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  4. ChristLight

    One covenant, or two?

    I have been looking very closely at all of this, and the promises and threats from the "God" of the Old Testament. More and More I see that Jesus in John 8:44 really meant what he said, when Jesus specifically says his Father is not our Father, that our father is the devil and the father of lies. I can better understand, that God, the Father of Jesus had compassion on us, because he IS Love, and not a vengeful god. No wonder we have to go through Jesus to get to the God of LOVE.
  5. ChristLight

    One covenant, or two?

    I know. For this very reason, I have been taking a much deeper look at which "God" is saying this. I seems that the "God" of the Old Testament is not a very loving "God," but a violent and blood thirsty "God." This is making me take a better look at the Nag Hammadi Scriptures, when they say that we were not made by God the Father of Jesus, but by Yaldaboath, who was made out of wisdom, but not love. I dismissed this years ago when I first heard it. But then I came across John 8:44, where Jesus specifically says that his Father is not our father, that our father is the devil and the father of lies. Interesting.
  6. cuchulain

    One covenant, or two?

    I would consider the context of that agreement as a threat...he won't send water, he'll send fire, instead.
  7. I suppose that might in some way be construed as a covenant. Covenants, though, are often seen as a two way agreement. In the way of the Covenants covered in this thread, these agreements would be seen as, "if you obey these rules, then favor of God may be bestowed upon you. (Which may include everlasting last life beyond this world.)"
  8. ChristLight

    One covenant, or two?

    The first thing that comes to mind is when God says he will never again send a flood to kill all mankind. Could that be considered a covenant, a promise between God and man?
  9. But the original context of the debate I mentioned, does not demonstrate relevance of any priests or what their roles were to each Covenant, which I had been impressioned to believe changed little, rather it was to state or question to whom the Covenants actually were relevant? Old Testament was a Covenant for the Hebrews, whilst the New Testament was a Covenant for the gentiles, the person informed. True, or not? Of course, within this thread has been posted a reply that there were actually more than two Covenants made in the Bible. Thoughts?
  10. ChristLight

    Comparative Religion Discourse 1

    Thanks Mark.
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  12. mark 45

    Comparative Religion Discourse 1

    not that anyone will listen,but here is the place for such posts: http://ulcseminary.org/forum/index.php??act=idx
  13. I have just finished the first lesson in the Comparative Religion (Part 1) Class, taught by Rev. Kythera Ann. My first order of business was to go out and restock my library, since I had passed some books on to others over time. The Dead Sea Scrolls give so much insight to YHWH, revealing vital information not includes in mainstream Bible's. I dove into the I Ch'ing, since I do not have any foundation on Chinese belief systems. I have studied at length the Japanese and Reiki energy systems. Today I found practical use for the Interlinear Bible (Hebrew/Greek/English), which then sent me to Strong's Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, in order that I could make my point on the ULC Forum backed up by relevant research. I enjoyed learning about the Philosophy of Religion, which touches on logic, metaphysics, epistemology, ontology, ethics and aesthetics. I would also add cosmology to this list. This sent me to Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Metaphysics deals with fundamental nature of reality and being, which includes epistemology, ontology, and cosmology. WHAT??? So here you go: 1) Epistemology is the study or a theory of nature and grounds of knowledge especially with reference to its limits and validity. 2) Ontology is the abstract, philosophical study of what is outside objective experience, which is steered philosophy away from metaphysics, and toward the disciplines of natural science and linguistics. (This definition is from TIME) The rest of that list I knew, logic, ethics and aesthetics. This lesson also had me list the many different religious and metaphysical services around in my area. I made this list, with names, addresses and phone numbers. I am to visit these once per month during this course. As an interesting side note here, when I moved to a new town in a new state in my retirement, I did exactly this, and visited all the churches in my new area to see what was being taught from the pulpits. I was amazed at the services, from the sublime to the (shall I say) ridiculous. This is about an 8 month course. It should be interesting to see if I can get all this reading, studying commenting and assignments done in a timely manner. I also appreciated learning who added what to the various beliefs about God; 26 well known people from Xenophanes and Plato to Radhakrishnan and Borodin. From here, the lesson goes in to the Old Torah, Hebrew as a sacred language (not modern Hebrew) and based on ideographic glyphs similarly applied to sacred texts in Egyptian, Sanskrit, Greek, Runes (Runes!?), Chinese and several other languages. I learned that Hebrew as no vowels (which I knew), since vowels are considered "G-d's breath, therefore giving life to the "Word" (which I did not know). The section explaining Hebrew glyphs, letters and numbers, was almost lost on me. For example, "In the beginning" would look like "BRAShYTv" (Beth, Reich, Aleph, Shin, Yod, Tav) or 2, 200, 1, 300, 10, 400. Each one of those numbers/letters has concepts associated with it. I at least get the concept, but got lost in the detail, until it was explained, and even then. Through the use of numbers, correlated to letters, and including the use of will and individuality; choice including principle, law and duality; harmony including family, spirit and understanding; and lastly, building including form and responsibility; we can better understand these letters and numbers. What I could relate to here was her conclusion about the meaning of "In the beginning," after she broke it down using these numbers and explanations. She explained that in this example, that perhaps embedded within creation, within each one of us, is the ability to become complete, to truly realize our Spiritual inheritance. And all that from those first few words, "In the beginning." I think I am still at the beginning, even though I have been at this for years.
  14. ChristLight

    One covenant, or two?

