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Post Old Testament, New Testament
Created by John Eipper on 11/19/15 9:56 AM

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Old Testament, New Testament (Roy Domenico, USA, 11/19/15 9:56 am)

Regarding Massoud Malek's contribution of November 17, I feel the obligation to come to the aid of the Christians in the sense that his premise needs some correction.

Those nasty quotes he presented from the "Christian Bible" did not come from the Christian Bible. They came from the Old Testament. Christians are taught from day one that the New Testament replaces the Old--that in great measure is what Christianity is all about. Christ never says "belt him in the mouth" or "cut them all down" or "stone them." In fact, as well all know, he says "He who is without sin, cast the first stone."

JE comments: If I recall correctly, Massoud had written simply "Bible" in his original submission. I added the "Christian" part, in the interest of what I thought would be clarity. Jewish Bible?

The New supersedes the Old for Christians, of course, but Old is still part of the Christian Bible.

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  • Does the New Testament Supersede the Old? (David Duggan, USA 11/20/15 6:43 AM)

    Roy Domenico (19 November) wrote that for Christians, the New Testament replaces the Old. Yes, when they're inconsistent. However, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them." Matt. 5:17 (NIV).

    JE comments:  There are Old Testament folks and New Testament folks--fans of wrath and vengeance on the one hand, turn-the-cheekers on the other.  Agnostic, progressive seculars are more New Testamenty than they'd care to admit.  Most of us fall somewhere in the middle.

    Next up on this subject:  Ric Mauricio.

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  • Old Testament, New Testament; from Ric Mauricio (John Eipper, USA 11/20/15 8:58 AM)
    Ric Mauricio writes:

    Roy Domenico (19 November) expressed what I was thinking, that the quotes forwarded by Massoud Malek were of the Old Testament, thus technically, the Jewish Bible. Interesting that the Torah is not included.

    But, in my humble opinion, the only real Christian teachings are in the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I believe (please correct me if mistaken) that this is the only instance in the entire Bible where the stories are told by four different (not only physically, but personality-wise) authors, thus fulfilling a journalist mandate that a report be witnessed by more than one source.

    I consider the writings beyond that of the disciples to be another bible altogether, and this includes the Gnostic writings of Thomas, Judas, and Mary Magdalene. I call this the Apostolic bible.

    A great percentage of the New Testament is devoted to the writings of the Apostle Paul. I do not include these writings in the Apostolic bible because Paul (or Saul) was not an apostle of Jesus Christ. I call this the Paulist bible. In many Christian denominations, this is the dominant teaching. Why, because, conveniently it more reflects the philosophy of religions to control its members. Paul, being a Pharisee, thus was able to inject the legalistic teachings while invoking snippets of Jesus' teachings to legitimize his (Paul's) teachings. Does anyone know of a third-person witness account to substantiate Paul's conversion?

    Of course, Jesus' attack on the Pharisees' self-righteousness and legalism is what led to the Crucifixion. And yet, most Christians practice exactly what Jesus preached against, being judgmental and self-righteous. I have had first-hand experience of this in my own Church. In other words, they follow the Paulist bible.

    The final book in the bible is a bible all by itself. It was neither written by an apostle or a man who was even accepted by the mainstream Christian groups. John of Patmos (not to be confused with the disciple John) was a mystic outsider and a revolutionary set against the Romans. Thus, he was exiled to the island of Patmos where it is widely known, there exists hallucinogenic mushrooms. I urge those who haven't read Revelations and tell me that the images depicted in that book doesn't seem to be written in a "high" state of mind. Fiction, anyone? By the way, John of Patmos thought the end of the world would come in his lifetime. We are all still waiting.

    Of course, the Bible has become the best selling book of all time. Why not? You have the entire history of the world from beginning to end, you have prophecies (important to legitimize the Messiah, although technically, Jesus was not of the House of David, since his mother, Mary, was not, but Joseph was, but then Joseph was not his father, hmm), you have archangels battling the bad angels led by Satan, you have a buildup to a climax, the coming of a savior (the Jews are still waiting), then the teachings, then the final chapter of the end of the world. Publishers could not have asked for a more compelling reason to market this book. Plus it is pressed upon us that this book is not written by mere man, but by God himself.

    Hollywood loves the bible ... it provides so much material for movies. And if you don't believe everything (yes, everything) in the bible, you are blasphemous, a non-believer, a heretic, and damned to hell. Ah yes, control, anyone?

    Thus, since we have five different bibles, there is great conflict between the teachings. If this was indeed one book written by one writer (God), it would seem to me that the writer has multiple personalities. One could call it a pentalogy. But since there are many books in each bible, perhaps it is better called a saga.

    JE comments:  Bible or bible?  I left Ric Mauricio's use of capital letters intact--hybrid capitalism?

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    • "Archangels Battling Bad Angels" (Edward Jajko, USA 11/20/15 3:16 PM)
      In his greatly amusing analysis of the Bible, capital B, Ric Mauricio (20 November) says that in it one may find "archangels battling the bad angels led by Satan."

      I would be grateful if Ric could say where this is found--book, chapter, and verse.

      JE comments: I assumed this was the stuff of Revelations, but few know the Bible better than Edward Jajko.  Ric?

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      • "Archangels Battling Bad Angels"; from Gary Moore (John Eipper, USA 11/21/15 8:39 AM)
        Gary Moore writes:

        Edward Jajko (20 November) asked for the Biblical origin of Ric Mauricio's Archangels battling bad Angels reference.

        I know, Teacher! I know! I know!

        It's in the 28th Book of the New Testament:

        John Miltonations.

        JE comments: Milton or Revelations? Some inspired revelation to Milton? I have a groundswell of responses on this one, including a lengthy comment from Ric Mauricio.

