Talk:Christianity/Archive 18

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Began as Jewish sect

Though I don't think "first century" necessary, is there any real dispute that Christianity began as a Jewish sect (even if this would not be recognizable as "Christianity")?Timothy Usher 07:52, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, right now the only source for that statement is biblical scripture. Therefore, it is necessary to qualify the sentence, instead of hiding the POV in the citation. For all I know, this statement isn't disputed at all in regards to Christian origins, but sources besides the NT need to be cited. Until we get these sources together, there needs to be the clause I added (and you reverted). Look at the 2nd paragraph on the Jesus article. There are a number of claims that are made about Jesus. Surely they can be backed up by the bible, but please look at the citation. Are any of the cited sources bible quotes? Why then should the bible not be a good enough source in the Jesus article, but good enough in this article? Alternatively, we could just tag that sentence with a fact tag [[citation needed]] until a proper source is cited.--Andrew c 22:08, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
I think the clause unnecessary, but I agree that another citation(s) can only help. I've added the tag.
However, if you restore your version, I'll not contest it. Either way, we need a non-scriptural cite.Timothy Usher 22:15, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
Here are a few candidates: 1) | - about a third of the way down, just above the "an unlikely place of origin" heading - but a Christian POV source; 2) | - paragraph 9 - not a Christian POV source by any stretch of the imagination, but I doubt it meets the criteria for reliable sources; 3) | - Part I, paragraph 5 - but another Christian POV source; 4) | paragraph 3, reviewing textbooks (with some quotes and cites) from an Islamic POV; 5) | - paragraph 6 - translated from the German, by a professor emeritus of the old testament. GRBerry 00:55, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
I think it completely ridiculous to require a citation for something which is completely undisputed and practically indisputable. I also think it unreasonable to discount the earliest available contemporary documentation (the Greek text of the Acts of the Apostles) just because it happens to be regarded as canonical scripture by Christians.
For what it's worth, here is a quotation from an impeccably non-Christian source (and not a crackpot website): "Christianity, a religion that grew out of Judaism and at first existed as a Jewish sect." R. J. Zwi Werblowsky & G. Wigoder The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion (New York & Oxford, 1997).
Myopic Bookworm 14:56, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

During Bar Kokhba's revolt in 132, some Jews supported Simon Bar Kokhba until he and others claimed that Bar Kokhba was the Messiah, because they believed Jesus was the Messiah. As late as the 300s, John Chrysostom had to warn Christians not to participate in Jewish festivals and other Jewish observances, in his infamous homilies "Against the Jews" (or Judaizers) in Antioch. It took time for the distinction between Judaism and Christianity to become as clear or complete as it seems to us today. Wesley 16:15, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

History and origins

I read the link that Gio inserted and I didn't think it actually supported the summary given even though it is taken almost word for word from the link. In the actual body of the link it states that the roman state influences were mostly because of persection and the mystery religion influence is unclear. The Greek philosophy is influence is supported but unless I'm mistaken we already have that covered somewhere. Here is the link - what do others think?

Among the distinct threads of pagan religious thought that are most identifiable within the context of a developing Christianity, are the cults of the Roman state, the mystery religions, and the schools of Greek philosophy. [1]

Gilraen of Dorthonion AKA SophiaTalkTCF 09:52, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, all these elements played an important role in the formation of early Christianity, given that it set the stage, the context, for its development. As the site explains, "First-century Roman Palestine offered the ancient religion of Judaism, the political religion of the Roman state, the personal religion of the mystery cults, and the intellectual and ethical schools of Greek philosophy." Certainly, after the ascention of Christianity to the State relgion, it would assume the political role of the previous state-religion. I think the main article acknowleges this point later on. The fact that the influence of the mystery religions is unclear is also accurate and based on what we know (and reflected in the article.) There may be have influence but its unclear and thus scholars differ. At most one can say this addition is not really needed, although I say that it such a short sentence and adds a little bit more understanding for a reader to have a little summation that links to a clearly written and informative site that explains in more detail the context of its historical development.Giovanni33 10:05, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
yes, the Greek philosophy as well as the mystery cults are already covered, in the same paragraph, immediately preceding Gio's addition. Roman imperial cult had no influence on Christianity - only an impact: persecution - and the fact that it was supplanted by Christianity is not an influence on Christianity or on its development, and certainly out of place chronologically. So, even if Gio's link supported his addition, it still has to go as it repeats what has already been stated, thus giving undue weight to some aspects, thus pushing a POV (not surprisingly the one POV that Gio has been pushing since day 1). Str1977 (smile back) 13:58, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Scriptures/Authority and different parts of the bible

The third paragraph of this level 3 section needs work if it is to fit with the section - only the first sentence seems to fit with the section title. Here is the current version "Jews see the [[Torah]] as the most important part of the Bible, most Christians regard the [[Gospels]], which tell of the life and teachings of Jesus, as central. Ornamental books of the four gospels are sometimes used in church liturgies. These may be carried into the church in procession and laid upon the altar during the first part of the service. The "gospel" means the "good news" of the Christian message, which Christians regularly disseminate to others. This may include [[missionary]] work as well as the translation and distribution of Bibles, as practiced by [[Gideons International]], [[Wycliffe Bible Translators]], [[Jehovah's Witnesses]] and others." GRBerry 13:48, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

"Egyptian Resurrection"

(continued from above section "Tweaks")

KV, that depends on the definition of resurrection.
If you define it very broadly it means nothings more than "life after death", "death is not the end" or "afterlife". However, resurrection is strictly speaking the Jewish and Christian concept of the dead (including their bodies) rising again at Judgement day to be judged by the Messiah, with the damned going to hell (body and soul) and the saved (body and soul) inhabiting the land of the living/New Jerusalem/Paradise etc.
The Egyptian view is quite different from that - they originally believed that the dead Pharaoh would share the fate of Osiris and life on in the realm of the dead, if his body was preserved (hence mummification) and nourished equipped (hence the gifts and paintings in the tomb). The dead Pharaoh was identified with Osiris, while his heir was identified with Horus. Later, this view was "democraticized" and extended to not just the Pharaoh but all Egyptians that passed the trial in the underworld (Anubis weighing the deceased person's heart against a feather).
If Budge adhered to the broader definition of ressurection that is fine and dandy for him (and explains why he could come up with this thesis), but WP is not in the position to take his side. The "afterlife" version therefore is more NPOV.
Str1977 (smile back) 09:01, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

When immediately after "Ancient Egyptian" Str keeps changing Resurrection to "view of the afterlife". I had cited specifically where Budge, a devout Christian and eminent Egyptologist had called it "Resurrection" with a capital R and all, and compared it to the Christian belief. It is most certainly, factually, "Resurrection". Str, without reading up on the issue and debating it, simply denies that and replaces it with "view of the afterlife" which is not what is being talked about and is not what the citation I gave supports. Is there anything you can do to stop this senseless edit warring? KV 11:19, 26 April 2006 (UTC) (copied over from Musical Linguist's talk page)

KV, I keep on reverting it for accuracy's and NPOV's sake and have explained the reasons above (while you haven't).

Whether Budge is a ("devout" or not) Christian is irrelevant, except that he interpreted Egyptian religion as a partly forerunner to Christianity. Budge might have been an "eminent Egyptologist" but he is also definitely outdated (live 1857 to 1934). His interpretations on this issue have not been universally (or even widely) accepted in past or present and in any case remain that - interpretations. You write "... called it "Resurrection" with a capital R and all, and compared it to the Christian belief." - that is his POV and we should report it (if we must), but we cannot state it as fact or even endorse it - your wording does endorse his "findings". To solve this problem I propose two alternative wordings:

  • The first you know already: Budge also drew analogies between the Ancient Egyptian view on the afterlife (which gave rise to the practice of mummification) and the Christian Resurrection.
It is factual, NPOV and neither endorses nor rejects Budge's view.
  • Budge also drew analogies between what he termed the Ancient Egyptian Resurrection (which gave rise to the practice of mummification) and the Christian Resurrection.
This reads a bit awkward and it is certainly my less preferred version but if you insist on retaining Resurrection this is the way to go.

I will make two edits now, first inserting alternative number 1, then number 2 and leave the decision to others. Str1977 (smile back) 14:35, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

You are specifically denying Budge's POV. The whole point there was to show that some believe that Christianity could have been influenced by it, it just looks foolish if you don't have Ressurection. Budge was talking about the dead rising up from their graves, though not necessarily being judged by a messiah, yet they were to be judged. These are one and the same concept. Specifically, the sentence says what Budge says, you made sure prior that it was what Budge said. So if we're going to say that Budge said it, then we'll use what he actually said. Your description would include the afterlife prior to the ressurection, which would make it inaccurate. Though the change is not outwardly POV, for it doesnt' state a POV, it is deliberately censoring a POV which is being fairly described in an NPOV way. I went out of my way to find something to further counter that. There is absolutely no reason to not call it Ressurection.
KV 14:46, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
Judged by whom in this case? If its what I remember it being, some sort of boar/steer thingy attacks whoever goes up to their version of the afterlife if they lose or something. Homestarmy 14:50, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
Let me give some sites which have it, and aren't Budge's book. [2], [3], Legend_of_Osiris_and_Isis, [4], [5].... using the term Resurrection for that is common place. It's not views of the afterlife, many, many people, not only Budge, not only people trying to prove that Christianity got some roots from Osiris, use Resurrection. That simply is the correct term..... it doesnt' matter what the beliefs in the afterlife were (though that one completely alludes me homestarmy.
KV 15:01, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Not at all, KV, my wording (talking about number 1) does not deny Budge. It uses a NPOV wording to describe one phenomena. Budge called it "Egyptian Resurrection", which already presupposes his later identification. Hence we cannot use it, since it is questionable in itself. Or did the Egyptians use the term "resurrection" to describe their thing? I don't think so. Resurrection is a term from the Jewish and Christian religions - Egyptians did not, from what we know, hold a similar view, though Budge evidently disagrees with this. "What Budge says ..." is not relevant in this case, on the contrary - it is an argument in favour of not using it. My wording is using accurate, NPOV terms for two phenomena that are not in general identical and than states that Budge identified the two. Which is accurate and NPOV. Str1977 (smile back) 14:54, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Another attempt, KV: you seem to say that the the Ancient Egyptians believed in a resurrection of the dead (physically) after the end of the world to inhabit some sort of new earth (earth! not some netherworld). That view is new to me and if indeed the Egyptians believed that and if indeed that they believed this is accepted as consensus by today's Egyptologists, than please do provide a reference. Otherwise this is just an eccentric idea by some long-dead Egyptologist. Str1977 (smile back) 14:58, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

KV, I don't know whether above links were addressed only to Homes, or also to me. If the latter is the case, I must say that they do not meet the requirements of my request. These are all pages pushing this view - what I want is a reference from reputable current Egyptologist accepting the term "Resurrection" for the Egyptian belief in the after life (as a term in itself, not as an explanation via parallel). Str1977 (smile back) 15:20, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Ressurection is one of three things (leaving out the Christian specific one which specifically deals with Jesus):
1)The act of rising from the dead or returning to life.
2)The state of one who has returned to life.
3)The act of bringing back to practice, notice, or use; revival.
Certainly I'm not talking about #3, but we're talking about 1 and 2 here. I have given a citation, which states clearly this belief. Budge has written books on it, using Egyptian scripture. I have ordered the book on it specifically, and I can give you actual text inform your further. I have also given you several sites which document this. If I need find the actual text, I shall try.
KV 15:13, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
KV, just a caveat. Don't bother trying to reference Budge's thesis - we need the consensus of Egyptology. Str1977 (smile back) 15:20, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Lacking some detail, but we have a direct text from

"He doeth away with every evil thing whatsoever that belongesth to thee, he bindeth up in order for thee thy person, he gathereth together for thee thy members, he collecteth for thee thy bones, and he bringeth to thee whatsoever belongeth to thee. Thus thou art raised up, O Osiris, and Ihave given unto thee thy hand, and I make thee to stand up a living being for ever and ever."

VI. "Homage to thee, O Governor of those who are in Amenti, who makest mortals to be born again, who renewest thy youth, thou comest who dwellet in thy season, and who art more beautiful than....., thy son Horus hath avenged thee; the rank and dignity of Tem have been conferred upon thee, O Un-nefer. Thou art raised up, O Bull of Amentet, thou art stablished in the body of Nut, who uniteth herself unto thee, and who cometh forth with thee. Thy heart is stablished upon that which supporteth it, and thy breast is as it was formerly; thy nose is firmly fixed with life and power, thou livest, and thou art renewed, and thou makest thyself young like Ra each and every day. Mighty, mighty is Osiris in victory, and he is firmly stablished with life."

