. ”
            There is no reason to assume it is the word of God. There must be proof. Taking it to be true without proof is the biggest assumption a person could possibly make. Without that presupposition, the world is a complete different place. While standing outside that presupposition, and searching for truth, it becomes clear it is manmade. I therefore cannot step into you bubble of presupposition. While inside you cannot comprehend the point of view of someone outside, especially if you’ve learned a great deal while inside the presupposition bubble. It changes your mental landscape. This is why it upsets you so much when I press the issue that using scripture to prove a conclusion is a logical fallacy. You’re like a fish who is swimming in a certain set of intellectual waters for so long, you can’t see that you are in water anymore. I enjoy your efforts though. I wonder if they are more about pride for you though, and showing the world that you know “truth” and they don’t. I like to be right, but you can only become closer to right when you are prepared to admit you are wrong. Cheers 🙂

          • lorasinger

            Ah, I see. They need to be dyed in wool believers so that you would believe them, right? None of this just facts only stuff for you. The Christian Classice Ethereal Library is an internet source too but the documents in the library express a variety of theological views, sometimes conflicting with those of Calvin College.[3]
            .
            Do you want the footnotes on that?
            .
            The Early Christian Writings site I draw from is in book form now. This is part of the review “The writings in this volume cast a glimmer of light upon the emerging traditions and organization of the infant church, during an otherwise little-known period of its development. A selection of letters and small-scale theological treatises from a group known as the Apostolic Fathers, several of whom were probably disciples of the Apostles, they provide a first-hand account of the early Church and outline a form of early Christianity. It has a five out of five star rating.

            The author is Andrew Louth, born in Lincolnshire and brought up in the north of England, studied Theology at the universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh. From 1970 to 1985 he was Fellow and Chaplain of Worcester College, Oxford, and University Lecturer in Theology, teaching prinipally Patristics.

          • Salt

            “dyed in the wool believers…”

            Using a pejorative to describe Christians sets the foundation for logical fallacy. That is a slippery slope for making judgments about the Bible. I find anyone who applies such terms to Christian writings suspect and anti-intellectual.

            Of course. The Bible is a Christian book and not just a religious one. I have little interest in an unbeliever’s assessment of the Bible unless that person shows a genuine interest in accepting it as God’s word and begins from that claim. If a certain scholar denies that the Bible is God’s word, they err from there, and their conclusions become suspect. So yes, one’s worldview is a determinate.

            I do not care about Calvin College. It is a good school of Reformed thinking, but not the only Christian school out there. So, is that where you go? Those who teach there are “dyed in the wool believers.”

            So much for you wanting to learn anything. If you change your mind, let me know. Otherwise, I will not respond anymore to your postings.

          • Bingo

            In full agreement!

          • Salt

            Bingo,

            Some people come on sites like this just fresh out of high school and from taking a single course in Bible and think they know it all. They throw out names like a newspaper trying to impress others that they are educated and have theology down pat. They do not realize that others can see through the charade

            They sad thing about this state is professors fill their heads full of mush and do not teach them how to think critically and evaluate sources. It is one thing to cite a source but another thing entirely to assess its credentials. That’s how young people today get their brains twisted into liberal thinking

            I am not interested in discussing canonicity with someone who knows so little about it and the tools to evaluate sources.

            I appreciate some like you who can also see through false scholarship.

          • Bingo

            I’ve been around this block before. You are right about such people. They don’t really want to be convinced of the truth more than they want to mock God. They are amused by their own wickedness.

          • Alonzo

            Unfortunately, those as lorasinger have little
            understanding of truth, and ridicule what they do not know. From reading the interchanges he/she has had
            with you, and find it tragic that they reject the very message of the gospel that delivers them from eternal separation from God.

            Not only that they have their ears glued to false teachers like those about whom Peter spoke in the letter they consider a forgery. They want to consider it a forgery because it condemns their teachers and those who listen to them. In it, Peter wrote,

            “But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, and will receive the wages of righteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children” (2 Peter 2:12-13, NKJV).

            That is a fearful indictment they want to consider fiction. The gospel is the word of life, but it is also the word of death for those who reject it.

            Paul the Apostle wrote,

            “For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life” (2 Corinthians 2:15-16).

            For those who hear and do not believe the gospel, the gospel message is an aroma of death. This leaves a choice for those who do not believe. They can follow those who consider the books of the Bible forgeries or
            not written by those who bear their names.

            They can follow speculators who lead people astray or believe the gospel. They can raise straw man arguments about what Christians really believe and ignore that text of Scripture or take it seriously.

            I had a professor in my undergraduate degree who wrote a book entitled, “Taking the Bible Seriously.” His title was very ironic, because he rejected the Bible as the word of God and therefore did not take it seriously. Rather, he believed in the Documentary Hypothesis and Higher Criticism, which has long been refuted, false teachers who lead people astray.

            And this professor followed these false teachers and rejected the gospel himself.

            Faith in Christ is the only way to God.

          • William Davis

            After reading comments like this I really hope you respond to simple rebuttal of your reply to me. It is interesting how those who engage in wishful thinking project that onto others. I’m keenly interested in learning as much truth as possible (we almost always have to work with limited information, so truth becomes matter of probability). I do what I can to maintain objectivity, and come to the table with as few premises as possible, so I can learn well. I would like a good rebuttal of the issue of the virgin birth, but your missing the “already pregnant” part of the original Hebrew and saying Ahaz made the prophecy shows you aren’t paying attention. To make a good rebuttal you must at least be paying attention to what I’m saying, not preaching what you think you already know. I hope to hear from you, and if not, Merry Christmas 🙂
            Unlike others, at least you have the guts to make your words public, and I appreciate that.

          • lorasinger

            Chill out, it’s just an old saying like “true blue”. No offence meant. I meant an absolute believer, a don’t confuse me with facts kind of guy.
            …..
            Well then why bother preaching outside of the church? The ones looking for something will come to you, right? It’s like street preachers who stand out there and annoy people to a point where they turn people away rather than bringing anyone in.
            …..
            Calvin College is the religious school that sponsors your Christian Ethereal Library, didn’t you know?
            ,,,,,,,,,,,,
            Can I keep commenting when I disagree with you?

      • Raymond Watchman

        FloydAT – You are saying the gospel authors were present at the birth of Jesus to witness the event??? Give me a break! Theology and apologetics are quite distinct academic disciplines from New Testament historical scholarship – a distinction which often seems to elude well-meaning evangelical Christians. Within context, story-telling is a perfectly acceptable vehicle for attempting to convey a deeper meaning to an audience. It does not mean those telling the stories are”liars and creators of fiction” – no more than Jesus was a “liar and creator of fiction” through his use of parables. No-one would suggest the stories of Jesus’ parables are factual accounts of actual events, but according to your reasoning he could stand accused of being “a liar and creator of fiction.” You really are misrepresenting the intent of my posted comment. And I would suggest you don’t display your ignorance by accusing people you know nothing about of not having “read the synoptics well”.

        • Salt

          Raymond, Matthew and John were direct disciples of Jesus. They were eyewitnesses of Jesus’ life and knew Mary. Mark and Luke also knew Mary and gathered information from her and Jesus’ siblings as well as from Matthew and John. All of them were contemporaries. I never said of Jesus’ birth. Again, you show that you misread texts.

          Besides, what does the distinction between theology, apologetics, and historical scholarship have to do with the topic? You fail to explain this.

          From the rest of your post, it appears that you fail to grasp genre, because you co-mingle different genres without explaining yourself and the reason for co-mingling them. You also attempt to mix genre and figure of speech by positing history opposite figure of speech. They are not opposites.

          A parable is far different from historical rendition. Luke was very detailed in conducting extensive research into the life of Jesus and explicitly stated that what he wrote was historical fact. The other gospel writers also wrote in presenting historical fact in a similar fashion. Parables are included in their written works as they appear in dialog. Parables are extended metaphor. What you write is a distraction by attempting to redirect from the original subject of historicity.

          Jesus never rendered parables or extended metaphors as historical fact unless he explicitly stated so. A good interpreter knows genres and how metaphor is used in dialog and communication. The gospel writers wrote historical narrative and presented it as fact. They applied figure of speech in their writings (as a subset of and within the genre in which they wrote). Again, you fail to understand the intent of the author.

          While the three disciplines you cite can be seen as distinct, a theologian integrates multiple disciplines for interpretation of texts. Theologians are interpreters and apply history, hermeneutics, and grammar in their disciplines. You do not seem to understand that task of a theologian and then apply ridicule toward “well-meaning evangelical Christians” to back up your claim, a support that does not back up your claim. To which Christians do you refer? Please name them?

          Your writing meanders and is disjointed.

          • Raymond Watchman

            “…..they wrote as eye witnesses and their intent was to present an accurate historical account of what they witnessed.” Your words, not mine. Your arguments are as contradictory as the nativity stories you seek to defend as historical fact.
            You are welcome to believe that of two hopelessly conflicting, discrepancy-ridden nativity stories if you wish. The rest of us prefer to live in the real world.
            Scholars of biblical history are generally agreed the four gospels of the New Testament canon were not written by those they were attributed to.
            The nativity stories were theological devices employed by two gospel authors to support their particular understandings of who Jesus was. Had the narratives been eye-witness reports of such a momentous historical event then one needs to explain why the authors of the remaining two gospels chose to exclude them. I could explain the reasons to you in detail, but have better things to do than induce yet another bout of your patronizing rhetorical diarrhoea. Speaking of which, please consider yourself disqualified from any further dialogue with me on this subject.

          • Salt

            Raymond, your reading ability is quite substandard. You misinterpret what I wrote. What you failed to note is my compound sentence, in the statement I wrote. I also wrote, “Each gospel writer presents their eye witness for their specific audiences, which was some 40-50 years after the events.”

            When you quote someone, you must consider grammar and be a sound interpreter of which you understand neither discipline. They did indeed write as eyewitnesses of what they saw and understood. Is that hard for you to grasp? Additionally (considering my compound sentence structure), they did indeed present a historical account of what they witnessed as well as the history behind what they witnessed. Obviously, they did not witness the Old Testament prophets write their accounts. It is obvious from what Luke wrote that he gathered information from those who knew Jesus intimately: His mother, brothers and sisters, and his disciples.

            If you really understood the background of Mark and Luke, you would not be so presumptuous. Rather, all you wish to do is ridicule things you do not understand and of which you have no knowledge.

            The New Testament, especially the gospels are the most corroborated literature for their age. Please consider yourself disqualified in representing your views on the gospels, because you show you have no background in it.

            Would you question Josephus, Eusabius, or other historical records written after their times? Would you say they wrote fiction?

            Have you read RA Guelich, CEB Cranfield, DA Carson, Douglas Moo, Leon Morris, V Taylor, HC Kee, RP Martin? DL Bock, F Bovon, EE Ellis, J Fitzmyer? These are only a handful of scholars out of hundreds who have addressed both Mark and Luke. All of these are PhDs and experts in the field of the gospels.

            Cite your sources to support your fictitious and contradictory views or consider yourself not qualified to discuss the subject. You offer no support for your grandstanding statements. Oh, and do so from the original languages in which these manuscripts were written. I will reply once you cite your sources and show your credentials as an interpreter, literary critic, and historian.

            Otherwise, consider yourself unqualified to discuss the Bible.

          • lorasinger

            There is not even one writing contemporary to the time of Jesus. The closest is Josephus over 70 years later and this too can be considered to be hearsay.

          • Bingo

            This is just more lies.

          • lorasinger

            Not even one word of a lie.

          • Bingo

            No, it is clear you are heavily influenced by liars and revisionists. Unbelievers are an odd lot.

          • lorasinger

            Alright name even one historian contemporary to the time of Jesus, Bingo. Anyone????

          • Bingo

            The one historian that existed closest to Jesus’ time is the secular Jospehus.

          • lorasinger

            Church fathers wrote that Josephus was a Jew. So, he wrote in 97 AD. Hearsay.

          • Bingo

            He wrote before then. But he was a scholarly man and the writings we are interested in are those that support the biblical record. No historian can dismiss the historical record in scripture.

          • lorasinger

            Another interesting thing Josephus wrote in 97 AD was that in about 57AD when he was young, he actually checked out all the main religions in the country – the Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes in order to perhaps join them and that’s why he has such a good knowledge of them.

          • Bingo

            So? It is a known fact he was a secular man, outside of Christ.

          • lorasinger

            I don’t know if Jews are called secular or not, Bingo. Of course, from the sounds of his observations, there really wasn’t any Christianity yet. Come to think of it, Paul wrote in around 59AD, so I guess there wasn’t any at all, what with the apostles being Jews, right?

          • Bingo

            Josephus was an unbeliever. That means he was a secular historian. The Church of Jesus Christ, and therefore rue Christian believers came on the scene at Pentecost just 10 days after Jesus went to be with His Father.

          • lorasinger

            Josephus believed in God. Doesn’t that count?
            Just 10 days? Amazing, I didn’t think Jews had a Pentecost.

          • Bingo

            No, it doesn’t count. Even Satan and his demons believe in God.

          • lorasinger

            Ah, yes, I just found out now that the Jewish “Pentecost” is actually called Shavuot, the anniversary of the handing down of The Law of Moses.
            .
            Well isn’t God their boss?

          • Bingo

            The day Moses came down with the stone tablets of the Law, 3000 people died, where no one had died before. the day of Pentecost, 3000 people came to Christ in salvation, hearing the message of the Gospel for the first time and were given eternal life. The law was no longer on stone, but written on men’s hearts.

            The gospel message is one of life, where the law kills.

          • lorasinger

            When was this “day of Pentecost”?
            ……
            Well, the law includes the ten commandments too and Jesus seemed to think that following them would allow you to see the hereafter, at least that’s how he explained it to the young man.

          • Bingo

            We aren’t required to follow the law on stone. It is written on our hearts. Jesus doesn’t consider lawkeeping as salvational since the cross.

          • lorasinger

            I don’t think he considered at all, Bingo. He was dead before Paul even converted his first gentile.

          • Bingo

            Jesus is alive.

          • lorasinger

            Well, if you see him around, give him my regards.

          • Bingo

            He is with me, and I am asking Him to bring you to salvation soon, and to bring strong Christian believers into your life to show you the truth that will compel you like nothing before. He will do it.

          • lorasinger

            Good. You pray for me and I’ll think for you. 🙂

          • Bingo

            Done.

          • Salt

            Wrong. All the gospel writers were contemporaries of Jesus as was Paul, Peter, and James. Source please? You are following the Higher Critics who were wrong and had the goal of disproving the Bible as the word of God. They ignored (and so do you) a large number of papyri, unicals, and minuscules. These show a consistency unparalleled for any collection of writings. Their attestations not only confirm authorship but when they were written. The evidence is overwhelming. For a listing of these sources, see “The Greek New Testament” by Metzger, et al.

          • lorasinger

            The gospel writers are all anonymous.
            .
            For instance “Most scholars believe the Gospel of Matthew was composed between 80 and 90;[2] a pre-70 date remains a minority view.[3] The anonymous author was probably a highly educated Jew, intimately familiar with the technical aspects of Jewish law, and the disciple Matthew was probably honored within his circle.”
            .
            Doesn’t sound like Matthew the fisherman to me!

          • Bingo

            That’s a lie you only choose to believe.

          • lorasinger

            Dunno, Bingo. All the gospels agree on the virgin birth. Jesus apostles didn’t think he was a god (Ebionites). The OT doesn’t talk about a man god but the NT does. Two schools of thought. In Jesus time, they were all Jews that didn’t think he was a God, so where and when did it start? Not from the Jews – They gave up on him. Paul started writing about it in about 57AD. He added a whole bunch of stuff like communion, and original sin and nobody had to listen to Mosaic law any more. Anybody writing about the virgin birth would start from there maybe. So the gospel writers came after Paul and that makes it at least 30 years later. John wrote in 90-110 AD. He’s have to be a hundred years old if he had been an apostle.

          • Bingo

            That’s correct. You dunno.

          • lorasinger

            So they WERE all anonymous?

          • Bingo

            No, none are anonymous. That’s just your wishful and deceptive thinking.

          • lorasinger

            Ah well, That’s your strong faith. I read that faith is a way of thinking which circumvents evidence, reason, and common sense.

          • Bingo

            No circumvention with faith. Faith cuts through all doubt and sees the evidence.

          • lorasinger

            “You believe in talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, burning bushes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, men gods and all sorts of magical things, and seeing what evidence??

          • Bingo

            I don’t need evidence like that to believe in the bible. I have God in my life, and He has done miracles in and through me. His spirit speaks clearly about what the truth is, and He is unmistakeable.

          • lorasinger

            BUT that bottom line is “eternal life” and that’s the carrot that has you believing anything to get there, right? As far as I can see believers live lives in just the same fashion as non-believers so I’m trying to understand exactly how your lives are any different. So far, all that is different is the eternal life thing.

          • Bingo

            No. I believe in Jesus Christ because He loves me and took the penalty for my sins. I belong to Him. Believers who walk with Jesus daily live lives of victory over sin, and in love with God, they reveal His love to others. They live by faith, believing for health, His abundance, and His protection, and in gratitude to Him for all things. I don’t see unbelievers living that way.

          • lorasinger

            Yeah, they live pretty much the same way with the same goals, same loves and hates, ambitions and the whole kettle of fish. Their crime rate varies. The atheist crime rate and divorce rate is a lot lower than Christians, especially Doug’s kind of Christians (fundamentalists). Then there are those who just don’t think about religion at all. They are actually very nice people. They just do nice things because it’s the right thing to do. You should meet some of them and then you’ll see.

          • Bingo

            Not really. We share the same trials in many ways, but we know Who to go to to carry our burdens. We can live lives free of them. We know how to be healed of our diseases. We know how to bring healing to others. We know what real joy is.

            God says we are the righteousness of God in Christ.

            Nice isn’t where it’s at. Jesus wasn’t always nice. Nice doesn’t get anyone a home in heaven.

          • lorasinger

            Well if you think there’s a difference, so be it. As an observer, I’ve watched all of them and there isn’t any difference.

          • Bingo

            You speak a lie when you state generalities. You cannot have done what you claim.

          • lorasinger

            It’s pretty easy to accuse, isn’t it, Bingo? You’re wrong on all counts. In fact on comparing highly religious countries against secular countries, the religious ones don’t fare very well at all – higher crime rates, higher use of porno, higher illegitimacy rates, higher rates of STDs, more prisoners, more hate crime, poorer education, lower standard of living. As I said, the product doesn’t work as advertised!

          • Bingo

            What qualifies as a religious country? Secularism is also a religion.

          • lorasinger

            One with state religion. Secularism has no gods and there is no worship of invisible friends.

          • Bingo

            False. Secularism’s god is self, and self-glorification.

          • lorasinger

            Wrong, Bimbo. Secularism is basically a separation of church and state. Religion stays in church and government stays without being affected by church, just as it should be. Everyone believes whatever they want without forcing their religion on anyone else or on government as is happening in the USA.

          • lorasinger

            Those darn unbelievers are an independent lot. They like to carry their own burdens, I guess. If you know how to be healed of disease, I know of a man who is willing to pay big money if you can get even one case published in a medical magazine like JAMA. He’s been looking for about 30 years for something like this. Healing too? You could make some money on this Bingo.

            Righteousness is good. Self righteousness isn’t.
            …….
            Have you any idea what you’re going to do up there FOREVER. Church 24/7 forever isn’t all that appealing to the average guy even once a week.

          • Bingo

            Your pal is sniffing around in the wrong places. God doesn’t heal for pay. Healing is ours in the atonement. We merely need to appropriate it by faith.

            That’s right—self-righteousness is ugly, but those who know who they are in Christ, that they are as He is in this world, don’t carry on in self-righteousness. We are so thankful and appreciate what God has done in us, and understand that it is by His grace we are saved, that there is no room for self-righteousness.

            In heaven? I have no idea what I will literally be doing in the Kingdom, but I will have a job to do—or more than one—and I will do it with much joy and in worship to my God, who will have positioned me in a position that is most suited to me and my gifts, and to His use. Ruling and reigning the universe with King Jesus forever is a wonderful prospect!

          • lorasinger

            The point is that there had not been one bona fide healing where doctors could back up the healing by having published it in a peer reviewed medical journal. Healing only exists in the same plane as astrology and fortune telling. The Templeton Foundation did an experiment with over 1200 patients, with some being prayed for, some being only told they were being prayed for, others nothing at all. Prayer made absolutely no difference in their rate of healing.
            …………
            Good. If it gives you personal comfort, then it’s doing what it’s supposed to do and nothing more.
            ,,,,,,,,
            Good. It gives you a hope for eternal life and reassures you that death isn’t the end and that is its primary purpose.

          • Bingo

            Well, he’s been circulating among the wrong people. Jesus Christ is still in the healing business today! I have witnessed it many times, and experienced it in my own life. It is part of the life lived in Christ to experience healing. It is one of God’s precious promises.

            We don’t have to pray for healing. We can command it in Jesus’ name, because we already have it as a promise of God—we just have to appropriate it into our bodies.

          • lorasinger

            Yeah, I heard about it. The couple just got ten years in jail for prayer healing that didn’t work and their kid died.

          • Salt

            Once you stop ignoring what I write in refuting all you say, you will be ignored from this point forward. You do not know what you are talking about. I do not repeat myself, especially when you continue to drone on in repetition.

            Again, your footnotes notations without the footnotes show you up as simply copying and pasting without paying attention. Are you just a high schooler? It appears so.

          • lorasinger

            Yup I’m cutting and pasting right from bona fide sites. I get so enthused with all this learning, I just forget to give the footnotes sometimes. I don’t see how you’re refuting anything. You’re simply saying “no” and that’s not very good. You need to get something written by a real historian before you go posting your own opinion.

          • Salt

            When I can get it from the original authors, I do not need secondary sources like you have been providing. You do not seem to understand the difference between the original writers and those who wrote about them. That is one or more steps removed from original sources.

            That is like claiming that those who wrote about Bible are more important and more accurate than those who wrote the Bible. Nonsense.

            I gave you quotes from original sources (i.e., Eusebius, etc.). Who cares about what some liberal “scholar” wrote when I can go to the original source and find out myself? All you have done is go out to the Internet and find someone who wrote something about what one of the church fathers claimed without checking out their credentials or even going to that primary source to determine if that “scholar” (Giles or whoever) was right. That is what I call gullible and very poor research. That is not thinking. Rather, that is letting someone else do your thinking for you.

            Now that I have given you proper methods of research, go do it the right way. You might learn something. You might also come to understand the truth about Jesus as the Savior.

          • lorasinger

            You read them in the Ethereal Classic Library. I read them from Early Christian writings. Neither of us are talking to Iraneus, Origin or Tertullian, are we. Both of the above are basing their writings on them though, aren’t they? Seems about even to me.

            Darn good thing you have Eusabius to have saved all that stuff for you, keeping out things you don’t need to know, right? And he was so particular.
            He wrote: ” we shall introduce into this history in general only those events which may be useful first to ourselves and afterwards to posterity.” Eusebius, Church History, book VIII ch. 2
            .
            By the way, Eusebius is the one who said that his early copy of Matthew 28:19 was on “in my name”. I guess he was writing that before the church invented the trinity and changed it.
            .

          • lorasinger

            John was writing 60-80 years after Jesus death and his writing shows that he was not John the apostle. All the gospel writers are anonymous. The gospels were named in the late 300’s AD. Luke admits that he is documenting hearsay.

          • Bingo

            Nonsense.

          • lorasinger

            Nope, there are key points and internal evidence shows that the writer of the John gospel is not John the apostle.
            .
            Yup, the bible was put together and named in about 385 AD.
            .
            Check the first line of Luke. He’s documenting what he’s told. Telephone game!

          • Bingo

            The disciple, John, wrote the Gospel of John.

          • lorasinger

            The internal evidence against the authenticity of the Fourth Gospel is conclusive. The Apostle John did not write it.
            .
            John, the apostle, was a Jew; the author of the Fourth Gospel was not a Jew.
            .
            John.was born at Bethsaida; the author of the Fourth Gospel did not know where.Bethsaida was located.
            .
            John.was an uneducated fisherman; the author of this Gospel was an accomplished scholar.
            .
            Some.of the most important events in the life of Jesus, the Synoptics declare, were.witnessed by John; the author of this knows nothing of these events.
            .
            The Apostle John witnessed the crucifixion; the author of this Gospel did not.
            .
            The Apostles, including John, believed Jesus to be a man; the author of the Fourth Gospel believed him to be a god.

            ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

          • Bingo

            If you do not know Jesus personally, and have a relationship with Him, then you can never hope to know, appreciate or understand scripture, least of all apprehend it as truth.

            You follow after skeptics and liars.

          • lorasinger

            Well, if I see him around, I’ll be sure to say hi!
            .
            Not true, the scriptures are plain and clear, if you’re reading the unedited ones.
            .
            Nope. I like biblical scholars. The ones who don’t spin tales and doctor evidence.

          • Bingo

            You will see Him one day, face-to-face, but unless He is your Lord and Saviour, your meeting with Him will be in abject terror, and you won’t be able to even speak, except to drop to your knees and declare Him the King of kings and Lord of lords. Accept His gift of righteousness and it will be a time to rejoice, all your sins paid for by Jesus. Reject His righteousness conferred to you, and you will need to pay for your sins yourself, forever in the place of punishment prepared for all who refuse His great love gift.

            so far, you are not receiving truth, but choosing to accept nice-sounding lies. It’s like treacle to flies.

          • lorasinger

            Well you could be right, but then there are so many religions, all claiming to be right so I suspect the odds of your being right are about 1000 to 1.

          • Bingo

            There are no odds about having the truth. It’s 100% all the time.

          • lorasinger

            True. Your truth is 100% for you but then the others have their truth that is 100% for them too. You can’t all be right and the odds of just one being right are thousands to one.

          • Bingo

            Those who reject the truth of the word of God have no truth in them. 100%.

          • lorasinger

            You certainly are unique then. In a world of 8 billion people, 2 million are the chosen, is that right? I read something about 144,000 – maybe that’s all they are?

          • Bingo

            2 million? Who are you talking about? God desires ALL to come to Him, and that NONE perish.

          • lorasinger

            Well the born agains say they are the only ones who will be raptured and they amount to about 10-20% of Christians. Two billion people are Christians. Half of them are Catholic. A majority of the rest of them don’t go for the born=again thing so I figure that’s pretty close. Seems to me I read something about 144,000 in the bible.

          • Bingo

            All people who have experienced salvation in Jesus Christ and are alive when Jesus calls us, will go. There are billions of born again people altogether—alive and those who have gone before us. The only catholics whoa re Christians are those who have been born again. There is no such thing as conferred salvation by virtue of one’s church affiliation. You can’t be saved by osmosis or by genetics.

            The 144,000 in the scriptures refers only to male Jews, 12,000 from each tribe who will be witnesses of the gospel during the Great Tribulation–when the Christians have gone on to their Bridegroom, Jesus.

          • Nick G

            You clearly worship a sadistic psychopath. Fortunately, an entirely imaginary one.

          • Bingo

            Actually, many of those who reject Jesus are sadistic psychopaths. Jesus came to free us and heal us of sin’s devastation, and disease.

          • Salt

            What are your sources? I see none. A number of the earliest church fathers state to the contrary (Polycarp, who knew John; Irenaeus, 130-200, Hist Eccl5.20.6-7; Clement of Alexandria).

            Just because a document is anonymous does not discount authorship. The gospels were not named int he 300s. They were known way before that by the authors’ names. Besides, any formalization draws from tradition.

          • lorasinger

            The Four Gospels were unknown to the early Christian Fathers. Justin Martyr, the most eminent of the early Fathers, wrote about the middle of the second century. His writings in proof of the divinity of Christ demanded the use of these Gospels had they existed in his time. He makes more than three hundred quotations from the books of the Old Testament, and nearly one hundred from the Apocryphal books of the New Testament; but none from the Four Gospels. The Rev. Dr. Giles says: “The very names of the Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, are never mentioned by him [Justin] — do not occur once in all his writings” (Christian Records, p. 71).
            .
            Papias, another noted Father, was a contemporary of Justin. He refers to writings of Matthew and Mark, but his allusions to them clearly indicate that they were not the Gospels of Matthew and Mark. Dr. Davidson, the highest English authority on the canon, says: “He [Papias] neither felt the want nor knew the existence of inspired Gospels” (Canon of the Bible, p. 123).

            Theophilus, who wrote after the middle of the latter half of the second century, mentions the Gospel of John, and Irenaeus, who wrote a little later, mentions all of the Gospels, and makes numerous quotations from them. In the latter half of the second century, then, between the time of Justin and Papias, and the time of Theophilus and Irenaeus, the Four Gospels were undoubtedly written or compiled.

            These books are anonymous. They do not purport to have been written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Their titles do not affirm it. They simply imply that they are “according” to the supposed teachings of these Evangelists

            The Gospels: Second Century Writings
            Excerpts from “THE CHRIST” By John E. Remsberg.

          • Salt

            >>>”The Four Gospels were unknown to the early
            Christian Fathers. Justin Martyr, the most eminent of the early Fathers, wrote about the middle of the second century. His writings in proof of the divinity of Christ demanded the use of these Gospels had they existed in his time. He makes more than three hundred quotations from the books of the Old Testament, and nearly one hundred from the Apocryphal books of the New Testament; but none from the Four Gospels.”

            FALSE! You are using secondary sources (Giles, and he was wrong).

            While Martyr does not give direct quotes (as though he had the manuscripts) he uses the standard formula used in his time, “It is recorded…It is written.”

            See (Dial. 106.4: “…when a star rose in heaven at the
            time of his [Jesus’] birth, as is recorded in the Memoirs of his apostles, the Magi from Arabia, recognizing the sign by this, came and worshipped him (Matt. 2:1)).

            See also Dial. 103.8: “…in the Memoirs [Gospels]
            which, as I have said, were drawn up by the apostles and their followers, [it is recorded] that sweat fell like drops of blood while he [Jesus] was praying, and saying, ‘If it be possible, let this cup pass” (Luke 22:44, 42). See also 1 Apol. 61.4 for ref. to John 3:3.

            You really need to do your homework with primary sources, because it is obvious you have not done so. Again, I repeat myself, just because a work is “purported” does not cast it as suspect. You still ignore my previous citations to unicals and so on. Nothing you say is supported by primary sources. You can quote Giles, Remsberg, etc., but unless you can
            go to the primary sources, your credibility is suspect.

            We cannot both be right, and we conflict. I have given you primary sources and sound references for you to go to primary sources (Metzger Greek NT, over 30 pages of primary source references).

            All the early church father knew and referred to the gospels. So you are wrong. Do your homework.

          • lorasinger

            Well, not really. “It is recorded” is pretty vague. Does he refer specifically to any of the gospels by name? I’d sure appreciate if you have anything, that you post the exact words.
            ……………….
            Well now that’s another thing. Did he say “If possible, let this cup pass….”, or did he say “Father forgive them…..” or did he just say “It is finished”. If he was close to death, the way he was positioned meant that he was suffocating to death. I wonder how he could talk at all, or even be heard since Romans kept the crowds well back from the sites of crucifiction for crowd control. His apostles had all “fled” so who heard him?
            ………………..
            I’m just comparing the gospels. Do you believe Jesus is God?

  • Excellent post Nadia. Seriously, just excellent.

  • bill wald

    “Belief” = “latest best guess.” It doesn’t matter if it is true, only that it could be true.

    If it is not true because our God could not pull it off, then what CAN our God do?

  • Salt

    Nadia steps out on dangerous ground in the attempt to divorce truth from historical reality and confession of faith from faith in the historical Jesus for the sake of attempting to distance oneself from the Jesus Seminar or the Historical Jesus crowd. If confession is not based on historical reality, there is no confession and no truth. Truth relies on history, and to say it is not is a fantasy and a lie. Where do we draw the line for historical reality for faith? The virgin birth? Jesus incarnate? The resurrection? It is not up to man to determine what is historical or not historical, truth or not truth?

    To devalue the historicity of Christianity’s past is to dismiss that Christianity is open to verification and lends to certain historical facts as legend. Truth and fact are indistinguishable. One cannot believe truth and fact for another as Nadia contends. That is like saying that my parents can believe for me and I am saved. Nonsense.

    H.L. Mechan warned his own denomination of such dangerous thinking. He states,

    “The beginnings of Christianity constitute a fairly definite historical phenomenon” (J. Gresham Machen. Christianity and Liberalism (Kindle Location 204). Kindle Edition.). He also says that faith must be based on the historical reality of the entire Christ event and not just certain things (Location 328). We are not in the position to pick or choose what is historical and what is not. Paul also warned us about the historical reality of the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15). That also applies to the virgin birth. How can one be treated historically true and the other not?

    Nadia should think through the repercussions of her theology. Her statements lend to compromise of the authority of Scriptures and placing such authority in the hands and minds of humanity and not in God alone.

    • Andrew Dowling

      “Truth and fact are indistinguishable.”

      That’s incredibly small minded. Many truths do not overlap with “facts”

      I can say “that song is incredibly moving.” That conveys a truth for me. Is that a fact that it’s a moving song? Facts in that case are beside the point.

      • Salt

        Andrew, to call something “small minded” is the logical fallacy of ridicule.” You just rendered your entire argument invalid. Additionally, when you say “That conveys a truth for me,” you simply establish truth as relative and render it no longer truth but opinion thereby obliterating any meaning for truth and again render your argument invalid. “Moving” is not a truth but a subjective feeling. Subjective feeling does not establish truth, for everyone has feelings and they conflict. When that occurs, they violate the law of non-contradiction.

        You last statement is even more meaningless. For in stating that “facts…are beside the point,” you render an absolute and thereby establish truth. Now if you state that facts “in this case” or in any case for that matter “are beside the point,” you simply contradict yourself and thereby invalidat your argument.

        You may wish to regroup in your logic and statement of premises. Your syllogism is missing quite a bit. In fact, you have no support for anything you state. Besides, you remove my statement out of context.

  • tomas pasquale

    Special conception and/or special birth stories are common in many of the major and even smaller religious traditions of the world. Consider the stories of the Buddha, Lao Tse, Padmasambhava, and Guru Dattatriya, just to mention a few. While belief in them is rarely mandated, such stories are clearly meant to inspire faith. Sadly, they also help some believers to justify the claim that “my prophet/divinity is better than yours, for he was even conceived or born divinely.” Not only does it tend to diminish the humanness of prophets and all the struggles they went through in order to gain wisdom, realization, and/or divinity in the process, but it also has justified the oppression and killing of countless people who do not believe the way you do.

    • Salt

      The difference between the religions you mention and Christianity is that they never based their teachings on historical reality or on what could be verified. Christianity does. Unless faith is grounded in historical fact, it is based on a lie and not on truth or what is true. That which is not based on what is true is not fact. That is, A cannot equal non-A – the law of non-contradiction.

      • J. Craig Haas

        I’ll grant you that “That which is not based on what is true is not fact.” But I would question whether that which is not [scientific] fact is not based on what is true.

        • Salt

          J, All you do is shift authority from God to science without a basis for such a shift. Science cannot be the basis for what is true when most of science has its basis in theory. Theory is tenuous, for as new knowledge arises, it can render a given theory invalid. Science is simply a human name given to the study of a specific quest for knowledge. You simply make a substitution of science without giving a rationale for doing so. my question is, “What is your point.”

  • sandraleesmith46

    The concept that this belief came along post- resurrection, then puts the lie to God’s Word. Isaiah prophesied, hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus that He was to be born of a virgin as part of a promise to a Hebrew king that His Word is to be believed. Others claim similar births, but in none of those instances was the alleged births was prophesied in advance as part of a promise centuries in advance. Therein lies the difference.

    • Andrew Dowling

      You do know the actual Hebrew Isaiah never mentions a virgin birth?

      • sandraleesmith46

        I do know the actual Hebrew Isaiah prophesied precisely that, as part of a promise made by God to King Ahaz. (Is 7:14). That was but 1 of the myriad promises given through Isaiah concerning the coming Messiah, some of which have been fulfilled in the Earthly life of Jesus during the early years we call the 1st century AD. The rest will be completed when He returns.

        • 10kb

          Hmmmm…I think Andrew meant the actual Hebrew word does not say or specify “virgin” woman. It is “young” woman. Not specifically a virgin. The Greek Septuagint changes the word to virgin. And of course, that is the Old Testament Scripture that predominately shaped the early church creeds and doctrines. (And for the record, I’m not claiming there was or wasn’t such a virgin birth, however, this argument does not hold up.)

          • sandraleesmith46

            According to Strong’s Hebrew/ English dictionary, as well as several completed Jewish teachers, over the years, the Hebrew word utilized translates as ” young maiden”, the nearest term in ancient Hebrew to our term “virgin” which is why the Septuagint translators used that term, and modern translators have as well. Had Mary not been a virgin, a different Hebrew term would’ve been used by Isaiah.

          • lorasinger

            Isaiah isn’t referring to Mary.

          • sandraleesmith46

            REALLY? Then why did not 1 of the NT writers object to the use of that specific prophecy in the Gospels in connection with Jesus’ birth? They were raised familiar with the prophets, as well as the law, and to what the prophets referred. Perhaps you’re re following 1 of those ” different Jesus'” about whom He warned us, Himself? Sorry, but the mother of the long-awaited Messiah was precisely to whom Isaiah was referring in that prophecy. His book is rife with promises about the Messiah.

          • lorasinger

            Seeing as how all of the gospel writers are anonymous, how do you know they were raised with familiarity with the prophets. You don’t even know whether they were Jews. They wrote in high class Koine Greek and might well have been gentile converts of Paul’s. No Sandra, there isn’t even one verse about Jesus or any man god in the OT. men gods and virgin birth don’t come from Judaism.
            .
            Jesus own apostles and later followers believed him to be a man so that leaves Paul’s group of gentile converts.

          • Bingo

            The gospel writers are known. Jesus is written about on every page of the OT.

          • lorasinger

            Only by tradition which might or might be correct. Some works were written by students in their teachers names – pseudographics. This is a very good example of those who believe and their tendency to accept tradition as ultimate truth. Impartial scholars will tell it like it is – it’s an anonymous author.
            .
            Why would the Jews of the OT write about a concept that didn’t exist in their thinking? By your kind of thinking , meaning is read where there is none, and exists even in the pages of a telephone book.

          • Bingo

            So, we should believe what you, an unbeliever and a parrot of catholic and other beliefs, think? That’ll be the day.

          • lorasinger

            You wouldn’t know a Catholic belief if you had one in your hand, covered with mustard.

          • Bingo

            Yeah, well it’s just as dumb-looking as a weiner.

          • lorasinger

            Weiner…..meet weiner.

          • Bingo

            Now your immature foolishness is going off the rails. I am done with you and your mockery of the Almighty God and His precious Son, Jesus, the Messiah. He notes all too well your rejection of Him. I have cast my pearls before you a bit too long, and now I bid you farewell. I pray that one day Jesus will get hold of you and that you will give Him your life and come to enjoy the peace and joy that can only come from Him. I surely hope to meet you in heaven one Day that is coming all too soon.

            Shaking the dust …and unsubscribing.

          • lorasinger

            Did you know that there have never been pigs in Israel?

          • sandraleesmith46

            Well, that answers my question more than adequately; you ARE following a different Jesus. I pray you hear God’s call in time and answer it. Denying the divine nature of Jesus places you spiritually on extremely shaky ground, quite close to committing the unforgivable sin.

          • lorasinger

            No, I just know what the original man Jesus would have thought and believed because he would have been exactly like any other Jew of that time in beliefs and actions. Your Jesus is the one of Paul’s invention, a man god based on Greco-Roman paganism.

          • sandraleesmith46

            I was mistaken. You have already crossed the line. My Jesus is the only begotten Son of the living God, Alpha and Omega, the great I Am. I’m sorry for you. What you worship is a humanist lie. Without divinity, there is no resurrection; without the resurrection, there is no redemption; without redemption, there is only the lake of fire.

          • lorasinger

            without the resurrection, there is no redemption;
            ………………….
            Bingo. Just as I thought. Like all pagan man god believers of every redemptive man god in the past, you will believe anything for the promise of living forever. It’s that fear of death that propels you.
            .
            I’m sure that every other believer of pagan lore would have felt sorry for me too, Sandra. Nothing new.

          • Bingo

            The part about living forever is a bonus. What we rejoice in is that we are cleansed from our sin and empowered by the righteousness of Jesus Christ—His life lived in and through us.

            People outside of the family of God cannot perceive how wonderful it is.

          • lorasinger

            I don’t believe you. I am convinced that there isn’t even one Christian who isn’t COUNTING on his belief to give him eternal life, because he/she are afraid of death.

          • Bingo

            Oh does that bother me? No. You reject Jesus. There is an eternal consequence for that decision.

            I don’t fear death, because I am not going to suffer death.

          • lorasinger

            If I even began to believe as you do, you are probably right, I’d be worried. I don’t.

          • Bingo

            “Torah” means “Law”. The Law is written on our hearts…no longer stone. That prophecy has come true in Christ.

          • lorasinger

            Except that Christians aren’t under Torah law.

          • Bingo

            So glad you agree.

          • lorasinger

            That means the OT has nothing to do with you. Are you OK with that?

          • Bingo

            Actually, you have no clue what Jesus thought.

          • lorasinger

            Jesus was a Jew in a Jewish world. He would have thought in exactly the same fashion as any Jew of his time. The fact that he upheld the Torah certifies that.
            ….
            It seems that it is you who hasn’t got a clue. Your Jesus is the one Paul invented, a man-god, who would have been thinking and saying whatever his gentile writers put in his mouth. Anything in that bible of yours that doesn’t reflect the thinking of such a Jew is gentile invention, like the last supper, for instance.

          • Bingo

            As God, Jesus had much higher thoughts than the Jews around Him.

            Jesus is no one’s invention—your ignorance is more abysmally deep than I thought.

          • lorasinger

            Jesus said: Touch me not, for I have not yet arisen to MY father and YOUR father, MY God and YOUR God.

            God said: I am the first, I am the last and beside me there is no god.

          • lorasinger

            The Septuagint in your hands has long since been re-worked by Christian scribes. The original Masoretic reads “young woman”.

        • Andrew Dowling

          No I mean Hebrew as in the Hebrew language. “Virgin” was a mistranslation into the Greek. This is pretty widely known.

