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Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable.  

I am filled with joy.  It can't be helped.  

Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired.  Filled, just filled, with Joy. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Early Christians were Unitarian Universalists


Arnold, Eberhard, "The Early Christians; in their own words" (Plough Publishing, NY, [1926] 2015)
978-0-87486-619-3

Virtually every one of the early "Christians" is a Unitarian Universalist. The Trinitarian view was of course "acceptable" to most of them--since they were UUs !  In 1926, Arnold Eberhard collected and published this selection of sometimes difficult translations out of the tens of thousands of texts from the Classical Era of the Roman Empire. These are the voices of folks who were looking for beliefs -- a religion -- which would raise the conduct of humankind and their leaders. These men (women were rarely educated without fire) had realized that humankind was worshiping gods that were more immoral than humans.  They wanted a better god !

Not all of the editorial comments are correct. For example, most of the "martyrdom" stories are sourced in Eusebius, who made them up.  His "History of the Church" is a polemic with almost no corroboration. Or more often, he took the persecution of Jews throughout the Roman Empire, and substituted them for Christians.  After all, they were Jews, a group he was trying to convert anyway.

The Ieusus Christo was very simply a synthesis of Messiah figures from the exciting period of religious ferment which exploded after the Roman conquest of the Hellenic Egyptian pantheon. The world was already worshiping "Ieus", known as Zeus or Jupiter, in Greece and Rome. The "son of Ieus" was his murdered son Dionysius who died, rose again, and brought redemption and boons to humankind - the "Ieusus" or Jesus. 

The largest Jewish Temple in the world, in the biggest city in the world, was in Alexandria in Egypt. Cleopatra was a multi-lingual priestess of the trinitarian Egyptian pantheon. She was fluent in Hebrew and Aramaic (she came from Ptolemaic Syria to rule the Egyptian throne/temple). When Cleopatra went to Rome, she built the largest Temples in the world to "Ieusus".  The Temples were franchised throughout the world.

So, quite frankly, much of the editorial material is simply uncorroborated and contrary to the records of other classical and prolific authors, such as Plutarch and Paul himself.  While this does make me wonder if the original texts here have been "selected" or even translated with a polemic agenda, the fact remains that this book is a wonderful opportunity to hear the voice of the men who lived during a time of great spiritual quests.   An example of this is in the selection quoting Celsus quoting a believer who claims "I am God, I am God's son," and the editors claim that this Believer was gripped in ecstacy and Christ was speaking through him. [24]  Well, yes, but the belief of the Believer is that he as the speaker IS divine.  And that, in a nutshell, is what the Messiahs of the "Christ" period were preaching.

http://www.plough.com/en/topics/faith/early-christians/early-christians





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