Talk:Christianity/Archive 16

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The Gospel of Thomas - considered as inspired?

The following addition was made today:

Similarly, some Christians disagree on which writings are inspired; The Gospel of Thomas and The Gospel of Judas are accepted as inspired writings by Christian Gnostics.

Actually, it also had the Book of Mormon there, but that has been moved back to where it was originally. While gnostics might have a high regard for the Gospel of Thomas, for example, I'd be very surprised to learn that they (or any others) hold it as actually inspired. When "inspired" is used in that section, it's referring to the teaching of many Christian churches that the books of Scripture are inspired by God. It's not used in the sense of "that idea [to prepare and freeze the dinner the week before the dinner party] was inspired." So unless someone can come up with a reference to show that Gnostics go further than just thinking it's a great book, I think that shouldn't be there. I'm open to correction, of course. AnnH 22:56, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

The problem is considering much of Gnosticism is based on the idea that the God of the Bible was some sort of evil demigoge, the issue of just which "god" inspired it becomes the next question, or whether Gnostics even believe any of the Bible was "inpsired" in a sense. Polytheism can get so weird..... Homestarmy 23:01, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
I am sorry that I can not be of more help, but as I recall St. Thomas does have special significance to some Gnostics. I can't remember the book I read that it (this is not a persoanl specialty)...I will check my home library. I know it was a recent read.
Homestar, I have a different understanding of gnostism than you. Though there are different schools, it seems that Vanlentinus and his more monistic approach had special significance. I am not aware that they worshiped a plurality of gods. There different emanations of god, which I equated to avatars without the physcial presence typcially associated. I guess I should do some more reading. Storm Rider (talk) 00:20, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh no, they wern't really polytheistic in their worship as I understand it, just polytheistic in their acknowladgement of how many gods they said exist. But admittedly, I think Gnosticism has its own odd branches that really don't "fit the mold" so to speak of what im saying, but the question that this situation seems to be asking is exactly which "god" did the Gnostics think inspired the Bible, if at all? Because of some of their general reversal of the good vs. evil roles of numerous Biblical characters, one would think they would think the Bible horribly corrupted or something. Homestarmy 00:52, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

What evidence to we have that Gnostics consider "Judas" to be inspired? KHM03 (talk) 01:24, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

I have yet to find anything that supports that statement. I wonder if it is more of a current thought. I did read the WIKI article on Gnostics and it did not mention it. I have not researched scholarly books yet; still looking. Storm Rider (talk) 03:37, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

I took notice to the fact that the Book of Mormon is about an encounter with God, where God instructed Joseph Mormon (I trust I have that name right) in how to lead the people. From my understanding, all correct biblical texts were seen by Christians as to have been inspired by God, and seeing as for the Mormons, this is part of their Bible, I considered it an inspired text and it POV to imply that it wasn't. I may be wrong about that, but the point being that these are parts of the Bible, and truthful, books for those mentioned. If I am wrong, there should be some discussion of what constitutes an "inspired" text.

And as for the Gnostics, I believe it was specifically the Cainites, as I thought I had recently read, who believed that Yahweh was evil, and not the God who created everything, but another lesser God. The God who created everything was a loving God, in comparison to the evil Yahweh, who sent Jesus to Earth. In accordance, they considered villains from the old testament, explicitly Cain, to truely be heroes while heroes such as Moses and Noah to be villains for being in cahoots with an evil entity. Technically they're not polytheistic, but henotheistic.

And the Gospel of Thomas is nothing more than 100 quotations of Jesus, all of which have metaphorical meaning. For example, Jesus says he came to turn son against father and daughter against mother. Most interpret that to mean that he came to bring freedom even in the closest relationships where children are told by parents how to live. It's text is at