          • Salt

            Andrew, you keep on using the phrase “widely known” without citing sources. If something it so widely known, is it that hard for you to cite at least one widely known source?

          • Bingo

            Greek:
            G3933
            παρθένος
            parthenos

            Of unknown origin; a maiden; by
            implication an unmarried daughter: – virgin.

            Hebrew:
            H5959
            עלמה
            ‛almâh

            a lass (as veiled or private): – damsel, maid, virgin.

          • lorasinger

            Dinah was a parthenos after being raped. Betulah is the only word for virgin.

          • Bingo

            Parthenos isn’t in the OT as that is Greek, but betulah almah describes “virgin”

          • lorasinger

            Almah is a young woman sexual condition not specified. Maybe. Maybe not. Anyway, virgin births are a pagan thing.

          • Bingo

            There has never been a virgin birth ever, apart from Mary giving birth to Jesus the Christ. So, you have nothing to offer here but your own putrid paganism.

          • lorasinger

            Where do you think the bible writers got their idea? Not from Judaism that’s for sure.

          • Bingo

            Bible writers had no “idea”. They knew the truth.

            Where do you get your fables from?

          • lorasinger

            Greco-Roman mythology.

          • Bingo

            Exactly. No truth is in them.

          • lorasinger

            They are interesting though with virgin births and men gods throughout them. Quite a difference from Jewish history that has absolutely not even one virgin birth. There is Horus and Attis and Dionysus – all men gods. You should read it some times, just for entertainment.

          • Bingo

            None of it interests me in the least. It is just the effect of evil on men’s minds, giving in to Satan’s fabrications all down through history. Mythology is useless.

          • lorasinger

            You’re right. All that man god stuff is bunk.

          • Bingo

            Mythology is bunk, but the gospel of Jesus Christ is truth.

          • lorasinger

            Kind of like Santa is real but fairies don’t exist?

          • Bingo

            Are you twelve?

          • lorasinger

            Knowing what I know now? I wish. What I meant was that every person believes in the myth of their choice.

          • Bingo

            Well, you have a right to believe in myths and dead gods. For me and my house, we will serve the living Lord.

          • lorasinger

            Well, what can I say? Enjoy serving your “living” Lord. Hope he’s easy to clean up after.

          • Bingo

            Ahh, but He so lovingly cleans up after me.

          • lorasinger

            You do live on a different plane.

          • Bingo

            Yes, I do. As a citizen of heaven, and as a daughter of the King, I live the Kingdom life.

          • lorasinger

            Rapunzel, Rapunzel!

          • Bingo

            It’s true. We who have received God’s free gift of salvation are now Kings’ Kids.

          • lorasinger

            That is if you’ve chosen the right God, Bimbo. Your odds are about 1000:1

      • Bingo

        Does it matter, seeing as Mary herself said she was a virgin? Maiden is also a commonly used word referring to a chaste girl.

        • Andrew Dowling

          We are debating the historical authenticity of the narratives. I don’t think Mary was a virgin nor ever claimed to be one.

          • Bingo

            Every woman is a virgin to start with, so Mary was a virgin, and if you would kindly open your bible (first remove it from its use as a door stop) to Luke 1:34…

            34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”

            The narrative agrees with the prophets:

            Isaiah 7:14
            All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).

            So, who is so vaunting of oneself to question this?

          • Andrew Dowling

            No Jews translated that passage to mean virgin. We know because we have actual writings and commentary.

          • Bingo

            That’s garbage, because Mary herself explained that she had never had intercourse with a man. That spells V-I-R-G-I-N, for those of you who cannot deduce.

            We who know God know this because we know His word.

            Bingo!!!

          • Andrew Dowling

            Mary didn’t write the Gospels of Luke and Matthew. The authors did not know Mary, and were writing what would have been 80+ years after the event, far away from where they took place. Car dealers must love you.

          • Bingo

            No, but God did, by the inspiration of Holy Spirit. It’s not hard for Him to get it right.

            Luke wrote his gospel around 62 A.D. and took his account from eyewitnesses, and none of his writings contradict any other gospel.

            Never mind about car dealers. Jesus loves me and He loves you. Try receiving Him today.

          • lorasinger

            Yes they do. He wrote that Jesus was born in 6AD during Quirinius census. Matthew wrote that Herod chased the holy family. Herod died in 4BC.

          • Bingo

            The discrepancy is in your research. Not too good.

          • lorasinger

            Nope it’s in the bible. Read again.

          • Bingo

            Research further. You lack understanding of the truth of the word of God.

          • lorasinger

            OK, sport, YOU prove me wrong. You can’t and you won’t.

          • Bingo

            I don’t feel the need to prove you wrong. You just are, and it is mostly due to the fact that you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ, and so your views are skewed and hell bent on supplanting the truth. That is Satan’s work.

            I will simply continue to present the truth as I have always done.

            Until you relent and receive Jesus Christ, you can never grasp His truth, but will always remain in the claws of the evil one who plies you with his garbage, all nicely wrapped and tied in a pretty bow, because he knows that you and others like yourself are drawn to his shiny baubles of lies. Speaking of fairy tales, it’s a lot like Hansel and Gretel, where you are drawn to the candy covered cottage and are lured inside to be stuffed in the oven in the end.

          • lorasinger

            Wow, you sure can turn a fairy tale around!

          • Bingo

            Yes, in Christ, I can turn your nonsense on its head.

          • lorasinger

            What nonsense, Bing? I just wrote: Luke wrote that Jesus was born in 6AD during Quirinius census. Matthew wrote that Herod chased the holy family. Herod died in 4BC, 10 years before the census.
            ……
            You can look those up for yourself if you want.

          • Bingo

            YOU look it up. There is more than one Herod.

          • lorasinger

            I did. The great Herod died in 4 BC. His kingdom was split among his sons. Herod Archeolus got Judeah but he was deposed in 6AD and Rome took over direct control, bringing Quirinius in from Turkey where he was legate, to conduct a census for taxation purposes.

          • Bingo

            Then you not only misapprehend scriptural truth, but you mangle history as well.

          • lorasinger

            Nope. I double checked and the dates and events are quite right.

          • Bingo

            Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t, but your facts fail.

          • lorasinger

            Publius Sulpicius Quirinius (Greek Κυρήνιος – Kyrenios or Cyrenius, c. 51 BC – AD 21) was a Roman aristocrat. After the banishment of the ethnarch Herod Archelaus from the tetrarchy of Judea in AD 6, Quirinius was appointed legate governor of Syria, to which the province of Iudaea had been added for the purpose of a census.[1]
            .
            (1)^ Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XVIII, Chapter 1: “Cyrenius came himself into Judea, which was now added to the province of Syria, to take an account of their substance …”

            …………………………

            Herod (/ˈhɛrəd/; Hebrew: הוֹרְדוֹס‎, Hordus, Greek: Ἡρῴδης, Hērōdēs; 74/73 BCE – 4 BCE),[1][2][3][4][5] also known as Herod the Great and Herod I, was a Roman client king of Judea,[6][7][8] referred to as the Herodian kingdom

            .
            So who is right – Matthew or Luke?

          • Bingo

            Matthew is right and Luke is also.

          • lorasinger

            So Jesus was born before 4BC and then again in 6AD. So THAT’S where the term “born again” came from!

          • lorasinger

            Herod died in 4BC. Quirinius was brought in from Turkey for the census in 6AD when Rome took over Judea after Herod Archeolus was deposed.

          • Bingo

            The Biblical census was probably implemented by Herod at the command of Rome to coincide with their decree that all peoples should take an oath of allegiance to Augustus which took place in history around 2 B.C.

            This oath, forced upon everyone in Israel, is recorded by the first century historian Josephus, who also mentions that Quirinius became governor of Syria many years later, after Herod the Great’s son, Archelaus, was dethroned. He wrote:

            “Quirinius, a Roman senator who had gone through other
            magistracies, and had passed through them all until he had become consul, was appointed governor of Syria by Caesar and was given the task of assessing property there and in Judea.”

            So who was in charge as the assessor of property in Judea during the first census? Just as the Bible had said all along, Quirinius.

            http://www.biblehistory.net/newsletter/quirinius.htm

          • lorasinger

            Exactly right. After the banishment of Herod Archelaus in 6 AD, Iudaea Province (the
            conglomeration of Samaria, Judea and Idumea) came under direct Roman administration. One of Quirinius’ first duties was to carry out a census to assess the new province for tax purposes. (Quirinius was the legate of Syria at that time)
            .
            Now check out the date of Herod’s death.

          • lorasinger

            We know the story was written to portray a virgin birth.
            Bingo!

          • Bingo

            We who know Christ know that it is not a fabrication, but a record.

            Bingo!

          • lorasinger

            There are no virgin births or god men in Judaism and Jesus and Mary were both Jews.
            Bingo!

          • Bingo

            There has been one man born of a virgin, a Jewess, who is Yeshua, God incarnate.

          • lorasinger

            Mut-em-ua: The virgin Queen of Egypt, supposedly gave birth to Pharaoh Amenkept III through a god holding a cross to her mouth.
            *Ra: The Egyptian sun god, was said to be born of a virgin.
            *Krishna
            *Karna
            *Tammuz
            *Zoroaster
            *Tukulti-Ninurta II
            *Ashurbanipal
            *Alexander the Great [Plutarch, Life of Alexander,2-3]
            *Antiope: Antiope was seduced by Zeus and bore him twin sons, Zethus and Amphion
            *Attis: Attis was born to the virgin Nana who got pregnant after eating a pomegranate.
            *Auge
            *Dionysus:
            *Melanippe
            *Romulus:Romulus was born to Rea Sivia, a mortal Vestal virgin. [Livy, History 1:3-4]

          • Bingo

            Satan is not very original concerning his demonic stories, to set the stage for conning people out of realizing the true virgin birth of the Son of the Living God.

            There has never been one virgin birth in all of the history of mankind, except for the birth of Jesus Christ to the virgin girl, Mary.

          • lorasinger

            Ah well, Satan can only do what God tells him. It’s the devil you have to worry about.
            .
            “There has never been one virgin birth in all of the history of mankind” – absolutely true!

          • Bingo

            Duh. Satan doesn’t do what God tells him. I don;t worry about him because Who is in me is superior to him and any powers he has. A fallen angel has no power or authority over Jesus.

            There has only been one virgin birth in all of time, and that is the virgin birth of our Messiah, Jesus Christ, to Mary. You have selective understanding, it appears.

          • lorasinger

            The OT Satan acts like a crown prosecutor but he’s very much under God’s thumb – at least to the Jews and their Tanakh. It’s how they understand him.
            .
            Of course, in the NT, you have the Devil who can do whatever he wants.
            .
            Not really selective understanding, Bingo. It’s all that darned medical training that tells me that virgin birth is impossible.

          • Bingo

            Satan still thinks like a prosecutor, declaring our guilt before God, but Jesus is my perfect Advocate. He presents my case, and pays my penalty, so the perfect and just Judge exonerates me and sets me free.

            As for the virgin birth, you simply have no faith to believe God.

            Matthew 19:26
            Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”

          • lorasinger

            Dunno it seems like Satan is a Jewish guy. Our guy is the Devil, isn’t he?
            ……..
            Ah yes, of course, God did it.

          • Bingo

            Satan is a fallen archangel. He is your father, it seems.

          • lorasinger

            My father’s name was James, Bingo. Satan’s real name was Michael. Of course that could be anyone’s ancestor. Do you have Michaels in your family?

          • Bingo

            Everyone belongs to either the family of God, or are dupes of Satan. There is no other choice offered, but everyone has a choice as to who they will spend eternity with.

          • lorasinger

            Neither. It’s your fantasy – you choose.

          • Bingo

            Well, you will either come to Christ before you die and receive Him as Lord and King, with love and thanksgiving, or you will die in your sins and have to bow before Him and declare Him Lord and King, but with abject terror and supreme regret.

          • lorasinger

            Scary stuff you’re preachin’ there. Mighty impressive. It probably worked really well in 1014 too.

          • Bingo

            It works now.

          • lorasinger

            Probably that’s why the most religious countries also have the highest group of unschooled people. Generally, your pitch doesn’t work well where the education level is high.

          • Bingo

            What is a “religious country”?

          • lorasinger

            The ones NOT in the top ten to live in. THEY are all secular.

          • Bingo

            As I have said before: secularism is a religion.

          • lorasinger

            Sweden, Denmark, Canada, Japan, are just a few of them and believe me, they’re not religious.

          • Bingo

            Sure they are. They are devout to secularists, and worship the god of self.

          • lorasinger

            You really should think before your tongue starts reverberating to the echoes of your empty head, Bimbo. Secularism isn’t a religion. It has no god. People can be perfectly happy not pushing their beliefs on others – at least mainstream people can be. Fundamentalists are obsessed with being annoying to others. Whatever seculars are doing, they provide a much better life for those lucky to be living in those countries.

          • Bingo

            Everyone worships someone or something. Secularists worship themselves.

          • lorasinger

            Bye, Bimbo

          • lorasinger

            Isaiah 7:16 16 Yea, before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land whose two kings thou hast a horror of shall be forsaken. (600 years before Jesus).

          • Bingo

            Does this have to do with anything?

          • lorasinger

            Yup, The child Immanuel, will be just a toddler at about the time Ahaz will win his war against the other two kings.

          • Salt

            Andrew, you completely miss the historical and cultural context if you do not believe Mary was a Virgin. Methinks your liberal thinking has clouded your mind and that you read too many liberals.

          • Andrew Dowling

            Historical and cultural context? LOL, so were virgin births common in the 1st century Jewish milieu?

          • Bingo

            Do you deliberately put on the obtuse act? What for?

          • lorasinger

            Only among pagan virgins.

      • Bingo

        Yeah, he does.

    • tomas pasquale

      The gospel writers based their understanding of Isaiah on the Greek Septuagint, not on the Hebrew language text. Thus, they read the prophecy as saying that a messiah is (present, not future tense) born to a “parthenos” (Greek for “virgin”) as opposed to the Hebrew “alma” (“young girl” or “maiden”). Alma appears a variety of times in the Hebrew and is always translated into English correctly, except for its use in Isaiah. Matthew’s and Luke’s use of the Septuagint is likely why they included the claim of virginity for Mary, so Jesus would fulfill their misunderstanding of the actual prophecy.

      • sandraleesmith46

        Try again; your attempt to deny Jesus’divinity falls very flat.

        • Andrew Dowling

          Your short pithy reply to what was a well articulated post shows you really don’t have an answer.

          • sandraleesmith46

            Not in the least; it simply means I recognize you as another anti-God troll, not worth wasting my time on your childish games

          • Andrew Dowling

            I believe in God thank you. You worship not using your brain.

          • Bingo

            We are to worship God with our whole body, mind and spirit—raising our hands to Him in praise, singing, speaking, praising, weeping, shouting, dancing, leaping, lying prostrate before Him, playing musical instruments—with our whole selves.

          • sandraleesmith46

            Really? Which “God” would that be? Not Yhwh surely, as presented in Scripture. But then Jesus did warn that in the end times many would follow othr “Jesus'” and other spirits, so scarcely a surprise. Better I worship Him in Spirit and truth, than “use my brain” as you put it. The mind (heart) of man is a deceitful thing, not to be trusted.

      • Bingo

        Both words in either language means “maiden” “girl’ or “virgin”. you are grasping at straws. Pretty flimsy.

        Mary herself said she was a virgin. There is no manipulation of the prophetic going on, for crying out loud. Are you new?

      • lorasinger

        Parthenos doesn’t ensure virginity either. Dinah was described as a parthenos after being raped. Had the Isaiah wanted to say virgin, he would have used “Betulah”.

    • lorasinger

      Re-read Isaiah 7:14 in context Sandra, keeping in mind that Isaiah is writing 600 years before Jesus, that the word used in the original is “young woman”, not virgin and that two verses down it reads “Before the child learns bad from good, the two kings that you (Ahaz) abhor will be no more”.

      • Bingo

        H5959
        עלמה
        ‛almâh

        a lass (as veiled or private): – damsel, maid, virgin.

        • lorasinger

          The word that is specific for virgin is Betulah. There are no virgin births or god men in Judaism. Why would they write about them?

          • Bingo

            The word “almah” is used in scripture, and means the exact same thing.

            The virgin birth of Jesus Christ was predicted to Israel by God, and actually took place in the exact place predicted, Bethlehem.

          • lorasinger

            Almah means young woman, virgin or not.
            Parthenos means young woman, virgin or not.
            The word not used is Betulah, always virgin.
            ….
            Nope. Virgin birth isn’t a Jewish concept.
            The prediction is for someone of the CLAN of the Beit-Lechem, the house of bread – meaning a very old family – not for a town or where he was born.

          • Bingo

            So what? Almah was the word used by the writer, and virgin is what Mary was–even by her own admission.

            Bethlehem, House of Bread, is exactly where the Bread of Life was born. Praise God!

          • lorasinger

            Nope. Isaiah 7:14 when read in context has nothing to do with virgin birth or Jesus.
            …………
            Nope. It didn’t matter where the messiah was born. It was the clan name for an old family – Biet-Lechem that counted.

          • Bingo

            You cannot say, “nope”, because you haven’t a clue about the Lord Jesus Christ.

            Jesus was born in Bethlehem. It is a town.

          • lorasinger

            That’s what Luke says but if he was born before Herod died as Matthew says, then he wasn’t in Bethlehem for the census because that didn’t come along until 10 years later.

          • Bingo

            Well you need to get your Herods in order.

          • lorasinger

            Well, The great Herod died in 4BC. He assigned to his son, Archelaus, Idumaea, Judea, and Samaria. But soon after (6AD) Archelaus was banished by the Roman government, and Pontius Pilate became procurator of the new imperial province of Judea.
            Atthe same time Herod Antipas was given Tetrarchy of upper and lower Galilee Philip, brother of Herod Antipas, was given the Tetrarchy of Itrurea and
            Trachonitis

      • Bingo

        It’s, “the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.” The two kings hated by Ahaz were Pekah and Rezin, and the land that they represent is not the land of Judea, or the house of David; but the land of Israel and Syria, called one land. It happened.

        • lorasinger

          Yeah, and just as God said, Ahaz won that battle a short time later.

          • Bingo

            So? Is the prophecy negated somehow? No. It was fulfilled.

          • lorasinger

            It sure was, for King Ahaz. The prophecy had nothing to do with Jesus or any man-god.

          • Bingo

            Yeah, it had to do with the birth of the Messiah, Jesus.

          • lorasinger

            Where is Jesus mentioned. Little Immanual was alive and ticking about 700 years before the time of Jesus.

          • Bingo

            That’s a lie you choose to believe.

          • lorasinger

            Nope. I read the entire Isaiah 7:14 in context. Jesus ain’t in it.

          • Bingo

            Yes, Jesus is there, in all His glory. The prophecy Isaiah made was about Him. There is no doubt of that! you obviously cannot discern truth. That’s OK because you are not a Christian and you need to be to allow Holy Spirit to reveal these things to you—otherwise you cannot see it.

          • lorasinger

            Bingo, give the head a shake and read 7:16. It gives the end point for the prophecy made 700 years before Jesus. “BEFORE the child learns bad from good, the two kings that you abhor will be gone” I’ve never heard of a 700 year pregnancy, Bingo.

          • Bingo

            Here’s verses 13-16 paraphrased.

            13-16 So
            Isaiah told him, “Then listen to this, government of David! It’s bad enough that you make people tired with your pious, timid hypocrisies, but now you’re making God tired. So the Master is going to give you a sign anyway. Watch for this: A girl who is presently a virgin will get pregnant. She’ll bear a son and name him Immanuel (God-With-Us). By the time the child is twelve years old, able to make moral decisions, the threat of war will be over. Relax, those two kings that have you so worried will be out of the picture.

            I guess you’ve never heard of God speaking to an individual or a nation couched within speech with some other purpose?

          • lorasinger

            The original, unedited version reads, starting with the first line of the chapter: 1 And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Aram, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to war against it; but could not prevail against it.

            …………………

            11 ‘Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God: ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.’
            .
            12 But Ahaz said: ‘I will not ask, neither will I try the LORD.’
            .
            13 And he said: ‘Hear ye now, O house of David: Is it a small thing for you to weary men, that ye will weary my God also?
            .
            14 Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
            .
            15 Curd and honey shall he eat, when he knoweth to refuse the evil, and choose the good
            .
            16 Yea, before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land whose two kings thou hast a horror of shall be forsaken.
            ….
            It’s pretty clearly NOT about Jesus.

          • Bingo

            It is CLEARLY prophecy about Jesus of Nazareth!

          • lorasinger

            Only in your head is it clearly prophecy for Jesus. Saying it over and over isn’t going to change anything.

          • Bingo

            Not MY head. It is simply fulfilled prophecy about Jesus Christ. It is nothing but. However, to you and other skeptics and mockers, you are just blind to it.

          • lorasinger

            You ARE doing satire! Dumb, dumb, dumb.

      • sandraleesmith46

        I just finished re-reading the book of Isaiah again, for the upteenth time. Almah is the Hebrew word used in that verse, and in Hebrew culture that could ONLY be used to denote a young virgin, just as the Septuagint writers translated it. I thake in its full context, which is the entire Word of God. Except Luke, the NT writers were all Hebrew men, born and raised in that culture. Do you seriously believe THEY didn’t know how the Septuagint translated it, and would not have clarified, if that wasn’t the meaning, when they were writing? Especially Paul, who’d been raised and trained as a Pharisee.

        • lorasinger

          A paste from the original Tanakh.
          .
          14 Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

          ……………

          Rabbi says: “… the Septuagint today is not a Jewish document, but rather a Christian one. The original Septuagint, created 2,200 years ago by 72 Jewish translators, was a Greek translation of the Five Books of Moses alone. It therefore did not contain prophetic Books of the Bible such as Isaiah. The Septuagint as we have it today, which includes the Prophets and Writings as well, is a product of the Church, not the Jewish people”

  • C. Elliot

    Hi Nadia, a Catholic here who’s been fascinated by your comments about Mary. I really appreciated much of this post, but I’m puzzled by your suggestion that being-without-sin would make Mary inherently less truly-human than other people. Sinfulness may be our present default condition (of sorts), but aren’t we to hope for and seek redemption from it? (A particular blog post which you may find interesting on the topic: http://catholicdefense.blogspot.com/2014/05/what-eye-has-not-seen-divinization-and.html)

    If that’s true, wouldn’t a sinless Mary helpfully offer us an ideal example of redeemed humanity? I don’t know anyone who appreciates the Immaculate Conception *because* Mary is thus somehow essentially different from us.

    In any event, thanks for reading this; I’ll continue to read your posts, and I’d be delighted to read your forthcoming chapter about your devotion to Mary. 🙂

    • Joseph (the original)

      I am one that actually believes the doctrinal platform of the Immaculate Conception is a dehumanizing one from a theological perspective.

      I would have to start with the questionable premise of what is termed original sin: a pox foisted upon all humanity through the act of one historical figure, Adam. And for this one simple reason, being human is to be born sinful. However, without the doctrine of original sin, such an exemption is totally unnecessary.
      And I also wonder about the consideration of Mary’s continual virginity. It makes for an awkward example of Christian marital, and familial devotion. By both Jewish and Catholic teaching a marriage is not truly a marriage if it is not consummated. Mary and Joseph would then be guilty of living a lie: appearing to be the Holy Family, but not like any other married couple.
      Nope. Too many theological exemptions and exceptions and attempts at sanitizing the entire Incarnation to where the participants become less than what I can identify with. They become puppets in a series of theological contortions that sets them so far apart from the rest of us they become so heavenly different that unfortunately, they also become no earthly good…

      • lizzysimplymagic

        See, I started interpreting Mary’s sinless nature rather differently (perhaps heretically). I think she also had a redemptive role to play, in the manner of redeeming our *concept* of humanity. She was a single pregnant teenager… and yet she was good enough to bring God into the world. She, with all the flaws of humanity, was nonetheless perfect. Mary as a symbol can be used to oppress humans, women in particular. Or, one can view her as an integral part of the message God delivered to humanity in the figure of Jesus – we are already blessed, we are already saved, we don’t have to act like we’re lost and fallen anymore. We already have God’s love and grace. Emmanuel – God with us. Mary’s “perfection” is the gift God offers all of us. God could have just made Jesus out of clay, right? Or just appeared magically out of thin air? Instead he manifested with the cooperation and consent of human kind, in the person of Mary. I think religious authorities have gone to great lengths to make Mary seem unapproachably good, in order to keep people convinced of their lesser nature. I think it would be healthier to consider the Mary and her Son came into the world to remind us that we are better than we think we are, and to act accordingly.

        I cannot wait for Nadia’s book! I hope she shares a bit of the Mary section here!

        • Bingo

          Mary did NOT have a sinless nature and had no role to play in redemption. Her role was to give birth to the man child, Jesus, and mother Him until His independence—age 12, where He determined for Himself that He needed to be about His Father’s business. Period.

          Luke 2:49
          And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

          Mary was not perfect. She herself said that the Messiah was her Saviour. She was a sinner saved by grace like all who would come to Christ in repentance. Saying that we must emulate her perfection is simply religion gone amok. We are to emulate Jesus. What we need to emulate from her story is submission to the will of God.

          Scripture never encourages us to think that “we are better than we think we are”. We are nothing without Christ! We are people without hope outside of Christ! We can do nothing without Christ!

          It’s all about Jesus! No one else.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            Ok, we are nothing “without Christ”. Are you without Christ, am I? My understanding was that he saved us, so we’re something more than nothing.

            Also, telling women the only person they can emulate is a man seem potentially catastrophic, in my opinion.

            My views on Mary are, as stated, heretical. But they did not originate with me, I am hardly the first or last to consider Mary a co-redeemer.

          • Bingo

            Are you without Christ? I have Christ.

            We are nothing and can do nothing without Christ. When He saves us, we become something to Him that He can work with for God’s will to be done in the world.

            This is not a gender issue. No one is more worthy of emulation than Jesus. Get with the program.

            Mary is no one’s co-Redeemer. She needed one herself.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            “This is not a gender issue.”

            For many women it is, so please don’t dismiss their experiences out of hand. As for getting with the program… whose? Yours? Do you singularly embody the most perfect expression of Christianity, to the point that there is zero possibility that you interpreted things even slightly wrong?

            The fact is, I can’t explain my love for Mary or my theological views with absolute certainty that they are the one and only truth. I don’t require your assent to feel what I feel or believe what I believe, and you do not need mine to believe what you do. Maybe I have misinterpreted things and give Mary too much credit, but maybe you have misinterpreted things and don’t give her enough credit. And that’s ok. God knows best.

          • Bingo

            It is not a gender issue among Christian women.

            I meant for you to get with God’s program. Jesus is our model.

            We all love Mary, but we need to be careful how we handle it, and that we do not extend it to idolatry as we see in the RCC. We are to love God with all we’ve got. The relationship we have with Jesus is so fulfilling that it blocks out any kind of extraordinary devotion a person would have for any other bible character.

            I place Mary in proper perspective, and it is easy to do so because my love relationship with God through His precious Son eclipses all.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            You say this isn’t an issue among Christian women… just how many non-Christian women do you suppose are trying actively to emulate Jesus Christ the man-God?

            Try this: picture Jesus as a woman. See Her in your mind, really picture it. A Middle Eastern woman in her 30s, healing the sick, breaking bread, sharing wine. Nailed to a cross. If that’s too difficult to imagine, Google “female Jesus” and really look at the images. What do you feel when you approach the female Emannuel? If you’re confused, repelled, enraged, or just plain empty inside, if you feel anything but deep love – then, yeah, it is a gender issue. And possibly idolatry, because if you can only conceive of God as a man then you have put limits on Her that don’t exist, and fallen in love with those limits.

            Tell women it isn’t a gender issue while they have to pretend they don’t have a gender in order to emulate someone. All while men remain “intact”, so to speak. Of course it’s not a gender issue – if you are a man.

          • Bingo

            It is not a gender issue for people who know Jesus. Unbelievers don’t emulate Jesus.

            Your fantasy of a female Jesus is inane, and I am only repelled by your mindset. The truth is that God came to earth as a Jewish male, a rabbi, to be punished for our sin, so that each one of us by faith in Him could be reconciled to God. This is a message of hope for ALL people, and for you to minimize it by making some sort of statement about gender is imbecilic at best.

            God doesn’t see us who know Him as male or female. We are all equals, working together to do His will in the world, out of love for Him.

            Your views are puerile, and unenlightened, to say the least. They are the views of a liberal woman who has no clue about Jesus Christ and His message to the world, and particularly to herself.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            You have fun worshipping the angry male God you created in your own image. I’ll keep worshipping the God that is beyond limits.

          • Bingo

            My God is not male, nor is He angry. He loves me and I love Him. It’s a mutual thing we’ve got going on.

            Romans 5:8
            But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

            He is not a god that people create. He is our Creator, and His own are being continually transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.

            Romans 8:29
            For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

            You don’t seem to be worshiping God at all. It must be one of your own making.

            Romans 10:8-10
            But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            If you want to pretend there is no gender issue, if it makes you happier to deny and minimize the alienation women feel when they are told to be more like a male in order to be closer to God, fine. It’s your choice. It won’t change reality for women, but it will mean less discomfort for you, and who am I to expect you to choose a harder path?

            I wish I were more articulate, and could convey my perspective more clearly.

            For now, my heart believes and my words confess that I love the Queen of Heaven and her Blessed Son with my whole being. God will judge me, and I suppose you will too. Guess which is more important?

          • Bingo

            I’ve never heard such a silly thing, that women are told to be more like a male to be closer to God? That’s rich.

            Well you can love the Queen of Heaven all you like, but God doesn’t know you, and neither does Jesus. If you carry on with this heretical nonsense, then yes, judgment will be your end. As a believer, I won’t be facing judgment, as all my sins are forgiven and forgotten. The righteous in Christ do not undergo the Last Judgment.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            Romans 2:6 seems to say God will judge all of us. Not you though. You even presume to tell God what He doesn’t know! Why do we even need God when we have you to decide everything for Him?

          • Bingo

            Born again believers will not be called to stand at the last judgment of God. That is for unbelievers. all believers will be caught up to stand before the Judgment
            Seat of Christ—the Bema Seat—where our works only will be scrutinized and judged—for reward.

            By the time the Great White Throne Judgment comes to pass at the end of all things, the righteous will already have been changed into their glorified bodies, and will have already been “judged” and received their reward, and will have already been ruling with Christ for over 1000 years.

            You need to study the word in its entirety.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            You need to consider your phrasing going forward then, especially since you speak for God.

          • Bingo

            My phrasing is fine, thanks.

          • lorasinger

            You worship Paul’s god so maybe she worships Jesus’ God.

          • Bingo

            That’s rather foolish talk. Jesus’ Father and Paul’s God is God the Father. There is no other God.

          • lorasinger

            Jesus ” father” is without form, one and indivisible with no offspring. Paul’s God is the one you worship – the trinity.

          • Bingo

            Jesus’ heavenly Father is the same Father I have, and that Paul has.

          • lorasinger

            YOUR father is eternal, without form, indivisible, the first and the last, without offspring?

          • Bingo

            My Father is God. My father is Kenneth.

          • lorasinger

            So neither one is the one I mentioned, right?

          • Bingo

            God is my Father. I also have a human father. Are you that obtuse?

          • lorasinger

            I realize you meant your genetic father. Is the other one eternal, without form, indivisible, the first and the last, without offspring? That one is the God the man, Jesus would have worshipped, him being a Jew and all.

          • Bingo

            God is Father…Jesus is His Son and we who are His children are His offspring.

          • lorasinger

            Yes, that is Christian belief – the triune god and Jesus his son, along with the third entity, the Holy Spirit.

          • Bingo

            God is three Persons in One—not three entities. It is more than a Christian belief. It just is.

          • lorasinger

            I guess homeschooling didn’t cover that one. Every person is an entity too. Trinity was invented by the Catholic church in the fourth century.

          • Bingo

            No, Trinity is just a word that describes the Godhead.

          • lorasinger

            Yes, the one invented by the Catholic church.

          • Bingo

            It matters not where the word came from. The Godhead is three Persons in One.

          • lorasinger

            In Isaiah 44:6, God tells us, “I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. This is why God told us in the Ten Commandments, in Exodus 20:3,”Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Even if you think they are god or gods, you cannot have them before God. You do not pray to them in order to get to God, and you don’t pray in their names.
            .
            I am the Eternal, and there is none else, there is no god beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Eternal, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Eternal do all these things. [Isaiah 45:5-7]

          • Bingo

            God is THREE IN ONE–the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Each is not a god.

          • lorasinger

            For Christians maybe but 1+1+1=3. Like in trinity? It isn’t 1, is it?

          • Nick G

            My God is not male, nor is He angry.

            Guffaw.

          • Bingo

            Yes, God is not male or female, and right now we live in a time where His anger is abated because He has poured out His wrath on His Son in our stead, so that we who believe and receive Jesus can live a blessed life. But one day a reckoning will come to those who reject His Son and they will bear the brunt of His fierce anger on themselves.

      • lorasinger

        Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas?” (Matthew 13:55).
        .
        Mar 3:32 There was a crowd around Jesus, and someone said, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.”
        .
        The word used was “adelphos”. The word adelphos means literally,the sharing of the womb.
        .
        adephos (ad-el-fos’); from 1 (as a connective particle) and delphus (the womb); a brother. This clearly places his
        brothers and sisters as coming from the same womb that Jesus came from.

  • J. Craig Haas

    I’m looking forward to your chapter on Mary.

  • Acintyabedhabedhadasa

    In other words, you don’t really believe it, but think it’s important to fake it…?

    • charlesburchfield

      not fake it. i just don’t know. i sure don’t believe it can possibly make a difference in the way i have experienced gods presents, or will make any difference in my future relationship to god and other ppl. My belief in the virgin birth has been only symbolic. To get in the door of certain churches I had to be on their terms chapter and verse. I never thought about it till recently. It is more important for me to be loved. They, the churches I used to go to when I was young, don’t love me. I am poor, sick, old, ugly and fat! Only Jesus loves me and my spouse!

  • Christine Mitchell

    When Jesus said to come to him as a child I think he was making the point that HE is our salvation, not how we interpret the scriptures. Children can’t read but can certainly believe…in Jesus. Jesus warned us when he said that we search the scriptures because inn them we think we have eternal life, but we will not come to him.

    I also don’t think the gospel spread to the illiterate 1st century gentile world because they understood the Jewish scriptures, but because they believed Jesus himself was their salvation. In fact throughout most of the 2000+ years of church history, very few people have had the luxury, as we do in the literate 21st century, of owning a bible and understanding so-called “Christian doctrine”. The church spread throughout the world in “spite” of bad doctrine.

    They only thing we “must” believe is that Jesus is the savior. Anything more that you believe is God’s grace to you, not a requirement for all. And yes, I most definitely believe in a literal virgin birth, by God’s grace. Whether I’m right or wrong doesn’t matter because I believe in Jesus.

    • lorasinger

      The first gentile converts were already used to virgins producing sacrificial men gods who resurrected. There were lots of them in those days.

      • Bingo

        Utter nonsense.

        • lorasinger

          Mithra, Horus, Dionysus? In fact, church fathers were quite upset that Mirthraism was identical and preceded Christianity.

          • Bingo

            Mythology has no power. Who cares what the catholic fathers thought or got upset about? Certainly not me. I know the truth and the truth has set me free.

          • lorasinger

            Hey, be nice to them. Catholics were the first Pauline Christians and you owe them for your bible which they put together in 385 AD and for the records they kept. Without Catholics, you would have none of that.

          • Bingo

            Catholics weren’t the first anything. I owe them nothing. Without catholics, we’d have a lot more truly saved people in the world.

          • lorasinger

            Well, without them, you wouldn’t have the bible nor the early writings of the Christian fathers, not to mention the things that Paul added:

            1.Original sin

            2.Making Jews the villains

            3.Making Jesus divine

            4.Creation of the communion ceremony of blood and flesh.

            5.Jesus’ death being seen as atonement for human sin

            6.Making Jesus the Messiah

            7.Shifting the emphasis from an earthly to a heavenly kingdom

            8.Enlarging the chosen people to include anyone who accepted Jesus as Saviour

            9.Making salvation a matter of belief in Jesus almost regardless of the demands of the Torah

            10.Establishing a hierarchy (literally a holy order) to create and control a Church and more importantly to create and control the beliefs of its membership.[

          • Bingo

            Nonsense. Without them we would be just fine. The catholics like to think they are so many things, but they are responsible only for so much heresy.

            We would still have the word of God, because God used individual men to help Him—not the RCC.

          • lorasinger

            Well you wouldn’t even have had “the word of God” if the Catholics hadn’t put together all the texts into a bible for you. It’s a hard pill to follow for you Bingo, but you owe them for that one. Everything that Paul and later the Catholics added is what you yourself believe.

          • Bingo

            Oh yes I would, for the scriptures were in existence and intact, and used by churches long before the RCC came on the scene. The written word as we have it is a work done by God only, and he used individuals, but not a religion to do it.

            I only owe God my thanks—and the RCC needs to take a step back from their insufferable sinful pride about it. You’d think they wrote the scriptures themselves, for crying out loud.

            Paul didn’t add anything. he penned scripture. whatever the RCC thinks they’ve added is anathema.

          • lorasinger

            Quote: “In the first two centuries of the Christian era, the New Testament had not yet been finalized and the definitive orthodox statement of belief, the Nicene Creed, was still many years in the future. The Roman world was home to many sects labeled “Christian’ – Simonians, Montanists, Marcionites, Arians, Carpocratians – at least ten. All gone. Declared heretics and done away with by the Catholic Church.
            ……………
            Of course Pauline Christians wrote the scriptures, who else? Whatever isn’t Jewish is Catholic addition. The apostles were all practicing Jews who believed Jesus was a man, remember? There are no virgin births of god men in Judaism.

            .

          • Bingo

            Cite your source.

          • lorasinger

            1. Council of Nicea.
            2. Ebionites.l

          • Bingo

            It’s just religious gobbledygook.

          • lorasinger

            Just like yours?

          • Bingo

            I have no religion. I speak only of Jesus Christ and the truth of His word.

          • lorasinger

            Belief in a supernatural entity that guides your life or in your case, your “personal relationship” IS a religion.

          • Bingo

            Belief in a god of stone that is not a supernatural being is the same as worshiping oneself or some dumb ideology. It is all idol worship to God.

          • lorasinger

            You’re babbling, bimbo.

          • Bingo

            Like a brook filled with living water.

          • lorasinger

            I was thinking air – as in head.

  • Kath

    The Virgin birth is spiritual. Mary’s prayers called down the intervention of divine powers beyond just the human. It is seeing with metaphysical eyes, viewing the world as a daughter of her Creator God, through the blue light of The Divine Mother, and understanding the spiritual nature of sacred wisdom. Mary’s longing for her suffering people to be free from the tyranny and violence of spiritual ignorance and arrogance didn’t just call down a miraculous spiritual and physical birth, but also sent a real angel to visit her, and another one to visit Joseph in a dream, and real angels to real nearby shepherds, and inspired real Wise Men to begin traveling to see what the star would reveal, which Mary’s plea to God placed in the skies for them (although she did not know how these details would manifest themselves). Mary’s prayers inspired and set in motion an entire stream of like-minded souls (both heavenly or earthly beings) and natural events to help achieve in reality what the spirit longed to live. Mary was just as awed by the arrival of shepherds and Wise Men who came to visit her child, and Joseph too was left in wonder, as the shepherds were by seeing and hearing angels, and the Wise Men felt as they allowed themselves to be led mysteriously to travel guided by a star in the night sky. The sacred nature of wisdom traverses spiritual planes, and intersects and crosses with the divine in immanent ways and means. Mary’s heart gave birth to the spirit of love. Her role is far more critical than many imagine. It was her own prayers, the purity of her intentions, the longing she had for her people to be free from all that leads to spiritual suffering and death (which then leads eventually to physical degradation and destruction, suffering and death such as is manifested today on a global scale) that she was gifted to give birth, and (not to be underestimated) raise and mother and teach one who would embody the humanly divine and divinely human, and lead the way, provide a trustworthy path for human civilization to follow. Mary gave birth to the spiritual path of love, justice, and mercy, and the divine answered in actuality the call of that single women’s spirit.
    The Virgin birth is spiritual and mystical, before it manifests in physical reality.
    Mary, as all people, did not need another human being in order to form a loving bond with her Creator. Mary was in direct communion with the light within.
    Spiritual longing and praying for justice and mercy (for the fullness of life that Christ promised was available, for real joy and abundance to reign on earth as it does in heaven) precedes its arrival;
    truth that is as trustworthy today as it was 2, 014 years ago.
    We are creating our reality on earth.
    Co-creating our world with the help of Our Creator entails enlisting, asking, and seeking the assistance of the divine. To achieve the will of heaven on earth, individuals must ask and seek the help of God. A single heart can change the world, and call down the miraculous just like Mary. What could a whole chorus of individual hearts call down to earth?
    It involves stepping out in faith, and following the light.

    The light is within.
    Mary was the first one to know and trust the divine light within her own heart.
    Joseph was the second to know and trust the divine light within his own heart.
    The shepherds and Wise Men were the third to know and trust the divine light within their own hearts.
    And, Christ was born inevitably among them, born from their trust in God, to know and trust the divine light within his own heart.
    Between them all, they laid down the ancestral spiritual beginnings of the pathway to knowing the “light within” for others to follow.
    This seemingly insignificant family achieved the miraculous through their own belief in a greater power than just their own at work in their real lives.

    The miraculous intersects with the ordinary;
    the ancestral lays the foundation for the present;
    the heavenly is contained within the earthly;
    the divine crosses with the human,
    and within creatures, and all of creation,
    and heaven, peace
    is born on earth
    from within our hearts, minds, souls, bodies,
    from our enlightened vision …

    and we are changed.
    Everything and everyone shimmers in this clear dawning light,
    like morning dew,
    like diamond dust.

