Which religion should I convert to?
The Hebrew word Mashiach has been translated in the Old Testament of the King James Version as "Anointed" in most places, but as "Messiah" in two places, namely Dan. 9:25 and 26. This word is a title, although it was used as an appellative (name) later on. Thus, this word was faithfully translated as "Anointed" in the Old Testament and only in Dan 9:25 and 26 was its Hebrew character retained in the transliterated "Messiah". Likewise, we find that the Greeks also admitted their transliterated form Messias in the Greek New Testament in John 1:41 and John 4:25. Why then did they introduce or use the word Christos in the rest of the Greek New Testament? Even if they had preferred Christos to Messias, why did our translators transliterate the word as "Christ"? Why did they not transliterate the word, as was done in Dan 9:25 and 26, as "Messiah", seeing that the Greeks had also accepted their Greek transliteration of the word, namely Messias in John 1:41 and John 4:25?
Science without Religion is Lame and Religion without Science is Blind." Einstein
Proof is NOT persuasion, therefore if one of us actually could prove that our point of view is the valid one, that proof does not bring persuasion to the heart of the skeptic.
A team of scientists led by renowned French marine archaeologist Franck Goddio recently announced that they have found a bowl, dating to between the late 2nd century B.C. and the early 1st century A.D., that is engraved with what they believe could be the world's first known reference to Christ.
If the word "Christ" refers to the Biblical Jesus Christ, as is speculated, then the discovery may provide evidence that Christianity and paganism at times intertwined in the ancient world.
The full engraving on the bowl reads, "DIA CHRSTOU O GOISTAIS," which has been interpreted by the excavation team to mean either, "by Christ the magician" or, "the magician by Christ."
"It could very well be a reference to Jesus Christ, in that he was once the primary exponent of white magic," Goddio, co-founder of the Oxford Center of Maritime Archaeology, said.
He and his colleagues found the object during an excavation of the underwater ruins of Alexandria's ancient great harbor. The Egyptian site also includes the now submerged island of Antirhodos, where Cleopatra's palace may have been located.
Both Goddio and Egyptologist David Fabre, a member of the European Institute of Submarine Archaeology, think a "magus" could have practiced fortune telling rituals using the bowl. The Book of Matthew refers to "wisemen," or Magi, believed to have been prevalent in the ancient world.
According to Fabre, the bowl is also very similar to one depicted in two early Egyptian earthenware statuettes that are thought to show a soothsaying ritual
"It has been known in Mesopotamia probably since the 3rd millennium B.C.," Fabre said. "The soothsayer interprets the forms taken by the oil poured into a cup of water in an interpretation guided by manuals."
He added that the individual, or "medium," then goes into a hallucinatory trance when studying the oil in the cup.
"They therefore see the divinities, or supernatural beings appear that they call to answer their questions with regard to the future," he said.
The magus might then have used the engraving on the bowl to legitimize his supernatural powers by invoking the name of Christ, the scientists theorize.
Weird science: Top unexplained mysteriesGoddio said, "It is very probable that in Alexandria they were aware of the existence of Jesus" and of his associated legendary miracles, such as transforming water into wine, multiplying loaves of bread, conducting miraculous health cures, and the story of the resurrection itself.
While not discounting the Jesus Christ interpretation, other researchers have offered different possible interpretations for the engraving, which was made on the thin-walled ceramic bowl after it was fired, since slip was removed during the process.
Bert Smith, a professor of classical archaeology and art at Oxford University, suggests the engraving might be a dedication, or present, made by a certain "Chrestos" belonging to a possible religious association called Ogoistais.
Klaus Hallof, director of the Institute of Greek inscriptions at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy, added that if Smith's interpretation proves valid, the word "Ogoistais" could then be connected to known religious groups that worshipped early Greek and Egyptian gods and goddesses, such as Hermes, Athena and Isis.
Hallof additionally pointed out that historians working at around, or just after, the time of the bowl, such as Strabon and Pausanias, refer to the god "Osogo" or "Ogoa," so a variation of this might be what's on the bowl. It is even possible that the bowl refers to both Jesus Christ and Osogo.
Fabre concluded, "It should be remembered that in Alexandria, paganism, Judaism and Christianity never evolved in isolation. All of these forms of religion (evolved) magical practices that seduced both the humble members of the population and the most well-off classes."
"It was in Alexandria where new religious constructions were made to propose solutions to the problem of man, of God's world," he added. "Cults of Isis, mysteries of Mithra, and early Christianity bear witness to this."
The bowl is currently on public display in the exhibit "Egypt's Sunken Treasures" at the Matadero Cultural Center in Madrid, Spain, until November 15.
© 2012 Discovery Channel
Jesus was asked point blank if He is the Son of God and in all four Gospels He affirmed He is, this is what the Clergy called blasphemy and condemned Him to die. The Prophets were murdered for preaching judgment against the idolatress Jews, although Jesus did the same, His acknowledging to be God and the Son of God is what they erroneously accused Him of blasphemy for and worthy of death (Jesus did not blasphemy, it was a mock trial to get what they wanted; His death. If it were not for accusing Pilate of being an enemy of Caesar, Pilate would have let Jesus go). Why do Muslims want to limit God, to post that He would not produce a Son, when His power to create is limitless? How did Allah have two daughters?