KV 05:06, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

The answer to your questions, depends, like almost everything else in Christianity, on which Christians you happen to ask. There are many universally accepted facts, or truths, i.e., 1+1 = 2, gravity exists, etc, that's so obvious that everyone, except for a few mental patients, accept it as true. However, it comes to religion, and even among Christians, virtually nobody can agree about even simple things. Thats because there isn’t anything objective there, it’s just the human mind creating its own belief system. There is no devinly inspried texts; God is an imaginary friend for grown-ups. But, assuming that there is at least an imaginary construction of some such creature (lets say for fun), for sure there is not one god even among Christians (or even according to the Bible. According to the 2001 World Christian Encyclopedia there are 33,800 denominations of Christianity around the world, most of which have different, and incompatible, versions of “The Truth”. I read an article by a researcher who asked 16 Christian denominations what they believed about being saved, what hell is, etc. Most of them gave different answers to each question, even within the same denomination. There was a huge split in the Church of Christ because no one could agree if there should be a handle on the communion cup! “We have the ONE TRUE way, and everyone else is wrong!!” is what they ALL say. So, your question is rather meaningless and its instructive at the same time: its devine if some group of Christians say it is, but others will say it not, like just about everything else they say. That is why Christian history is full of heresies, heretics, and heretical groups--it being not so much just the the rejection of a religious authority as it is the rejection of a particular religious authority in favor of some other religious authority - an unorthodox one, to be specific. And all this is POV depending on which version of Christians gets the upper hand by means that have nothing to do with the truth of its propositions. Giovanni33 05:43, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Gio, you are babbling again and continuing to beat the same drum. Be more concise; you have good (if not excellent) points at times, but you lose people in your presentation. We are not here to define which books of scripture are true, but which books of scripture are held to be so within Christiandom and by whom.

Getting back to the point at hand:

H.-C. Puech and Beate Blatz write (New Testament Apocrypha, vol. 1, p. 387):
Dating: the Gospel of Judas was of course composed before 180, the date at which it is mentioned for the first time by Irenaeus in adv. Haer. If it is in fact a Cainite work, and if this sect - assuming it was an independent Gnostic group - was constituted in part, as has sometimes been asserted, in dependence on the doctrine of Marcion, the apocryphon can scarcely have been composed before the middle of the 2nd century. This would, however, be to build on weak arguments. At most we may be inclined to suspect a date between 130 and 170 or thereabouts.

In the highly fractured Gnostic movement the book of Judas was viewed as a book of scripture at least by some Gnostics. I think the statement under question is legitimate and may/should be included with the above reference.

