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October 19th, 2012, 15:37
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
Name me two-three Christian Authorities from the 6th century that wasn't the institution nowadays known as the Catholic Church.
Again, we were talking about the 1st through late 3rd centuries, so what are you asking about the 6th century? Just because one viewpoint became the dominant faith, doesn't negate the existence of other points of view before that. And even in the 6th century, you had several distinct flavors of Christianity (though not as diverse as the earlier Christians differences). The Eastern Church based in Constantinople , though it would not officially break with Rome for a few more centuries, had several important theological differences. The Coptic Church in Egypt had many as well.


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.
You're not even engaging in the second, because you ignore that there never has been and never will be one universal interpretation.

The idea that there were several competing Christianities of which one branch was the winner is modern history.
No it isn't, it is fact. What we now call the Gnostic Christians were significantly different than the 'Orthodox' faith. Even within the 'Orthodox' faith, there are several different flavors, as I referenced in my previous post, that have distinct differences. Though they share many of the same basic theologies, we would not have had things like the Great Schism in the 11th century. In the various councils of the 4th century, you have 'Orthodox' Christians arguing whether Christ was man, god, or both. They argued whether there was a Holy Trinity. They argued over just about everything!

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.
Again, not really. In the 13th century, you still have distinct Eastern and Western Churches with theological differences. In the west, there were several groups (all of whom ultimately got wiped out unfortunately) like the Cathars that had significant differences with Orthodox Christianity.

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.
There is no doubt that the Catholic Church was a huge force in the west for most of the last 1600 years or so, and that it was intertwined with the governments. I fail to see how that means that anti-Judaism is straight out of the New Testament. The powers that be certainly used their interpretation of the NT as a justification for anti-Judaism activities, but even within that, you have people arguing against those interpretations. Read on the Crusades, there were quite a few arguments going on about whether the Jews, both in and out of the Holy Land, should be protected or persecuted.

It's not nearly as simple or cut and dry as you like to make it out to be. You are sadly letting your anti-religion bias show.


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.
The official list of canonical text were largely set by the 2nd century, officially set by the 4th century, and only rarely altered since. The Catholics use a slightly extended list than the Protestants today. The bulk of the texts used today have been used since the 2nd century (translations withstanding). I have no idea where you get any other idea.

Now, some non-canonical texts were more prevalent at various times. In the middle ages, for instance, The Shepard of Hermes (perhaps my favorite non-canonical work) and the Infancy Gospel of James were well known, though still not considered canonical.


"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").
So what you are saying is that people copied and translated the texts, they interpreted them? So now you are agreeing that interpretation has been a constant theme of religion.

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.[/quote]

Timothy 2 isn't a fake, it just wasn't likely attributed properly. Rather than Paul writing it, its is more commonly believed that it was written by one of Paul's followers.

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.
No one said anti-Judaism sentiments in Europe have been few. The discussion is what is the cause of those sentiments. You assert that Christianity is the cause. The rest of us assert that Christianity has been used as an excuse.

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.
Then that is your fault for misunderstanding the Bible (or even being taught wrong).

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 because you and others have interpreted the texts in this way, the texts are bad? That makes absolutely zero sense what so ever.


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 know plenty of 'unschooled layman' that have never been raging anti-Judaism people, so does their interpretation not count?

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.
Your narrow focus is sad and disgraceful. This is the type of thinking from where hate develops. I sincerely hope you are not teaching this to anyone else.

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