    Wisdom and real happiness, true love and the fullness of joy and abundance in life itself cannot issue from falsehoods or half-truths that form blinders to spiritual evolution and higher consciousness: God is just “out there” somewhere like a brilliant and distant star rather than also the “light” within that guides us; that the light of God is only divine Father and not in holy communion with the light of divine Mother, a divinity that they share with the pure light of the Universal One (as revealed to Dr. Walter Russell almost a century ago); that heaven, awe, and miracles are only present in some next life rather than available also in this moment; superiority viewpoints rooted in creating imagined and manufactured superior/ inferior classifications (the superior gender, race, color of skin pigment, culture, sexual orientation or identity, age, and abilities), class divisions that create ignorance, arrogance, condemnation, judgment, ill will, suffering, disunity, chaos, injustice, violence, a lack of mercy, and block our ability to see the light within others; the obsessive acquisition of material wealth and possessions, and the fabrication of fear and scarcity tactics to drive price and availability of goods and services (even necessities like water and food) that are spiritual blinders to insidiously-growing greed within our being; presumed status and prestige, and therefore, imagining privilege and entitlement over others and fabricating conditions to inflict and enforce it; forcing silencing, suppression, oppression, manipulation, and domination over other human beings, all of creation, and over knowledge, innovation, and evolutionary enlightenment; disregard and disbelief in the Creator’s wisdom present in nature and natural processes; profaning and trampling the reverent presence of sacred dignity within oneself, others, and in creation; and undervaluing the simplicity of true spiritual knowledge and true wealth.
    Before we can say “yes” to truth and higher enlightenment, we must close the door, and say “no” to lies and deceptions that masquerade as truth while they take away respect, dignity, honor, justice, mercy, equality, knowledge, innovation, higher consciousness, love, creation, and life itself.

    The light of God is within.
    And when we believe and know that God is present within our own being,
    we can do all things,
    including
    move mountains, and inspire angels and shepherds and Wise Men to visit us, to
    let us know that God hears and answers our prayers. And as these real answers to our prayers are manifested, we help to call forth the sacred in our child who is in our midst, who is then enabled more and more to manifest ever greater miracles, crossing the spiritual nature of God with the immanent presence of God in reality.
    The spiritual birth of love, which was Mary’s true longing, gave birth to the answer in real time and real space with real characters playing real parts, characters who also longed for the same birth of civilizational loving enlightenment that Mary’s heart was able to call forth into being.
    It is the spirit that leads to joy and abundance, to the fullness of life, which
    still longs to be born within the human heart.
    And it has been that same spiritual longing now for 2, 014 years.
    The greatest fall of humanity is falling away from our own sacredness, our own light within, proclaiming sin is our original nature rather than our nature being rooted in our original sacredness, and choosing sin and depravity instead; imagining superiority and entitlement; chasing monetary wealth and worldly power to our own and the world’s detriment; forcing the suppression and oppression of peoples, knowledge, creatures, and creation; and permitting spiritual and actual destruction and devastation to dominate and reign over and above the sacred seed placed by Our Creator within our being, the being of others, and within all of creation.

    It is we who still cannot seem to fathom.
    God is
    within
    all,
    all peoples and all of creation,
    which we deny, condemn, and kill within ourselves and others
    or give birth into being.
    It is the Living Cross of abundant life, which Christ gave to humanity,
    the knowledge that the spirit of God crosses with the immanence of God in all peoples and all of creation that we destroy, or bring to life.

    We will never know a present world full of the divine presence of God,
    the will of heaven on earth,
    as long as we disallow, block, deny, and reject
    God from being born
    in our own hearts, minds, bodies,
    and world.
    Mary’s prayers and longing for spiritual enlightenment for her people
    prepared and led her to say “Yes” to God’s answer.
    Joseph also said, “Yes”.
    Nature’s shepherds and Magi seeking the cause and meaning of the light of the cosmos said their own “Yes”
    to following the light that guides from above
    and also within the heart, mind, soul, and being.
    And, so did
    Jesus.

    What will we say?

    And,
    will we follow?

    • Evermyrtle

      Such a dialog saying nothing, that I can see!You may not know JESUS CHRIST, as your post seem to say, but there is one thing that I have no doubts about, JESUS CHRIST knows you, HE knows all about you.

      John 3:16-18
      16. For GOD so loved the world that HE gave HIS only begotten SON, that whosoever believeth on HIM shall not perish but have everlasting life.
      17. For GOD sent not HIS SON into the world to condemn the world: but that the world through HIM might be saved.
      18. He that believeth on HIM is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begegotten SON OF GOD

  • DC Rambler

    Hmm..Some would point to the first gospel Mark and the absence of the virgin birth. In this gospel the holy spirit enters Jesus at his baptism. When Mathew and Luke were written, using much of Mark with a few tweaks, we see the influence of the Greek understanding of the God / King where a virgin birth would resonate with converts to this new religion. The gospel of John dropped it..
    To early Christians, it would seem that the birth story was not the center of their faith..It was just an introduction to the greater message..

    • lorasinger

      The Jerusalem Christians didn’t even think he was anything more than a man either.

  • Jamie Clemons

    Some guy snuck in at night and and whispered I am the holy spirit and had his way with her.

    • That is a wicked and blasphemous comment for which you will give account. But no more blasphemous than the evil theologians who claim the virgin birth as untrue.

      • lorasinger

        Yeah, especially when there were so many pagan virgin births and men-gods too!

      • Nick G

        Yes, and what’s more Jamie, the bogeyman under the bed will get you!

  • Ken Orton

    At this point in my faith/life, it seems that every belief I have is established as a result of some other belief. That is, if the virgin birth was actually a virgin birth, then it depends on Jesus being God (not so sure if he was “the son” or “a son” at this point, but then that depends on believing in the God of our fathers, which is not the god I believe now might exist. The point of argument used to be whether Mary had contributed an egg for this child and surprisingly most pastors and other theologians I asked thought that it was, whereas I had always believed that the fully fertilized zygote was probably implanted. Otherwise, Jesus would have half of his genes from Mary, a sinner and unclean. In the question of whether our faith is based on a virgin birth I would say no more that the story of the flood, the exodus, etc.

    • Bingo

      Jesus did receive half His genetic code from Mary. Many say He was sinless because His DNA was minus the Adam/male/sin chromosome.

      • lorasinger

        Sin chromosome? Do you happen to know what number that chromosome is? I know that #2 chromosome is what keeps us from being monkeys.

        • Bingo

          It’s a theory, and not a bad one, that the sin of Adam caries to the human race through the male chromosome.

          • lorasinger

            Which chromosome?

          • Bingo

            No one knows—it’s a theory. Get it? But sin is pervasive throughout the whole human race since Adam, who, like his wife, Eve at one time had no sin on them—they were innocent..

          • lorasinger

            A theory isn’t a wild guess except in the secular world. A theory is a conclusion based on given number of observations that are reproducible with identical results each time – a simple example is jumping off a cliff which gives you the theory of gravity. No magic to it. Did you know that there is a way of telling, in hematology how far a blood type goes back? Did you know that the bloodline of the mother of everyone on earth is only about 60,000 years old and that she is probably the only one of many women, but the only one to have an unbroken line of daughters to this day? Amazing, isn’t it? Adam is the same but he goes back a whole lot longer and probably didn’t even live at the same time.

  • Neil D. Cowling

    I too with Nadia confess the faith of the church that Jesus was “born of the Virgin Mary.” I also confess with the faith of the church that I “believe in one God” who is “Maker of heaven and earth, [and] of all things seen and unseen.” I think that covers all the bases. If indeed God is the maker of all things, then it should be no big deal to claim that God implanted in Mary’s womb a zygote with all of the genetic information–DNA–needed to become the baby whom we call Jesus.

    • There are million that have confessed faith in Jesus and, yet, are lost; still in their sin. “You must be born again.”

      • summers-lad

        “If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Rom 10:9). Being born again is not the only phrase that can be used to describe salvation – and Jesus in his conversation with Nicodemus is intriguingly mysterious about what he means by “born again”, although he does clearly say it is by the Spirit.

        • The basis of the born again experience is repentance: turning from sin and sinful nature, to the only Savior, Jesus Christ, calling upon him to save you and make you good. It is coupled with faith, or trust in the Lord Jesus, who he is and what he taught, which is the gospel. It is the work of God within a soul, the grace of God. Those who have followed the Billy Graham method of salvation still remain in their sins, having believed a false gospel thinking their own works of coming to an altar and praying a simple rote prayer will save them. Graham misuses Rom 10:9 leaving out much of the surrounding verses and the most important: “Whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

  • ChuckQueen101

    You don’t need the virgin birth for the unique oneness of the divine and human (neither Mark nor Paul place any significance on it), for that is true of every single one of us. Our problem is that most of us live most of our lives unaware of the Divine Presence within, without, and all around. I see Jesus as the quintessential human being who brings the divine and human together as the representative, archetypal “Son of Man” and “Son of God” showing us the potential and possibility of embodying/incarnating Divine Reality in human flesh and blood.

    • Agree. Thank you.

    • Bingo

      We need everything that God has done and for the reasons He had to do it. God has purpose for everything He has done and is doing. If it eludes you, then so be it, but don’t make up stuff.

      You don’t come off as wise when you say that God using a virgin to carry the Son was not necessary. it’s just foolish talk.

    • What a bunch of new age tripe!

  • marty_jones

    I tend to be surprised that theologians/people of faith have trouble believing that the Creator of the entire Universe wasn’t able to create a single sperm cell in the uterus of Mary. I also tend to believe that the DNA in that cell matched the DNA of Adam; but people of that time weren’t too concerned about genetics.
    I think the point of the Incarnation is that Jesus was fully human and fully divine. The genes of Mary, a fallen human being like the rest of us; and the Genes of the Creator. As I was writing my 12-year old granddaughter last night, the birth of Jesus as a human baby proves that Jesus knows what it’s like to be a 12-year old; and the Creator knows what it’s like to be human.

    Was Jesus fully human? Thankfully, no. He was more like what we will become when we get Home, and all of the crap we carry with us will be burnt off. Was Jesus fully Divine? Yes, but I don’t believe that a human brain can hold the entirety of the Creator of the Universe. I tend to think that Jesus’ agony in Gethsemane was caused by His Father giving Jesus foreknowledge of all the horror that was going to be caused in Jesus’ name, in the centuries to come. And Jesus realizing that the next hours had to be endured, anyway–so that He might be enabled to live in our hearts.

    • Jesus was fully human, only without sin.

      • lorasinger

        God forbid human sacrifice.

  • Andrew Dunlap

    That Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, is a central biblical truth.he did not have the DNA of a fallen human otherwise he would not have been an acceptable sacrifice. He had to be sinless. Mary provided and egg and a womb.

    • Bingo

      Jesus was fully human AND fully God. The egg Mary contributed was fully human.

      • lorasinger

        Her egg carried only half the chromosomes. 23 chromosomes would produce a different species.

        • Bingo

          Yep, with only 23 human chromosomes, God entered into the equation and so we have a man, Jesus, who is also God. One unique and perfect man, with no sin, who took our sins on His body.

          • lorasinger

            We have only one pair less chromosomes than monkeys and that is only because the #2’s are actually two chromosomes fused together. 23 chromosomes doesn’t produce a human.

          • Bingo

            23 human chromosomes added to whatever God supplied created Jesus.

          • lorasinger

            Ah, more magic, right? Like Santa’s suit that always keeps clean. You’re NOT suggesting that God produces semen, are you?

          • Bingo

            You’re sick.

          • lorasinger

            Well, I tend to think of things in biological terms, you on the other hand, think in terms of magic.

          • Bingo

            That’s just stupid. Magic is of the devil, and something I believe interests you. I follow Jesus and the word of God.

          • lorasinger

            Nah. Magic is another myth but if people like to muck with it, it’s none of my business unless they bother me. Agreed. You follow Paul’s man god and the triune god.

          • Bingo

            I follow Jesus Christ.

          • lorasinger

            Yes, Paul’s man god.

          • Bingo

            Calling Jesus a man god is a pejorative. Paul is my brother in Christ. Jesus is fully man and fully God.

            Stop being so vile and maybe this discussion can go somewhere.

          • lorasinger

            Of course he was a man. He was born a baby, grew, was executed for sedition by the Romans, wasn’t he?
            ………
            Now Bingo, a god can’t die and therefore isn’t a sacrifice. A man dying for others sins is just a human sacrifice and God hates human sacrifice. Jews were forbidden to do that.
            ….
            I’m glad Paul is YOUR brother, not mine (not that mine is much better). Jesus followers, the Jewish Christians (later Ebionites) didn’t think that way. Dat Kazav (Lying Religion, or Religion of Falseness) is a Hebrew term Ebionites used to describe Christianity that comes from the ‘ish kazav (Lying Man) Paul of Tarsus.

          • Bingo

            Willful ignorance, thy name is lorasinger.

            Jesus was fully man and He suffered a torturous death in your place, so you could have eternal life. Knock that blasphemous chip off your shoulder before He does.

            Such obtuseness and ignorance coming from someone who claims to be studious.It’s crazy.

            You prove you know NOTHING whereof you speak.

          • lorasinger

            Well then, if he was fully man and was “sacrificed” then all you have is a human sacrifice and that’s pagan.

          • Bingo

            Not one little bit. You speak out of your limited fleshly understanding. Jesus laid down His life out of love—that is something different.

          • lorasinger

            Leviticus covers directions for sacrifice. See any in Leviticus for humans?

          • Bingo

            Do you? Your ignorance is astounding.

          • lorasinger

            Bimbo, you’re doing satire, right? Nobody can be that dumb.

          • Bingo

            And what do you do for your encore, loungesinger?

          • lorasinger

            Out of BS/ammunition?

          • Bingo

            UNSUBSCRIBING.

          • lorasinger

            Nice picture. Your brain wave pattern?

          • lorasinger

            In Deuteronomy, it says that every person must atone for their own sins.

          • Bingo

            Without a Saviour, that is how the law worked. Atonement was made by blood sacrifices by the priests for the people.

          • lorasinger

            Nope, Torah says that every person must atone for their own sins. You don’t need blood sacrifices. Animal sacrifices stopped when the Temple went down. Animal sacrifices were done only for inadvertent sins anyway. Even flour could be presented if that was all you could afford.

          • Bingo

            In the OT, yes, but under the New Covenant of grace, we have a Saviour who has paid the full penalty for our sin. No more blood of goats, bulls, or lambs. The Lamb of God shed His blood for us.

          • lorasinger

            Human sacrifice was forbidden to every Torah upholding Jew and Jesus upheld the Torah.

          • Bingo

            Of course it was. Yet God called Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, his beloved son. why? To foreshadow God offering His own beloved Son to the world so that He could forgive our sins and give us abundant life in exchange. That was God sacrificing Himself. IT has no similarity to pagan human sacrifices. Only God could sacrifice Himself for us out of unfathomable love for us.

            You miss the truth of this by more than a mile. It’s really sickening, to tell you the truth., I do believe I am speaking to a demonic force in you.

          • lorasinger

            Abraham was tested for faithfulness, to see how far he would go to obey God. He was never meant to kill his son. Notice, there happened to be a perfect sacrificial animal that “just happened” to be caught in the brambles nearby. Pagan human sacrifices involved taking the “innocent” and killing him/her for the sins of the others. Sound familiar? God even mentions the heathen who sacrifice their innocents and declares that he abhors the practice.
            .
            Demonic force? That is SO dark ages stuff. I KNOW what the Jewish scriptures mean because I took the trouble to ask the Jews whose book it is and who know better than Christians what their scriptures mean. Besides they have the Talmud that helps explain them so that the understanding hasn’t changed in 2500 years. Christians on the other hand, read things into the OT that aren’t there and not satisfied with that, they’ve also edited and interpolated their copy of the OT.

          • Bingo

            So, you seriously think you can teach me something about Abraham and God’s thoughts about His commands to him? I find that ludicrous.

            The Talmud is not of God.

            You haven;t a clue about how people who walk with Christ view the scriptures. You don’t know Him and you think you can relate what they mean? Get outta here.

            We see Christ in the OT in every single book. The Jews are blinded right now and cannot see it apart from a personal move of the Holy Spirit on them. Many Jews are receiving their Messiah, Jesus these days.

          • lorasinger

            That’s true. The Talmud is of the indivisible God of Abraham, not your triune God.
            …………
            I understand both religions. I’m pointing those differences out to you.

            True, YOU do. BUT not a bit of the OT is about Jesus. The Jews are perfectly fine. They follow an entirely different religion with no resemblance or relationship to yours. Many Jews are Christian converts true – no longer Jews = through stealth missionary work.

          • lorasinger

            The new covenant of Jeremiah concerned the Jewish people, not Christians. It’s pretty clear when you read the verse in context that it’s a renewal of the covenant that is sealed with circumcision of all males.
            The new covenant was invented by Paul who said that the law was a curse and was no longer needed. That’s why he broke with the apostles at Antioch. They felt he was preaching heresy.

          • Bingo

            The New Covenant was ushered in by Jesus Christ! You have no clue about Paul!

            You are spreading heresy in your ignorance.

          • lorasinger

            The New covenant was ushered in by Paul and his man god close two two generations after Jesus, the man was dead.
            ,
            Nope, I’m telling you things your church won’t.

    • charlesburchfield

      yes/and she was impregnated by her father god. does that make jesus her brother and son?

      • Bingo

        Yes, and Saviour and Lord.

        Mark 3:33-35
        Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he looked at those around him and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

        • charlesburchfield

          good answer!

        • lorasinger

          Jesus did have brothers and sisters, Bingo.

          • Bingo

            Yes, He sure did! I’ve never said otherwise. My point above was something other than that, if you’d look.

          • lorasinger

            Full brothers and sisters?

          • Bingo

            Half brothers and half sisters, fathered by Joseph, of course. I am amazed you have to be told this.

          • lorasinger

            Well then Jesus had no claim to the lineage of David. A child can only receive his his/her lineage from a natural father. Mary, as the mother could not give him lineage, just her Jewishness. So, neither genealogy is any good. So now what?

          • Bingo

            Jesus is directly from the line of David, and He will take the throne of David in Jerusalem when he returns to reign for 1000 years. Can’t wait.

          • lorasinger

            Jesus didn’t have a natural father to give him that lineage. Joseph’s line was disinherited because of the sins of Jaconiah. Jesus didn’t have a lineage and no claim to the throne of David.
            ……
            Can’t wait? Are you waiting for the rapture?

          • Bingo

            His lineage comes from Mary, His only human biological parent. Joseph’s lineage, as His adoptive father is also exemplary and agrees with prophecy.

            The disputes over Jesus’ lineage also dovetails with the prophetic mention of the priest, Melchizedek, a pre-Christ figure, who came on the scene with no lineage.

          • lorasinger

            The mother can’t give him lineage and in any case the line was to go back to David through Solomon. Mary came from the wrong line through Nathan. Joseph’s line was disinherited because of the sins of Jaconiah. Still no lineage.

          • Bingo

            Scripture records Jesus’ lineage from both Mary and Joseph. Take your pick. Your take on matters is skewed once again.

          • lorasinger

            Neither one applies. We’re talking Jesus in Jewish times with Jewish laws. No natural father, no lineage. It’s still a no go.

          • Bingo

            Well, Jesus, like the foreshadowing Melchizedek, has a lineage that doesn’t follow the norm. His Father is God. Get it???

          • lorasinger

            You need to do some heavy duty reading on that one, Bingo. There are many opinions of Melchizekek and his origins. In the book of Enoch, is written how Melchizedek was born of Sofonim (or Sopanima), the wife of Nir, a brother of Noah and was taken to the garden of Eden to protect him from being swept away in the flood. Josephus refers to Melchizedek as a “Canaanite chief” in War of the Jews, but as a priest in Antiquities of the Jews. It’s a good story with lots of variables.

          • Bingo

            Opinions don’t matter. What God’s word says, does.

            Hebrews 7:1-3
            This Melchizedek was king of the city of Salem and also a priest of God Most High. When Abraham was returning home after winning a great battle against the kings, Melchizedek met him and blessed him. 2 Then Abraham took a tenth of all he had captured in battle and gave it to Melchizedek. The name Melchizedek means “king of justice,” and king of Salem means “king of peace.” 3 There
            is no record of his father or mother or any of his ancestors—no beginning or end to his life. He remains a priest forever, resembling the Son of God.

          • lorasinger

            Well according to the book of Enoch, he is recorded as being ( the text of which was also found among the DSS), Noah’s nephew and not in any way anything but human.

          • Bingo

            The book of Enoch is not holy scripture.

          • lorasinger

            Not to you maybe, because the church didn’t choose it. It was, however, to the writers of the DSS.

          • Bingo

            Right, not to me or the Body of Christ, because it is uninspired words of man.

          • lorasinger

            Or Christians, you mean? I guess it doesn’t agree with what you believe already, right. Prideful little thing!

          • Bingo

            The book of Enoch is not of God, so we don’t need it for truth. Your pride is monumental, and based on guesswork and the false ramblings of spiritually weak and errant people.

            Done with you. A closed and hardened heart needs the oil of the Spirit to make it malleable. God will have to do an independent work on you, because you prove to be antagonistic and unwilling to listen to the truth.

          • lorasinger

            Bye, Bimbo.

          • lorasinger

            Nope. Mothers can’t give lineage and she’s from the wrong line anyway, through Nathan. The prophecy is descent from David through Solomon.

          • Bingo

            That’s what you think, but God’s word says otherwise.

          • lorasinger

            That would have to be in the OT, Bingo because it’s before the NT was even thought of. So how about chapter and verse, Bingo.

          • Bingo

            Nonsense. The word prophesies the virgin birth hundreds of years before Jesus came, with many small details included! The lineage of both Mary and Joseph are published in scripture. You cannot refute what’s there. So, you find it impossible to accept Jesus because He has no biological paternal lineage? That’s what makes Jesus the Son of the Most High God. That’s what makes Him God incarnate.

          • lorasinger

            Well that’s what you’ve been taught and you believe and that’s OK. But it still isn’t grounded in fact. It is simply unsupported belief much the same as believing you can fly. Only belief.

          • Bingo

            There are about 324 messianic prophecies in the Old Testament…all referring to Jesus the Christ, who fulfilled every one of them.

          • lorasinger

            Not even one, Bingo. Remember? No man gods in Judaism.

          • Bingo

            Yes–EVERY SINGLE ONE was fulfilled by the man, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.

          • lorasinger

            You can say black is white but it’s still black.

  • Al Cruise

    I wonder how many people [especially academics] say they believe in the virgin birth solely based on the fact that they are unable to face the rejection from their peers if they were to doubt.

    • Fred Wallis

      The same might be said of those (especially academics) who will not make the claim for fearing rejection for holding such a “conservative” view. It goes both ways.

      • Andrew Dowling

        The difference is conservatives in a so-called “liberal” college aren’t forced to sign a statement affirming liberal theological matters, like exists in evangelical colleges concerning inerrancy/creationism etc.

        • Fred Wallis

          No difference: apples and oranges. The comment above addressed peer rejection not college or university doctrinal criteria. An employed professor should have the ethics to not teach at a school from which they are willing to take a salary but not hold to the institution’s statement of faith.

          • Al Cruise

            “The same might be said” That’s like suggesting that whites experience the same kind and amount of racism, as minorities do in this country.

          • Fred Wallis

            Surely you’re not categorizing the atrocities suffered by Native & Black Americans and the concomitant racism with the tension between liberal and conservative religious academics. The significant suffering of those minorities at the hands of Anglo Americans and the continuing struggle for credibility isn’t even the same universe as simple opinion wars over what constitutes metaphysical realities. Poor analogy. The direction of the comments on the original posting have taken a serious nosedive.

          • Al Cruise

            The atrocities suffered by Native & Black Americans was caused by conservative religious academics at the time. I think it is a good comparison.

          • Fred Wallis

            Good grief!

          • Al Cruise

            It’s your first comment about my post that warrants a good grief. Conservatives have been the gatekeepers and held the bully pulpit for centuries on this issue, and many people suffered dearly at their hands for simply sharing a opposing view. It’s still happening, just read some of the comments here suggesting Lutherans will be going to hell. Ignorance is bliss for you folks.

          • Fred Wallis

            One should not use personal pronouns for people about whom they know nothing. My use of “you’re” was in response to an analogy you offered and questioned only the opinion. I said nothing unkind nor did I attempt to question anyone’s intellect. My only regret is wasting my time which I will now correct.

    • Janice Prindle

      None. There is no doubt when it comes to reason and the facts.

    • Many seminary professors openly reject the virgin birth and miracles. How many Lutherans simply go along with their leadership that has embraced homosexuality as acceptable? I wonder if they care that they will be rejected at the judgment seat of Christ?

      • charlesburchfield

        gee that’s harsh, doug! you are not jesus.

        • I am his disciple and part of his kingdom. What I have said is the truth. What is it that offends you?

          • Bingo

            The truth often offends. The stone of stumbling and all that comes into play here, big time!

          • charlesburchfield

            what often stops me from getting close to ppl is that i think i have the right to think i’m better than they are b/c of something they can’t help.

          • lorasinger

            The best way to overcome that is to meet some of them and realize that they live their lives in much the same way you do. Whether they are of a different color, race, or religion, you will find once you’ve made friends, a whole new world of understanding also opens up. You may not agree on things but you can agree to disagree and still have friendship. Try it. I did and I’m glad.

          • lorasinger

            What absolutely offends me, Doug, is that you advocate hatred and by extension, persecution of a people who have no choice about how they were made. Gays have had absolutely no impact on my life and their life is no business of mine nor should it be any of yours.

            You have your rigid views about how everyone should act and how every one should believe, specifically just exactly as you believe and that is a whole box car load of hooey. Live and let live and butt out of people’s lives. You have no mandate to pick people apart and dictate to them what they should believe.

          • Hypocrite! You do the very things you condemn me for! You use the Bible as if you belief it, but don’t believe it all, neither is the Lord your God. You play a game of words and pretend to care, but are simply a busy body in the affairs that do not concern you.

          • lorasinger

            Pow! You got me, Doug. There are those people who know how to drive a car – like you and your verses, and there are those who know how it was put together out of parts – that’s me.

    • charlesburchfield

      that’s passive/agressive faith i think.

  • Holly Clark

    I am so thankful for the reminder that my faith isn’t dependent on me (because I am in a constant state of faith, doubt and emotional debates) but that as the church, together in community, we believe together with each other and for each other.

    • But have you been born again, or are you simply a proselyte of a denomination? Is your faith from the Son of God or just a mental faith in the Son of God?

      • charlesburchfield

        why do you want to know?

        • Because “you must be born again to enter or see the kingdom of heaven,” Jesus told us. If you have not been born again, then you are still in your sins and that is something you should really be concerned about. Those living in sin will face the judgment and eternal punishment. This is something everyone should be concerned about!

          • charlesburchfield

            i think being ‘born again’ is a process of letting go of pride in anything, and resentments about anything. it’s really impossible to do on my own.

          • Bingo

            Where is Jesus in that “process”?

          • charlesburchfield

            he is that process. it’s his practical gift everyday that i can be freed and free of pride, fear, resentments. how is it for you?

          • Bingo

            I was born again at age 10, but for the past 52 years, I have been growing in Him through studying His word and by fellowship with Him and His people, and by learning to submit to God’s will. It’s a fun and rewarding life, but not without trials that test my mettle in Christ and serve to make me stronger.

            Being born again is a one time experience, but learning to yield, walking out one’s salvation takes the lifetime we are given.

          • charlesburchfield

            i kin diggit!

          • yep! i got sober 10+ years ago and have to turn it over to god everyday to maintain serenity.

          • Is that what Jesus taught? It is not about you doing something, but God doing a mighty work within you as you repent of your sin and turn to Him who alone can save you.
            All of our attempts to do this or that in our own strength will fail. Being born again is what happens when men repent and believe the good news. It is a mighty work of grace in the heart of him or her who believes.
            Modern religion which passes as Christianity rejects the born again experience opting for self change. This is a rejection of Christ and the cross, choosing to continue to live by law, rather than repent and be truly born from above.

          • charlesburchfield

            yes i am born again.

          • By what you have described, charles, you have not met the Lord, nor been born again. There is no greater danger to a soul than to believe they are saved, when they are not. Millions of Billy Graham converts and others who have followed the path of false conversions, are confident of their salvation, but have become hardened to the true gospel that calls men to repentance. They have a type of faith, but it is false. They do not know the Lord. To know Him and the only true God is eternal life, Jesus tells us in John 17. We are to seek Him until we find Him and receive that true faith that comes only from the Lord, as it says in Ephesians 2:8-10: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Eph 2:8-10 (KJV)
            The grace of God is God working in us, bringing us to repentance. When that work of repentance is sufficient, the soul meets the Lord Jesus, who alone saves. It is the Lord Jesus who gives us his faith. As Paul said, “I live by the faith of Christ…” Note we are “his workmanship,” and not our own.

            The work Christ did on the cross is the only reason men can be saved. All our efforts are in vain in our flesh or old man. God must work in a soul and until a person rejects his own works of trying to save himself or make himself “righteous” and casts them aside, he cannot be saved. We are too corrupt and all our works in the flesh are as filthy rags in his sight. As long as a person is trying to be a Christian in his own strength, without having been born from above, changed within and made a new creation in Christ, they cannot be saved, but are still out side of grace. Then there are those who start out, having been born from above, but turn aside, listening to false teaches who tell them another way (another gospel) that requires their self efforts or trying to keep certain rules and laws in stead of simply trusting Jesus.

          • Onos

            I am curious Doug, what do I have to do to become “born again” as you say?

          • http://unitedinchristfellowship.net/article1.html
            this article sums it up very well about being born again.

          • charlesburchfield

            jesus is lord.

          • Do you think that by repeating those words you are safe? The devils believe Jesus is Lord and they tremble. “And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.” Mark 3:11 (KJV) When Paul said not one could say, “Jesus is Lord” but by the Holy Ghost, he meant from the heart. Millions say such words with their lips, but their heart is far from Him. What do you suppose Jesus meant when he said, “Many will say unto me, “Lord, Lord”…but I will profess unto them, “I never knew you.” Such people called him Lord, but did not obey Him….time to rethink your tenuous position.

          • charlesburchfield

            get behind me satan!

          • lorasinger

            Wow! I was born right the first time.

          • Bingo

            Everyone is born a sinner and heading toward judgment.

          • lorasinger

            Yes, that’s what Paul added – original sin, and what Christians believe. That must be a bugger!

          • Bingo

            No, he didn’t.

          • lorasinger

            Jews don’t believe in original sin and the Jewish Christians were all practicing Jews.

          • Bingo

            “Original sin” is a doctrine made up by men. However, we all are born with a sin nature, and that was understood by Jews under the Old Covenant.

          • lorasinger

            No, Jews have always believed that a baby is born innocent and without sin. The Jews are still under the old, eternal covenant.

          • Bingo

            All babies are born innocent, yet possess a sin nature.

            The Jews may be thinking they are under the Old Covenant, but it is ow defunct. They are still invited to come under the New Covenant of Christ, their Messiah—of GRACE, and many are doing just that.

          • lorasinger

            Church invention. If they are born without sin, then we’ll make up original sin so the church can still have their claws in them.
            ………….
            The old covenant was eternal and even Jesus said that. There can be no “new” covenant when the old is eternal. Saving by “grace” and “faith” was invented by Paul. James said “Will faith save you? Faith without works is dead”.

          • Bingo

            You know nothing about the true Church. Everyone is born innocent, but with a sin nature. We all need a Saviour from birth.

            The Old Covenant was not eternal. God declared its passing.

            2 Corinthians 3:11
            So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever!

            Paul has never invented one single thing. He is an apostle of Jesus Christ, and spoke for Him. If he spoke for himself, he always said so. You haven’t clue one about him or about the scriptures, and have yet to say anything of value in this entire thread. You should maybe stop where you’re at before you dig yourself even further into the dark hole you’re in.

          • lorasinger

            No, every person must atone for his own sins, says Deuteronomy.
            …………..

            Here are some verses which show that the covenant of G-d will never end.
            .
            (Ecc 13:14)”Whatever G-d decrees shall be forever; nothing shall be added to it nothing shall be taken away.” (Christians have added the NT)
            .
            Dt 4:2)”Every word which the I command you. You shall observe and do Thou shalt
            not add unto it nor diminish it”
            .
            (Ex 31:16)”The Israelites people shall keep the Shabbat,.observing the Shabbat throughout the ages as a covenant for all time.”
            ……………….
            Of course Paul invented Christianity. He never even met Jesus nor did he study under the apostles. There are no men gods in Judaism. Human sacrifice is forbidden. Every person must atone for their own sins. Your story comes from the men gods of paganism.

          • Bingo

            Jesus atoned for the whole world’s sin.

            Your claims about Paul are pure lies right out of the mouth of Satan. You have no clue about what you’re speaking of, but you just keep on yammering away. It’s pathetic.

          • lorasinger

            Faith is a way of thinking which circumvents evidence, reason, and common sense.

          • yes & i’m glad ur here!

          • lorasinger

            How much easier not to have been born at all. Sure hope reincarnation isn’t true. This time around wasn’t my idea either.

          • i hear ya! who invited us to this party anyhoo! i wonder if there is anybody above god holding him accountable!

          • lorasinger i’m a little slow on the uptake! i’m just getting ‘it’ now. commenting is too tricky sometimes i get confused trying to figure ppl out. i can usually tell the religious addicts apart from those who are satirists.

          • lorasinger

            16And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

            17And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
            .
            Is there a verse somewhere about being “born again”?

          • lorasinger

            Jesus taught that you must keep the commandments and live a righteous life. His brother said essentially the same thing – “Will faith save you? Faith without works is dead”. Just be a good guy and you’ll have nothing to worry about.

          • charlesburchfield

            i think the holy spirit helps me live ‘born again’.

          • i think the holy spirit helps me live ‘born again’.

          • Bingo

            Yes, He does, and He will always be there before you, behind you, beside you, above you and beneath you, holding you up.

          • yes bingo yes! i’d love to hear your born again story!

          • Bingo

            You can ask me on Facebook.

          • i don’t hunt w/ that dog. i’m sure others here besides me would love it if you would share.

          • Bingo

            No they wouldn’t. I am not casting my pearls here.

          • swine!?

          • Bingo

            In all truth, yes. I need to obey the Lord about it.

          • do you mean to say you are in recovery from religion addiction and you admit you are a swine or…?

          • Bingo

            Wow, I detect a lightbulb moment there…not.

            Read the word, figure it out.

          • the ‘word’ for some religious addicts is like taking a stiff drink of alcohol is for an alcoholic.

          • Bingo

            That may be your opinion. Read the passage and discover for yourself what it means. I am not taking your silly bait.

          • lorasinger

            Whatever brings hope and comfort, Charles.

          • yes. ‘born again’, this term has a bad rap & i don’t use it very often if at all. i’ve been thinking about ‘sin’ the same. what is ‘sin’, to me, has the flavor of the horrible shape life can become when exposure to traumatic emotional injury inflicts torment for a lifetime. w/out hope of escaping one is vulnerable to dispare. i’ve had the ‘f**k its’ almost forever. my hope is in a loving something outside myself that makes a way to reconnect w/ a felt sense of well being w/out resorting to addictions.

          • Bingo

            No one is good, or righteous outside of Christ. That is what God says. When we receive Jesus, we receive His free gift of righteousness. You can be supremely good according to man’s standards, but without Jesus and His saving grace, you’ll be told, “I never knew you”, and cast into the fires of hell.

          • lorasinger

            Nah, that’s what the church teaches you. Read the “I never knew you” part again.
            ..
            Matthew 7:21 ” “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
            ….
            The key words are: “but he who does the will of My Father” The person who leads a righteous life and follows the commandments (Law).
            ………….
            What does he say about the faith people? Absolutely nothing.

          • Bingo

            The Church doesn’t teach me. I teach the word of God and my fellow believers teach me. We are the Church.

            The righteous follow after Jesus and do the will of the Father. That is a mark of a believer—those who place their faith and trust in Jesus.

            So, what are you denying, now?

          • lorasinger

            Don’t be crusty, Bingo. I’ve been nice to you and even given you some arrow-ups too.
            ……….
            That’s right, you pass on what you yourself were taught. Of course when you say “we are the church” and include your fellow believers, you can’t very well say “the church doesn’t teach me”, can you?

          • Bingo

            Yes I can say that. There is no such thing as a central church authority the way the RCC has claimed for so long. It’s an ill-begotten lie of the devil. All believers make up the Church, and we are the righteousness of God in Christ, and we are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Jesus Christ teaches us, as we teach each other and the world. We are not beholden to it…we are the Church.

          • lorasinger

            Well then all you can do is mull things over and pass the same information back and forth. Nothing new ever comes in, right? Jesus, the man, was a Jew who preached to Jews, Bingo. Are you a Jew? Or, is it Paul’s Jesus?

          • Bingo

            Mull things over? Do you think there needs to be new truth added, somehow?

            There are new believers added to His Church in the world every day by the thousands.

            Jesus is fully man and He is also fully God. He brought His gospel message to the Jews, and He opened up His offer of salvation to the Gentile because of the hardness of the Jews’ hearts.

          • lorasinger

            No, I’m saying that if you church members are discussing, then all you’re doing is mulling the same “truths” over and learning nothing.
            …….
            Yes, and I’ve heard all about the civilizations destroyed by missionaries and gays in Uganda who are now being executed. All that love!
            …………..
            Jesus never preached to gentiles. Paul was the first “apostle” to the gentiles and he offered you a god man.

          • Bingo

            People in the local churches vary in their spiritual maturity. some are unbelievers. There is nothing being mulled over repetitively. All we can know about God and serving Him and growing in him can never be exhausted.

            Civilizations ruined, eh? Christians are the ones who bring hope to the world darkened by sin. that is what we are called to do by God. He loves the world and wants them to know His love. We obey, while you sit and fiddle. We bring them eternal life, while you are heading to destruction.

            Jesus Christ has commanded that we go into the whole world toe very creature: Jew and Gentile alike.

          • lorasinger

            There again, you live in illusion. Tribes in Africa have lived successfully in total harmony with the earth. Your missionaries have gone over, pushing your religion, robbing them of theirs, demoralizing them and leaving them in shambles. Entire civilizations are gone that way. They are much better off without you.
            ………..
            The man, Jesus commanded his apostles to avoid gentile towns, Bingo. He said that he was “sent only to the lost sheep of Israel”. Matthew 28:19 is a forgery and doesn’t appear in the earliest copies of Mathew, as attested to by Eusabius.

          • Bingo

            “Living in harmony with the earth” still gains one a destiny of destruction. God is God and he desires that all men come to know Him.

            No one is better off not knowing God. Every single human being is given the opportunity to know Him. It is a choice.

            Jesus did nothing of the kind, Loungie. He commands His disciples to go into all the world and preach the Good News of Jesus Christ to every creature.

            You know nothing about the bible.

          • lorasinger

            bimbo, Jesus was a JEW who died and remains dead. Your mythological man god with whom you are in a relationship is Paul’s baby.
            ..
            The natives living without you predators are truly blessed and probably know God better than you, by a different name. Certainly, they are not as obnoxious.
            ……..
            I know more than YOU and that’s what counts.

          • Bingo

            The devil has you so wrapped up in his lies that he makes you think you’re so clever. It’s all a big ruse and you’ve fallen for it, hook, line and sinker. Sorry for ya.

            Jesus is alive and well and living in me and all those who are called by His name.

            You actually know NOTHING. Sad but true.

          • lorasinger

            Kool aid was good, huh? Maybe a bit strong though.

          • ya think?

          • lorasinger

            I’d believe Jesus over Paul any time.

          • yes!

          • lorasinger

            Yes, that’s true Doug. Jesus as a Jew would have believed as all Jews do, that when you die, if you have been evil, you will remain dead or go on the sheul but if you’ve been righteous, you will be “born again” into eternal life. So that’s where it comes from.

          • Bingo

            That is not quite the truth. One is born again in order to receive eternal life. Until such a point in one’s life where one receives the free gift of God’s righteousness, God considers men unrighteous and outside of Christ, will be judged as unworthy.

            “Born again” comes from the teaching of Jesus in John 3 where He teaches Nicodemus about a spiritual rebirth. We have all experienced a natural birth, but in order to know God and experience eternal life, we must experience a new birth, a spiritual or super natural birth. That comes to us as a free gift of God’s grace through our faith, believing in Jesus Christ as the propitiation for our sins. when we do this, we receive His life to be lived in us and through us, and we will never experience His wrath and judgment—ever, but will experience His love and blessing forever.

          • lorasinger

            I was just going by Jewish belief because Jesus was a Jew. In Jewish terms, when you die, if you have been righteous and have followed the commandments, as Jesus directed, you are “born again” into eternal life. I guess Paul changed that too, eh?

          • Bingo

            You cannot attribute Jewish beliefs to Jesus, who came to set men free from the law, and to usher in the New Covenant. God changed it.

          • lorasinger

            I certainly can. He was born and died a Jew, a Torah upholding Jew at that – Remember, he said that Torah law (Moses law) was valid to the end of time? Paul came up with the “new covenant” among a whole host of other things. Jesus said that he didn’t come to change the law. Paul said the law was a curse. There’s your new covenant.

          • Bingo

            Jesus upheld the Torah, but He came to establish the New Covenant, one that is superior to the Old Covenant. Paul did not come up with anything. He was called to preach and help Jesus establish the ways of the New Covenant in the world. Jesus is the New Covenant. There it is.

          • lorasinger

            No, he said that he did NOT come to change The Law which is Torah. Paul is the one who said The Law was a curse and no longer applied because of a new covenant. It is Paul who invented the new covenant.

          • Bingo

            Don’t be ridiculous. You really know nothing of what you speak. That is false. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law. It has given way to the New Covenant. God provided the New Covenant in His Son, and by His blood.

          • lorasinger

            THE NEW COVENANT:
            Jeremiah 31:32 But THIS IS the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the LORD, I will put My law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people;

            33 and they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying: ‘Know the LORD’; for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more.

            34 Thus saith the LORD.

          • Bingo

            That is exactly what God has done, praise the Lord.

          • lorasinger

            So God put his (Mosaic) Law on the “inward parts” of the Jews so he is their God and they are his people and the covenant was renewed. I didn’t know that? What about yours?

          • Bingo

            No, He didn’t.

          • lorasinger

            Well, I’m not surprised. Jeremiah was a Jew and his God was the indivisible Jewish one without kids, so maybe it’s a different ballgame for you?