On another note, and for clarification, Mormons hold the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. They believe it is an ancient record of God's dealings with the inhabitants of the western hemisphere. More importantly, its stated goal is to proclaim to Jew and gentile that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God. It is believed to have been translated by Joseph Smith. The name Mormon is believed to be an ancient prophet. King, I hope that helps. Storm Rider (talk) 07:56, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Shall I consider it consensus that we should reinsert my edit? The conversation has died down, and I'm not going to let this be ignored and then when I leave appropriate time for more reaction consensus be denied. Someone should reply here if they feel it isnt' consensus, otherwise I will consider it so in 24 hours.
KV 04:03, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
I do not think it appropriate, in a general article on Christianity, to mention books that may or may not be considered inspired by not-quite-Christian sects. There are plenty of places in Wikipedia for describing non-Biblical books and discussing their historical and religious status: this is not one of them. Myopic Bookworm 10:09, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
The Gnostics and Mormons are both 100% Christian. They are not off of Christianity at all, but merely are not currently popular. The main point with the way I had it worked out was that the Mormons would find the Book of Mormon to be inspired, and as such it is unmistakenly implying that the Book of Mormon was not inspired. The other two I am not sure about, I hadn't even heard of them anymore, so I threw in those two gospels so that the Book of Mormon would not be alone. However, they are 100% Christian, and being such need coverage in a general Christianity article. They are indeed based on accounts of the life, actions, and teachings of Jesus Christ. A fair objection is that it is not considered inspired by anyone, not that you don't consider them Christian because they don't conform to your own beliefs. KV 16:40, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
I would likewise agree with KV. This is a general article on Christianity and the topic of scripture is important. There are several books of scripture used by various Christian churches. We are not discussing these books in detail, but mentioning that they exist under the umbrella of those who believe that Jesus is the Christ. It should be noted thta I am subjective on this topic; I am a Latter-day Saint.
The way the current topic reads is not correct. The LDS believe the Book of Mormon is a book of scripture. However, White and Eddy's writings are considered sacred, but not scripture. As I have stated before, I am not a resource on the Gnostics, but they hold many books to be scripture and not just these two. I will make edits to the paragraph to reflect these changes. Storm Rider (talk) 17:09, 13 April 2006
I have accepted the addition, in the context, and worked it into the text a little more integrally. However, I do not think it reasonable to regard groups as "100% Christian" if they are considered as outside the bounds of Christianity by all the mainstream churches, any more than Christians are "100% Jewish". I take the point that such groups are broadly "based on the life, actions, and teachings of Jesus Christ", but however awkward or regrettable it may seem to some, the term "Christianity" predominantly means Nicene Christianity. A group that bases its teachings on Jesus but believes him to have been a Tibetan master or a visitor from Alpha Centauri is highly marginal to Christianity, and does not merit treatment in a general survey. Myopic Bookworm 17:28, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
PS Thanks to SR for the useful distinction between scripture and other sacred works. Myopic Bookworm 17:36, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Maybe I missed something; did one of the groups mentioned believe Jesus was a Tibetan master or from Alpha Centauri?
I agree with you in many ways, but let us be clear we are discussing a problem that has existed since 325 AD. There is Nicene Christianity, historical Christianity also works well and then there is Christianity. Trinitarians are not the controllers of the term Christian. I know they have done everything in their power to control the term, but Christ is greater than any church, any group, and any traditions. Those who believe that Jesus Christ lived and died for their sins, that His blood has washed away their sins through his Atoning sacrifice, and that respond when He calls are rightfully labeled Christians. No one upon this earth is capable of defining who is and who is not Christian. You are more than welcome to claim that some group does not belong to the historical Christian church and you would be quite correct in doing so for LDS, but that is about as far as we can go.
This type of conversation can easily devolve into "throwing rocks". Let's not do that, rather let us agree to disagree and let it go.
WP:NPOV states, "NPOV is one of Wikipedia's three content-guiding policy pages... The three policies are also non-negotiable and cannot be superseded by any other guidelines or by editors' consensus."
"The policy requires that, where there are or have been conflicting views, these are fairly presented, but not asserted. All significant points of view are presented, not just the most popular one. It is not asserted that the most popular view or some sort of intermediate view among the different views is the correct one."
Therefore, the argument that Nicene Christianity is the most popular doesnt' mean that their POV is shown and we just give the other POVs a miss. To have NPOV we do not support any side as right, but display all three POVs in a neutral tone.
I am quite happy with Tom's last version
KV 17:52, 13 April 2006 (UTC)


Would it be possible to get a disclaimer at the start of this article labeling it as fiction? The FSMism (Flying Spaghetti Monster) page has been labeled fictional, and I feel that it's only neutral to label all religion articles this way. Who's to say which religion is the true one? Perhaps instead of "Fiction" the more moderate label "Beliefs" could be used. I just want to make sure that the Wikipedia stays POV neutral. (Pygmypony 05:36, 12 April 2006 (UTC))

I completely agree! Religion is fictional, the bible is literary fiction, although there are some historical elements (as is true with most fiction). Giovanni33 05:46, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Geez, I can't imagine why the Flying Spaghetti Monster would be labeled fictional! Further, I can't believe it is not treated with respect and reverence. I am aghast at such insolence. Shocked even.

It would seem redundant to label every article of scripture as "Beliefs". I thought that is what religions are based upon...the beliefs of the people. To me it is like a "DUH" moment.

On another note, we attempt to treat all religions with respect and most, if not all, with a degree of reverence. Not because we share all beliefs, but because we acknowledge that others hold those beliefs and they are due our respect. To label all relgions or beliefs as fictional we show neither respect nor reverence, but rather we show a specific POV and disdain for the beliefs of others.

