Sunday Morning Book Thread 12-25-2016: A Cloud of Witnesses

Christmas Library 2016_525.jpgMerry Christmas

(the library has a very nicely painted ceiling which you can see if you click on the pic. I have no idea what library this is, though)

It's another beautiful day at AoSHQ's stately, prestigious, internationally acclaimed and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread and continual soiree, where men are men, all the 'ettes are impossibly attractive, safe spaces are underneath your house and are used as protection against actual dangers, like tornados, hurricanes, politically motivated social media attacks, nude photos of Lena Dunham, and special snowflakes do not get respect, but instead, belly laughs. And unlike other AoSHQ comment threads, the Sunday Morning Book Thread is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Even if it's these pants, which nobody should be caught dead wearing, but you can't deny they're festive.


Inventing Jesus

From a comment last week:

225 I mentioned a couple of weeks ago about the book Creating Christ which proposed that the Christians appropriated the idea of a born again savior from Emperor Domitian who was purported to be the reincarnation of Vespasian or somebody. Now I see a documentary (on PBS so you know it's right) purporting that the Christians appropriated the idea of a savior from Emperor Augustus who saved Rome from a century of turmoil and civil war by instituting the Pax Romana and creating prosperity. So I guess Jesus was a pretend third rate emperor is now a thing.

Posted by: Anonosaurus Wrecks, This Is the Dawning of the Age of the Trumpius! at December 18, 2016 05:06 PM (Nwg0u)

I guess Creating Christ is a new thing. At least, this is the first time I've heard it seriously argued that Christianity was an invention of the 1st-century Roman Empire. To me, this seems absurd on the face of it. If such is the case, the one has to wonder why 11 out of the 12 original apostles of Jesus suffered martyrs' deaths for something they would have had to have known was a lie. Something about that just doesn't compute.

But the other item mentioned by Mr. Wrecks, that Christianity "borrowed" some messianic rhetoric from pagan Rome, I think there's a bit of truth there. Augustus was a "divine" emperor who was lauded in terms that can only be described as messianic:

Caesar Augustus is proclaimed to be divine, Savior, God manifest, and the beginning of the Good News (Evangelion). These are all titles the Gospel writers apply to Jesus Christ. The Romans had laid claim to these titles for their Emperor first; the Christian Gospel writers take these claims and apply them to Jesus. Thus there is a theological war taking place with opposing claims being made. Which is true? Who is Lord, Jesus or Caesar?

While it is true that Christian faith is (or should be) above politics, the New Testament writers were very much aware of politics. In Acts, St. Peter said:

"Rulers of the people and elders...let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead...is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
(Act 4:8-12)

Considering all of the messianic claims made about the "divine" Augustus, which survives in the archeological record, how he was ushering in a new age of peace and happiness for the entire world, that he was in fact the savior of the world. I think Peter's words are a direct rebuke of the cult of emperor worship. Peter was in effect saying "Not Caesar, but Christ."

Much of this is discussed in great detail in Christ and the Caesars by Ethelbert Stauffer. It's an older book, but still a worthwhile read. Also worthwhile is N.T. Wright, who has written voluminously on various aspects of Christian faith. The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus's Crucifixion. Also Jesus And The Victory of God, which is Vol. 2 of his 'New Testament and the People of God' series.

And by the way, this is what got the early Christians into trouble, not because they worshipped Jesus (Rome didn't care who you worshipped), but because they refused to acknowledge the divinity of the emperor. They refused to offer incense to Caesar as required by law. They said, "Not Caesar, but Christ." Many Christians paid for this with their lives.

And while we're on the subject, here is a book I found while looking for Wright's stuff, which I thought looked interesting: Hostile Witnesses: Historic Evidence of Jesus From Non-Christian Sources by Curtis Grant Parker.

[R]egardless of your personal feelings about Jesus of Nazareth, little doubt remains that he was a real person who once walked this earth. A wealth of historical accounts exist to assure us of this—with many of the most compelling coming from nonbelievers themselves.

Hostile Witnesses is an examination of the best historical evidence for Christ’s existence, particularly the evidence provided to us by the most unexpected of sources. From the pagans of ancient Rome, to Jewish and Muslim writings, these accounts create a solid fact-based history of Jesus’s life on earth…one that believers and nonbelievers will find equally compelling.

As I'm typing this, the Kindle version is only $3.49.

Most Expensive

Used book site AbeBooks.com publishes an annual list of its most expensive sales. Here is the one for 2016 (warning: there's an NSFW jacket cover down a bit on the page)

AbeBooks celebrated 20 years of business in 2016, and not many people thought that used and rare books would be one the first success stories of internet retailing when our founders started out in 1996. Many things have happened since 1996 but people still love books and beautiful things.

Well, like what, for example? Like this:

Eugene Field's copy of Great Expectations

The first edition in book form published 1861 by Chapman and Hall in original cloth with an autograph letter tipped in (pasted in). Three volumes. This copy belonged to author Eugene Field, famous for his children's poetry, and each volume contains his bookplate. Great Expectations first appeared in Dickens' magazine, All the Year Round. Tipped-in to volume I is a two-page letter signed by Reverend Chauncy Hare Townshend (1798-1868 ) to whom Dickens dedicated this book.

It sold for $25,000.

Also on the list is a signed, first edition of Atlas Shrugged, an original drawing by "Dr. Suess" and a letter from a young Winston Churchill which is a response after his marriage proposal was rejected.

(h/t Hank Curmudgeon)


A Disease We're Prone To

From last week's thread:

223 "Tsundoku" (n.) is the condition of acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one's home without reading them. (from Japanese slang)

Posted by: Little Mrs Spellcheck at December 18, 2016 03:54 PM (UfqKz)

I, myself, have an embarrassingly yuuuge unread stack, and I'm old enough now that I will probably never get to them in my lifetime. But tsundoku is a great word. It appears in this list, 10 Words Book-Lovers Should Know, along with others such as "colophon" (a publisher’s emblem or imprint) and "librocubicultarist" (a person who reads in bed).

And on a final note, I assume that Little Mrs Spellcheck is the 'ette who used to comment under her old nic, Little Miss Spellcheck, which I do believe means that congratulations are in order. So to LMrs.S I say: have a happy, glorious, and life-long marriage, and I hope your husband enjoys books as much as you do.


Moron Recommendations

Warnings Unheeded: Twin Tragedies at Fairchild Air Force Base by Andy Brown. Recommended by a lurker who describes it as:

Extremely interesting read about preventable tragedies at Fairchild AFB. I've been stationed at Fairchild for quite a while and have read about these incidents, but this is on a whole new level. I know it's cliché, but I really can't put this book down. Highly recommend[ed].

The two tragedies were: an active shooter incident and then, 4 days later, the crash of a B-52 bomber with four airmen on board while practicing maneuvers for an upcoming air show.

Warnings Unheeded is authored by Andy Brown, the man who ended the hospital killing spree, and is a result of more than seven years of writing and research. Brown “masterfully weaves” the two stories and intersperses them with chapters revealing the preparations he made that enabled him to end a pistol-versus-rifle gunfight with a 70 yard shot from his handgun. Brown also writes of his experience with the aftermath of the shooting and encourages others to learn from his mistakes when it comes to dealing with the effects of trauma.

Kindle $9.99.

___________


Books By Morons

Another 'ette author heard from: Lurkette Jenni has written a short YA novel called Cupid's Kiss. It's a romance novel, but Jenni tells me

I hate calling it a romance, because it's not a romance novel in the harlequin sense. It's a romance in the way that a romantic comedy film is a romance. Still, the audience is teen girls and women.

Cupid is alive and well

...and his descendants still walk the earth. Their magical matchmaking abilities don’t come from arrows though, but from their spit. Sixteen year old Amanda Amoretto is one of those descendants and she doesn’t believe in love. After all, if her spit can make people fall in love, it’s just a silly chemical reaction right? It isn’t real. Until she meets a boy she just can’t get off of her mind. But if she kisses him, he’ll fall under her Cupid love spell, which makes it impossible to have a genuine relationship. Her life is turned upside down as the girl who always overthinks everything finds herself a slave to her feelings. Can Amanda resist her feelings? Does she want to?

Kindle version is $2.99


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A lurking moron requested I mention his wife's book Heal Your Child from the Inside Out: The 5-Element Way to Nurturing Healthy, Happy Kids. He tells me:

The book came about, in part, because she sees lots of kids in her acupuncture practice that aren't sick but they aren't well, either, and Western medicine isn't always set up to address this "unwellness gap." She's definitely not anti-Western medicine, though. She likes to blend Western and Eastern medicine to make sure kids are healthy and happy.

So for those of you who don't mind a little bit from the east and a little bit from the west, here is what this book has to offer:

Drawing from the ancient wisdom of the Five Elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Heal Your Child from the Inside Out offers simple solutions for creating a natural healing program that is as unique as your child. Questionnaires and quizzes help you gain an understanding of your child’s 5-Element type—whether it’s Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal or Water—to allow you to diagnose imbalances within the body that create health issues. Once you’ve gained a solid understanding of the 5 Elements and how health conditions are affected by elemental imbalances, nutrition, and lifestyle, you’ll learn simple techniques—such as acupressure, massage, and meditation—that will help your child achieve vibrant health. Ultimately, empowered with this knowledge and a new, holistic perspective on health, you’ll be able to augment Western treatments with time-tested natural solutions to help your child, and your whole family, heal naturally.


___________

Don't forget the AoSHQ reading group on Goodreads. It's meant to support horde writers and to talk about the great books that come up on the book thread. It's called AoSHQ Moron Horde and the link to it is here: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/175335-aoshq-moron-horde.

___________

So that's all for this week. As always, book thread tips, suggestions, bribes, rumors, threats, and insults may be sent to OregonMuse, Proprietor, AoSHQ Book Thread, at the book thread e-mail address: aoshqbookthread, followed by the 'at' sign, and then 'G' mail, and then dot cee oh emm.

What have you all been reading this week? Hopefully something good, because, as you all know, life is too short to be reading lousy books.

Posted by: OregonMuse at 09:09 AM




Comments

(Jump to bottom of page)

1 Tolle lege

Posted by: Skip at December 25, 2016 09:05 AM (5sOEp)

2 Merry Christmas everyone.

Posted by: Weasel at December 25, 2016 09:07 AM (Sfs6o)

3 So got a Kindle for Christmas. Plus my oldest niece gave me a 6 month unlimited Kindle download from Amazon. Now I just have to figure out how to set it up.

Posted by: HH at December 25, 2016 09:08 AM (DrCtv)

4 Working my way through The Sword of Truth series again. I am on the 4th book now. Will probably give it a rest for a while when I finish this one.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 25, 2016 09:09 AM (mpXpK)

5 Waiting on IE to load so I can see pic. And it is taking forever to load.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 25, 2016 09:11 AM (mpXpK)

6 (Long time lurker), pretty sure the library is the one in the Biltmore House.

Posted by: uncjonboy at December 25, 2016 09:11 AM (McRDG)

7 Looks like the biltmore. If 500 people were crammed into the room, I'd know for sure.

Posted by: NCKate at December 25, 2016 09:13 AM (ryd/q)

8 Merry Christmas and thank you for the Book Thread recommendations, because my husband gave me "The Bard and the Bible" as one of my gifts this year! Oh, and Pookette got "Things That Go" for her LeapReader, and spent a good half hour yesterday poring over it. I got my husband "The Collected Short Stories of Mark Twain" as an audiobook, which he's been wanting for years.

A very literary Christmas to you all!

Posted by: pookysgirl at December 25, 2016 09:13 AM (9NFix)

9 (Long time lurker), pretty sure the library is the one in the Biltmore House.
Posted by: uncjonboy
------------

Confirmed.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at December 25, 2016 09:14 AM (ZO497)

10 4 Working my way through The Sword of Truth series again. I am on the 4th book now. Will probably give it a rest for a while when I finish this one.
Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 25, 2016 09:09 AM (mpXpK)

I loved the first book, but got tired of the sexual violence of the following ones. Gave up around three or four, if I remember.

Jordan's Wheel of Time was always better, even if it did get bloated.

Posted by: Aetius451AD at December 25, 2016 09:14 AM (Niu5G)

11 Give me the chair on the extreme left, a hard back and a glass of cognac, it would be the next best thing to heaven.

Posted by: Skip at December 25, 2016 09:15 AM (5sOEp)

12 Yeah, it looks like the Biltmore library.

Merry Christmas, off the Holy Communion.

Posted by: Make America Great Again at December 25, 2016 09:15 AM (BS8yt)

13 We went to the Biltmore a few years ago, and while in a relatively small side room it occurred to me that the single room in which we were standing was larger than my entire house.

Posted by: Weasel at December 25, 2016 09:15 AM (Sfs6o)

14 About Christianity "borrowing" some rituals or ideas from "pagan" religions, mush is possibly true. I don't think it was Augustus or domition, but the Mithrianism. From that religion they got the immaculate conception, and virgin birth. That was the military religion of ancient Rome. As the ancient Romans used Caesar, that, though a family name, was very similar to Aesair, the German pantheon. Check on the origin of the Christ. In those days, they did not have the internet and most people were somewhat illiterate. Therefore, the ancient Christians probably adopted popular myths and legends to help explain their founding.

Posted by: Old Country Boy at December 25, 2016 09:16 AM (AzlMk)

15 Finally the pic loads. I would say that looks like something that would be over in one of the Italian cities with classical art in the ceiling.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 25, 2016 09:17 AM (mpXpK)

16 Merry Christmas, everyone. As I sit here full of holiday cheer, I overhear on the TV Mayor DeBLAHsio beclowning himself once again. Oh well.
best wishes to the Horde - now off to my brother's for a morning of fun and an evening of fart jokes. It's great to have a sibling.

Posted by: vivi at December 25, 2016 09:18 AM (11H2y)

17 The fields of modern day Anthropology and Archeology exist to disprove Christianity. Outside of gender studies, you will be hard pressed to find more militant anti-Christian fields of study.

Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 09:19 AM (YZchG)

18 What are you people doing in my library on Christmas morning?

Oh wait, sorry, are you the folks staying over in the east wing?

Posted by: Cornelius Vanderbilt at December 25, 2016 09:21 AM (NBHj5)

19 ...help you gain an understanding of your child's 5-Element type - whether it's Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal or Water...


******


**types**
**deletes**
**types**
**deletes**

Well, I guess one needs to maintain a good sense of humors...

Posted by: Muldoon at December 25, 2016 09:22 AM (wPiJc)

20 I'm finishing up Becoming a Supple Leopard, although you don't really finish it.

And also going through the functional training bible which is really good, has lots of pictures of the movements along with good explanations of why these movements work.

