So this is Christmas?

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Re: So this is Christmas?

Postby Ranking Glasses » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:29 am

j j wrote:Jesus & Santa - both made up creatures ain't they?


An interesting question. Outside of the Bible Jesus is mentioned by both Jewish and Roman historians within a few decades of his death. However, I couldn't find any independent accounts of him made during his lifetime.

It's widely accepted that the origin of Santa Claus is St. Nicholas of what is now modern day Turkey. However, the story has been transformed from a devout Christian who helped the poor into the curious materialistic figure we see today.
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Re: So this is Christmas?

Postby kalcidis » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:30 am

Ranking Glasses wrote:
j j wrote:Jesus & Santa - both made up creatures ain't they?

It's widely accepted that the origin of Santa Claus is St. Nicholas of what is now modern day Turkey.


In Greece it's saint Basil who is the model for Santa Claus.
https://windycitygreek.com/saint-nichol ... int-basil/

The actual existence of a historical Jesus Christ is very fascinating actually and there are numerous discussions, articles and debates on this topic.

This is an interesting but very short atheist-radio-discussion on the topic:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1xl4vS19LI
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Re: So this is Christmas?

Postby Ranking Glasses » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:27 am

Wow, I never even heard of St. Basil! This is really interesting.

Much of the the modern day focus on Santa and gifts is obviously due to money and commercial forces.
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Re: So this is Christmas?

Postby John Eden » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:19 pm

A friend of mine has done two Xmas mixes that might of interest to people here - one is soul, funk and reggae - one is Xmas bashment.

http://www.bangthebore.org/archives/6217

Good soundtracks for putting up the decorations or wrapping presents. 8)
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Re: So this is Christmas?

Postby j j » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:29 pm

I thought that the modern day santa (fat guy, beard, dressed in red) had been created by the Cocoa Cola company???

I only have a passing interest in Christian/religion/saints etc - over time they seem to have caused more death/murder/genocide/inhumanity etc than they have done good :roll: I just like giving & getting the gifts :wink:
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Re: So this is Christmas?

Postby Ranking Glasses » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:30 pm

Yes, the red & white suit first appeared in a Coca Cola advertisement.
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Re: So this is Christmas?

Postby Mark T » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:28 am

You can't blame Coca Cola according to Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_suit

I'm always interested in these types of topics but feel they would be much better discussed over a beer in a pub than through the relative anonymity of an internet forum.

I just finished reading EP Sanders 'Jesus and Judaism'. Sanders is a scholar from a very liberal background whose work focusses on the historical Jesus. What many people don't seem to realize is that there is a huge body of scholarly work that uses form and textual criticism to understand what can be attributed to the historical Jesus and what is a later edit on the part of scribes or the early church.
That video mentions Josephus who is one non-biblical testimony to Jesus but like so many people they just lump the Bible together as one book, one testimony. There are 27 individual documents in the New Testament by at least 11 authors all with testimony to the historical Jesus. They were not collected into one book until close to 400 years after the death of Christ. So there is in fact a huge amount of historical documentation regarding Jesus. Then there is a bunch more literature by the next generation and so on. There is in fact overwhelming historical evidence for Jesus.
There is also great misunderstanding about the type of literature in the Bible. Greek and Jewish biography writers didn't aim to be chronologically correct or even what we would call 'entirely factual', that simply wasn't their aim - but that doesn't mean it is not historical.

It is true that Christians along with all religions have responsible for way too much murder, torture, genocide etc etc. There is no defence for it. I come from a Christian background though I wouldn't identify with barely anything that passes for Evangelical Christianity in the USA for example. Usually people point to the Crusades as the worst of Christianity and again there is no defence.

However, when one looks at the track record of non-religious atrocitiess: The Holocaust, the Killing Fields, the purges of Mao and Stalin, Rwanda, Armenians and so on and so on the Crusades are made to look like a spat with handbags. I believe humans and their greedy drive for power and wealth, are the problem - not religion per se.

Anyway, just throwing some thoughts out there.
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Re: So this is Christmas?

Postby kalcidis » Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:43 am

Mark T wrote:There are 27 individual documents in the New Testament by at least 11 authors all with testimony to the historical Jesus. They were not collected into one book until close to 400 years after the death of Christ. So there is in fact a huge amount of historical documentation regarding Jesus.


Correct me if I'm wrong here but neither of those 11 authors was actually contemporary with Jesus or had met him? I'm likely wrong with the years but the earliest text referencing Jesus in the bible is a decade (more?) after his death and most of the others a many more decades later. Furthermore there are no contemporary sources outside of the bible referencing the existence of Jesus which makes it less likely.

I do not doubt he existed but I see it almost as likely that he didn't.
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Re: So this is Christmas?

Postby lankou » Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:21 am

There are quite a few great X- mas tunes from JA, but my favourite one is an English one :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amI20uj3dE0
Always gets a few spins every year ! real serious digi biz ! :lol:
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Re: So this is Christmas?