          • Bingo

            Your game must be Parcheesi.

          • lorasinger

            I’ve heard of that board game. Never learned how to play it. Do you play?
            ……….
            Really, Christians use a syncretism, don’t they?

          • Bingo

            No, because knowing Jesus is not a religion.

          • lorasinger

            Religion is loosely defined as “Belief in a supernatural being or beings that guide your life”.

          • Bingo

            I never use the word, ‘religion’ in connection to my faith, because it is not a religion so much as it is an intimate, personal relationship with God.

          • lorasinger

            Yes, I’ve heard others describe it that way. Seems to be the “in thing” right now.

          • Bingo

            It’s the true thing and has been for over 2000 years.

          • lorasinger

            Christianity wasn’t even invented yet in Jesus time and not until over a generation later, Bingo.

          • Bingo

            “Christian” is a term used for the followers of Christ and was first used in Antioch, but we are all simply disciples and have been termed that sicne he beginning—even before Jesus was crucified and rose again. The Church of Jesus Christ was birthed in earnest at Pentecost, which was just 10 days after His Ascension—the very same generation.

          • lorasinger

            The Christians at Antioch were headed by James after Jesus’ death and they were all practicing Jews. The Pentecost is a Catholic invention.

          • Bingo

            More crud from you. You are an unbeliever. You reject Jesus Christ. You despise Paul for some reason, yet you adhere to some false catholic dogma. What a mess.

            Pentecost was an actual event. You can deny it all you want, but that just makes you a fool along the lines of the flat earth people.

          • lorasinger

            You aren’t very well schooled are you, Bimbo? You accuse me of being Catholic, all the while reading that I do not believe a Pentecost, an invention of the Catholic church, ever occurred – nor do I revere Paul, who provided the basis for the Catholic church. Both of them are the things YOU believe in. Are YOU Catholic?

          • Bingo

            Hey, Loungesinger, croon me another one.

            Your love of the lie reveals to me that you are not well schooled in very much except you may have a degree in drivel.

            Catholicism is a religion that tries to mimic true Christianity, but is not Christianity. It isn’t even a denomination within Christianity. It did not originate with Paul or Peter, but the simple and feeble religious minds of men.

          • lorasinger

            It was the only show in town for 1500 years, having murdered off all opposition. You have no line going back to Jesus unless you’re a Jew. Peter remained a Jew. Paul is your old daddy-0, Bimbo.

          • Bingo

            “Show” is right. A veritable carnival.

            My brand of Christianity goes right back to Jesus Himself, a lot longer than the new kid on the block, catholicism.

          • lorasinger

            Not even a chance unless you’re an Ebionite. There aren’t any of them left though.

          • lorasinger

            Well, when Judas died, Matthias was chosen in his place. At Antioch he was outed for leading people to turn their backs on Moses (meaning the abrogation of Mosaic law) and was rescued by Roman soldiers and then headed back presumably to Rome. He self appointed as a first apostle to the gentiles but his message differed from that of the apostles. Jeremiah speaks of a new covenant but then says that the new covenant will be such that God will imprint his Torah on their hearts. Now what Paul’s teaching has done is exactly why he was brought to Antioch – for teaching people to turn their backs on Mosaic law, exactly what this new covenant means. He said The Law, which is Mosaic Law, is no longer necessary for Christians. The Jews meanwhile require righteous gentiles to follow the 7 Noahide laws (based on Mosaic law).

          • Bingo

            You haven’t a clue. We aren’t bound by the Mosaic law! We have Jesus Christ. That is why He came…to release people from the Mosaic law. The letter doesn’t save anyone—it is powerless, but the blood of the Saviour does.

          • lorasinger

            Of course you’re not. The Jews bound only righteous gentiles to the seven Noahide laws and you’re not under them either. Yes, you’re right, That’s what Paul said – gentiles don’t need to follow Mosaic law.

  • To be a Lutheran or Methodist or Pentecostal or Catholic or any member of any of these multitude of sects, believing in the virgin birth of Christ is not essential to have their form of faith or belief in God.

    For a Christian who is a follower of Christ and has met him and knows him, however, it is essential to believe all that Jesus taught and the the apostles wrote about him. To not believe is to reject the word of God and the teachings of Jesus, and to, therefore, walk in sin and rebellion to God.

    • Bingo

      True enough!

      2 Timothy 3:5
      They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

    • Janice Prindle

      Depends on what you mean by “believe.” It is most definitely not essential or even possible to take everything as actual fact– contradictions and all. We need to separate accuracy vs. inner truth.
      Jesus, after all, used parables– not news briefs! So did the writers of the gospels use stories to make their point.

      • Do you believe Jesus’ parables? And where was Jesus “inaccurate” in any thing he said or taught?
        In comparing parables of Christ with news briefs are you implying new briefs from ungodly reporters would be more accurate than the son of God?
        You seem to be one tainted by the denominational wickedness enveloping most churches, that teaches unbelief in the word of God, having more faith in denominational teachings than the actual Bible.

        • Janice Prindle

          You have seriously misread what I wrote. And you insult me.Not to mention many other Christians. I fail to see any spirit of loving Jesus in your personal attack.
          I said that in the gospels, Jesus often spoke in parables– stories–suggesting he knew that his audience would understand that stories illustrate inner truths, not taking them as “actual fact” ( the way we read news briefs today). Accuracy is not the purpose of a parable, by definition. It is a moral story, open to interpretation. This was part of the Jewish tradition of midrash. Likewise the authors of the gospels expected that their audience would be able to grasp the inner truth of their stories about Jesus– they were not trying to report “actual fact.”

          • I did not insult you and your judgment of me is what I call an attack. If you reject denominationalism, say it. Is fact on a higher level than truth? It is not. And Jesus’ parables are not open for interpretation. There is only one true interpretation, not many. Neither is it true what you said about the gospel writers, who wrote both facts and truth. Was it not a fact that Jesus was born of a virgin? That is what this article is about. It was both a fact and a fulfillment of prophesy and a mighty sign from God.
            You talk about inner truth, but what really matters to all men is that they repent and receive the truth, who is Christ, and follow Him and love Him. Only then can a man know the truth and be set free. Many denominations claim to have the “truth,” but they espouse heresies mingled with some truth and divide the body of Christ against the teachings of Christ for unity. Paul says we are to be of the same mind and same judgment about all things. But denominations reject this very important teaching of Jesus so they can have their tradition and so they reject Christ.

          • Janice Prindle

            “Tainted by denominational wickedness” is not an insult?
            And you think Jesus would talk to me that way?

            I wonder why someone with your views is trolling on a progressive Christian blog. I have no desire to engage
            with you further; you aren’t going to convince me or anyone else with a background of religious studies that it’s your way or the highway when it comes to experiencing and understanding God. Go believe whatever you want, just understand there are reams of historical evidence based on the work of people with God-given intelligence who have also loved God and Jesus wholeheartedly, that contradict what you claim as “fact.” And look up the definition of “Bibliolatry” in the dictionary. If the shoe fits…

          • As you said, if the shoe fits, wear it. Truth about your state is not an insult but a warning. Millions will (or already have) found themselves in hell who have listened all their lives to seminary professors or their proselytes, which are the modern pastors. Such men are wolves in sheep’s clothing, false teachers who teach unbelief in God and His Word. They are clever and charming and learned apostles of Satan who come as angels of light, deceiving many. Just who did you think were the “many, many” Jesus talked about who would stand before him calling him “Lord,” but failing to do the things he asked?
            By the way, such articles are sent my way via conservative blogs, along with many other articles on many subjects. As a Christian I have every right to rebuke the unbelief of supposed Christian leaders who deceive others in the body of Christ. I have many Lutheran relatives who are headed to hell today, having their ears and eyes shut by their wicked pastors who “teach for doctrines the commandments of men.”

          • lorasinger

            How do we answer those who might say the same thing about you?

          • lorasinger

            Doug, you wrote: “Was it not a fact that Jesus was born of a virgin?” Where does “born of a virgin” come from?

          • lorasinger

            Pst, Janice. He’s a fundie. Like in Christo-Taliban?

        • Guest

          “It is also written in a single draft and without much thought so – kind of jumbled.”

          I’m an English teacher. Thanks for the trigger warning. 🙂

    • charlesburchfield

      no it’s not.

      • Bingo

        Yeah, it really is.

        • charlesburchfield

          just b/c you say it is?

          • Because it’s what Jesus taught, ” Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
            John 5:24 (KJV)
            When people don’t believe the teachings, the words of Jesus, they reject him and will perish in their sins. Those who say they believe, but fail to obey him and disregard some of his teachings are just fooling themselves. They will be among the crowd on the Judgment Day who call Jesus “Lord” but failed to do the things he said, and thus, are rejected and cast into the lake of fire. The first teaching of Jesus for all men is to repent and believe the good news; not just part of it, but all of it!

          • charlesburchfield

            w/ respect, doug, what does your heart say?

          • “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me, ” said the Psalmist. He also told us how very important the Word of God is to anyone who desires to live godly in this present evil world.

            Jeremiah told us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10 I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” Jer 17:9-10 (KJV)

            If you are trusting your heart, charles, but not abiding by the word of God, you’ve been deceived. Christ has brought me great peace of heart in believing the scripture, which is the word of God. Christ shows us the truth by His Holy Spirit and we are commanded to “walk in the Spirit.” I have learned discernment over many, many years as the Spirit teaches me to know right and wrong.

            My heart tells me you don’t know the Lord, Charles, but think you do.

          • lorasinger

            Can I ask just one question? Jeremiah’s god, the God of Abraham, was eternal, one and indivisible with no parents, siblings or offspring. Now, the Christian god is made up of three parts and so is divisible into three parts and off course, he has a son. How do you figure that one?

          • Bingo

            God has always been three persons in One—not three
            “parts”. Elohim, the first name He gave us of Himself is a plural name. Jesus has always been with the Father and can be found on every page of the Old Testament.

          • lorasinger

            The word Elohim possesses a plural intensive syntax and is singular in meaning.
            .
            For example, the Hebrew word chayim, meaning “life.” Notice that this word contains the identical plural suffix “im,” as in Elohim, yet it repeatedly means “life”, in the singular, throughout the Bible.

          • Bingo

            Many such words present this way and there are reasons for it. Elohim is indicative that God is three in One.

            Genesis 1:26a
            Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us…”

          • lorasinger

            LET’S (let’s) SEE, How can I explain: “Jews are taught that God is One, God is Indivisible, and this is found throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. Isaiah 44:6 tell us that, “I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” When Isaiah tells us that God said, “I am the first,” it means that God has no father. When Isaiah tells us that God said, “I am the last,” it means that God has no literal son. And when Isaiah tells us that God said, “Besides me there is no God,” it means that God does not share being God with any other god, or demi-god, or semi-god, or persons.

          • Bingo

            Yes, God is One, and God is indivisible. God is also Three Persons in One—Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who have existed always—are eternal. Each Person of the Godhead is God. the Father is God, the Son is God the Holy Spirit is God.

            You have not been able to grasp the truth and so now you think that you can pass on some deep wisdom, here? Go back to your coven.

          • lorasinger

            Nope, you can’t have it both ways, Bingo. There are no men gods or trinity in Judaism and they wrote that part of the book.

          • Bingo

            I have it ONE WAY. God is a Trinity—Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

          • lorasinger

            Yes, I know. The pope has already admitted that it was invented by the church in Rome in the third century.

          • Bingo

            God presenting Himself as three Persons is not an invention. The pope has no clout.

          • lorasinger

            Not among protestants but the Catholics are the origin of all Christianity. They laid the foundation for all of it, including the trinity.

          • Bingo

            LOL! Catholics are larecomers to Christianity, having originated sometime around 315 A.D. So, you’ve been hoodwinked yet again.

          • lorasinger

            You are under the illusion that there were protestant Christians BEFORE Catholicism? Not unless you were Jewish Christians and in that case you would believe Jesus was a man. Catholicism got to the top in those years by killing off its opposition.

            You have absolutely no history pre Paul.

          • Bingo

            No. There were Christians before catholicism, and there are Christians now, in spite of it. Catholicism is just another world religion.

            As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, established at Pentecost, my faith has been around since then.

          • lorasinger

            Have you ever read Josephus? He was governor over the area for years. He wrote: ”

            “When I was about sixteen, (53AD) I wanted to
            gain first-hand experience of our different movements. There are three: first, the Pharisees, second the Sadducees, and third the Essenes – as I have noted frequently. I thought I would be able to choose the best, by learning about all these schools. Thus I steeled myself for the task and studied the three courses with some effort”. (Josephus)

            It seems that he didn’t notice those 3000 or more Pentecost people who were converted right after Jesus died because they didn’t seem to be around in 53AD, Bingo.
            .
            Of course, it could just be a story, dya’ think?

          • Bingo

            Josephus wasn’t a Christian. He was a secular historian. What he omits could also fill a book or two. The bible is truer than his words and has all authority, so when Acts reports 3000 converts, there were 3000 converts added to the Church of Jesus Christ, and from then on, thousands more.

            You’re the one perpetuating stories.

          • lorasinger

            Not in Israel, Bingo.

          • Bingo

            Yep, in Israel.

          • lorasinger

            We already have Josephus taking stock and listing all of the major religions in Israel in 53 AD. “Pentecost” had come and gone. There were no Christians.

          • Bingo

            There were THOUSANDS of Christians.

          • lorasinger

            Bingo, if there had been thousands of Christians, Josephus being the governor, would have known and documented it. He didn’t. It didn’t happen.
            ..
            After Jesus died, the apostles either became Nazarenes/Ebionites (still Jews) or returned to mainstream Judaism. After his “conversion” Paul headed off into the desert, some say to stay there for 11 years taking instruction “from no man”. There were no Christians until after Paul.

          • Bingo

            There were thousands and thousands. You love the lie, and are caught up in it. It will destroy you.

          • lorasinger

            Faith is a way of thinking which circumvents evidence, reason, and common sense.

          • Bingo

            Faith elevates us above measly reason.

          • lorasinger

            Yeah, who needs evidence, reason or common sense when you have faith. Good thinking, Bingo.

          • lorasinger

            And the LORD said unto Moses, “See, I have made thee a god (Elohim) to Pharaoh, and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.” (KJV)

          • Bingo

            Exodus 7:1The Lord said to Moses,
            Behold, I make you as God to Pharaoh [to declare My will and purpose to
            him]; and Aaron your brother shall be your prophet.

            The use of the word, “elohim” there is as one would refer to gods, angels or judges or magistrates. It was not used as a proper name of God in the original, but in the general plural, “god”. What was meant is that Moses would be like God to Pharaoh in superiority and authority.

          • lorasinger

            Try god in the singular. No spinnery now. I got this straight from the Jews who read the original language.

          • Bingo

            God Himself uses Elohim (plural, indicating that He is Three Persons in One) as His name first in scripture. He has many other names. Today is is referred to as Abba (Daddy) and desires us to know Him in that capacity in this Church age.

            Even most of the Jews of today don’t know God because they are without His Son, our Saviour.

          • lorasinger

            Bingo, Your remark about the state of the Jews is interesting and very much like you telling Shakespeare that his book Hamlet isn’t about a Danish Prince, but is about an indian gas attendant. It’s their book, written by them, for them, in their own language, understood in the same way for 2500 years. Who do YOU suppose knows it best?

          • Bingo

            Not. The Jews of today reject Jesus, and most know nothing about Him. They have been blinded by God to truth of their Messiah, and they fail to see Jesus in their own scriptures, yet He is there on every page. The scriptures were written by God, using men inspired by Him.

            Those who actually know God and have received His Son, Jesus and are indwelt by His Spirit know best.

          • lorasinger

            Yeah, he didn’t get to do all the things a messiah needs to do to prove himself. He was supposed to drive out oppressors (Rome) and bring world peace but he didn’t get a chance to. There are a whole bunch of other things too, and then there is this lineage thing. A Jewish boy can only get his lineage from his real, genetic father and Jesus didn’t have one. Can you imagine how it could have been for the Jews, all behind Jesus, pushing out the hated Romans. It would have been a whole different story.

          • Bingo

            No, Jesus was thought to have to do those political things, because Israel was looking for a political king. they missed out on their true spiritual king. It’s not that Jesus didn’t have a chance to do those things. He NEVER CAME TO DO THOSE THINGS!

            You reveal a misapprehension not unlike the Jews.

            Jesus has a lineage through Mary, and His adopted father’s house. As the Son of God, He needs no lineage, just as the high priest Melchizedek is said to not have a mother or father—who is the picture of the pre-incarnate Christ they should have been looking for.

          • lorasinger

            Ah, so while the Jews were waiting for a messiah like the other messiahs, David, Solomon and Cyrus and even the murdered priest, Jesus came along kind of like a Jew with a different view? Too bad that the misunderstanding got him executed for sedition, right?
            .
            You know, sometimes Jesus says to turn the other cheek and love everyone, and sometimes he says “bring my enemies and kill them before me”. Ever think there might have been two of them? Or maybe a kind of a personality quirk?

            Nope, women can’t give lineage. Only the natural (not adopted) father. Melchizedek didn’t have any parents? Must have come out of a rock like Mithra did, did he?

          • Bingo

            Jesus came to bring salvation and reconciliation to the Jews, to set them free from the bondage of sin and the Law. They expected something else and missed their Messiah completely. Instead of crucifying Barabbas (“son of dad”) they crucified the Son of the Father, Daddy God.

          • lorasinger

            What a disappointment for them! They already had their own beliefs on salvation exactly as Jesus advised – “Keep the commandments” I think he told the young man who wanted to know how to be born again into the hereafter. Make no wonder they were ticked. I bet they would have much rather been freed from the Romans as a messiah was supposed to do. Yeah, that’s some story about releasing a prisoner at Passover. Wonder where the writer got the idea it was a custom? It wasn’t histrically a Jewish custom or a Roman custom either.
            .
            The other thing I really wonder about is how Pilate made 120 miles overnight to get to Jerusalem since his camp was way out in the boonies. And those messengers must have been really moving to get there overnight too. He hated Jerusalem and in history only made one trip there during the viaduct scandal. You remember that one, don’t you – when he killed 500 protesting Jews right on the spot. He hated them so bad, he was recalled to Rome. Any ideas on that one?

          • Bingo

            They had beliefs, but they had morphed into some totally other thing that God had in mind for them, what with the Talmud and all its countless rules and regulations. They had become unruly and were far from God. Why would you be disappointed for them? God sent His Son to bring them out of that into an intimate relationship with Himself, but their blindness prevented them from seeing the truth.

            The custom of releasing a prisoner was obviously a custom there. You have no reason to question that, now, do you? Obviously, too, Pilate was already there as was customary to be in Jerusalem for the Jewish feast days for order’s sake.

          • lorasinger

            Nope. Human sacrifice was forbidden. Every person must atone for his own sins. There are no god men in Judaism.
            …..
            Nope. No such custom in spite of a pretty intensive search. Jews say the same thing – it’s a no go..

            Pilate hated Jerusalem. As I said, history records only one trip there and that was for the viaduct scandal.

          • Bingo

            Keep yammering. You haven’t a clue about what you’re talking about. Really.

          • lorasinger

            Bingo, Bingo – NOT nice!
            …….
            Actually, yes I do. I get it by reading and study. You should try it.

          • Bingo

            Why do you study? Certainly not to show yourself approved in handling the scriptures well. that is something believers are to be doing. so, as an unbeliever, why do you study the bible? Is it to defend your unbelief? That will be a fun day when you meet up with scriptures that your skepticism cannot get around. It will happen.

            God will humble you then, and you will see what you;ve been ding here, and realize how foolish you;ve come across. let me tell you now: I forgive you.

            I have been studying scripture for 52 years, my dear. You should try studying it with belief, rather than the animus you really have toward our holy God, who only loves you. You can never hope to actually apprehend the truth outside of a miraculous move of the Holy Spirit on your thinking. Praying He does that, soon.

          • lorasinger

            Call it an interest in anthropology, Bingo.
            ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
            Lucky you. I wish I was 53 again.

          • lorasinger

            Nah, their beliefs have stayed the same for 2500 years. Their religion is diametrically opposed to ours and we’ve tried to meld two opposite beliefs into one and bring theirs into ours. They know the difference that that’s why they don’t fall for our man god story. We don’t. If Christianity, rather than finding fault with Judaism would just leave it alone just as it does with say, Hinduism, it would probably be better for everyone. Our Christianity bears more resemblance to the man god stories of Greece and Rome than anything else. It certainly doesn’t have roots in Judaism except for the name “Jesus” and even then, the nature of the central character is different. We could actually go back in time and compare it to the rivalry of James group who represented Judaism and Paul’s group that represented our Christianity.

            To your second paragraph. Nope. It’s fanciful interpolation.

          • Bingo

            God brought them to change, but they refused their Messiah. That’s been the situation for over 2000 years. the time is coming very soon where they will declare Jesus their Messiah and all Israel will be saved.

          • lorasinger

            They don’t need to change. They’ve had their belief system and salvation system in place for a long time. YOU need to change and enjoy your Christianity without trying to change them. Israel is doing just fine with their ETERNAL covenant – which brings us around to the question of just how there can be a NEW covenant if the first one is eternal.

    • lorasinger

      Jesus followers at the Jerusalem church believed Jesus was a man but I guess that’s because there were no virgin births or god men in Judaism, right?

  • Emilia Rozanowska

    But this was add to a new testament in (i don’t know…) third century? It is really difficult for me, because there are many things that haven’t been mentioned in a book, and you all are believing in them. I don’t know if you even know those facts. wyposazeniesamochodu.com.pl

  • Janice Prindle

    I don’t want or need someone “believing it for me.” That feels insulting and patronizing. Church is central to my life, but not because of a creed that was first and foremost a negotiated political document required to fit Christianity to the service of the Empire– exactly what Jesus challenged by his words and deeds. It is dishonest, to my mind, to confess to something one doesn’t believe.

    No one needs my permission to believe what they want, but they have it anyway. I notice, though, that Santa has more followers than Jesus at this point. As long as you insist on the history of the church trumping the understandings of people today, we can expect church to become more and more irrelevant. I think of church as united by love for Jesus and a shared commitment to do as he did– not about creeds.

    It is possible to enjoy the stories but recognize they are stories, and if we don’t, we will lose the next generation.

    • summers-lad

      I loved what Nadia said there, and especially how she described
      it as a two-way thing. Believing for each other should be as much a part of
      church fellowship as helping each other when we are ill or in material need.
      Jesus healed the man who was lowered down through the roof, and forgave his sins, because his friends had faith.

      • Janice Prindle

        Loving and supporting each other, encouraging each through times of trial, yes– that is very different from “believing” for each other, which presumes there is only one right way to understand God, and that belief (an intellectual stance) is what matters most. It’s pretty clear from the scriptures , whether we read them literally or as interpretations of what Jesus meant to his fiollowers, that Jesus placed a personal experience and love for God, and for one another, way ahead of any creeds or public forms of worship. To insist on believing in the way described in this post implies that the first disciples themselves– without any creed to “confess” and without any sense of Mary being a virgin mother, I might add, since Luke hadn’t even written his gospel– were somehow not real Christians.

        • summers-lad

          Thank you for your response. I agree with you that an
          intellectual stance is not the same as belief, and that true Christians – followers of Christ – can vary in their beliefs. There is really only one fundamental: that Christ rose from the dead.

          But there are times when we struggle to hold on to beliefs
          which are part of our faith (or at least, part of our understanding of it), and in that sense, I think Nadia is right. I also think that believing for people who are seeking but not yet believers may somehow give them a helping hand
          along the way.

    • As you adapt to the culture of this world subjecting the Bible to the world’s “wisdom,” you move further away from God.

  • So here I am at this moment in time having just finished Nadia’s excellent article and then reading Janice’s excellent comment. Sigh, my brain is beginning to hurt. Is it ok if I just say Amen to Janice and Amen to Nadia? What I mean is, I certainly am attracted to the concept of being a part of the Church’s Tradition that is much bigger than me. And I like the idea of pulling this out of the argument of “Fact or Fiction” and into a matter of “Truth” which requires Faith.
    But I am equally challenged to be vitally concerned for the future of the Church. To that Janice makes good points. Appreciated. Thank you both.

    • Janice Prindle

      Thanks for your kind words. And I have no problem either with finding value in the spiritual “truth” of the story, but my point is, we need to make it clear when we use that word that we aren’t talking about “actual fact” nor the “only one right belief” interpretation of inner “truth” that was the purpose of the creed– for which Christians in the fourth and fifth centuries actually killed each other.

    • Unless you are trusting in Jesus alone, all trust in the Church will cause you to come up short in the end. No where in my Bible does it say to trust in the Church. It is the church that is to trust in Christ and obey him. But the Lutheran church has long since forgotten that.

  • Lutherans have been taught a false gospel. Even as babies they are “baptized into the Lutheran ways,” but not into Christ. They are told they are saved through baptism, but Paul tells us, ” For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” 1 Cor 1:17-18 (KJV) Thus, baby baptism, never taught in Scripture, is taught as the means of salvation to Lutherans. It is as damming as the heresy taught the Galatians about circumcision being necessary for salvation. Baby baptism makes the cross of Christ of no effect to the Lutheran. They need not truly repent. Some form of magic is taught to them, that a baby can somehow be born again by means of a Lutheran pastor sprinkling water on their head. This is absurd and heretical. It is also absurd to teach that a baby will go to hell unless baptized by some Lutheran pastor. Babies do not have sin. They are in an innocent state and will not be punished (if they die as babes) for the sins of their fathers (see Ezekiel 18:2-4). The Lutheran teaching is to keep people in the Lutheran church, just as the same teaching is used to keep Catholics in the Catholic church. It is a tactic of fear, not of faith.
    All Lutherans and Catholics (and any denomination) trusting in their baby baptism will perish. Only Christ can save the repentant soul who calls upon Him in truth. This is the true gospel that Jesus and the apostles preached, but it is a gospel that offends people who think they can be good in their own strength, by their own efforts. The cross of Christ is despised by many religious people who know the story of Jesus by heart, but have never experienced the power of the cross in their lives because they continue to reject God’s salvation, choosing to trust in their own works to save them, or being “good.”
    If you are a member or have been influenced by any of these denominations you must repent and leave them and seek the Lord outside of these false churches. Their influence will destroy you, “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

    • lizzysimplymagic

      If Lutherans are damned then why stress over their words?

      • Only souls that die in their sins are damned, according to Jesus. There is still time for people to turn and repent, including Lutherans. I have not given up on my Lutheran relatives. I pray for them and write them. I am concerned for the souls of men and am greatly troubled by the false churches (there are many besides the Lutherans) who are leading people away from the Lord they pretend to serve.
        Are you a Lutheran, lizzy?

        • lizzysimplymagic

          Nope. I’m thoroughly heretical, though.

          • No one that believes the truth about heresy and just how harmful it is would say such a thing. Being flippant about the things of God is a lack of the fear of God and without such healthy fear, one cannot be saved.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            I fear God, I just don’t fear you.

          • “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.”
            Prov 8:13 (KJV)

            If you say you fear God, yet call yourself heretical (and heresy is sin), aren’t you contradicting the truth? You don’t really hate evil.
            If someone comes to us representing the Lord and we reject the truth of the gospel they tell us, we will have to give account before God for our actions and our words.
            Christ told his disciples that if they came to a town or a house with the gospel and were rejected, it would be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the Day of Judgment.

            Christ also told his followers to beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are hungry wolves. Such are the majority of pastors today in denominational churches.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            “Christ also told his followers to beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are hungry wolves.”

            How do I know you’re not a hungry wolf?

            You say the fear of God is to hate arrogance, but isn’t it arrogant to judge who goes to Heaven or Hell? Isn’t that God’s decision to make, not any one man’s? I would rather be a heretic than presume to have God’s knowledge and power. A heretic is one whose beliefs are significantly different from established norms – Protestents were seen as heretical by the Catholic Church, for example – but it’s not the same as a blasphemer. A blashphemer disrespects what is Holy.

            So I will give you your due respect, as God’s child. But I won’t be putting you in charge of my soul anytime soon, and I won’t put any faith in your imagined ability to damn people.

          • I have damned no one, but I warn the unruly, of whom you are a part. It matters not what Protestant or Catholics say, but what the Bible says, as that is God’s word on the matter of what is heresy. You are right that Catholics burned many, many good Christian men and women who rejected the heretical teachings of the Catholic church. Even some Protestants went along with this evil. But the Bible never taught this, only to dis-fellowship heretics from church. Do you think as a heretic who rejects scriptural teachings and teachers others you will fair better in the judgment than a blasphemer?

          • lizzysimplymagic

            I don’t reject scripture. I reject your particular interpretation of scripture, and also your inflated sense of importance. I agree with one thing you said above though. God’s word is what matters, not yours. What the Bible says matters, not what -you- say about the Bible.

            I am more comfotable being a heretic than being one who creates and worships idols, then berates those who refuse to do the same. I am unruly, because I do not obey your rules, I look to God. It is my duty to place no authority higher than God, right? Strange that you think you are an exception…

          • “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” Heb 13:17 (KJV) Here Paul is talking about pastoral authority.

            “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” Eph 5:24 (KJV) This is a husband’s authority in marriage.

            “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, 2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.” Titus 3:1-2 (KJV) This is governmental authority, when those powers are in subjection to God’s power.

            “Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.”
            1 Peter 2:18 (KJV) Power of our bosses, even bad ones.

            “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5 (KJV) Humility and subjection to Christ in other brothers and sisters who love the Lord.

            I am quoting God’s rules for true Christians in regards to listening and even obeying what certain others tell us when it’s in accord with the Word. Rebellion to authority is not what the Lord teaches, neither the attitude of being a “lone ranger” Christian.

            You speak of “one who creates and worships idols, then berates those who refuse to do the same.” Who are you talking about? Be specific. What church or religion are you rebelling against anyway?

          • lizzysimplymagic

            How about Acts 5:29?

            You are not my pastor, my husband, my magistrate, or my master. The church and religion I am rebelling against is yours. I rebel against any religion that would seek to call me away from God’s Word, that would tell me to obey man rather than Jesus, that would tell me I am not created in God’s image and must bow my head to false idols.

            Who am I talking about? You. You have created your own interpretations of Scripture for worship, you have forgotten your imperfections and seek to enslave others with your own teachings, and you curse those who dare question you.

            You might want to adjust your sheepskin, because your teeth are showing.

          • Acts 5:29 is an excellent verse! Obeying God above all other authority is key. But does this mean we can disobey the other good authority? When I obey the pastor God has put over me, listening to his teachings, coming to his Bible studies, trying to follow the Lord in the way he explains to me, I am obeying the Lord Jesus who has given me a good pastor. Does this mean I should obey anyone who calls themselves “pastor?” No, it does not. Jesus wants me to discern false pastors from the true. How do I do that? With the word of God and the direct help of the Spirit of God.
            You say you are rebelling against my religion. I quoted several verses from the Bible. Do you disagree with these verses? I did not write them. Holy men of God wrote them to instruct me how to live. Jesus told them what to write. Jesus gives us pastors, teachers, and so on.
            How am I trying to enslave you or anyone? What do you think my motivation is? You imply I am a wolf in sheep’s clothing, because of what?
            You say you are in rebellion to me because I shared some scriptures with you that you don’t like. I don’t need to curse anyone. The curse of God is upon all men or women who preach a perverted gospel other than what Jesus taught.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            “The curse of God is upon all men or women who preach a perverted gospel other than what Jesus taught.”

            Indeed. I don’t have any illusions about the authorship of the Bible, and never was under the impression that you wrote it. You have, however, chosen for yourself an interpretation of the Bible that conveniently places you in a position of power. That interpretation is of your creation, it is not the Scripture itself. But you are devoted to it because of the authority you think it grants you. You have chosen one interpretation to suit your needs, and you idolize it. That is your right. It is my right to choose a different path, under the guidance of the Spirit.

            The word heretic originally comes from a Greek word meaning “to choose”. I do not feel any need to question good authority, but I have seen little to suggest such a description fits you.

          • Is the Bible the inerrant word of God or not?

            There is only one Holy Spirit, but many false spirits claiming to be the Holy Spirit. It seems you have found one. You seem to be stuck in some false feminism. There is neither male nor female in Christ, but all are one in Him. There is only one true highway of holiness wherein the redeemed walk and they are all in unity. This is Christ’s teaching. “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” I will leave you to your heresy.

          • lorasinger

            As the bible inerrant before or after the last twelve verses of Mark were added?

          • What do you think?

          • lorasinger

            Dunno. You’re the master.

          • lizzysimplymagic

            “There is only one Holy Spirit, but many false spirits claiming to be the Holy Spirit. It seems you have found one.”

            Agreed.

            Indeed you should leave me to my path. You never had the power to take me away from the Word in the first place.

          • lorasinger

            A curse you say? What about this then?

            Jesus said “Matthew 5:17-20″Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets;….”
            .
            But Paul said: Romans 7:4, 6 Ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ …. We are delivered the law, that being dead.

          • lorasinger

            Jesus taught only from the Torah. There was no gospel in his day.

          • The Torah did not include the prophet’s writings or books of wisdom and Jesus quoted quite often from the prophets and the psalmist. Jesus also taught all the scripture relating to him to his apostles. He continued to teach them after his resurrection and commissioned several to write books for him explaining the gospel story in great detail. The epistles are the words of Jesus, too, taught to his special men. However, the gospel is found throughout the books of the Old Testament, thus, such verses are quoted over and over by the writers of the gospels and were used in their sermons that are recorded.

          • lorasinger

            That’s right. He was a Jew, preaching to Jews. You mean that excerpts from the old testament are spoken by Jesus and are found in the gospels, right?

          • More than that, the writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all added verses from the Old Testament to clarify how Jesus fulfilled prophecy. The Lord taught them these verses.
            My pastor noted something interesting in his sermon about Simeon, the old man of God that was told by the Holy Spirit that he would see the Lord’s Christ before he died. This Simeon was very close to God and walked with God. God had revealed this secret to him and something else, ” Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: 30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” Luke 2:29-32 (KJV) The truth that Jesus had come to save Gentiles along with the Jews was shown to Simeon. Jesus knew this well and when he went to the cross, it was for the sins of all mankind, every race, every tongue, every person.

          • lorasinger

            Did you know that all of the writers of the gospels are anonymous and they didn’t get those names until 350 years later? And get this, not one of them were eye witnesses.
            .
            Yes I heard that. Of course, Jesus as a messianic candidate had to prove he was who he said he was and one of the ways of doing that was to convert all the world to Judaism.
            .
            Interesting about the cross. Who actually died there? If it was a god, a god can’t die. If it was a human, that would be a human sacrifice and God says he abhors human sacrifice and would never ask it.

          • lorasinger

            Which bible are you talking about, the catholic bible with 73 books, the KJB with 66 books, the Ethiopean bible that Includes the book of Enoch, and Macabees 1 & 2, the Vulgate bible, The Septuigent that INCLUDES 12 more books in the Old TeXt. and has longer versions of Daniel, Ezeikiel and others, and there are dozens more. Which Bible are you talking about?

          • The King James Version is a good translation. The Catholic Bible is corrupted, including books that are fiction, but not scripture.

          • lorasinger

            “The King James Version was originally written from 1607 to 1610, with a group of 54 Biblical scholars from only Great Britain. One of the rules in translating the KJV was the committees were to follow an older translation known as the Bishops’ Bible (written in 1568) Even most of that translation was based on the Geneva Bible and the Great Bible which were revisions of the Tynedale Bible which was published in 1533.
            .
            What makes all of this significant is that England didn’t have any ancient Greek manuscripts until 1628. The translators were at a disadvantage when trying to decide which passages were in the texts originally, ……..and which were added later by someone who was copying or translating another
            copy or translation.”

          • lorasinger

            He also said that he was sent “only to the lost sheep of Israel” and directed his apostles to avoid gentile towns.

  • By the way, to ordain women pastors is contrary to the Scriptures that teach only men should be pastors, so any woman who is a pastor is living in disobedience to the word of God.

    “…ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:
    (The qualifications of those chosen as ministers)
    6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; 8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; 9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.” Titus 1:5-9 (KJV)

    • lizzysimplymagic

      Convenient, eh?

    • Bingo

      That’s a misinterpretation. I know many women who are pastors, and I myself have had a lay pastoral role in the local Body of Christ. God doesn’t draw such lines of demarcation in the Holy Spirit’s anointing and gifting.

      • I’ve met women pastors, too, but that does not make it right or Biblical. God does draw lines about such things. There is not one single woman priest, which is similar to a pastor, in the old testament. Neither is there a single woman pastor or elder or deacon in the entire New Testament. Women can be mightily used of God, but God does not put them into this particular position. Obedience to Christ and his teachings as expounded by the apostles is vital for anyone who wants to follow Jesus in truth. Many follow him in error and deceive themselves.

        • Bingo

          I am a “priest” in Christ because of my faith. Holy Spirit doesn’t check for gender before He gives out His precious gifts. He doesn’t make mistakes, either.

          Revelation 1:6
          He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

          There are female pastors in scripture. Phoebe was such a one.

          • Phoebe was NOT a pastor. The scripture does NOT say that and Paul would never ordain a woman pastor….ever. Why? It is against the will of God. He wrote two epistles stating just who should be a pastor (bishop) or elder or deacon. All are men. It is not a woman’s place to lead the flock. God made it that way. And it has nothing to do with the value of a woman. Both male and female are one in Christ. It has everything to do with God’s order of things.

            The job of a true pastor is very difficult and not for the faint of heart. True men of God face great persecution and trouble as they stand for the truth and oppose wickedness attempting to enter the church through heresy and other sin. They also oppose the wickedness of this world and call men and women to repentance, bringing offense to many, while saving some. They are to rebuke, exhort, and correct. They preach the word of God, the gospel. They are an example of holiness and godly living and show it to be so with how they conduct their own household.

            No, the heresy of women pastors has spread like a cancer among denominational churches and is soon followed by opening the door to homosexual behavior and then homosexual pastors. It is rebellion to God.

          • Bingo

            Yes, as a servant leader in the church at Cenchrea, Phoebe was pastoral, as diakonos, or “minister”. When Paul spoke of Phoebe as a helper of many as well as himself, he used the word, “prostatis”, meaning “helper”. In this sense, the word, “prostatis” means helping in the manner of one with authority, a master, and a leader. This word was used by the historian, Josephus, in describing Caesar, one of supreme authority. A leader is a helper, and in this sense, it denotes one who helps from a place of authority and strength, not one who helps a strong person out of a place of lesser strength.

          • You missed the basic truth that Paul was not a double-minded man. He was an apostle of Jesus Christ, taught by the Lord Jesus personally. It was the Lord Jesus who instructed him to write to Timothy and Titus, teaching them how to choose leaders of the church, “If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” I Tim 3:1-7 (KJV)

            And to Titus, “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:
            (The qualifications of those chosen as ministers)

            6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; 8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; 9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. 10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.” Titus 1:5-11 (KJV)

            Your desire to believe something that is untrue has caused you to reject the clear teaching of Christ about how only men are to be chosen as pastor and leaders of the church of God. Because of falling for this deception, you have chosen unbelief in Christ and his teachings and have put yourself in the way of rebellion, which is “as the sin of witchcraft.” Thus, believing a lie about this has opened you up to every false doctrine and twisting of scripture, which disqualifies you in another clear teaching of Paul for leaders: “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”

            You are already teaching and believing heresy and think you can somehow lead the church of God?

          • Bingo

            I’ve missed nothing, Doug. Women were not included in the letters because women didn’t divorce their husbands. They were lucky to have one. Women were considered chattel. But in the Church, the Lord started the momentum of equalization.

            We can say that what is written about the male in the churches, the same goes for women as well. Paul was regularly using women as teachers and leaders—and apostles.

            I reject nothing, but I understand Paul, and what Jesus began for women. The church has been deceived over the centuries, having taken on the Greco-Roman mindset concerning women and it has followed all the way down through the generations of the Church. It is sad, because it is really pride and men and women will be judged for it. No one should stand between a woman of God and the Lord and tell the Lord, “No! You cannot use her, for she is a woman!” God will judge that kind of pride. There’s the source of the heresy. Satan has been successful at halving the workforce for God in the world today.

          • So this is about women’s rights in society? Are you a feminist then? It is pride for a woman to try to take the responsibility of the man instead of supporting him and being a helper as God intends. Do you think you can nullify God’s direct commands in the Bible regarding pastors and other leaders of the church using the Bible for your justification? This is pride and arrogance.
            This is not about whether God can use a woman or not, but whether a woman should take the place of the man in responsibility. God made an order of how the church should operate and it had nothing to do with any Greco-Roman mindset. When the Lord made the priesthood from the male members of Aaron’s family, he intended that men only would carry out this responsibility always. It is His order and it has no reflection upon the worth of a man or woman, only the order and responsibility. The job of a priest was difficult. It required both physical and spiritual and emotional strength. It was not a job God wanted women to bear. They had enough on their plate already.
            The same is true of pastors today, not the phony wimps that fill most pulpits today, but the men of generations back, that endured much physical and emotional, and spiritual stress to bring the gospel to the nations. Would you have left behind your children to the husband’s care as you rode the circuit for days, preaching the gospel to many churches? Role reversal is part of the Satanic feminist movement.
            It seems you’ve fallen for it.

          • Bingo
          • So this is the religious feminist movement. Interesting. The Scriptures do indeed teach the women will prophesy or proclaim without error the word of God, the gospel, to others. Women were and are indeed called to serve the Lord in many capacities, but not to be pastors, deacons, and elders in the church. Nor is every man called to such positions. Yes, some women have been prophetesses, given the word of the Lord, yet they did not seek to usurp the positions God intended only for men. Philip’s daughters all prophesied, but it does not say any of them were pastors. Your CDW have gone beyond scripture and have brought the feminist movement into the church to corrupt it. They bring rebellion against the clear teachings of the New Testament and Old. Jesus did not pick any woman to be his apostle, but many women supported his ministry in other ways and were a key element to the church. Many were bold witnesses for the Lord and knew the Lord as their close friend. They proclaimed the gospel and some had the gift of prophesy. But the claims of certain NT women to have been apostles or pastors are presumptions.

          • Bingo

            You need to understand what usurping means. Men can defy God and usurp also. Paul mentions it in women because that is what the church there was facing . Women were new to Christianity and to “church” life.

