Okay, Mike... We're gonna try this one more time...
Scott, in some ways you are a master of shifting sands. The original statement you made was about the book's measurable effect on history. Now you're faulting me for not "observing" the change that was in the book itself...rather than history.
*I* am the master of shifting sands?? No wonder I couldn't figure out your question. You're basing it on something I never said. Not very scientific (unless science has proven the existence of telepathy).
My EXACT words were:
["There's no question that the Old Testament is much more blood thirsty than the New Testament. A much more angry and vengeful God. An eye for eye, etc. Christ turned God into a God of peace. Turn the other cheek, etc. The philosophy definitely changes to a measurable degree."]
All I cited there was a noticeable difference in philosophy between the New Testament and The Old Testament. Nowhere in that statement do I say *anything* about the Bible's effect on history. I compared one Testament to the other. That's all.
Now, if by your question you are suggesting that the BIBLE has had no EFFECT on the course of HISTORY...??? Then, I'm sorry, I don't know how to help you. You've been living under a rock somewhere.
"Jesus was a practicing Jew. He taught traditional Judaism to his followers."
Traditional Judaism such as refraining from stoning a "harlot," flexibility to work on the sabbath, and contending in public with the temple authorities. What is tradition to you? It sounds to me as if He discussed more universal truths in the context of his birth religion.
On the subject of working on the Sabbath, I'll have to look that one up--because I don't *recall* Jesus ever saying it was okay to work on the Sabbath. That issue aside, you're basically correct. In fact, I intended to bring this up last night, along with what I was saying--but 2 and 3 a.m. tends to fog the mind a bit. ;)
Yes, Jesus was a traditional Jew who deeply believed in the sanctity of the Jewish faith. However, AT THE SAME TIME, it was indeed His mission to bring forth an enlightenment and clarity of God's love and forgiveness. He was in a sense bringing Judaism out of the "Dark Ages" of ignorance and hypocrisy--and into a more level-headed and love-based means of worship in the Jewish faith. He wasn't trying to start a new religion (that happened later by chance)--He was just trying to fix the old one.
In Europe, the same thing would later happen within Christianity in opposition of the Pope--causing splits within the Church, from which came the Episcopalians, the Lutherans, Presbyterians and so forth. They believed that the Pope had amassed too much power, thus loosing site of true meaning of the faith. Likewise, this was what Jesus was battling within the Jewish faith.
If I understand, you're asserting Jewish faith was more than sincere but tribal religion under continuous assembly in a time of primitive literature and record-keeping..
Don't be so temporally arrogant and Eurocentric as to underestimate the quality of their literature and record-keeping. They may not have been flying around in jets, but these were NOT stupid people.
That is a major failing of many people who call themselves scientists, when regarding ancient cultures. I don't know how many times I've heard inane statements from scientists regarding civilizations which had advanced written languages, mathematics, astronomy, and architecture and pyramids that we'd have trouble building today. "Amazing considering that they couldn't have the wheel." WHAT!!!??? They could do all these advanced technical things, but they were too STUPID to recognize that something ROUND can ROLL!!?? Science is supposed to be based on logic. What kind of inane logic is that!!??
You're smart, but your assertions are huge and we don't have enough reason to believe your assertions as they stand.
My assertions from the beginning were quite simple and only this: There needn't be some kind of stigma attached to a scientist who considers himself a Christian, Muslim, or Jew or believes there *might* be some kind of Higher Power--as if he can then not be objective. Likewise there needed be a stigma attached to person of faith who also believes in science, evolution, etc. There is no reason (other than pure prejudice) that it has to be one or the other. We can ALL be more open-minded. After all, that's the only ideas ever get discussed.
In our present scientific development, we might not be able to PROVE that God exists. But if you believe in the concept of "innocent until proven guilty," then on that same token, you must be able to acknowledge that in our current level of development, science cannot DISPROVE the existence of God either. Therefore, a blanket statement of "God does not exist" becomes subjective rather, objective. Because, until it can be absolutely
proven otherwise, the possibility remains that God MIGHT exist.
Therefore, if it is my faith which is being questioned by science, then the burden of proof
that it doesn't exist or never happened falls, not to me, but to the scientist making the charge. The problem, at this point, is he can't prove it or disprove it.
It was once said that the sound barrier was impossible to break. That was a subjective assertion. Until we have the ability to prove/disprove one way or another, then the more objective thing to do...is for EVERYONE to keep an open mind.