    More to the point of this initial topic of One Covenant or Two, I checked out The Interlinear Bible (Hebrew-Greek-English), which sent me to Strong's Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. It is true that the Hebrew word "kohen" means one officiating, a priest, or one acting as priest, as Zamber aptly points out that even pagans had their priests who served their gods, as intermediaries between their god and the people. This concordance says that the Jewish priestly role began in the days of Moses (commonly referred to as the Old Covenant). Jesus (known as the New Covenant) says he came to fulfill the Law (Old Covenant) not destroy it. This an interesting question.
  15. ChristLight

    One covenant, or two?

    Upon reflection, I do know a bit about the Pharisees and Sadducees. The following is my understanding of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. PHARISEES The Pharisees were a prominent sect of Judaism existing in the first century C.E. According to some scholars, the name literally means "Separated Ones; Separatists," referring perhaps to avoidance of ceremonial uncleanness or to separation from Gentiles. Just when the Pharisees had their beginning is not preciously known. The writings of the Jewish historian Josephus indicate that in the time of John Hyrcanus I (latter half of the second century B.C.E.) the Pharisees already formed an influential body. Josephus wrote, "And so great is their influence with the masses that even when they speak against a king or high priest, they immediately gain credence." - Jewish Antiquities, XIII, 288 (x,5) Josephus also provides details of the Pharisees. He observed, "They believe that their souls have the power to survive death and that there are rewards and punishments under the earth for those who have lived lives of virtue or vice: eternal imprisonment is the lot of the evil souls, while the good souls receive an easy passage to a new life." - Jewish Antiquities, XVIII, 14 [I,3]) "Every soul, they maintain, is imperishable, but the soul of the good alone passes into another body, while the souls of the wicked suffer eternal punishment." Regarding their ideas about fate or providence, Josephus reports, "(They) attribute everything to fate or to God; they hold that to that act rightly or otherwise rests, indeed, for the most part with men, but that in each action Fate cooperates." - The Jewish War, II, 162, 163 (viii, 14). The Christian Greek Scriptures reveal that the Pharisees fasted twice each week, titled scrupulously (Matthew 9:14; Mark 2:18; Luke 5:33; 11:42; 18:11,12.), and did not agree with the Sadducees in saying that "there is neither resurrection nor angel nor spirit within us, but the Pharisees believe in all of these." (Acts 23:8) The Pharisees prided themselves on being righteous (actually self-righteous) and looked down on the common people. (Luke 18:11,12; Job 7:47-49). To impress others with their righteousness, the Pharisees broadened the scripture - containing cases that they wore as safeguards and they enlarged the fringes of their garments. (Matthew 23:5). They loved money (Luke 16:14) and desired prominence and flattering titles. (Matthew 23:6, 7; Luke11:43). The Pharisees were so biased in their application of the Law that they made it burdensome for the people, insisting that it be observed according to their concepts and traditions. (Matthew 23:4) They completely lost sight of the important matters, namely, justice, mercy, faithfulness, and love of God. (Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:41-44) The Pharisees went to great lengths in making proselytes. (Matthew 23:15) The main issues over which they contended was with Christ. Jesus involved Sabbath observance (Matthew 12:1, 2; Mark 2:23, 24; Luke 6:1,2), adherence to tradition (Matthew 15:1, 2; Mark 7:1-5), and association with sinners and tax collectors (Matthew 9:11; Mark 2:16; Luke 5:30). The Pharisees apparently thought that refinement resulted from association with persons who did not observe the Law according to their view of it. (Luke 7:36-39) Therefore, when Christ Jesus associated and even ate with sinners and tax collectors, this prompted them to object. (Luke15:1,2) The Pharisees found fault with Jesus and his disciples because of their not practicing the traditional washing of hands. (Matthew 15:1, 2; Mark 7:1-5; Luke 11:37, 38) But Jesus exposed their wrong reasoning and showed them to be violators of God's law on account of their adherence to man-made traditions. (Matthew 15:3-11; Mark 78:6-15; Luke 11:39-44) Rather than rejoicing and glorifying God in connection with the miraculous cures performed by Christ Jesus on the Sabbath, the Pharisees were filled with rage over what they deemed a violation of the Sabbath law and therefore plotted to kill Jesus. (Matthew 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 6:7-11; 14:1-6) To a blind man whom Jesus had cured on the Sabbath, they said concerning Jesus, "This is not a man from God, because he does not observe the Sabbath." (John 