Origin of christianity

SteveB

Well-known member
Another BAR article about the origin of biblical christianity. An originally Jewish community. One that was viewed as a sect of Judaism in its early days.

 

The Pixie

Well-known member
Seems pretty standard.

The only bit I would dispute is at the end, where the author says: "the Jewish Christians either rejoined their Jewish peers or become part of the newly gentile Christian church". I would suggest they continued for some centuries, known as the Ebionites.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
Seems pretty standard.

The only bit I would dispute is at the end, where the author says: "the Jewish Christians either rejoined their Jewish peers or become part of the newly gentile Christian church". I would suggest they continued for some centuries, known as the Ebionites.
Ok.
And?

 

SteveB

Well-known member
And nothing. Besides that one point, the article is pretty reasonable.
The curious thing about the Kingdom of God is that Jesus told us that it was like a mustard seed that was planted, and it grew up into a great tree, and all kinds of different animals and birds came to rest under it.

Mat 13:31-32 WEB 31 He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took, and sowed in his field, 32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”
 

J regia

Well-known member
The curious thing about the Kingdom of God is that Jesus told us that it was like a mustard seed that was planted, and it grew up into a great tree, and all kinds of different animals and birds came to rest under it.

Mat 13:31-32 WEB 31 He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took, and sowed in his field, 32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”
So where is the Kingdom of Heaven, and do the birds fly there too?
 

The Pixie

Well-known member
The curious thing about the Kingdom of God is that Jesus told us that it was like a mustard seed that was planted, and it grew up into a great tree, and all kinds of different animals and birds came to rest under it.

Mat 13:31-32 WEB 31 He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took, and sowed in his field, 32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”
Can you explain that analogy? In what is the kingdom of heaven like a mustard tree?

Are you saying the kingdom of heaven tiny as a mustard seed at one time, but then it grew bigger?

Or is it like a mustard tree because it has bird-analogues living in it? What are analogous to the birds exactly?

Either way, I agree it is very curious!
 

SteveB

Well-known member
Can you explain that analogy? In what is the kingdom of heaven like a mustard tree?
How does Jesus describe it?

Mat 13:31-32 WEB 31 He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took, and sowed in his field, 32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”

What does Jesus say?
The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed. What does he say about the size of the seed?
What does he say about how large it grows?
What does he say about the impact of tree, on the animals?



Are you saying the kingdom of heaven tiny as a mustard seed at one time, but then it grew bigger?
What does it look like to you?

Mat 13:31-32 WEB 31 He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took, and sowed in his field, 32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”

Or is it like a mustard tree because it has bird-analogues living in it?
Mat 13:31-32 WEB 31 He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took, and sowed in his field, 32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”

What does Jesus say?


What are analogous to the birds exactly?
There's been plenty of speculation about this, but that is tertiary to the point Jesus is making.

Mat 13:31-32 WEB 31 He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took, and sowed in his field, 32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”

What does Jesus say?


Either way, I agree it is very curious!

Good!
Everything he says should make you very curious.

What does Jesus say?

Mat 13:31-32 WEB 31 He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took, and sowed in his field, 32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”

Not what you think is being said.... what is he actually saying?

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a tiny seed.
It grows into a huge tree.
I don't know about you, but the largest mustard plant I've ever seen is no more than maybe 4 feet tall and a couple of feet in diameter. Not large enough to handle birds.

So there's something different about this tree.
It's much much larger than a normal mustard plant.
Abnormally huge.
It can handle all the birds that come to lodge in its branches.
Therefore it would appear that it's non-discriminatory. Whosoever wants to come and gain rest and nutrition from it may do so.

Jesus told another parable about a king who was preparing a wedding feast for his son. He'd invited the nobles, and others, but they were too busy to be bothered, so he commanded his servants to go out into the highways and byways, and alleyways and invite everyone they found. To compel them to come.
So, clearly this is a non-discriminatory Kingdom.
If he's inviting people who are in alleyways-- bums, criminals, the worst sorts he has invited.

