General discussion

Allelulia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!
Augustine of Hippo

I don't know the exact context for this quote, but it has always been one of my favorites regarding our hope in Christ. After all, "If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men" and it therefore follows: "Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die."

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a big Amen to that!

we just finished a BBQ..........



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That and Easter Eggs...

would make a nice rabbit quiche Happy

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Easter & Alleluia

Easter is from Oester, a European female fertility god.

Alleluia is a compound word direct from Hebrew meaning Praise To Yah.

Quite the mix

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Easter is from Oester

awwww shucks, and i thought it was one of the Grimm brothers Wink


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Linguistically speaking? An odd mix indeed ...

I remember a cartoon in Christianity Today years ago showing an Easter Egg rolled across the mouth of the Tomb. Another interesting juxtaposition.

OTOH, as has been repeatedly pointed out, etymology does not tell the whole story behind the meaning of a word. I'm well aware of the hypothesis that links Easter with Eostre or Ēastre or Oestre (or whatever spelling you prefer - I've seen several variations) though as I understand it there is some uncertainty about the etymology.

From my perspective it does not matter much either way. I don't think much about Eostre when I sing Alleluia.

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Emphasis on the Resurrection

This site shows the variety of translations, cross references, and concordance.

More detail offered here

" For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. "


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(NT) Exactly
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And interestingly fixed around the the old

13 month Jewish lunar calendar and celebration of Passover. We cannot forget the Jesus was a Jew and adhered to the customs and traditions of the people of His own birth. Early Christian traditions were derived and/or adapted from Jewish practice and still survive in one form or another today in Christian tradition.

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The one celebration mandated for Christians

is, in fact, the passover, now featuring a human "lamb". That is a date, not a day, and is calculated easily by 'shepherd's astronomy'. No need for Gregory's handsprings, designed to get a spring date to fall on the same day each year. (This year that date was a Tuesday, March 30 on the Western calendar.)

Both the Passover and the related Memorial (type and antitype) are commands, not traditions. Ex ch. 12 and 1 Cor ch. 11. Nothing about celebrating the resurrection. That was a foregone conclusion, if Jesus was obedient unto death, which he was. Jehovah rewards obedience.

How easy it is to let traditions get the better of us is shown by Acts 12:4 from the KJV:
And when he had apprehended him, he put [him] in prison, and delivered [him] to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.

This only occurrence of Easter in the KJV was a Freudian slip by people who had been celebrating traditions vice the Bible for several hundred years already. The underlying word is, of course, pascha or Passover, Strong's G3957.

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Then I'll need forgiveness because I was unable

to appropriate any lambs blood this year due to threats by PETA. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Happy

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(NT) Good one. Anyway, wine will do. Mt 26:27.
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I think that was Augustine's point ...

Easter is arguably the central focus of all Christian theology.

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Easter IS the central focus of Christian theology, Bill.

Think about it: Were it not for the Resurrection, would the life of Jesus Christ matter at all?

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I do not subscribe to the claim that Jesus is/was God but I do try to adhere to the Life and Morals Of Jesus Of Nazareth as given in the Jefferson Bible. As an atheist I don't believe in any Gods but I as a humanist I consider him one of the great teachers of the ideologies humanists believe in. Just because I don't believe in supernatural events like the resurrection doesn't mean I don't believe in a great man that once lived.

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I don't think that approach is reasonable ...

Although you could argue that other men perceived as religious figures (Buddha, Confucious) were moral teachers, I'm inclined to agree with C.S. Lewis that you cannot call Jesus a great moral teacher.

It is possible to carve up Scripture based on a priori notions about what parts are credible, as Jefferson or The Jesus Seminar or Rudolf Bultmann or others have done, but the process probably reveals more about the redactor than it does about the nature of Jesus. For better or for worse, the New Testament Canon provides the most reliable information we have about "The Historical Jesus". Adding or removing material just introduces a layer of cross-cultural historical speculation. IMO it is not possible to treat the Evangelists as reliable reporters of the 'believable stuff' and simultaneously regard them as unreliable when the record other material that is 'not believable' because it includes mentions of miracles or supernatural beings.