9:16) The attitude the Pharisees displayed showed that they were not righteous and clean inside. (Matthew 5:20; 23:26) Like the rest of the Jews, they were in need of repentance. (Compare Matthew 3:7, 8; Luke 7:30) But the majority of them preferred to remain spiritually blind (John 9:40) and intensified their opposition to the Son of God. (Matthew 21:45, 46;; John 7:32; 11:43-53, 57) There were Pharisees who falsely accused Jesus of expelling demons by means of the ruler of the demons. (Matthew 9:34; 12:24) and of being a false witness. (John 8:13) Certain Pharisees tried to intimidate the Son of God (Luke 13:31), demanded that he display a sign to them (Matthew 12:38; 16:1; Mark 8:11), endeavored to trap him in his speech (Matthew 22:15; Mark 12:13; Luke 11:53, 54), and otherwise tried to test him by questioning. (Matthew 19:3; 22:34-36; Mark 10:2; Luke 17:20) Jesus finally silenced their questioning by asking them how it would be possible for David's lord also to be David's son. (Matthew 22:41-46) The mob that later seizes Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane included Pharisees (John 18:3-5, 12, 13), and Pharisees were among those who requested that Pilate secure Jesus' tomb so that the body could not be stolen. (Matthew 27:62, 64) During the earthly ministry of Christ Jesus, the Pharisees exerted such great influence that prominent persons were afraid to confess him openly. (John 12:42, 43) One of such fearful ones evidently was Nicodemus, himself a Pharisee. (John 3:1-2; 7:47-52; 19:39) There may also have been Pharisees who later became Christians. For example, the Pharisee Gamaliel counseled against interfering with the work of Christians (Acts 5:34-39), and the Pharisee Saul (Paul) of Tarsus, became an apostle of Jesus Christ. (Acts 26:5; Philippians 3:5) SADDUCEES The Sadducees were a prominent religious sect of Judaism associated with the priesthood. (Acts 5:17) They did not believe in either resurrection or angels. (Acts 23:8) The precise time for the emergence of the Sadducees as a religious sect is not known. First, historical mention of them by name appears in the writings of Josephus, which indicate that they opposed the Pharisees in the latter half of the second century B.C.E. Jewish Antiquities, XIII, 293 [x. 6] Josephus also provides information about their teachings. However, there is a question as to whether his presentation is completely factual. Unlike the Pharisees, Josephus says the Sadducees denied the workings of fate, maintaining that an individual, by his own actions, was solely responsible for what befell him. Jewish Antiquities, XIII, 172, 173 [v.9] They rejected the many oral traditions observed by the Pharisees and also Pharisaic belief in the immortality of the soul and in punishments or rewards after death. In their dealings with one another, the Sadducees were somewhat rough. They were said to be disputatious. According to Josephus , their teachings appealed to the wealthy. Jewish Antiquities, XIII, 298 (x, 6); XVIII, 16, 17 (I, 4); The Jewish War, II, 162,-166 (viii, 14) As pointed out by John the Baptized, the Sadducees needed to produce fruits befitting repentance. This was because they, like the Pharisees, had failed to keep God's Law. (Matthew 3:7, 8) Christ Jesus himself compared their corrupting teaching to leaven. (Matthew 16:6, 11, 12) With reference to their religious beliefs, Acts 23:8 states, "Sadducees say there is neither resurrection, nor angel nor spirit, but the Pharisees publicly declare them all." It was in connection with the resurrection that the brother-in-law marriage that a group of Sadducees attempted to stump Christ Jesus. But he silenced them. By referring to the writings of Moses, which the Sadducees professed to accept, Jesus disproved their contention that there is no resurrection. (Matthew 22:23-34; Mark 12:18-27; Luke 20:27-40) Later, the apostle Paul, went before the Sanhedrin, divided that highest Jewish court by playing the Pharisees against the Sadducees. This was possible because of the religious differences existing between them. (Acts 23:6-10) Although religiously divided, Sadducees joined Pharisees in trying to tempt Jesus by asking him for a sign. (Matthew 16:1), and both groups were united in their opposition to him. Biblical evidence indicates that the Sadducees took a leading part in seeking Jesus' death. Sadducees were members of the Sanhedrin, which court plotted against Jesus and later, condemned him to death. Included in the court where Chiapas, the Sadducee and high priest,, and evidently also other prominent priests. (Matthew 26:59-66; John 11:47-53; Acts 5:17, 21) Therefore, whenever the Christian Greek Scriptures speak of certain action as being taken by the high priests, Sadducees were evidently involved. (Matthew 21:45, 46; 26:3, 4, 62-64; 28:11, 12; John 7:32) Sadducees appear to have taken the lead in trying to stop the spread of Christianity after Jesus' death and resurrection. (Acts 4:1-23; 5:17-42; 9:14)
  16. ChristLight

    One covenant, or two?