Birds are varied.
There are the smaller ones, and scavengers, vultures, birds that are seed eaters, and meat eaters.
So, it's pretty clear that God's Kingdom is wide open for anyone who wants to come, and nobody is excluded.

It starts off small. Just a few members. It grows in what some would consider an organic growth. By word of mouth, inviting friends, neighbors, relatives, as it grows, and becomes a Kingdom that fills the entire world.
 

The Pixie

Well-known member
How does Jesus describe it?

Mat 13:31-32 WEB 31 He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took, and sowed in his field, 32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”

What does Jesus say?
The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed. What does he say about the size of the seed?
The mustards seed is tiny. Hence the Kingdom of God is tiny.

What does he say about how large it grows?
As big as a smallish tree. Hence the Kingdom of God will grow as big as a smallish tree.

What does he say about the impact of tree, on the animals?
Birds will sit in its branches. Hence birds will sit in the Kingdom of God.

We are doing great here, Steve. Thanks for your help. I would not have guess the Kingdom of God was only as big as a smallish tree without your help.

What does it look like to you?

Mat 13:31-32 WEB 31 He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took, and sowed in his field, 32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”


Mat 13:31-32 WEB 31 He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took, and sowed in his field, 32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”

What does Jesus say?
That the Kingdom of God will grow as big as a smallish tree.

There's been plenty of speculation about this, but that is tertiary to the point Jesus is making.

Mat 13:31-32 WEB 31 He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took, and sowed in his field, 32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”

What does Jesus say?
That the Kingdom of God will grow as big as a smallish tree.

Good!
Everything he says should make you very curious.

What does Jesus say?

Mat 13:31-32 WEB 31 He set another parable before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took, and sowed in his field, 32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”

Not what you think is being said.... what is he actually saying?
That the Kingdom of God will grow as big as a smallish tree.

I am being sarcastic here Steve, because your reply seems to particularly merit it. Your post so far is repeatedly to just cite the verse and ask my view. What I was hoping for, Steve, was your view. If you cannot be bother, well, sorry, but you get the flippant responses every time.

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a tiny seed.
It grows into a huge tree.
Reality check!

The mustard tree, Salvadora persica, is actually pretty small - and in fact most mustard seeds do not even grow into trees at all. Jesus never said huge, he just said it grows into a tree, and presumably a mustard tree, which is a pretty smallish tree.

I don't know about you, but the largest mustard plant I've ever seen is no more than maybe 4 feet tall and a couple of feet in diameter. Not large enough to handle birds.
I am only familiar with the plant, rather than the tree, but Salvadora persica is native to the Middle East, so would be familiar to Jesus.

So there's something different about this tree.
It's much much larger than a normal mustard plant.
Or it is just a regular Salvadora persica, native to the Middle East, and so familiar to Jesus.

Abnormally huge.
They grow to a little over 20 foot. Not really that big for a tree. Rather smallish, I would say.

It can handle all the birds that come to lodge in its branches.
Therefore it would appear that it's non-discriminatory. Whosoever wants to come and gain rest and nutrition from it may do so.
Trees are like that; any bird can lodge on the branches of any tree. This is not unique to Salvadora persica.

Jesus told another parable about a king who was preparing a wedding feast for his son. He'd invited the nobles, and others, but they were too busy to be bothered, so he commanded his servants to go out into the highways and byways, and alleyways and invite everyone they found. To compel them to come.
So, clearly this is a non-discriminatory Kingdom.
If he's inviting people who are in alleyways-- bums, criminals, the worst sorts he has invited.

Birds are varied.
There are the smaller ones, and scavengers, vultures, birds that are seed eaters, and meat eaters.
So, it's pretty clear that God's Kingdom is wide open for anyone who wants to come, and nobody is excluded.
Okay, that at least makes sense.

It starts off small. Just a few members. It grows in what some would consider an organic growth. By word of mouth, inviting friends, neighbors, relatives, as it grows, and becomes a Kingdom that fills the entire world.
I must admit, I had always understood Kingdom of God to mean God's reign on Earth. This puts it in quite a different light.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
The mustards seed is tiny. Hence the Kingdom of God is tiny.