I'd also reccommend, High Intensity 300 by Dan Trink, which is a really good WOD manual for those who don't really know what to do in the gym.

Basically do this and you will be on your way to building a better body.

Posted by: Kreplach at December 25, 2016 09:22 AM (+lv+r)

21 14 About Christianity "borrowing" some rituals or ideas from "pagan" religions, mush is possibly true. I don't think it was Augustus or domition, but the Mithrianism. From that religion they got the immaculate conception, and virgin birth. That was the military religion of ancient Rome. As the ancient Romans used Caesar, that, though a family name, was very similar to Aesair, the German pantheon. Check on the origin of the Christ. In those days, they did not have the internet and most people were somewhat illiterate. Therefore, the ancient Christians probably adopted popular myths and legends to help explain their founding.
Posted by: Old Country Boy at December 25, 2016 09:16 AM (AzlMk)

See, I always heard that the Mithras cult stole ideas from Christianity and Zoroastrianism. Hard to say, there were a LOT of various religions operating at the time. And people are people.

Posted by: Aetius451AD at December 25, 2016 09:23 AM (Niu5G)

22 Now I see a documentary (on PBS so you know it's right) purporting that the Christians appropriated the idea of a savior from Emperor Augustus who saved Rome from a century of turmoil and civil war by instituting the Pax Romana and creating prosperity.

As far as I know, there are two accredited scholars that supported the Christ-myth theory: Robert M. Price and Richard Carrier. Were they involved in that documentary? I see that neither was involved in "Creating Christ", which is a bit surprising. I'd have thought it would have died out by now. Even Bart Ehrman thinks it's silly.

Posted by: Steve and Cold Bear at December 25, 2016 09:24 AM (rH4JY)

23 I'd have thought it would have died out by now. Even Bart Ehrman thinks it's silly.
Posted by: Steve and Cold Bear at December 25, 2016 09:24 AM (rH4JY)

Anything that bags on/insults Christianity will never go out of style for today's left.

Posted by: Aetius451AD at December 25, 2016 09:26 AM (Niu5G)

24 17 Does hark back to a artical read yesterday of Anthony Codevilla's essay on Leftism trying to undermine Western civilization and its religious roots.

Posted by: Skip at December 25, 2016 09:26 AM (5sOEp)

25 That is one impressive library. Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and good morning to all the Book Thread folks. And thanks to OM for having the Book Thread available this fine morning.

Posted by: JTB at December 25, 2016 09:26 AM (V+03K)

26 21 14 About Christianity "borrowing" some rituals or ideas from "pagan" religions, mush is possibly true. I don't think it was Augustus or domition, but the Mithrianism. From that religion they got the immaculate conception, and virgin birth. That was the military religion of ancient Rome. As the ancient Romans used Caesar, that, though a family name, was very similar to Aesair, the German pantheon. Check on the origin of the Christ. In those days, they did not have the internet and most people were somewhat illiterate. Therefore, the ancient Christians probably adopted popular myths and legends to help explain their founding.
Posted by: Old Country Boy at December 25, 2016 09:16 AM (AzlMk)

See, I always heard that the Mithras cult stole ideas from Christianity and Zoroastrianism. Hard to say, there were a LOT of various religions operating at the time. And people are people.
Posted by: Aetius451AD at December 25, 2016 09:23 AM (Niu5G)

Isiah may have had something to do with the notion of a virgin birth

Posted by: josephistan at December 25, 2016 09:27 AM (7qAYi)

27 About Christianity "borrowing" some rituals or ideas from "pagan" religions, mush is possibly true. I don't think it was Augustus or domition, but the Mithrianism.

I knew it!

Posted by: Acharya S. at December 25, 2016 09:27 AM (rH4JY)

28 Some of those books are cheaper than I would have thought.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 25, 2016 09:28 AM (mpXpK)

29 Christianity did adopt pagan rituals. The early Catholic Church took every pagan under the sun along with their rituals because of expansion, growth, and power.

The Christmas Tree is the phallas of Nimrod, which is why it's an Ever Green. Christ was born in middle of September. There are over half a dozen different winter solstice pagan holidays around Christmas. A simple Google search Will take you to a page created by a Christian who will explain it all. (I'm on a slow cell phone).

Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 09:29 AM (YZchG)

30 24 17 Does hark back to a artical read yesterday of Anthony Codevilla's essay on Leftism trying to undermine Western civilization and its religious roots.
Posted by: Skip at December 25, 2016 09:26 AM (5sOEp)

'Liberation' theology.

Posted by: Aetius451AD at December 25, 2016 09:30 AM (Niu5G)

31 but because they refused to acknowledge the divinity of the emperor.

FORE!!

Posted by: Barakus Hussein Obama at December 25, 2016 09:30 AM (eeTCA)

32 No new books this week, but I did pick up a book last week at a used book store. "King Mob" by Christopher Hibbert. It's the history of the worst riot in English history, the 1780 anti-Catholic riots that destroyed much of London & killed over 700 people.

Posted by: josephistan at December 25, 2016 09:31 AM (7qAYi)

33 6
(Long time lurker), pretty sure the library is the one in the Biltmore House.

Posted by: uncjonboy at December 25, 2016 09:11 AM (McRDG)


I'll get my wife to look at it. She has been there.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 25, 2016 09:32 AM (mpXpK)

34 29 Christianity did adopt pagan rituals. The early Catholic Church took every pagan under the sun along with their rituals because of expansion, growth, and power.

The Christmas Tree is the phallas of Nimrod, which is why it's an Ever Green. Christ was born in middle of September. There are over half a dozen different winter solstice pagan holidays around Christmas. A simple Google search Will take you to a page created by a Christian who will explain it all. (I'm on a slow cell phone).
Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 09:29 AM (YZchG)

Your point? I do not mind the charge about taking rituals or ideas, however this part of the discussion usually serves as a springboard to saying Christianity is really all stolen and hence false.

Posted by: Aetius451AD at December 25, 2016 09:34 AM (Niu5G)

35 Since this is a book thread, the most important book one will ever read is The Bible. Read and study it for yourself because there are many people who will intentionally lie about what is in it and provide a false context, while profiting and advancing their own agendas while doing so.

Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 09:34 AM (YZchG)

36 I'll get my wife to look at it. She has been there.
Posted by: Vic
-----------

Vic, there's no question. That's it. I mean, it's just down the street from here.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at December 25, 2016 09:35 AM (ZO497)

37 Merry Christmas, fellow bibliomanes! Hope your holidays are filled with the books you love.

Posted by: sinalco at December 25, 2016 09:35 AM (yODqO)

38 Wife says it could be Biltmore but it has been too long since she has been there. And a wider view would help.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 25, 2016 09:35 AM (mpXpK)

39 Read and study it for yourself because there are many people who will intentionally lie about what is in it and provide a false context, while profiting and advancing their own agendas while doing so.
Posted by: Sick Pepe
------------

Even the Devil can quote scripture to his advantage.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at December 25, 2016 09:36 AM (ZO497)

40 Merry Christmas, all! And happy book threading!
Last Sunday was a total bust at the Christmas market in Boerne - high winds demolished a couple of pavilions, and made thirty degrees seem even colder and more miserable - so we gave it up about 1 PM and came home. Then this Sunday it is warm enough outside to have to run the AC!
Texas weather; if you don't like it, wait five minutes, or up to a week, and it will change. Radically.
I'm nearly finished with David Hackett Fischer's retelling of Paul Revere's ride and the resulting skirmishes at Lexington and Concord. Very readable, totally engaging - and the last quarter of the book is solid footnotes.

Posted by: Sgt. Mom at December 25, 2016 09:36 AM (xnmPy)

41 35 Since this is a book thread, the most important book one will ever read is The Bible. Read and study it for yourself because there are many people who will intentionally lie about what is in it and provide a false context, while profiting and advancing their own agendas while doing so.
Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 09:34 AM (YZchG)

Good point. The same is true in the converse with the Koran.

Posted by: Aetius451AD at December 25, 2016 09:37 AM (Niu5G)

42 Isiah may have had something to do with the notion of a virgin birth

Posted by: josephistan


Some claim that "almah" means "young women" and not virgin, but the Septuagint, a translation of the OT into Greek (not done by Christians) translates "almah" as "parthenos", which unambiguously means "virgin" in Greek.

Posted by: Steve and Cold Bear at December 25, 2016 09:37 AM (rH4JY)

43 29 Christianity did adopt pagan rituals. The early Catholic Church took every pagan under the sun along with their rituals because of expansion, growth, and power.

The Christmas Tree is the phallas of Nimrod, which is why it's an Ever Green. Christ was born in middle of September. There are over half a dozen different winter solstice pagan holidays around Christmas. A simple Google search Will take you to a page created by a Christian who will explain it all. (I'm on a slow cell phone).
Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 09:29 AM (YZchG)

It's not rituals & superficial trappings that are at issue. This new "creating Christ" thing is trying to say that Christian theology was lifted from pagan religions & therefore Christianity is nothing more than warmed over pagan faiths.

Posted by: josephistan at December 25, 2016 09:38 AM (7qAYi)

44 Reading this week was sporadic but satisfying.

I've mentioned "The Christmas Cantata" by Mark Schweizer several times. It has become a new semi-annual tradition: once at Christmas and one other time during the year when I need to uplift my spirits and regain an appreciation for the power of music.

If the weather reports hold, we are in for some beautiful and warm weather this week which has me thinking about range time with black powder guns. So I've been reading parts of several books about the history of their development, the way people lived back then, and how much fun they are to use today. Very satisfying reading and so much better than hearing about the latest BS celeb temper tantrum.

Posted by: JTB at December 25, 2016 09:39 AM (V+03K)

45 It's not rituals & superficial trappings that are at issue. This new "creating Christ" thing is trying to say that Christian theology was lifted from pagan religions & therefore Christianity is nothing more than warmed over pagan faiths.
Posted by: josephistan at December 25, 2016 09:38 AM (7qAYi)

Exactly.

Posted by: Aetius451AD at December 25, 2016 09:39 AM (Niu5G)

46 Merry Christmas, everyone.

I read Isaac Asimov's "The Gods Themselves" when it came out in Galaxy magazine a hundred years ago, more or less. Decided to pick up the Kindle version, and am about a third in.

The main action driving the novel is two scientists sniping at each other, with one of them determined to bring his more famous rival down, over a conceit that should be obvious to everyone on the planet but isn't, for some reason.

I know Asimov was pretty famously thin-skinned and never forgot a slight, but this seems a) ridiculous, and b) so intense in the book that it has to be real people he's talking about.

Posted by: BeckoningChasm at December 25, 2016 09:40 AM (MZcWR)

47 On the topic of Christmas & books, my family had a tradition of reading from a book my Dad had growing up, "The Christmas Candles." The candles on the Christmas tree tell a child stories about Christmas, from the humorous to tales of adventure, to poignant stories, until their flames go out. I'll have to go over to my mom's place to see who the author was.

Posted by: josephistan at December 25, 2016 09:42 AM (7qAYi)

48 Some claim that "almah" means "young women" and not virgin, but the Septuagint, a translation of the OT into Greek (not done by Christians) translates "almah" as "parthenos", which unambiguously means "virgin" in Greek.

I suspect that the most accurate translation of "almah" into English is "maiden."

Of course, not many people use "maiden" these days.

Posted by: Grey Fox at December 25, 2016 09:42 AM (bZ7mE)

49 Your point? I do not mind the charge about taking rituals or ideas, however this part of the discussion usually serves as a springboard to saying Christianity is really all stolen and hence false.
Posted by: Aetius451AD at December 25, 2016 09:34 AM (Niu5G)

I'm a Christian. My point is that it is every person's duty to read and study The Bible for themselves. When you do it is pretty clear that most agendas do not match with the agenda laid out by our Creator. There is more money to be made misleading and deceiving Christians than saving souls.

Like worshipping false gods, that does not please our Creator, yet I'd say most are guilty of it everyday.

Being a Christian is not an easy thing to do in the world, and heck I'd say walking in that path is actually the most difficult path to take, just a Christ said it would be.

Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 09:42 AM (YZchG)

50 Sorry to go OUT but we just got back from the Ohio State University animal hospital. Our weimaraner Smokey started vomiting and had trouble breathing during the night. Rushed him to PSI and he has pneumonia and is in dog ICU. Right now its touch and go. We came home to get some rest. What a Christmas present.

Posted by: Abby at December 25, 2016 09:42 AM (HBU7W)

51 Good Christmas morning, book horde. Love and Cheers to all!

Looking forward to our bookish Christmas gathering at Mom's tomorrow--can't wait to see what everyone gets to read.

Posted by: April at December 25, 2016 09:43 AM (e8PP1)

52 I have "Freedom's Forge" by Arthur Herman but haven't started it yet. Only has a few pictures - mostly words.

Posted by: Weasel at December 25, 2016 09:43 AM (Sfs6o)

53 Didn't happen yet but wife will read A Christmas Cup of Tea aloud, it is a tear jerker.

Posted by: Skip at December 25, 2016 09:44 AM (5sOEp)

54 It is indeed the Biltmore Estate. If this works, here's to google images of which ours is one of the more subdued:

https://tinyurl.com/j4ql93l

Posted by: t-bird at December 25, 2016 09:45 AM (k8DTS)

55 Sorry Abby. Wishing you a the best possible outcome.

Posted by: Weasel at December 25, 2016 09:45 AM (Sfs6o)

56 In Charles McCarry's Old Boys, a search is on for the Amphora Scroll, which is the report of a Roman agent in Judea. Christ is an unwitting asset secretly promoted by the Roman authorities to discredit the uppity Jewish priesthood.

Posted by: Kodos the Executioner at December 25, 2016 09:46 AM (J8/9G)

57 Nothing more humbling than the simple courage and abiding faith of the early Christian martyrs. I am not worthy.

Posted by: Muldoon at December 25, 2016 09:46 AM (wPiJc)

58 50 - Sorry to hear about your pup.

Posted by: josephistan at December 25, 2016 09:47 AM (7qAYi)

59 BeckoningChasm

Isaac Asimov's The Gods Themselves was a pretty good book. I liked his depiction of the aliens. Very alien.

And for someone who eschewed sex in his early writings, he did OK in this novel.

The scientists sniping could be a flashback to his own lackluster academic career. He was a poor researcher, didn't publish much, and insulted his department head repeatedly. "The only reason people will know your name is that for a while, you were my boss." Wowsers. What an ego / performance mismatch.