(emphasis added)

I found this at the very bottom of

So there is your proof

KV 15:23, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

homestarmy, I thought of that, and it doesnt' make sense. Belief in a Resurrection maybe, but not views on. Unfortunately, I'm out of reverts for today on this article.
KV 15:26, 26 April 2006 (UTC)


  • Proof? I was talking about Egyptologist - you know, scholars - not some "Egypt Guide for Travel and Tours, Modern and Ancient Egypt, Welcome".
  • Also, your proof doesn't talk about resurrection. Resurrection is not putting parts of a corps together and have sex with it (which is what Isis did). Also, texts can be translated differently.

So I am once again asking you for a reputable Egyptologist reference. This is all I need. Mind you, if scholars use that term I can well live with that - that doesn't make Budge's view any truer than ommitting term makes it falser. My concern is proper wording.

Apart from that I think it ridiculous to have a controversy section containing an outdated eccenttric claim in the overview article (!) on Christianity. Str1977 (smile back) 15:31, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, seeing as the text is a text from a very reputable source.... the Egyptian priesthood and that is a literal translation, I would say that is sufficient. But what did the Egyptians know of their own religion? Probably nothing. But then if you want an Egyptologist, how about a man who, I don't know, was the keeper of the Egyptian antiquities for the United Kingdom for several decades until he died, wrote many, many books on Egypt and specifically Egyptian religious beliefs and was highly respected in his field? How about someone that might fit like...... E A WALLIS BUDGE!
KV 15:35, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

We find more on that site, under "RESURRECTION OF OSIRIS" on the page

"We now have to consider Osiris in his character of god and judge of the dead, and as the symbol of the resurrection, and the best source which we can draw for information on this subject is the Book of the Dead. In this work Osiris is held to be the greatest of the gods, and it is he who is the judge of men after death, and he is the arbiter of their future destiny. He attained this exalted position because he was believed to have been once a human being who died and had been dismembered; but his limbs had been dismembered ; but his limbs had been reconstructed and he had become immortal. The most remarkable thing about him was that his body had never decayed like the bodies of ordinary men, and neither putrefication nor worms ever acquired power over it, or caused it to diminish in the least degree. It is true that it was embalmed by Horus, and Anubis, and Isis , who carried out with the greatest care and exactitude all the prescriptions which had been ordered by Thoth, and who performed their work so throughly well that the material body which Osiris possessed on this earth served as the body for the god in the world beyond the grave, though only after it had had undergone some mysterious change, which was brought about by the words of power which these gods said and by the ceremonies which they performed. A very ancient tradition declared that the god Thoth himself had acted the part of priest for Osiris, and although the Egyptians believed that it was his words which brought the dead god back to life, they were never able wholly to free themselves from the idea that the series of magical ceremonies which they performed in connection with the embalment and burial of the dead produced most beneficial results for their deceased friends."

KV 15:35, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

This is not an area I know anything about, but maybe we need to make more clear that it is Budge who is saying "resurrection." If both are content with Homestarmy's latest, then that's great. If not, maybe we need something like, "what he describes as the Ancient Egyptian Resurrection," or some other less awkward construction. Honestly it seems kind of a minor point. Budge says maybe Egyptian religion influenced Christian ideas about resurrection. Okay, Budge says that, or he doesn't. Either way, I don't see that much more than a mention is warranted here, in the main article on Christianity. I mean, I don't see anything (nor do I want to!) about the influence of Babylonian beliefs on Judaism and how that in turn influenced Christianity, and that is at least something I've heard discussed. There's nothing in our article (and again, there should not be) about "The Golden Bough," with all its dead-god-reborn stuff. I don't really understand why Budge but not Fraser, but neither do I care much. Tom Harrison Talk 16:01, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, we have this from Yahoo books about Budge's book on Osiris: "Volume 1 of the most comprehensive, scholarly work on Osiris. Includes translations of numerous texts, reproductions of classical Egyptian art—iconography, the Heaven of Osiris, liturgy, shrines and mysteries, funeral and burial practices, human sacrifice, judge of the dead, links between Osiris worship and African religions, much more." (
Info on Budge is also given in a doctoral thesis, "Sir E. A. Wallis Budge presents a titanic figure in the history of popular archaeology. He did more than any other person to rouse in the ordinary reader of the English-speaking world an interest in the language and writings of ancient Egypt (Wilson, p. 89). Tremendously energetic, Budge turned out more than a hundred volumes, and the most popular of these would almost certainly have been available to Joyce. I will draw on Budge's Gods of the Egyptians (1904) for much information, as Mr. Atherton does. This is because I assume that it was not only one of several general surveys used by Joyce, but that it is probably also the one most easily obtained by readers of this dissertation. Thus, I will refer to The Gods of the Egyptians, or the other popular work mentioned by Mr. Atherton, Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection (1891), when Budge's material is most likely Joyce's source, and also when his books are in general agreement with others I have encountered.
"It was through Budge's great ingenuity that the British Museum obtained many of its most beautiful papyri, such as the recension of The Book of the Dead known as The Papyrus of Ani. Budge was a "prodigious editor of texts in a wide range of oriental languages" (Wilson, p. 216). "
Further he talks about Osiris: "The overriding identification was with Osiris, the archetypal resurrected being: "the absolute identity of the deceased with Osiris is always assumed . . ." (BD, p. iiv). As the cycle of the god involved a physical rebirth (for Osiris and for those who followed him), and a voyage to the fields of Amenti, the journey of the god was related to the elemental and visible voyage of the sun, with his daily rebirth and journey across the heavens in the solar bark." (emphasis added)
"These were extended and ritualized, and followed by men who wished to assume the identity of the god who had attained immortality after resurrection."
"The rituals performed on behalf of the dead Egyptian were intended to reenact the resurrection of Osiris. The body was first mummified as Osiris' had been (67). The deceased was then placed in the tomb-chamber (61) and surrounded by charms intended to protect and assist him on his journey to the Otherworld and make him comfortable there (64). Especially significant was a small shaped mold outlined to resemble Osiris and planted with grain. As the grain sprouted, it was supposed, through a form of sympathetic magic, to help the body undergo a similar germination or rebirth"
I could go on, but I don't see reason. The dissertation, by a now PhD in Egyptology, is at
KV 16:07, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Tom, at the very least, each use of resurrection needs to have the same capitalization, so as to not trivialize one or the other. KV 16:14, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

KV, I don't see reason either. That's all fine and dandy and interesting what you posted, but it doesn't touch upon the issues:

  • Is the inclusion of a controversies section warranted in the main article on Christianity?
  • Is this issue notable enough nowadays to merit inclusion into such a controversies section?
  • Is "resurrection" (and re capitalization I think both should be lower case) the accurate and NPOV wording, accepted by today's Egyptology?

Str1977 (smile back) 16:58, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

And indeed, the Ancient Egyptians knew about their religion better than me, or you, or Budge. But unfortunately, they are all dead by know and we cannot ask them what they meant. In the text you produced I can see no parallel to the general resurrection, and not even to the resurrection of Jesus. There is a slight resemblance to the accounts of Jesus raising someone else to life again (the girl, Lazarus, etc.), but actually Osiris wasn't actually raised to life again bodily. The only thing he did after dying was to father Horus, wasn't it? His afterlife was not corporeal, on this earth, but in the netherworld, wasn't it? Str1977 (smile back) 17:19, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

1) absolutely since Christianity is full of controversy. At least some of the controversy should and must be covered.
2) Two major books "The Hiram Key" and "The Book of Hiram" were written recently including the topic potential influences of Jesus. This is one of them. A main article on the subject should be made eventually.
3) it is accurate, and it is a NPOV, seeing as it is a fact. It is about as POV to say resurrection for the Egyptians as it is to say the same for the Christians. I have given you doctoral dissertations, that will suffice. It will more than suffice. And seeing as Budge is highly quoted amongst those who are making this accusation, it wouldn't even matter if today's Egyptology didn't accept it, even though they do.
KV 17:05, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
KV, you still don't get it: Quoting Budge or his supporters cannot ever suffice on the issue of whether this word is accurate. We need a repubtable current Egyptologist to confirm this - otherwise, the wording is part of Budge's view, and hence not NPOV. If the two things are not the same, putting in the same word twice is not accurate - since this issue is the point of dispute, on which POV or NPOV hinges, using the same word twice is indeed endorsing the view, while "my" versions are not.
PS. Pointing to pseudo-scholarship like "the Hiram Key" is really not helping your position.
Str1977 (smile back) 17:19, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
Stop trying to continually change the subject. First it's that the citation isn't enough, then it's do we need such a section, and now it's back to the citation again. I have given about 15 references thusfar, including probably the most prominent egyptologist on religion of all time and a doctoral dissertation that was accepted. You don't make any casual claims in a dissertation unless it is generally seen as infalliable fact, and you dont' become a doctor if you do. I would like to see you try to even make one similar citation that refutes what was said.
Now, as per Wikipedia policy, all I have to do to suffice with WP:V is "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. This means that we only publish material that is verifiable with reference to reliable, published sources." I have done that, and I have even done it to a higher standard than it has been degraded to. I had specific page numbers, you all decided that wasn't important. As of now, the only citations seem to be on things that question Christianity and specific figures. I have come up with references time and again, you have come up with none. So let's stop playing games, because we can always take this to arbitration, and you know you wouldn't win.
KV 17:28, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
Just for an analogy's sake........ what you are asking for in demanding that currently Egyptology hasn't completely changed on this matter, when the source is saying that this controversy exists (I have given you several sites on the matter) and that Budge confirms some facts......... is equivalent to me demanding that you come up with a citation that says that Christian Historians still agree that Jesus is the Son of God. Then if you name someone in say 1976, I say I need someone more recent. Christian views may have changed radically in the past 30 years, and I don't need evidence of it to question that.
KV 18:08, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I take that back...... seeing now....... Ancient Egyptian religion isn't changing currently, it cannot change, what was believed will not change....... however, Christianity is still alive and flourishing, and is much more likely to change in a thirty year period than what the Ancient Egyptians believed. KV 18:13, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
Now don't be silly. Asking for a "state of the art" reference isn't too much, is it? A Egyptologist from 1976 would suffice - but even you must admit that 1934 was some time ago (and that is when he died, not when he wrote this stuff). Your analogy doesn't work - there are still two billion Christians around (including your hypothetical historian) and Jesus' divinity is also an integral part of Christianity. But there are no ancient Egyptians around (except for the ones that are Christians) and we cannot ask them - hence we turn to scholars, to the specialists of Ancient Egypt.
As for "V" being the threshold. Yes, you verify that what you wrote is what Budge wrote and hence I wouldn't object to including another "what Budge calls ..." We have been there before. But a quote by Budge or a Budgist is not enough to determine the acceptance by Egyptology.
Last but not least: I am not changing the subject. I have said from the get-go that I don't think the "osiris" passage should be here at all - but if it is, it should be presented in the best form possibly, regarding to NPOV and accuracy.
I'm glad you say that, because I did give you a reference from a PhD dissertation, an Egyptologist wrote, in 1976! Actually several references from that dissertation.
KV 19:00, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm not gonna reopen the reverting season, but you still have not provided sufficent evidence. All right, you did cite above a dissertation, but most of what you quoted relates Budges' thesis - hence it is no confirmation that the term "resurrection" is accepted apart from Budge's thesis. or that his thesis is universally accepted. But that is what I am looking for. The description quoted by you doesn't look like resurrection to me: mummification, journey to some otherland - granted I see how this can be seen as a parallel to the Christian view on the afterlife, but the particular part of the resurrection is not paralleled in what you quoted. Nonetheless, if Egyptologists call it resurrection nonetheless, I will yield to their judgment. But if they don't use that term, your wording is and remains POV. Str1977 (smile back) 12:38, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
PS. Your new wording is definitely an improvement, but we should still strive for absolute accuracy. Maybe we should call in some Egyptologists. Str1977 (smile back) 12:38, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
How about Dr.Daniel Jackson?:)Timothy Usher 00:15, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, there's no way the Egyptian view of the resurrection can be 100 percent identical to Christianity, you'd think somebody would of noticed that by now. How is "their view of the/a resurrection" wrong? Homestarmy 13:12, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
In "Death in Ancient Egypt" (penguin book 1982) by A.J.Spencer who was an egyptologist for the British Museum he does use the term "resurrection of the body" when describing the importance of the burial mound in Egyptian funerary rights. I'll have a more detailed look later to find specific quotes which I will post here. Sophia Gilraen of Dorthonion 13:43, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, Sophia, let it keep coming in. Though the dispute got heated up there, I am only concerned to have proper. scholarly wording. I have posted a request over at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Ancient Egypt. Cheers, Str1977 (smile back) 13:56, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

While I am not a an expert: resurrection appears once in the Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, under the "Resurrection of Osiris," on page 378—which is only a brief description of a local festival of the Resurrection of Osiris on a lake outside of Sais. The only online references that do not concern Budge seem to involve early Christianity rather than a term from Egyptology. JCarriker 14:15, 27 April 2006 (UTC) (Copied over from my talk page, thanks.)