As big as a smallish tree. Hence the Kingdom of God will grow as big as a smallish tree.


Birds will sit in its branches. Hence birds will sit in the Kingdom of God.

We are doing great here, Steve. Thanks for your help. I would not have guess the Kingdom of God was only as big as a smallish tree without your help.


That the Kingdom of God will grow as big as a smallish tree.


That the Kingdom of God will grow as big as a smallish tree.


That the Kingdom of God will grow as big as a smallish tree.

I am being sarcastic here Steve, because your reply seems to particularly merit it. Your post so far is repeatedly to just cite the verse and ask my view. What I was hoping for, Steve, was your view. If you cannot be bother, well, sorry, but you get the flippant responses every time.


Reality check!

The mustard tree, Salvadora persica, is actually pretty small - and in fact most mustard seeds do not even grow into trees at all. Jesus never said huge, he just said it grows into a tree, and presumably a mustard tree, which is a pretty smallish tree.


I am only familiar with the plant, rather than the tree, but Salvadora persica is native to the Middle East, so would be familiar to Jesus.


Or it is just a regular Salvadora persica, native to the Middle East, and so familiar to Jesus.


They grow to a little over 20 foot. Not really that big for a tree. Rather smallish, I would say.


Trees are like that; any bird can lodge on the branches of any tree. This is not unique to Salvadora persica.


Okay, that at least makes sense.


I must admit, I had always understood Kingdom of God to mean God's reign on Earth. This puts it in quite a different light.
God's Kingdom is the reign of God on earth.

Right now, God reigns as a sovereign over the universe.

He's giving you time to repent and believe him. If by the end of your life you refuse to, you'll find out the hard way that you screwed yourself.
 

The Pixie

Well-known member
God's Kingdom is the reign of God on earth.
Right. And that is at first the size of a mustard seed, supposedly the tiniest seed around, but will grow to the size of a smallish tree, and have birds lodge in it.

Thanks for making that clear.

Right now, God reigns as a sovereign over the universe.
But it is only the size of a smallish tree, if Jesus is right. And at one time it was only the size of a particularly tiny seed.

He's giving you time to repent and believe him. If by the end of your life you refuse to, you'll find out the hard way that you screwed yourself.
Imagine a post by SteveB that did not end with the threat of his loving God torturing me for eternity. Is such a thing possible?
 

SteveB

Well-known member
Right. And that is at first the size of a mustard seed, supposedly the tiniest seed around, but will grow to the size of a smallish tree, and have birds lodge in it.
🤦🏾‍♂️🤣

And considering that YHVH is sovereign over the entire cosmos, and has stated he'll wipe out this cosmos and create a new heavens, and a new earth, where a 1500 mile cubed, city would be the crowning jewel of the new earth, and he himself will be the light that lights the earth, I'd say that whatever you think is a smallish tree, should be compared to the new heavens and new earth.

I.e., smallish, and it'll take over everything in eternity.
And you're being invited to be a member of this new Kingdom.


Thanks for making that clear.


But it is only the size of a smallish tree, if Jesus is right. And at one time it was only the size of a particularly tiny seed.
He started with 12 guys. It's upwards of a couple of billion people now.

He said the end would come when the gospel of the Kingdom was proclaimed to all the nations.

Imagine a post by SteveB that did not end with the threat of his loving God torturing me for eternity. Is such a thing possible?
Ironically, you're the one who keeps twisting your choice to send yourself to an eternity separated from God and make it God's fault that you choose to spend your eternity in the lake of fire.

As I described of my relative who chooses to destroy himself because of his rage, and anger, he's chosen a life that is not conducive to family life. He's driven away all the women who married him. He's driven away his children. He's hurt his parents, his siblings, his grandparents, his cousin, his aunt and uncle.
Everyone who fought for him to succeed in his life, he treats like garbage and blames them for his lot in life.