WIKI is not about proclaiming which religion is true, but to share information about all types of subjects...including religion. Often, IMHO, in a pervision of NPOV policy we often present pros and cons to most religious articles. This does not serve to enlighten anyone, but rather satisfy the appetites of zealots. That is my soap box and I will now step down. Storm Rider (talk) 08:10, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

But, wait a minute. Is not showing respect and reverence for such beliefs merely the flip side of the same POV coin of showing disdain for it? Just because people believe in something is no reason to regard such beliefs with reference and respect. Infact, beliefs which are very harmful to society should be mocked and not respected but refuted, and argued against, shown to be the harm they are. I'm a firm believer in free speech and democratic openess for all ideas, but this includes being critical of bad and terrible ideas, as we see fit to argue. This does not mean people don't have a right to believe in anything they want, even to preach it but if its wrong, why should it be respected? On what basis? To respect the right to hold the belief is quite different (as is respecting the human being and having tolerance), from respecting the belief itself! Insisting that one have deference or reverence is even worse, but makes the purpose very clear: to accords the belief a special, privledged status, but unless you are religious already, there is no reason to do that from a non-religious POV, anymore than anyone's else claim. On what basis? Simply because they make a claim, or because its a religious claim you have an afinity with, and you think it should be honored, and loved? That is yoru POV, and its not reasonable to expect others to feel the same. Simply put to ask deference is to ask for positive thoughts about the belief, for privileges for themselves, their beliefs, and their religions. But, rarely, if ever, are such things justified.
And on Wikipeadia, to be NPOV is to treat it nuetrally, not with respect or reverance, and equally not with disdain, either. You mock the Church of the Flying Spagetti Monster---where is your respect and reverance for that belief, and how is it qualitatively and logically different than any other religious belief in unsupported claims based no on reason, but blind and dogmatic assertion, on faith? I see none. Giovanni33 08:57, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
The suggestion is not only deliberately insulting to Christians but also factually inaccurate. Christianity incontrovertibly exists, and an article on it is therefore not fiction. Myopic Bookworm 10:44, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, but it exists as a fiction, like other myths. The myth exists but its fictional in nature, no? 17:30, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
do we really need to answer that? The debate over whether Christianity is true or false started almost 2,000 years ago because a man named Jesus Christ came and decided to institute a new covenant, which the Jewish people often denied. 2,000 years later, the debate is still not over. If it was over, then why would we be topping out at around the top religion population wise? And please don't give me a response about "un-educated barbarians in africa", that would be such a dissapointing argument.... Homestarmy 18:15, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Right...and the scholarly consensus is that Jesus was a real person (though the veracity of the miracles, Resurrection, etc. are understandably challenged). So, if we claimed "fiction", we'd be going against the academy, and that's a no-no on Wikipedia. KHM03 (talk) 18:18, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Gio, you know the answer to why everyone mocks the FSM; it is because it is a farce. It is meant as a poke in the eye for all religious believers. To show respect or reverence for the beliefs of a Buddist, a Jain, a Muslim, or a Jehovah's witness (put any adherent you wish in) is not POV. It does not mean you or I believe in the precepts of those religions. However, to attempt to state which are true and which are not is not the place of WIKI. We are not talking about 1st amendment rights here, but rather common courtesy. I think we can maintain neutrality while still showing respect for all religions (particularly those that don't set out to be a farce). Storm Rider (talk) 19:05, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Do not feed the trolls. DJ Clayworth 18:38, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm going to have to disagree...... the Pastafarians are attacking the concept of teaching creationism in the schools and I, as a religious person and legal reverend, do not find them to actually be making fun of me. Creationism is a specific religious belief, and intelligent design is essentially Creationism with a few word substitutions (as evident in one influential ID book). Surely, Pastafarinism is not an actual religion save a few people on some really, really good weed or shrooms who were unable to see that it was a joke with a point. But it should be following WP:Verifiability and say that they claim to be a real religion at least, though others suspect.... blah blah blah.
KV 18:55, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

While no religion can be considered the "true" religion. You cannot call any religion fiction. I am at the moment un-sure about religions and currently identify with all, but i think the label that is present does a good job explaining the possible one sidedness of the article. While i myself believe it to be semi-mythological and more of a guide than fact, i wouldn't call it fiction. The current label does a good enough job explaining what needs to be explained.