Str, the thesis I quoted uses Budge as a reference, yes... which in itself shows that Budge is considered a reliable source on the subject. Budge is well known and very well accepted in Egyptology. I also gave you a direct translation from which was the words of the Ancient Egyptian priests. And you could have always contacted the fledgling Egyptian Religion Wikiproject which is listed on List of proposed Wikiprojects. I pushed to start that one, and btw, Ancient Egypt isn't about content, it's about style. Read its goals. But of course you say "A Egyptologist from 1976 would suffice", and I did give you a thesis from an Egyptologoist. You then claim that it doesnt' count because he agrees with Budge, who is the most prominent figure on Ancient Egyptian Religion since Ancient Egypt. If we're going for accuracy, please find me sources for all the other comments that were made in this article, and while we're at it, lets throw on the requirement that they don't agree with what the statement said. So basically, we're ditching the entire article, because you're trying to put qualifications for this passage that cannot exist. All sources have to either disagree with this statement, or agree with it and in effect agree with Budge's theory, which they are likely to specifically mention. So why don't you face the fact that what I wrote is accurate and that it's been put through more scrutiny and citation than anything else in the article. Yes, this was cited to the page originally.
Straight out, anyone on the Arbitration committee or Mediation committee or anything else would immediately see that you are putting unwarranted requirements on something that is against your POV, but of course the parts of the article that are in tune with your POV don't need citations or any evidence at all that they're true. Right now, I am suggesting that we enter official mediation. I can apply for it as soon as you agree, or rather apply since I'll probably apply for it once you reply and try to change the subject once again.
KV 14:52, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
P.S. the link to the wikiproject description is
KV 14:56, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
Actually I have the Budge book on my shelf and I didn't realise! Forgive me if I repeat anything above but there is so much to this thread it's hard to read it all. E.A. Wallis Budge was formerly Keeper of the Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities in the British Museum. In 1923 he published "The Book of the Dead" which as far as I am aware is the classic translation of the Egyptian funarary texts. In it he refers to Osiris as being resurrected - Introduction lxi for example: "moreover for countless generations Osiris was the type and emblem of the resurrection, and relying upon his power to give immortality to man untold generations lived and died" . From a very very quick skim of the actual texts I can't see the use of the actual word "resurrection" in the translations - they tend to use "reborn" or go on and on about how their guts won't be eaten by worms! Budge is a very legit scholar who produced a reference text so I don't think it's at all unreasonable to quote him. He uses the term "resurrection" because that is what the Egyptians meant even if they didn't phrase things exactly the way we would today. It is all about life after death. For example page 519 "Let life [come] from it's death, and let not decay caused by any reptile make an end [of me], and let them not come against me in their [various] forms. As long as the wording is NPOV it could have a place in the history section as one of the earliest resurrecting god cults but a brief sentence with a link for those interested is really all that's needed. Sophia Gilraen of Dorthonion 23:58, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
Thank you Sophia for backing me up. Budge is a legitimate source.
KV 05:48, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
KV, I'd like to thank you for keeping at it. This is an odd but very interesting section of the article, Budge is certainly legitimate and the parallel between the traditions is obvious.
Also, it's been said here that Christianity has a very particular view of how resurrection will occur:
"However, resurrection is strictly speaking the Jewish and Christian concept of the dead (including their bodies) rising again at Judgement day to be judged by the Messiah, with the damned going to hell (body and soul) and the saved (body and soul) inhabiting the land of the living/New Jerusalem/Paradise etc."
I never heard anything that specific in Church, and I doubt that too many people I know would endorse this precise interpretation. It's common enough, for example, that people believe the afterlife begins immediately after death, which isn't compatible with the view above. (Moreover, at least one element is contradicted by Jesus' own words, others merely unsupported, but that's another discussion).
Anyhow, as I'd given you some initial pushback, thanks again for your persistance.Timothy Usher 05:58, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, I practice an Ancient Egyptian religion, so my passion kept it going. :) I knew that I knew what I was talking about 100%. I can piece together that description of the ressurection for the most part.... so I didn't say anything about that. A citation there would be nice. I never heard it being the Messiah, and certainly I don't believe the Jewish people think that, but yes, God will. I know that St. (Anthony I think, I'll have to reread to make sure) was in Egypt and had his body buried where no one knowed so his followers wouldn't mummify him..... he claimed that "God" would give him a new body, so that part I think may be off in a worldwide NPOV way at least. The Messiah, who the Jews apparently abandoned and use the name moshiach instead, is described here, [6], I don't see much on Resurrection in Judaism, but one of the 13 primary beliefs is stated as "The dead will be resurrected" [7] but nothing more is put there. I'm not sure what they believe beyond that or even if it is unified. The site I was given, by a Jewish Wikipedian, is [8]. There are parallels between the Egyptian and Christian resurrection stories for sure, which is what I believe is stated. Not that they are 100% identical. I'll try to stick to it more in the future. Citations are always a good thing.
KV 06:16, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
The Hermetica is worth reading as I'm sure KV will agree. Sophia Gilraen of Dorthonion 07:13, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
I paged through this a nearly twenty years ago, in the Pymander version. Will take another (and closer) look one of these days. Thanks.Timothy Usher 07:18, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Timothy, not to get off on a tangent, but the common belief you mentioned that the afterlife begins immediately after death, is not at all incompatible with a much later bodily resurrection of everyone. The "immediate afterlife" is generally understood to be as a disembodied soul (or spirit or ghost), while we anticipate receiving new bodies at the later general resurrection. Stories of various saints' bodies failing to decay or even exuding a pleasant smell are thought to "anticipate" or "hint" at this later resurrection.

Back to the subject at hand, I got a little lost reading through the arguments about Budge and whether Egyptians believe in a "resurrection." Could someone please summarize the actual article text that is at stake, and what the competing versions are? Wesley 16:25, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

To insert a bit of the Thomism maligned elsewhere: the disembodied afterlife of the soul can only be a intermediate state (though having attained the beatific vision certainly makes for any thing lacking, including a body), if the soul is defined as "form" and the body as "matter" - matter and form need each other to exist. Aside from that, various Christian denominations do not belief in such a "disembodied afterlife" (JWs for instance). The Orthodox have a different stance too (Hi, Wesley). But practically all denominations in their orthodox form believe in a general resurrection on Judgement day. Str1977 (smile back) 18:59, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
The text at stake is whether it says "Ancient Egyptian view of the afterlife" or if it says "Ancient Egyptian Resurrection or as I settled for "form of the Resurrection". I argued that it is called a Resurrection all over, that Budge is well accepted in the community on the subject of religion, and found several sources. Str said that Budge was probably outdated, and that he would accept a source from 1976, but then changed his mind and said that on the condition that they don't agree with Budge's "theory". In essence, that he would only accept a source that would be impossible to even make up if one were good at forgery, because the conditions would be unattainable: confirming while in no way confirming. Sophia then verified my arguments.
I believe the difference is in whether we recognize that one of the primary beliefs of Christianity may have existed prior. Included also was a rationalization by the Coptic Church for such phenomena.
KV 17:33, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
I am happy for the moment with "form of resurrection", since it at least gives room the possibility that there might be similar but yet different things. KV, I never changed my mind on what I wanted but only expressed myself poorly. I don't doubt for a minute that Budge is well respected. My query was strictly about the wording "resurrection" in the context of Osiris and Egyptian religion, as seen by today's Egyptologists (hence Egyptian source texts don't work), quite apart from Budge's theory. If Budge used the R word and someone discusses Budge he will probably also use the R word - the question was: when some Egyptologist writes about Osiris' afterlife without any reference to Budge's theory, does he use the R word? I merely want this to be according to the state of the art, wordingwise. Str1977 (smile back) 18:59, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
Please define "Budge's Theory". So I can get a clear view of what you're saying.
KV 04:00, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Voilà! Budge's theory of a connection between the Egyptian thing and the Judaeo-Christian thing, ... or any other theory of similar leaning. I want a strictly Egyptologist take on this. This might still be influence by the Christian view, since very many great Egyptologist came from a Christian background, but if Egyptologists use the term when discussing the Egyptian thing (without any reference to the Christian thing) then I'll be content. Does that suffice? Str1977 (smile back) 09:15, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Section break for convenience:Egypt

Someone took out the whole Budge thing and replaced it with, "Some argue that because the role of Jesus is similar to that of various mythological figures said to have died and risen again, these may have been the inspiration for Christianity. (See Jesus-Myth.)" I approve. Tom Harrison Talk 17:04, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, I completely disapprove since it doesn't begin to explain anything, and went from verifiable to unverifiable.
KV 17:20, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

I suppose after "Some argue" we could have a ref to Budge. Tom Harrison Talk 17:32, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Budge didn't specifically argue that it was the source, many others make that claim. Budge rather was a devout Christian and wouldn't touch that with a 10 foot pole. What Budge is used for is to cite the specific similarities that he saw and mentioned, without touching the idea of them as being the source for Christianity with a 10 foot pole. There is no reason to shorten that down. It is longer text because A)It shows both sides of an argument, B) Str insisted on having Budge at the beginning of each sentence, and C) It is controversial and needs more explanation than other pieces. If we were to shorten it like that, before making an article purely on Christian Controversy, unmistakenly, someone would come in within a month and say that it isnt' important to be there at all, because the new proposed text is so devoid of meaning. It ends up being a domino effect. And yes, these things DO happen.... such as when we agreed upon "Jesus Nazareth, whom Christians know as Jesus Christ, " we saw Giovanni pick up that flag a month or so later and try to remove the Christ reference. It does not make sense to let it go seeing as there is plenty of room in this article. Once it hits 50k, then we should talk about shortening it, by then I should have an article on Controversies in Christianity anyways, and we can protect it with the whole main article aspect."
KV 17:40, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

As the one who did it (and whose contributions have now been unfairly reverted), let me defend myself.

First, I was being bold, not vandalizing.

Second, why exactly was my change to the "Interpretation" subsection reverted? The version I replaced is biased and doesn't even cover the topic! I'd like a new section covering authority (i.e., Sola Scriptura vs. Tradition, Papal infallibility, etc.) in a neutral way. But the section on interpretation should cover just that, Biblical exegesis.

Third, in an overview article (which this is), less important topics should be put on side articles and given links. There's no reason for a minor figure like Budge to get a whole paragraph here. Over at Jesus-Myth, you will note, I've removed an enormous lump of cruft and reorganized it a little. I did this specifically to open room for discussion of issues like Osiris. There's little risk the link will be removed later, since it points to an article covering the topic at more length. A single line with a mention of the issue and a link is really all we should need or expect. A.J.A. 18:00, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

You removed vital info that I had entered, which was not a paragraph on Budge (he was the source) but on Osiris. I saw a previous edit which just stripped an entire section of most of it's text, so I reverted to the one before you. When there is tons of discussion going on, especially on that Osiris paragraph, and you just come in and make sweeping changes without so much as an explanation, expect to be reverted.
KV 18:28, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
And Osiris clearly belongs on the other article, not here.
There was absolutely no good reason for reverting to the version before my first edit. I didn't "strip" the text, I replaced it with better text. A.J.A. 18:44, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
I've restored your edit on exegesis, which is an issue separate from Budge. Tom Harrison Talk 18:47, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
Thank you. A.J.A. 18:56, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
I had no part in these edits and don't think they should be done without discussion. However, I must agree with the view that this is not a notable controversy and should be dealt with in a different article. Str1977 (smile back) 19:02, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
There is convincing evidence, if not conclusive, that Moses was an initiate of the Ancient Egyptian mystery schools, that his early life's story is based off of Egyptian mythology, and that Judaism was heavily influenced if not spawned from Egyptian religion. Christianity formed from Judaism, some insist that Jesus spent his childhood partially in Egypt, and one of the primary ideas of Christianity is closely paralleled in Egyptian mythology. This makes it quite notable of a controversy, part of a much more notable controversy that Christianity is nothing more than an amalgam of other religions and traditions. So, this is of note, and I'm holding off on adding similar text until I can A) cite it properly and B) make an article entitled Christian Controversies to be a main article for that section.
KV 21:36, 28 April 2006 (UTC)
There is no such evidence, especially since mystery schools did not exist in Moses' day, and there's no parallel to any Egyptian myth I know of. However, there is evidence that the Corpus Hermeticum was in fact written in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd century, possibly even taking in some Christian influence. So much for historicity of certain beliefs. Sorry to disappoint you, KV. Str1977 (smile back) 11:08, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I have two different sources that cover the fact that Moses was an initiate, one is from Budge, which he mentions it in passing, and the other is from Manly P. Hall who goes much deeper into it. I'd have to look over the story of Moses again, but I do know that the story of Osiris is in it, as Moses is found by the pharoah's daughter in the basket, as Osiris' body was found by a woman, when the trunk containing it lodged against a tree. Moses was quite high up in rank. And no, the Corpus Hermeticum was not written in those centuries, there is no evidence to substantiate it. That was the common thought until 1948, when linguistics from a Greek Translation led them to that being the age. It's like saying that the Bible was written in 1970 because of the language in the New King James Version. In 1948, one part of hte Corpus Hermeticum was part of the Nag Hammadi find. Hermes to Asclepius, and it was older, written in Coptic. We do not know that this is the earliest version, it is only the earliest version found. And please don't post way up here where I'm lucky I even saw it........
KV 19:13, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
I also notice that you have essentially made a few talk comments, made your user page, and spent the rest of your time reverting and deleting sections, as per your contributions... [9] You seem to like undoing work by people who you disagree with rather than contributing new information. Please try to contribute more and uncontribute less.
KV 21:43, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

"Ancient Egyptian mystery schools".