So, he's outside the family now. He's off in a world of his own making and everytime he does show up, all we hear about is how miserable he is. How bad his life is.

So.... that's what you're doing to yourself by refusing to choose Jesus.
 

The Pixie

Well-known member
And considering that YHVH is sovereign over the entire cosmos, and has stated he'll wipe out this cosmos and create a new heavens, and a new earth, where a 1500 mile cubed, city would be the crowning jewel of the new earth, and he himself will be the light that lights the earth, I'd say that whatever you think is a smallish tree, should be compared to the new heavens and new earth.
So what is the point of the parable? Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is as big as a smallish tree, but you seem to be saying Jesus got it wrong.

He started with 12 guys. It's upwards of a couple of billion people now.

He said the end would come when the gospel of the Kingdom was proclaimed to all the nations.
So now you have changed your mind, and are talking about the number of Christians, rather than the reign of God on earth.

Is that because you now realise you were wrong?

Ironically, you're the one who keeps twisting your choice to send yourself to an eternity separated from God and make it God's fault that you choose to spend your eternity in the lake of fire.
And there is the usual take-everything-I-say-on-faith-or-suffer-for-eternity argument once again.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
So what is the point of the parable? Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is as big as a smallish tree, but you seem to be saying Jesus got it wrong.
The Kingdom of God starts off small and seemingly insignificant and grows into its fruition, filling up everything

So now you have changed your mind, and are talking about the number of Christians, rather than the reign of God on earth.
Not at all.
You, and other atheists have been trying to figure out how to make biblical christianity into something it's not, by ignoring what you don't like about it.

You've been playing a game of whack-a-mole since you got here, in order to get one single aspect you can rant about.

This just demonstrates that you don't actually want to understand what God's Kingdom is about.



Is that because you now realise you were wrong?
Uh... no.
It's because you're afraid of learning the truth.

And there is the usual take-everything-I-say-on-faith-or-suffer-for-eternity argument once again.
Only because you don't actually learn the truth.

Further evidence that you are losing your mind.
 

The Pixie

Well-known member
The Kingdom of God starts off small and seemingly insignificant and grows into its fruition, filling up everything
According to the parable, only as much as a smallish tree.

Is the parable wrong?

And why does God's reign start so tiny?

Not at all.
You, and other atheists have been trying to figure out how to make biblical christianity into something it's not, by ignoring what you don't like about it.
You said the kingdom of God is his reign. Then you changed your position to say it is Christians.

Just on this thread you have made two different claims about what the kingdom of God is. You do not need me to twist Christianity into something it is not, when you seem perfectly capable of doing that on your own,

You've been playing a game of whack-a-mole since you got here, in order to get one single aspect you can rant about.
You could have chosen to explain the parable when I asked you to.

You chose not. We have been playing wrack-a-mole ever since, and you are losing. There is a learning point there, but I doubt you will learn.

This just demonstrates that you don't actually want to understand what God's Kingdom is about.
I think it demonstrates it means what ever you want it to mean.
 

SteveB

Well-known member
According to the parable, only as much as a smallish tree.

Is the parable wrong?
I'd say your perception is wrong.

And why does God's reign start so tiny?
You'd have to engage him and ask him yourself.
Let me know what happens.

You said the kingdom of God is his reign. Then you changed your position to say it is Christians.
No. The Kingdom of God is everything that exists, and all that is in his domain.
What country do you live in?
There are monarchist governments all over the world. Have you never studied history?
A Kingdom is the domain of the monarch. It's the realm over which the monarch rules, and the citizens who are within his realm/domain.
There are two kingdoms on earth today which impact the human entire human race.
The Kingdom of God, and the kingdom of darkness.
Those who have not turned to YHVH from their sin and placed their trust in Jesus are citizens of the kingdom of darkness and according to Jesus, enslaved by their sin, and being held captive.
The message of Jesus and the power of YHVH can unshackle and free all who are enslaved by their sin.
Those who believe Jesus are made free from their sin, and translated from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of the Son of YHVH's dear Love.