The Bible declares that God would have a Son and that He would use a woman to give birth to Him. God did exactly as He told Isaiah He would do by using Mary to mother His Son; sperm was not used, the power to do miracles (Gr. Dunamis) was (Luke 1:35; Isaiah 7:14). God used Mary to give birth to the physical body He used to dwell in (His choice) to reconcile sinful humanity to Him (through the death and resurrection of the body); the body was not God, the Spirit that dwelt in the body (Jesus) is. The body had an identity of His own, but by virtue of the fact that the body is God’s Son by inheritance makes the Son God as a biological life form just as being a son of a king makes the son royalty, Jesus being God’s Son makes Him deity and equal (not coequal) with God; God CAN DO THIS and did.
Jesus is worthy of the reverence do Him for being willing to die for our sins to be forgiven; when a person is born again they will know this without question or a negative response. The Bible declares that someday everyone in heaven and in earth will bow their knee to Him (even unregenerate sinners, those who do not receive Jesus as Lord and Savior of their life). “Who,being in the form of God, thought it notrobbery to be equal with God, But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow , of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”(Philippians 2:6-11)
It is not blasphemy to call God's Son God; God did it and so do we Psalms 45:6-7 “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever: the scepter of your kingdom is a rightscepter.You love righteousness, and hate wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows. The thing a person should fear is eternal fire for rejecting His Son as Lord and Savior of your life. Psalms 11:5-7 "The LORD tries the righteous: but the wicked and him that loves violence his soul hates. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and a horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. For the righteous LORD loves righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright."
Welcome back Sam !
Njoy Good Morning AC, I know that Jesus lived. I know that Jesus died a cruel death. I know the Romans were the ones who wanted him dead. I know Jesus went to the cross willingly in order to fulfill the prophesy regarding the long awaited Messiah. I know that Jesus never referred to himself as that Messiah. I know that Jesus was God's son. I know that Jesus taught more about God in just a few stories/examples than anyone ever had. I know the reason He was so anxious to "be about his Father's business," was because He did not take every word and every law as literally as did his fellow Jews. I don't believe Jesus intended to "invent" a different or new religion for the people to follow. I believe He knew without a doubt who He really was as a Son of God and he was not going to shirk his duty to let the world know that we too can embrace that Kingdom he spoke of so often. I believe Jesus introduced to many strict adherents to the LAW, a new insight...a different and more meaningful and more enlightened way to find God.(right here, right now & in simple every day existence) I believe Jesus knew His Heavenly Father better than anyone else ever has. I believe He was ONE with His Father and wanted to assure all of us that we could be as well. I believe he demonstrated on the cross that what one needed to understand is that dualistic thinking was not the way to think of life...either/Or mentality, but to embrace the whole of life, the sinner as well as the saintly. To live simply and love faithfully and forgive willingly. I believe Jesus, the man from Nazareth, showed/demonstrated for us how we must "crucify" the egotistical side of ourselves so that the true Christ Presence can be resurrected. I did not acquire these thoughts from reading books talking about Gnostic's. I did not get it from reading the History of Writing, of Language, of Egypt, I did not get this way of thinking from attending Unitarian church services. As a young woman, I was turned off by the doomsayers of the fundamentalist churches; the Hellfire and Brimstone preachers; the simple minded adults who thought of God as some Deity "out there" somewhere who was watching and judging our every move. I was fortunate to have an opportunity to leave all that behind me and listen to sermons from my Lutheran pastor that peeked my interest and sent me to the library to research. All this time, I had my own Bible and my own mind. I tried Bertrand Russel; Hume; and Billy Graham + others of course. I kept going back to the Bible and reading only the red letters, because they were attributed to Jesus, and because His words did not bog me down in all the begets and bigots. His words were easily understood for me I think because my father spoke in parables and with metaphor in teaching lessons of everyday life. I taught Sunday School for many years in the Lutheran Church, and in studying those lessons, I began to grow spiritually. My sons grew up and we researched their many questions together, and we discussed the big questions, like "what does it mean to follow Jesus?" We learned that there was so much more to the words of scripture than most of our fellow Christians were allowing themselves to see/hear. We still talk things over when we can, and they (my sons) are now in their 50s. I know that Jesus is The Christ and I prefer to say Christ Jesus than Jesus Christ. (some think that is his last name...lol) I know that I have Christ's Presence in me and with me every moment of my life, and when someone in a class I'm taking; or a book I'm reading; or a discussion I'm having says something I had not thought of before, I research still. I do not put a label on myself other than Child of God. I wish you wouldn't either.
Yechiel You said, "A question that is greatly asked is why do we need those experiences in our life? Why did Abraham need ten different tests in order to show his belief in G-d?
I understand what you are saying but I have a different take on the matter of Abraham and Isaac.
If you read from genesis 21:12 you see that G_d tells Abraham that "for it is through Isaac that descendants shall bear your name." God new what Abraham would do at the alter, G_d new exactly what Abraham would do. I believe that Abraham loved Isaac so much that it was Abraham that was questioning himself. Could I love Isaac more than G_d ? God new the answer, Abraham did not. G_d used his wisdom and love of Abraham to put to rest the conflict in the heart of Abraham In my opinion G_d did not test Abraham, G_d helped confirmed what G-d already new through Abraham himself. I am not sure I am being clear here but I feel that God does the same things to all of us. He let’s us answer our own doubts, God sets up the senario in our lives so we can understand and relate to our own questions, our own fears and our own presumptions. Not that he does not no what we will do, I believe many times it is more on the line of what we do not know or our presumptions our wrong and G_d gives us the tools to understand. It is the understanding and the guiding hand of G_d that we must learn to trust.
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