Uh huh.

Now I can't stop you from characterizing my edit history however you want, but you might have wanted to, you know, check more than just today before sounding off on my whole history. A.J.A. 21:58, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

I concur with KV's reversion of your edits. The controversies section deserves to be here. It's sourced, it's reasonable (just as would be unreasonable to assume that the development of Christian doctrine could not have been influenced by Egyptian religion), it's short, it doesn't dominate the article, and it's a reasonable article for it to be in.Timothy Usher 04:27, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Nobody took the controversy section out. The issue is whether one particular argument about one minor controversy should get a whole paragraph. The bullet point immediately preceding it reads:
  • Some claim that Jesus of Nazareth may not ever have existed, arguing a lack of sources outside the New Testament. This view has not found general acceptance among historians or Bible scholars (see the Historicity of Jesus).
See? States the topic, gives the link, and we're done.
If we are going to cover Budge, there should be some kind of attention to the refutations pf these claims, especially given the dubious nature of the case: monotheism in ancient Egypt (other than that one sun-worshipping Pharoah)? A.J.A. 05:09, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
I like the new controversies section. It give the article a sense of beign inclusive and cutting-edge, and makes it stand out in a good way from the stanard article one might expect to find. Thanks, KV for your effort in improving this article. The major problem with the article,still, IMHO, is the introduction. Noticed that I tried to fix this by adding "beliefs" of Jesus. I hope the reason is clear. I do think Giovanni was right to change the intro as he did but I also know he doesnt have consensus yet for such a change. I hope my minor tweak is more acceptable. At least now its accurate. MikaM 04:04, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Hi Giovanni. No, the reason is not clear; how could it be, as you've not explained it?Timothy Usher 04:21, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Okay, User:MikaM, then will you appear on the talk page and explain the purpose of your edit? Thanks.Timothy Usher 04:43, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Bones and beliefs in intro

MikaM, your edit is short of the mark. First, Christians center their beliefs in Jesus Christ, his teachings are secondary. Christians believe he was the Messiah, not that he taught that he was the Messiah. This is a significant distinction that is muddled by your edit. I think I might understand your intent, but it is not an accurate statement. Storm Rider (talk) 04:43, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

I am not Giovanni. I said I agree with Giovanni. The reason is for accuracy. What you have is a belief of Jesus--that is what is it centered on. How can be be on a man itself? No, its the ideas of the man. The man itself could well be mythical. Do you mean you base it on the physical remains of the man, i.e. his bones? I dont think you even have that. Clearly its a matter of accuracy to say its based on beliefs of Jesus, etc. I'd like to see your argument that its not. MikaM 04:43, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
"Do you mean you base it on the physical remains of the man, i.e. his bones? I dont think you even have that."
Nobody does. That's kind of the point, actually. A.J.A. 05:11, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Let's take this slowly. Your point is that Christians believe in the beliefs of Jesus. This contradicts the fundamental belief of Christianity wherein Christians believe Jesus to have been their personal Savior. This is separate from his teachings. His teachings are believed to guide humanity in the ways of happiness and righteousness in this life and elevate humanity into the presence of God in the next. (For the moment please put aside the faith and works dichotomy.) I understand that your edit is an attempt to position the argument in the supposed teachings and beliefs of the supposed man called Jesus. I understand and respect your POV; however, in your zeal to push that POV, I suspect that you have failed to understand a/some real, fundamental beliefs of Christianity. Drop the bones thing, you are not dense and it is without merit. The article is already rife with these qualifers. Storm Rider (talk) 06:03, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

I see Mika's point and I tried to my take again incorporating Storm's statment of the Christian belief that Jesus Christ is their personal savior. I see these qualifiers that article is rife with to be essential for NPOV. Therefore my version is now:
Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on New Testament stories of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, known by Christians as Jesus Christ who is regarded as their personal savior. Giovanni33 06:55, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Giovanni, you were blocked for edit warring over the "stories" thing. Don't start another edit war as soon as you get back. We've explained over and over again on the talk page that Christianity is centred on the person Jesus (whether He really existed or not), not on "stories". We've also pointed out that the word "stories" seems designed to introduce doubts — Peter Rabbit and Jesus. Finally, the "personal saviour" thing is not emphasized by all Christians. While Christians do indeed regard Jesus as their personal saviour, it's usually, AFAIK,just Evangelicals and Fundamentalists, rather than Catholics, Orthodox, and mainstream Protestants, who talk about having "accepted Jesus as their personal Saviour". Some of them even believe that you can't be saved unless you have an emotional experience of accepting Him on a particular date. I remember being told by an ex-Catholic fundamentalist that when she was a Catholic she thought that Christ had died for everyone, but she became a Christian (the implication being that Catholics aren't Christians) the day she realized that He died for her. (There shouldn't actually have been a contradiction between the two!) So, "stories" is POV; it's introduced as part of what seems to be your agenda of trying to discredit Christianity on Wikipedia. It is inaccurate and POV to define Christian belief in a way that Christians themselves would disagree with. And I'd like to see more discussion about the "personal Saviour" bit. Do I regard Christ as my personal Saviour? Yes. Do I emphasize it to the extent of focusing on some emotional experience and excluding the fact that He is the Saviour of others? No. Finally, please read WP:3RR again, and note that people with a history of edit warring can be blocked on fewer than four reverts. It looks really bad if you resume your edit war as soon as you get back. You know that there is strong objection to this "stories" thing, and you're behaving as if you're determined to get it in regardless. AnnH 07:22, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
"Well, if "personal savior" does not pertain to all Christians, then it should not be there. I'm trying to find out the objection to making the intro NPOV and accurate. The objection was just stating the stories of Jesus was not enough--they regard him as a personal savior. Now you are simply begging the question again by saying that that Christianity is centred on the person Jesus (whether He really existed or not), not on "stories". But, this begs the question about where this contruction and notion of the "person" comes from. Is is not from stories in the NT? Are not these stories the basis for the creation of this "person" (wheater he really exited or not)? But, ofcourse. My aim is not to discredit Christianity---its silly to try to discredit a myth. Its already known as a mythology. Everyone knows that. Its like saying I want to discredit the notion that the Moon is not made of cheese. Everyone knows it not made of Cheese. All I want to do is see that the article is both accurate and abides by the NPOV policy. Christianity is a religion. It is impossible to discredit a religion because religions are not based on reality--its based on personal faith and worship, and practices (some groups believe that the stories are literal and true, others see them as symbolic and parables, truths given in fables, etc.--but it doesnt matter. Its not science. Its religion.) The Christian POV is fine to state, esp. since this article is about Christianity, but in order for it to abide by NPOV policies it must attribute this to a POV--not state it as a fact. It must also be accurate. So, if its to be centered on the "person" of Jesus, this concept need to be clarified because franky it doesnt make a lot of sense to me. What does it mean to be centered on the person? What part of the person and on what basis? Well if you think about it, "the person" is really a construction based on stories of the person (real or not); its the IDEAS of the person's existence and meaning. Its not the person itself (if there was a person the person is long dead, no?). For instance, lets say I have a school of thought that is based on some other philosopher, say Marx, or Lincoln, etc. Well, it is not literally on the physical person its on their ideas. Or if I worshed them as in a cult of personality, I might include basing my belief system on stories or known aspects of their life and personality---or the meaning of their life as my belief system creates. In all cases, its all about IDEAS, mental constructions that stem from what is known (thorugh stories---history is a story), wheather true or not, as you way. To quality the meaning is not only required by NPOV, its is alos required simply to make the sentence and meaning accurate. I know that the word "stories" was objected to, and the consensus was to use "accounts" instead of stories. I'm fine with that. But the way it was changed to what is now removes all pretence of NPOV and accuracy and that is why I must change it. Given this need for NPOV and Accuracy, which is more important than not reverting per policy, I feel your warning that I should not contest this because I was recently blocked for violating the 3RR rule not to be valid. But, ofcourse, now that I know how the 3RR works better, I'll follow it. Giovanni33 09:21, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
I would say that "personal saviour" does pertain to all Christians, but is not emphasized by all Christians. Some Christians talk about it a lot — I was saved on 13 July 1989 when I accepted Jesus as my personal Saviour. Some of them believe that they are "born again" through that emotional experience, and that baptism is just a formality, since they're already been "saved". Other Christians feel a little uncomfortable with that, but do of course, still regard Jesus as their Saviour. There are various aspects of being a Christian that would be common to most or all Christian — being baptized, accepting Jesus as your personal Saviour, saying prayers, etc. — but Christians would disagree about how central any of those things is to being a Christian. Therefore, the "personal Saviour" bit doesn't belong in the introduction, in my view.
I hope you're not trying to imply that belief in Christianity is on the same level as belief that the moon is made of cheese, and that Christians are as unenlightened and eccentric as those who hold such views. That's a rather extreme POV to take. AnnH 22:05, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
I find it funny that you would make a distinction between beliefs such as the moon is made of cheese, and the views of Christianity or other religious beliefs--or superstitions, or mythologies, which some people may believe in as part of their religion. The only difference is one is organized and institutionalized and thus is able to increase its ranks. But, if I were to form a new religion centered around the idea that the moon is made of cheese, it would not make it any less englightened than other religious belief systems. Ofcourse such beliefs are unenlightened. Do you think your religious beliefs are any more enlightened than other superstitious belief system, i.e. those of, say, Scientology? Ofcourse its not rational. Christian belifes in being born from a virgin, the dead coming back to life, bread and win turning into blood and flesh, etc---all those are contrary to logic and not englightened beliefs. But, its your right to hold them and they do chracterize the religion. This is just a matter of being rational and objective--its not a judgment value. My POV is that it is generally harmful to believe in absurdities (the more liberal Christians don't believe it is true, but only parable), but many Christian do, an that is their perogative. My POV is not extreme at all--only from your reference point. My view is mainstream. The mainstream view says that when all our senses and observations inform us of a certain reality and if a religious person say, "all that doesn't matter--i still believe the moon is made of chesse (the bread is really human flesh)--that is the extreme view. In anycase, this is not really important for the article, what is important is that when the claim is made about the belife of the moon being made of chesse is made to define the belief system that is uses NPOV language to describe it--it can not state as a fact that the moon is made of cheese, only that its based on the belief of it.Giovanni33 00:03, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

To address the points raised:

  • As StormRider said: Christians don't believe in the beliefs in Jesus, they belief in Jesus. Also, religion is widely understood to include some beliefs. Hence Mika's point falls apart.Str1977 (smile back) 09:45, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Christians don't believe in the beliefs of Jesus? So, if Jesus believes something (according to the stories), then Christians don't also blieve in his beliefs? They disagree? Reallly? That would be the first time I heard such a thing. Is not the purpose of Jesus stating his beliefs (according to the stories), for the express purpose that his followers adopt them and share in such beliefs? You say they instead "believe in Jesus." What that is well in good but its rather meaningless without some explanation about what the means. What about Jesus do they believe in? All we have to believe in is the stories about him---thats it. Can you point to ANYTHING else, other than the stories? I'd love to hear it. Just name one thing, please that is NOT based in stories of him, his life, his beliefs, his character, etc. as recounted in the stories of him in the NT.Giovanni33 10:27, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Gio, please read careful: "believe in the belief in Jesus" - this is redundant or nonsensical. Str1977 (smile back) 11:02, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Regardless, you still can't answer the question because the answer is obvious. You have nothing to point to except beliefs based on stories of Jesus, and belief in the validity of these stories. That is the reality, and that reality has to be stated for accuracy.Giovanni33 00:15, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
  • The same goes for the "bones" thing. If someone had the bones of Jesus, Christianity would be proven wrong. But no one has these bones, as the grave was empty and explanations for that fact have been presented for that since day one (a.k.a. Feast of Unleavened Bread, year 30 AD, Jerusalem).Str1977 (smile back) 09:45, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
I didn't make the comment but I know exactly what the point was. It points the the problem of what is meant by being centered on the person. What about the person is it being centered on? If it is nothting physical then it must be strictly in the realm of ideas about the person. Ideas means stories. And, maybe they did find the bones, but don't know it. But, so what? If a myth is created around a real person, how is finding the bones of that person proving the religion wrong? As your friend AnnH says, it doesnt matter to the religion of Jesus was real or not. Reality is not the point of religion. Its faith, make-believe. That is fine, since Christianity does not purport to be a science, but calls it self a religion. Giovanni33 10:27, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Christians believe Jesus died, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. He sure is, according to our beliefs, physical - but since he's not dead there's no point in talking about his bones. "Maybe they did find the bones, but don't know it." And maybe the moon is made of green chees and maybe the sun will never rise again if I wash my hair this evening. Maybe, maybe. Maybe I don't exist, maybe you don't. All speculative nonsense. It does matter to Christianity whether Jesus was real or not (I don't think Ann meant that, whatver she said). Christianity is a historic faith (like Judaism). It is your objections that are make-believe. Str1977 (smile back) 11:02, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Ann certainly didn't mean that; nor did she say it! I said, Christianity is centred on the person Jesus (whether He really existed or not), not on "stories". His existence is not necessary for the statement that Christianity is centred on the person Jesus to be linguistically logical and NPOV. (I may have mentioned before about how the witch in The Silver Chair hypnotizes the Prince, the two children, and the marsh-wiggle into believing that Aslan (who represents Jesus) does not exist, and the marsh-wiggle, in a huge effort to struggle against the enchantment says something like, "I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it." If you believe in someone who doesn't exist, his non-existence matters a lot to the truth of your belief, but it doesn't matter at all to the truth of the statement that you believe in him. Christians believe in Jesus, and did before the New Testament had been written AnnH 22:05, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
How do you know that is true AnnH? You say Christians believe in Jesus before the NT had been written. How do you know that. Can you provide any evidence to support your claim? All you are doing is telling me what you beleieve---its not established fact, as there is no evidence to support this belief. Everything you know about Jesus comes from stories in the NT. That is why we don't know for sure if Jesus ever existed. We lack the evidence. But you are right about the belief system not requring the actual physical, real, existence of Jesus. But its still important not to state a belief system and its myths in language that states it as a fact instead of it as a belief. Its the latter, not the former.Giovanni33 00:13, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
Which is why I used "accounts," now. Giovanni33 10:27, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I have nothing to add to Ann's explaination about the "personal saviour" bit
  • "I'm trying to find out the objection to making the intro NPOV and accurate." - there is not objection to that. In fact, that is what we, editors of this article, have done all the time. I can't see where you are doing it. You are trying to insert or least suggest via connotation the POV that Christianity is a sham. You are free to hold that view, and view to express it civilly, but the current NPOV version allows for that view. If you don't like the current NPOV version (Jesus and accounts) I have no objection of switching back to the even more allowing previous version (Jesus, as recounted). But not without consensus of editors.
  • Christianity is based on the person and the life (teachings, death and resurrection) of Jesus. You cannot compare it with Marxism, as this ideology claims to be a scientific observation of how the world works, proposed by a guy called Karl Marx. KM never claimed to bring about the revolution and free mankind, he only said: "This is how the world works". In religious figures, Mohammed would be a parallel as Muslims consider him to be only the messenger. In Christianity things are quite different. Str1977 (smile back) 09:45, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
See above about the meaningless of saying its based on a person. You really mean to say its based on stories of the person--since that is all you have to go on. If this is not true then you must state what aspect in particular is based on a person that is NOT based on the ideas and stories of the person. The fact that I radiate heat, occupy space and time, convert oxygen to Co2, and effect work that can be measured, and many other things are things that are based on my person. But, if someone tells a story that was written about me, and others worship that story then that is beliefs based on the stories of me, not me. You might think it does but that is your POV. Giovanni33 10:27, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Just because you can't seem to understand it, doesn't mean it's meaningless. Let me give you an example: If you have a pen pal (or a wiki-friend for that matter, I mean a real one ;-)) and you have never met him in person but have exchanged countless letter and you say you like that pal ... or would you say you like your pal's letters? I don't think so. You might say I like him/her based on what I read in his/her letters - which is what the current intro says, only with Jesus and NT accounts. Str1977 (smile back) 11:02, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I would say I like the pal based on my belief of what the letters tell me about the person, specifically that I like these attributes which the letters suggest this person possesses, and I can say that I believe that these attributes as described in the letter are believed in as truthful. Notice this is all about my beliefs. But, even, because of letters directly written by this person, who has idenfitied him/or herself to me, I an use language that assumes the person is real. I have more than simply heresay accounts from anonymous authors close to a century removed from the actual stories of the person. This is a crucial difference. You can't assume state that even the existence of Jesus is a fact. All you really have is hightly suspect stories about it, and your belief system is clearly centered around the beliefs and teachings of these propaganda stories, stories that contradict each other, that describe things are counter to all known facts. Yet, you wan to support wording that makes it seem as if its as real as a real pen pal? That is POV.Giovanni33 00:24, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
Also, we don't worship the story; we worship the person. AnnH 22:05, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
  • Last but not least: You say "The Christian POV is fine to state, esp. since this article is about Christianity, but in order for it to abide by NPOV policies it must attribute this to a POV" - I must say: this is nonsense. Christianity is the subject of this article and hence this article must state what Christianity is. This is a fact, not some POV. What Christianity is up defined by Christianity (of course in NPOV wording, so no "belief in the Son of God, consubtantial with the Father, who died and was raised ...). But in the end it is Christianity who defines itself. There also cannot be some differing outside authority or view telling readers (Christians or no) what Christianity really is or might really be. Of course, there are internal disagreements between different branches and kinds of Christians and hence the intro definition has to be broad enough to include them all. And IM(BNOM)HO this is what our current intro is doing just very nicely.

Good day, Str1977 (smile back) 09:45, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

It is not nonsense at all. Christianity has to be defined in a NPOV, that is a defintion that is accurate and with nuetral language. If a Christian POV is introduced it must be done so with NPOV language. Christians don't get to frame things based on their POV as if it were universally accepted; it much be couched "according to Christians...." Outsides looking at Christians and observing and studying their belief system have just as much an ability and right to define what it is as Christians do themselves. Being in a religion does not give one a monopoly of powers of observations or understandings of it. It should be broad, accurate and use NPOV language.Giovanni33 10:27, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
It is nonsense. Christianity is a religion, a faith, a belief, if you will. So Christianity is what it is. You don't need some external authority (you?) telling Christians what Christianity is. It needs to be in NPOV language but it still needs to accurately state what Christianity is. An outsider may correctly render such a definition, based on what Christians tell him, but he may not change it. Otherwise I might feel obliged to go over to Atheism and change the intro to "Atheism, in its broadest sense, is the claim of disbelieving in the existence of gods." with the silent connotation that Atheists actually do worship one or more gods, depending on their views, without acknowledging it." Now, you would certainly object to that and rightfully so. Str1977 (smile back) 11:02, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Giovanni, you wrote, " I'm trying to find out the objection to making the intro NPOV and accurate."

I grow weary of you and your digi-minions claiming to create or restore the "NPOV version." Without attempting here to engage the particulars of your objections, allow me to direct you to WP:MPOV.Timothy Usher 09:29, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Well you can grow tired of it but I won't stop saying it because its true, as I explained many times. Your link didnt go to anyplace meaningful. Giovanni33 09:31, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Ok, I went back to the drawing board and based on the impute and objections here I crafted yet another version that says what Christians want it to say yet still passes the NPOV test: Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the life and teachings of the character of Jesus of Nazareth, known by Christians as Jesus Christ, recounted in New Testament.Giovanni33 09:36, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

This is basically back to our previous version. It needs a bit of polishing still. What do others think of this new old version? Str1977 (smile back) 11:02, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

I'd support:
Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, known by Christians as Jesus Christ, as recounted in New Testament."
"...the character of..." is just plain weird.Timothy Usher 11:06, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
...more than plain weird. AnnH 22:05, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
I prefer Str1977 version, but accept the current version. Without Mika's comments I don't know yet his/her position after this lengthy conversation. My comments on personal Savior was only introduced to demonstrate the distinction between believing teachings and believing in the individual; it certainly was not a recommendation to include it in the introduction. I do not support using the terms character, stories, or anything similar. Those terms are specifically used to push a POV. Storm Rider (talk) 18:42, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Storm Rider. AnnH 22:05, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, Str1977's version is not perfect, but at least it is something that I can live with as it can be interpreted, as least, in an accurate and NPOV manner. So, I hope he and others restore it--which was the long standing version that was worked out thought lots of effort as Storm states above. I won't rever to that version but I will respect it if Str1977 or others do. Giovanni33 00:59, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Authority of different sections of the Bible

I did some edits today, deleting the sentence on what Jews think is most important in the Bible. In an article on Christianity I did not think it was of value. In addtion, I deleted a recent addition on bring scritpures to the alter. It just doesn't apply to this section; but if it fits somewhere else I see no problem in cluding it.

We really do have to be careful with our edits. When we do not take the entire article into account we begin to be repetitious and state things that don't apply to the topic at hand. Cheers. Storm Rider (talk) 22:11, 28 April 2006 (UTC)


What is vital to be in the introduction, which elements, then perhaps we can end the edit warring by coming to a conclusion of what is accurate and NPOV, then building words to cover all of it. I'll begin.

  • Christianity has been overwhelmingly monotheistic, while certain forms have been henotheistic (i. e. the Cainites, whose name need not be actually mentioned... and perhaps if we have overwhelmingly as a qualifier we need not mention henotheism in the intro)
  • Branches of Christianity generally focus on the life and teachings of Jesus the Nazarene as documented in the Gospels.
  • Jesus the Nazarene is known as Jesus Christ by Christians
  • Christianity came forth from Judaism.

What else do we need? KV 04:49, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

King, I appreciate what you are doing, but this path has already been walked. That introduction has taken untold numbers (I suspect in the hundreds if not thousands) of hours to produce. It has been the work of concensus among numerous editors (after several knockdown, drag-out fights). Not for a moment do I think it needs to "rehashed" to accomadate a passing editor, particularly one that obviously does not have an understanding of Christian religion.
My advice for anyone that disagrees with the current intro is to read the archives. You will see that your "new" points have already been made, discussed, and the product today is the best you are going to get, because it says it in the most concise manner. If after reading the archives an editor feels they truly possess a new point, then state it here on the discussion page. Numerous editors will readily recognize if it is a truly new point or a rehash of something already done. Cheers Storm Rider (talk) 05:09, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Actualy, the intro as in its most current mutation is not the long standing consensus version of before, which used the language "as recounted in the NT." This was the one formulated by Str1977 and others. The latest version which I'm edit waring with (I guess) lacks even that kind of qualifier which was at least semi acceptable. Giovanni33 07:03, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Gio, you are right. The long standing consensus version was "... as recounted in the NT". It was your opposition to this that resulted in the change. I always have and always will prefer the former version, but I am willing to compromise and have and almost everyone is happy. Now, don't complain about a version that is only here because of your opposition and don't demand the change to a version that will always be just plainly inaccurate. Good day, Str1977 (smile back) 09:01, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Well Im sure you are very happy with this version as its even more POV that your version. At least your version tried to make a pretence at being NPOV and was at least passable, although objectionable. What it was replaced with is certainly not. To blame the person who tried to make it better for what it was replaced with when it was done in opposition to what I want is not logical. If anything it shows the POV nature of editors that want to forces the POV language that is not even accurate. So, I will continue to protest.Giovanni33 09:29, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
So then we can go back to Str's version since you feel it's less POV? Sounds like problem solved.... Homestarmy 17:18, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, Str1977's version is not perfect, but at least it is something that I can live with as it can be interpreted, as least, in an accurate and NPOV manner. So, I hope he and others restore it--which was the long standing version that was worked out thought lots of effort as Storm states above. I won't rever to that version but I will respect it if Str1977 or others do.Giovanni33 00:50, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
Ok, I restored the long standing consensus version for the intro put in by Str1977, agreed to by AnnH, and StormRider, as well. Giovanni33 05:13, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
The fact that I restored the long standing consensus version and that it was reverted and yet no one but myself restores it shows bad faith over this issue, i.e. POV pushing is allowed when it comes from the Christian POV.Giovanni33 19:17, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
I personally prefer "centred on Jesus" to "centred on the life and teaching of Jesus", but I can accept either. Generally people don't revert unless they find something objectionable. Nothing bad faith in that. And please stop the constant accusations of POV pushing. Someone who compares a belief in God to the belief that the moon is made of cheese is not really competent to judge neutrality, in my view. It's perfectly natural that people with one POV will think those with the opposite one have a POV and that they themselves don't, but we don't have to have accusations constantly thrown around. To use the term about one's opponents once or twice every couple of weeks is normal for editors on a controversial article, but you go way beyond that. AnnH 19:48, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Seeming Deletion of Conversation

I remember more posts in the "Section break for convenience:Egypt" section. What happened with those replies?