Change for minor NPOV improvement and accuracy

This is my proposed change, which is minor but I think makes it more NPOV. Wondering what, if any, objections there are:

"Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the stories of the life, teachings, and actions of Jesus of Nazareth, a character known by Christians as Jesus Christ, recounted in the New Testament." Giovanni33 08:17, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I think there will be several. First, I am not surprised that you would use the term "stories". I suspect that you think fable would serve even better? Come on Gio, you are trying to introduce a negative tone, one that casts doubt on the subject. We have talked about this ad naseum, scholars on both sides of the aisle believe there is a historical Jesus as much as you disagree with the majority. Second, to use "character" is to make a caricature of Jesus. Again, you attempt to set tone that demonstrates this is all the farcical musings of the ignorant. These changes are not NPOV, but rather decidely POV. Come on GIO, you are better than this. Storm Rider (talk) 08:28, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Take a look at the wrod from the dictionary: sto·ry n. pl. sto·ries 1. "An account or a recital of an event or a series of events, either true or fictitious." It fits perfectly. The bible was authored by story tellers. That is what the experts say. I don't want it to be POV, i.e. saying it's true or false--one way or the other. It should not imply either. That is why I want to use "stories" which leaves that question open-ended. The same goes for "character," which I want to emphasis that its a characterization in a text, which doenst necessarily mean its true. A character is a person portrayed, usually in an artistic piece. I just see my minor changes as being more accurate and sticking to NPOV. It doesnt cast doubt, but it leaves doubt as a possiblity, whereas otherwise, its POV to try to hide, mask, and use language that removes the possiblity of healthy doubt. Otherwise, simply saying, "centered on the life, teachings, and actions of Jesus," instead of "stories on the life, teachings, and actions of Jesus," assumes the factual existence of a real Jesus, which is a POV, not a fact. Using the accurate word "stories," which is what its based on in reality (a story book), is not only NPOV, its simply describing it more accurately. Giovanni33 08:34, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree fully with Storm Rider, and haven't we been through this before? AnnH 09:06, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
You know where I stand with my doubts of the historicity of this stuff Gio but even I acknowledge that currently this is a tiny view in comparison to the majority one. To hint in the intro line that there is some doubt gives undue weight to this view. Christianity is a reality and most believe based on real events - that is what the inro should state. Gilraen of Dorthonion AKA SophiaTalkTCF 09:21, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
I didn't think the intro in a nuetral article on the subject should be pushing any POV. I thought that was the whole point of it being NPOV. Staying that its based on the stories of the life, action, etc. of Jesus, recounted in its book, is not introducing a POV--its simply stating factually what is the case. Does anyone dispute the the Bible and those who tell stories of the Bible are infact telling stories? No one disputes that, as far as I know. That is not a minority view--that is a majority view. All the major New Testiment Scholars say exactly this. A story can be true or false. All we know is about the reality of Jesus, etc. is based on these stories. Most people believe that a real Jesus existed, and even I think that is quite possible. I don't know. But, is it wrong to state accurately that such a character is based on these stories? It leaves out the question of the stories being true or not. It leaves the question open. Or, if not, why doesnt this article just make the claim outright: "There was a real Jesus--the stories of Jesus are TRUE and FACTUAL! Why not present a fundamentalist view of the Bible, if we are not to even be allowed to leave open any possiblity for doubt in the language? I think you see my point. This is not stating a tiny minority view. That is not what I'm doing here. Its a question of accuracy and NPOV.
Take a look at all these mainstream views and sources. They call them stories.
As the mainstream scholars point out,
"A period of forty years separates the death of Jesus from the writing of the first gospel. History offers us little direct evidence about the events of this period, but it does suggest that the early Christians were engaged in one of the most basic of human activities: story-telling. "[1]
"The gospels are very peculiar types of literature. They're not biographies," says Prof. Paula Fredriksen, "they are a kind of religious advertisement. What they do is proclaim their individual author's interpretation of the Christian message through the device of using Jesus of Nazareth as a spokesperson for the evangelists' position." From the PBS Frontline special on the Gospels. "
"Then, in about the year 70, the evangelist known as Mark wrote the first "gospel" -- the words mean "good news" about Jesus. We will never know the writer's real identity, or even if his name was Mark..."
Allen D. Callahan, Professor of New Testament, Harvard Divinity School
"If you take the gospels as a factual account of the life of Jesus, they're not all in sync...Well, there are what we might identify as contradictions in the account. If we want to read the gospels as eye witness accounts, historical records and so on, then not only are we in for some tough going, I think there's evidence within the material itself that it's not intended to be read that way. "They don't claim to be eye witness accounts of his life. They're making certain arguments and they have concerns...they are telling stories with a purpose...Gospesls are stories for Moral Edification, not literal in any way.Harold W. Attridge, The Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament Yale Divinity School
