"Cult" and "Atheist"

by brotherdan 2 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • brotherdan

    I've been doing some research on the history of Christianity. I'm trying to get an unbiased history, so I have obtained an audio college course taught by a non-christian. I know that both christians and non-christians have their biases, but I'm trying to get a balanced picture of what the early church taught and believed.

    One of the first things that I've noticed is the difference between the words that we use today and what they used then. The pagans actually called any of the mon-theists "atheists" because they did not believe in THEIR gods. The pagans called themselves "Cults" because it's original meaning was very different than what we mean of it today. It originally meant "to uphold the gods". Eventually it came to mean a group of people in worship, and then degraded down to a group of people that ritualize worship of a strange god.

    Why don't we update these words? We stand on the shoulders of the men before us and use the same words that meant very different things to them when they were originally used. Is our culture so dumbed down that we cannot come up for new words for the things that have a new meaning?

    Just a thought.

  • Open mind
    Open mind

    Interesting points about the evolution of words.

    Yeah, if you go by the primary dictionary definition of "cult", it fits every religion on earth.

    Popular usage will change that though, IMO.


  • cyberjesus

    BD: Word change their meaning with time. It is indeed interesting to find where they come from and how were they used in the past but the important part is they mean in the present.

    We give meaning to words by popular consensus. We give the meaning to words. And dictionaries just record what we mean by such words. When we start using words and it is accepted by the population we create new ones..

    A fine example is the new word "unfriend" create by the faithful facebook link "remove from friends".

    in the WT we were so freaking obsessed to have nothing to do with False religion that we even avoided words because in the past had a Pagan meaning.

    I remember in Mexico we avoided the word "ojala" wich means : we hope so. because it involved invoking "Allah".. what a bunch of BS

    So using old words have nothing to do with being dumb, actually if it has a new meaning then it is a whole new word. Now if you want new sounding words then you could start marketing campaing and select the word you want and put it on a popular tv, song or movie and you will see the emergence of a new word.

    Researching the origins of christianity is awesome, interesting and an eye opener. There are two books that i love "misquoting jesus" and "jesus interrupted" by Ehrman. he is a biblical scholar that in his interest of getting closer to his faith became a scholar.

    Now here is something from you... what about the word Staurus? has it always meant the same? ironic, decimate, beg the question.

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