Maybe the software bug struck. I didn't notice anything missing, but if I'm away from a talk page for several hours, I often select the option of seeing a comparison between the last version I had seen and the current one, rather than clicking on each separate diff. That way, it's easy to miss a few posts that were swallowed up by the bug. If you feel strongly about it, check all the diffs in the history from the time you think those posts were there, find the missing ones, and restore them. (A tedious job — I've done it on numerous occasions.) And I'd like to appeal to everyone, please, if you've made a post, could you click on the diff for that post immediately afterwards, to make sure you didn't swallow up anything. If it goes unnoticed until four or five other editors have posted, it's a nightmare trying to restore the missing bits. AnnH 17:13, 29 April 2006 (UTC)


The original page makes it shady what happens, but with good reason. Not all Christians agree that the physical body will rise up, such as St. Anthony the Great. He refused for his body to be mummified, and had it buried in the desert where no one knew it's position. His words "At the Resurrection of the dead I shall receive it from the Saviour incorruptible." (Budge pp. 104-5) St. Anthony didn't believe his body would rearrise, but rather that he would be granted a new one. This is one of many views on the subject held by Christians on the subject of Resurrection, not all are the same, and pushing one specific view of the Afterlife is not healthy.

KV 17:36, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

""At the Resurrection of the dead I shall receive it from the Saviour incorruptible,", is, of course, an admirably orthodox statement of the doctrine of the resurrection which any Christian would be happy to subscribe to.
The wording I replaced is simply wrong. It's not at all unclear how they fit together, and it's certainly not the case that the survival of the soul after death is incompatible with the resurrection (as the current wording implies. A.J.A. 04:16, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
A.J.A., I believe your version to be inaccurate. Most Christians I know do not have nearly as specific a view as you allege. Indeed, scripture tells us that we do not know.Timothy Usher 04:24, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
"Most Christians I know" is original research (if we can dignify it as "research"). "Scripture tells us" needs a citation. A.J.A. 04:48, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
Your "Most Christians..." version is no better cited. At least mine was in the talk page. As for the relevant verse(s), I'll go find them. I think Ecclesiastes?
In the meantime, I've rewritten the original section to be less argumentative ("It is generally unclear...") and somewhat clearer, although it's still awkward.Timothy Usher 05:12, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
As it happens, I was adding sources at the same time and there ended up being an edit conflict. I added a line from your version to mine. A.J.A. 05:23, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
These are good sources, and your sentence is demonstrably accurate in a way the last one wasn't. However, "Orthodox" here will likely be misinterpreted as "Eastern Orthodox" thanks to the previous sentence. I'll leave it up to you to change it if you like.
Must say, I doubt too many American Christians are aware of what they're supposed to believe, but as it now discusses orthodox theology rather than popular belief, I suppose it's no longer a problem. Thanks.Timothy Usher 05:37, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
I remind you that Modern Christianity is not the only focus of this article. There were many, many Early Christian branches which are a part of Christianity. Many of those held that the Resurrection was not even a physical resurrection and Jesus did not actually die, but rather he recieved a spiritual resurrection where his soul was brought back into life (whereas the vast majority of others had dead souls). There needs to be the distinction between many different views on this, not just one view being propped up. I can cite this information as well. The Hiram Key.
KV 05:56, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
Couldn't agree more. Only saying that the current text can stand and sourced and a fair representation of what it claims to represent, orthodox theology.Timothy Usher

It looks rather odd to say the eternity of the afterlife is debated in the Eastern Church, given that the eternity of hell has been and still is a matter of theological debate in the Western Church.Myopic Bookworm 17:10, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Orthodoxy and Heresy

Well, I found more information on this issue, reading The Hiram Key today. The statement is in a sense factual, but completely POV. "orthodoxy is defined in opposition to heresy" It seems that of the multiple early Christian groups, all were accusing the others of heresy. The Council of Nicea was formed by Emperor Constantine to (probably for the sake of using Christianity, especially since he never left his Solar worship cult which he was high priest of to convert to Christianity, his mother did however) create unity amongst Christian belief. The heresy (meaning in this case falsehood) existed beforehand, but we CANNOT call it heresy then, because heresy existed beforehand only because it meant false teaching. The way this plays out, we are saying, substituting the meaning, "orthodoxy is defined in opposition to false teachings". That certainly is not NPOV. I'm going to have to change the wording...

From "Church authorities condemned some theologians as heretics, the most notable being Christian Gnostics, and defined orthodoxy in contrast to heresy. Other early sects deemed..."

To "Theological disputes about the correct interpretation of Christian teaching led to internal conflicts; The various sects accused one another of heresy, false teachings, leading to the Council of Nicaea on May 20th, 325 CE. This council included church leaders from all parts of the Roman Empire and Emperor Constantine, whom discussed the various points of contention and voted on an orthodox understanding, to which all dissenting thoughts were deemed heretical.{{citebook|The Hiram Key (Paperback ed.). Glouchester: Fariwinds Press. 1996. pp. 61–6.  |coauthors= requires |author= (help) The most notable of sects deemed heretical afterwards were the Chrsitian Gnostics, with other sects including..."

KV 06:44, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

Much better. Thanks.Timothy Usher 07:09, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and Tom, that citebook isn't working for me, can you figure out why?
KV 06:45, 30 April 2006 (UTC)
Could we please not use pseudo scholarship as authority? Str1977 (smile back) 11:22, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Im not sure about the quality of the authority used but the facts as described are accurate, and the text that results seems better to me, more NPOV.Giovanni33 12:01, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
In so far it contains accurate facts, we don't need this book, as serious books contain accurate facts too. But it also contains pseudo-scholarship and hence using it as a citation will hurt WP's or this article's credibility. Str1977 (smile back) 12:07, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

I reverted to the original wording because:

the first part is really stating the obvious, however with a twist: it implies that there were various more or less similar "sects" accusing each other, while in reality there were quite different in shape, size and time. Such disputes did not lead to the Council at all, which was caused simply by two things: the heresy of Arius and the excommunication of Eusebius of Caesarea (connected to his closeness to supporters of Arius)Str1977 (smile back) 12:07, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Only those two things? There heresy of Arius is part of the whole problem of many sects all thinking they posses the only truth and accusing each other of heresy. This doesnt imply that they were not different in shape or size, nor does it mean that Constantine's goal for defining an enforced and official orthodoxy was due to only one or two disputes, even if those were the culminating ones.Giovanni33 12:28, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Hence Nicaea only should be mentioned as an example for Ecumenical councils. The passage is about heresies in general. As for "sects" - KV's version read like suddenly thousands of little sects disagreeing, then getting together and voting on each other. It wasn't like that. Str1977 (smile back) 20:22, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
  • "This council included church leaders from all parts of the Roman Empire and Emperor ..."
The Emperor was present but he wasn't a part of the Council - only bishops can be parts of a council.Str1977 (smile back) 12:07, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
He was still present and very much a part of the processes, which he himself forced, and got his way for views that he wanted, i.e. the part about non-questioning. Giovanni33 12:28, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Constantine was present to make sure a decision was reached. He didn't dictate the outcome.

Don't know what the last bit means, but actually I don't care. Probably some nonsense. Str1977 (smile back) 20:22, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

  • "... whom discussed the various points of contention"
Not at all. The council discussed mainly Arianism, and the Easter date at the side. Also a few disciplinary things were decided, but we don't know about any contention about them.
Ofcourse there was contention. That was the whole point of the counil--to discuss and resolve the various points of contention. As new issues arose new counsils were formed.Giovanni33 12:28, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Gio, why do you never understand. There was contention about Arianism, about the Easter date, we don't know in how far there was contention about the issues raised in the canons, e.g. primacies, church discipline. Str1977 (smile back) 20:22, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Regardless of content, the grammar is incorrect. "Whom" is in the wrong grammatical case. AnnH 21:12, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
This again is not completely accurate (vote implies things that didn't take place then).
Are you saying they did not vote? What is not accurate?Giovanni33 12:28, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
I am saying that voting is an oversimplification. Councils don't work like general elections. Str1977 (smile back) 20:22, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
  • "to which all dissenting thoughts were deemed heretical."
is ambiguous: it can either mean anything that disagreed with the council's definition and anathema, in which case the phrase is stating the obvious, or it can meant the anathemas itself, in which case it is inaccurate, as they did not condemn "all dissenting thoughts" but carefully worded statements. Str1977 (smile back) 12:07, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
It might be obvious to some, but not all. I think it should say that the effect of defining an orthodoxy has the result of calling all other dissenting versions of Christianity as heretical, and thus illegal. They were then suppressed.Giovanni33 12:28, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
As always, Gio, you only address half of my argument: stating the obvious or inaccurate. I don't want neither. Str1977 (smile back) 20:22, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
  • The citation given is a work of pseudo-scholarship.

All in all, the edit I reverted adds no valuable information to the article, rather bloats it, inserts some inaccuracies and ambiguities and a bogus reference. Str1977 (smile back) 12:07, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

I am curious where you get your information. If you wish to revert it, calling it inaccurate, I demand that you find a better source first. My source is verifiable, you give none to be verified. Find a source.
KV 15:39, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Uoh, uoh, does Kiram Key, ISBN 0099699419, in any way meet our strict requirements for WP:RS? Looks rather strange to me. --Pjacobi 16:39, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

It is a very clearcut rehashing of history. The parts that were POV (as to the motives of Constantine) were left out, only the base factual accuracy was pulled out. And the Hiram Key clearly states where it is theorizing and where it is displaying only the facts. You see that they're theorizing all over the book, but in so far as recounting the story of the Council of Nicaea, the bare events, they are certainly very qualified to do just that, and that part is a statement of facts, not theory. If I were citing their take on one of thier theories, and not stating that I am citing their POV (as would happen in the Controversies section, countered by one or more other POVs), then there is a problem with a reputable source, not here.
KV 16:51, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't have a problem with content, for which it is now given as reference, but would prefer giving a scholarly source. --Pjacobi 16:55, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, I wouldn't call this "not scholarly" but it certainly isn't coming from academia. One is in advertising and the other is in solid state physics, so they are not the most qualified. But I do stand behind their work as valid scholarly work, even without credentials. But it is indeed hard to defend that.
If a work done by someone more qualified can be cited, then that's just fine. I don't have much information on Christianity at my fingertips, and certainly not more than your average author. But in the mean time, this citation is qualified enough, and it's better than no citation at all. And of course this version of the text is less NPOV as it explains why dissenting views are considered heretical, but doesn't say that the orthodoxy is specifically not heretical or anything like that.
KV 17:27, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
If we really need to reference general knowledge, we can use any seriously scholarly church history. I cannot provide an English one, I am afraid right now, as I live in Germany.
We shouldn't in any case use even unproblematic bits of a dodgy book as a reference for facts. This hurts WP's credibility and it isn't allowed with scholars either.
Another problem with your change, KV, was that you changed a passage on the whole "theological disputes" into one about the Nicene Council. I wouldn't object to a mentioning of the Nicene Council and will include it.
And finally, KV's version is horrible language-wise, I must say.
Str1977 (smile back) 20:12, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
I really don't think that a Church source counts as a scholarly source. Surely there are such sources outside of the Church. And, as you surrounded the whole problem with the declaration of what was orthodoxy, and what was heresy, you were already talking about the Council of Nicaea, but not referencing it. That's when an orthodoxy was developped.
KV 16:48, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Your version is as such:

Theological disputes about the correct interpretation of Christian teaching led to internal conflicts; Church authorities condemned some theologians as heretics, the most notable being Christian Gnostics, and defined orthodoxy in contrast to heresy. Other early sects deemed heretical included Simonianism, Marcionism, Ebionitism and Montanism. Such disputes, especially in the field of Christology, intensified after the religion's legalization, leading to internal strife and to clearer dogmatic definitions through ecumenical councils, beginning with the Council of Nicaea in 325.

The first sentence is fine, which is why I haven't removed it. But while there were all these different sects, there were no Church authorities. Rather, the various churches accused all one another of being heretical, including the Gnostics calling others heretics. To say that they defined orthodoxy as being in contrast to false teachings is completely POV, for that is saying that the other teachings were indeed false. And where did they form this orthodoxy? You make it sound like it was after they had decided what was heretical and what was not, though it WAS where they decided, for the most part, what was heresy and what was not, from amongst all of the churches. Your version is one inaccurate, uncited, Catholic POV mess, and it cannot be allowed over a cited and accurate NPOV account that does not pick who is right and who is wrong. KV 17:04, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Apart from using pseudo-scholarship, you are most definitely wrong, KV, when you say "there were no Church authorities. Rather, the various churches accused all one another of being heretical, including the Gnostics calling others heretics." - there definitely were church authorities such as bishops, e.g. Ignatius of Antioch, Cyprian of Carthage, Dionysius of Alexandria, various bishops of Rome etc. I could go on all days. There were also councils, such as the one that deposed Paul of Samosata from the see of Antioch. Rival "churches" sprung up only when their leader had been expelled from the mainstream, such as Marcion, Novatian, Montanus.
Also it is saying no such thing as that the others were false. Only that the Church authorities at that time deemed them false or rather incompatible with "true" Christianity and in contrast to these "errors" defined orthodox doctrine bit by bit.
Finally, there is no "after" - it is a question of logical and intellectual sequence, not of temporal sequence. They looked at. e.g. Arianism, reflected that this was wrong, and then drew up a statement of faith (here: the Nicene creed) which contained safeguards against Arian doctrine. In other words, the orthodoxy was already there implicitely but became explicite via the definition in opposition to heresy. Str1977 (smile back) 13:30, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
Seriously; "The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasonry, and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus"? You want to cite that as a source for an encyclopedia article? Tom Harrison Talk 17:53, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
Given the type of fact it is given as being, any speculation is based upon basic facts like this. It is certainly more in line with WP:V than Str's personal opinion on the matter. Until a better source is found, it is better than the previous version. Sure, it is not an ideal source, but it is better than no source.
KV 18:36, 2 May 2006 (UTC)


NPOV is one of Wikipedia's three content-guiding policy pages. The other two are Wikipedia:Verifiability and Wikipedia:No original research. Jointly, these policies determine the type and quality of material that is acceptable in the main namespace. Because the three policies are complementary, they should not be interpreted in isolation from one other, and editors should therefore try to familiarize themselves with all three. The three policies are also non-negotiable and cannot be superseded by any other guidelines or by editors' consensus.