Posted by: NaCly Dog at December 25, 2016 09:47 AM (u82oZ)

60 I hate autocorrect- PSU=OS
OUT=OT

Posted by: Abby at December 25, 2016 09:48 AM (HBU7W)

61 Being a Christian is not an easy thing to do in the world, and heck I'd say walking in that path is actually the most difficult path to take, just a Christ said it would be.
Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 09:42 AM (YZchG)

My phone battery is dying, but you make a very good point.

To me the difference in religions is always clear. Many codify and reinforce people's natural inclinations. Christ calls us to rise above those. He calls us to be better people than we are.

This truly is unique

Posted by: Aetius451AD at December 25, 2016 09:48 AM (Niu5G)

62 It's not been a very peaceful Christmas season for some friends of mine. My nephew's GF lost her grandmom on the 23rd, a friend who's a mailman found a dead body on his route this week, and an old teacher of mine said that during last night's Mass, someone passed out, and after the ambulance left, the fire alarm went off at church!

Posted by: josephistan at December 25, 2016 09:51 AM (7qAYi)

63 60 I hate autocorrect- PSU=OS
OUT=OT
Posted by: Abby at December 25, 2016 09:48 AM (HBU7W)

So your phone autocorrects Ohio State to Penn State? Ha!

Posted by: josephistan at December 25, 2016 09:52 AM (7qAYi)

64 Looking at these library's, I often wonder how old some of the books way up on the top shelves are...

I have one book that was printed in 1792, (Thomas Dobson, Philadelphia ) in very good shape. Its a medical book for people living out in the wilderness, and needing some idea of how to care for a sick person. Lots of books around much older than that, of course. I just think of all the history since that book was printed....

Posted by: Colin at December 25, 2016 09:53 AM (ogUTd)

65 It's not rituals & superficial trappings that are at issue. This new "creating Christ" thing is trying to say that Christian theology was lifted from pagan religions & therefore Christianity is nothing more than warmed over pagan faiths.
Posted by: josephistan at December 25, 2016 09:38 AM (7qAYi)

Yes, but without first desensitizing Christians to participating in and tolerating of pagan rituals and worshipping false gods, then the whole movement to declare Christianity was created from paganism and Roman emperors based on "Archeology, Anthropology, and History" would never exist.

When Churches stop talking about evil, false gods, spiritual warfare, and winning souls for God, they do so because they don't want to offend anybody, turn anybody off, ect.... This is history repeating itself over and over begining with the original church acting in the same manner to grow, take in false gods and pagans, and expand power. Now instead of pagans, they are cultural Marxists.

Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 09:53 AM (YZchG)

66 this part of the discussion usually serves as a springboard to saying Christianity is really all stolen and hence false.

I believe the argument can be reversed to good effect. Not by me this morning, perhaps after a bit more Mt. Dew.

Posted by: t-bird at December 25, 2016 09:54 AM (/cksx)

67 Reading (on my bed of pain) Hitler by Volker Ullrich. Two striking things. One: Weimar democracy was doomed, probably from 1930 and maybe earlier. The only question was what authoritarian regime would take its place.

Two: For all the present-day caterwauling about "Hitler was democratically elected, too!" his coming to power was a very close run thing. By the end of 1932, Naziism as a political movement was on the way out. The November elections had been a disaster for the Nazis, the party was nearly bankrupt and was badly divided. Had Schliecher shown a little more guts, the ground was already cleared in January, 1933 for an economic recovery. Hitler was put in power by back-room maneuverings, not by a vote of the German people.

Posted by: Kodos the Executioner at December 25, 2016 09:54 AM (J8/9G)

68 Well, I guess one needs to maintain a good sense of humors...
Posted by: Muldoon at December 25, 2016 09:22 AM (wPiJc)


I have always found this to be good policy.

Posted by: OregonMuse, deplorable since 2004 at December 25, 2016 10:00 AM (L8yYH)

69 Had Schliecher shown a little more guts, the ground was already cleared in January, 1933 for an economic recovery. Hitler was put in power by back-room maneuverings, not by a vote of the German people.

I know I'm going to look this up and Schlecher is going to be a member in good standing with the German Ol' Party-elite.

Posted by: t-bird at December 25, 2016 10:01 AM (ZIFyZ)

70 Well, I received and read Timberlake's Memoirs this last week. Henry Timberlake was an ensign in the Virginia Militia at the end of the first Anglo-Cherokee War in 1763 (I think) and volunteered to be an emissary during the conclusion of peace talks. As a matter of fact, he was more of a hostage than anything else, though he may not have quite realized that...Afterwards he accompanied four Cherokee chieftains to London. This did not go well for him, and he was reduced to pennilessness from having to pay expenses out of pocket (shortly after marrying) while at the same time accused to misusing funds . The book was written in order to clear his name and possibly raise a bit of money, but he died shortly after writing and before it was widely circulated. Kind of a sad story, overall. He is one of the best primary sources for 18th century Cherokee culture, since he describes his visit in detail.

Incidentally, he was accompanied to Cherokee country by a sergeant, whom he never names. The sergeant was a young Thomas Sumpter, who later moved to South Carolina and fifteen years later ended up a major leader in the guerrilla war that kept the British from retaking the Southern states in 1780.

Posted by: Grey Fox at December 25, 2016 10:03 AM (bZ7mE)

71 @OregonMuse,

The emperors were considered divine as a matter of course. I wonder whether the messianic tone around Augustus was after the fact; historical revisionism in response to the rise of Christianity?

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at December 25, 2016 10:03 AM (42Mgr)

72 Speaking of theft and fakery...

Posted by: Islam and the Koran at December 25, 2016 10:04 AM (ysprU)

73 OK, it is the Biltmore library if anyone hasn't said it yet. I just had to go through a ten minute reboot because IE locked up on it with Pale Moon and Media player both open all hogging memory.


So I am not going to try to link it.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 25, 2016 10:06 AM (mpXpK)

74 And thanks and Merry Christmas, OregonMuse for putting together the justly-celebrated Book Thread, for the great Moron libraries displayed, for the astonishing breadth of knowledge displayed by the Horde and for giving me a safe space to discourse expansively on subjects with which I only have the haziest acquaintance.

Posted by: Kodos the Executioner at December 25, 2016 10:06 AM (J8/9G)

75
"Speaking of theft and fakery..."

You forgot rape, conquest and rape.

Posted by: Mohamed at December 25, 2016 10:08 AM (W6Ch1)

76 As always OregonMuse, you efforts are greatly appreciated.

Merry Christmas Horde.

Posted by: Darth Randall at December 25, 2016 10:08 AM (6n332)

77 Schlecher is going to be a member in good standing with the German Ol' Party-elite.

Posted by: t-bird at December 25, 2016 10:01 AM (ZIFyZ)


The answer will be no surprise. Think of him as General #NevervonBulow.

Posted by: Kodos the Executioner at December 25, 2016 10:08 AM (J8/9G)

78 Anyone have a non-paywall link to the story from last night's ONT about Christmas in space with our astronauts? I'd really like to read that.

Posted by: josephistan at December 25, 2016 10:08 AM (7qAYi)

79 @OregonMuse,
The emperors were considered divine as a matter of course. I wonder whether the messianic tone around Augustus was after the fact; historical revisionism in response to the rise of Christianity?

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at December 25, 2016 10:03 AM (42Mgr)


I would think it unlikely, since much of the "Augustus is the savior of the world who will establish a new world order of peace and prosperity" rhetoric came about before Jesus was born.

Posted by: OregonMuse, deplorable since 2004 at December 25, 2016 10:09 AM (fGLwc)

80 I have less and less acceptance of scientific pronouncements without a LOT of proof and information about the people involved. This is especially true for social or interpretive 'science' like anthropology. I simply do not trust their motives, whether it's global warming (or whatever the current term is), dietary requirements, or 'explaining' how Christianity is a borrowed hodge-podge of pagan rituals. Not saying there wasn't adoption of things but, again, I don't trust the motives and writings of these people.

And the idea of some similarity between Christianity and paganism isn't new. Chesterton discusses that in "The Everlasting Man". He was talking about a mind set, not rituals, but he did broach the subject.

It bothers the hell out of me that I can no longer trust unreservedly information coming from the sciences. But even if the research is objective, the writing and reporting on it always seems to have a political spin that destroys its credibility. I don't simply reject the reports out of hand but just because they come from NASA, the FDA, or some 'accredited' meteorologist doesn't lend any trust in accuracy. National Geographic used to be a gold standard for information. Now look at the latest magazine cover.

My time is better spent with Lewis, Chesterton, Winston Churchill, even PG Wodehouse and E.B. White.

Posted by: JTB at December 25, 2016 10:09 AM (V+03K)

81 Well, I guess one needs to maintain a good sense of humors...
Posted by: Muldoon
--------------

...and radical moisture.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at December 25, 2016 10:09 AM (ZO497)

82 I would think it unlikely, since much of the "Augustus is the savior of the world who will establish a new world order of peace and prosperity" rhetoric came about before Jesus was born.
Posted by: OregonMuse, deplorable since 2004 at December 25, 2016 10:09 AM (fGLwc)

Just like Flash Gordon.

Aaaaaahhhhh!

Posted by: Zombie Freddie Mercury at December 25, 2016 10:10 AM (7qAYi)

83 Merry Christmas Horde!!!

I hope everyone is well, and surrounded by love, whether in person, or just by visiting Ace's house, here!

I gave my family the Penguin Galaxy set, gorgeous hardcovers of some classic science fiction and fantasy novel, such as Dune, Neuromancer and The Left Hand of Darkness. Very happy family members, indeed.

Paul Maier wrote some great apologetics of Christ that deal with early heresies, as well as some top-rate Christian historical fiction. Every couple of years, some "academic" comes up with yet another reason to not believe in the person and divinity of Christ. They are generally disproved, one way or another. But that doesn't mean they won't keep trying, and there are certainly those who would dearly love to return to the offering of incense to the government as divine, and give the death penalty to those who refuse.

And Kodos, thanks for the suggestion. I've been reading Richard Evans' Coming of the Third Reich, which suggests that Hitler was the result of right wing, Christian fundamentalists. He has a decent history of Germany under the Kaiser, and during and after WWI. but there is the constant tinge of right-wingers are the reason for all the evil stuff. So I wouldn't mind a different look at Hitler's rise. Many thanks!!

Posted by: Moki, deplorable mom and sammich maker at December 25, 2016 10:12 AM (VnCI9)

84 He calls us to be better people than we are.



This truly is unique

Posted by: Aetius451AD at December 25, 2016 09:48 AM (Niu5G)

Almost unique.

Judaism is similar.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at December 25, 2016 10:12 AM (42Mgr)

85 This is especially true for social or interpretive 'science' like anthropology.

Your so-called 'hard sciences' stole all the trappings of academic discourse from us.

IT'S FUNNY BECAUSE I'M MAKING A JOKE!

Posted by: Sociological Sciences at December 25, 2016 10:14 AM (hBig8)

86 Niece, the Nurse, is the new gal at the hospital, and spending Christmas Day at work due to her bottom of the totem pole status. As a result, the family festivities are delayed one day. What term accompanies Boxing Day cards? Merry? Happy? Bloody-good? My present labels await your response.

Posted by: TooLazyToNomDePlume at December 25, 2016 10:14 AM (Yg6oI)

87 >>>The emperors were considered divine as a matter of course. I wonder whether the messianic tone around Augustus was after the fact; historical revisionism in response to the rise of Christianity?


Pretty sure that can't be the case (as it probably is with Mithraism). This is because Christians were accused of being "atheists" (!) because they would not worship the Roman emperor as a god. (Reminds me of the Daniel and his compatriots refusing to worship Nebuchadnezzer).

Posted by: Steve and Cold Bear at December 25, 2016 10:15 AM (rH4JY)

88 The sergeant was a young Thomas Sumpter, who later moved to South Carolina and fifteen years later ended up a major leader in the guerrilla war that kept the British from retaking the Southern states in 1780.
Posted by: Grey Fox
---------

Pretty sure you mean 'Sumter'.

" The city and county of Sumter bear the name of General Thomas Sumter, the "Fighting Gamecock" of the American Revolutionary War."

Oh, and, Merry Christmas! from my side of town.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at December 25, 2016 10:15 AM (ZO497)

89 Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

Another book that's on my to-read list along with The Day the Revolution Began: Destroyer of the gods: Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World by Larry W. Hurtado. Thesis pretty much confirms what OM says of Christianity in the post.

Also, IIRC, the cult of Mithras didn't reach Rome until the 200s, so it's highly unlikely to have had any influence on Christianity, which was well established by AD 100.

Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe at December 25, 2016 10:16 AM (adcAx)

90 88 The sergeant was a young Thomas Sumpter, who later moved to South Carolina and fifteen years later ended up a major leader in the guerrilla war that kept the British from retaking the Southern states in 1780.
Posted by: Grey Fox
---------

Pretty sure you mean 'Sumter'.

" The city and county of Sumter bear the name of General Thomas Sumter, the "Fighting Gamecock" of the American Revolutionary War."

Oh, and, Merry Christmas! from my side of town.
Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at December 25, 2016 10:15 AM (ZO497)

As in "Ft. Sumter"

Posted by: josephistan at December 25, 2016 10:17 AM (7qAYi)

91 What term accompanies Boxing Day cards? Merry? Happy? Bloody-good? My present labels await your response.
Posted by: TooLazyToNomDePlume at December 25, 2016 10:14 AM (Yg6oI)


According to Pratchett, it is a humorous motto like "Help, help I'm trapped in a cracker machine and I can't keep . . ." and some distressing stains.

Posted by: Kindltot at December 25, 2016 10:17 AM (9MInk)

92 86 Niece, the Nurse, is the new gal at the hospital, and spending Christmas Day at work due to her bottom of the totem pole status. As a result, the family festivities are delayed one day. What term accompanies Boxing Day cards? Merry? Happy? Bloody-good? My present labels await your response.
Posted by: TooLazyToNomDePlume at December 25, 2016 10:14 AM (Yg6oI

Merry Christmas will work, if you assume the 12 days of Christmas, which begin today. You have until January 6 to write Merry Christmas on things!!!

Posted by: Moki, deplorable mom and sammich maker at December 25, 2016 10:18 AM (VnCI9)

93 Pretty sure you mean 'Sumter'.

" The city and county of Sumter bear the name of General Thomas Sumter, the "Fighting Gamecock" of the American Revolutionary War."

Oh, and, Merry Christmas! from my side of town.


Yeah, I do. Merry Christmas to you, too!