            I am not going to debate this with you, because I don’t believe good can come from it. I am convinced by the word of God that Holy Spirit gifts and empowers every single Christian who submits to Him, with wonderful gifts and abilities and callings, and He is the one who calls, and sets into ministries of His choosing—regardless of their particular plumbing. Praise God.

          • lorasinger

            Deuteronomy 24:1 When a man taketh a wife, and marrieth her, then it cometh to pass, if she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some unseemly thing in her, that he writeth her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house,

            2 and she departeth out of his house, and goeth and becometh another man’s wife,

          • Bingo

            Where does it say that women had the power to initiate divorce? As they were regarded as nothing more than chattel, they had no such rights. God certainly didn’t regard women as such, but He also made no provision for women to divorce their husbands.

          • You are so wrong in saying women were regarded as chattel. Women were protected under the laws of God and respected. Perhaps in most societies it was so, but God was teaching his people against such things.

          • Bingo

            No I am not wrong. God’s laws did indeed place women in protective positions, but by the time Jesus entered the society He so chose to enter, Judaism had been so tainted by Phariseeism, the distorted teachings of the Talmud, society itself had taken on the Greek and copycat Roman philosophy where women were indeed regarded merely as chattel, no more than as dogs, it was said. There was a custom among some Jews that a man/rabbi must turn his head to avert eye contact with a woman even walking past one in the street. Often they’d stumble and fall following that ridiculous “rule”.

          • You are wrong about Jesus and God fearing Jews. Even your example of rabbis avoiding eye contact has to do with the fear in men lusting after women. In acts of adultery, both the man and the woman were to be stoned according to the law. If a strange man raped a betrothed woman, the penalty for the man was death with no penalty against the woman. If a man lay with a virgin maid (consensual), he was forced to marry her and take care of her all her life and never put her away. If a woman married and was accused of not being a virgin at the time and it was found out that she really was and the man was lying, the man will be publicly whipped and then heavily fined and the money to go to the woman’s father. That man can never divorce his wife all his life.
            These laws and others are very much protecting the woman in Jewish society.
            But tell me your thoughts about the feminine movement of today. Has it helped women or hurt them? Is it scriptural or not? Is the liberty to abort your baby a good thing? Is is good that women can go to war and fight with men? Is it good that women can be the head of their home instead of the man?
            Or is it taught by God that women have a different function and place than men? Did the men of Israel go to war with their women or not? They did not. Today, Jewish women are expected to serve in the military, but is this what the Lord taught?
            Do you feel you are more equal with a man because you are an assistant pastor?

          • Bingo

            What’s wrong about it? What was, was. What is now, was originally instituted way back when by Jesus, but the world has taken what was meant fr the Church to bring to correction and run amok with it…because the Church was slow to act.

            Women are equal to men in God’s sight in the Body of Christ. We all have roles in the Body and we all need to be performing them shoulder to shoulder—no hierarchy. The home is another matter. You, like too many others, get the two mixed up. I can submit happily to my husband who loves me as Christ loves the Church–sacrificially—and still serve as a spiritual leader. So can he.

            There is no such thing as being “more equal”.

          • You say you accept God’s order in the family with the husband being the head of the home, but you do not submit to God’s order in the church as written in the word, where there is indeed a hierarchy of leadership: Apostles, prophets, teachers, wherein the first two are to be men, chosen by God, but women can be teachers and hold other positions. God has an order and a reason whether you or I understand it or not. It is written down clearly, but you feel free to reject the written word to take up some man’s opinion. This is about belief in God’s word as clearly written, or rejecting his word and believing other men or leaders of the modern church over the word of God. This is exactly what the Pharisees did, “teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”

            The following verses show a hierarchy of leadership: “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” 1 Cor 12:27-31 (KJV)

          • Bingo

            Doug there is no hierarchy in the Church.

          • I will leave you to your heresy. You have been warned sufficiently.

          • Bingo

            I am not into heresy….but you can keep your short-sighted, erroneous view.

          • Jesus said this about divorce among Jews, “Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Matt 19:8-9 (KJV)

          • lorasinger

            Right. That would be the words of Paul’s Jesus then because in the Torah that Jesus said he believed in, it seems that if a man puts away his wife, she can then go on to marry another man but cannot return to the first one, right? Nothing is said about adultery.

          • That bold statement you made: “Paul was regularly using women as teachers and leaders—and apostles.” Is a complete fabrication with no basis in truth. You make out Paul to be a double-minded man. But it is you that are double-minded, not the apostle. You call it pride to believe the word of God as it is written? I call it humility. You have brought the world’s attitudes into Christianity. Christ can and does use the humble woman and the humble man, both who are called to be saints, but neither of which is called to be a pastor or elder. You have fallen into the false charismatic movement that has received another spirit who plays with the word of God, changing it as he will to subvert his followers.

          • Bingo

            There is no fabrication there, nor was Paul double-minded. He was Christ-minded.

            Your attitudes about women are from the world. God thinks something else entirely.

            Don’t be stupid about your derision, for the Lord will have His way in chastisement of you.

          • The reason you seem to have no worries, Bingo, is that your conscience has been seared. God has tried to convict you, but you’ve hardened your heart to him and taken up a false gospel and a false Christ. Like so many so called “spirit filled” churches, you’ve received a false spirit claiming to be the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit is holy and he commands us to be holy. His word is true and is in complete agreement with the Lord Jesus. Paul was Christ’s apostle whose words condemn your actions. You think he was just caught up in a cultural thing when he said that elders, bishops, deacons should be men married to one wife, their family in subjection, etc., but this is the Word of God. It is eternal, not temporal, not cultural. In believing this lie, you’ve embraced heresy and have taken in unbelief in the word of God and are sowing it to others. You’ve condemned the words of Paul and it makes me wonder what other doctrines of Christ you’ve rejected. I suspect you believe in a different way of salvation than what Christ taught and should I probe you, I would find that to be true. I’ve seen others go your way and the end is death, spiritual death. You talk about pride, but pride blinds a soul. It makes them think they are right and they reject the call to repent. They think they’ve gone beyond that, but repentance and humility are daily works of a true Christian who seeks to live a holy, godly life.
            Tell me again how the words of Paul about appointing married men as elders, bishops, deacons are not for today. Then ask yourself where you heard this and what gave that person the right to criticize the word of the apostle and scripture. That is pride. That is rebellion, which is as the sin of witchcraft. Thus are the false prophets that have taught you this and you’ve become like them.

          • Bingo

            Oh here we go. More junk from you, whom I thought was a brother in Christ. Get over yourself. My conscience is not seared in any way! It is tender toward God.

            Your judging stance is sin. Repent. You know not of what you speak.

          • Nick G

            It really is most amusing to see these two swollen-headed, pompous finger-waggers spitting and kicking at each other! By their love shall ye know them, eh?

          • Bingo

            Obviously we have one so-called believer attacking one who has been supporting him throughout. That’s rather pompous, yes.

          • lorasinger

            Paul never once met the living Jesus, nor did he study under the apostles. He said that he received his inspiration from “no man” After his vision, according to Paul’s own account (Galatians 1:17), he went into the desert of Arabia for a period, seeking no instruction. Paul’s missionary campaign began c.44 in Antioch. He journeyed to Cyprus, later returning to Antioch..

          • Bingo

            Actually, Paul did meet Jesus on the road to Damascus, and it was the Lord Himself who taught Paul over a three year period in Arabia before he set out in ministry thereafter in Jerusalem.

          • lorasinger

            Jesus was dead in 30AD. Paul’s conversion came 30 years later. By the way, which of the three versions of his conversion do you think is the right one?

          • Bingo

            Yes, I know that Jesus died and was raised from the dead and ascended to the Father, but He revealed Himself to Paul as alive, even though all Paul saw was a blinding light and heard Jesus’ speak.

            I know only one version of Paul’s conversion, and it is recorded by himself in Acts 9, 22 and 26.

          • lorasinger

            Saul alone fell to the ground; those with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one; Saul was without sight for three days;
            Ananias was a disciple who laid hands on Saul to restore his sight and fill him with the Holy Spirit.
            .
            Or
            .
            Saul alone fell to the ground; Those with him saw the light but did not hear the voice; No mention of three days without sight or food; Ananias was “a devout man according to the Law and liked by the Jews.”
            .
            Or
            .
            Everyone fell to the ground; the voice spoke in the Hebrew Language; no blindness, no Ananias, no baptism, no restoration of sight, no “filled by Holy Spirit”!

            Acts 9:3, 22:6 and 26:12

          • Bingo

            All versions of Paul’s recollection of the major event in his life work together to form the whole story. Nothing is amiss. That he said that his companions heard the voice then didn’t hear it is only referring to the fact that they did hear the voice but they didn’t understand it.

          • lorasinger

            Did Paul go blind or not? First he says he did, then he didn’t. Did he fall down or did everyone fall down. I would think that something so profound would have only one version. I guess that’s why the Ebionites thought he was a liar.

          • Bingo

            Paul never said he didn’t have a blindness as a result of his experience with Jesus.

            You’re the only liar around these parts.

          • lorasinger

            Nope. I gave you the summary of each and blindness and Ananias is mentioned in only one of them plus the first one says the people with him heard a voice (no light) only, the second one says they saw a light only (no voice), the third one says they all fell down and the first two said only Paul fell down. His memory was pretty bad, wasn’t it?

          • Bingo

            So, where did Paul say he was not blinded? You are disingenuous, to say the least.

          • lorasinger

            He was blinded in one version only. You would think it would be mentioned in all of them. Blindness is helplessness and I doubt it’s something he would have forgotten, especially since he depended on others to lead him. Of course, the temporary blindness, lights, voices and such are classic for the epilepsy that he is traditionally known to have had so maybe it was something he was used to.

          • lorasinger

            So he said. I rather think it was a continuation of the temporal lobe seizures that gave him the “vision” in the first place.

          • Bingo

            Hellarious.

          • lorasinger

            I doubt that a Jew like Jesus, vision or not, would be “teaching” Paul pagan dogma.

          • Bingo

            He didn’t. There is nothing paganistic about the scriptures. If you desire paganism, consult the occult.

          • lorasinger

            On the contrary. Christianity is the latest and most successful of the pagan religions yet.

          • Bingo

            More stupid nonsense.

          • lorasinger

            The minute you’re into a god plus virgin producing a sacrificial man god who dies for the sins of mankind and is resurrected, you join a dozen such similar pagan stories in Rome. Christianity isn’t unique.

          • Bingo

            Horse hockey. Jesus Christ is unique. There is no other name in all the universe by which men are saved. there s no religion whose god is love, and who desires all men to become his children. There is no god in all the universe except for YHWH, who has made a way for all men to become holy and righteous and free from sin.

          • lorasinger

            Horus
            (Egypt – 3000 BC): Born on Dec. 25th, born of a virgin, star in the east, adorned by 3 kings, teacher at 12, baptized/ministry at age 30, 12 disciples
            .
            Attis
            (Greece – 1200 BC): Born of a virgin, born on Dec 25th, crucified, dead for 3 days, resurrected
            .
            Mithra
            (Persia – 1200 BC): Born of a virgin, born on Dec 25th, 12 disciples, performed miracles, dead for 3 days, resurrected
            .
            Krishna
            (India – 900 BC): Born of a virgin, star in the east, performed miracles, resurrected
            .
            Dionysus
            (Greece – 500 BC): Born of a virgin, born on Dec 25th, performed miracles, “king of kings”, “alpha and omega”, resurrected
            ,
            Jesus
            Christ (Nazareth – 33 AD): Born of a virgin, born on Dec 25th, star in the east, 12 disciples, performed miracles, dead for 3 days, resurrected

          • Bingo

            All but Jesus is bogus, but of course you cannot discern this fact.

          • lorasinger

            If you mean mythological – yes. The actual man that the man god is based on was real but he’s dead and gone.

          • Bingo

            Jesus is alive and well. You have never met Him, so you have no basis to speak about Him with any knowledge or authority. You just sit there and mock away. There is punishment for it in the end.

          • lorasinger

            What are you hoping to achieve with this nonsense. You have nothing to contribute. You said you were leaving. What’s the hold up?

          • Bingo

            Nice imagination. Was that due to your temporal lobe seizures?

          • lorasinger

            Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 1987;50:659-664 –
            Occasional historical review
            St Paul and temporal lobe epilepsy

          • Bingo

            Paul was in perfect health.

          • lorasinger

            Afraid not.

            in three places in a letter he wrote to Christians in Galatia, a Roman Province, about AD 53.11

            Although it was because of an illness … that I preached the gospel to you on my former visit, and although my flesh was a trial to you, you did not scoffat me nor spurn me, you welcomed me like an angel of God… (Galatians 4:13-14)
            .
            Paul acknowledges the magnanimity of the Galatians for not rejecting him on account of some humiliating disease which he exhibited on a former visit. To “spurn” or “reject” is the translation of a verb in the original which literally means “to spit out at”, hence “you did not spit out at me”. Epilepsy was sometimes called morbus qui sputatur.4 Spitting was the
            superstitious reaction of a witness to an attack of epilepsy

          • Bingo

            Just because Paul was normal in that he would occasionally feel ill, that doesn’t mean he was sickly. He knew exactly how to maintain dominion over his health—and he did. He did not have a chronic illness of any sort. You’re a fabulist.

          • lorasinger

            You have a unique religion, Bingo. It’s probably the only one in history brought on by visions that originated from an epileptic seizure.

          • don schaar

            Pure imagination and speculation; certainly not proof of anything.

          • lorasinger

            Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 1987;50:659-664
            St Paul and temporal lobe epilepsy
            D LANDSBOROUGH
            Formerly of Chang-hua Christian Hospital

          • Bingo

            Hell-arious.

          • lorasinger

            Good come back, Bimbo.

          • don schaar

            sorry lora but I have to burst your bubble. These doctors were not there then, didn’t hook paul up to any electrical brain tests that would show epilepsy and did no autopsy on his to check the status of his nerves for post neuropathy changes consistent with any form of neuro problem. Hence all they are is speculating based upon assumptions that may or may not be true . So there is no objective evidence to support these kind of statements. If you want to believe their speculation and imagination be my guest but I want something more reliably tested before anyone makes a posthumous diagnosis on me or the apostle paul.

          • lorasinger

            There are symptoms of epilepsy including lights, a feeling of a presence, voices, temporary blindness and falling down – all classic for epilepsy. That and the church’s own tradition and even an island of the Coast of Ireland named for Paul’s epilepsy. Autopsy doesn’t reveal whether or not one suffered from epilepsy.

          • don schaar

            Actually lora there are additional symptoms of epilepsy that I am aware of since my dad had seizures and which you don’t mention. And in fact an autopsy can reveal items that are indicative that a seizure has occurred such as tongue wounds, extremity bruises and abrasions etc. So I have to once again disagree with your conclusions.

          • lorasinger

            You are absolutely right, there can be additional symptoms depending on the area of the brain that is affected. My aunt used to hear music as her aura and then knew to go to a place where she could be free of sharp/hard edges where she wouldn’t get hurt because with her epilepsy, she suffered convulsions. Others just sit and stare for a time. In her case she would suffer exactly the physical symptoms you mention. Temporal lobe seizures occur with the symptoms that we attribute to Paul and can be duplicated in a lab by passing a weak electromagnetic current to the temporal lobes.

          • Bingo

            Bull feathers.

          • lorasinger

            Tailor made for you.
            .
            “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes” (Matthew xi, 25; Luke x, 21).

            Commenting on this expression of thanks, Celsus, who lived at the time the Four Gospels made their appearance, says: “This is one of their [the
            Christians’] rules. Let no man that is learned, wise, or prudent come among us: but if they be unlearned, or a child, or an idiot, let him freely come. So they openly declare that none but the ignorant, and those devoid of understanding, slaves, women, and children, are fit disciples for the God they worship.”

          • Bingo

            I thank God that he has opened my eyes to his truth. It amazes me that people are so hardened to it that they will fight tooth and nail to deny it. It is a sign that the enemy of God is fighting very hard for his numbers in hell to remain as they are, that he lose no one to the truth of Jesus Christ….to light and life. But, Satan is losing people every day and he’s angry about it.

            Your quotes are laughable and only prove how ignorant you are in spiritual matters. Scripture tells the truth of the matter. Everyone else has their own personal agenda. You can search and search for writers who will speak what your heart chooses to believe, but in the end it is all a bundle of lies and no truth is in any of it. You need to be seeking the truth—not something that matches your faulty understanding.

          • lorasinger

            Let no man that is learned, wise, or prudent come among us: but if they be unlearned, or a child, or an idiot, let him freely come. So they openly declare that none but the ignorant, and those devoid of understanding, slaves, women, and children, are fit disciples for the God they worship.”

          • Bingo

            What garbage is that?

          • lorasinger

            It’s a paraphrasing by a second century writer/historian on Matthew xi, 25; Luke x, 21 of your bible.

          • Bingo

            Nah. Read the word of God instead.

            Here is a better paraphrase:

            Matthew 11:25-26
            Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: “Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You’ve concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that’s the way you like to work.”

            People who think they know better than God or even the people of God are enemies of God and are know-nothings to Him. The truth eludes them and confuses them because their hearts are far from Him. Their gods are themselves and their intellect, and God confounds them. It is so very obvious. It’s one thing to be ignorant yet open to the truth and quite another to be ignorant and glorying in one’s ignorance. God is far from a person like that.

          • lorasinger

            Before editing: At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
            ………………
            No point spinning, Bingo. Your KJV stays the same. Things are hidden from the wise and prudent but revealed to babes. Hey babe!

          • Bingo

            My dear Loungesinger: The Lord is speaking the truth there, and you are the proof of it. Those who are willfully deaf and blind to His truth miss the simple truths he offers, but those who understand and receive it are those who are not bound up and constipated by their own intelligence and doubt.

            The “wise” there are in reference to the “wise in their own eyes”.

            I am extremely blessed to be counted among the millions and millions who have not been blinded by self, but have experienced His abundant grace in revealing Himself to me.

          • lorasinger

            Yup and Arabs feel exactly that way about Allah, Buddhists about Buddha, Hindus about Krishna, as did all the other followers of men-gods of history.

          • Bingo

            Perhaps, but their feelings are not reciprocated by the imaginary deities they worship—all in their own strength. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is alive, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, and is love, and because of that unfathomable love, He has made a way to enter in to people’s lives and to change them and to turn them from troubled, broken, unproductive, and aimless lives into lives of victory and strength, all as a testament to His great glory.

          • lorasinger

            The god of Abraham is one, indivisible and without any kids, Bingo.

          • Bingo

            You must be talking about your own false god.

            My God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is indeed ONE and indivisible. He is ONE, and is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You have no ability to comprehend Him, so don’t even try to tell me who it is I worship. The God you think you are talking about is holy and righteous, and is far above who your unholy mind can even hope to understand.

            God is Father and He has a Son—Jesus the Christ, and through Him he is Father to all who put their faith in and believe in Jesus.

          • lorasinger

            Samuel 77:22 – Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.
            …………….

            Isaiah 44:6 – “This is what the LORD says– Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.

          • Bingo

            There is only one God, not three, and that one God
            exists in three persons: Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. An obvious analogy would be time: Time is past, present, and future. But, there are not three times, only one.

            Search the scriptures all you want, but you cannot deny who He is through it. Try believing the scriptures, and open your heart to His voice, allowing Him to show you who He really is.

          • lorasinger

            “Trinity” doesn’t appear in your scriptures, Bingo. In fact, aside from the pope admitting that it was invented in Rome in the third century, it seems the bible was also forged to support it. Lack of Trinitarian formula for baptism in Matthew 28:19-20 is unique but it was in codices that Eusebius found in Caesarea: he quotes (H.E. 3.5.2): “They went on their way to all the nations teaching their message in the power of Christ for he had said to them, ‘Go make disciples of all the nations in my name.'” NOT in the name of the father, son and holy ghost.

          • Bingo

            Everyone knows the word “Trinity” isn’t in scripture, but the Trinity Himself, is.

            You are not knowledgeable to discuss this aspect of God, for you have yet to believe in Him.

          • lorasinger

            No, I don’t believe it and it isn’t ever going to be likely that I will, for the same reason that I don’t believe in Dionysus, Horus, Attis and all the other man gods..

          • Bingo

            THEREFORE, your opining is USELESS.

          • lorasinger

            One doesn’t need belief in order to know the history and fact trumps myth. What you advocate is not only impossible but it also has no support in history.

          • Bingo

            Yes–YOU need belief to understand what you read in scripture. There is no point in you using it to prove your flesh-driven ideas. It’s worthless.

            What I speak of I know about.

          • lorasinger

            Read Psalm 119:130 – It’s understandable to everyone, Bingo. Add some historical knowledge and Jewish customs of that time and then you’ll be well away to putting one foot outside of that box.

          • Bingo

            Yawn. I’ve read it many times.

            1 Corinthians 2:14
            But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can
            understand what the Spirit means.

          • lorasinger

            See! That’s the difference. Psalms was written in the OT by Jews for Jews and has nothing to do with Christians. Corinthians was written by Paul, the liar, FOR Pauline Christians. Guess it’s a different kettle of fish for you guys, hmmm?

          • Bingo

            The Old Testament was written by God through men of His choosing and the entire message is for all men. Christians get the most out of it, because Jesus is there on every page, but the Jews outside of Christ don’t see it.

            Denigrating the man of God, Paul, just reveals a deceived and hard heart toward God. You can speak badly about Paul until you are blue in the face, and it will still be nothing but a pack of dirty lies. He was chosen by Jesus Himself to speak for Him and to lead, and to write most of the New Testament for the world to know Jesus.

          • lorasinger

            Well, the Jews like to think it was written by Moses for Jews, in their language, full of poetry, history and laws for them. That’s the original. For you of course, it’s “full of Jesus” because of 1) mistranslation like in “like a lion” being written in your OT as “pierced. 2) Mistranslation like in “servant” being understood as “Jesus” instead of “Israel” and 3) forgery like in “virgin” being written in your book rather than “young woman”. Your book is doctored, Bingo.
            ..
            Paul chose himself, Bingo, and the religion you have is the one he invented. The NT is your book and nobody is going to argue with that, for sure.

          • Bingo

            It matters not what “people like to think”. The OT is rich in truth and tells of the plan of God, and Jesus is right there, seeing as He is our Creator in the first place. You have no clue as to any errors in the word, because there are none, but you’d rather follow after silly fabulists and haters of God. It fits with your mindset.

            Nothing has been altered in the entire word, OT or NT. We can stand on it for truth in all matters.

            As for dear Paul, you have simply added yourself to the huge list of nameless people who despise the weighty revelation he was given by God. He was given the power to endure the heavy persecution that came against Him during His ministry, and it continues today by the same evil spirit, distorting the words he was given to say that would become God’s holy word. You will receive their fiery punishment along with them, unless you come to repentance first.

          • lorasinger

            Jesus is your creator??? Well now, that is more than startling since that would make Jesus , in fact, God. The next question then are statements allegedly made by Jesus such as ” My father is greater than I” , “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me”, and “father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” which clearly indicates two entities.
            .
            If Jesus is praying TO God, then he is NOT God otherwise the above statements would be understood as “I am greater than I”, “If I am willing, I will take this cup from me” and “I commend my spirit to me” which is sheer and utter nonsense.
            ,
            The OT has as much to do with Christians as the Qur’an does. Nothing.
            .
            Paul certainly has to do with Christians. He invented your man god and your religion.

          • Bingo

            Yes, Jesus is God, the Word, and the Creator of all things.

            John 1 (NLT)
            Prologue: Christ, the Eternal Word1 In the beginning the Word already existed.
            The Word was with God,
            and the Word was God.
            2 He existed in the beginning with God.
            3 God created everything through him,
            and nothing was created except through him.
            4 The Word gave life to everything that was created,
            and his life brought light to everyone.
            5 The light shines in the darkness,
            and the darkness can never extinguish it

            Jesus, God as the Son, Immanuel “God with us”, became flesh and as such was beholden to the Father. The Son is not the Father, nor is the Holy Spirit the Son or the Father. Each Person of the Godhead has His purpose, though each is God.

          • lorasinger

            Wrong.

          • Bingo

            Only those who believe a lie say that.

          • lorasinger

            What I speak of I know about.
            ….
            Only as it applies to you, Bingo. Others have their own ways and you don’t have the ultimate truth no matter how much you believe you do. If you have a total belief in a pagan god and it works for you, OK.

          • Bingo

            There is such a thing as TRUTH, and millions of people possess it. God is Truth and we can know it through the reading of His written word and by placing our faith and trust in the Person of Jesus Christ.

            There is only ONE WAY and that Way is Jesus. Nothing pagan works for anyone.

          • lorasinger

            Which version of “his written word”?. There are dozens of bibles, all different in in content and expression, Bingo.
            Oh great! Only one way and that way is Paul’s invented man god? There goes the ball game. FACTS show that the countries steeped in your man god are also bastions of poverty, ignorance and crime. The proof is in the pudding, Bingo.

          • Bingo

            There is only one “written word” of God. One way to the Father, and that is through the Son, Jesus the Christ. Jesus says so and of course all His apostles say so—including Paul.

            You have no clue as to what you are spewing. The people of God are abundant in all things.

          • lorasinger

            Wrong on all counts. Keep talking, Bingo. You are an example of true faith, accompanied by very little else.

          • Bingo

            You say I am wrong, but you are only always wrong, and always will be until you come to Jesus. I speak the truth because I speak concerning what the word of God says.

            Keep spewing your ignorance. I am becoming more and more amused.

          • lorasinger

            What you believe is obviously right for YOU but yours isn’t the only way of thinking in the world, Bingo. What you’re coming across to others as, is one who is burbling dogma you’ve been taught, never going beyond that, over and over and thinking you’re getting somewhere. In fact, you personify ignorance combined with religious fervour, the kind that doesn’t warrant attention on a serious level at any time – kind of like a kid reciting a nursery rhyme over and over ad nauseatum.

          • Bingo

            No, what I believe is the truth and it is for everyone…from God. God’s plan is for all to come to Him through faith in Jesus Christ, the only Way of salvation. Outside of Jesus Christ there is only judgment and eternal punishment to look forward to.

          • don schaar

            Still based upon assumptions and imaginations. Putting it into a journal doesn’t impress me at the least. Ive read some pure junk in medical journals. They weren’t there. They did no tests on his body, blood or nervous system. They have no objective evidence . Its all just speculatrion and imagination.

          • lorasinger

            You wrote: “Its all just speculatrion and imagination.”
            ……
            Pot calling the kettle black much, don? Exactly what your religion is built on, isn’t it. Pagan mythology and superstition.
            .
            Of course you would think that there is “junk” in medical journals. None of them deal with magic.
            ,
            There are no tests on a dead body that will show epilepsy. The tests are done with nerve impulse conduction studies, EEGs and such. There are no blood tests that show it either. Diagnosis is made largely by symptomology – lights, voices, presence, temporary blindness, falling down – you know, like Paul had.

          • Paul received his instruction directly from the Lord Jesus. He met the living and risen Christ on the Damascus road and had other visions of his, also, as recorded in Acts and his epistles. To say otherwise is to attempt to negate the words of Christ through his apostle, Paul. The feminist movement within the organized church has attempted to cut the words of Paul from the Bible by ignoring them or making out Paul as less of an apostle or by saying he was in disagreement with Peter. These are all lies. Paul and Peter, James, John, Jude were all in complete agreement and were one in Christ.

            Every true Christian has met the risen Lord Jesus in similar fashion to Paul, who was confronted with his sin, repented, and humbled himself before God, receiving pardon and the born gain experience.

          • lorasinger

            Jesus, as a Torah upholding Jew who said that Moses laws were in effect until the end of time such as:
            .
            One person cannot die for the sins of another.
            A blood sacrifice is not required for forgiveness of sins.
            God hates human sacrifices.
            People are born pure and without original sin.
            God is one and indivisible.
            God does not become human and humans do not become God.
            .
            How does that square with Paul’s teachings?

          • Jesus fulfilled the law and became the lamb of God, slain for our sins. He is the Creator who came to save his creation, whosoever would believe in Him. Jesus brought the new covenant foretold by Jeremiah and Ezekiel and Isaiah, and others. He is the promised seed of Eve that would crush the serpents head, the seed of Abraham, the seed of David, the Messiah. The law was unable to save, only able to point out man’s sinful state. Christ died once for all, doing away with the need for animal sacrifices, having shed his own blood for our sins. Those who embrace the law of Moses as their salvation cannot be saved.

          • lorasinger

            True, that is what Christians believe but the event took place in Jewish times and Jesus was a Jew who upheld Torah. Paul did away with Moses law and so Christians believe as they do today.
            .

          • Christ did away with the ritual law, but his moral law is eternal. You are spending a lot of time discussing this, but what will you do with Jesus who is called Christ?

          • lorasinger

            I am actually torn between two faiths; while your god’s promise of eternal life is very persuasive, the Papua New Guinean mud god, Pikkiwoki, is romising a water buffalo and as many coconuts as I can carry.

            Just kiddin ya! 🙂

          • You do not know what you are talking about, yet are so sure you do. How can you know what the word of God truly means is you don’t believe in the one who inspired it?

          • lorasinger

            Straight from the Jews, Doug. Those have been their beliefs for 2500 years or more. You mean to say you didn’t know that? Any Torah upholder like Jesus would have known that. For example – communion. Jesus directed his apostles to consume his body and blood (symbolic or not) in memory of him. Jews are forbidden to consume blood of any kind by God, being that the life is in the blood. Why would Jesus disobey the law, being a messianic candidate an all. Makes you wonder, Doug.
            ….
            Eating the blood and body of a god was a Mithraic ceremony. The kind that Tertullian complained was identical to Christianity.

          • lorasinger

            “At a second conference in Jerusalem (c.55),Paul was accused by James of teaching Jews “to turn their backs on Moses (laws)” (Acts 21:21). Again, however, Paul evaded the charge by concealing
            his views, and he agreed to undergo a test of his own observance of the Torah. His deception, however, was detected by a group of “Asian Jews” (probably Jewish Christians) who were aware of his real teaching. A stormy protest ensued in which Paul feared for his life and was rescued by the Roman police, to whom he declared for his protection that he was a Roman citizen. This surprising announcement was the end of Paul’s association with the Jerusalem Church, to whom the Romans were the chief enemy.”

          • You have stated the circumstances falsely. James did not accuse Paul. Others had. Paul was still a Jew who followed the law, which was part of being a Jew of Israel, like following the laws of your state. Paul deceived no one, he did not bring any Gentile into the temple as he was accused of doing. You misunderstand the position of Jews who were Christians. They still went to the temple. They still followed certain rituals, but Gentile Christians were not required to do such things at all. They were not under the law of Jews in Israel. But all trusted only in Christ to save them, not Jewish rituals. You have been misled.

          • lorasinger

            Romans 6:14 Ye are not under the law, but under grace.
            .
            Romans 7:4, 6 Ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ …. We
            are delivered the law, that being dead.

            .The Jerusalem Christians including James and the apostles were all practicing Jews who believed Jesus was a man in Jewish tradition. Jewish messiahs are not man-gods. David and Solomon were both messiahs.
            …..
            Paul added:
            1.Original sin
            2.Making Jews the villains
            3.Making Jesus divine
            4.Creation of the communion ceremony of blood and flesh.
            5.Jesus’ death being seen as atonement for human sin
            6.Making Jesus the Messiah
            7.Shifting the emphasis from an earthly to a heavenly kingdom
            8.Enlarging the chosen people to include anyone who accepted Jesus as Saviour
            9.Making salvation a matter of belief in Jesus almost regardless of the demands of the Torah
            10.Establishing a hierarchy (literally a holy order) to create and control a Church and more importantly to create and control the beliefs of its membership.[

          • Are you a Jew, lora?

          • lorasinger

            No. Whatever gave you THAT idea?

          • You are not a follower of Jesus. I’m not sure what your religion is. You use the Bible but don’t believe it. You study it, but to what end?

          • lorasinger

            I’m an observer, Doug.

          • ‘Now is the day of salvation, now is the acceptable time.”
            You are also a sinner that needs saving, like everyone else. You are made by God and he is seeking to save you, but you are resisting the Holy Ghost. You can observe your way into hell. I suggest you reconsider. You are on the devils team and you serve him. You are either for Jesus or against him and you are currently against him. You are his enemy. He is coming to judge the world. You will either bow now or bow then.

          • lorasinger

            Quite possibly you’re right, Doug, but your way sounds more like the hell that you keeping talking about that’s saved for the afterlife. You are one rigid old poke. Chill out kid, your blood pressure will kill you.

        • “Obedience to Christ and his teachings.” Does that include his teaching re: the resurrection? Because as I recall, Jesus appointed Mary Magdalene to inform the disciples of this central doctrine of great importance to our faith, for which reason she is referred to in early Christian writings as “the apostle to the apostles.” They didn’t believe her, of course, rejecting the authority that Jesus had given her. Who is being disobedient here??

          • All believers are called to be witnesses of the resurrection. Mary M. had a very important role and she loved Jesus very much, but she was not an apostle, nor a pastor. This did not maker her any less important to Jesus, who honored her greatly for her love and devotion, by revealing himself after his resurrection to her first. When women covet that which is meant for men, they sin against God. This covetousness has filled this country via the feminist movement, which is of Satan. Christ lifted women to a wonderful place from where they were before he came. But unsatisfied and ungrateful, many have lusted for that which was not meant for them in pride.
            This same covetousness has filled many men who lust for that which is not meant for them. How many men stand in pulpits today who were never called by God to be there? How many have taken the role of pastor, but are mere hirelings or worse: false prophets? But women who have taken the pulpit sin against God and destroy their own souls, even as Aaron’s sons burned strange incense to the Lord and the Lord struck them dead, the Lord is not pleased with those men or women who wrongly step into the place as pastors, having never been called by God to do so. They will find themselves among those who cry “Lord, Lord…” in the day of judgment.

          • Bingo

            You cannot block the calling of God on women with that view. That will bring God’s chastisement on you.

          • So you believe God goes against his own word and calls women to the pulpits? Do you also believe God goes against his word and accepts homosexual Christians and pastors?

          • Bingo

            God’s word doesn’t instruct that woman cannot preach. Women were among the first to preach the gospel, being in the upper room at Pentecost.

            Homosexuality is a vile perversion and no one who declares himself or herself to be homosexual can simultaneously declare Christ as their Saviour and Lord.

          • Indeed, women can and do preach. But we are not talking about that. We are talking about the office of the pastor, the shepherd of the flock. This is a position clearly talked about by the apostle Paul and never contradicted in the gospel writings or epistles by any other apostle or author of scripture. The Lord talks about man and woman in marriage in great detail in the NT. The man is given a position of authority regarding the home and decisions and family, but he is commanded to love his wife, even as Christ loves the church. This command is not given to the wife. There is a distinction, not to the belittling of the other, but simply designating the order and responsibility.

            In a company and in the military, there are designations of authority. Does this mean the worker is less important than the foreman; the private less important than the sergeant? All have vital roles, but when one usurps the position of the other, there is trouble.

            I’m glad you despise homosexuality and call it for what it is.

          • Bingo

            I was a pastoral leader within a church, and had people I was responsible to God for. Is that sin? Our lead pastor is male, and he is over all. His wife is his associate pastor. She has authority as well. This is a body that adheres to the biblical teaching about the local church.

          • Your church (denomination) and you do not adhere to the teachings of Christ like you think. You have despised Paul’s teaching about setting up elders, which is the word of Jesus to you. How can you be obeying Jesus when you reject and refuse to adhere to what he plainly tells you in Scripture. You deceive yourself.

            “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? 47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: 48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. 49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:46-49 (KJV)
            Your church ministry and your life is built on sand and will one day crumble and your loss will be great.

          • Bingo

            You are mistaken. My (non-denominational) church is a Holy Spirit led church, whose pastors preach the word of truth, and preach all of it. We are not deceived, but we have received the truth of God from His own word by amazing men and women of God.

            My life and theirs is built on the solid Rock of Jesus Christ and cannot crumble.

            You have no cause to speak to me as if I were among the raging unbelievers here. Watch your judgmental tongue.

          • “do not ye judge them that are within?” 1 Cor 5:12 (KJV)

            Will the Lord be pleased if you obey him partially but reject some of his clear teaching? Look at the churches noted in Revelations. Some did well, but most were rebuked and called to repent. There is no excuse for disobeying the command of Jesus about choosing men as pastors, elders, and deacons. Paul told the Galatians that they had fallen from grace because they accepted one false doctrine and said the curse of God was upon the false teachers who pushed that doctrine, that false gospel, he called it. If one small wrong doctrine corrupts the gospel and makes it false, you and your church indeed need to be rebuked. The spirit that is leading you is NOT the Holy Spirit, as he never does things contrary to the word of God. Repent, and turn back to the true Holy Spirit and the Savior of all who receives those who humbly come to him.

          • Bingo

            He is pleased with all His own. No one is perfect in all their understandings…even you. You will discover one day where you are wrong in many things. God is still good and still pleased with the faith of those who love Him and follow after Jesus Christ.

            I have no worries, and stand squarely before the Lord and He tells me I have nothing to repent of.

          • lorasinger

            He’s a fundie and there is no compassion, understanding or tolerance in those types. I have one in the family and believe me, it’s like talking to Taliban.

          • lorasinger

            You’d do better on a fundamentalist Evangeloban site. Your ideology is a minority that is about as far right as it can go and it don’t represent the main body of Christianity.

          • You are right that my theology is a minority and it by no means represents modern Christianity, which is false. You are wrong about me being on a fundamentalist site. My words are despised there as much as here. False prophets abound and modern churches are filled with phony pastors seeking the praise of men and filthy lucre. Seminaries are filled with professors that have forsaken true theology and are not even saved men. Blind men leading the blind.
            I am a lover of truth and I love the Lord Jesus who mightily saved me back in 1971 and continues to save me, who is the author and finisher of my faith. True Christianity is nothing like what you hear in churches today. Such churches are Satanic and the most deceitful harmful places you could possibly go. I recommend you stay clear of them if you hope to ever find eternal life and true salvation.

          • lorasinger

            Ah well every religion was a cult at one time. Don’t feel bad.

            Are you saying even other fundies think you’re a bit of a boop? I thought it was only me!
            ………………….
            I’m honored to meet you, Doug. Fancy meeting the only person in the world who has it all right!

          • Jesus is right about everything and it’s in his words that I trust, not my own. What is amazing to me is to hear people who have read the Bible explain away the God of miracles and embrace a faith not taught by Jesus Christ and then tell people they are his followers?

          • lorasinger

            Well, Doug, since Jesus was a Jew from birth to death, and he preached to Jews (Paul was the first “apostle” to the gentiles), you must adhere to Judaism, right? So why are you on this forum?

            You must be talking about Paul’s man god who said exactly what his writers put into his mouth, so you are essentially saying that it’s their words that you trust.

          • lorasinger

            Jesus had nothing to say about women who preached. Paul on the other hand, was the one who said that women should be still in church. Nasty old sod didn’t like women much, probably because some say that in the past, he converted to Judaism because he fell in love with the high priest’s daughter but she spurned him. I guess he wasn’t much of a catch.

          • How foolish you are. Paul was simply addressing the problem of women talking in church while the message was being given and thus disrespecting the speaker and causing confusion. He said they should be quiet and not talk out of place. Some women do have a tendency to talk too much when they should be listening. You’ve been listening to false prophets who distort the word of God.

          • lorasinger

            Nah, the later Jesus and the Jewish Christian followers, called Ebionites said he was a Greek convert to Judaism (and that is shown by his use of the Greek Septuagint rather than Hebrew Torah as a trained Pharisee would do) who wanted to marry the high priest’s daughter. The Ebionites get my vote because they actually knew Jesus and the apostles.
            …..
            Some women can preach very convincingly, Doug. Hey if they want to talk, let them have a go. It isn’t going to hurt you unless the woman doing the talking is the one you listen to 24/7 at home.

          • William Davis

            It is clear from 1 Corinthians 7 that Paul thought all sexual intercourse was immoral, so you might be on to something there. Usually people do not become a zealot out of a vacuum. I respect the man and his effect on the world, however. Though sexism was in Christianity, it was a much more benign form than what was in the traditional Greco Roman world. Some of the antisexism can be credited to Plato. He postulated that since women could learn math they should be educated like men. He was heavily criticized for the idea, but look where we are now.

          • lorasinger

            Unusual since women in the Greco-Roman could own property, get a divorce and had a good deal of influence but of course, that was a kind of rudimentary democracy too.

          • William Davis

            There were isolated cases were what you mention is the case, but the large body of what I’ve read shows women to be treated closer to property than anything else. A Roman woman could be a citizen, but she was always subject to the paterfamilias. There were some notable female Greek poets, but they often went under male pseudonyms. If you have links to any info the contrary I’d be more than happy to take a look.

          • lorasinger

            Just something I remember from history classes years ago when the comparison was between the Greco-Roman world and that of the rest of Europe. I understand too the actual citizens of Rome amounted to very few, the majority of people – male and female – having no rights whatsoever.

          • lorasinger

            This is just basic but it does have some good sources.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_ancient_Rome

          • Bingo

            That’s a lie about Paul as well. It is obvious you do not understand 1 Corinthians 7.

          • William Davis

            Please enlighten me as to what the true understanding of 1 Corinthians 7 is. Just fyi here’s the first two verses: Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.”
            Please explain how these two verses are inconsistent with what I wrote. I eagerly await your reply 😉

          • Bingo

            Paul was referring to fornication, for one, and that it is good to not be fooling around sexually with women, as unmarried men. Secondly, he extols the virtues of being single, for to serve God wholeheartedly, it is far easier than when one has the distraction and responsibility of wife and children.

          • William Davis

            The virtues of being single are what I’m talking about. Here’s another verse that backs this up:

            Mathew 19:12 “For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”

            Colossians 3:5 “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”

            I could go into their old testament theology about how man would never have fallen without Adams lust for Eve (that’s why he listened to her at in the garden of Eden) but I’ll leave that for your own research if interested. Many scholars think Colossians was a forgery, not actually written by Paul, but that is hard to prove either way. It is clear that the author of Colossians, puts impurity (having had sex), and passion and evil desire all in the same moral group as “sexual immorality.” This was an argument in the early church, and not everyone held this view, but it did exist, no reasonable historian denies it. The celibacy of priests and nuns did not form out of a vacuum.

