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So I help out with this show on YouTube about the Bible, and we're just getting it off the ground.  It's something we hope will be good for young people who seriously want to learn more about the Bible but might appreciate a little more relaxed approach. I'd be grateful if you'd take a look and tell me what you think.  Gracias!

Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3vIOVJiXigzVDA2TYqaa0Q

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Ten Minute Bible, Acts Introduction Part 2

 

But he did say words,

But he had none, or did he?

But none from the Acts.

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I appreciate you taking the time Noel.  We've got eight episodes posted, so we're still pretty early in the game.  Did you have anything you liked or thought could be better?

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I made a typo in my last post. It should have said part 1 not part 2.

 

But more on part 1. I kinda think we should not think of Abraham as a Jew. 

 

Judaism is about return. Abraham had not been exiled, so he had nothing to which he could return. The first Jew must have been the author of Psalm 137, or he (she?) must have at least been in the audience.

 

By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept

    when we remembered Zion.
There on the poplars
    we hung our harps,
for there our captors asked us for songs,
    our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
    they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
 
About part 2
 
Was Rome the most important city in the empire? Economically, Alexandria must have been the most important city. It was like literally right smack dab in the middle of a world that must have stretched from Britain (a source of tin?) through the Straits of Gibraltar, past Tarshish, past the flour mills of Gaul, though the Mediterranean, past Pharos, down the Nile River, to the eastern most fork, which flowed to the Red Sea, and around the Arabian Peninsula to India and China (the source of silk).
 
A Rolling, rolling.
Rolling, Paul not consoling.
Keep dem words rolling. 

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Acts 1:1-5 Episode 3

 

I don't understand why in Christianity we have so much talk of proof. The whole thing is supposed to be about belief, and I suppose more strictly it is belief in the absence of proof or in the presence of contradictory probabilities.

 

But here we are right at the get go, Acts 1:3, .... (Jesus) gave many convincing proofs ... 

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Here's my thought on that Ghid.

I think evidence matters because otherwise we're all just guessing.  If there is a God and he wanted us to understand some things about him and what he's doing, he'd have to either reveal that to each individual personally or seize moments to make big points about himself and then have the rest of us consider what happened.  It appears that he's chosen the latter option for the most part, so he went ahead and had what happened recorded so we could consider it's credibility for ourselves.

Thanks for your thoughts on this.

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Here's my thought on that Ghid.

I think evidence matters because otherwise we're all just guessing.  If there is a God and he wanted us to understand some things about him and what he's doing, he'd have to either reveal that to each individual personally or seize moments to make big points about himself and then have the rest of us consider what happened.  It appears that he's chosen the latter option for the most part, so he went ahead and had what happened recorded so we could consider it's credibility for ourselves.

Thanks for your thoughts on this.

 

Or Luke was a Greek who had read Euclid?

 

:)

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I would say and Luke was a Greek (or at least Greek-minded) who surely would have read and been familiar with Euclid.

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I would say and Luke was a Greek (or at least Greek-minded) who surely would have read and been familiar with Euclid.

 

Yes, an ontologically thinking person.  A person, who would want the facts. A person who would look for contradictions. 

 

:)

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Episode #4

 

How does "... restore the kingdom of Israel" mean, "... settle the score, ...reek revenge, ... judge who needs judging, ... or ... call down fire on the on those who rejected you?"

 

Seems to me that it should mean simply, ... kick out the Romans.

 

I have a sort of boyfriend, a Persian boy. He has a Quran that says in Sura 1

 

"Guide us to the straight path, the Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace , not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians)."
 
Since I have first read the above Sura, I have wondered it it might be related to why most Muslims hate Jews.
 
Now I wonder if the "bring down fire" interpretation of "... restore the Kingdom of Israel" might be a source of Antisemitism among Christians.  

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Episode 5 part 1

 

Were Christians in 30 AD "suppressed and rejected by the state?" 

 

I remember reading about Lord Mountbatten. After World War Two he was an official of the British Government in India.

 

During the war he commanded the allied troops in Southeast Asia. When he took command of the troops in Burma, told them that he had heard that they called themselves the forgotten front. He said the he knew that that they had not been forgotten because as near as he could tell, no one had ever heard of them.

 

Surely that is the situation with the Christians in 30 AD. The Romans could not have suppressed and rejected the Christians because the Romans had never heard of the Christians.

 

I have heard that there are two contemporary accounts of Jesus, one of which is The Jewish War by Josephus. I read through the Penguin version of Josephus, and I think that Josephus having any knowledge of Jesus or Christianity is a very, holy-moly-red-rider, furlong of a stretch.

 

So, again the Romans could not have suppressed and rejected the Christians because the Romans had never heard of the Christians.

 

:)

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Episode #4

 

How does "... restore the kingdom of Israel" mean, "... settle the score, ...reek revenge, ... judge who needs judging, ... or ... call down fire on the on those who rejected you?"

 

Seems to me that it should mean simply, ... kick out the Romans.

 

I have a sort of boyfriend, a Persian boy. He has a Quran that says in Sura 1

 

"Guide us to the straight path, the Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace , not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger (such as the Jews), nor of those who went astray (such as the Christians)."
 
