Terry --- thanks for linking the youtube videos. Love listening to these two guys once I survived the banging noise beginning of their first video and need to go back over that part. Still haven't finished but Ehrman speaks in such an understandable manner. I really like Evans guy, too. Very interesting.
Leaving the Watchtower religion behind...are we ABLE to reconsider with FREEDOM what may NOT be "true?"
Terry, you are wonderful (your keen eye saw: “ Who was the one "listening" as Jesus poured out the heartfelt prayer in Gethsemane? Everybody was asleep! ”)
I never thought this way!
Really, you are opening a great road—which very few have treaded so far!
Looking forward to you next post
Playing the devils advocate here (or: I know how my mother would have answered that).
Who was the one "listening"? "Oh, that is easy you faithless son. Jehuber was listening and taping everything with his giant, celestial tape recorder. Later on, some dude started writing the account and - ZAP - suddenly starts hearing voices or seeing some HD 3D movie on the wall of his Roman apartment. He quickly wrote everything down and voilá - book written. See? That wasn't too difficult."
Once you reach the depths of stupidity everything is possible. Heck, they will tell you that some dude made a wonderful chardonnay out of sea water. How can you refute stuff like that with pure, unadultered logic and facts?
I do try to understand all threads here as even at my age i feel i am still learning. But such arguments as above indicate you havent left the wts as you are still looking for all manner of meanings to this or that.
Have you said good morning to your neighbours today?
Do you have a creative hobby?
Oh, I understand what you are saying, believe me I do. I'll correct one thing, though. I'm in the phase of life now where I don't look for
the numinous in scripture. I absorb that from nature on my bicycle every day. The frisson of being a part of nature is my transcendent gateway.
But, since I have all the architecture of bible-thinking in my head I have transitioned into an intellectual pursuit of deconstruction.
Like a teacher reading a student's Term theme, I'm looking at the construction and plagarism and kernel of genius where it may be found.
I'm puzzling out bit by bit how this weird phenomenon--the bible--turned everybody (well, not EVERYbody) into a maniac.
That is of great interest.
There are few villains. Mostly the bible appears to be a series of honest zealots with over-active imaginations believing what they hear.
These men are followed by other equally serious persons trying to HELP by changing and sorting what is before them so that the next
guy can better understand. So helpful....so destructive of evidence!
Thanks once again Terry, for a thoughtful post.
I love your thought about debating the 23 year old Terry. I wish I could do that to the 23 year old, or thereabouts, Phizzy ! At that age , Mrs Phizzy and I , both born-ins, had decided to "take the JW religion ( cannot call it the you know what as we would have then) seriously".
I was a young M.S, giving P.T's, even away ones, in fact my very first one was away at the tender age of 21 ! I "knew" I could make a decent defense of the JW religion to anybody.
What I did not know was that I was abysmally ignorant as to what really was Truth, and my Bull***t Meter was hardly functioning.
Since leaving the WT I have set about educating myself, making sure the B.S Meter works 100%, and have come to my own conclusions on many things.
One that is useful for instance, is the conclusion that even the best authorities on a subject, the very best in the field, can still be wrong about certain things, and some go too far in pushing their pet idea/s.
One confirming thing for me about where I stand now on most things, is that people like yourself, thinkers who are not restrained by upbringing, nor led by a personal agenda, have come to broadly the same conclusions as me.
Not that I am now afraid to stand alone with an idea, if I am wrong so what ? I am no longer like the arrogant "believers", especially JW's, and the 23 year old "Phizzy", who simply cannot be wrong.
But it is pleasant to stand shoulder to shoulder with you, and others of the same mind, we are a growing group, worldwide !
wow, so amazing, especially to discuss things the much younger JW of myself.
The other day I was thinking, maybe this is something that may indeed unite some of many ex-JW. My approach to the faith was, even though being born in, always on a logical basis. I believed, our religion is firmly based on facts and absolute logical conclusions. I never really "felt" much in a religious sense, even as a full believer, my prayers were kind of empty...
I did question, but the mistake was, i only looked for answers in the societies literature. See, how effective information control can be.
Oh, and btw, Terry , I always read and appreciate your posts here, thanks for them .
Russell once said (I'm looking for the exact quote) that during the time of apostasy in Christianity (100 CE) to the appearance of Russell and the Bible Students, that individual Christian religions had been privileged to keep and protect one Christian doctrine. His job was to gather them all into one group again. Could explain why he cherry picked doctrines and why he did not summarily condemn all Christian religions.
Was Paul a phony? Or maybe just a person given to conflating his identity and credentials?
Or perhaps he didn't exist. As a history graduate I have realised it is so difficult to prove anyone existed or did what we think they did, certainly not someone who live 2000 years ago. It is so difficult to work out who wrote the words attributed to Paul in the Bible. We don't even know who Shakespeare was for sure, speculation includes, a man, a woman and even Queen Elizabeth 1 ! That was only 400 years ago. If you still love the Bible I suggest looking at Paul's words on their own merit, the misogyny, the homophobia etc - not my kind of guy.
Seems the story of the woman accused of adultry was of some controversy early on. A lot of Sunday sermons are going to have to be changed.
The stoning of Stephen, good find with regard to Roman Rule, I have come to detest Pauline writings as much as I detest Freddy Franz and his wacky imagination. We followed crazy guys, makes you feel sort of