"Most of the early Christians certainly would think that the gospel stories happened. They did have problems because there are so many discrepancies among and between the gospel stories which they themselves could notice, but they had a hard time perhaps putting them all together in what we would consider a literal kind of way. Basically, early Christians wanted to use these stories for moral edification. For a general message about salvation. Jesus lived. He died. He saved us from our sins. There's going to be an end to the world on judgment. A few basic phrases like that..." John Dominic Crossanm Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies DePaul University
Ofcourse, I can go on, but I think I've made my point. Stories is what is is, and only a someone pushing a fundamentalist POV that wanted to insist that the language treat the subject as a literal factual account could object to leaving it open-ended by describing it accurately for what it is: stories of the life of Jesus. Without the stories there would be no Christianity. It is the stories that makes its exist and informs them of their beliefs. To object to this is to object to reality. But I guess the real objection is that they think the stories are TRUE and therefore object to the use of the word, which can be false or true. So, clearly its pushing a POV in one direction. This is not allowed. Giovanni33 09:42, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm prepared to accept the wording as it now stands "the life, teaching and actions of recounted in the New Testament". Gio's other suggestions I would consider as mainly provocative rather than genuine improvements. Myopic Bookworm 10:41, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Gio, please review WP:NPOV#Undue weight and WP:NPOV#Giving_.22equal_validity.22. Thanks...KHM03 (talk) 10:54, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
I don't think Gio needs to review this for this issue. This is not about giving voice to a minority POV, its about being accurate and using NPOV language. Gio's suggestion does not state the POV that Jesus did not exist. It merely reports what is the case: Christianity is based on the stories of the life of Jesus. If one wants to believe the stories true or false that is up to the reader. 17:24, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
And, Gio, just so we're all clear regarding your proposal, I disagree with it; it's not an improvement over the current intro. Please gain a consensus before changing and beginning yet another revert war. KHM03 (talk) 10:59, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
I fail to see how that new wording improves accuracy, their not just "stories"..... Homestarmy 12:34, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
I actually agree with Gio on this one. How are they not stories? That is exactly what they are according to the mainstream scholars who are the authorities in the subject. If they are not, I'd like to see you cite references that say so. Pepole say they disagree with Gio, but I don't see any arguments that have been made against Gio's suggestion, or his arguments. All that we know about Jesus comes from these stories, no? So what is wrong with stating that? Yes, I agree it might be provocative to Christians who believe they are true stories (since stories can also be false, fictional but I don't think Wikipedia should assume any POV. 17:12, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
The BBC manages to say, "It is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ who lived in the Holy Land 2,000 years ago." Tom Harrison Talk 17:29, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, but those teachings are based on the stories in the NT, no? Can you provide a link for this, by the way so we know who says it specifically? 17:33, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
"Christianity". Religion & Ethics. BBC. Retrieved 2006-04-12. 
I see its unattributed, no scholar quoted saying that. Its just a media corp. 18:23, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
I would have to say that they indeed increase the accuracy of the statement, because there are many stories, not just one accepted one (Those willing to fight for John's account over Mark, keep me out of it). Perhaps a better term is account, it improves the accuracy and doesn't remind you of a bedtime story that I think you're getting the image of. Indeed Giovanni has an ongoing theory that there may never have been a Jesus of Nazareth (which somehow a bunch of people who worship him as Jesus Christ, Son of God, never bothered to find proof that Jesus factually existed) which of course makes this a POV movement to NPOV language which is what you all see. However, despite this being POV influenced, I believe that the suggested version is more NPOV, partially because story or account does not even necessarily suggest that it may or may not be false, but it does point out that there is more than one view given on this.
So we change Giovanni's wording:
"Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on multiple and related accounts of the life, teachings, and actions of Jesus of Nazareth, a character known by Christians as Jesus Christ, as recounted in the New Testament."
I italicized the changed parts, and the only other problem I see is the words "Centered on" only because I have met Christians who focus on the old testament and that's not quite centering on Jesus' life. Evangelicals center more on what is to come. It might not be accurate to say that it centers on these accounts, but rather is based upon?
KV 17:39, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