Since I have first read the above Sura, I have wondered it it might be related to why most Muslims hate Jews.
 
Now I wonder if the "bring down fire" interpretation of "... restore the Kingdom of Israel" might be a source of Antisemitism among Christians.  

 

In the larger context of the disciple's thinking in the second half of Luke and in Acts, it looks like they were expecting Jesus to settle the score because of the injustices he suffered at the hands of the Jews and Romans.  They had been feisty at times in the past over such things.  As followers of Jesus who clearly weren't fully getting what Jesus was going for yet, they imagined that Jesus would defeat his enemies and establish himself as king.  This couldn't have been accomplished without a reckoning since there were already people in charge and Jesus coming to power would have required those people being removed from power.

The key point here is that they were wrong, and shortly thereafter they figured out they were wrong and didn't pursue such ends.  No Christians read that passage as though it teaches that Christians should harm or even be harsh towards Jews; instead this is understood as an historical account of what the disciples were guessing would happen next at that single moment in history.

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Episode 5 part 1
 
Were Christians in 30 AD "suppressed and rejected by the state?" 
 
I remember reading about Lord Mountbatten. After World War Two he was an official of the British Government in India.
 
During the war he commanded the allied troops in Southeast Asia. When he took command of the troops in Burma, told them that he had heard that they called themselves the forgotten front. He said the he knew that that they had not been forgotten because as near as he could tell, no one had ever heard of them.
 
Surely that is the situation with the Christians in 30 AD. The Romans could not have suppressed and rejected the Christians because the Romans had never heard of the Christians.
 
I have heard that there are two contemporary accounts of Jesus, one of which is The Jewish War by Josephus. I read through the Penguin version of Josephus, and I think that Josephus having any knowledge of Jesus or Christianity is a very, holy-moly-red-rider, furlong of a stretch.
 
So, again the Romans could not have suppressed and rejected the Christians because the Romans had never heard of the Christians.
 
:)

 

Thanks for another thoughtful reply.

When I say that Christians were suppressed by the state, I'm talking about two things.  At the very beginning of the Christian era they were suppressed by Jewish establishment only.  This wasn't the Roman state, but the Jews had their own king and their own leadership with considerable power up until 70 AD.  Persecution against Christians only came from the Jewish religious and political establishment for the first several years of Christianity and the Romans didn't initially see the difference between the two.  Roman persecution began under Claudius around 52 AD, although it was most likely not a huge deal.  Persecution picked up dramatically under Nero in the 50s and 60s AD and continued intermittently until 314 AD when Constantine legalized Christianity. 

Josephus certainly would have known about Jesus and the early church (though I agree that some of his account of those things look like it was added on to after the fact).  He was a Jew who changed allegiances during Titus' crushing of the Jewish rebellion.  We even know that Josephus spent considerable time in Galilee where he would have had to have lived under a rock to avoid hearing about Jesus and the church.

Jesus is very well documented in the 1st century for a non-political figure.  Here's a link that details some non-Christian sources, and if you count the Christian sources he's among the most documented non-emperor historical characters in the classical world.

https://www.probe.org/ancient-evidence-for-jesus-from-non-christian-sources-2/

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No Christians read that passage as though it teaches that Christians should harm or even be harsh towards Jews; 

 

But lots of Christians hate Jews. That's one thing Muslims and Christians have in common. Something in the Bible must be a basis for that. Are you going to talk about what parts of the Bible give Christians permission to hate Jews?

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But lots of Christians hate Jews. That's one thing Muslims and Christians have in common. Something in the Bible must be a basis for that. Are you going to talk about what parts of the Bible give Christians permission to hate Jews?

I probably won't, because no part of the Bible gives Christians permission to hate Jews, and I don't personally know any who do.  Muslim disdain for Judaism is on a whole other global level than any tension felt between Jews and Christians.

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I probably won't, because no part of the Bible gives Christians permission to hate Jews, and I don't personally know any who do.  Muslim disdain for Judaism is on a whole other global level than any tension felt between Jews and Christians.

 

I should start by thanking you for your patience. 

 

Of course, I don't personally know any Christians who hate Jews, or who want to harm Jews, but here in Los Angeles we have the Tolerance Museum, which is a museum which tells part of the story of the Holocaust. It leaves out the part of the Holocaust before Hitler's participation. 

 

The German soldiers must have been Christians, either Catholic or Lutheran. I suppose Hitler might have used Non-Christians to kill in the killing pits and death camps, but that seems unlikely.  So as near as I can tell, Christians killed in the killing pits and the death camps, something like with the ISIS Jihadists in the Middle East.

 

I don't know why they so easily killed 12 million people, including 6 million Jews, but I do wonder if it could be connected to eighteen centuries of saying "settle the score, reek revenge, or judge who needs judging" followed by the word, Jews. 