    Hello RabbiO ~ You are absolutely correct, except you are giving me too much credit. What I presently know of the Pharisees and the Sadducees would fit on the head of the pin, which is vastly more than what a thimble holds. I am currently studying in the Seminary, the course, Comparative Religions. I am only on week 1. I know I have much to learn. What I know about the Jewish religion is what my Christian upbringing has provided me, which is precious little about the Pharisees and Sadducees. Part of my homework for this course is to visit other religions which I know little about. Connecting with a Rabbi and visiting a Jewish Temple is on my to do list. But I see I need even more education. I want to know the Jewish faith from a Jewish stand point, not from a Christian one. This course suggested for me to get a lot of books. Presently I am diving into the I Ch'ing, which seems to be one of the oldest works of literature. A am open to study all works helpful to my spiritual growth, both so I can better understand what each religion teaches, as well as help someone in that faith. Thank you for your comment. I'd be interested in your understanding of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.
  17. Apparently what you know of the PharIsees and the Sadducees would fit into a thimble and still leave room for your finger. Of course, I could be wrong and you've actually spent a considerable amount of time studying both and are prepared to discuss at length - and please feel free to take as much space as is necessary - and in detail, the research that lead you to your present conclusions.
  18. cuchulain

    What do you do...?

    your right. i thought of it as a choice when i said that, but i dont view belief as a choice, so my premise was flawed. thanks for further explaining that.
  19. Hello and welcome Lynne.
  20. I find that the belief I had as a child was for a child. I grew, learned and things always change as we grow in faith. I am still learning, growing day by day. My belief that God the Father came to earth as Jesus Christ (God in the flesh) will never change. But, all my faith is between God and myself. I do not chose to force my beliefs and my God on anyone. I personally don't think He likes it. I do not judge others. There are those that are condemned already because the Bible says so. But, then that is between them and God. In my ministry I try to help those in need, whether they are a believer or not. I plant the seed. I see a lot of people calming to be Christians that never do anything for others, but like the to clam they are following in Jesus's foot steps. I am not trying to pat myself and my husband on the back, but, show me you take young people in and help them, show me you feed the hungry. They are out there living by threads. We live in a society that don't have time to bring up their children and the minute they start talking back they are just kicked out. I call them throw away kids. I am a intercessory prayer warrior, my faith has changed with time because I am growing in knowledge. I learn new every day. I pray that I never let myself think I know it all. Because I do not. You put up a very interesting post. God Bless
  21. Jonathan H. B. Lobl

    What do you do...?

    I can take on a code of ethics, because I think it will make me a better man. Or I can adopt a meditation practice, because I think it will make me a less angry man. Or more loving. Can I really choose a belief system? I think that's a stretch. If I discover that my beliefs have already changed, I can change my label. This is possible. I don't think it is possible to actually change my beliefs. I might have abundant cause to pretend to change my beliefs. To actually change what I believe -- as a choice -- No. I do have the option of engaging in a program of introspective discovery -- and discern that my beliefs have already shifted. I have done this. Repeatedly. It's why my position keeps shifting. I can't just choose a new belief system.
  22. I was responding to Cuchulain's "will it make you a better person?". The context there seems to me to imply a conscious choice. I think its a mixture - we think about where we are internally led. There's a saying I like it that respect - man(kind) is not a rational animal, but a rationalizing animal. In that view we do, and then we find reasons for what we have done. I don't think that's the whole truth, but IMHO it is a lot closer to the mark than the alternative.
  23. Jonathan H. B. Lobl

    What do you do...?

    That's an interesting choice of words. Do we decide to change our beliefs? Is that really a decision?
  24. I wasn't denying that in the slightest. My point was that with a shift in belief there often comes a shift in what you see as better. Thus whether you are a "better" person depends on what you believe and doesn't really help you decide whether to change your beliefs.
  25. cuchulain

    What do you do...?

    nah. everyone has the right to peacefully determine what is right, or better. its part and parcel. a christian might say doing gods will makes you better person. i would define it as contributing to the community in part. someone else might say reducing the footprint, or being great to the family. i think if a person can consider what they can do to be better and try, they'll get somewhere. edited to say, better isnt always or usually easier...or unproblematic.
  26. Jonathan H. B. Lobl

    What do you do...?

    I would rather ask, if the path is based on evidence. Caring about what is true, instead of what is popular, is a good component for any path. Asking what will make you -- me -- anyone -- a better person -- is a path. At least, part of a path.
  27. That becomes problematic if you're redefining "better" in the process.
  28. cuchulain

    What do you do...?

    a thought...ask if the change will make you a better person?
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