Posted by: Grey Fox at December 25, 2016 10:19 AM (bZ7mE)

94 You forgot rape, conquest and rape.

You said "rape" twice...

Posted by: Kodos the Executioner at December 25, 2016 10:19 AM (J8/9G)

95 Merry Christmas and a Happy New Administration!

Posted by: Marooned at December 25, 2016 10:19 AM (XhyuK)

96 Posted by: TooLazyToNomDePlume at December 25, 2016 10:14 AM (Yg6oI)

In Germany, it's Second Christmas, so "Merry" or "Happy" would work fine with that title.

Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe at December 25, 2016 10:22 AM (adcAx)

97 Merry Christmas Horde!!!

Posted by: golfman at December 25, 2016 10:22 AM (48QDY)

98 86 Niece, the Nurse, is the new gal at the hospital, and spending Christmas Day at work due to her bottom of the totem pole status.

Posted by: TooLazyToNomDePlume at December 25, 2016 10:14 AM (Yg6oI


Yeah, I've worked a few Christmas Days in the past. So I can tell you from experience it both sucks *and* blows.

Posted by: OregonMuse, deplorable since 2004 at December 25, 2016 10:22 AM (fGLwc)

99 The thing about the NT is that it is very closely coupled to the OT. Quotes, allusions, etc. In contrast to the Quran, which is a hostile, shallow reading of them ("Allah had no son").

Posted by: Steve and Cold Bear at December 25, 2016 10:23 AM (rH4JY)

100 Or you could go with Happy St. Stephen's Day!

Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe at December 25, 2016 10:23 AM (adcAx)

101 As in "Ft. Sumter"
Posted by: josephistan
------------

Trigger phrase. Use with caution.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at December 25, 2016 10:24 AM (ZO497)

102 I've been reading Richard Evans' Coming of the Third Reich, which suggests that Hitler was the result of right wing, Christian fundamentalists.

Posted by: Moki, deplorable mom and sammich maker at December 25, 2016 10:12 AM (VnCI9)


Right-wing Christians who believe the Bible. Is there no evil they're *not* responsible for?

Posted by: OregonMuse, deplorable since 2004 at December 25, 2016 10:25 AM (fGLwc)

103 Or you could go with Happy St. Stephen's Day!
Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe
-------

... tomorrow.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at December 25, 2016 10:25 AM (ZO497)

104 Niece, the Nurse, is the new gal at the hospital, and spending Christmas Day at work due to her bottom of the totem pole status.

Posted by: TooLazyToNomDePlume at December 25, 2016 10:14 AM (Yg6oI

Yeah, I've worked a few Christmas Days in the past. So I can tell you from experience it both sucks *and* blows.



BTDT. The best shift, if you have to work it, imho, is the 11 pm to 7 am shift. You get the Christmas day shift out of the way and are home by Christmas morning.

Posted by: rickb223 at December 25, 2016 10:26 AM (CeVa5)

105 Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at December 25, 2016 10:25 AM (ZO497)

Quite; that was for TooLazytoNomdePlume, who's having to delay celebrations until tomorrow.

Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe at December 25, 2016 10:26 AM (adcAx)

106 Off to Mass

Posted by: josephistan at December 25, 2016 10:27 AM (7qAYi)

107 To me the difference in religions is always clear. Many codify and reinforce people's natural inclinations. Christ calls us to rise above those. He calls us to be better people than we are.

This truly is unique

Posted by: Aetius451AD


Und ze best vay to do dat is to invite hordes of barbarians into the country to destroy the native populace.

Posted by: Angela Merkel at December 25, 2016 10:27 AM (rH4JY)

108 And Kodos, thanks for the suggestion. I've been reading Richard Evans' Coming of the Third Reich, which suggests that Hitler was the result of right wing, Christian fundamentalists. He has a decent history of Germany under the Kaiser, and during and after WWI. but there is the constant tinge of right-wingers are the reason for all the evil stuff. So I wouldn't mind a different look at Hitler's rise. Many thanks!!
Posted by: Moki, deplorable mom and sammich maker at December 25, 2016 10:12 AM (VnCI9

The Pink Swastika is a great book that dives into the orgins of the Nazi movement that are far from politically correct. You can find it now as a pdf file online for free. The authors are on the 5th or 6th edition, which they put out for free as well in pdf format.

Let's just say these types of people have a long history of reaching the top of institutions.

Anyway it's a intetesting book, and it will not be hard to figure out why the information contained and scourced within has been suppressed.

God Bless.

Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 10:28 AM (YZchG)

109 Quite; that was for TooLazytoNomdePlume, who's having to delay celebrations until tomorrow.
Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe
-----------

Hold it. I'm supposed to read upthread before impetuously posting?

Drat.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at December 25, 2016 10:28 AM (ZO497)

110 Looked him up. Schleicher was pretty well named as he seems to have been a bit of a sneaky worm.

Posted by: t-bird at December 25, 2016 10:28 AM (HwVbl)

111 The thing about the NT is that it is very closely coupled to the OT. Quotes, allusions, etc.

Posted by: Steve and Cold Bear at December 25, 2016 10:23 AM (rH4JY)


I was made aware of this (again) at my church's Christmas Eve service last night. Both Mary's "Magnificat" and Zacharias' outpouring of praise after he could speak again are pretty much indistinguishable from Old Testament Psalms.

Posted by: OregonMuse, deplorable since 2004 at December 25, 2016 10:29 AM (fGLwc)

112 98 From 1970 until I retired I worked nearly every Christmas and Thanksgiving there was.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 25, 2016 10:32 AM (mpXpK)

113 Merry Christmas, Horde!

The Mr. Hanky Christmas special:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUSr-rH2PuY

Posted by: Miley, the Unindicted Duchess of ONT anxiety at December 25, 2016 10:33 AM (tHwdc)

114 So tsundoku is like the opposite of feng shui?

Hell, I'm practically a black belt in tsundoku.

Posted by: rickl at December 25, 2016 10:34 AM (sdi6R)

115 At the inauguration, I will rush the stage, snatch the Bible, and say, "Ima let you finish, but *I'm* the new President of the United Steaks of America!"

*hic*

Posted by: Hillary Clinton at December 25, 2016 10:36 AM (rH4JY)

116 I've been looking at John Zmirak's The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism.

It has an interesting standpoint on the (small-e) episcopal Church: that its Tradition is the only way we may interpret the New Testament as something worth following. Without the Church's guidance, a Christian might take Jesus as an apocalyptic prophet who preached for humanity not to marry. Mankind's extinction would allow for the inevitable Resurrection. Zmirak has no truck with that; in effect he refuses to abide by the Church of Malacandra. Of the Christian options available Zmirak supports the Latin hierarchy; should this Church turn upon humanity, Zmirak will abandon it.

I must disclose that I have had my issues with the Regnery P.I.G. imprint. But I'll rate Catholicism as one of its good 'uns. Intellectually, Zmirak is honest, never saying of the Church what the Church does not say, as we've seen certain Muslims and those on their payroll dissemble around Islam. And Zmirak's willingness to anchor his faith upon the Roman Church's ongoing alliance with mankind is brave as well. His book is worth buying just for that.

Posted by: traumatised rubber ducky at December 25, 2016 10:37 AM (6FqZa)

117 Squeak!

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at December 25, 2016 10:37 AM (6FqZa)

118 Merry Christmas, Horde!

A New Year's resolution of mine will be to spend more time reading the classics and listening to classical music. As Western Civilization draws to an end in Europe and continues to be threatened here (students at George Washington University are no longer required to take a class in US history), I find myself wanting to study and preserve (in my own head anyway) the jewels that are being stupidly and tragically discarded by our pitiful "elites."

Posted by: Donna di deplorable ampersands&&&&and so there at December 25, 2016 10:40 AM (P8951)

119 boulder terlit hobo

I want to thank you personally for your voter outreach this fall. You were one of many that helping make my favorite Christmas present a reality: HCWNBPOTUS.

Posted by: NaCly Dog at December 25, 2016 10:41 AM (u82oZ)

120 My wife got the first Hard Luck Hank book for me as one of my Christmas gifts. Now I will get to see why this appeals to so many Morons.

Will check thread content later; church awaits.

Posted by: Weak Geek at December 25, 2016 10:42 AM (zqUhc)

121 Merry Christmas!

Posted by: Dack Thrombosis at December 25, 2016 10:43 AM (4ErVI)

122 I started reading "Painting As A Pastime" by Winston Churchill. It was available on Kindle for 2.99. It's short, less than a hundred pages, but so far he's making a case for what painting means to him and the importance of a consuming hobby to busy people. The e-book version has a number of color plates of his paintings. I knew the man painted but had no idea he was so good. And his writing on this matter is as good as his historical and political books, which is high praise.

I also received a copy of "Churchill By Himself", a huge collection of quotes from his writings organized by general subject matter.

Many people have at least heard excerpts form some of his famous speeches but too few are aware of his wonderful writing ability. In my opinion he is a match for any non-fiction writer in the last 200 years.

Posted by: JTB at December 25, 2016 10:46 AM (V+03K)

123 A book I rediscovered this week is Star over Bethlehem and Other Stories by Agatha Christie Mallowan. Some of the stories are clearly products of their time (copyright date is 1965), and I'm not sure I quite agree with her take on Mary; but all the stories and poems are well worth the read, and "Promotion in the Highest" is great fun. Also, on this read-through, "In the Cool of the Evening" just about took my breath away--it exposes one of the biggest fallacies of the prosperity gospel/Word of Faith movement within just a few pages, and Christie wrote it decades before Word of Faith became a ~thing~.

Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe at December 25, 2016 10:48 AM (adcAx)

124 One of the most interesting but least-known aspects of the Dead Sea Scrolls -- and the "secret" which many believe is the reason they were not released to the public until the Huntington Library did so without permission -- is that they describe a savior figure who is similar to Jesus Christ in many ways -- similar life story, similar genealogy, similar message. The problem? That particular portion of scroll was conclusively dated to about 150BC.

Ooooooooooops.

But it raises some extremely interesting questions. Where there a series of messiah-type guys among Jewish sects back then, but the only one to really "stick" was Jesus? Was the scroll a prophecy? Or was there simply a longstanding legend of such a figure -- a legend which eventually was assumed to be true, even though it never actually happened?

My theory is that there were Jewish groups back then who hoped for a messiah to arrive, and told a legend for a pattern/framework that he should match -- and that various pretenders to messiah-hood came and went, until finally Jesus showed up and he matched the legend so well that it was considered to be fulfilled.

Posted by: zombie at December 25, 2016 10:53 AM (jBuUi)

125 OBSF:

"The Star" by Arthur C. Clarke is still poignant.

Posted by: NaCly Dog at December 25, 2016 10:54 AM (u82oZ)

126 Vic why don't you let me send you a nice little Win 7 PC? Free of charge.

Posted by: freaked at December 25, 2016 10:55 AM (BO/km)

127 Happy Krampusmas everyone! Last night, Krampus paid a visit to all the bad boys, girls, men and women, stuffed them in his sack, and carried them off to parts unknown never to be seen or heard from again! O joyous day!

If only it were so. *sigh*

Posted by: Insomniac at December 25, 2016 10:58 AM (0mRoj)

128 As in "Ft. Sumter"


And Sumter County Ga. County seat Americus.

Posted by: freaked at December 25, 2016 10:58 AM (BO/km)

129 Another book that's on my to-read list along with The Day the Revolution Began: Destroyer of the gods: Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World by Larry W. Hurtado. Thesis pretty much confirms what OM says of Christianity in the post.

Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe at December 25, 2016 10:16 AM (adcAx)


Yow! The Kindle version of Hurtado's book is $26. I think I'll wait a bit.

Posted by: OregonMuse, deplorable since 2004 at December 25, 2016 10:59 AM (fGLwc)

130 zombie, that's be Michael Wise, "The First Messiah". The Teacher of Righteousness was indeed considered to be a Messiah at the time, as you mention in the middle second century BC right about when the Jews were realising that the Hasmonaeans were almost as obnoxious as the Greeks were.

Unlike Jesus, and more like Muhammad, the Teacher composed his own hymnal: the Thanksgiving Hymns. Also unlike Jesus, the Teacher was a hardcore reactionary where it came to Torah.

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at December 25, 2016 11:00 AM (6FqZa)

131 Posted by: zombie at December 25, 2016 10:53 AM (jBuUi)

Hey, did you see the problem I included in the chess thread yesterday just for you?

Posted by: OregonMuse, deplorable since 2004 at December 25, 2016 11:00 AM (fGLwc)

132 "...11 out of the 12 original apostles of Jesus suffered martyrs' deaths for something they would have had to have known was a lie."
On top of that they died hundred if not thousands of miles apart. It would have been very easy to deny their faith and go on living. Nobody would have known about their refutal or cared if it was a lie.

Posted by: harleycowboy at December 25, 2016 11:01 AM (+9AX9)

133 OT(I'm sorry), but I just saw Chris Wallace showing a pic of his grandkids. At the risk of sounding Scroogish I've noticed Fox is spending a lot of air time filling us in on the personal lives of its' pundits and newsreaders - their kids, their hobbies, their pets, their mom and dads, etc. Even Carlson does that on his show. I don't recall Huntley or Brinkley ever talking about their personal lives.

I'm really starting to become annoyed at it, since I suspect it's a play for the female audience ("let's 'humanize' our on-air personalities, so they'll like them - and believe them.")

Accurate reporting would make me like the media more, not pictures of their grandkids or stories about how they spent their summer vacation.

/rant off.

Posted by: Donna di deplorable ampersands&&&&and so there at December 25, 2016 11:02 AM (P8951)

134 Happy Krampusmas everyone! Last night, Krampus paid a visit to all the bad boys, girls, men and women, stuffed them in his sack, and carried them off to parts unknown never to be seen or heard from again! O joyous day!

If only it were so. *sigh*

Posted by: Insomniac at December 25, 2016 10:58 AM (0mRoj)



Didn't you hear? Krampus has been replaced by Trumpus. He's here to scare all of the little liberals and illegals.

Posted by: TheQuietMan at December 25, 2016 11:03 AM (auHtY)

135 The historical evidence for Jesus is rather astonishing for such an obscure figure at the time. And very contemporary for his life, especially compared to other figures from the time period, such as Julius Caesar. One sign a person cannot be taken seriously about the subject is if they start to argue He never existed. They are clearly ignorant of the historical record.

For that matter, the historical data given in the bible is incredibly reliable as well. We're only recently finding out things the Bible established and detailed millennia ago. For a long time, historians postulated David was a kind of King Arthur mythical figure until evidence was found of his existence. As a historical document, the Bible is very reliable and accurate -- even if you discount the miraculous and supernatural bits.