These three policies are THE MOST VITAL Wikipedia policies, and they overrule all others, including consensus.

The neutral point of view is a means of dealing with conflicting views. The policy requires that, where there are or have been conflicting views, these should be presented fairly, but not asserted. All significant points of view are presented, not just the most popular one. It should not be asserted that the most popular view or some sort of intermediate view among the different views is the correct one. Readers are left to form their own opinions.
As the name suggests, the neutral point of view is a point of view. It is a point of view that is neutral - that is neither sympathetic nor in opposition to its subject.

Str's version states that the unorthodox teachings are false teachings, which is what heresy means. It assumes that there is one Church that decided for itself, when there were several competing churches. It states that Gnosticism was deemed heretical, without mentioning Nicaea, which was the point in which it could be said that it began being officially seen as heretical, before then, all churches were equally considered heretical, by all other churches. It vehemontly violates NPOV.

NPOV requires views to be represented without bias. A bias is a prejudice in a general or specific sense, usually in the sense of having a predilection for one particular point of view or ideology. One is said to be biased if one is influenced by one's biases. A bias could, for example, lead one to accept or not-accept the truth of a claim, not because of the strength of the claim itself, but because it does or does not correspond to one's own preconceived ideas.
Religious bias, including bias in which one religious viewpoint is given preference over others.

This is specifically what this article reaks of, what the statement in question reaked of. The dominant editors here have a Mainstream Modern Christian bias which makes those views which aren't part of the current mainstream looked down upon.

Disagreements over whether something is approached the Neutral Point Of View (NPOV) way can usually be avoided through the practice of good research. Facts (as defined in the previous paragraph) are not Points Of View (POV, here used in the meaning of "opposite of NPOV") in and of themselves. A good way to help building a neutral point of view is to find a reputable source for the piece of information you want to add to wikipedia, and then cite that source. This is an easy way to characterize a side of a debate without excluding that the debate has other sides. The trick is to find the best and most reputable sources you can. Try the library for good books and journal articles, and look for the most reliable online resources. A little bit of ground work can save a lot of time in trying to justify a point later.

And so you are to, by Wikipedia policy, provide some alternative sources before reverting.

From WP:V:

The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. This means that we only publish material that is verifiable with reference to reliable, published sources.

This makes a citation to a reliable, published source, as mine, preferable to a non-citation.

1. Articles should contain only material that has been published by reputable sources.
2. Editors adding new material to an article should cite a reputable source, or it may be removed by any editor.
3. The obligation to provide a reputable source lies with the editors wishing to include the material, not on those seeking to remove it.

As mine is sourced, and yours isnt', the burden of proof is on you! Not me. Find a source that disagrees and is of equal or better repute.

As counter-intuitive as it may seem, the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth.

Mine is verifiable, the uncited version previously was NOT.

Any edit lacking a source may be removed, but some editors may object if you remove material without giving people a chance to provide references. If you want to request a source for an unsourced statement, a good idea is to move it to the talk page. Alternatively, you may tag the sentence by adding the {{fact}} template, or tag the article by adding {{not verified}} or {{unsourced}}.

Str's edit lacked a source, it was removed, I readded in another that was sourced.

From WP:NOR:

Wikipedia is not the place for original research. Citing sources and avoiding original research are inextricably linked: the only way to demonstrate that you are not doing original research is to cite reliable sources which provide information that is directly related to the topic of the article, and to adhere to what those sources say.

Str's version is suspect of Original Research by this definition.

My version must stand until these problems can be solved.

KV 19:04, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

The Hiram Key "is better than no source?" No, I don't think it is. Tom Harrison Talk 19:29, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
Despite the fact that I could pull this into mediation and then arbitration with a clearcut ruling in my favor, I just was digging through some books, figuring out which to store, and I found an old college world history textbook that just might do the trick in explaining this, being an undisputedly reputable source, which I can switch...... I'll refrain from making my last revert until I have at least searched for this as a valid reference. But you would think you would at least fix the whole unorthodox views are false part of Str's version rather than supporting it whole-heartedly.
KV 20:00, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
I feel that an unscholarly source undermines the credibility of the encyclopaedia. I do not agree that saying that the Church defined orthodoxy in contrast to heresy carries any implication that any particular belief was heretical. It's disturbing to see that after I explained in a post in this section yesterday that "whom" was in the wrong grammatical case, that grammatical error gets reinserted. The use of "who" for an accusative pronoun is acceptable in informal usage, though "whom" is more correct. The use of "whom" for a nominative pronoun is never acceptable. In this context, it's like saying "them discussed the various points of contention." I don't see any original research in Str1977's passage. (Did you intend to leave that out when you removed the Hiram Key, Tom?) And I assure you, King Vegita, you could certainly not get a clearcut ruling in your favour from the arbitration committee. I've followed arbitration cases before, and I'm familiar with the kind of cases that they accept and the kind they reject. I have never, ever seen the arbitrators accept a case based on a content dispute. I personally doubt if this would be accepted for mediation either, although I'm less familiar with meditation cases.
One last point: if you're inserting some kind of tag like the {{fact}} tag into a talk page, just to comment on it, rather than in an article where you want to use it, it's better to use <nowiki>{{fact}}</nowiki> so that it doesn't expand into the whole content of the template, put extra load on the server, and confuse people by adding a talk page to a category of articles with POV, uncited sources, etc. You can find the nowiki button on the fourth from the right just above the editing box. It's like a W crossed out. I have nowiki'ed the templates that were in your post. AnnH 21:06, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
I see two problem's with King Vegita's version. First, the theological conflicts did not really lead up to or culminate in the First Ecumenical Council. That council didn't happen because the bishops decided they needed to hold one to settle things, it happened because Emperor Constantine summoned the council. This is pretty well established and agreed upon, by people who favor and disfavor that Council's decisions. Secondly, it may or may not be accurate to say that the council defined all other views to be heretical. They declared what the true faith is, and they enumerated some very specific claims that were heretical, such as Arius' claime that "there was a time when the Son was not." Wesley
Part of the problem, Wesley, is the confusion KV's change brings about to this passage. Is it about the "heresy problem" in general or is it about the Nicene council. As I originally authored the passage (with help and criticism from others) I can say that it is about the problem in general, with the Nicene council only a (or the) most prominent example of such cases, and the first one after Christianity's legalisation. Regarding Constantine: he of course participated in the calling of the Council, however he wasn't alone. The bishops had already called a council to Ancyra, when Constantine took interest in it and ordered the bishops to meet in his palace in Nicaea instead. He also was instrumental in making it "Ecumenical", by helpong far off bishops to travel to the place, and by giving the decisions the stamp of legislation. But that's only a historical aside. Re your final observations, they are absolutely spot on. Cheers, Str1977 (smile back) 13:30, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm also not sure it's right to say that orthodoxy was defined in opposition to heresy. Orthodoxy was defined as being the "faith of our fathers," "the faith of the Apostles" and so on. Admittedly, more than one group made this claim. But in general, the claim was "X is orthodox because it's what Christ taught the Apostles, and what the Apostles taught their followers, etc. Y is not orthodox (heretical) because it is incompatible with X, and is not the faith of the Apostles." It might be more accurate to say that heresy was defined as that which was opposed to, or incompatible with, orthodoxy. Wesley
I meant the explicite defintion, of course, orthodoxy was there implictely before the heresy sprung up. Str1977 (smile back) 13:30, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
And at the very least, let's at least fix that use of "whom." :-) Wesley 21:48, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Wesley's position and agree that his points are viewed as closer to historical fact. If I was editing I would only caution that the council stated what they "believed" to be the .... Storm Rider (talk) 22:26, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
I think the reasoning behind the "orthodoxy in opposition to heresy" is that the Church came to a fuller understanding and definition of things like Christ having two natures but being one person, His being consubstantial with the Father, His having a human will and a divine will, both in harmony, as a result of these doctrines being challenged. It has been said that we wouldn't have the Nicene Creed now if there had been no Arian heresy. So the existence of a heresy leads to greater reflection, and ultimately to the definition of a doctrine which might not have been defined otherwise. The wording is Str's not mine, so he may explain it better than I do. He may, even, have something completely different in mind. But my understanding is that the Church might know something vaguely, having not thought it through; it might be challenged or denied; the Church would recognize the denial as a heresy, and would then, after reflection, make a strong and clear statement of that particular truth. AnnH 22:43, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
Ann, you reading the mind of your "iffy company" quite well. That is exactly what I meant by this wording. I don't mind improving the wording towards a greater clarity. Wesley, I always welcome your proposals. Str1977 (smile back) 13:30, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
I "read [his] mind and reveal his thoughts, but they are [mine]." LOL. (Apologies to the other editors — I couldn't resist that private joke!)
And yes, perhaps we should try for greater clarity, since the meaning is not self evident. And as Str says above, of course the orthodoxy was there implicitly before the heresy sprang up. But the fuller understanding and the definitions followed from the existence of the heresies. AnnH 08:18, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Currently, I'm working on building a more comprehensive view using other sources. Thusfar I have purchased a mainstream Christian POV book (unfortunately it specifically notes the reason for return to Christianity after an Emporer restored Paganism along side it was that Christianity was liberating while the pagan religion was not, without any such evidence) and found the little bit it says. I'm looking for other sources, and I will build a cited and much more accurate and NPOV view from it.

KV 16:27, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

True God and true man

It may be the phrase typically used in some churches, but it's archaic and opaque to the uninitiated. Unless it appears in a quote, it makes sense to use clearer language.Timothy Usher 21:54, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

I like it for stylistic reasons, but wouldn't object if it's changed back. In fact, I'd even be willing to change it back myself if I get feedback from others who would prefer it. (I have a weakness for archaic language, myself. I'm constantly accused of cheating at Scrabble when I use words like "ere" or "yonder"!) But it doesn't sound terribly archaic to me, because I'm so familiar with the phrase from the Divine Praises. I don't like two "fully humans" in close succession, anyway. But it doesn't affect the accuracy or the neutrality, so if you change it back, I won't protest. Or, if you leave it a day or two, I'll be happy to change it back myself if that's what other editors want. AnnH 22:08, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

How is "God" or "man" archaic or opaque? I can hardly think of words more clear. Str1977 (smile back) 12:11, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

I think it's about saying "true" man and "true" God... I've heard "fully" used in its place before.
KV 15:52, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for clearing that up. I can live with either "fully" or "true". Maybe we should use the older one and put the newer one in bracketts, e.g. True God and true man (fully divine and fully human). No harm in doing this. Str1977 (smile back) 19:51, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

God is a noun and divine is an adjective. However, "divine" is not as clear as "God", because it could be used to mean "God-like", or having the attributes of a god. You could be divine without being God, but you couldn't be God without being divine. The noun "God" is qualified with the adjective "true", while the adjective "divine" is qualified by the adverb "fully". Maybe we could put "true God and true man" in quotation marks? AnnH 19:57, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Building on Ann's comment, I would propose using "true God and true man" and put an explanation by "fully divine and fully human" in brackets. Str1977 (smile back) 13:26, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Divine could mean God-like, but if you are fully God-like, you are fully God.
KV 16:44, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

In my circles "fully God and fully man" is most usual formulation, so "fully" doesn't necessarily imply that the term has to be "divine" rather than "God". A.J.A. 19:37, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Archiving #29

I have archived past discussions. If you are missing anything, please look at 29. --Andrew c 16:31, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Jewish sect and Acts