        Don't touch that dial.

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      • "Archangels Battling Bad Angels" (David Duggan, USA 11/21/15 4:38 PM)
        Ric Mauricio's reference to the "Archangels battling bad Angels" comes from Rev. 12: 7-13:

        "And there was a war in heaven, Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

        "Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:

        'Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God

        and the authority of his Christ.

        For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night has been hurled down.

        They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.

        Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them!

        But woe to the earth and the sea because the devil has gone down to you!

        He is filled with fury because he knows that his time is short." (NIV)

        This passage is commonly read on the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels (Sept. 29), sometimes called Michaelmas.

        JE comments: Mystery solved. Next: Ric Mauricio.

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      • "Archangels Battling Bad Angels"; from Ric Mauricio (John Eipper, USA 11/21/15 4:46 PM)
        Ric Mauricio writes:

        I am glad that Edward Jajko (20 November) found my analysis quite amusing. In fact, my analysis often finds me chuckling to myself. It's when my analysis, which leads to conjecture (mostly in the realm of investment and economics, mind you), turns out to be true that scares the heck out of me.

        But here is my attempt at the concept of Archangels vs. Satan (hmm, Hollywood movie, anyone?):

        Jude verse 9 refers to an event which is found nowhere else in Scripture. Michael had to struggle or dispute with Satan about the body of Moses, but what that entailed is not described. Another angelic struggle is related by Daniel, who describes an angel coming to him in a vision. This angel, named Gabriel in Daniel 8:16 and 9:21, tells Daniel that he was "resisted" by a demon called "the prince of Persia" until the archangel Michael came to his assistance (Daniel 10:13). So we learn from Daniel that angels and demons fight spiritual battles over the souls of men and nations, and that the demons resist angels and try to prevent them from doing God's bidding. Jude tells us that Michael was sent by God to deal in some way with the body of Moses, which God Himself had buried after Moses' death (Deuteronomy 34:5-6). (Demons? Persia? My, how things have not changed after all these years.)

        Various theories have been put forth as to what this struggle over Moses' body was about. One is that Satan, ever the accuser of God's people (Revelation 12:10), may have resisted the raising of Moses to eternal life on the grounds of Moses' sin at Meribah (Deuteronomy 32:51) and his murder of the Egyptian (Exodus 2:12).

        Some have supposed that the reference in Jude is the same as the passage in Zechariah 3:1-2, "Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the LORD said to Satan, ‘The LORD rebuke you, O Satan!'" But the objections to this being the same incident are obvious: (1) The only similarity between the two passages is the expression, "the Lord rebuke you." (2) The name "Michael" does not occur at all in the passage in Zechariah. (3) There is no mention made of the "body of Moses" in Zechariah, and no allusion to it whatever.

        It has also been supposed that Jude is quoting an apocryphal book that contained this account, and that Jude means to confirm that the account is true. Origen (c. 185-254), an early Christian scholar and theologian, mentions the book "The Assumption of Moses" as extant in his time, containing this very account of the contest between Michael and the devil about the body of Moses. That book, now lost, was a Jewish Greek book, and Origen supposed that this was the source of the account in Jude.

        The only material question, then, is whether the story is "true." Whatever the origin of the account, Jude does in fact seem to refer to the contest between Michael and the devil as true. He speaks of it in the same way in which he would have done if he had spoken of the death of Moses or of his smiting the rock. And who can prove that it is not true? What evidence is there that it is not? There are many allusions in the Bible to angels.

        And yes, John, you are correct, the Book of Revelation (12:7-9) describes a war in heaven in which Michael, being stronger, defeats Satan:

        There was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.

        After the conflict, Satan is thrown to earth along with the fallen angels, where he ("that ancient serpent called the devil") still tries to "lead the whole world astray."

        An interesting aside, the Qur'an mentions Michael together with Gabriel in the sura Al-Baqara:

        Whoever is an enemy to Allah and His angels and messengers, to Gabriel and Michael--Lo! Allah is an enemy to those who reject Faith.

        --Quran, sura 2 (Al-Baqara) ayat 97-98

        In Sunni Islam, Michael will be sent to bring a handful of Earth, but the Earth will not want to yield a piece of itself, some of which will burn. This is articulated by Al-Tha'labi, whose narrative states that God will tell Earth that some will obey him and others not.

        The Ahmadiyya movement believes in Michael along with other angels such as Gabriel. They are called Mala'ikah and are described as spiritual beings who obey Allah's command.

        Keep in mind, I am but a student of religion (and other subjects), much less a scholar. And I always welcome an opportunity to laugh at the conjectures I come up with.

        JE comments:  Deep and good analysis from Ric Mauricio.  With apologies to Luciano Dondero, I also welcome Ric's ecumenical approach to the "Good vs Bad" angels saga.  I still am intrigued by the IS/Daesh belief (see Richard Hancock, 19 November) that Christ will reappear to lead them to final victory.

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        • Battling Angels in Christianity and Islam (John Heelan, -UK 11/22/15 10:31 AM)
          JE confessed on 21 November: "I still am intrigued by the IS/Daesh belief that Christ will reappear to lead them to final victory."

          Is this any different to the Christian belief that--come the Apocalypse--Revelation 4 and 7 tell us that Christ will triumph in his second coming (Rev 19) and save 144,000 souls marked for saving? Perhaps the bad news for the 2.2 billion Christians worldwide is that the group to be saved is limited to male Jewish virgins (Rev. 14).

          JE comments: How would that work? (Meaning, if no one but Jewish male virgins are saved, humanity would die out.)

          Many Christians probably believe that Christ is as significant to Muslims as Muhammad is to Christians--meaning, not at all. Of course, we students of religion know that this is not the case.

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