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October 19th, 2012, 09:35
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
Being ignorant of history doesn't make you right. First, there are more authorities on Christianity than the Catholic Church and have been since the beginning.
Name me two-three Christian Authorities from the 6th century that wasn't the institution nowadays known as the Catholic Church.

Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
Second, Acts, as it was interpreted before the 4th century doesn't support that. Just because some people got in power and changed the message doesn't mean that the message always said that.
Please root the idea that there's a qualitative difference between what is and what is interpreted. You are engaging in the former question while I engage in the second where it's more important to look at the perception of Average Joe and what he got on the table, than the perception of Modern History.

The idea that there were several competing Christianities of which one branch was the winner is modern history. Go back 800 years and Christianity was The Church (TM) in most of Europe and all lasting interpretations of Christianity at that time grew from this stem. This monolith didn't start to crumble until the 12-14th century and even after that the religions were state-driven up to the 20th century in most of Europe. So please acknowledge that during half of this European history, Christianity have been fueled by a single entity who barely had any clue about groups like the Ebionites or the Marcionites and it is the product of their interpretations that matter. What does this mean? It means that in some aspects, 19th Century Christianity have more in common with 1-3rd century Christianity than 12th Century Christianity because of the almost complete freedom to interpret Christianity the way you like. In other aspects 19th Century Christianity have more in common with 12th Century Christianity than 1-3rd century Christianity because of a millennium of the collected Biblical canon as the major influence on what Christianity contains.

Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
I didn't correct myself, though maybe I could have said it better. Interpreting the texts of the canonical Bible predates the official list of canonical texts. Its not a new phenomenon. Interpretations of the Bible have always changed, even during the period between the 4th century and the Reformation.
The now accepted "Official list of canonical text" weren't mainstream Christianity around the 12th century. There were other texts used and there were texts in the modern Bible that weren't used. "Interpretations" back then weren't just interpretations of texts from a canonical list, there was also interpretations in what texts were authoritative and which weren't and during copying texts changes were often made to correct and adjust it's content to what people believed at the time ("this doesn't sound like the Christ I know, so I change the text").

A lot happened after the Printing Press created a unified tome with both the culture and Christianity in which even copy errors are now mainstream, simply because of the editions that were selected to be copied. Now there were an authorative version of the tome of Christianity, including a finite selection of books and the copy errors of the edition of the texts that they decided to use for this finite copy ("locusts and honey" for example, which is 1 letter from the "pancakes and honey" in other and older editions of the text). This effect on both European Culture and Christianity cannot be understated. Had for example Timothy 2 been known as a fake in the 12th Century, Christianity would in some aspects be very different and had alternate gospels been included, the search for the "historical Christ" would look for a very different person.

Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
Of course some people have used it to justify anti-judism. Anyone can twist any text to their own meaning. That's not the issue here. The issue is what is the basis for anti-judism. Using the New Testament to that effect is not the same as the New Testament being the basis for it.
You say it like the anti-Judaism passages in the New Testament are rather few and the anti-Judaism sentiments in Europe have been few as well. I personally questioned my own interpretation of the Bible when I one day realized I disliked Jews even if I never met one in my life nor had any trace of anti-Judaism in my family or among the people I had around me. I disliked them because Jesus said they were liars or hypocrites, because they killed Christ and showered in his blood and because of Paul's prophecy that they would get punished for what they did in the end. I also hated them for not accepting Jesus Christ and therefore didn't contribute to the salvation of mankind.

I had learned from my social environment that hating Jews were wrong which is why I begin to question my interpretation. And this was long before I had any clue about the depths of anti-Judaism or European history. When I was 14-16 the Bible WAS my history and everything I needed to know.

You can say my "interpretation" were wrong, but that doesn't matter, because the very same passages I interpreted this way have been interpreted by others the same way and it have lead to people getting killed throughout European history.

So accept this; the unschooled laymans interpretation of the Bible is more authoritative than the combined theologians in this world. Their interpretation is the only "true" interpretation of the Bible worth my time as a social psychologist. The way an unschooled layman intuitively interpret the text inspire a physical manifestation of the Bible through those unschooled laymens behavior. That physical manifestation can sometimes lead to actual physical harm.

I hope you understand this conclusion. I hope you can understand why it doesn't matter to me at all what a schooled theologian believes is the correct interpretation of the text. It's his/hers opinion and that opinion doesn't matter.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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