          • Bingo

            Paul extols the virtues of being single as being fully able (as long as one is willing) to do the will of God without the encumbrance of the responsibility to a spouse and family. However, God doesn’t call all people to a life of celibacy. When one is called to it, it is not a difficult thing to adhere to, but if one chooses it on one’s own (a whim, mostly), or because it is foisted on a person by some ridiculous religious rule, then it doesn’t fit with God’s call.

          • lorasinger

            You mean Paul’s word, don’t you? If God hated homosexuals, why has he been making them for all these thousands of years?

          • Bingo

            God doesn’t hate homosexuals. He hates their sin. he doesn’t make people homosexual. They do it themselves by the devil’s influence on their lives.

          • lorasinger

            It has nothing to do with a devil. You have no idea how terrible it is to watch a kid become a teenager and find that the people he’s attracted to are the wrong sex. Those kids have even tried to kill themselves. Other kids tease them and pick on them. They need older people to help them adjust to their state. They DON”T need abuse from Christians.

          • Bingo

            That kid has had something traumatic occur in his life and he has been deceived and deluded by an evil spirit concerning his sexual expression. Yes, it is terrible, but he needs spiritual deliverance…and most parents have no clue about these matters. they don’t need to adjust or settle. They need to be set free. Only Christians who know what they are talking about and know how to bring deliverance to people need apply to help these poor, trapped kids.

          • lorasinger

            Nothing traumatic happened. He was my daughter’s friend from the age of 3. As she grew to like boys, so did he. Sad. His parents threw him out of the house and he tried suicide once too. Sad. I don’t know if he’s alive now. He used to talk to my daughter for hours, wondering how to “get normal”. There is no way. It’s just the way he’s made.
            …………..
            Christians have no idea how to handle it and it is best that they stay out of it.

          • Bingo

            It is an evil spirit that brings that kind of conflict into the mind of a young person, and the gateway is usually a trauma of some kind. Don’t kid yourself. Often it is not even recalled by the person.

            Of all people, it is Christians who know exactly what they are dealing with and how to present the truth concerning being free from homosexuality. You’ve only been influenced by the hoopla surrounding people who claim to be Christians but act otherwise.

          • lorasinger

            You folks are the ones driving them to suicide. You may mean well, but you have no idea of what you’re doing it and you’re damaging young people who could go on living normal lives otherwise.

          • Bingo

            BALONEY.

          • lorasinger

            Bye, bimbo.

        • friendly_hedgehog

          There is not one single internet blog in the entire old testament, nor the new. They are not right or Biblical, and thus do not exist. Anyone claiming to have read or written an internet blog is in error or deceiving themselves.

  • The author writes, “So Mary had to have been a special one-off kind of woman who was really,
    really different than all the other women out there. And so it was her
    really, really differentness from actual women that earned her God’s
    favor. This feels like woman-hating nonsense (the theological bread and
    butter of so much Christian theology over the last 2,000 years).” This author is a founding pastor of a church with a completely distorted view of who Mary was. She is twisted by the feminism of our day and does not know the Lord.

    Mary, the mother of Jesus, was not sinless, but she was a Jewish woman that was faithful to the Lord and loved the Lord. She was a virgin who had lived a chaste life and she was engaged to be married to Joseph, who was also a just man, a follower of the Lord. God choosing her to be the mother of His only Son was a great privilege which many Jewish girls had wanted. But there could be only one mother of the Lord. Her character can be seen in her response to the angel and her faith and devotion to the Lord. It can also be seen in her conversions with her son in his ministry and her response after his death. Only a twisted soul could write like this author.

    • Onos

      First, for your other post. Take your pointless attack on female priests somewhere else, this is not the stage for it.

      Second, Mary was sinless, she has to have been. Furthermore she wasn’t simply some Jewish girl, she is called, “full of grace” and furthermore a more accurate translation is “she who has been filled with grace.” Because she was chosen by God to be the mother of his son, she has to have been and remained a virgin. Failure to understand this shows a lack of knowledge about the mosaic law. Her role is as queen of heaven and earth because her son is king. Also a concept the Hebrews were fully aware of. Go read about the Dividic Kings and who their queens were. Not one of their hundreds of wives I assure you.

      • This site and article was an attack on the faith of Christ. The rebuke of female pastors is Biblical and to believe otherwise is to reject scripture.
        Mary was not sinless. Only Christ was the sinless one. Mary was justified by her faith. To lift up Mary to god status is idolatry. Mary went on to be mother of many sons and daughters, according to the scripture. All your beliefs are based on false teachings of the Catholic church and not found in the Bible.

        • Onos

          Please tell me where find that Mary had more children and with whom she had them. And when have we said we worship Mary, we don’t. Let me clear that up for you

          There was no attack on the faith of Christ here. For it is written he who is not with us is for us.

          • Bingo

            Mary had more children with her husband, Joseph!

            Matthew 13:55-56
            Then they scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers—James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. 56 All his sisters live right here among us. Where did he learn all these things?”

          • Onos

            It is not referring to blood brothers, obviously these men named were his apostle’s and referred to as brethren however they weren’t the children of Mary and Joseph. There is a familial aspect but brothers and sisters does not refer to people also born of Mary.

            *Edit: added example

            if we examine more closely the example of James, one of these four “brothers of the Lord” mentioned in Matthew 13:55, we discover him to be a cousin or some other relative of Jesus rather than a uterine brother. For example, Galatians 1:18-19 informs us: “Then after three years I [Paul] went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother.”

            Notice, the “James” of whom Paul was speaking was both a “brother of the Lord” and an “apostle.” There are two apostles named James among the 12. The first James is revealed to be a “son of Zebedee.” He most likely would not be the “James” referred to because according to Acts 12:1-2 he was martyred very early on. Even if it was him, his father was named Zebedee, not Joseph.

            Paul more likely is referring to the second James who was an apostle, according to Luke 6:15-16. This James is revealed to have a father named Alphaeus, not Joseph. Thus, James the apostle and Jesus were not uterine brothers.

            http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/the-case-for-mary%E2%80%99s-perpetual-virginity

          • Bingo

            Yes, it is in reference to Jesus’ half brothers and half sisters by blood. Your catholic indoctrination has blinded you to that detail of Jesus’ earthly life.

          • Onos

            Also refer to my other post about the word adelphos being used for non-blood relations.

            Furthermore I would argue the same indoctrination you are accusing me of is not only causing you to be blinded but also to be resentful of and angry towards my faith. I think anger is never a good idea. In the words of a small wise green man, “…anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”

          • lorasinger

            I’ve already given you scriptures where both the apostles AND brothers are listed in one verse, Def. He wasn’t an only child, nor did his mother remain a virgin after his birth. File it in the same category as the half dozen of Jesus foreskins.

          • Bingo

            You come from the blind position on this, and so you’ll use anything to try to support yourself. It doesn’t work for me. God’s word is clear.

          • Onos

            How do you know God’s word is God’s word? How do you know he doesn’t want us to have totally different books with different words and teachings?

          • Bingo

            He doesn’t because I know God—if you think otherwise, then you aren’t listening to God, but some other spirit. That’s plain.

          • Onos

            Why should anyone believe that? Seems like that reason is just as much reason as for one who believes in Muhammad? Why should I listen to that spirit and not some other?

          • Bingo

            You go right ahead and heed that foreign spirit. See where it gets you in the end.

          • Onos

            Aw come on I just want an answer to my question

          • lorasinger

            Re: we discover him to be a cousin or some other relative of Jesus rather than a uterine brother.

            Wrong. The word “Suggenes” is used to describe cousins or other relatives. The word used to describe Jesus brothers is “adelphos” meaning, from the same womb.

          • Onos

            Please refer to other post for rebuttal to this point.

          • lorasinger

            I’ve already read it and gave you a link to an interesting site.

          • “Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? 57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.” Matt 13:55-57 (KJV)

            When Catholics are taught to pray to Mary the mother of God, she is lifted up as someone who is more than human, even divine. But she was simply a human girl who reverenced and loved the Lord whom God chose to be the mother of the Messiah, his only Son. She does not hear prayers nor answer them. She cannot, as she is not God. There is only one Lord.

            When anyone adds something untrue to the gospel, it is an attack against the true faith of Christ. Read Galatians.

          • Onos

            Repost of above comment for your reading pleasure as well.

            The word adelphos is used more than once fortunately. Go to Matthew 12:50 “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister and mother.”

            The greek word used again is adelphos as I said. Now does Jesus mean literally that everyone who does the will of his father will share the same womb with him? Obviously not, from this we can conclude that this word does not exclusively refer to blood related kin. Most likely, the Aramaic word more closely resembled the figurative language our lord was using.

            Added: furthermore, praying means asking. I can pray to you for something if I would like. The argument of whether saints can know what is happening on earth is an entirely different argument however and one I will save for another day,

        • Onos

          Let me post my non-catholic sources for you:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_virginity_of_Mary#Protestant_Reformation

          Martin Luther believed that Mary did not have other children and did not have any marital relations with Joseph. The Latin text of the 1537Smalcald Articles, written by Martin Luther, used the term “Ever Virgin” to refer to Mary.[69]

          John Calvin “was less clear-cut than Luther on Mary’s perpetual virginity but undoubtedly favored it”.[70]

          The Anglican reformers of the 16th and 17th century supported perpetual virginity “on the basis of ancient Christian authority”.[69] In the 18th century, John Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism, also supported the doctrine and wrote that: “… born of the blessed Virgin Mary, who, as well after as before she brought Him forth, continued a pure and unspotted virgin.”[69][78][79]

          So this is a Catholic doctrine you say? I would call the belief that she had other children false new age protestant nonsense. You have to take passages out of context in order to arrive at the conclusion.

          • lorasinger

            Mt. 13:55 and Mk.6:2-3 it says, “is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon.”
            .
            The word used is “adelphos” which means literally, the sharing of the womb.
            .
            Strongs: adephos (ad-el-fos’); from 1 (as a connective particle) and delphus (the womb); a
            brother (literally or figuratively)
            .
            This clearly places his brothers and sisters as coming from the same womb that Jesus came from.

          • Regardless of the errors of men, the Bible is not in error. I have given you one direct verse in Mark 6:3 listing the family members of Jesus, who were born to Mary. Here is another passage, “But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.”Gal 1:19 (KJV)
            Now this James was the leader of the church in Jerusalem and wrote the epistle of James.

      • Bingo

        Mary WAS NOT sinless. Why else did she call her son her SAVIOUR??? She knew she was a normal girl who was subject to sin! As for being “full of grace”, that simply means “full of
        God’s favour”. All born again Christians, who are Spirit-filled are “full of God’s favour”!

        Mary had an extraordinary, unique calling on her life, and that sets her apart from other women, and brings us to respect and honour her calling and her wonderful submission to the Father’s will. But she is not above anyone, nor is she queen in any capacity. She was the earthly mother of the earthly Jesus.

        She was married to Joseph, and they enjoyed a normal sexual relationship after Jesus was born—bible says so—and that includes subsequent children, some of whose names are listed in scripture. This romanticized fable of Mary being a perpetual virgin (among other nasty lies) is a farce, created by the devil to cause people to turn from their full worship of Jesus the Messiah and King of all, to his earthly mother a human being in every sense of the word, as some sort of fourth member of the Godhead. This diabolical belief reveals a severe lack of the knowledge of the word and is an indicator that people prefer to be told what to believe, rather than learning the truth from God’s word, themselves. The RCC and other religions have the market on controlling men’s minds.

        Only Jesus is sinless.

        • Onos

          You do not understand the Greek used here. The greek for what the angel called her means “she who has been filled with grace” in Greek: kecharitomene; in the Latin vulgate: gratia plena.

          Furthermore the bible at no point describes her and Joseph as having children or intercourse after Jesus. There is one phrase used “Joseph knew her not until she bore Jesus” and again if you go to the Greek, this phrase does not imply that he did afterwards. As I have said if Joseph had, he would have according to mosaic law been taking God’s bride as his own which was punishable by death. The word “until” is a translation which may imply something in the English language but not in another.

          Evening during the reformation the perpetual virginity of Mary was not questioned. This invention has come about in the last 200 years and shows a severe misunderstanding of not only scripture but also history. And when I have I or any other catholic for that matter stated we worship mary? We do not so stop claiming that

          • Bingo

            You’ve just proven yourself unknowledgeable of scripture. The bible tells us that Joseph and Mary got married and waited until Jesus was born to have sexual intercourse. The scriptures also tell us that Mary had other children, sons and daughters, beside Jesus.

            Your argument about “until” is flimsy and just a made up idea to perpetuate the myth of the perpetual virginity of Mary. It’s a lot of hooey.

          • Onos

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_virginity_of_Mary#Scripture

            Matthew 1:25 states that Joseph had no marital relations with Mary “until” (ἕως οὗ ) she had borne Jesus. Writers such as R.V. Tasker[94] and D. Hill[95]argue that this implies that Mary and Joseph had customary marital relations after the birth of Jesus. Others, such as K. Beyer, point out that Greek ἕως οὗ after a negative “often has no implication at all about what happened after the limit of the ‘until’ was reached”,[96] and Raymond E. Brown observes that “the immediate context favors a lack of future implication here, for Matthew is concerned only with stressing Mary’s virginity before the child’s birth”.[96]

            Flimsy and made up eh?

          • Bingo

            Once Jesus was born, Joseph and Mary enjoyed the marital bed together. There is no way around the word, “until”. It is as plain as the nose on your face.

            (As if wikipedia is an authority on anything. God’s word is.)

          • Onos

            You didn’t cite any source other than your own interpretation of scripture, you didn’t show any contradiction to the totally valid point brought up in my source.

            Forgive me if I trust biblical scholars I found through wikipedia rather than the irrational and often offensive attack of one average joe online.

          • lorasinger

            Check out the sources at the bottom of the Wiki page in question and you’ll find that most of those trusted biblical scholars are the source. Many will decry Wiki but I doubt that they ever look that far down.

          • Onos

            I apologize but are you responding to Bingo here or myself? And if you are responding to me what is your point? I do not understand

          • lorasinger

            To you. You mentioned that your sources were found through wiki, something many will jump on and call inadequate (at least). I commented that the sources for the wiki articles were likely the very same as those that they themselves use.

          • Bingo

            Forgive what? That you and s many others choose to add to scripture—and subtract from it as well?

            Enjoy your delusion, Joe.

          • lorasinger

            Wiki draws on the words of those with authority, however. Read the source material listed at the bottom of each page.

          • Bingo

            LOL! Wiki’s got it down, for ya, eh?

          • lorasinger

            No point being a snerk, Bingo. The sources are the same. Wiki summarizes them. I assume that you have the source books by Tasker, D. Hill, Beyer and Brown, so that you don’t have to use Wiki?

          • Bingo

            Why one earth would I have those? I don’t spend my life running around following after what other people say! I know what God says.

          • lorasinger

            Amazing isn’t it that “God” always agrees with what you thought in the first place? Sounds like YOU are the source, blaming it on “God”.

          • Bingo

            Actually, I am happy to agree with God.

          • lorasinger

            Umm Hmm – sure you do.

          • Bingo

            God’s word has authority over Wiki participants.

          • lorasinger

            Even over Moslems and Hindus?

          • Bingo

            Yes, and you, too.

          • lorasinger

            First prove there is a God, then we’ll talk about authority.

      • lorasinger

        Because she was chosen by God to be the mother of his son, she has to have been and remained a virgin. Failure to understand this shows a lack of knowledge about the mosaic law.
        ……….
        The concept of virgin birth and men gods does not come from Judaism or Mosaic law.

        • Bingo

          She “has to have remained a virgin”??? Has to? Where in the bible does God tell us that? Does sexual intercourse in marriage signify a kind of soiling or sin to you, or to your religious teachers?

          This whole notion shows a failure to adhere to God’s word and a desire rather to adhere to what men think.

          • lorasinger

            That was defensor’s words. It put them at the top to give him an idea of what I was replying to, then a line and then my reply.

          • Bingo

            Oh—good. Thank you for that.

          • Onos

            In reply to both of you…because she was chosen by God to be the mother of his son, for anyone to have had intercourse with her would have been contrary to mosaic law. The virginity aspect is not the key….the key is no man was allowed to have intercourse with her because as I have said she was claimed by God as his

          • Bingo

            That’s stupid and untrue. Joseph took his wife and had intercourse with her after Jesus was born. the scriptures are clear. The RCC is blind.

            Matthew 1:24-25
            When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded and took Mary as his wife. 25 But he did not have sexual relations with her until her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.

          • William Davis

            There was no requirement for the Messiah to be born of a virgin in Jewish scripture. Just ask any Jew. The virgin birth is only found in 1 gospel out of 4, if it were true why would only 1 mention it and the Apostle Paul fail to mention it. The author of matthew specifically says it fulfills the prophecy in Matthew 1:22-23 “22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[g] (which means “God with us”).”

            He is referring to Isaiah 7:14, and specifically the Septuagint translation, he is quoting it verbatim. Backing up to the original Hebrew, it reads

            7:14 יד לָכֵן יִתֵּן אֲדֹנָי הוּא, לָכֶם–אוֹת: הִנֵּה הָעַלְמָה, הָרָה וְיֹלֶדֶת בֵּן, וְקָרָאת שְׁמוֹ, עִמָּנוּ אֵל.

            therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign: a maiden is with child and she will bear a son, and will call his name Immanuel.

            The original Hebrew word almah can sometimes be used to refer to a virgin, but not always. It is easy to see how this concept could have become distorted with retranslation. Isaiah goes on to say (Isaiah 7:15-16):

            “He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, 16 for before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste.”

            It is quite obvious that Isaiah’s prophecy was meant for King Ahaz and was to be fulfilled in Ahaz’s lifetime, as it is meant to be a sign for Ahaz. Read the book of Isaiah yourself. No Jew before Christianity ever thought there was to be a virgin birth of the Messiah, that is an idea that came from Greek mythology (Greeks were quite familiar with half god half men, such as Hercules, who were conceived by relations between Gods and women). No Jew EVER wrote ANYTHING about the virgin birth of the Messiah before Christianity. We have many historical Hebrew works that are separate from the canon.

          • Bingo

            Isaiah 7:14
            All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).

            This is pure and simple prophecy, but Israel missed it, being blinded by God because of their stubborn ways.

          • William Davis

            Since when is it fine to take a prophecy out of its context. The true meaning of any text is always what the author intended, not what someone wants it to be. If you can demonstrate how anything I just wrote is wrong, I’m all ears 🙂 Have you read the book of Isaiah for yourself?

          • Bingo

            Prophetic scripture often has dual meaning, and because of the secondary meaning, it jumps out at you from the context.

            Isaiah is a greatly prophetic book.

          • William Davis

            In virtue of what is the secondary meaning? I’m genuinely curious as to the methodology used to rationalize a meaning not conveyed by the context. By doing this aren’t we opening Pandora’s box of interpretation? That is fine if we are looking at the entire enterprise of religion as a work of art, but if we want to understand objective reality, methodology is very important and methodology needs to be justified.

          • lorasinger

            “Israel” had the benefit of having read the ENTIRE chapter in CONTEXT out of an UNEDITED book.

          • Bingo

            They still missed it. They were looking for a political king and conqueror. They, because of their estrangement from God, missed their Messiah’s coming. blind and hard-hearted, He came to them and they spurned Him. I thank God for that because if hey had embraced Him as their Messiah then, God may never have included the Gentile in His offer of salvation.

          • lorasinger

            Don’t thank God. Thank Paul. He’s the one who invented it.

          • Bingo

            Paul is not an inventor. He spoke for God.

          • lorasinger

            Look up Pauline Christianity. He gave you the man god.

          • Onos

            I recommend you reread what I posted. I am not as concerned with the Virgin aspect as I am with the fact that because she was “under God’s veil” or so to speak, saying she was essentially his bride, for anyone to have had intercourse with her would have been adultery.

            The virginity aspect is mentioned in Luke as well as Matthew, furthermore we have early Church fathers writing about her virginity such as Justin Martyr.

          • lorasinger

            Mt. 13:55 and Mk.6:2-3 it says, “is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon.”
            .
            The word used is “adelphos” which means literally, the sharing of the womb.
            .
            Strongs: adephos (ad-el-fos’); from 1 (as a connective particle) and delphus (the womb); a
            brother (literally or figuratively)
            .
            This clearly places his brothers and sisters as coming from the same womb that Jesus came from.

          • Onos

            The word adelphos is used more than once fortunately. Go to Matthew 12:50 “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister and mother.”

            The greek word used again is adelphos as I said. Now does Jesus mean literally that everyone who does the will of his father will share the same womb with him? Obviously not, from this we can conclude that this word does not exclusively refer to blood related kin. Most likely, the Aramaic word more closely resembled the figurative language our lord was using.

          • lorasinger

            Word Origin -adelfoß -from (1) (as a connective particle) and delphus (the womb)

          • lorasinger

            It doesn’t really matter, Def, because you’re weaving the story around Paul’s invented god man, so it’s your myth and you are entitled to add whatever you want.
            .
            This virgin birth nonsense didn’t exist in Judaism and neither the man nor his mother figure in it at all.

          • Onos

            So it appears that you are arguing from the point of Judaism? Regardless I’ll put the can on this argument because it looks exhausted.

          • lorasinger

            I’m aware of Jewish beliefs and customs and those would have been the beliefs of the man Jesus. From there, I’m trying to sort out which is the original and which are the accretions of Christianity. What appears then is a Jewish male who declared himself to be a messianic candidate, who eventually was tried in an illegal court and executed for sedition by Rome. Two generations later, Paul appeared, had a vision, and came up with a new model of Jesus, a man god. His doctrine was accepted by the Gentiles he preached to and the Catholic church grew and developed in Rome, not in Isreal (as attested to by Josephus in his listing of religions as per 57AD). Essentially there are two of the character of Jesus and each reflects the culture into which he was “born”. Christianity took its pattern, incorporating many pagan principles and became a religion in its own right. Judaism remained diametrically opposite of it. Christianity has used syncretism to try to mold the two into one, often editing the OT to reflect a gentile perspective, resulting in many contradictions. You, understandably, will be angry at this but then you are inside the box and I have remained outside of it, using many resources outside of the bible to gain my perspective.

          • Onos

            Understandable that you would like me to become angry however I don’t see that happening. As for the box, I surely do belong inside of it though that doesn’t mean I haven’t taken a stroll outside before and attempted to destroy its integrity to the best of my abilities. It continued to hold so I reentered it.

            I believe these to be the same depiction of Jesus and I believe I can further prove it. However I am very uninterested in continuing to use the Patheos comment area to debate. If you would like to further the debate and I hope you would, please email me at messer979@gmail.com

            I would be happy to debate the writings of Josephus as well as the character of Jesus. (perhaps even continue to try and hammer down the evidence of whether Jesus had siblings, I have some very strong, rational sources on the matter)

          • lorasinger

            I anticipate that you would be outraged just as Doug would be because each of you, both with different “truths” each think you have the only truth and that everyone who listens to you MUST accept that. Whether or not you actually are angry doesn’t matter to me one way or another.
            ….

            Def, all you have is church tradition and as Eusabius said, he would document only the things that would serve posterity and the church. Lying was quite prevalent in the early days of the church. St. Augustine found lying among the clergy so prevalent that he wrote two books (De Mendacio in 395 A.D. and Contra Mendacium in 420 A.D.), urging that it stop.”

          • lorasinger

            I doubt there even was a virgin birth at all. I do know that it’s impossible in rational terms. But here is a write up you might find interesting:

            http://www.biblestudy.org/question/did-jesus-have-brothers-and-sisters.html

          • Onos

            I recognize your source and I wholly disagree with it as I have with everyone else’s viewpoint. I think the authors of that source misunderstand the words and their meanings.

            Furthermore to get to it from a strictly rational point, we can look at the premises.

            I assume your argument would consist of:

            One who is a virgin has never had sex.
            From sex follows insemination to create a child.
            Therefore a Virgin cannot bear a child.

            I would contradict with this argument.

            One who is a virgin has never had sex.
            God, being a supreme being, may choose to inseminate anyone he wishes so that they may bear a child.
            Therefore a virgin (never having sex) may have a child by the actions of God (supreme being).

          • lorasinger

            Def – as a last defence it’s always the familiar “God moves in mysterious ways” and “God did it” plea together with a whipping out and quoting from an ancient tome. That gives you a carte blanche for any belief under the sun. I just can’t accept that in all the years this earth has been, that one “true” virgin birth and dozens of pagan virgin births have occurred. This is an aberrant belief in my opinion because it’s biologically impossible.

          • Bingo

            Well, there’s the crux of the problem right there: DOUBT. It stands between people and the truth every time.

          • lorasinger

            You don’t HAVE the truth. You have the words of those who SAID they had the truth and so you parrot 2000 year old writings and try to apply them to a world 2000 years later and half a world away.

          • Bingo

            The one thing in my life I am the most thankful for is the fact that God has seen fit to make sure I, among countless other believers, have the truth of His word and have the ability to apprehend it. that is the result of His provision in my life of excellent teachers, and prayerful people around me. Not everyone has such blessings. I don’t have the same blessings as others have, but this one I am grateful for.

            The truth is not something that is parroted. It is something that is real and palpable and has the power to set people free from the sin that holds them down.

          • lorasinger

            Sounds like you’re trying to convince yourself, Bimbo.

          • lorasinger

            Matthew 1:25 “But he did not have sexual relations with her UNTIL her son was born. And Joseph named him Jesus.” Sex after childbirth produces more children, Def.
            ,
            In any case, she didn’t stay a virgin.
            ,
            The doctrine of perpetual virginity was cooked up in the 4th century by the Catholic church and I really think it can take the shelf with the box cars of the “true cross” and the half a dozen foreskins belonging to Jesus.

          • William Davis

            Fair enough, here is plenty in Church history to feed a variety of opinions, if you enjoy debate it is a great place to do it. Many Christians underestimate the fact that early Christians (like Paul in 1 Corinthians 7) looked at all sexual activity as immoral. With that in mind it is no surprise that many would believe that Mary would not taint herself. With that in mind, I still highly doubt the virgin birth is objectively true, but it makes for great theological truth. Merry Christmas 🙂

          • lorasinger

            Bingo! And Kudos to you.

          • William Davis

            Thank you for the compliment. I enjoy and appreciate diversity in belief, but when people start arguing, historical truth starts to matter. Obviously we can’t prove there was no virgin birth, like we can’t prove there is no Zeus on Mt. Olympus, put the proposition seems highly suspect, and hardly worth fighting over.

          • lorasinger

            It’s still up to those who advocate it, to prove it, Will.

          • William Davis

            When people present belief as fact, I agree. If it is just personal belief, they don’t need to prove anything, at least to me.

          • lorasinger

            Well, there are many who, faced with the facts, still choose the belief, no matter how much data is presented, either declaring it isn’t enough, or straight out saying it’s a lie and their belief is the truth. Those have gone beyond the pale and there is no use wasting time researching for their benefit.

          • William Davis

            I’m debating one such person on this same blog and the Isaiah prophecy of the virgin birth. It appears he escalated to a more knowledgeable cohort. The more knowledgeable person called me out on the Fallacy from Authority when I used Jewish interpretations of Isaiah to show that not only was Isaiah 7:14 not talking about a virgin, but Emmanuel is not the Messiah. I told him he’s right, I committed the fallacy, but isn’t using any scripture to show anything committing that fallacy? Without the fallacy of authority isn’t there no religion? I’m actually kind of excited about the response, though I fully expect diversion. I’ve never had a fundamentalist try so hard (and I actually appreciate their attempts, as they really believe they are right) but put themselves into such a logical trap by their own words. The first person kept arguing that Ahaz made the prophecy, which is ridiculous. I’m kind of excited for the response, especially with what appears to be multiple people involved (I could be wrong, but the last post demonstrated a big jump in knowledge and intellect). If he can reason this away, I’ll be impressed. I look at this whole thing as an intellectual exercise, and practice of my ability to argue and articulate myself. It’s fun if you don’t take anything personally (which takes some meditation and practice, lol). It’s been a while since I’ve had a worthy opponent, most people cut and run. I like to respect my adversary while disagreeing, and understand his/her point of view the best I can.

          • lorasinger

            you’ll find this interesting and valuable.

            http://ghaas.tripod.com/contents.htm

          • lorasinger

            Re: but isn’t using any scripture to show anything committing that fallacy?
            ……………..
            Scriptures reflect beliefs and in this case, the beliefs of a people of 2000 years ago, halfway across the world, with a different language and customs and beliefs – people completely different from the gentiles of that time and from us even more. The trick is to be able to go back and see it through their eyes. We can’t go back in time but we can ask those whose language it is, who are still familiar with the language with its idioms, the customs and beliefs that haven’t changed in the intervening years. This will guide us most closely to the thinking of the central character of the story. From there, like taking apart a ball of wool of different colors, we can separate the old from the added. Whatever thinking or beliefs don’t exist in the old, then can be ascribed to additions by those who have usurped the central character, changed him to an immortal and woven a new meaning and new story. The link I gave you will help you unwind the ball of wool. 🙂

          • Bingo

            Oh, thanks! LOL

          • Joseph and Mary had many children after Jesus.

          • Bingo

            That is not an answer. Mary’s husband had a right to enjoy her sexually, and she, him. Your religion perpetuates the myth that sex is dirty.

          • lorasinger

            I didn’t say that. Defensor did. I was replying to what he said.

      • lorasinger

        Matthew 1:25 But he did not consummate their marriage UNTIL she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus
        ….
        John 2:12–“After this He went down to Capernaum, He and His mother, and His brothers, and His disciples; and there they stayed a few days.”
        ….
        1 Cor. 9:4-5–“Do we not have a right to eat and drink? Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?”

        Wrong on all counts. Mary neither remained a virgin nor did she abstain from having further children.

    • William Davis

      So since she “sees through a glass dimly” (1 Corinthians 13:12) and sees something a bit different from you, she has a twisted soul? Saying someone has a twisted soul is a fairly strong manifestation of hate, think about this scripture

      1 John 4:20-21 ESV / 191 helpful votes

      “If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

      As you can see, the author of the book of John calls you a liar, and says, in no uncertain terms, you are not a Christian. I suppose it makes sense, why would a Christian call another “a twisted soul” if they were really a Christian.

      • You do not understand the difference between hate and discernment of truth. Hatred is a feeling of being strongly against someone, wanting evil to befall them, despising them.

        Recognizing someones state of bitterness is not hatred. Let’s look at Peter. He had Simon (a former sorcerer) bring money to buy the ability to lay hands on someone to receive the Holy Ghost. Peter said to him, “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. 21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. 23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.” Acts 8:20-23 (KJV) This did not sound very loving, but it was the truth about this man. What I said was what I perceived to be the state of this woman who is walking in rebellion to God, claiming to be a preacher called by God, yet speaking profanely about the things of God and living in disobedience to his word by even being a woman pastor.

        • William Davis

          The problem is, you aren’t Peter, and thinking you know both know the mind of God and who is disobedient is incredibly arrogant. I posted this below:

          “There was no requirement for the Messiah to be born of a virgin in Jewish scripture. Just ask any Jew. The virgin birth is only found in 2 gospel out of 4, if it were true why would only 2 mention it and the Apostle Paul fail to mention it. The author of matthew specifically says it fulfills the prophecy in Matthew 1:22-23 “22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[g] (which means “God with us”).”

          He is referring to Isaiah 7:14, and specifically the Septuagint translation, he is quoting it verbatim. Backing up to the original Hebrew, it reads

          7:14 יד לָכֵן יִתֵּן אֲדֹנָי הוּא, לָכֶם–אוֹת: הִנֵּה הָעַלְמָה, הָרָה וְיֹלֶדֶת בֵּן, וְקָרָאת שְׁמוֹ, עִמָּנוּ אֵל.

          therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign: a maiden is with child and she will bear a son, and will call his name Immanuel.

          The original Hebrew word almah can sometimes be used to refer to a virgin, but not always. It is easy to see how this concept could have become distorted with retranslation. Isaiah goes on to say (Isaiah 7:15-16):

          “He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, 16 for before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste.”

          It is quite obvious that Isaiah’s prophecy was meant for King Ahaz and was to be fulfilled in Ahaz’s lifetime, as it is meant to be a sign for Ahaz. Read the book of Isaiah yourself. No Jew before Christianity ever thought there was to be a virgin birth of the Messiah, that is an idea that came from Greek mythology (Greeks were quite familiar with half god half men, such as Hercules, who were conceived by relations between Gods and women). No Jew EVER wrote ANYTHING about the virgin birth of the Messiah before Christianity. We have many historical Hebrew works that are separate from the canon.”

          From a historical standpoint, she is correct. Are you on the side of truth, or just following an old party line. I don’t mind which one, until you start making grandios claims and calling the souls of other twisted.
          Since the authors of Matthew and Luke likely believed Jesus’s deity started at his birth, the embellishment is perfectly understandable. Doubt of that embellishment is also perfectly understandable.

          • Alonzo

            William, you wrote, “The original Hebrew word almah can sometimes be used to refer to a virgin, but not always. It is easy to see how this concept could have become distorted with retranslation. Isaiah goes on to say (Isaiah 7:15-16):

            “He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, 16 for before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste.”

            It is quite obvious that Isaiah’s prophecy was meant for King Ahaz and was to be fulfilled in Ahaz’s lifetime, as it is meant to be a sign for Ahaz. Read the book of Isaiah yourself.”
            _________________

            You seem to miss a very important grammatical issue about the meaning of words. As you pointed out, words have a number of meanings. However, by restricting it to one in your explanation of “virgin/maiden,” you commit the logical fallacy of the unwarranted restriction of the semantic field. The cultural context is also important. In Israel’s cultural community, “maiden” and “virgin” were the same.

            A young girl remained a virgin until given away in an arranged marriage. Women did not choose whom they
            wished to marry. The families did that. That also occurred with Joseph and Mary. You overlook these contexts. Virginity is assumed according to cultural context.

            You also fail to consider context and the passage’s treatment in the gospels. Nice try in copying and pasting Hebrew. Bet you cant’ read it.

            The other thing you miss is context and dialog. Ahaz was speaking the prophecy and not God. Reread it. The second person pronoun in verse 13 (“Then he said…”) refers to the nearest antecedent, that is, Ahaz. Ahaz was speaking. Nowhere in his words do they refer to Ahaz or someone within his generation. Rather, its reference in the gospel fills out the meaning as referring to Moshiach (Messiah). All that the prophesy in chapter 7 speaks will occur BEFORE the CHILD will be born. In missing the context, you miss the meaning and its fulfillment in Moshiach.

            Moshiach was always in view in Isaiah’s prophecy throughout. He makes allusions to Moshiach all the way through it. The gospel spoke of its fulfillment in Jesus the Moshiach.

            I suggest you read the entire book and the allusions to it in the gospels and letters of Paul. Moshiach is inescapable.

          • William Davis

            I appreciate the time you took to respond. Did you miss the fact it says the “almah” is already pregnant?
            You wrote “The other thing you miss is context and dialog. Ahaz was speaking the prophecy and not God.”

            It is Isaiah speaking the prophecy neither Ahaz nor God, are we reading the same passages?

            Here’s what the Jews think
            http://jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge/articles/counter-missionary-2/texts/isaiah-714-a-virgin-birth/

            To think Christians can better interpret the Jewish Torah than Jews is a terrible mistake. It was originally, and still is, their scripture

          • Alonzo

            William,

            Again, you also miss the word meaning, grammatical construct, and the intent. First, the Hebrew word
            virgin, and I am repeating myself, signifies “one hidden” or kept hidden. This suggests the cultural context that
            parents protected their daughters until the time for the arrangement.

            Second, two participles appear in this passage, and both are future tense. The prophecy also reinforces the future since the prophecy speaks of a future event. The girl is a virgin before she bears a child. To state this in another way, the child comes at a future date to a virgin girl.

            The two participles are in bearing the child and in naming him. One cannot be divorced from the other. To divorce one participle from the other is to miss the intent of the author. The parallel between this prophesy and its fulfillment is stunning in that the prophesy identifies the miracle: “Immanuel,” “God with us.” In both the prophesy and its fulfillment with Mary, God impregnated Mary through the Holy Spirit. The use of the word “Immanuel” illustrates this prophetical intent of the prophet.

            This was God’s work.

            Third, Isaiah is deliberate and intentional in couching a specific prophesy in a prophetic work. That is
            Isaiah is using a literary device of couching a prophesy in a prophesy. You seem to miss this, also. Read the text,

            “Moreover the LORD spoke again to Ahaz, saying, “Ask a sign for yourself from the LORD your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above.” But Ahaz said, “I will
            not ask, nor will I test the LORD!” Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? Therefore
            the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”

            The text clearly states, “But Ahaz said…” The text afterwards states, “Then he said…” The second person pronoun refers back to Ahaz as the closest antecedent. Ahaz is still speaking. The grammar shows this.

            Fourth, the prophesy intentionally illustrates that all that
            happens and will happen occurs from God. A virgin that will bear a son is the intentional work of God, and Isaiah
            clearly indicates this in his prophetic declaration. The meaning construct, and intent are inescapable.

            You would have to deny God’s intervention in both the
            prophesy and fulfillment to derive it your way. You would also have to deny the inspiration of Scripture and that Scripture can be fulfilled and that God brings about all events to bear toward redemption through the Incarnation of people alienated from Him. You would also have to twist all uses of Isaiah in the New Testament to draw your conclusions.

            You then write, “To think Christians can better interpret the Jewish Torah than Jews is a terrible mistake. It was originally, and still is, their scripture.” Based on?

            That is a logical fallacy of appeal to authority and does not argue on the merits. Consequently, I say nonsense. To take that to its logical conclusion, you would also have to admit that no one can understand what another says or writes if they are not part of the the culture of the person speaking or writing. Nonsense again. That obliterates all sense of communication and makes a mockery of it.

            I can then use that against you and ask, “Who are you then attempting to interpret a Jewish text or even the New Testament?” Your argument is self-defeating, and you disqualify yourself from interpreting this text. Besides, it is God’s word and does not belong to the Jews but to God alone.

          • William Davis

            It appears you did not read the article I linked. It does an excellent job proving that almah only means you woman, the young woman may or may not be a virgin. There is a specific word for virgin in Hebrew:

            “The Hebrew bible has a completely different word for virgin. The specific hebrew word is (Betulah – בְּתּוּלָה). This word has no masculine form and indicates the physical sexual status of a woman. It is always translated as “virgin.” For example:

            “the girl was very beautiful, a virgin (בְּתּוּלָה), and no man had had any relations with her” Genesis 24:16
            “I took the women, but when I came near her, I did not find her a virgin (בְּתּוּלָה)”
            Deut 22:14
            “And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh 400 young virgins that had known no man.” Judges 21:12”

            You really should read the article, it goes into a lot of detail.

            If you and I both learned Spanish as a second language, and we both read a Spanish text, and disagree on the interpretation, who would we ask? Why a native Spanish speaker of course, and one as close to the writer of the text as possible. Calling this an appeal to authority logical fallacy is quite wrong. If I wrote something, wouldn’t I be the best interpreter? If not me, then someone who worked with me? If it is a religious text, one who lives and breathes the religion and the native language of the text has a uniquely knowledgeable point of view. This does not necessarily mean they are correct, but a wise man would listen to what they have to say and judge it by its merits.

            “The text clearly states, “But Ahaz said…” The text afterwards states, “Then he said…” The second person pronoun refers back to Ahaz as the closest antecedent. Ahaz is still speaking. The grammar shows this.”

            What version of the Bible are you using?

            Here are some copies of Isaiah 7:13:

            New International Version
            Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also?

            New Living Translation
            Then Isaiah said, “Listen well, you royal family of David! Isn’t it enough to exhaust human patience? Must you exhaust the patience of my God as well?

            NET Bible
            So Isaiah replied, “Pay attention, family of David. Do you consider it too insignificant to try the patience of men? Is that why you are also trying the patience of my God?

            GOD’S WORD® Translation
            “Listen now, descendants of David,” Isaiah said. “Isn’t it enough that you try the patience of mortals? Must you also try the patience of my God?

            Jubilee Bible 2000
            Then said Isaiah, Hear ye now, O house of David, Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?

            The King James says “he” but I find no scholars anywhere that think anyone but Isaiah is writing the passage. You continuation of proclaiming that Ahaz said this makes no sense in context…at all. Please do better research.

            Looking at the side effects of truth only clouds your judgement. Someone who genuinely seeks truth goes into the search with an open mind, does all he can to verify the truth, and then deals with the consequences afterward.

            I implore you again to read the article I linked. The author makes it very clear that almah only means young women, and backs it up with numerous scriptures.

            Just a note, I am well educated and am deeply familiar with logical fallacies and their application. Misapplying a logical fallacy in two posts, not understanding who actually is being quoted in Isaiah 7:14, and not reading what I linked is beginning to make me doubt the productivity of this conversation. I am not addressing much of what you wrote because it is not really relevant to the correct interpretation of Isaiah 7:14. The only correct interpretation is what the author intended. The article I link even addresses the name Emmanuel, and that it is not to be confused with Mashiach. If you choose to believe in the virgin birth by faith for personal theological reasons, that’s fine, but trying to determine objective reality requires a different path.

          • Alonzo

            William,

            >>>”The Hebrew bible has a completely different word for virgin. The specific hebrew word is (Betulah – בְּתּוּלָה).”

            The word you cite above is not the word used in Isaiah 7:14 if that is what you are saying. Given the context, that is what I understand you saying, because this initial statement does not appear to be related to anything else you are saying. Correct me if I am wrong in understanding you.

            What is your source? The word used in the Isaiah passage is הָעַלְמָ֗ה or hā·‘al·māh. And it does have a masculine counterpart. This word appears three times in the OT: Genesis 24:43; Exodus 2:8; and Isaiah 7:14. The Hebrew word bə·ṯū·lāh is not the word used in Isaiah 7:14. It is a very different one. Therefore, you are wrong
            in citation and usage.

            There are actually thirty words that can be translated “virgin” in the Hebrew. All of them depend on context for determining meaning, as is the case in any language. Again, you and the article you cite commit the exegetical fallacy of unwarranted restriction of the semantic field; that is, restricting a word to a single meaning. That is a fallacy.