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Patience isn't needed because you're being cool and saying good stuff/asking smart questions.  I think one place where we have a miscommunication is on the idea that the Bible advances that phrase or intolerance toward Jews.  In the first century Jews were eager to overthrow the Romans as they'd overthrown the Greeks before them.  Everyone thought that God would send a political/military leader to get rid of Rome, so when the disciples asked if it was time to "Restore Israel" they probably imagined that Jesus would depose the leaders, judge them for their injustice toward him, and establish himself as king of a new and eternal independent state.  That's what I think they were intoning in Acts 1.  Jesus directs them toward something completely different.  They quickly come to understand what Jesus' eternal spiritual kingdom was really about, and they went on to devote their lives to that.  They never raised up in violence or anger against the Jews at any point.

The Bible never calls Christians to violence with Jews or anyone. It just doesn't.  I think it's easy to conflate religiously motivated actions with politically/socially motivated actions. The Holocaust wasn't a Christian aggression against Jews, it was a political purge powered by an out of control totalitarian state.  Surely some of the people involved were Christians, but the church was openly opposed to what was happening and Christians were the ones who put an end to the slaughter.  During the crusades there were instances of soldiers attacking Jewish settlements that were pretty horrible and some of that may have been religiously motivated, but it also had a lot to do with sending uninformed, undersupplied monolingual criminals marching across eastern Europe to fight in the Holy Land.  

My point is that while I'm sure some of history's anti-semitism has been driven by people doing things they believed to be Christian, I think the historical record shows much more has been driven by statism and by Islam.

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Patience isn't needed because you're being cool and saying good stuff/asking smart questions.  I think one place where we have a miscommunication is on the idea that the Bible advances that phrase or intolerance toward Jews.  In the first century Jews were eager to overthrow the Romans as they'd overthrown the Greeks before them.  Everyone thought that God would send a political/military leader to get rid of Rome, so when the disciples asked if it was time to "Restore Israel" they probably imagined that Jesus would depose the leaders, judge them for their injustice toward him, and establish himself as king of a new and eternal independent state.  That's what I think they were intoning in Acts 1.  Jesus directs them toward something completely different.  They quickly come to understand what Jesus' eternal spiritual kingdom was really about, and they went on to devote their lives to that.  They never raised up in violence or anger against the Jews at any point.

The Bible never calls Christians to violence with Jews or anyone. It just doesn't.  I think it's easy to conflate religiously motivated actions with politically/socially motivated actions. The Holocaust wasn't a Christian aggression against Jews, it was a political purge powered by an out of control totalitarian state.  Surely some of the people involved were Christians, but the church was openly opposed to what was happening and Christians were the ones who put an end to the slaughter.  During the crusades there were instances of soldiers attacking Jewish settlements that were pretty horrible and some of that may have been religiously motivated, but it also had a lot to do with sending uninformed, undersupplied monolingual criminals marching across eastern Europe to fight in the Holy Land.  

My point is that while I'm sure some of history's anti-semitism has been driven by people doing things they believed to be Christian, I think the historical record shows much more has been driven by statism and by Islam.

 

Of course I coud believe that the "Bible never calls Christians to violence with Jews or anyone. It just doesn't" as a matter of faith. Having recently read Judges, maybe I have not decided about that yet.
 
Also, I have studied some history (maybe not enough), so "I think it's easy to conflate religiously motivated actions with politically/socially motivated actions." 
 
And I think that "some of history's anti-semitism has been driven by people doing things they believed to be Christian,  ..." And I realize that is not your interest for Ten Minute Bible Hour. 
 
Yesterday (all my troubles ... opps sorry I got carried away... :) ) my grandfather told me that the Albert Schweitzer Library is here in Orange County and Chapman University. According to Gramps, Schweitzer wrote a book about the Historical Jesus.
 
:)
 
Maybe I should say that I don't have any troubles. But someday, I will tell you a story about Gramps, Mrs Gramps, and Elvis singing .... "yesterday ... "

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Episode #6

 

My dad’s father has a sort of theory about prophesy. He says that if it can’t pick horses at Santa Anita, what good is it?

 

Eposode  #7

 

Tongues of fire reminds me of Moby **** by Herman Melville. In Chapter 119, during a typhoon, sort of like in Acts 2, but with greater detail; the Pequod experiences Saint Elmo’s fire. Starbucks calls it corposants, which is said to be some kind of good omen for sailors. For the Christians, it must have been a shocking experience.

 

:)

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Episode #9

 

I have wondered how ancient speeches, such as Peter’s sermon in Acts 2, are preserved.

 

For my World History class in school, I had to read parts of two ancient books, The History by Herodotus, and The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides. Herodotus preserves a debate between three Persian princes. They debate the merits of aristocracy, oligarchy, and democracy. Thucydides preserves a funeral speech by Pericles, the leader of Athens.

 

In Acts, Luke preserves the sermon by Peter. 

 

I think that Herodotus, Thucydides, and Luke must have had written sources, but I can believe that some things might have been important enough to have been memorized and recited in performances. 

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But lots of Christians hate Jews. That's one thing Muslims and Christians have in common. Something in the Bible must be a basis for that. Are you going to talk about what parts of the Bible give Christians permission to hate Jews?

I thought Jews are God's people? Nobosy should hateanyone for what they believe in.

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