Posted by: Christopher R Taylor at December 25, 2016 11:03 AM (39g3+)

136 124---zombie

Yep. There were all sorts of Jewish messianic groups back then.
The notion that Christian messianism stems from the deification of Roman emperors is beyond ridiculous.
To find the origin of the Christian (and Jewish) idea you need go no further than the Old Testament.

Posted by: Margarita DeVille at December 25, 2016 11:04 AM (Nox3c)

137 Didn't you hear? Krampus has been replaced by Trumpus. He's here to scare all of the little liberals and illegals.
Posted by: TheQuietMan at December 25, 2016 11:03 AM (auHtY)

Heh. He sneaks in at night leaving deportation notices, and punches the babies in the dick.

Posted by: Insomniac at December 25, 2016 11:06 AM (0mRoj)

138 One of the most interesting but least-known aspects of the Dead Sea Scrolls -- and the "secret" which many believe is the reason they were not released to the public until the Huntington Library did so without permission -- is that they describe a savior figure who is similar to Jesus Christ in many ways

And lets not even get started on the gnostic crap in the Nag Hammadi ones.

Posted by: Hillary Clinton at December 25, 2016 11:07 AM (rH4JY)

139 As far as OMG VATICAN CONSPIRACY on the Dead Sea Scrolls being kept under Strugnell's wrinkly ass for 50 years before being (improperly) published: that much has been proven hogwash. Herschel Franks, editor of Biblical Archaeology Review, debunked that nonsense.

If anything this scandal - I agree it was a scandal - came about because the Vatican wasn't involved enough.

In the 1940s when the scrolls were found, this was Jordanian territory, not Israeli. So the Jordanians made a deal that only Christians would get direct access.

But I'm not blaming the Jordanians at the time either, much, because they had no interest in hiding the Scrolls either (these were secular Arabs, who hated the Wahhabis more than we do).

The blame lies on Strugnell, mostly, who farted around and didn't publish the raw data.

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at December 25, 2016 11:07 AM (6FqZa)

140 I got Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield for my birthday, its said to be an excellent account of the 300 at Thermopylae and other history at the time. I'm looking forward to reading it, when I have some time.

I ran out of money buying presents so I had to give away one of my books as a present. I chose The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle, my recently-purchased reader copy. I have another copy but its a very old edition and not in very good shape. If you haven't read it, I recommend White Company with the highest praise.

Posted by: Christopher R Taylor at December 25, 2016 11:09 AM (39g3+)

141 One sign a person cannot be taken seriously about the subject is if they start to argue [Jesus] never existed.

Didn't know you were a Bart Ehrman fan, Mr Taylor :^) He keeps saying exactly that.

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at December 25, 2016 11:10 AM (6FqZa)

142 If it has not already been mentioned, Swiss theologian Hans Kung rather thoroughly addresses much of modern atheism... and not so modern atheism, in... well, in probably many of his books. But the one I read way back when is called "Does God Exist."

It's sorta his area of expertise, I guess. He is Catholic though, so if that scares some people at first, at least know he is about as non-sectarian as is possible.

Excellent read, from what I remember, although that was decades ago.

Posted by: BurtTC at December 25, 2016 11:12 AM (Pz4pT)

143 Posted by: zombie at December 25, 2016 10:53 AM (jBuUi)

Actually, messiah claimants were a dime a dozen around that period, most of them promising to overthrow Rome and restore Judean independence. Their movements fizzled when they died. That's why, in Acts 5:33-39, Gamaliel tells the Sanhedrin not to be too hard on the Apostles: "for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it--lest you even be found to fight against God."

As for Jesus' life story fitting prophecy, the odds of someone fulfilling even eight of the major messianic prophecies in the Old Testament by chance are 1:10^17. Josh McDowell's The New Evidence that Demands A Verdict (the reference I have nearest to hand; there are many others) lists 61 OT prophecies precisely fulfilled by Jesus' birth, life, and death.

Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe at December 25, 2016 11:14 AM (adcAx)

144 What term accompanies Boxing Day cards? Merry? Happy? Bloody-good? My present labels await your response.
Posted by: TooLazyToNomDePlume at December 25, 2016 10:14 AM (Yg6oI)
----
"Supercalipugilistic".

Merry Christmas everyone!

Posted by: All Hail Eris, She-Wolf of the 'Ettes 'Ettes at December 25, 2016 11:14 AM (NTQtb)

145 OMG I didn't know that Israel Knohl had independently backed up Michael Wise's intuition on "the Messiah Before Jesus".

For those who know no Knohl, he's the guy who discovered the Holiness Code in the Bible. This is, mainly, Leviticus 17-26: a post-exilic update to the Torah which proposed an ethical dimension to the mostly-sacrificial duties of the Priesthood. So he's kind of a big deal.

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at December 25, 2016 11:17 AM (6FqZa)

146 The question of how much of the pagan world could be absorbed and redeemed within Christianity and how much had to be outright rejected and shunned was with the Church from the beginning. (And still is.)

Was ALL of paganism bad? Were all pagans evil?
Was there any wisdom in the pagan philosophers and old myths?
What about the virtuous country bumpkin leaving sacrifices to "divine" mice by his field? Was his piety and humility evil, or was it a good thing that was misdirected?
Lots of questions.

Posted by: Margarita DeVille at December 25, 2016 11:17 AM (Nox3c)

147 135
I always get a chuckle when the intelligentsia decide that such and such never existed and then archeologists unearth something that refutes their claims. No Hittites, no King David, no Petra and the list goes on.

Posted by: harleycowboy at December 25, 2016 11:18 AM (+9AX9)

148 125
"The Star" by Arthur C. Clarke is still poignant.
Posted by: NaCly Dog at December 25, 2016 10:54 AM (u82oZ)


The 1980s Twilight Zone reboot did a very nice adaptation of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFUl3A_0H7Y

Posted by: rickl at December 25, 2016 11:18 AM (sdi6R)

149 131 Posted by: zombie at December 25, 2016 10:53 AM (jBuUi)

Hey, did you see the problem I included in the chess thread yesterday just for you?
Posted by: OregonMuse, deplorable since 2004


I didn't visit AoS yesterday pm, so I missed the whole thread! But I went back and visited it just now.

I saw within a few minutes that the solution to the problem was going to be that both pawns would queen and that the final winning move was going to be a diagonal skewer of the black king winning the new black queen behind it. Because it is a bishop pawn, it's the classic "stalemate pawn" which white can't win against if it's on the seventh rank and the black king is within one file. So if this was indeed a won position, it was going to have to be a trick once queens were on the board, and a sideways-skewer was my first idea, but couldn't get it to work, so it HAD to be a diagonal skewer. But to be frank I didn't bother to work out every line before checking to see if my solution concept was the right one -- which it turned out to be! But hey it's Xmas morning so I can be forgiven for being lazy!

In reality, if I was just facing that position over the board without a big "WHITE WINS!" label, I would probably just assume that it was adraw and not even look for the trick.

That problem in it fullness was indeed very difficult -- even for me!

Posted by: zombie at December 25, 2016 11:19 AM (jBuUi)

150 * Internet is telling me that Knohl seems to be dating the Holiness Code to Hezeqiah's reign: "Divine Symphony" (2010). All I'd read was "Sanctuary of Silence" (1995).

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at December 25, 2016 11:19 AM (6FqZa)

151 My theory is that there were Jewish groups back then who hoped for a messiah to arrive, and told a legend for a pattern/framework that he should match -- and that various pretenders to messiah-hood came and went, until finally Jesus showed up and he matched the legend so well that it was considered to be fulfilled.
Posted by: zombie at December 25, 2016 10:53 AM (jBuUi)


Your theory? I think it's a theory that is pretty much accepted by millions/billions of non-Christians the world over.

Posted by: BurtTC at December 25, 2016 11:20 AM (Pz4pT)

152 Actually, messiah claimants were a dime a dozen around that period, most of them promising to overthrow Rome and restore Judean independence. Their movements fizzled when they died. That's why, in Acts 5:33-39, Gamaliel tells the Sanhedrin not to be too hard on the Apostles: "for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it--lest you even be found to fight against God."

As for Jesus' life story fitting prophecy, the odds of someone fulfilling even eight of the major messianic prophecies in the Old Testament by chance are 1:10^17. Josh McDowell's The New Evidence that Demands A Verdict (the reference I have nearest to hand; there are many others) lists 61 OT prophecies precisely fulfilled by Jesus' birth, life, and death.
Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe at December 25, 2016 11:14 AM (adcAx)

Well said and accurate.

Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 11:20 AM (YZchG)

153 Flavius Josephus pretty much settles the issue as to the historicity of Jesus, one would think.

Do those who deny his existence figure Josephus, a non-Christian indeed, just MADE IT UP? WHY?

Josephus makes a short offhand comment about Christ's crucifiction in the course of describing matters that were infinitely more important to Josephus.

Posted by: mnw at December 25, 2016 11:20 AM (7T5tR)

154 Actually, messiah claimants were a dime a dozen around that period, most of them promising to overthrow Rome and restore Judean independence. Their movements fizzled when they died.

=====
"Wewease Bwian!"

Posted by: Vlad the Impaler, whittling away like mad at December 25, 2016 11:21 AM (FeQVL)

155 One book related project I started is gathering all my dead tree books by and about CS Lewis, Chesterton, Tolkien, and Winston Churchill. I'll probably add the essays and fiction of EB White. I've set aside an entire bookcase and will use as much space as needed to hold them.

These are books I go to on a regular basis and more and more frequently these days. That is both for the subject matter and the superb writing, which is a joy by itself.

At some point I may do a similar grouping of 19th century authors, especially for fiction. It could include Melville, Jules Verne, H. Rider Haggard, Tennyson, Lewis Carroll, Conan Doyle and others that I often re-read or refer to. I might add Edgar Rice Burroughs since his stories have that late Victorian feel to them.

Posted by: JTB at December 25, 2016 11:21 AM (V+03K)

156 Merry Christmas!

If Obama'd gone rogue, cancelled the election, and set himself up as POTUS-for-life, real persecution of Christians was a short way down the path.

Posted by: the littl shyning man at December 25, 2016 11:21 AM (U6f54)

157 I always get a chuckle when the intelligentsia decide that such and such never existed and then archaeologists unearth something that refutes their claims. No Hittites, no King David, no Petra and the list goes on.

I particularly enjoy that as well, because its inevitable. By this point they'd be a lot better off just accepting this stuff is accurate and stop trying to make a name by disproving the Bible in some way.

Posted by: Christopher R Taylor at December 25, 2016 11:22 AM (39g3+)

158 For those who know no Knohl, he's the guy who discovered the Holiness Code in the Bible. This is, mainly, Leviticus 17-26: a post-exilic update to the Torah which proposed an ethical dimension to the mostly-sacrificial duties of the Priesthood. So he's kind of a big deal.

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo


Is that the part of Leviticus that excludes bacon?

Posted by: France is bakin' at December 25, 2016 11:24 AM (rH4JY)

159 he question of how much of the pagan world could be absorbed and
redeemed within Christianity and how much had to be outright rejected
and shunned was with the Church from the beginning. (And still is.)


I have this conversation with my students every semester. Part of my lecture on the conversion of the Saxons covers Gregory the Great's approach to missions, which was to wean the pagans away from paganism in part by giving them something else to celebrate. Invariably, I have one or two (staunchly Baptist!) students who say that that approach distorts the Gospel and that the only feasts should be Christmas and Easter.

"I understand your point," I always say, "but think about it in the context of the time. They didn't have the options for entertainment that we have on a daily basis, and winters, especially, were long and cold and dark. How effective a witness would it be to take away all the pagan festivals and give them nothing in return?"

Nobody ever answers that one!

Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe at December 25, 2016 11:24 AM (adcAx)

160 I'm really starting to become annoyed at it, since I suspect it's a play for the female audience ("let's 'humanize' our on-air personalities, so they'll like them - and believe them.")

"Look! We're human beings too!" Yeah, maybe but I'm not a human being with you. Decent people avoid journalists like they would a disgusting spew of vomit on the sidewalk.

Posted by: Kodos the Executioner at December 25, 2016 11:27 AM (J8/9G)

161 146 The question of how much of the pagan world could be absorbed and redeemed within Christianity and how much had to be outright rejected and shunned was with the Church from the beginning. (And still is.)

Was ALL of paganism bad? Were all pagans evil?
Was there any wisdom in the pagan philosophers and old myths?
What about the virtuous country bumpkin leaving sacrifices to "divine" mice by his field? Was his piety and humility evil, or was it a good thing that was misdirected?
Lots of questions.

Posted by: Margarita DeVille at December 25, 2016 11:17 AM (

The politically incorrect answer is yes they are all evil from a Christian point of view. It is a Christian's # job and duty through the grace and for the glory of God to win their souls.

It is incomfortable to see Christianity as black and white because people get offended and have their feelings hurt. But at its core, the message is binary. Christian or non Christian, yet unlike most religions it is demanded of Christians to live their enemies yet at the same time have nothing to do with them (outside of trying to win their souls for the glory and by the grace of God).

Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 11:28 AM (YZchG)

162 I finally finished "Calico Palace" and what a slog. The ending was completely unbelievable, and in the course of ending the book, the main character dropped completely out of sight. Definitely NOT Bristow's best. I actually regret re-reading it.

Still reading Boundless Egomania Explains It All and when he shuts up, the book is not entirely awful. But he inserts himself into the narrative way, way too much. (This is a John Douglas book about how he knows more about crime and criminals that anyone else.)

I'm not sure I've settled on something new for Kindle. On my computer, "Secret Believers: What happens when Muslims believe in Christ" and on my actual Kindle, I started "Domino" and that looks to be interesting.

Merry Christmas to all the denizens of the Sunday Book Thread. It's the most wonderful time of the week. After the Eucharist, at least.

Posted by: Tonestaple at December 25, 2016 11:28 AM (B6m/l)

163 Josephus makes a short offhand comment about Christ's crucifiction in the course of describing matters that were infinitely more important to Josephus.

Posted by: mnw


The is that in the most common copy, what is written there is probably an exaggerated version by later Christians, and what it says would make Josephus a Christian, which he was not.

Posted by: Steve and Cold Bear at December 25, 2016 11:29 AM (rH4JY)

164 (Long time lurker), pretty sure the library is the one in the Biltmore House.

Posted by: uncjonboy at December 25, 2016 09:11 AM (McRDG)


I'll get my wife to look at it. She has been there.
Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 25, 2016 09:32 AM (mpXpK)


Google image search "Biltmore Estate Library."