I'm not sure if this has been intentional, or an indirect result of other reverts in the opening. A week ago[10], I added the clause "According to the Acts of the Apostles" to the 3rd paragraph. Tim removed that clause because he felt is was redundent. We talked it over on the talk page, and he decided to add a fact tag instead [11]. However, both the fact tag, and my attempt to reinstate the qualifying clause have been removed. I find this very problematic. As it stands, there is a statement (presented as fact) that is only supported by scripture, without acknowledging this. Other users have made it clear that this is a very obvious statement that doesn't need citation. Yet, the biblical citation remains. I'd say remove the biblical citations completely, or better yet, add a couple of scholarly sources to that reference tag. If this is such an obvious fact of Christianity, it shouldn't be hard to find a couple of good books to back it up, right? (I looked in the classic Caesar and Christ by Will Durant, and his summary sort of works and sort of doesn't.) So can we work to try to reference this sentence, or restore one of my two 'disclaimer' options (fact tag, or "according to acts..." clause)--Andrew c 21:10, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Ok here is the quote from Durant:
"Christianity arose out of Jewish apocalyptic-esoteric revelations of the coming Kingdom; it derived its impetus from the personality and vision of Christ; it gained strength from the belief in his resurrection, and the promise of eternal life; it received doctrinal form in the theology of Paul; it grew by the absorption of pagan faith and ritual; it became a triumphant CHurch by inheriting the organizing patterns of genius of Rome." (Durant p. 575)
Like I said, I don't think this is a good enough citation for the wording we have, however I don't believe it should be that hard to find one. I just don't have any other books available right now, and I don't have time to go to the library. So for the timebeing, I am going to reinstate the "according to..." clause until someone can find a few proper citations. --Andrew c 02:58, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

It is not only redundant, but also making this fact sound controversial, when it's not. There is no serious controversy over the fact that Christianity started a) as a Jewish sect and b) in the first century. And Acts is not the only source for this information. We have Tacitus talking about Christians, Josephus talking about Christians - both writing in the 1st century, a bit more ambiguous passage in Suetonius, and we have Plinius talking about Christians early in the 2nd century (making it likely that the other sources got it right). Str1977 (smile back) 10:33, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

I've no reason to think it controversial either, but it'd be even less controversial, and improved (less text, more fact), if we could cite the sources to which you refer.Timothy Usher 10:49, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
But we do have a whole series of citations - which is good. Only starting the passage with "according to ..." we cast doubt upon the following statement - which would be good if there was an actual controversy (but there isn't) and if the disclaimer were accurate (it isn't because there are other sources). Str1977 (smile back) 10:54, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
This "fact" may not be controversial, but the way it was cited WAS. I am glad that this issue has been rectified. There are other sources NOW. Thank you Myopic Bookworm and Tom Harrison. --Andrew c 14:44, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
To Str's dismay, I can back that up with the Hiram Key. The Qumrans, or Nassoreans, or Church of Jerusalem......... whose symbol wasn't a cross, but a fish, the Jesus fish...... the Arab name for them actually meaning little fish.
KV 16:41, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Oh, KV, please keept your crack pot books to yourself. And issues about symbols have nothing to do with this issue. There is no serious controversy over this fact and even if there were, "according to Acts" is wrong - the correct disclaimer would be according to "Acts, Pauline letters, Tacitus and Josephus" Str1977 (smile back) 12:52, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

According to Acts is the exact same thing that you forced me to use when I used Budge. Except, I didn't only have to say that once, but 4 times in a row it says essentially, "According to Budge" with a "Budge considers" in the middle. BTW, is there need for you to call it a crackpot (one word btw) book?
KV 16:19, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
Acts is a major and primary text relevant to this subject. Budge is a single scholar, some of whose ideas are very outdated, and who in any case was an Egyptologist, not an expert in Christianity. Myopic Bookworm 17:00, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
The Book of Acts had everyone sharing everything in common, one couple that kept something for themselves were killed by an apostle using magical feats that most Christians will not accept anyone other than Jesus and maybe Moses as having possessed. I would not consider it past being outdated. And of course the Book of Acts was not written by a single scholar, but by a single person who chances are could not be described as a scholar. If we have to mention Budge's name 5 times, in reference to what he knows about Egypt rather than Christianity (that is what the debate was about), we can handle mentioning that this is according to the Book of Acts which non-Christians may not accept as a factual account.
KV 17:47, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
Nonsense, Acts has Christians giving volutary donations to the Apostles and one couple lying, saying they were giving all their possessions while holding something back - for this they were, according to Acts, struck dead by God - not by an Apostle. Acts is a historical source so all hurly-burly about "not written by a scholar" is also nonsense. And you appearently have no clue about Quellenkritik. Str1977 (smile back) 08:28, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
From Acts, Chapter 2 (verses 44-47), NIV version (Catholic version, since you are a Catholic Str)
All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
All the believers did, and one surely was voluntarily a believer, but we do not know that it was voluntary for believers. It is unlikely as every believer did it if it were voluntary.
Then we have Acts Chapter 3 (verses 6-10)
Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
Here we have a clear act of magic. Accordingly, many non-Christians will not trust a source that claims such things.
Acts Chapter 4 (verses 32-35) repeats the story of possessions in common.
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
Acts Chapter 5 (verses 1-6) states the following.
Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife's full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles' feet.
Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God."
When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
That can be read different ways, surely. But it was upon hearing Peter's words that he died (of course one can even read this metaphorically) suggesting that Peter who did it. And if it was God, then as far as God was concerned, the sharing of property was not voluntary. But anyways, we have something that would not be readily accepted by those who are not Christian.
All in all, seeing as Acts is full of information that is not going to be readily accepted by non-Christians (this is not a scholarly work, but a religious one), it should be mentioned aforehand that it is according to Acts. One cannot simply accept the words of Acts as surely factual, but rather it must be stated that this questionable (to non-Christians) book is the source of the information.
KV 05:09, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
KV, there is nothing in the quoted text that suggests that the selling possessions and giving the money to the Apostles was anything but voluntarily. Most importantly, in regard to the case of Annanias and wife, consider the following (quote from your quote):
>>Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.<<
"Wasn't the money at your disposal", clearly indicates that the couple could haven given part of it and retained part of it, according to their own choice. What Peter criticized was their lying ("You have not lied to man but to God")
Regarding the couple's death: there is nothing in the text supposing that Peter killed them, except if you think that Peter prayed to God, who killed the two because of that prayer. In this case, you might say Peter killed them, but then again, then it was actually God who killed them (which is His prerogative). You might not believe in such supernatural event, but then the logical thing is to dumb the quote alltogether. You may believe that Peter killed the two, but not on the basis of this text. Str1977 (smile back) 13:21, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
Str, the point was that after they sold it, if they needed money, they could take it from the general coffers, which is where it would be. They had to do it to be one with the believers, and I would also like to mention that if the same happened today, people would call the early Christian Church a cult. As it should be clearly apparent, Acts is not a reputable source. I did notice that there seems to be a second reference however, which is why I didn't simply readd the words. But The Hiram Key is much more acceptable as a work on History than the Book of Acts. Basically, no non-Christian takes that book as accurate.
KV 17:16, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
KV, you misread the text. Peter clearly says that the couple could freely decided what to do with their property, whether to keep or sell it, and also with the money they got out of selling it, whether to keep all, or give some to the Apostles or to give it all. The point of contention is that they claimed to give all the money while in fact they in fact held some money back. Clearly lying and reaping the admiration for "giving it all". There is no evidence (and in fact this is passage speaks against it) for a requierement of giving up all possessions. Not a shred.
Your "key of Hiram" is only acceptable for recycling the paper or as an example of crack pot scholarship. Acts, on the contrary, is a primary source of history, and Luke has been getting more and more credit for his work in recent decades. Now stop this useless debate. I have neither the time nor the inclination of debating your crackpots or your misreadings. Good day, Str1977 (smile back) 15:46, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Str, thanks for the scarecrow. The Hiram Key was not mentioned in this text at all, and I made many more arguments than whether it were voluntary or not. Who has been accepting a book of the Bible as accurate? Generally, this is done in finding other information, from other sources which are viewed as more credible, that agree with it. Modern Archaeology for example. That is the source that should be cited, not the religious text.
And Peter does state that they had free will in the matter, but only so far as they could have not sold the house and not been a part of everything, or they could have sold everything and still taken whatever they needed from the general coffers. If I tell you I sold all my books, but I did keep one of special meaning, do you really care that I kept that one for myself? There was a clear choice in doing that and becoming a part of the society, and not becoming a part of the society, but not any shades of gray in between.
KV 19:32, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
I guess there is no point in replying anymore, since you don't care to read the text as it stands. And yes, I'd take exception to your "all book" claims if went around boasting how you gave up all your books. Excuse me if I cannot take your posts seriously anymore, but with your claim that archeology proofs that Christians had to give up all property you lost me. If you don't want to return to the real world, I will leave you in neverland. Str1977 (smile back) 19:45, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
Try reading again, that's not what I said.
KV 04:28, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
My last three words on this:
  • You have no clue what magic is and isn't.
  • You have no clue about Quellenkritik (If historians disregarded all books containing something appearing to be supernatural, there'd be hardly any ancient history.
  • You appearently have no clue about voluntary acts.
  • You constantly disregard the verse "And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal"
Good day, Str1977 (smile back) 10:46, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
This is quite comical. First, I know quite well what magic is and what magic isn't. From Crowley's "every intentional act is a magical act" to more practical definitions. When someone suddenly drops dead because of words spoken by another, short of a startling yell from the darkness which would cause cardiac arrest (of which this was not) and happening twice on the same day, that would constitute magic. Healing someone through touch, that is definately magic, a type of magic I practice constantly myself. I know what magic is Str.
No, I have never heard of Quellenkritik.... but though information can be found in such sources, there are plenty of non-mystical sources from the era you describe, and many non-Christians would not take it seriously. The Romans of the time took great records of what happened and what was where, all without going into mysticism.
I do know what is voluntary, and I also understand that there are different degrees. The US has a volunteer army, but that doesnt' mean that one can join and then refuse to see actual battle. I see the same happening with Acts.
I have mentioned that specific verse 3-4 times now......... and that is saying that the money would be available to them through the general fund, so they had no need to keep it for themselves. It does not mean that one could decide to give only part of it all, in fact that is completely counter to the whole lesson they're trying to teach in that section.
KV 11:30, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Str1977: You keep mentioning Paul, Tacitus and Josephus, but I fail to see these citations in the main article. Would you mind adding them? Myopic Bookworm: Did you get my message? Would you mind adding your reference also to this section? I'd do it myself, only I felt that it was slightly incomplete. Do you have the book number? Or was it a web reference? If so, do you have a link? Thanks, y'all!--Andrew c 01:44, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

It is difficult to reference all these sources, since they do not state "christianity begann in the 1st century as a Jewish sect", but rather take it for granted (and hence give evidence to it, as does Tacitus - Ann., xv 44) or are simply material from within this group called Christianity (as are Paul's letter. Josephus, notwithstanding all the Testimonium's problems, mentions Jesus and that "the tribe of Christians hasn't to this date died out". But I will included them into the reference, as far as I can. Str1977 (smile back) 08:28, 4 May 2006 (UTC)
I think you are right. These sources don't really say what we want them to say. I think we should stick with the contemporary scholarly stuff. (On top of that, the Josephus line contains an alleged Eusebian tell "εἰς ἔτι τε νῦν".)--Andrew c 00:35, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't care whether we remove these references or not, as long as we don't load the text with the false statement "According to Acts" (which nonetheless is the main source for the the details of early Church history). Str1977 (smile back) 13:21, 5 May 2006 (UTC)
False? If it is a false statement, then Acts should hardly be the source. If it is not so according to Acts, then Acts should not be cited in supporting that view.
KV 04:31, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
KV, if you don't know what others are talking about, then ask and do not just comment. Acts is indeed a source but not the conly one. Str1977 (smile back) 10:46, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Str, that would not make it a false statement, only an inappropriate one. According to Acts, that is true. And not having read that other source, that may very well be where they got their information for all I know. So long as Acts states it, then it is a true statement, and it is false ONLY if Acts does not state it. And your constant accusations are getting tired.
KV 11:30, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, Andrew, for posting on my talk page and giving me the chance to clarify what I wrote above. In no way did I intend to accuse you of falsehood and if you based your argument on the premise that only Acts was cited in the old footnote, I agree that your conclusion from that was only logical. I called that statment "false" only for its content in regard to the actual sources for the fact. But you are not to blame for that. Sorry I was assuming too much and sorry if I offended you. Cheers, Str1977 (smile back) 15:36, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

I am not sufficiently clued up to add a fully coded footnote: the reference is to "The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion", editors in chief R. J. Zwi Werblowsky and G. Wigoder (published OUP New York, 1997; ISBN 0-19-508605-8), page 158. Myopic Bookworm 08:44, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks you very much, I just copy and pasted what you had above and put it bewtween the ref tags right after the sentence in question. The coding already takes care of making the footnote and moving the text down to the bottom.--Andrew c 00:25, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Format Change

I'm going to change the format from using citebook to ref tags. We'll use the format I have seen on the other pages, including what I've been converting to in Hermeticism since I have a lot of information to cite in upcoming changes, and the ref tags are much more usable. We ref to the citation, and citebook is used under sources. This allows me to eventually make clearer citations using less code.

KV 04:34, 8 May 2006 (UTC)