So, from my perspective, you are either stuck with the whole package or nothing at all. There is no way to consider Jesus a great moral teacher without accepting a fair amount of the New Testament material while rejecting a significant amount or material from the same sources and I don't think that makes sense.

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Why must one accept the....

alleged supernatural miracles to believe in the values he advocated like forgiveness?

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Romans 2

9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for every one who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality. 12 All who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

... 26 So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 27 Then those who are physically uncircumcised but keep the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law. 28 For he is not a real Jew who is one outwardly, nor is true circumcision something external and physical. 29 He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal. His praise is not from men but from God.

Romans 3:
27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On the principle of works? No, but on the principle of faith. 28 For we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one; and he will justify the circumcised on the ground of their faith and the uncircumcised through their faith

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Clearly, you CAN accept the values ...

I don't question the fact that some of the moral teachings associated with Jesus have value apart from any theological issues. What I don't think you can do is describe Jesus as a great moral teacher apart from any religious content. He did not teach those moral values free of context, and all of his recorded teachings come in a package that is steeped in theological and miraculous claims.

C.S. Lewis is far more eloquent than I am:
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic -- on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg -- or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. ? Mere Christianity, pages 40-41.

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I Corinthians 15

12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

....29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? 30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? 31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.

....35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

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Not one word of that...

was written by Jesus or any God. It is written by men and at most it is nothing more than hearsay. It would not be admissible in a court of law as evidence of anything!

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Most atheist

would resoundingly agree with Paul concerning the futility of Christianity without there being a resurrection of Christ.

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Hearsay vs Witness

Hearsay is third party. First party is "witness".

Luke 9
18 Now it happened that as he was praying alone the disciples were with him; and he asked them, "Who do the people say that I am?" 19 And they answered, "John the Baptist; but others say, Eli'jah; and others, that one of the old prophets has risen." 20 And he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" And Peter answered, "The Christ of God." 21 But he charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying, "The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised." 23 And he said to all, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God." 28 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his countenance was altered, and his raiment became dazzling white. 30 And behold, two men talked with him, Moses and Eli'jah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, and when they wakened they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Eli'jah" --not knowing what he said. 34 As he said this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!" 36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silence and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.

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(NT) He said he said is hearsay...
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Hearsay vs Witness
Hearsay is information gathered by one person from another concerning some event, condition, or thing of which the first person had no direct experience. When submitted as evidence, such statements are called hearsay evidence
A witness is someone who has firsthand knowledge about a crime or significant event through their senses (e.g. seeing, hearing, smelling, touching), and can help certify important considerations to the crime or event. A witness who has seen the event firsthand is known as an "eye-witness". Witnesses are often called before a court of law to testify in trials.
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It's still hand me down material

All of the books of the bible are he said he said hand me downs that have been translated and rewritten over and over. None of it would be accepted as witness testimony. Further, witness testimony can be tested and verified as to the actual truth or some exaggeration. Alleged testimony of supposed witnesses dead two millennia ago is not valid witness testimony. Claim what you wish but I reserve the right to cross examine them.

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It's true that a lot is oral tradition

but great pains were taken to make sure that what made the cut was written by those who knew, were with and taught by Jesus. There are a few issues with translation and transliteration that cause argument and there are many writing that some consider as inspired but not acceptable as scriptural. It's still possible to study language of that day and refer to original scripture by those mentioned above and consider their eye witness accounts to be credible. Finding one perceived flaw as enough to throw out any case that comes before secular law doesn't work here. If such were true, courts could determine that there wasn't enough physical evidence to prove that Jesus even existed....and some actually believe that already.

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(NT) Same can be said of Socrates
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So, you disbelieve man's entire history?

The only history you believe is that you have personally lived through? You don't read the news, or watch it on TV, because it's all hearsay to you? You must live in a world of continual doubt, believing no one, expecting no one to believe you. Or perhaps those who were willing to die for their testimony rather than tell a lie, are really liars, and you alone remain truthful.

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That's the problem with wanting a courtroom decision

We already know that secular courts will set 1000 liars free in order to be sure that 1 who doesn't won't be jailed. Doesn't sound like a reliable way to find the truth? Wink

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