That's it.

Posted by: BurtTC at December 25, 2016 11:31 AM (Pz4pT)

165 The politically incorrect answer is yes they are all evil from a Christian point of view.

That wasn't Eusebius's view. He taught that pagan philosophy, especially BC, was a warped and cloudy window by which some of the Truth shone in. He wrote a whole book on that, Praeparatio Evangelica.

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at December 25, 2016 11:31 AM (6FqZa)

166 133 ... Donna, I agree. This kind of thing seemed to start with those 'up close and personal' segments about Olympic athletes. Usually done in a stark, black and white, 'artsy' style to remind viewers that this was 'real' and important stuff. Think that was with ABC back in the early 70's. It was clearly supposed to be a way to get more women interested. It bothered me then and I dislike it more now.

I don't mind a host mentioning they had fun with their little ones on Christmas and then getting on with the job. But if I still had TV, I would be watching for news topics, not the Biography Channel.

Posted by: JTB at December 25, 2016 11:31 AM (V+03K)

167 That Josephus mentioned Christ is probably historically accurate, but there is good evidence that Christian translators added in some lines about Christ's nature which were not his words. There are quite a few other historians at the time that mentioned the life of Jesus, however.

Posted by: Christopher R Taylor at December 25, 2016 11:32 AM (39g3+)

168 ugh. "The problem with that is"

Posted by: Steve and Cold Bear at December 25, 2016 11:32 AM (rH4JY)

169 The Pink Swastika is a

Just read the online version. Interesting, but not sure what I think about it yet.

Posted by: t-bird at December 25, 2016 11:34 AM (eeTCA)

170 Is there a Japanese word like tsundoku that applies to records and CDs?

Posted by: Mark1971 at December 25, 2016 11:34 AM (gdnq1)

171 That wasn't Eusebius's view. He taught that pagan philosophy, especially BC, was a warped and cloudy window by which some of the Truth shone in.

Right, truth is true whatever the source, even if through a misted lens. I try to ignore the source of someone's statement; if Mao said something accurate and true, it doesn't stop being so because Mao said it. Conversely, if George Washington said something it might just be a lie, even though it was him.

Posted by: Christopher R Taylor at December 25, 2016 11:34 AM (39g3+)

172
Actually, messiah claimants were a dime a dozen around that period

There's only one true ME.

Posted by: Barack Obama at December 25, 2016 11:36 AM (IqV8l)

173 Brian: I'm not the Messiah! Will you please listen? I am not the Messiah, do you understand? Honestly!
Girl: Only the true Messiah denies His divinity.
Brian: What? Well, what sort of chance does that give me? All right! I am the Messiah!
Followers: He is! He is the Messiah!
Brian: Now, fuck off!
[silence]
Arthur: How shall we fuck off, O Lord?

Posted by: Eric Hoffer's Thumb at December 25, 2016 11:37 AM (0J6e7)

174 When my mother died late in 1990 a friend was kind enough to let me use his time-share in Asheville for a week. I went to see the Biltmore estate in the Christmas season. Just magnificent. Built when there were no income taxes.

Posted by: Kodos the Executioner at December 25, 2016 11:37 AM (J8/9G)

175 Amazon has Amity Slaes' book on Silent Cal for $1.99 today.


http://amzn.to/2hWJDot


Found via Book Bub so don't know if this is a one day sale or not.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 25, 2016 11:39 AM (mpXpK)

176 There are quite a few other historians at the time that mentioned the life of Jesus, however.

Posted by: Christopher R Taylor at December 25, 2016 11:32 AM (39g3+)

And non-historians, too. There's an exchange between Pliny the Younger and Trajan in Pliny's Letters, for example, where Pliny writes to ask Trajan what he's supposed to do with this weird new sect called Christians and Trajan tells him not to go out of his way to punish them, especially if they recant.

Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe at December 25, 2016 11:39 AM (adcAx)

177 161----The politically incorrect answer is yes they are all evil from a Christian point of view....

Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 11:28 AM (YZchG)
------------------------------------
So everything in Plato or Aristotle or Cicero is evil?
Well, it's a complicated subject --- too much so for here!

Posted by: Margarita DeVille at December 25, 2016 11:41 AM (Nox3c)

178 I asked Santa to remove my junk as a Christmas present. But when I awoke, it was still there!

Posted by: Bruce Jenner at December 25, 2016 11:43 AM (rH4JY)

179 165 The politically incorrect answer is yes they are all evil from a Christian point of view.

That wasn't Eusebius's view. He taught that pagan philosophy, especially BC, was a warped and cloudy window by which some of the Truth shone in. He wrote a whole book on that, Praeparatio Evangelica.
Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at December 25, 2016 11:31 AM (6FqZa)

As a Christian and within Christianity, there is no room for false gods. The Bible is clear about this.

The Bible is also clear that the war being taught is spiritual and it is a Christian's duty and job to win souls for God. It instructs Christians to not have anything to do with such acts and people practicing paganism.

Please cite a Bible verse where is says it's ok to practice paganism. Children die from a lack of knowledge. The lack of knowledge is not only what is in the Bible but also religions, philosophies, ect... that stand against the word of God.

Again political correctness and cultural Marxism is Christianity's worse enemy and the best weapon of the Father of Lies.

Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 11:43 AM (YZchG)

180 I remember reading "the Gods Themselves" but I don't remember anything about it. Many years later, when a sister volunteered to embroider me a saying to hang up, I chose the one from which the title came. For many, many years, a framed crosstitch hung next to my front door reminding me "Against stupidity, the very gods themselves contend in vain."

I replaced it with a crucifix when I was confirmed a couple of years ago in the one holy, Catholic, and apostolic church It seems more optimistic.

Posted by: Tonestaple at December 25, 2016 11:43 AM (B6m/l)

181 That wasn't Eusebius's view. He taught that pagan philosophy,
especially BC, was a warped and cloudy window by which some of the Truth
shone in.


Ditto Augustine, who referred to such things as "Egyptian gold" (like the treasures the Egyptians gave the Hebrews to go away in Exodus).

Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe at December 25, 2016 11:44 AM (adcAx)

182 173 Brian: I'm not the Messiah! Will you please listen? I am not the Messiah, do you understand? Honestly!
Girl: Only the true Messiah denies His divinity.
Brian: What? Well, what sort of chance does that give me? All right! I am the Messiah!
Followers: He is! He is the Messiah!
Brian: Now, fuck off!
[silence]
Arthur: How shall we fuck off, O Lord?

Posted by: Eric Hoffer's Thumb at December 25, 2016 11:37 AM (0J6e7)


I don't find this funny at all.

Posted by: Biggus Dickus at December 25, 2016 11:44 AM (fGLwc)

183 165
That wasn't Eusebius's view. He taught that pagan philosophy, especially BC, was a warped and cloudy window by which some of the Truth shone in. He wrote a whole book on that, Praeparatio Evangelica.
Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at December 25, 2016 11:31 AM (6FqZa)
---------------------------------------
Outside of a few extremists like Tertullian, that was the standard view.
I might add, for those who fancifully imagine this is a "Roman Catholic" aberration, that Luther and Zwingli shared that opinion. Most of the Reformers appreciated the classics for whatever good was in them.

Posted by: Margarita DeVille at December 25, 2016 11:47 AM (Nox3c)

184 Didn't you hear? Krampus has been replaced by Trumpus. He's here to scare all of the little liberals and illegals.

Posted by: TheQuietMan at December 25, 2016 11:03 AM (auHtY)

Sounds like the Mexican legend of Pedro Negro, who would take away all the bad children.

Posted by: kbdabear at December 25, 2016 11:48 AM (Ya7zs)

185 Actually, messiah claimants were a dime a dozen around that period

There's only one true ME.

Posted by: Barack Obama


How will his apologists spin his utter failure to be a Messiah? It's not like the GOPe did anything to seriously oppose him.

Posted by: Bruce Jenner at December 25, 2016 11:49 AM (rH4JY)

186 Please cite a Bible verse where is says it's ok to practice paganism.

Straw man. There's a huge difference between practicing paganism and recognizing the splintered light (to use Tolkien's phrase) to be found in the philosophers that leads us back to the pure white light of the Bible.

Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe at December 25, 2016 11:49 AM (adcAx)

187 Tranny off.

Posted by: Steve and Cold Bear at December 25, 2016 11:49 AM (rH4JY)

188 Insomniac, I've received Colum's "Children's Homer" and done a slash/burn read-through. It's going to serve my purpose (tutoring a precocious 8-year-old) just fine. Such a slim volume, for having most of everything in it!
(Reminds self to run the numbers on The Catalogue of Ships -- once used as an incantation by Lord Peter Wimsey)

Posted by: Stringer Davis at December 25, 2016 11:51 AM (H5rtT)

189 And I gotta skedaddle. Merry Christmas, y'all!

Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe at December 25, 2016 11:51 AM (adcAx)

190 Elisabeth, Thanks for the reference to Josh McDowell books. The reviews are interesting and the local library (to my surprise) has a number of his books. More for the 'to be read' list.

Posted by: JTB at December 25, 2016 11:51 AM (V+03K)

191 The messiah concept is very popular in literature, practically ever young adult book written is about the chosen one prophesied and able to save everyone. Its almost never handled well at all. JK Rowling did a good enough job, but I really do not like the concept, particularly with how overused it is.

Posted by: Christopher R Taylor at December 25, 2016 11:51 AM (39g3+)

192 Merry Christmas Horde!
And a New Year filled with the joy of knowing that Hillary Clinton will never be President!

Posted by: Prince Ludwig the Deplorable at December 25, 2016 11:52 AM (MQZOg)

193 I'm not worthy to stand before God. So let me get that out of the way. I'm justifiably sad and angry with the state of Christianity in America. People refuse and are afraid to call evil acts evil, a sin a sin, allow rituals and beliefs and. teachings with pagan roots into the churches, and the majority of Christian leaders are in it for power and money and not saving souls because there is no money or personal glory in that.

Ask yourself this, why are Christianity and Christians attacked and hates across the world? Why the over the top reactions of hatred, scorn, and mockery towards Christians and Christianity? Something is taking place on a spiritual level.

Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 11:56 AM (YZchG)

194 Hmm, hope that being a "librocubicultarist" doesn't have any bad health side effects, as I do very often read in bed. Just before sleep.


Was hoping that by today I'd be up to Christmas Day in "Steel and Ice," a history of the Battle of the Bulge, so I could enjoy the Bastogne story at exactly the right time. Still at about Dec. 19, but that's OK. Highly recommend this book for those interested in the topic - it's one I've not found well done in other books.


And Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah to all.

Posted by: rhomboid at December 25, 2016 11:56 AM (QDnY+)

195 Read the bible! Usage may vary.

I was raised a Catholic. First through eigth grade in Catholic school. First grade we had an illustrated guide to the bible. I thought it was a magnificent book. But something was wrong and I couldn't figure it out. One picture was Adam and Eve in paradise with all the animals laying at their feet. The problem was they were lions and tigers and such. The same as we have today. When do the dinosaurs come into the picture?

So I asked the nun. Well first she got beet red, then smoke started coming out of her veil, she had some very selective words for me, but she never did respond to my question.

Many mysteries for me in my younger days. I knew I would have to learn by reading. Questions can be dangerous.

Posted by: Brownmear at December 25, 2016 12:00 PM (Qr8dA)

196 Please cite a Bible verse where is says it's ok to practice paganism.
------------------------------------
Straw man. There's a huge difference between practicing paganism and recognizing the splintered light (to use Tolkien's phrase) to be found in the philosophers that leads us back to the pure white light of the Bible.
Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe at December 25, 2016 11:49 AM (adcAx)


Yep. There is a tendency among some, to proclaim everything that falls outside their definition of orthodoxy to be essentially evil. I think it comes from a fundamental distrust of themselves, then pointed outward at the rest of humanity, and the dark sinister forces of supernatural bodies.

A rather bleak view of Christianity in my opinion, but then, I don't imagine such folks have much use for my opinions.

Posted by: BurtTC at December 25, 2016 12:00 PM (Pz4pT)

197 Ask yourself this, why are Christianity and Christians attacked and hates across the world? Why the over the top reactions of hatred, scorn, and mockery towards Christians and Christianity? Something is taking place on a spiritual level.

All of history is expressed in the early part of Genesis: the Seed of the woman vs the serpent, That's the struggle through all time, until the return of Jesus Christ. All the other stuff going on is part of that cosmic, spiritual upheaval.

Posted by: Christopher R Taylor at December 25, 2016 12:01 PM (39g3+)

198 186 Please cite a Bible verse where is says it's ok to practice paganism.

Straw man. There's a huge difference between practicing paganism and recognizing the splintered light (to use Tolkien's phrase) to be found in the philosophers that leads us back to the pure white light of the Bible.
Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe at December 25, 2016 11:49 AM (adcAx)

Was not meant to be a straw man. A Christian should learn about paganism to be able to recognize it, guard against it, and to win those souls for the Glory of God.

But I fail to see how the argument to search for Christianity in paganism instead of The Bible is a Straw Man. The Bible tells us to not worship false gods, have nothing to do with these people and acts, win their souls for the glory of God, and the battle is a spiritual one.

So yes read about paganism to learn how to battle against it is what God wants, but to learn about it in order to practice it in any way, shape, or form is not what God wants.

Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 12:03 PM (YZchG)

199 No love for the Raiders but a big get-well-soon to Derek Carr, a courageous Christian gentleman.

Posted by: Kodos the Executioner at December 25, 2016 12:03 PM (J8/9G)

200 But I fail to see how the argument to search for Christianity in paganism instead of The Bible is a Straw Man.

I think you're misunderstanding. She's not saying search for Christianity in paganism, as I understand it. The idea is just that if someone says something true -- Buddha, Hitler, Thomas Jefferson, Michael Moore, whoever -- its true even if they aren't Christian.

Posted by: Christopher R Taylor at December 25, 2016 12:04 PM (39g3+)

201 80
I have less and less acceptance of scientific pronouncements without a
LOT of proof and information about the people involved. This is
especially true for social or interpretive 'science' like anthropology. I
simply do not trust their motives, whether it's global warming (or
whatever the current term is), dietary requirements, or 'explaining' how
Christianity is a borrowed hodge-podge of pagan rituals. Not saying
there wasn't adoption of things but, again, I don't trust the motives
and writings of these people.......
It bothers the hell out of me that I can no longer trust
unreservedly information coming from the sciences. But even if the
research is objective, the writing and reporting on it always seems to
have a political spin that destroys its credibility.