            For your information, the Jewish movement will have its own meaning of a given passage. The Talmud is a classic example of Rabbis giving conflicting meanings of Torah. I visited a synagogue Torah study for about six months and witnessed a Conservative movement Rabbi offering a number of meanings for a given passage. He also cited numerous Rabbis who were in conflict over its meaning. The Conservatives on occasion will have a different interpretation of a passage than one in the Reformed movement or even among themselves.

            Therefore, your analogy of an original speaker does not stand. To which movement did the author of the article belong? The article shows an agenda, that is, to refute Christians and to deny their theology. I would not expect any less. That agenda will drive their worldview. Jews can have as many interpretations of a passage as there are Rabbis.

            >>>” If you and I both learned Spanish as a second language, and we both read a Spanish text, and disagree on the interpretation, who would we ask?”

            I already replied to this line of argument concerning communications. Your rationale precludes anyone from
            understanding a language as well as an original speaker. The world of linguistics and Bible translators would take issue with this. Those who learn a language can actually become better speakers and users of it than
            those who have it as their original tongue.

            Besides, both ancient Hebrew and Koini Greek are no longer spoken. If we take your rationale, we cannot really understand the Bible since the original speakers are no longer alive. Taking that another step, the article to which you allude would not be beneficial, because the author could not completely understand the ancient Hebrew due to the 2,000 – 3,000 years distance between modern Hebrew and ancient Hebrew. Your logic falls and is invalid.

            >>> “Just a note, I am well educated and am deeply familiar with logical fallacies and their application. Misapplying a logical fallacy in two posts, not
            understanding who actually is being quoted in Isaiah 7:14, and not reading what I linked is beginning to make me doubt the productivity of this conversation.”

            Again, you engage in the same logical fallacy of appeal to authority which, for your information, means that rather than give a logical reason you either appeal to another authority or appeal to yourself. In citing yourself as educated, you are indeed using the logical fallacy of appeal to authority. It is not an argument on the merits and does not support a conclusion.

            Are you sure you understand that logical fallacy and want to go there?

            I do read quite widely and have a lot of resources at my
            disposal. My understanding of the text and other references contradict your conclusion about the actual word used in the Isaiah 7:14 passage. Even the article itself contradicts what you claim about the usage.

            Additionally, the article dismisses that a word could have several meanings and that depends on context. Again, that is the exegetical fallacy of unwarranted restriction of a semantic field. You really need to study linguistic theory.

            >>> “If you choose to believe in the virgin birth by faith for personal theological reasons, that’s fine, but trying to determine objective reality requires a different path.”

            This is a non sequitur. However, since you did bring it up, allow me to address it. My faith rests on historical reality, and historical reality is objective reality. You may choose not to believe historical and objective reality are the same, but that is your choice.

            This discussion with you hardly disturbs me since I am well grounded in my faith. You are simply wrong in your interpretation of the passage, and I have pointed out several instances of that you have simply ignored.

          • William Davis

            Well, at least you quit saying the prophecy was being spoken by Ahaz. This reply seems to be written by a much better educated person than the one I was talking to originally, and that’s great (that or you are paying more attention now, if this is the same person, I apologize in advance) . I only have a few minutes right now, so I apologize again.

            Since there is a specific word in Hebrew for virgin, why not actually use that word if you mean virgin. A “maiden” in English may or may not be a virgin. If the fact that the maiden is a virgin is important, I will use the word virgin. I’m sure you understand why I mention Betulah – בְּתּוּלָה now.

            Here’s a good formal definition of the Fallacy of Authority: “Argument from authority (also known as appeal to authority) is a fallacy of defective induction, where it is argued that a statement is correct because the statement is made by a person or source that is commonly regarded as authoritative.”

            I agree that I should have worded the statement as “Jews are more likely to interpret their own scripture correctly, in my opinion.” Using an authority as evidence is not committing the fallacy, but assuming their opinion is true just because of their authority is committing the fallacy. It appears I did step in that one a bit, it is an easy one to step in.

            Here is an important question. Aren’t you committing this fallacy anytime you quote from scripture? If there is no external evidence for any miracle, believing it is true is committing the Fallacy of Authority by its very definition. No offense but all religions step in that one every day.

            “>>> “If you choose to believe in the virgin birth by faith for personal theological reasons, that’s fine, but trying to determine objective reality requires a different path.”

            This is a non sequitur. However, since you did bring it up, allow me to address it. My faith rests on historical reality, and historical reality is objective reality. You may choose not to believe historical and objective reality are the same, but that is your choice.”

            Definition: Non sequitur (Latin for “it does not follow”), in formal logic, is an argument in which its conclusion does not follow from its premises.

            I was not making a logical statement, so you cannot say I was committing a logical fallacy. There are all kinds of theological beliefs, and not all of them can be true. It is therefore beneficial to separate theology from objective reality, as there is only one objective reality (at least we presuppose there is usually). I think you just didn’t understand what I was saying, and I admit it was a bit vague. There were no premises or deduction, so I hope you agree this was a misapplication of logical fallacy.

            I’m really interested to hear your reaction to the logical fallacy of Appeal to Authority when it comes to using scripture for anything. I’ve never really thought about it before but that is a big one for a religious believer. Without the authority of scriptures, what do you have? Also, when I’m telling you about myself I’m not trying to say I’m correct because of my education. I’m just trying to be friendly and tell you about myself. Thanks for the debate and I’m sorry if I’ve left anything out, late as it is. If you don’t get back to me before Christmas, Merry Christmas again!

          • Alonzo

            William,

            I will address only what is related to the topic at hand since you ignore much of what I replied.

            >>>” Since there is a specific word in Hebrew for
            virgin, why not actually use that word if you mean virgin. A “maiden” in English may or may not be a virgin. If the fact that the maiden is a virgin
            is important, I will use the word virgin. I’m sure you understand why I mention Betulah – בְּתּוּלָה now.”

            I have already addressed the above. Did you not read what I wrote? There are thirty different words that can be translated into the English as “virgin.”

            Again, I state what I said previously – CONTEXT, CONTEXT, CONTEXT. Several different contexts come into play. I mentioned a number in previous
            posts: cultural, custom, historical, textual, and immediate. Which of these did you not understand from what I wrote before? In terms of your
            reference to English usage, again it depends on context.

            You do not seem to get the importance of
            context and reflect that lack of importance in your statement, “If the fact that the maiden is a virgin is important, I will use the word virgin.”

            If context dictates the translation, that is extremely important for accurate translation.

            >>>” A “maiden” in English may or may not be a virgin.” How is this relevant? It seems that you are projecting English usage backwards into another culture and time. That is wrong. Your use of “Betulah”
            seems to show your lack of understanding of context.

            I stand by the application I made of appeal to authority in your case. It is correct. It has nothing to do in support of your argument. Perhaps I may have been a bit hasty with your comparison of second language and original language users. It still remains a logical fallacy, and I took you through how fallacious it was in detail. You have ignored it both times. If anything, your comparison is a hasty generalization, because the comparison is unwarranted as I showed twice in my
            rebuttals, which you ignored.

            You are correct about the authority of Scripture. Christians embrace it as the revealed word of
            God for living. There is a lot of theology foundational to this that cannot be summed up in a single sentence of
            paragraph. I can recommend several books
            if you are interested. It is not a logical fallacy to appeal to the Scriptures as authority. The proper statement of the logical fallacy is when someone uses such an appeal as a premise to draw a conclusion. To appeal to an authority such as in footnoting an authority as support for a thesis is not the same. Scholarship carries weight. However, when someone says, “These pills will make you lose weight, because my sister took them.” That is far different than appealing to
            Scripture as authority. Behind such an appeal are a number of theological doctrines, the most fundamental of these is God Himself. Christians accept God as
            the highest authority. You appealed to yourself by stating since you have a lot of knowledge or are educated, that supports your conclusion. Credentials
            matter and carry weight. If you applied the logical fallacy of appeal to authority every time you cite a source, the weight of a logical fallacy would preempt communication.

            If I wrote a paper (of which I have written and published
            many including two books) and used Scripture or cited an expert in theology to support my thesis, that is recognized as proper. But if in writing my paper, I cited my plumber as a theological expert, I would be using a logical fallacy. Hope that makes sense.

            I ignore the rest, because either I replied to them before or you are ignoring my arguments.

            Merry Christmas

          • William Davis

            “It is not a logical fallacy to appeal to the Scriptures as authority. The proper statement of the logical fallacy is when someone uses such an appeal as a premise to draw a conclusion.”

            God exists because the Bible says so.

            Homosexuality is evil because the Bible says so.

            Jesus was God because the Bible says so.

            All of these clearly use the authority of Scripture as a premise to draw a conclusion. The only premise. Your intellectual dishonesty here really disturbs me. I can admit when I’m wrong but you cannot. Sad really.

            Can you link something that shows there are 30 words for Hebrew? Sorry but I doubt that, I need evidence.

            “But if in writing my paper, I cited my plumber as a theological expert, I would be using a logical fallacy. Hope that makes sense.”

            So you are comparing my use of Jewish theology to understand Jewish scripture to using a plumber? Really? I’m becoming insulted…

            There is a very clear double standard here.

            “Again, you also miss the word meaning, grammatical construct, and the intent. First, the Hebrew word

            virgin, and I am repeating myself, signifies “one hidden” or kept hidden. This suggests the cultural context that
            parents protected their daughters until the time for the arrangement.

            Second, two participles appear in this passage, and both are future tense. The prophecy also reinforces the future since the prophecy speaks of a future event. The girl is a virgin before she bears a child. To state this in another way, the child comes at a future date to a virgin girl.”

            I can find nothing to back up your claims. I don’t want to commit the Fallacy of Authority here, using your words as a source, so I decline to comment. If you started sourcing things to back up your arguments, it would be incredibly helpful.

            I appreciate the fact that everything you are saying makes sense from your point of view, but I’m not seeing it. I’ll spend some time later going over the discussion, but my wife is getting mad at me for responding to the emails I’m getting from you, lol. I apologize in advance if me perception that you are being intellectually dishonest is offense, but that’s the way I’m looking at it right now. Thank you for your efforts, however, and have a good evening. If your post again I’ll try to spend some more time after Christmas. As you stated, there is an inherent difficultly in interpreting ancient texts, so there is no way I can be certain of the interpretation of the texts I believe is correct, just like you cannot be certain. The study of history is genuinely about establishing probably as opposed to absolute truth. Have a good night 🙂

          • Alonzo

            William,

            I thought you were serious, but now I know you are not with the following statements:

            “I can find nothing to back up your claims,” “Your intellectual dishonesty here really disturbs me (ad homenim),” “so I decline to comment….”

            These statements are deceptive and non-replies.

            That is an anti-intellectual approach and demonstrates you are incapable of replying or answering anything I presented. You simply give up and end up like most anti-Christians – engaging in dishonest personal insults and assaults on character. The one shows you do not wish to continue by declining to reply.

            Concerning your statements related to appeal to authority, they demonstrate that you do not know syllogistic argumentation or possess critical thinking. Your premises have conclusions included in them, making your arguments invalid.

            Your example “God exists because the Bible says so” is an invalid and uneducated premise like the rest of them you present for the reason I state above. You are incapable of thinking through premises.

            Sound Christian thinkers do not argue in that manner. Furthermore, you cite articles and give your acceptance to them without critical thought. That is thoughtless.

            You claim to be educated, but your writing and argumentation do not reflect an educated person. You throw out Hebrew as though you know it and then ask how I know there are thirty words in Hebrew (and the source for) that could be translated virgin. If you knew the Bible and Hebrew as much as you let on, you would know the answer. The Bible is my source along with a sound concordance and a Hebrew lexicon.

            Also, if you could read Hebrew, you would be able to understand my translation concerning Ahaz. The Hebrew clearly shows the accuracy of the translation I used. Your ignorance and deceptive ridicule and personal attacks expose you as a fraud.

            I do not play your games. I refuse discussions with those like you who engage in personal attacks and insults. You only show that when all argumentation fails and your reasoning is bankrupt, you engage in personal attacks. It is fruitless to discuss biblical theology with someone like you who has no grasp of it or does not reflect that you have even read the Bible apart from a cursory and superficial reading. You only deceive yourself. And since you declined, good luck with your soliloquies.

          • William Davis

            Why do you doubt my sincerity. I really think I’m right here and want to defend my claim to you as well as possible. I’m passionate about the truth and it bothers me when it seems people play games with the truth. Maybe you are not, but I can’t control my perception. Would you rather me lie? Why did you never link anything to back up your claims? I’m just supposed to take you 30 words for virgin comment at your word? I gave my honest opinion that you seemed intellectually dishonest. We all make mistakes, and all fall victim to cognitive errors and flaws in logic as you point out.
            I’m sure you believe in the power of oral tradition. The stories of creation and Moses had to be carried through oral tradition until being written down. In the same way, the Jewish interpretation of Isaiah has been carried down. It is likely the meaning giving to the Jewish people by the author of Isaiah, how can you get more accurate than that. It is much older than the Christian interpretation. Would I defer to a Mormon to properly interpret the New Testament? No, Christian interpretations are much closer to the origin of the books, so they would be more likely to be accurate.
            This is from a paper written by a Catholic professor at University of Pretoria, you can easily find it if you google “how many jews converted to christianity”:
            ” It will be argued that, despite the evidence of Acts to the contrary, the Christian movement made very little impression upon the Jewish people. Its Jewish membership probably never exceeded 1 000 at any point in the first century, and by the 50s the Jewish members were quite likely exceeded in number by their Gentile counterparts. ”

            There is a ton of historical evidence that the Jews never accepted Jesus because he didn’t fit their prophecies. This was why Saul (before he became Paul) persecuted the Christians. The only thing that changed his mind was his having a vision. This idea also explains why the Gospels became increasingly anti-Jewish over time, with the Gospel of John being the most anti-Jewish.

            I’m sure you are aware that the author of the gospel of Mark depicted everyone not understanding who Jesus was. He believed Jesus became divine at his baptism, not at birth. If Mary had given birth as a virgin, she would have known who Jesus was.

            From a small child I was indoctrinated that I was going to hell if I didn’t believe Jesus. I was beaten regularly, to get the Devil out of me. It was unbiblical to “spare the rod”. As I grew older I began to search to understand the truth. It becomes clearer over time, that these religions were made by people, for people. They have some value, but can lead to some very bad if taken to literally. If you don’t respond, I’ll consider that a surrender, that you’ve know you’ve lost. Repost and I’ll back track again, but please link some support. At least link someone who agrees Ahaz is speaking the prophecy, anyone….I’ve got a lot more in me where this came from. Isn’t it important to get to the truth (next I’ll go into how using theology to prove truth in scripture is circular reasoning because it requires the scripture to be true for the theology to be valid 🙂 You are the first Christian to try to use formal logic. Gotta love the Fallacy from Authority don’t you 😉 You know I have you there, some part of your mind admits, be honest, it’s the Christian thing to do.

          • William Davis

            P.S. There is theology around the Koran. That makes it fine to use it as an Authority, right?

          • William Davis

            On second thought, if this discussion is disturbing your faith, I hope you leave it until after the holidays. It isn’t worth hurting your Christmas over. I just feel it is appropriate to intervene with a scholarly point of view when people are arguing. The majority of my education is in science, mathematics, and engineering, but the past few years has led me to explore the humanities in more detail. Study of the Greco-Roman world has led me to wanting to better understand the religions of the time, especially Christianity. Christianity is the vehicle that carried platonic philosophy through time until it evolved into enlightenment philosophy and rationalism. The story of Jesus and his sacrifice is also very moving. From the later point of view that Jesus was part of the trinity since the beginning of time, I don’t see how the virgin birth is all that critical to Christianity. It is very much like Greek stories of gods impregnating women. The writer just opted for the implication of virginity to avoid the need for insinuating a sex scene. Many of the time, just like today, believed the end justified the means. It makes sense that ideas such as this that make the story better would have caught on as the religion evolved in the early days through a process of idea selection, at least that is the best way to describe it. I think this process made the ideas much stronger. Borrowing from an older religion does have some handicaps though, such as this. Anyway, I wish you a very merry Christmas 🙂

          • lorasinger

            Stow it, Floyd. William is right. It’s not about Jesus.

          • Bingo

            They don’t have the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit to teach them. Christians do. That is why they completely miss most of the symbolism referring to Jesus their Messiah in the seder, for instance.

          • William Davis

            Why didn’t they have the Holy Spirit? Why did the Holy Spirit suddenly come into existence with Jesus? Oh yes, to explain away existing theology. It was a good idea. Look to the Mormons for a modern version of the same thing. Christians don’t understand the truth because they don’t have the the enlightenment of the Joseph Smith.
            I apologize for the sarcasm, but it is the same thing isn’t it?

          • lorasinger

            The last supper of Jesus is distinctly different than a Seder. Jesus asks his apostles to (symbolically or not) drink his blood and eat his flesh. A Jew would know that consuming of blood was specifically forbidden to Jews. This is the reason behind Kosher meat of today. It must be completely bled. The man Jesus, as a Torah abiding Jew, would never have asked for the drinking of blood which was a pagan custom.

          • William Davis

            Good point. Thanks for the info. The narrative that Christianity is a Jewish heresy seems to be quite true. It also explains the animosity that Christians have had for them over the centuries.

          • lorasinger

            What Christianity likes to keep under wraps is the fact that the apostles and Paul weren’t the best of buddies and that while the apostles reflected Jesus Jewish teachings, Paul was preaching an entirely different story – that Mosaic law (the basis of Judaism) no longer applied to his followers. This is the charge he was brought in on at Antioch. He was accused of abrogating the law of Moses. He denied it but was revealed by Asian Jews and later saved by Roman soldiers, thus making a final break with the apostles. The two factions each went out preaching, the apostles to the diaspora, Paul to the gentiles. Paul termed the apostles and their followers as Judaizers and thus the name stuck – with Paul’s followers largely antagonistic to “Judaizers”. Necessarily, the NT followed through on this idea and thus the Jews are blamed for Jesus death. In Christian eyes, this then became the heresy – all the while covering up the fact that these so-called heretics were people who actually knew and followed the teachings Jesus and/or his apostles. For this reason too, the Ebionites (later apostle followers) were declared heretics and their writings were destroyed, to exist now only in the criticisms of the early church fathers. Most Christians won’t accept the fact that the apostles remained practicing Jews after Jesus death.

          • Bingo

            You know NOTHING about scripture or the apostles and the unity they possessed. Paul preached exactly what God gave him to preach.

            You are an agent of Satan in this place. A know-nothing blasphemer whose goal in life is to mock all things spiritual and good, and whose destiny to this point is identical to Satan’s…the fiery pit.

            Your world needs to be rocked sufficiently that you will turn to the One—the only One—who really knows you, and still loves you in spite of yourself—Jesus. He will forgive you and He will raise you up to be what you think you can never be.

          • lorasinger

            There was no unity between them. Check out Acts for the incident at Antioch. Paul lied (again) about abrogating Mosaic law but Asian Jews outed him and he called on Romans to save him. He and the apostles split right when he revealed himself to be a hated Roman. He went on to preach whatever he invented afterward.
            ….
            You’re going to have to go back to apologetic school Bimbo. You’re too emotional.

          • Bingo

            While there was a difference between Paul and Peter that was dealt with, there was always spiritual unity among all the apostles.

            Paul never invented anything. among all the apostles, Paul had a heavy revelation of Jesus Christ and carried out His calling with great courage and the results of it we still see today. You do not comprehend scripture, and because you have no belief, you easily fall prey to lies and the father of lies—Satan himself and what he whispers in your open and unenlightened ear.

            I don’t have to go back to any school. The Lord Jesus Christ is my Teacher. You are nothing but a bold-faced mocker, who hates God and has no business here.

          • lorasinger

            Very BIG differences. The first group were essentially followers of a dead Jew, preaching Judaism to Jews. The second was a man who never even met Jesus, who was preaching an essentially pagan doctrine of a man-god to gentiles.
            ………..
            If Paul didn’t invent it, who did? Sacrificial men gods born of virgins don’t exist in Judaism. The apostles wouldn’t teach a belief that didn’t exist among them. Jesus didn’t claim to be a god. He didn’t even preach to gentiles, Paul did.
            …………….
            Give the head a shake, Bimbo. Why would I hate God. I don’t even know if there is one, and neither do you. YOU are the one who doesn’t belong here. A fundamentalist site would be a much better place for you, rather using this site as a preacher’s box. fundies like everyone to fall in line and cannot bear any difference of opinion, can they?

          • Bingo

            All Christians, Jewish or not—and there were no differences that were not overcome. No one, and especially Paul, preached paganism. that is simply whimsy on your part, but you don’t know the truth, so why would you speak it?

            Paul spoke what God inspired Him to speak.

            I do SMH. Here you are yammering away about something you know zero about, and we are supposed to heed you? Sorry, pal, but the garbage you spout is just garbage. I essentially kick it to the curb. What you opine comes from a spirit that is at enmity with God.

            As a person who knows and walks with God, I fit here fine. I don’t mind differences of opinion where those who hod them know at least a smidgeon about what they are talking about, but you have no baseline of knowledge about anything to do with God or the scriptures, no faith and no spiritual hunger to know the truth. When it is offered to you, you dismiss it with impudence. THAT proves you have an agenda to scorn Christians and to mock God.

            You need another hobby.

          • lorasinger

            The minute you step into the realm of a virgin/God combination that produces a man god who dies for mankind and is resurrected, you are into paganism.
            .
            Quote: Justin Martyr recognized the analogies between Christianity and Paganism. To the Pagans, he wrote:
            “When we say that the Word, who is first born of God, was produced without sexual union, and that he, Jesus Christ, our teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven; we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter (Zeus).” [First Apology, ch. xxi]
            .

          • Bingo

            Denying the truth about Jesus is a step into damnation of one’s very soul. Receiving the truth about Jesus and how He was born of a virgin, according to God’s own plan, and receiving Jesus Christ as one’s personal Saviour and Lord is one step into the Kingdom of God by His grace–forever.

            The flesh (including the mind) wars constantly against these truths, but faith overcomes that warring attitude. The result is a life of peace, love and joy—and so much more.

          • lorasinger

            Horus (Egypt – 3000 BC): Born on Dec. 25th, born of a virgin, star in the east, adorned by 3 kings, teacher at 12, baptized/ministry at age 30, 12 disciples

            Attis (Greece – 1200 BC): Born of a virgin, born on Dec 25th, crucified, dead for 3 days, resurrected

            Mithra (Persia – 1200 BC): Born of a virgin, born on Dec 25th, 12 disciples, performed miracles, dead for 3 days, resurrected

            Krishna (India – 900 BC): Born of a virgin, star in
            the east, performed miracles, resurrected

            Dionysus (Greece – 500 BC): Born of a virgin, born on Dec 25th, performed miracles, “king of kings”, “alpha and omega”, resurrected

            Jesus Christ (Nazareth – 33 AD): Born of a virgin,
            born on Dec 25th, star in the east, 12 disciples, performed miracles, dead for 3 days, resurrected

          • Bingo

            All mythic except for the one true Saviour of the world, Jesus the Messiah. It is obvious you cannot discern truth from fable. Sad.

          • lorasinger

            Yes, Bingo, they are ALL mythic. You are the classic Christian atheist in that you believe in your god but not in the others that are identical to him. There isn’t any proof for any of them.

          • Bingo

            All to you—an unbeliever—but to those who know the living Jesus, we know that there is nothing mythic about Him.

            You have no clue—there is no such thing as a “christian atheist”. What tommyrot. There is no God but Jehovah. Do you ever stop and think about what you post? It’s the most ridiculous drivel I’ve come across in years on the internet. I am beginning to think that you just post whatever stupid thing comes into your head just to get a rise out of people. Maybe take up knitting. Better yet…take up an outdoor activity. Skiing, maybe? Get a gander at the wonderful world that was created at the hand of God! Be “awed”, for once…instead of just “odd”.

          • lorasinger

            “It is obvious you cannot discern truth from fable. Sad.”
            ………
            They are practically clones. What exactly differentiates them from Jesus, in your mind? Only one thing. Jesus is the god of your choice.

          • Bingo

            Jesus is God incarnate and is alive today—and His advent was prophesied down to the very last detail by the hundreds, centuries before He came. Those alone are the main differences—to start. Every other “story” you have offered here has been concocted, based on legends only, and are only heathen beliefs and not based on fact. There is no power in those dead gods, but Jesus, the living Son, God Himself, answers prayer and is active in the world and interested in people’s lives constantly, because He loves us. There is no other god created by men’s minds who is alive and who declares love toward men, nor offers forgiveness and relationship with us—there is only Jehovah.

          • lorasinger

            A legend is a historically unsupported story, often of a character who carries out “larger-than-life” feats . Exactly what you’ve got!

          • Bingo

            Well all except Jesus fits the bill of a legend.

          • Bingo

            LOL!

          • Bingo

            Truth can ONLY be discerned by the power of the Holy Spirit.

            In the OT, Holy Spirit moved on certain individuals—mostly priests and prophets—on behalf of the masses. Under the New Covenant, Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us, and baptizes/anoints us with His empowerment to know the truth, and to function in doing the works of Christ with ease and with great success—all as individual sons and daughters of God. We have become new creatures in Christ—a whole new man.

          • William Davis

            The Old Testament did talk about the Spirit of the Lord, but there are scriptures that say Jesus had to leave before the spirit could come to earth, John 16:7: “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” Some have argued that this is evidence for the modal interpretation of the trinity, that God exists in only one form at a time (not all three at once, as indicated by the Nicene orthodox doctrine). The fact is that no one is sure whether the Spirit of the Lord in the OT is the same thing as the Holy Spirit in the NT, reasonable arguments have been made both ways.

            I like your idea though. All evidence suggests that the prophets in the old testament, and Jesus and the disciples (they were Jews after all, Christianity didn’t exist) had both the Holy Spirit, and the interpreted the Messianic prophesies as the Jews do today. So saying the change in interpretation is due to the Holy Spirit doesn’t make much sense to me. Jesus was a great man whose story was very moving. If anyone from that era deserved to be called a son of God, it was Jesus. Note that God adopted the entire Davidic line. Both David and Solomon were sons of God. David from 1 Chronicles 17:

            11: When your days are fulfilled to go to be with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom.

            12: He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne for ever.

            13: I will be his Father, and he shall be my Son; I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you,

            14: but I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom for ever and his throne shall be established for ever.'”

            and Solomon (1 Chronicles 22)

            7: David said to Solomon, “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house to the name of the LORD my God.

            8: But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, `You have shed much blood and have waged great wars; you shall not build a house to my name, because you have shed so much blood before me upon the earth.

            9: Behold, a son shall be born to you; he shall be a man of peace. I will give him peace from all his enemies round about; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days.

            10: He shall build a house for my name. He shall be my Son, and I will be his Father, and I will establish his royal throne in Israel for ever.’

            11: Now, my son, the LORD be with you, so that you may succeed in building the house of the LORD your God, as he has spoken concerning you.

            15: In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.

            It is easy to see how this great Rabbi started as a son of God. Calling him that is not blasphemous in the Jewish tradition. He went from a son of God, to the Mossiach (the Messiah was to be a great King or Prophet, and a son of God, but not God himself), then to being divine. The Greeks understood a son of God to be at least part divine (like Hercules and Achilles, the list is huge if you’re interested). Looks like we ended up with a mix of the two ideas, not surprising since it was mostly Greeks that converted to Christianity (scholars, including Catholic historians, believe only around 1000 Jews converted to Christianity. The rest, like Saul, before he became Paul, thought calling Jesus divine was blasphemous. Paul only changed his mind because he had a vision of Jesus.
            If you truly believe in the example of Jesus, and try to be like the loving, self-sacrificing rabbi of the synoptic gospels (he did not declare himself to be a deity in these gospels) it can truly change your life. Trying to follow any good role model can.
            As long as you don’t use your beliefs to devalue those who do not share the beliefs, I think they can be very helpful, especially when they cause you to do good, and give you inner peace.

          • Bingo

            Knowing Jesus who is the Son of God and is also God, is more than simply following Him and His examples. It is receiving His life into ours through faith. This isn’t an “idea”. It is God’s plan for the world to reconcile mankind to Himself and to righteous standing before Him.

          • William Davis

            I noticed in the article I linked that author uses the future tense of conceive, instead of present. I think it depends on how old the copy of the text is, not quite sure there. The author does a much better job of explaining the issue and the use of almah in Hebrew scriptures, I hope you read it.

          • “but we have the mind of Christ.”
            “They be blind leaders of the blind.”

      • Now what you have done is something Christ spoke against, wrongly judging and criticizing someone and condemning them. You are doing the very thing you wrongly perceived me doing.

  • lou77

    here is a quote from a blogger, Gregory c., originally occuring out of an
    exposure to an atheist blog but applying to fundies equally well;

    [the fundies are] ‘Full of glib
    rationalizations. They try to put on airs of authority and rationality, but
    they are afraid to have a real discussion that does not involve juvenile
    insults…word tricks, or blanket debunking. They are more dogmatic and
    prejudiced than [the atheists].’
    I think there is an infestation of a cuppla fundies trying to take over & dominate this blog who’s posts exhibit a class of trollish behavior. please don’t engage or feed them.

  • Great article, Nadia! Keep up the good work.

  • Mark N. Taylor

    “It is also written in a single draft and without much thought so – kind of jumbled.”

    I’m an English teacher, so thanks for the trigger warning. 🙂

  • Mike Mayer

    So sorry to see such a well thought out post hijacked by antagonists. This and, “Did the bodily resurrection action happen?” were the “slippery slope” questions that I feared hitting as I saw my beliefs being stripped away by the gray matter God placed between my ears. When I finally realized I could no longer believe these two ideas as scientific/historic/journalistic facts, I wasn’t sure where that left me. I still felt myself called to God, but it seemed like all of the basis for doing so had been stripped away. (This was in my early 20’s while I was in college.)

    In my early 30’s, I met an excellent Lutheran pastor and an intriguing Catholic priest (both on staff at the same Lutheran church) who started me on a path toward rebuilding my faith in a post-supernaturalistic understanding.

    About 5 years ago, I read the book, “The Religious Case against Belief,” by James Carst. This book served as a lens to help me sort out my religious feelings at the time. I discovered the difference between “Belief” and beliefs. I now was comfortable expressing my life of faith independent of beliefs.

    Thanks again for a wonderful post.

    • lou77

      in my 20’s (this was 1973) i sort of believed w/
      out questioning) and felt then god was helping me in all sorts of ways to
      change and transform. 40+ years later he has been faithful even tho i have had many relapses! w/ discussion like these i see that many have not had the felt sense i have had to experience grace daily. virgin birth? the cross?ressurrection? hell? bible? i believe that in many churches these have been reduced to symbolic weapons and used as a collection of torture devices in the employment of religion empires that exploit vulnerable ppl. Whether I ‘confess’ belief doesn’t make a difference to my faith b/c i have a bond and history of a faithful friend in jesus who has always told me the truth & never abandon me.

    • You have been greatly misled, Mike. You’ve been taught unbelief and naturalism by wicked men who were made by the supernatural God. Your supposed faith in an un-supernatural God is more unfounded than pure unbelief. Why is it that you believed sinful men to be so wise as to explain away miracles? “The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.”

      • William Davis

        I think you need to figure out why differing beliefs bother you so much. Does it make you doubt? If you are genuinely trying to change someone else’s mind don’t you think it would help to present an argument to back up your proposition?

        • There is only one faith, one Lord, one God and Father of all…all other faiths, according to Jesus, are counterfeit and false, taught by false prophets.

          • William Davis

            Including Judaism? You do realize Jesus was practicing Jew right? So all the prophets that prophesied about the messiah are false? If you say so, but that seems to be painting with very broad strokes.

          • Jesus fulfilled the law, which was never meant to save, but to teach the fear of God and what was sin. The new covenant was foretold by the prophets. The Jews were told that a Prophet would arise among them, who would tell them the words of God and anyone who did not listen to that prophet would be cut off. This was Jesus, the Messiah. The Jews knew this, but refused to believe that Jesus was that prophet and the Messiah, though the mighty signs he did verified he was, fulfilling scripture. The Messiah brought in the new covenant, making the old of none effect, that is Judaism.
            But I was speaking of Christianity and the many, many various sects. There is only one truth, but many false sects or denominations which are condemned by the Lord Jesus, who called his people to be one, united in Christ. Lutheranism, Catholicism, Methodism, and so on are all condemned by Christ and the leaders of these sects today are false prophets who have divided the church for filthy lucre’s sake.
            This woman who wrote this article is a false prophetess who is in rebellion to God, having taken on the position of pastor against the command of scripture which states plainly that all pastors are to be men by Christ’s decree. All the apostles were men and all the deacons chosen in the early church and in I Tim and in Titus it is specified whom is to be chosen as pastors, elders, and deacons. All such men also have the calling of God upon them to the ministry and God does not go against his own word and call women to the pastorate. They have many other ministries, but not this. This is rebellion. Thus have many denominations bit the dust and even brought in homosexuals who are abominable and perverse in the sight of God.

          • lorasinger

            Nope. The old covenant was ETERNAl and could only be renewed. Re-read Jeremiah who said: ” I will imprint TORAH on their hearts” when the eternal covenant was renewed. He didn’t say NT or mention a pagan man god to come, did he?

          • Bingo

            “Torah” means “Law”. The Law is written on our hearts…no longer stone. That prophecy has come true in Christ. The law of Christ is written on hearts of flesh.

          • lorasinger

            Far from it, the Law is the Torah. Your Paul said the law was a curse and no longer necessary for his gentile Christian followers. Neither Torah, nor the Law has anything to do with you.

          • Bingo

            Yes, the bible is absolutely right. I live by the law of Christ…written on my heart. That is the promise we have.

          • lorasinger

            The OT including the Torah is an old covenant book. It has nothing to do with you.

          • Bingo

            Yeah, it speaks to me just as much as the New Testament does. The entire bible is written for all of us to know God and to learn of Him.

          • lorasinger

            Which God, Bingo? The God of the OT is eternal, without form, one and indivisible, with no son. The God of the NT is triune.

          • Bingo

            You’ve just proven you have no concept of God. He has to give it to you as He has all others who have come to know Him.

            Sayonara.

          • lorasinger

            Bye, Bimbo.

          • Bingo

            Sing me another, Lounge singer….try not to be so flat this time.

          • lorasinger

            Bye, Bimbo.

          • lorasinger

            By extension then, all other religions EXCEPT JUDAISM are false. Gee, Doug, you’ve been misled by wicked men. The Ebionites were right. Paul WAS a liar.

          • William Davis

            Truth is, the evidence is compelling that Jesus was not a Christian but a Jewish Apocalyptic Prophet. He never calls himself divine in any of the synoptic gospels, the Gospel of John came much later. There is evidence that he thought he was going to be the King of the Jews in the coming kingdom of God. The Hebrew Messiah was supposed to be a Great King, not God himself. It is no small wonder that probably only 1000 Jews converted to Christianity in the early days, as Jesus did not fulfill the prophecies of the messiah. In recent years, Christians have explained away the fact that the Jews still wait for their messiah. They claim the Jewish messiah will be the Anti-Christ. There is also a lot of anti-Jewish sentiment in later Christianity. The child (christianity) turns on its father (Judaism).

          • lorasinger

            Total agreement. There is a book “Rejection of Pascal’s Wager (Paul Tobin) that does some pretty detailed research into the bible itself and you might find it interesting. It’s quite pricey but you can get it on Kindle for under ten dollars. If you go to Outreach Judaism and have a copy of the Tanakh, you get a much accurate picture of what Jesus would have believed. You’ve got it though.

          • Bingo

            Christians who know the word do not make a claim that the Jewish Messiah will be the Antichrist. No. Jesus will come again as their Messiah and all Israel will be saved, just as scripture says. The Antichrist will try to destroy the Jews.

          • lorasinger

            Yes, I’m sure your doctrine of having the Jesus messiah come back in end times and kill off all the Jews not yet converted to Christianity right along with everyone else in the world too, will set well with the Jews too.

          • Bingo

            When Jesus comes, He will come as the conquering King, and will indeed destroy His enemies, whether they be Jews or Muslims or NOTHING.

          • lorasinger

            It’s going to be a very long wait, Bingo.

          • William Davis

            Here are the prophecies that the Messiah is to fulfill (from a Jewish site)

            When the Messiah is reigning as King of Israel, the Jews will be ingathered from their exile and will return to Israel, their homeland (Deut. 30:3; Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 30:3, 32:37; Ezekiel 11:17, 36:24).

            The Temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt (Isaiah 2:2-3, 56:6-7, 60:7, 66:20; Ezekiel 37:26–27; Malachi 3:4; Zech. 14:20-21).
            The Temple was still standing in Jesus’ day. It was destroyed 38 years after Jesus’ crucifixion and it has not yet been rebuilt.

            There will be universal disarmament and worldwide peace with a complete end to war (Micah 4:1-4; Hoseah 2:20; Isaiah 2:1-4, 60:18).

            The Messiah will reign as King at a time when all the Jewish people will observe G-d’s commandments (Ezekiel 37:24; Deut. 30:8,10; Jeremiah 31:32; Ezekiel 11:19-20, 36:26-27).
            Jesus never ruled as King, nor have all Jews embraced the commandments of G-d’s Torah.

            The Messiah will rule at a time when all the people of the world will come to acknowledge and serve the one true G-d (Zechariah 3:9, 8:23,14:9,16; Isaiah 45:23, 66:23; Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 38:23; Psalm 86:9; Zeph. 3:9).

            There is more, but I think this is enough. All of this sounds very much like the description of the Anti-Christ I was taught as a child. A Christian rebuttal that Jesus WILL fulfill these prophecies when he comes back is an admission that has not fulfilled them. He has not proven himself to be the Messiah until all of the prophecies are fulfilled. Note there was never a prophecy of the Virgin Birth, or of a suffering Messiah, Isaiah 53 is talking about Israel, and Isaiah 7:14 uses the word “almah” which means young woman (a young woman may or may not be a virgin). The Hebrew word for virgin is Betulah. Why not use that word if you actually meant virgin. (The Greek Septuagint that Matthew seemed to be copying from used the word parthenos, which does mean virgin. The problem is that this does not match the Hebrew texts. An understandable error of translation.

          • Bingo

            You’re a bit shot-sighted. Some of those prophecies have yet to be fulfilled as Jesus comes to set up His Millennial rule. All Israel will embrace their Messiah.

            Nothing there is in reference to the Antichrist.

            Jesus has proven Himself to be Messiah to all to whom He is revealed as such. He is my Messiah! Prophecies of His first coming have ALL been fulfilled, and that includes the virgin birth. Anyone countering that is falling for a satanic deception. Satan loves to quibble about words.

          • Bingo

            The redeemed life in Christ comes right out of Judaism. Abraham is the born again Christian’s spiritual father.

          • lorasinger

            Wrong. Deuteronomy states that every person atones for their own sins. Human sacrifice is forbidden. There are no men gods in Judaism. Abraham is nothing to Christians, Bingo. Abraham’s God is one, indivisible with no son.

          • Bingo

            I’ve never said a wrong thing, yet. In the OT, everyone had to come on a regular basis to atone for his sin, until the next time he sinned, and he would be rendered unclean again. Because of the blood of the ultimate Lamb—Jesus—those who believe by faith are cleansed from ALL sin, once and for all time. There is no more sacrifice.

            Abraham is the spiritual father of Christians.

            Romans 4:16
            So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe.

          • lorasinger

            Deuteronomy says every person must atone for their own sins.
            Abraham has nothing to do with Christians.
            Romans is written by the very person who invented your religion. He’s also known as Dat Kazav, ” the great liar”

          • don schaar

            Not paul but rather those who you follow.

          • lorasinger

            Do I hear the a call from the dark ages?
            .
            Followers of the apostles were later called Ebionites. Dat Kazav (Lying Religion, or Religion of Falseness) is a Hebrew term Ebionites use to describe Christianity that comes from the ‘ish kazav (Lying Man, i.e., Liar) Paul of Tarsus.

    • don schaar

      idiot

  • Nick G

    The scriptures are quite clear: all believers must open their eggs at the convenient end!

  • Dennis Hayes

    wowser! great preaching! just read it aloud to my spouse, many thanks!!

  • The big question is this: If Jesus really was a man, albeit a rather doe-eyed scraggly-bearded man, where did he get his Y chromosome? Maybe instead he was some sort of genetic aberration, a female with excessive androgen, that way he could have been born from spontaneous meiosis without a Y chromosome. Even then surely someone would have noticed he was not really a he…

    • lorasinger

      Heck, nobody even noticed he was a god and when he told his family and the people in town, they tried to toss him over a cliff. His brothers thought he was mad. I guess nobody noticed his divinity and his mother forgot to tell everyone about the angel visits and the magi and the star and all that stuff.

      • sandraleesmith46

        People noticed, most especially the pharisees. That was why they were so threatened by Him.

        • lorasinger

          The priests were Roman collaborators whose job it was, was to discourage revolts among the people. If Jesus turned out to be the real messiah/leader, the people would band behind him and gone would be the Romans. The Priests jobs would be on the line. One of the prophecies in the OT is for the messiah to remove oppressors – It was one of the signs that showed him to be who he said he was.
          That’s why they felt threatened, told the Romans, and the Romans killed him by crucifixion for sedition, the only time Romans got involved.

    • charlesburchfield

      i don’t know. i’ll ask him.

    • sandraleesmith46

      From His true Father, of course. Do you think the God Who created the entire universe and all life here suddenly can’t come up with a Y chromosome, to bring about the promises He’d been making for centuries?

    • Matthew46

      It’s a story, for god’s sake. You might as well ruminate on how Santa’s suit keeps clean after all those chimneys. There is no scientific understanding required to explain a myth.

      • gerrymander

        Ah, but Santa’s suit ISN’T clean…

        “He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
        And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot”

        • lorasinger

          Well, gosh durn… I guess that proves the virgin birth 🙂

      • don schaar

        your myth is a myth.