Postby Tune In » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:19 pm

Reggae Christmas Songs / Merry Christmas 2018
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aU_B4uBKSw
Bless Up Bless Up Bless Up
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Re: So this is Christmas?

Postby Mark T » Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:43 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong here but neither of those 11 authors was actually contemporary with Jesus or had met him? I'm likely wrong with the years but the earliest text referencing Jesus in the bible is a decade (more?) after his death and most of the others a many more decades later. Furthermore there are no contemporary sources outside of the bible referencing the existence of Jesus which makes it less likely.

I do not doubt he existed but I see it almost as likely that he didn't.[/quote]

I think the earliest writing Galatians is about 50CE which is a letter from Paul who may or may not have actually seen Jesus. The thing is that the early church seems to have expected the return of Christ to happen almost immediately so beyond telling the stories verbally probably could't see a need to write it down. There was likely an earlier gospel document referred to as Q but then a lot of it is written by second generation believers though some may have been dictated by eye witnesses. Luke claims to have made a thorough investigation into the facts - somewhat like an investigative journalist and there is no real reason to doubt that he did.
Jesus was essentially a Galilean peasant not known by a huge amount of people so it would be unlikely that anybody would think to write much. There were other rebellious, 'messianic' leaders recorded from around those times but none whose followers went on to found a worldwide church.
It is also extremely unlikely that any of Jesus close companions could write and probably couldn't afford writing materials. Josephus belonged to the aristocracy.

I would imagine a lot of ancient history was written after the events and not during the events but this doesn't really detract from its historical veracity.
Among serious historians I doubt you would find many who don't consider the basics of Jesus life to be completely historical - Galilean peasant, teacher, conflict with Jewish authorities and death at the hands of the Romans. Walking on water and resurrection? There you may have some disagreement :D

Gotta get back to work.
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Re: So this is Christmas?

Postby finbar » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:00 pm

However, when one looks at the track record of non-religious atrocitiess: The Holocaust, the Killing Fields, the purges of Mao and Stalin, Rwanda, Armenians and so on and so on the Crusades are made to look like a spat with handbags. I believe humans and their greedy drive for power and wealth, are the problem - not religion per se.

Mark, two things on that:

- Stalin grew up in a very devoutly Catholic family, his mother wanted him to be a priest. He spent 5 years in a Greek Orthodox seminary. Hitler was baptised in the Catholic church, and his early speeches invoked crusade-like vitriol against the "godless communists". In his famous book "MK", he stated that he believed he was acting in accordance with the will of The Creator. So while they may not have openly practised religion, both of their later views on societal organization were deeply informed by it.
- to say "religion is not the problem, people are" is very much like the head-in-the-sand view of the gun lobby is the U.S. after mass-shootings, who claim that "guns don't kill people, people do". Technically true, but like religion, like guns, has been used as a weapon since the dawn of time. It is divisive, and supports the false notion that we come from different races. This still holds true today, you just have to read the news. Silent faith is an entirely different matter.

Personally, I think people should be able to believe whatever they want, where I have trouble is the evangicalization of those who don't believe. My sister-in-law is a born-again Christian, and recently we were discussing the work of missionaries. I asked her if people who have never heard of Christ are damned to hell, and she said that hell is reserved for those that have been told about Christ, but have rejected him. I asked her "so if missionaries try to convert, for example, 10 people, and only one comes along for the ride, the other 9 who don't are damned to hell? Wouldn't be better to leave everyone alone, lest they end up in an awful place that they had no previous knowledge of"?

I thought that the whole notion sounded so ridiculous that "you just can't make this stuff up". Then I quickly realized they you can, and they did: what we know today as Christianity is a confluence of the teachings of Christ (be he "real" or "mythological") with Paganism, Zoroastrianism, and is a construct of an oppressive empirical Roman state which I have no interest in belonging to. And while other off-shoots of the RC church may feel immune to this history, remember that if the roots of a plant are rotten, so are the branches. If the Christ portrayed in the Bible returned to earth tomorrow, I am quite certain he wouldn't be thanking the Vatican for looking after his kingdom while he took a break. All IMO of course.

I do agree with you though that these discussions work better over a drink a two. Merry Christmas, and watch out for the snow out there!
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Re: So this is Christmas?

Postby Mark T » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:34 am

Merry Christmas Finbar - I didn't realize snow was coming but I guess it is. Just going to have to hunker down with some food, drink and music!
I think there is lots I could say, especially on the idea that Stalin or Hitler had religious motives, but I'm just too worn out tonight :)
One day we'll have to organize a Canadian Baffer meet-up. I've met Mick Sleeper and I know Ital Dokta and recently met Alex Peacemakeya
All the best.
Mark T

PS Your sister-in-law sounds quite extreme. I do recognize that christianity has evolved greatly over the years but this kind of extreme view common in modern day evangelicals is very hard to understand. Augustine did argue that unbaptized children who dies went straight to hell! I bet he was fun at parties.
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Re: So this is Christmas?

Postby Ranking Glasses » Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:43 pm

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Re: So this is Christmas?

Postby Mark T » Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:32 am

An article on the question of historicity from the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... d-and-died
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