You are being invited to come follow Jesus so you may become a citizen of the Kingdom of YHVH, and live forever in a paradise designed with your needs and desires in mind.

Just on this thread you have made two different claims about what the kingdom of God is. You do not need me to twist Christianity into something it is not, when you seem perfectly capable of doing that on your own,
Actually, you've simply compartmentalized what you want to be the truth, instead of what is actually the truth.

You could have chosen to explain the parable when I asked you to.
The goal is to get you to learn.

Jesus said
Mat 13:10-17 WEB 10 The disciples came, and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 He answered them, “To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but it is not given to them. 12 For whoever has, to him will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever doesn’t have, from him will be taken away even that which he has. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they don’t see, and hearing, they don’t hear, neither do they understand. 14 In them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says, ‘By hearing you will hear, and will in no way understand; Seeing you will see, and will in no way perceive; 15 for this people’s heart has grown callous, their ears are dull of hearing, and they have closed their eyes; or else perhaps they might perceive with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and would turn again, and I would heal them.’ 16 “But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear. 17 For most certainly I tell you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see the things which you see, and didn’t see them; and to hear the things which you hear, and didn’t hear them.

So, as Jesus says....
To you who have ears to hear, and eyes to see, take heed and pay attention.

You chose not. We have been playing wrack-a-mole ever since, and you are losing. There is a learning point there, but I doubt you will learn.
I'm not the one who keeps trying to win arguments, while ignoring the lessons.


I think it demonstrates it means what ever you want it to mean.
Which is exactly why you are not learning the truth.
 

Theophilos

Active member
Another BAR article about the origin of biblical christianity. An originally Jewish community. One that was viewed as a sect of Judaism in its early days.

Yes, Christianity originated as a continuation of Greek-speaking Judaism of the first century, which used Greek for their scripture readings and services. The same Greek psalms and Old Testament readings are chanted in Greek Orthodox services today.

 

Hypatia_Alexandria

Well-known member
Another BAR article about the origin of biblical christianity. An originally Jewish community. One that was viewed as a sect of Judaism in its early days.

Have you read any of the late Geza Vermes' works?
 

SteveB

Well-known member
The Ebionites were persecuted by other early Christians.
And?
In the skeptics' view, Christians have persecuted a lot of people who didn't agree with their beliefs.

Wasn't the Inquisition a persecution of people who didn't believe as they did?

Looking at the ebionite beliefs, it's not entirely surprising.
They apparently denied the virgin birth, and the deity of Jesus.
Both of these things are found in the gospels, so rejecting the, and choosing another view is as Paul says in Galatians.

Gal 1:6-9 WEB 6 I marvel that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different “good news”, 7 but there isn’t another “good news.” Only there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the Good News of Christ. 8 But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you any “good news” other than that which we preached to you, let him be cursed. 9 As we have said before, so I now say again: if any man preaches to you any “good news” other than that which you received, let him be cursed.
And the Greek word for cursed, is the word, anathema.
It's the worst possible cursing one could experience.

a thing devoted to God without hope of being redeemed, and if an animal, to be slain; therefore a person or thing doomed to destruction
a curse
a man accursed, devoted to the direst of woes


Eg, no different than jehovah's witnesses or mormons.
Because they rejected the Jesus described in the bible and created another Jesus.
I.e., if Jesus is not YHVH the Son, he does not have the power to save us.
Jesus has to be born of a virgin to have the wherewithal to not sin, and be without sin.
The only way he can withstand the power of temptation is to be God the Son.
He has to be God because only God can forgive sin.

So, from the record, the ebionites denied the truth, and promoted lies about Jesus, making their Jesus ineffectual to save us from our sin and make us new creations through the power of God and the word.

I've never fully understood how we're to effectively ensure that the truth is maintained, but Jesus did warn us that false teachers and false prophets would arise and it was incumbent on us to make sure we did not succumb to false beliefs about Jesus and the truth.
 
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