  • John B

    I agree with the Moltmann point of view, that it is not necessary to believe in the virgin birth to accept the full Christian theology on the person of Christ. In fact, if we believe that Joseph was being truthful when he denied having relations with Mary, and required an intervention from an angel to get him to stay with her, then some other man must have been the father of Jesus, to supply the Y chromosome.

    I would put my money on Zechariah. Immediately after Mary was visited by Gabriel, she went (in quite a hurry) to visit Zechariah and Elizabeth. Her question about not knowing a man and Gabriel’s answer was to ensure that the motivation for the sexual relationship was pure. In fact, she risked her life in doing so, as an unmarried woman. I would suggest that the “overshadowing of the holy spirit” meant that she would know for certain who the right man would be when he showed up.

    Jesus should have been able to grow up in the house of Zechariah, where he would have been more educated, and closer to John the Baptist, thus perhaps avoiding the conflict between their different ministries later in life.

    This also explains why Mary left after three months. Quite disgraceful by Zechariah and Elizabeth, to allow the parents of Jesus Christ to be thrust out into the cold hard world, resulting in Jesus’ being born in an animal barn. But after all, she was beginning to show – and just think of the embarrassment.

    • Bingo

      What a wad of Satanic tripe.

    • Vynette Holliday

      The Gospel of Luke actually names the biological father of Jesus but translators have played a few games with the text in order to conceal from casual readers what’s been known for centuries by more experienced scholars of classical Greek.

      • don schaar

        Thjere is none quite so blind as she who will not see. Your version of mary not being a virgin at the birth of Jesus is pure b s .

        • Bingo

          Thank you—yes it surely is.

      • John B

        I find it quite amusing that Christians of a certain stripe are freaked out and resort to name calling by a challenge of their sacred beliefs, even when faced with a well argued explanation of why they may not be so set in stone.

        I am a Christian (although Bingo may disagree), and it has nothing to do with whether or not an almighty and all powerful God can do magic (something that temporarily suspends the normal laws of physics). I don’t care whether or not Jesus was born of a virgin, that he could walk on water, or any of those other miracles.

        I believe in Jesus because the Gospels testify to him as a person who could love like no other, giving his life for and forgiving those who were screaming for his crucifixion. He saw them as God sees us, wayward children that He loves and would endure the worst suffering if it would bring them back.

        • Bingo

          God isn’t a magician. He is God Almighty. As for not caring if anything recorded about the Lord Jesus Christ is true or not, you need to care that the record is perfectly sound and true.

      • Bingo

        The game detector, eh?

  • Why do I insist on reading the comments. le sigh.

  • Vynette Holliday

    If the virgin birth has been preached for nigh on two thousand years then it must be recorded in the New Testament – right? The answer is a no – it isn’t.

    If one wants to talk about how the idea of a virgin birth satisfies them in some spiritual way, then that’s fine.

    On the other hand, one should be fully aware that neither Jesus, Mary, or his disciples knew anything about a virgin birth since it is entirely foreign to Hebraic thinking. It was never preached by his disciples nor did the New Testament authors write about it.

    It arose simply because the Hellenist-Latin fathers naturally had a predilection for their own native religions, were utterly ignorant of Hebrew thinking and modes of expression, and took very simple Hebrew concepts and overlaid onto them their own pagan mythology.

    I would welcome any debate because there’s a lot at stake seeing the entire structure of theology rests on the Miraculous Incarnation.

    • Bingo

      You’ve been seriously misled.

      • Vynette Holliday

        Well, why don’t you show me where I’ve been misled – from the New Testament of course.

        • Bingo

          I couldn’t begin to straighten you out on your false beliefs apart from suggesting you get on your face before God and ask His forgiveness and for His correction, then pick up a bible and begin reading the four gospels, and ask Him to reveal to your the truth. Your ignorance is appalling.

          • Vynette Holliday

            In my experience, those who do not have the courage of their convictions to present their case in a logical manner usually resort to ad hominem arguments.

          • Bingo

            In my experience, those who make nonsensical comments that come from their own head are unknowledgeable of scripture, so I just tell them to go read it for themselves rather than further arguing their inane reasonings of the flesh.

    • The virgin birth is taught in the gospel of Matthew very clearly and old testament prophesy is used to confirm it.
      18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. 24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

      Matt 1:18-25 (KJV)

      • Vynette Holliday

        Thanks for your comment. Obviously there is a lot more to be said but I will try to compress my answer as best I can.

        Matthew’s gospel does not teach or record a virgin birth/conception and he does not use Old Testament prophecy to confirm it.

        CORPORATE PERSONALITY

        The Jewish religion, both past and present, is communal. In the words of the Jewish scholar Nicholas de Lange “To be a Jew means first and foremost to belong to a group, the Jewish people, and the religious beliefs are secondary, in a sense, to this corporate allegiance.”

        Most Jewish prayers were, and still are communal, as we see in the “Our Father.”

        Central to the idea of Hebraic community is the concept of “corporate personality.” From ancient times, the entire community, past, present and future, was seen as one personality, as “a living whole, a single animated mass of blood, flesh and bones.”

        Even today, at Passover, modern Jews are required to think of themselves as personally taking part in the Exodus and receiving the Torah at Sinai.

        Matthew draws on this Hebraic concept of the “corporate personality,” in his presentation of Jesus.

        SIGNS OF DELIVERANCE

        Drawing on the meaning of Jesus’ name, to “save” or “deliver,” Matthew paints Jesus as recapitulating in his individual existence a selection of “deliverance” themed passages in the Hebrew Scriptures, especially those associated with Moses. For Matthew, Jesus is the representative Israelite, the one standing for the many, the “corporate personality,” the one who fulfils in his individual existence God’s salvation plan for the whole people of Israel. Jesus is Israel: Israel is Jesus.

        Discover Matthew’s method for yourself by reading these passages from the Hebrew Scriptures in their original contexts:

        Ch. 1:23 quoting Isaiah 7:14
        Ch. 2:6 quoting Micah 5:2-5
        Ch. 2:15 quoting Hosea 11:1
        Ch. 2:18 quoting Jeremiah 31:15
        Ch. 3:3 quoting Isaiah 40:3
        Ch. 4:14 quoting Isaiah 9:1-2

        VERSE 1:23

        One of the “deliverance” themed Scripture passages Matthew presents as being fulfilled in Jesus was the sign given to King Ahaz by the prophet Isaiah (Is. 7:14).

        “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

        The crucial words, in Hebrew, are “hinneh ha’almah harah veyoledet ben” “behold (hinneh) the young woman (ha’almah) is pregnant (harah) and shall give birth (veyoledet) to a son (ben)”.

        The child referred to was to be a living ‘clock’ – a physical reminder that as the child waxed and grew, so would the threat from the ‘two kings’ wane.

        The one and only significance of Verse 1:23 is that it forms part of Matthew’s overall presentation of Jesus as the representative Israelite.

        The proponents of the virgin birth doctrine seem not to realise that Jews loved their own Scriptures and knew them intimately. Matthew was certainly not going to expose himself, and Jesus, to their ridicule by claiming the fulfilment of a non-existent virgin-birth prophecy.

        THE HOLY SPIRIT

        Two passages from Matthew commonly adduced to support the virgin birth doctrine are 1:18 and 1:20:

        “she was found with child of the Holy Spirit” (1:18)

        “that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit” (1:20)

        It is quite obvious in 1:20 that the ‘Holy Spirit’ does not refer to the manner of conception but to “that which is conceived in her.”

        A consistent theme of the Hebrew Scriptures is that the Spirit of God (the ‘ruach ha-kodesh’) is the agent of EVERY human birth.

        “The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty has given me life.” (Job 33:4)

        “So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife; and he went in to her, and YHVH gave her conception, and she bore a son.” (Ruth 4:13)

        “YHVH visited Sarah as he had said, and YHVH did to Sarah as he had spoken. Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son…” (Gen 21:1-2)

        “YHVH visited Hannah, and she conceived…” (1 Samuel 2:21)

        “And the man knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man with the help of YHVH.” (Gen 4:1)

        To use this theme in a ‘particular’ or ‘exclusive’ way ONLY where it refers to Jesus is to wrest the words of gospel writers into a meaning which they never intended.

        One need only to consult Luke to appreciate just how insupportable it is to use these verses from Matthew to justify a ‘virgin birth’. References to the workings of the Holy Spirit abound in Luke Chapters 1 and 2 e.g. John the Baptist was “filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb,” (1:15) and a few months before John was born, his mother Elizabeth was “filled with the Holy Spirit.” (1:41)

        Matthew’s use of the term PARTHENOS (virgin)

        The greek word ‘parthenos’ never had anything to do with physical virginity at least until the Second Century AD. Within this period, a ‘parthenos’ is a ‘parthenos’ in that she is unmarried, even if she had some sexual intercourse. Exactly the same condition as the Hebrew ‘almah” of Isaiah 7:14.

        • You have missed the plain meaning of the scripture and your mind is corrupted by your unbelief, which is sin. “Let God be true, but every man a liar.”

          • lorasinger

            “Let God be true, but every man a liar.”to be found in Romans, written by Paul and who should know better, having been accused of lying himself on numerous occasions.
            .
            Dat Kazav (Lying Religion, or Religion of Falseness) is a Hebrew term Ebionites use to describe Christianity that comes from the ‘ish kazav (Lying Man, i.e., Liar) Paul of Tarsus.

          • Bingo

            Romans 3:4
            No, indeed! God tells the truth, even if everyone else is a liar. The Scriptures say about God,

            “Your words
            will be proven true,
            and in court
            you will win your case.”

            You have no comprehension of truth.

          • lorasinger

            Nonetheless, in history, Paul was a liar and your new testament is based on a pagan story of his invention.

          • Bingo

            Paul hasn’t lied. Your accusations are stupid.

          • lorasinger

            “Paul, in his zealot exaltation, admits and
            justifies, on Jesuitical principles, the preaching of falsehood, and feels
            really aggrieved that honest men should take exceptions to such mendacious
            propaganda:

            .

            “For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory;
            why yet am I also judged as a sinner?” (Rom. 3.7)

            .

            In a spirit of good-humored naiveté he winks at the flock of Corinthians whom
            he has hooked into the fold, and admits that he had tricked them:

            .

            “Though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved. But be it so:
            … nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile.” (2 Cor.
            12.15-16)

            .

            As a “man that striveth for the mastery” (1 Cor. 9.25), Paul expounds
            to the church leaders the modus operandi of the successful propagandist:

            .

            “I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the
            Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the
            law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them
            that are without law, as without law, that I might gain them that are without
            law. … I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
            And this I do for the gospel’s sake” (1 Cor. 9.19-23).

            .

          • Bingo

            All lies. You lack spiritual understanding of the scriptures. Best stick to your secular novels.

            Romans 3:5-24
            5 But if our unrighteousness thus establishes and exhibits the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unjust and wrong to inflict His wrath upon us [Jews]? I speak in a [purely] human way.

            6 By no means! Otherwise, how could God judge the world?

            7 But [you say] if through my falsehood God’s integrity is magnified and advertised and abounds to His glory, why am I still being judged as a sinner?

            8 And why should we not do evil that good may come?—as some slanderously charge us with teaching. Such [false teaching] is justly condemned by them.

            9 Well then, are we [Jews] superior and better off than they? No, not at all. We have already charged that all
            men, both Jews and Greeks (Gentiles), are under sin [held down by and subject to its power and control].

            10 As it is written, None is righteous, just and truthful and upright and conscientious, no, not one.

            11 No one understands [no one intelligently discerns or comprehends]; no one seeks out God.

            12 All have turned aside; together they have gone wrong and have become unprofitable and worthless; no one does right, not even one!

            13 Their throat is a yawning grave; they use their tongues to deceive (to mislead and to deal treacherously). The venom of asps is beneath their
            lips.

            14 Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.

            15 Their feet are swift to shed blood.

            16 Destruction [as it dashes them to pieces] and misery mark their ways.

            17 And they have no experience of the way of peace [they know nothing about peace, for a peaceful way they do not even recognize].

            18 There is no [reverential] fear of God before their eyes.

            19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that [the murmurs and excuses of] every mouth may be hushed and all the world may be held accountable to God.

            20 For no person will be justified (made righteous, acquitted, and judged acceptable) in His sight by observing the works prescribed by the Law. For [the real function of] the Law is to make men recognize and be conscious of sin [[a]not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward repentance, faith, and holy character].

            21 But now the righteousness of God has been revealed independently and altogether apart from the Law, although actually it is attested by the Law and the Prophets,

            22 Namely, the righteousness of God which comes by believing with personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah). [And it is meant] for all who believe. For there is no distinction,

            23 Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory [b]which God bestows and receives.

            24 [All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus,

          • lorasinger

            20 ties in with: Galations 5:4, “Those of you who try to be put right in God’s view by obeying the Law have cut yourselves off from Christ. You are outside God’s grace”
            ….
            This was why James called Paul in to explain his doctrine. Paul was charged with leading men to turn their backs on Moses Law (Torah) and the circumcision that marked the eternal covenant. Paul denied it (lied) and Asian Christians revealed him. So right in Galations, by his own words, it seems that Paul WAS lying and Paul WAS leading his converts away from the Law.
            ………..
            Remember he called on Roman soldiers to save him by declaring he was a Roman citizen but again, another lie. Jews couldn’t have Roman citizenship before 212 AD (under Caracella).

          • Bingo

            Don’t even presume to try to teach me about scripture, when you can’t even spell Galatians.

            You are dreadfully ignorant.

          • lorasinger

            Silly rabbit! That’s a pretty weak excuse for not wanting to actually learn something.

          • Bingo

            I don’t need to learn from you. I have God’s perfect word that teaches truth.

          • lorasinger

            Your bible is so edited and forged that there is hardly a verse that is reliable. AND you don’t know your history. Without that, you cannot make a reliable judgement.

          • Bingo

            MY bible has been perfectly preserved and has maintained its integrity over centuries, due to the mighty power of God to do this. You as an unbeliever, lack the faith required to KNOW this. As for history, you allow history to skew the truth, which isn’t history at all but just a story.

          • lorasinger

            KJV, right? The very worst rendition there is. Again, you have no support for the claim.

          • Bingo

            I don’t use the KJV, but there is nothing evil about it—only about those who deny Jesus Christ.

          • lorasinger

            I didn’t say it was evil. Can’t you read? I said it was the poorest translation of all the bibles. Jesus was a man who died and remains dead. You have only Paul’s invented man-god who lives on in your mind/belief.

          • Bingo

            You consider all scripture as evil, when you spout off against it. You reveal only the wickedness in yourself.

            Jesus rose from the grave and is alive, you poor, demented soul.

          • lorasinger

            You’re really stuck on that word “evil”, aren’t you. Must be stuff they teach in church – any opposition is evil, right? I didn’t say the scriptures are evil. I’m saying that they are so mutilated and mistranslated that they are unreliable and aren’t worth the powder to blow them.
            .
            Nobody rises from the grave and lives except in pagan mythology and present day Zombie games.

        • Bingo

          Satan loves to speak through people who are infatuated with their own intelligence. This one takes the cake.

        • John B

          Well referenced argument, Vynette. But sadly, in this forum scholarship won’t get you very far. I think people inherently view the sexual act as too debased for it to have been a part of the conception of Jesus.

          That’s the reason for the reference to the Holy Spirit coming upon Mary – it is meant to tell us that whoever was the supplier of the sperm to father Jesus, the act was pure and sanctioned by God.

          It also reminds us of an important theme of scripture – that God’s will cannot be accomplished by God alone doing magic tricks, but only when we cooperate with Him and do the right thing, according to His plan.

          • Bingo

            Jesus had no human sire.

          • lorasinger

            Then he has no claim to the throne of David either and since that prophecy isn’t fulfilled, he wasn’t the messiah.

          • Bingo

            Jesus is the ONLY one, a descendent of David, who has the right to the throne of David in Jerusalem, as the king of all kings in the City of God. Jesus fulfills all prophecy.

          • lorasinger

            Nope. He could get his lineage only from a natural human father. He had no claim at all. Besides he was dead over 20 years before Paul invented the man god and even Paul’s writings didn’t appear before 70 AD so it may have been even longer. Jesus was born and died a Jew and had nothing to do with Paul’s (and yours) Christianity.

          • Bingo

            Jesus has every claim as God’s begotten Son, and the recorded lineage given through Mary and through Jesus’ adopted father, Joseph, is clear.

            All Christian teachings stem from Jesus Himself, who didn’t stay dead, and who was Paul’s teacher.

          • lorasinger

            A mother can’t give lineage. An adopted father cannot give lineage either. Only a natural human father. THAT was clear then as it is now.
            ..
            No, they don’t. Jesus had nothing to do with Paul’s Christianity. He was born and died a Jew and Paul invented your man-god more than 20 years later, after his vision.
            .
            You are thinking Gamliel? Paul’s description of sitting at the feet of Gamliel? Gamliel didn’t teach children. He taught adult, promising students and he taught using Hebrew Torah. Paul preached from the Septuagint, something a Hebrew scholar would never have done. It is highly unlikely that Paul was anything more than a Greek convert and a fake.

          • Bingo

            Mary had a lineage, nonetheless, and hers proves that she was the progenitor of the House of David.

            You speak as a fool (as usual). Jesus is Paul’s Lord and Saviour and who he preached about. Jesus was Paul’s teacher, just as He is for all Christians.

          • lorasinger

            The prophecy for the lineage of the messiah was that he would descend from David through Solomon. Mary’s lineage came from Nathan. Wrong lineage.
            .
            Not fool, Bing. I have a knowledge of history that surpasses yours and for that reason it’s probably new to you. Jesus was a Jew in a Jewish world. If you want to know about him, you must know the beliefs of the Jews.
            .
            Paul’s Lord and saviour is the man-god he invented. Paul never met Jesus nor did he preach the same doctrine.

          • Bingo

            There is nothing wrong about the lineage. You MIGHT have some knowledge, but it doesn’t serve you well, because you have no faith or a relationship with the living God.

            Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, who came as a Jew to the Jews. He revealed Himself to Paul, and through Paul, He further reveals Himself to the entire Gentile world as well. Paul indeed met Jesus, and served Him with his life. preaching everything that Jesus told Him.

          • lorasinger

            There IS NO lineage in this case, Bing.
            …………..
            I have faith that you’re talking nonsense. A one sided relationship is no relationship at all. You might as well be talking to the wind. At least it’s a palpable movement.
            ………
            Jesus Christ is a PAGAN man-god invented by Paul, that’s all. There is no concept of a man-god in other than pagan lore. Paul took old pagan stories and added name “Jesus” to the mix. His converts didn’t want to be circumcised, so he did away with that and with it, the old (eternal covenant) which is the Torah had to go too since circumcision is a sign of the covenant. Paul made a new covenant and broke with Judaism and Torah, so Christians have no claim to the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) either. It no longer concerns them. In fact, Paul said in Galatians
            5:4, “Those of you who try to be put right in God’s view by obeying the Law have cut yourselves off from Christ. You are outside God’s grace.”
            .
            I guess you should stop cherry picking from the OT, Bing.

          • Bingo

            Your claims are ALL lies. You have no understanding of what you are speaking. What you think is knowledge is pathetic. You are completely cut off not only from Christ, but from reality.

          • lorasinger

            Poor Bing, you’re a poor apologist but it’s not entirely your fault. You are selling a product that doesn’t work as advertised.

          • Bingo

            My apologetics is just fine. The word of God proves itself to be the truth whenever put to the test.

          • lorasinger

            Only in the minds, yours included, of the gullible who can accept the impossible, and will believe the impossible in order to assure themselves of eternal life, whether true or not.

          • Bingo

            In God all things are possible.

          • Spoken like a Christ hating Jew, blaspheming without remorse or conscience.

          • lorasinger

            Truth hurt? No, I’m not a Jew. The idea of Jews hating “Christ” comes from Paul too. The Jewish Christians being James, the brother of Jesus, and the apostles all followed Jesus, who they believed was a man. They followed Torah law and required circumcision for conversion.
            .
            Paul preached a different doctrine of a god man and in order to further his new doctrine did away with circumcision and the law, and invented the “new covenant” for gentiles. He broke with the apostles at Antioch. After that Paul and James became rivals but Paul then turned on them and initiated the idea that the Jews hated his “Christ” and called them Christ haters which wasn’t true but that never mattered to Paul. His teachings persist to this day being imparted by the gospel writers generations later, anonymous gentile converts of Paul..
            .
            Not quite the story that the church teaches, does it? I’ll bet you’re a Baptist too, one who thinks your particular belief goes straight right back to Jesus? Right? In fact, Southern Baptists are an offshoot of the original Baptists, who developed from the Anabaptists, a group of nonconformist Protestant sects that had split off from the Roman Catholics. The Roman Catholic Church itself may be seen as a branch of the Orthodox Church, itself the successor of the Melkites, one of the many outgrowths that vied with each other during the Dark Ages, after the Pauline Christians had pruned back other boughs of the Christian tangle-tree.

            .

          • Bingo

            What a load of hooey.

          • lorasinger

            Stings a bit to find that your dogma comes from a Catholic history?

          • Bingo

            Nope. Catholicism is a Johnny-come-lately religion that mimics Christianity.

          • lorasinger

            Nonsense. They are all based on the same pagan story and they are your roots, Bing. as of the Council of Nicea in 385AD.
            .
            For heaven’s sake. Break open the history books and learn something or even look up “history of Christianity” on Wiki. You are so devoid of knowledge and so full of dogma.

          • Bingo

            Nope. Catholicism deviates from Christianity, when they came into being around 320 AD.

            You’ve a lot to learn, yet.

          • You are an anti-Christ, singer, preaching a false gospel, corrupting the word of God to what end? Your eternal demise. You are playing with fire and are going to feel the wrath of God. You think you have much knowledge, but it is the world’s wisdom that hates God and his Son. What prompted your hatred of God and Christ? Your god is Satan.
            Paul preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ, the same as Peter, John, James, Matthew, Mark, Jude, and Luke. There is no division among the writers of the gospel and epistles, but your darkened mind corrupts what you read, because you are disobedient to God and hold tightly to your pride and hatred.
            The doctrine of the Christ is that he is the God man, the son of God, born of a virgin, come to teach men the gospel of God and to give his life a ransom for many.
            You reject the historical record in the scriptures of how the Jews as a majority, their leaders and most of the people, rejected their Messiah. Even Christ plainly said they did not know the time of their visitation, so they would be left desolate, their house destroyed, which is what happened in 70 AD. The Jews killed their Messiah, but some believed on him and followed him and gave their lives for him.
            But who are you to discuss the scriptures as if you are some authority when you are not born again and you, too, like those Jews who helped put Jesus on the cross, are doing the same thing.

          • Bingo

            Yep, and a bigot, to boot.

          • All those “begats”…

          • Bingo

            I praise God for every single begat…each person is important to God to be memorialized in His precious word.

          • lorasinger

            Two sets of contradicting begats and neither of them apply. Not surprising when know that all of the gospels were written by gentile Christian converts. A Jew would have known better about his own lineage laws.

          • No kidding. Don’t you just hate it when you appropriate incompatible stories and eventually people notice the discrepancies?

            At this point not even parthenogenesis can save the myth. If it was a virgin birth then Jesus can’t be the prophesied one…and if it wasn’t a virgin birth well then he had to be born with sin.

            Oh! I know! We’ll just say that is what makes it so mysterious and wonderful!!!

          • Bingo

            There are no discrepancies.

          • Of course there aren’t.

          • Bingo

            Of course.

          • lorasinger

            Yes, you are absolutely right. Syncretism is what it’s called and that’s been the problem in trying to weave two diametrically opposed religions into one. So far, the Jews are the ones who know the difference because they know their own laws that haven’t changed in 2000 years. Christians just keep swallowing the incredible story.
            /
            Yeah, God, like McGivor, always has a plan. LOL.

          • Bingo

            Ridiculous.

          • lorasinger

            OK, Bing. This is what Jews have always believed. How does it line up with Christianity? (That is where the “syncretism” comes in, in your bible). Keep in mind that Jesus was a Jew, born and died one.

            One Person cannot die for the sins of another.

            A blood sacrifice is not required for forgiveness of sins. Consuming blood is forbidden.

            Gd hates human sacrifices.

            People are born pure and without original sin.

            Gd is one and indivisible.

            There is The Satan, but not The Devil.

            Gd does not become human and humans do not become Gd.

            Gd is one and indivisible.

          • Bingo

            What you and unbelieving Jews don’t get is that Jesus came for them, offering them salvation and freedom from the Law, which is fulfilled, completed in Him. Jesus as the Lamb of God takes the place of the sacrificial lamb of the Law…once and for all. Blood sacrifice has always been God’s requirement. Jesus’ blood is pure and takes away the sins of the world, once and for all.

            You reject what God has done, but your mockery of it just reveals you have no comprehension of God. You only reveal what a fool you are.

          • lorasinger

            Why would a Jewish teacher teach pagan doctrine?. Think about it.

          • Bingo

            He didn’t. You think about it.

          • lorasinger

            The moment you start going into the realm of Gods who impregnate virgins producing sacrificial men gods who resurrect, you are talking about paganism of the kind that was common in Rome. This concept did not exist in Israel. No men gods. No virgin birth. No human sacrifice to save others. It’s all pure pagan.

          • Bingo

            Not gods…GOD. Only he has the authority to declare what paganism is. what He does is holy, righteous and just.

            You miss your salvation in misidentifying God’s perfect and holy plan for your redemption as pagan. In fact, YOU are pagan.

          • lorasinger

            Then God is one and indivisible and has no son.
            .
            He said: I am the first, I am the last and beside me there is no (other) god.
            .
            Hear, O Israel: The Eternal is our God,
            the Eternal is one. [Deuteronomy 6:4]
            .
            But how do we know that the term, One,
            at the end of the above verse, does not refer to some sort of compound unity,that God is made up of different parts that total up to one? The reason we know this is that the word, “one,” is an adjective. Here it is describing a proper noun, which is the word, “The Eternal.” Most people forget that the word that is here translated as, “The Eternal,” is actually the holiest name for God, told to us in Exodus 3:14-15. When the word, “one” modifies a person’s name, it means that the person is only One, not a compound One, but rather an absolute One.

          • Bingo

            Even the Jews are blind to this truth about Jesus, the son of God:

            Isaiah 9:6-7
            For unto us a Child is born,
            Unto us a Son is given;
            And the government will be upon His shoulder.
            And His name will be called
            Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
            Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
            7 Of the increase of His government and peace
            There will be no end,
            Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
            To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
            From that time forward, even forever.
            The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

          • lorasinger

            Note that the words are “IS born”, IS given and it should be “the government IS upon his shoulder. It was an event that occurred in the writer’s time, 700 years before Jesus.
            .
            Every Jewish name has a meaning: Ariel
            (Lion of God), Baruch (blessed), Daniel (god is my judge), Emmanuel (God is with us), Isaac (Yahweh is salvation), Menachem (God’s comforter), Reuben
            (Behold, a son), Solomon (peace)
            .
            Does that mean any of those with the names are those things? NO

          • Bingo

            That is prophecy written in present tense. It is about Jesus the son of God yet to come. They missed Him…and killed Him, just as prophesied.

          • lorasinger

            Nope. Prophecies aren’t written in present tense. It isn’t about Jesus, Bingo. No, the Romans killed Jesus for sedition 700 years later. It was a Roman punishment for a crime against Rome.

          • Bingo

            Many prophecies are written and spoken in present tense.

            You are biblically illiterate, and spiritually deaf, blind and dumb.

          • lorasinger

            Name some.

          • Bingo

            You can search the scriptures yourself, as you claim to know everything. I am not doing your homework for ya.

          • lorasinger

            Copout!

          • Bingo

            Nope. I refuse to waste my time feeding he likes of you who are hostile to God and His people. If you showed one iota of interest in the things of God, then maybe, but you don’t.

            You can find them for yourself. It isn’t hard if you are truly seeking.

          • Bingo

            You reveal only more strongly how biblically illiterate you are. You are blind to the fact that the prophecy is merely in present tense. Big deal. This is a practice of many prophets in scripture.

          • lorasinger

            Nope. I got it straight from the Jews, interpreted the same way for 2500 years, even before Paul invented Christianity. – in their own unedited language too. Who should know better? Don’t make me laugh at your foolishness.

          • Bingo

            The many prophecies about the Messiah have gone right over the Jews’ heads. God has blinded them, spiritually, as part of His plan for them, as He has said:

            Romans 11:25-27
            For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:“The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; 27 For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.”

            You are even more ignorant than they, for God promises that all Israel will be saved.

          • lorasinger

            Nonsense. There are absolutely no prophecies for a man god of any kind in the OT because the concept is absent in Judaism and Jews believe that every person must atone for their own sins. Sacrificial men gods belong in the pagan world, and yours.
            .
            Romans? Written by Paul, the liar, the inventor of Christianity. Of course he would say that. He was a rival of James and his group and so he wasn’t above libelling Jthe Jews that James led. The Jewish covenant is eternal, Bing and can only be renewed, never ended and so Jesus said himself.
            .
            Israel has nothing to do with Christian mythology and I highly doubt that Paul’s mumbo jumbo impresses them and even less likely, frightens them. Your medieval spoutings belong to the middle ages and are no longer impressive. Say what you like.

          • Bingo

            Are you a Jew?

            There are hundreds of prophecies in the OT about Jesus. Jesus is actually written about on every page.

            Paul is no liar. You are.

            Israel has to contend with its own mythology and false belief, but God has it all in hand.

          • lorasinger

            I don’t see why it matters but no, I am not a Jew.
            .
            Not even one prophecy in the OT is for Jesus or any man god.
            .
            Dat Kazav (Lying Religion, or Religion of Falseness) is a Hebrew term Ebionites use to describe Christianity that comes from the ‘ish kazav (Lying Man, i.e., Liar) Paul of Tarsus.
            .
            Israel has its own religion – Judaism – which they practice without trying to force it on everyone else and are quite happy to do so. Your Christianity hasn’t yet learned to do the same. Jesus, your mistranslated bible and your three parted god are yours. Enjoy and keep it in your homes and churches. Nobody else is interested.

          • Bingo

            There are OVER 400 prophecies in the OT which point to the coming Messiah, Jesus, His life and death, which have all been fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The odds of anyone other than Jesus Christ fulfilling all of them are too great to calculate. Once again, you are abysmally inadequate in your handling of scripture in any meaningful way.

            Even Israel doesn’t practice Judaism as given by God. That ceased in 70 AD.

            The world deserves to know the truth about Jesus Christ and God’s invitation to all to receive forgiveness and a new life free from sin. Maybe you like your sin and its consequences, and reject the gift of righteousness offered to you, but millions enjoy the free gift and millions more deserve to hear it. You don’t have anything to offer.

          • lorasinger

            What do you not understand about “There are NO men gods in Judaism”? Why would Jews write verses about something that didn’t exist in their day? And NO, There is nothing in any verse in the OT about a man god.
            .
            Israel still practices Judaism “as given by God” up to this very day. Without an alter since 70 AD, animal sacrifice has ceased but then it started to dwindle even during the second temple period. You might be surprised then that Jews follow the second set of ten commandments (Exodus 34) since, Moses broke the first set and God replaced them with the second set. Of course that has nothing to do with Christians anyway since you are under a new covenant and not the old one so the OT has nothing to do with you.
            .
            All you’re doing is spreading pagan mythology which in many circumstances only serves to destroy civilization and bring about bloodshed just as it’s done for 2000 years.

          • Xianity must seem like a giant, multi-limbed, self-serving, dysfunctional mash-up from certain perspectives…

          • Bingo

            Yes, from the atheist perspective.

          • No, even from within. Just look at all the incompatible, mutually exclusive variations of “Christianity” bound only by the name.

          • Bingo

            There is one Jesus, one Lord, one way to God, and one faith. All believers in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour and Lord are one in Him. We are compatible, as sisters and brothers.

          • Really? So you accept gay marriage and abortion just like other Christians do? Good for you! And the Trinity, you are obviously good with that, and all it entails. Oh, and of course the infallibility of the Pope. Either Pope! Because all of their Christian Gods – taken in aggregate, of course – have said those things are each His Will.

          • Bingo

            Christians abhor what God abhors, and that includes abortion and homosexuality. Those who are in favour of those abominations are not true believers, and if they have received Christ, then they are spiritually young, and merely in need of teaching and knowing God’s word.

            The Pope is not part of the Christian faith, so any teaching about that position is bogus.

          • lorasinger

            I can’t help but think that abortion in the case of Paul would have saved countless lives over the years and I don’t see it would have been a bad thing.

          • Everything about him reads like a self-loathing, misogynistic closet case of some sort. I’ve long wondered if the early Christians he prosecuted as Saul were actually the competition; once they were out of the way he could reinvent the religion as it best suited his needs.

          • Bingo

            Paul was a brilliant intellect and a spiritual giant, very much the opposite of you and singer.

          • lorasinger

            You are exactly right. He was sent from the Herodian house in Rome to put down rebellion didn’t do all that well so he infiltrated and took it down from within by diverting it. Under a true Messiah the Jews would all unite and drive the Romans out. By diverting Jesus message to a heavenly one, earthly rebellion then would settle to the hope of a heavenly one after death. It didn’t work that well either since the Jews didn’t go for it and Paul’s followers, for 2000 years – his Christianity – has proven to be little more than a killing machine.

          • Bingo

            Nice try, oh fabulist.

          • Bingo

            What an evil person you are, speaking rash, foolish and incendiary idiocy like that. Worthless fool.

          • lorasinger

            Here we go again with the “evil”. What would you do without your favorite word? LOL

            If Paul and Hitler had both been aborted, millions of lives would have been saved. Nothing evil about that. Always think of the greater good, Bingo.

          • lorasinger

            Celsus had it right.

            Celsus, who lived at the time the Four Gospels made their appearance, says: “This is one of their [the Christians’] rules. Let no man that is learned, wise, or prudent come among us: but if they be unlearned, or a child, or an idiot, let him freely come. So they openly declare that none but the ignorant, and those devoid of understanding……, are fit disciples for the God they worship.”

          • Bingo

            In that case, you’d fit right in.

          • lorasinger

            You don’t read very well, do you? Home schooled?

  • I very much enjoyed this article. Just last night I was “debating” a good friend who considers himself a card carrying Atheist. It seems whenever I post something on Facebook regarding religion, Christianity in particular, he feels obligated to start a debate. I’ve never told him this but after every bout we have online I come away with a stronger, renewed faith. So even though I’m wasting words with an idiot debating, in a sense it’s the same as confessing the faith.

    I reposted this article as well and I’m sure he’ll have to get his two cents in.

    • Bingo

      Good job, Rod. I also love sparring with the idiots. I am shocked every time at the dearth of comprehension, today. It is a true mark of the end times.

      2 Timothy 3:1-5 (AMP)
      But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].

      2 For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.

      3 [They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman),
      relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good.

      4 [They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.

      5 For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].

      • lorasinger

        I also love sparring with the idiots.
        …………….
        It’s like playing chess with a pigeon. First it knocks over the chessmen, then it poops on the board and then flies away, squawking victory.

        • Bingo

          You need to carry a pooper scooper to clean up after yourself, due the amount of dung you fling around here.

          • lorasinger

            Out of ammunition?

          • Bingo

            God’s word is my sharp sword.

          • lorasinger

            Well at least something is sharp.

      • M Didaskalos

        Three ineluctable certainties you can count on: death, taxes, and a smattering of warmed-over heresies perennially percolating in a few Protestant circles.

        The Virgin Birth is both truth and a fact. At a point in history, it actually happened. It’s a rather important fact, for that matter. Without the Virgin Birth, we can jettison the rest of the Bible. Without the Virgin Birth, we don’t have a Savior, we’ve got Jesus, The Great Example And Really Special Human Being Who Never Was God Incarnate, Of Course. But at least we can always give Jesus props for being an itinerant preacher of beatific bonhomie whose life’s mission was to tell us all how to be nicer to each other.

        Al Mohler (bio: http://www.albertmohler.com/about/ ) and Martin Luther (yes, that Reformation giant Martin Luther) both shed important light on the Virgin Birth.

        Al Mohler writes: http://www.albertmohler.com/2011/12/14/must-we-believe-in-the-virgin-birth/

        . . . Must one believe in the Virgin Birth to be a Christian? This is not a hard question to answer. It is conceivable that someone might come to Christ and trust Christ as Savior without yet learning that the Bible teaches that Jesus was born of a virgin. A new believer is not yet aware of the full structure of Christian truth. The real question is this: Can a Christian, once aware of the Bible’s teaching, reject the Virgin Birth? The answer must be no. . . .

        Millard Erickson states this well: “If we do not hold to the virgin birth despite the fact that the Bible asserts it, then we have compromised the authority of the Bible and there is in principle no reason why we should hold to its other teachings. Thus, rejecting the virgin birth has implications reaching far beyond the doctrine itself.”
        Implications, indeed. If Jesus was not born of a virgin, who was His father? There is no answer that will leave the Gospel intact. The Virgin Birth explains how Christ could be both God and man, how He was without sin, and that the entire work of salvation is God’s gracious act. If Jesus was not born of a virgin, He had a human father. If Jesus was not born of a virgin, the Bible teaches a lie.
        Carl F. H. Henry, the dean of evangelical theologians, argued that the Virgin Birth is the “essential, historical indication of the Incarnation, bearing not only an analogy to the divine and human natures of the Incarnate, but also bringing out the nature, purpose, and bearing of this work of God to salvation.” Well said, and well believed.
        Nicholas Kristof and his secularist friends may find belief in the Virgin Birth to be evidence of intellectual backwardness among American Christians. But this is the faith of the Church, established in God’s perfect Word, and cherished by the true Church throughout the ages. Kristof’s grandfather, we are told, believed that the Virgin Birth is a “pious legend.” The fact that he could hold such beliefs and serve as an elder in his church is evidence of that church’s doctrinal and spiritual laxity — or worse. Those who deny the Virgin Birth affirm other doctrines only by force of whim, for they have already surrendered the authority of Scripture. They have undermined Christ’s nature and nullified the incarnation.
        This much we know: All those who find salvation will be saved by the atoning work of Jesus the Christ — the virgin-born Savior. Anything less than this is just not Christianity, whatever it may call itself. A true Christian will not deny the Virgin Birth.

        Martin Luther writes:

        “. . . we must believe that Christ’s mother was a virgin. The apostle [Paul in Galatians] makes this plain when he declares the Son of God was made of a woman — not of man like other children. He alone among men is born of woman only. . . .

        “She [Mary] was selected in her virginity not for her own sake, but for Christ’s sake. He chose to be born of a virgin, that he might be born without sin. A sinless birth was impossible except through the instrumentality of a virgin woman, who was able to conceive and bring forth without the aid of man.

        “Such seems to be included in God’s covenant, declaring that all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in the seed of Abraham. From the fact of a blessing being promised, it is evident that men must be under a curse because of their physical birth in sin resulting from Adam. Should this seed of Abraham be a blessing to all, it could not itself be under a curse; therefore, the Savior could not come of Adam’s birth, which is altogether under the curse.

        “Further, to verify the testament or covenant of God who cannot lie, Christ must be the natural child of Abraham — his flesh and blood. But to what is such reasoning leading us? Christ is to be a natural child, born of flesh and blood, and yet not to be a child of carnal birth. The inconsistency of the reasoning is removed by the fact that a woman alone, independent of man, was chosen to effect the birth. Thus it was possible for a real, natural child, one truly the seed of Abraham, to be born sinless, of a woman, and productive of abundant blessings. In him, then, mankind, under the curse in consequence of its own sinful birth, may be blessed. Thus, the requirements of God’s covenant are fully met; the carnal birth of Adam with its inordinate desire is avoided, and a physical birth in spiritual manner really effected.”

        (“Sunday after Christmas,” Sermons of Martin Luther, “The Church Postils.” [Grand Rapids: Baker], vol. 5, pp. 248-50.)

        http://www.orlutheran.com/html/mlsega04.html — pts. 62-66

        • Bingo

          Why are you replying to me? The virgin birth of Jesus Christ is a fact.

          • M Didaskalos

            I know you know that. Just giving you some corroborating attestation you may not have seen before.

      • lorasinger

        Our earth is degenerate in these latter days. There are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end. Bribery and corruption are common, Children no longer obey their parents. Every man wants to write a book, and the end of the world evidently is approaching.

        Assyrian tablet circa 2800 BCE

        • Bingo

          Yep, and glad you agree these are the latter days. Biblical prophecy is now being completed.

          • lorasinger

            No, I don’t believe these are latter days at all. That silly notion started 5000 years ago and fruitcakes predict end times on the average of about 50 times a century. Hasn’t it even occurred to you that just because you believe it, doesn’t mean it’s fact? What’s the difference between you and the average astrologer who believes people born under Scorpio all have thick eyebrows? It’s nonsense.

          • Bingo

            The only fruitcakes are those who spend inordinate amounts of time and energy and angst posting puerile notions about things that are beyond their experience, expertise and knowledge.

          • lorasinger

            BUT not beyond rational thinking, Bing. What you advocate has been believed (only) for over 5000 years. Doesn’t it even begin to niggle at you that it’s a superstition that isn’t ever going to happen. You are claiming experience, expertise and knowledge and yet all you really have is belief – nothing more and certainly none of the above.

          • Bingo

            There’s no superstition in the truth that God has given us. It has been His truth as long as man has been on Earth. MY EXPERIENCE with God is the reason for my belief.

            You have none—so far, so you have nothing but dissension and dismissals. They mean nothing.

          • lorasinger

            Of course, “god” didn’t give you superstition. Men made it up all by themselves. Gods don’t have human children. Virgins don’t give birth. People dead for three days don’t get up again.
            ..
            Your “EXPERIENCE with God” takes place right in the temporal lobe of your brain and it can be duplicated in any lab by passing an electromagnetic current to the areas. It’s been done a number of times with the same result. In your case, it’s self-induced and that’s common too.

          • Bingo

            Men dreamed up a lot of crap, and you also have swallowed the lion’s share of it, but the bible is the true word of God. Believe Him and meet Jesus.

          • lorasinger

            Bingo, meet crap (bible). That old book that you consider to be inerrant is so edited, misinterpreted, mistranslated or forged there probably isn’t even a verse in it that’s original. It’s historical value is worthless. The OT is the history, laws and poetry of a people of 2000 years ago, in a different language (re-translated four times) and halfwa