From Ike's "Military-Industrial Complex Speech:
"Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we
should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that
public policy could itself become the captive of a scientifictechnological
elite."


Posted by: Lurker at December 25, 2016 12:07 PM (oc9hK)

202 Sounds like the Mexican legend of Pedro Negro, who would take away all the bad children.

Posted by: kbdabear at December 25, 2016 11:48 AM (Ya7zs)


A friend of mine is from Germany and has stories of the Krampus/Black Pete thing.
Apparently in Southern Germany beat-downs on your punk-ass young relatives is something of an art form.

Posted by: Kindltot at December 25, 2016 12:08 PM (9MInk)

203 Posted by: Brownmear at December 25, 2016 12:00 PM (Qr8dA)

With all respect, I suggest you might want to think about getting a new nic. I first read your name as "Brownsmear", which is not something you want to be known as.

Posted by: OregonMuse, deplorable since 2004 at December 25, 2016 12:09 PM (fGLwc)

204 Merry Christmas everyone. The topic of theology is one I love, but normally seems off limits here at AoS... I have been gently chastised for seeking to pursue it, anyway.

What I know about me is, the older I get, the less Sel-Assured I become.
I believe there is much more to Christianity than a simple literal reading of the Bible can reveal to us.

Anyway Merry Christmas!!

Posted by: tubal at December 25, 2016 12:09 PM (fiBiU)

205 196 Please cite a Bible verse where is says it's ok to practice paganism.
------------------------------------
Straw man. There's a huge difference between practicing paganism and recognizing the splintered light (to use Tolkien's phrase) to be found in the philosophers that leads us back to the pure white light of the Bible.
Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe at December 25, 2016 11:49 AM (adcAx)


Yep. There is a tendency among some, to proclaim everything that falls outside their definition of orthodoxy to be essentially evil. I think it comes from a fundamental distrust of themselves, then pointed outward at the rest of humanity, and the dark sinister forces of supernatural bodies.

A rather bleak view of Christianity in my opinion, but then, I don't imagine such folks have much use for my opinions.

Posted by: BurtTC at December 25, 2016 12:00 PM (Pz4pT)

That is a very passive-aggressive statement. I'm talking from a strict Christian Biblical standpoint, which is lacking in America.

Yes, what is not of Our Creator and his son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit is evil and has been or perverted by the great deceiver and serpent himself

This is politically incorrect. Reading the Bible is politically incorrect. Waking up everyday trying to walk a narrow Chritian Path is difficult and unpopular. Reading the Bible is uncomfortable because we are all sinners and The Bible reminds us of that at every turn, which is uncomfortable and unpopular.

Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 12:10 PM (YZchG)

206 188 Insomniac, I've received Colum's "Children's Homer" and done a slash/burn read-through. It's going to serve my purpose (tutoring a precocious 8-year-old) just fine. Such a slim volume, for having most of everything in it!
(Reminds self to run the numbers on The Catalogue of Ships -- once used as an incantation by Lord Peter Wimsey)
Posted by: Stringer Davis at December 25, 2016 11:51 AM (H5rtT)

Awesome! It's a great version - accessible for precocious kids but without watering it way down.

Posted by: Insomniac at December 25, 2016 12:13 PM (0mRoj)

207 OregonMuse, I'm going to tread lightly away from this thread since I take such hedonistic pleasure in life that it borders on the pagan.

But I would like to thank you for all the Book Threads which have provided so much to ponder, and to all you 'rons and 'ettes who have given us so many great suggestions for reading.

Posted by: All Hail Eris, She-Wolf of the 'Ettes 'Ettes at December 25, 2016 12:13 PM (NTQtb)

208 I was raised a Catholic. First through eigth grade in Catholic school. First grade we had an illustrated guide to the bible. I thought it was a magnificent book. But something was wrong and I couldn't figure it out. One picture was Adam and Eve in paradise with all the animals laying at their feet. The problem was they were lions and tigers and such. The same as we have today. When do the dinosaurs come into the picture?


So I asked the nun. Well first she got beet red, then smoke started coming out of her veil, she had some very selective words for me, but she never did respond to my question.


Many mysteries for me in my younger days. I knew I would have to learn by reading. Questions can be dangerous.
---

Catholic here.

My Mom, who went to Catholic school ages ago, told this lovely story about the nuns.

Whenever they asked the nun teaching their religion class a question that she could not answer, she would intone in a solemn voice:

"It's a mystery."

Inferring "Humans do not need to know this."

Dinosaurs? We don't need to know.

/we also don't need to know how the pyramids were built and why many indigenous peoples of the world believe in Star People.


Posted by: shibumi, a deplorable who is tired of dealing with crazy people at December 25, 2016 12:14 PM (3f0JF)

209 Merry Christmas everyone. The topic of theology is one I love, but normally seems off limits here at AoS... I have been gently chastised for seeking to pursue it, anyway.

What I know about me is, the older I get, the less Sel-Assured I become.
I believe there is much more to Christianity than a simple literal reading of the Bible can reveal to us.

Anyway Merry Christmas!!
Posted by: tubal at December 25, 2016 12:09 PM (fiBiU)


And looking for evil under every rock is bound to cause a great deal of personal harm, mostly from missing the beauty that does exist in this world.

I'm going to have some egg nog, roasted meats, and all sorts of baked sweets, none of which are mentioned in the Bible.

If that makes me a pagan, so be it.

Happy Christmas, all.

Posted by: BurtTC at December 25, 2016 12:14 PM (Pz4pT)

210 Posted by: BurtTC at December 25, 2016 12:00 PM (Pz4pT)

That is a very passive-aggressive statement. I'm talking from a strict Christian Biblical standpoint, which is lacking in America.

Yes, what is not of Our Creator and his son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit is evil and has been or perverted by the great deceiver and serpent himself

This is politically incorrect. Reading the Bible is politically incorrect. Waking up everyday trying to walk a narrow Chritian Path is difficult and unpopular. Reading the Bible is uncomfortable because we are all sinners and The Bible reminds us of that at every turn, which is uncomfortable and unpopular.

Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 12:10 PM (YZchG)


It's not passive-aggressive. You strike me as a very angry person, and that makes me sad. For you.

Posted by: BurtTC at December 25, 2016 12:16 PM (Pz4pT)

211 200 But I fail to see how the argument to search for Christianity in paganism instead of The Bible is a Straw Man.

I think you're misunderstanding. She's not saying search for Christianity in paganism, as I understand it. The idea is just that if someone says something true -- Buddha, Hitler, Thomas Jefferson, Michael Moore, whoever -- its true even if they aren't Christian.
Posted by: Christopher R Taylor at December 25, 2016 12:04 PM (39g3

I sure I did. I've seen too many Christians searching for answers in paganism and paganism being practiced in churches. But again why not get the Truth from the source?

I've read and studied different religions, pagan practices, and occult practices. I don't take them as truth. I use it as knowledge to guard and protect myself from them along with the souls of others for the glory of God.

Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 12:17 PM (YZchG)

212 Straw man. There's a huge difference between practicing paganism and recognizing the splintered light (to use Tolkien's phrase) to be found in the philosophers that leads us back to the pure white light of the Bible.
Posted by: Elisabeth G. Wolfe at December 25, 2016 11:49 AM (adcAx)

Yes, that why the monks preserved Greek philosophy and literature (the paganists who consider Christianity a blight on the world seem unaware of the fact that we wouldn't know of the works of many pre-Christian writers if Christians had not saved those works). That's why Dante was guided in the Divine Comedy by Virgil.

Christians are not like the Muslims who seek to destroy everything pre-Islam. The monks and many generations of Christian writers were multi-culturalists in the best possible way - accepting that pagans could have insights into truth even though they did not have the whole Truth.

Posted by: Donna di deplorable ampersands&&&&and so there at December 25, 2016 12:22 PM (P8951)

213 I've read and studied different religions, pagan practices, and occult practices. I don't take them as truth.

Sure, but they can contain truth. When Buddha says "treat people with compassion" that's a good thing to do, even though his motivations are completely wrong.

Posted by: Christopher R Taylor at December 25, 2016 12:24 PM (39g3+)

214 210 Posted by: BurtTC at December 25, 2016 12:00 PM (Pz4pT)

That is a very passive-aggressive statement. I'm talking from a strict Christian Biblical standpoint, which is lacking in America.

Yes, what is not of Our Creator and his son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit is evil and has been or perverted by the great deceiver and serpent himself

This is politically incorrect. Reading the Bible is politically incorrect. Waking up everyday trying to walk a narrow Chritian Path is difficult and unpopular. Reading the Bible is uncomfortable because we are all sinners and The Bible reminds us of that at every turn, which is uncomfortable and unpopular.

Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 12:10 PM (YZchG)


It's not passive-aggressive. You strike me as a very angry person, and that makes me sad. For you.
Posted by: BurtTC at December 25, 2016 12:16 PM (Pz4pT)

Jesus was angry when He grabbed a whip and started whipping the money changers. God gets angry when His People worship false gods.

Where is anger not permitted in the Bible? We are expected to stand up against evil and not turn a blind eye to it. I'm angry that Christians sit by and allow the genocide of Christians across the world. There are plenty of just reasons to be angry as a Christian.

But the anger comes from a place of sadness because Christians are losing the spiritual war we are called to fight.

Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 12:25 PM (YZchG)

215 All of us ion Brattlebora want to wish Presdent Obama, Micheale and the lovley children of Colora Happy Holidays and we still love you and will miss you whens you leave orifice on January 1. From the loving people of Bratttleboro, Vermint ...............

Posted by: Mary Clogginstien from Brattleboro, VT at December 25, 2016 12:27 PM (Fbj4h)

216 I told you people to double lock the liquor cabinet. See what happens when you don't? The Clogger gets back in.

Posted by: Tim in Illinois at December 25, 2016 12:31 PM (d76uN)

217 Hmmm.

Another theological argument at the HQ.

I'll just hop in to say that the Bible is not the Koran.


At no point in history (except for some minor sects) has the Bible ever been considered the direct word of God-

instead it had always been regarded as written by men inspired by God.

Which, of course, leaves wiggle room for interpretation.


If you've come to an understanding of the Bible which pleases you....Awesome!

However, trying to convince everyone that you're interpretation of the Bible is the correct and only one possible...well...

you're likely to be regarded as a unique and incredibly small sect of one.


Posted by: naturalfake at December 25, 2016 12:31 PM (9q7Dl)

218 But the anger comes from a place of sadness because Christians are losing the spiritual war we are called to fight.

Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 12:25 PM (YZchG)

Better take it up with Hillsdale college - a Christian college where Homer, Aristotle, Plato and many other pagan authors are taught, because like it or not, the Greco-Roman contribution to Western Civilization is massive and fundamental - and devout Christians from St. Augustine to C.S. Lewis have always recognized that.

Like I said, the refusal to see anything but evil in any non-Christian culture or writer is closer to the Muzzie mindset than to the Christian one. Isis is destroying Christian churches and artifacts (and Christians themselves) in the ME because they want a "pure" history wiped clean of any non-Islamic influences. Do not be like the Muzzies.

Posted by: Donna di deplorable ampersands&&&&and so there at December 25, 2016 12:33 PM (P8951)

219 212
Christians are not like the Muslims who seek to destroy everything pre-Islam. The monks and many generations of Christian writers were multi-culturalists in the best possible way - accepting that pagans could have insights into truth even though they did not have the whole Truth.
Posted by: Donna di deplorable ampersands&&&&and so there at December 25, 2016 12:22 PM (P8951)


I'm not qualified to discuss theology, but that's the way I look at it.


"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants."
~ Isaac Newton, a great scientist (who was also a Bible scholar)

Posted by: rickl at December 25, 2016 12:35 PM (sdi6R)

220 mmm, the Bible is written by men who were inspired by God its true, but they didn't write their own Bible, they wrote what God wanted. This isn't inspiration like poetry, its a more like each author wrote the truth wtih their own skills and style. You can ask 10 people to write an essay on how 2+2 equals 4 and you'll get 10 different essays, based on their approach and style and narration, but in the end, it still equals 4.

So: absolute truth and the word of God, but with Peter's style and Paul's etc. You can recognize and admire the authors, but that doesn't mean you pick and choose what you like and ignore other parts you don't, or make your own religion.

Posted by: Christopher R Taylor at December 25, 2016 12:35 PM (39g3+)

221 A new nickname is probably due. Mostly lurk, years ago tried to come up with variation on name Brown which is common to a significant percent of population. Misspelling of Brown bear was the best I could do.

Posted by: Brownmear at December 25, 2016 12:35 PM (Qr8dA)

222 Sure, but they can contain truth. When Buddha says "treat people with compassion" that's a good thing to do, even though his motivations are completely wrong.
Posted by: Christopher R Taylor at December 25, 2016 12:24 PM (39g3+

I completely agree. And I'd add again that it is the duty of Christians to save their souls and not to incorporate their beliefs and practices into Christianity.

I'm pretty sure I've been consistent making that point.

Maybe the discussion should be the fine line of tolerance vs. creeeping acceptance to the point that it becomes a part of "Christianity".

Obviously, the journey to The Truth is a personal relationship with God, with no two people sharing the exact same story of how they arrived there, which should be shared with every Christian brother and sister and non bievers as well.

My whole point every Christmas comes from a place of how far the American Churches have strayed from the Bible by under the guise of political correctness and cultural marxism.

Anyway I love y'all and God Bless all of you

Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 12:36 PM (YZchG)

223 I read some strictly for fun fantasy books the last couple of weeks. Correia's MHI first novel and Sarah Hoyt's 3 Musketeers vampire book. My first time reading Correia. Another author added to the list of "know I'll enjoy their novels" The vampire novel was good but I didn't like it as much as Hoyt's shapeshifter or darkship thieves series.

Posted by: PaleRider at December 25, 2016 12:36 PM (Jen0I)

224 We got any COBs here today/ Is the book thread the only thread of the day?

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 25, 2016 12:37 PM (mpXpK)

225 A sad bit of news, the core of the Red Army choir, the Aleksandrov Ensemble, all died earlier today in a crash of a Russian MoD plane in the Black Sea, just after takeoff from Sochi. They were en route to a Syrian base to do a holiday concert.


This group does the Russian classic folk songs and powerful versions of WWII songs. Imagine it will take some time to rebuild an organization like that. Tomorrow is a national day of mourning in Russia.

Posted by: rhomboid at December 25, 2016 12:38 PM (QDnY+)

226 218 But the anger comes from a place of sadness because Christians are losing the spiritual war we are called to fight.

Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 12:25 PM (YZchG)

Better take it up with Hillsdale college - a Christian college where Homer, Aristotle, Plato and many other pagan authors are taught, because like it or not, the Greco-Roman contribution to Western Civilization is massive and fundamental - and devout Christians from St. Augustine to C.S. Lewis have always recognized that.

Like I said, the refusal to see anything but evil in any non-Christian culture or writer is closer to the Muzzie mindset than to the Christian one. Isis is destroying Christian churches and artifacts (and Christians themselves) in the ME because they want a "pure" history wiped clean of any non-Islamic influences. Do not be like the Muzzies.
Posted by: Donna di deplorable ampersands&&&&and so there at December 25, 2016 12:33 PM (P8951)

Reading liturature and practicing what is in the liturature are two entirely different things. You know this.

Yes, the mythological gods are evil from a Christian stand point. You think the Christian God would be ok if a Christian offered sacrifices to Zeus or built idols then tried to incorporate that into Christianity.

Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 12:41 PM (YZchG)

227 As further evidence against the claim that Christianity is being "borrowed" or copied form pagan religions, I offer the example of Antipas (and other 1st century Chrisitians) who refused to offer sacrifices to Caesar and were killed in various gruesome ways. Seriously, if Christianity was a figment of someone's imagination, does anyone really think people would submit to being covered in pitch and burned as torches for lawn parties?

Posted by: DaveKinNC at December 25, 2016 12:42 PM (/NgNT)

228 We got any COBs here today/ Is the book thread the only thread of the day?

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 25, 2016 12:37 PM (mpXpK)


There are other threads in the pipe. I'm actually surprised a new one hasn't already appeared.

Posted by: OregonMuse, deplorable since 2004 at December 25, 2016 12:42 PM (fGLwc)

229 President-elect Donald Trump and Melania Trump attended a Christmas Eve service Saturday night at the Palm Beach, Florida, church where they married in 2005. They arrived at the Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea, an Episcopal church just minutes from his Mar-a-Lago estate, around 10:30 p.m.




Odd, I can't find any story of which church Barry went to for Christmas.

Posted by: TheQuietMan at December 25, 2016 12:43 PM (auHtY)

230 Rhomboid, they are quite good. It's sad news to lose that much talent at once.

Their collaborations with the Leningrad Cowboys are most entertaining.

Posted by: NaCly Dog at December 25, 2016 12:46 PM (u82oZ)

231 My whole point every Christmas comes from a place of how far the American Churches have strayed from the Bible by under the guise of political correctness and cultural marxism.
Anyway I love y'all and God Bless all of you
Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 12:36 PM (YZchG)

Yup.....the Churches need to preach against such nonsense but instead tend to embrace it and blend it in to their routines.

Marxism and PC bad.

Jesus Christ and God good.

Not hard to do.

Posted by: Hairyback Guy at December 25, 2016 12:46 PM (ZK4rU)

232 225 A sad bit of news, the core of the Red Army choir, the Aleksandrov Ensemble, all died earlier today in a crash of a Russian MoD plane in the Black Sea, just after takeoff from Sochi. They were en route to a Syrian base to do a holiday concert.


This group does the Russian classic folk songs and powerful versions of WWII songs. Imagine it will take some time to rebuild an organization like that. Tomorrow is a national day of mourning in Russia.
Posted by: rhomboid at December 25, 2016 12:38 PM (QDnY+)


I read about that earlier. This is a terrible tragedy. The American equivalent would be something like the Marine Corps Band being wiped out.

The Russian Army Chorus has tons of videos on YouTube. It's still often called the Red Army Chorus, since it originated during the Soviet era, even though the modern Russian Army isn't "Red".

Posted by: rickl at December 25, 2016 12:48 PM (sdi6R)

233 Like I said, the refusal to see anything but evil in any non-Christian culture or writer is closer to the Muzzie mindset than to the Christian one. Isis is destroying Christian churches and artifacts (and Christians themselves) in the ME because they want a "pure" history wiped clean of any non-Islamic influences. Do not be like the Muzzies.
Posted by: Donna di deplorable ampersands&&&&and so there at December 25, 2016 12:33 PM (P8951)

So by your logic, Christians are like muzzies for pushing back against the worship of false gods, idols, and pagan rituals that Christianity has adopted over the years. As Christians we are suppose to do that.

You are using a leftist tactic by jumping to conclusions that I and other Christians wish to see everything but the Bible sestoyed.

There is a big difference in worshipping something as god and using it and appricaiting it as a work of art and a piece of history.

Posted by: Sick Pepe, with the flu at December 25, 2016 12:50 PM (YZchG)

234 There comes a time, especially on Christmas Day when a wise person knows to step away from the keyboard.

Peace On Earth, Goodwill toward Man.

Posted by: Muldoon at December 25, 2016 12:53 PM (wPiJc)

235 229 ... "Odd, I can't find any story of which church Barry went to for Christmas."

Did you check for mosques in Hawaii?

Posted by: JTB at December 25, 2016 12:53 PM (V+03K)

236 Wifey has to look up the temperature and forecast for today in Worland, WY just to remind me why we were not moving there.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 25, 2016 12:56 PM (mpXpK)

237 Good analogy, rickl - it's like the President's Own, the USMC band, had died in a crash. Yes they are still known as the Red Army choir. In that, and in the fact that no "scrubbing" of the lyrics of the WWII classics for Soviet references, one can see the complex way in which the Soviet legacy is treated in Russia today.


Of course Stalin went full motherland/nationalist, de-emphasizing purely Soviet themes, out of necessity when the game was on with Hitler. So today we have a sort of reversal, those aspects of the Soviet era seen as positive (decisive victory over Germany) are treated with respect, and Soviet references left intact.

Posted by: rhomboid at December 25, 2016 12:56 PM (QDnY+)

238 nood

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 25, 2016 01:01 PM (mpXpK)

239 Slacking today, Vic got it.

Posted by: Skip at December 25, 2016 01:06 PM (WTAEM)

240 Dead thread now, but that blurb on Warnings Unheeded hooked me like a big fat catfish. I'm about to download it. Thanks for the recommendation.

Posted by: stace, deplorable at last at December 25, 2016 01:12 PM (ozZau)

241 Okay, nice to see you mentioned that the apostles wouldn't have allowed themselves to be martyred for something they knew to be a lie.
I mentioned that here fairly recently, though not sure if it was in a book thread, and that it was my main take away thought from Lee Stroebel's "The Case for Christ."
Also mentioned it quite some time back and pretty sure that was in a book thread.
Nice to have something I think is important backed up by someone of your stature. No, that is not sarc and anyone around here who knows me knows that a cob rarely years something like that out of me.

On the early Christians appropriating descriptors of Christ from the Romans "titles" for Agustus, I could be wrong but it seems to me that most if not all of those came from the Old Testament prophets who were talking about the coming Messiah.
Each and every one of which, concerning His first coming were literally fulfilled.
Expect the same for His return.
Probably gone for the day.
Love each other fellow babies

Posted by: teej at December 25, 2016 01:12 PM (gJ3Vg)

242
Isiah may have had something to do with the notion of a virgin birth
Posted by: josephistan at December 25, 2016 09:27 AM (7qAYi)

Exactly. The language of the Apostles derived directly from the Old Testament. Paul also borrowed from the Greeks when making a point. As the Jews said, "All Scripture is prophetic; all prophecy leads to the Messiah."

That being said, it is very interesting that the world's major religion and and arguably the world's most influential secular government arose at the same time.

Posted by: ObjectionSustained at December 25, 2016 01:28 PM (EZWNE)

243 The Biltmore in Asheville, NC, is where that library with the Christmas tree pic at the top of the fold is from.

Posted by: Bart at December 25, 2016 02:00 PM (Ccdh8)

244 1965 book The Passover Plot is similar in that a group/individual is supposed to use common beliefs of the times to carry forth a plot/agenda.

Seek and yea shall find. Commonly called confirmation bias. Keep a grain-of-salt handy but I love to read books like this. I just read Velikovsky's Ages in Chaos and enjoyed it without necessarily believing that Queen Hatshepsut was the biblical Queen of Sheba enamored of Solomon.

Posted by: Ok at December 25, 2016 02:57 PM (9S848)

245 Merry Book Thread!

I wish we could rerun this thread tomorrow coz I missed it.

Love the book thread to pieces.

Posted by: @votermom @vm at December 25, 2016 03:17 PM (Om16U)

246 Catching a bass in the Sea of Tranquility is an easier task than fishing out the truth about Christ amid the pooled ignorance of the Christmas season.

"[T]hat Christianity "borrowed" some messianic rhetoric from pagan Rome, I think there's a bit of truth there. Augustus was a "divine" emperor who was lauded in terms that can only be described as messianic."

The messiah was not an uncommon feature among a great many societies of the ancient world. This can be attested to through numerous pagan traditions from the Akkadians to Augustus (and beyond). It is certainly not uncommon to Hebrew scriptural, rabbinic, and pseudepigraphal works. In fact King Cyrus, in the Hebrew book of Daniel, is identified as a "messiah/christ." To say that Christianity has borrowed messianic rhetoric is a preposterous claim that shows an ignorance of the 2000 years of history that it is built on.The uniqueness of Jesus, the Christian Messiah, is not that he is alone in the "offering" of salvation to his people. It is instead that he came to suffer, die, and be raised to assure his followers of his supremecy over all enemies, not least of which was Death itself.

Seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Posted by: Jango Parsons at December 25, 2016 03:18 PM (Z8Fic)

247 Santa brought books!
Eldest got the latest Marissa Meyer (Heartless) and the Fantastic Beasts screenplay, Youngest got her Human Anatomy coloring book, a fantastic beasts coloring book, and Captain Bluebeard, voterdad got Puppy Primer and Battle Plan for Prayer, and I got the grayscale coloring book I wanted.

Posted by: @votermom @vm at December 25, 2016 03:24 PM (Om16U)

248 19 ...help you gain an understanding of your child's 5-Element type - whether it's Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal or Water...


--

I think Youngest' s element is Stealth.

Posted by: @votermom @vm at December 25, 2016 03:25 PM (Om16U)

249 "Of course Stalin went full motherland/nationalist, de-emphasizing purely Soviet themes, out of necessity when the game was on with Hitler."

This is true. So you could say that Stalin was a National Socialist.

Posted by: FOAF at December 25, 2016 03:48 PM (p0JMG)

250 So... having earned a generous reward, why would Judas hang himself for betraying a "fraud".

Posted by: Anonymous Hindu at December 25, 2016 04:28 PM (DXf7S)

251 As to the Fairchild AFB incidents, I was there for one, and my wife was almost there for the other.
My wife was pregnant when the shooter attacked the hospital. She was going to go in to renew her pre-natal vitamins that morning. But she didn't feel good and decided not to go. There but for the grace of God....
I was standing outside watching the B52 practice the day the pilot killed the crew and wrecked a jet. I was standing outside the tanker squadron building with two women crewmembers watching him do his routine and push it ever closer to the edge. I walked inside, shaking my head, and just a moment later there came a dull thud and the women ran inside, yelling there had been a crash.
(Also, the year before, I had been on alert, watching the same pilot practice. As he consistently turned too hard, directly over one set of base housing, I commented to another crewmate, "He's going to not recover one of these days, and kill someone." I really really wish I hadn't been right.)

Posted by: GWB at December 25, 2016 05:55 PM (KlGDT)

252 I would go get a annual consumer reports book and check food processors. Hopefully they will rate them on how well the work vs price instead of "green shit".

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 25, 2016 06:21 PM (mpXpK)

253 oops wrong thread

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 25, 2016 06:21 PM (mpXpK)

254 Hi

Posted by: tjpickles at December 25, 2016 06:44 PM (y/QS8)

255 Thanks to a book thread recommendation, I received "A Treasury of Great Recipes" by Mary & Vincent Price. I'm having fun just reading random recipes and the intros to the different sections. I also got "1001 Best Hot and Spicy Recipes" by Dave Dewitt for Christmas.

Last week's reading included some of G K Chesterton's "The Complete Father Brown Mysteries", Smith's Monthly, and novels by Lazette Gifford, "Winter Warning", "Living in Caine's Hold" and "Aubreyan". WW is a fantasy and the third in a series that I've enjoyed enough to reread several times. LCH is SciFi and loosely related to some other stories in that same universe. Aubreyan is more epic fantasy and kind of meh to me.

Now on to the rest of the book thread.

Posted by: gingeroni at December 25, 2016 07:23 PM (GIqnq)

256 I just finished "Rush Limbaugh: Army of One" by Zev Chafets. Chafets achieves a fair, unhostile portrait of the Great One, though comments at the end suggest Chafets is no Dittohead.

Posted by: norrin radd, sojourner of the space ways at December 25, 2016 08:08 PM (ebwIZ)

257 @Christopher Tayler:

I'm currently reading The White Company. I read Sir Nigel a year or two ago and really liked it. To be honest, I'm not enjoying this one as much. He seems a bit preachy at points and more concerned with satirizing the parts of the period he disagrees with than maintaining tone and mise en scene. And his prose gets really good, for instance when he's describing a philosophical argument between two students and it evoked all the fury and flurry of a sword fight, and then he explicitly says, it was like a sword fight. What the heck?
Anyway, I just loaded my first Discworld book onto my kindle, but I'm going to finish White Company first.

Posted by: .87c at December 25, 2016 11:51 PM (6i9dC)

258 I've been a dedicated and devoted lurker here for a couple of years and I wanted to emerge briefly from the shadows and say Thank You for the book thread, for all the brilliant writing, and for sane political commentary. Merry Christmas

Posted by: Ms. Pym at December 27, 2016 06:56 AM (chk9z)

259 That Curtis Grant Parker title is the book equivalent of clickbait.

Gibbon does a very thorough job in Decline and Fall of discussing all the evidence on this topic. When I read that part I thought "hmm" and went online and did some research on my own and found that nothing substantial had changed in this area since he was writing. In short, the New Testament is the ONLY contemporary account; and it was compiled (and its contents were explicitly selected by the Church officials centuries after the fact, from among a large number of other accounts, some of them far more contradictory than what made the cut). There are ZERO eyewitness accounts from non-Christians. They simply do not exist. The earliest one that qualifies is that attributed to Josephus which is decades after the fact. If Mr. Parker is claiming otherwise I would be very interested in knowing specifically what documents he refers to and what their origin dates are. However I am absolutely not going to pay for a pig in a poke.

"10 secrets atheists don't want you to know!" Uh-huh. Just lay it out openly if it's that good. Until then, it's clickbait.

Posted by: Rollory at December 27, 2016 09:24 AM (ep3ds)

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