The word "story" suggests that Jesus is on the same level as Peter Rabbit. The wording before Gio changed it did not imply that the stories were true; the wording he changed to is designed to insert doubts into the reader's mind. Only a very tiny minority of people actually believe that Jesus didn't exist. Remember, we're supposed to try to avoid using words like "claims", and are supposed to use "says" instead. Now, if I "claim" something, it could be true, but the word "claim" is still designed to cast a doubt over it. So the current wording (unless there's another edit war going on as I write this) is like "says". It doesn't imply that something is or isn't true. Gio's wording is like "claims". It doesn't necessarily mean that something isn't true, but it's certainly intended to tilt the interpretation in that direction. "Multiple and related" is unnecessary and misleading. We don't have some Christians who believe Mark and not Luke, or others who believe Matthew but not John. As for the phrase "centered on", that is accurate. The article is about the religion Christianity, not about individuals people known to some Wikipedians. The Christian religion is centered on Jesus. AnnH 17:59, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

So you are suggesting that the story is not on the same level of other fictional stories like Peter Rabbit, or Hercules to use a better example. So that is the POV that you want it to say. I say that is not allowable here. For many non-believers the Christian stories are indeed on the same level of Peter Rabbit. I don't thin we need to say that (a POV) but we should not push the other side, the other POV that wants to elevate the stories from Christians to a higher level. This goes along with the notions that these stories (claims) deserve more reverence, deference, and respect than do other beliefs. Giving it such a privledge status is indicative of a Christian POV that this article should not base itself on. To say stories does introduce doubt about the veracit of the stories since stories can be false as well as true. What is wrong with that? Why do you want to remove any notion that the stories are anything but true? That is POV. 18:16, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
If you read what I said again, I said that the current introduction does not carry a suggestion that the New Testament is true or that it is false. Gio's version carries a suggestion that it's false; it tilts the balance in that direction. Pushing a Christian POV would be to write (for example) Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the life, teachings, and actions of Jesus of Nazareth, the eternal Son of God, Who was born of a virgin, suffered on the Cross for our sins, and rose from the dead. That would be pushing a Christian POV, by elevating the Bible account to the status of something true and verified. I don't ask for that; neither do the other Christian editors. To go back to what I said about "says" and "claims", the NPOV policy or tutorial (I forget which) recommends that we use "said" instead of "claimed". That's not to give the impression that the thing which Tony Blair or Michael Jackson said is true; it's intended purely to avoid suggesting that it is or isn't true. The word "story" is like the word "claim". AnnH 20:46, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
If it's monotheistic, then what is the Trinity about? Seems to me the belief includes other god-like creatures, no? HK30 00:10, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
The point is that scholars believe many of these "stories" to be based on actual events. It's not POV to write from the dominant academic perspective. Please gain a consensus here before making such highly contested changes. Thanks...KHM03 (talk) 18:27, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, and many do not. That is why "stories" is appropriate here: it allows room for it to be true or false, factual or fictional. To close the doors on one valid interpretation of these stories is to push a POV and its not to be accurate. Consensus is not needed for plain and simple accuracy issues or NPOV. This is not a democracyHK30 18:33, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
? Scholars believe that Jesus existed...that's their consensus, not ours. Please take your concerns to the academy if this dominant view bothers you. Also, please review WP:CON, WP:NPOV#Undue weight and WP:NPOV#Giving_.22equal_validity.22. Thanks...KHM03 (talk) 18:43, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
This is not the issue. Stories they are, and stories can be based on some truth, such as a real historical character called Jesus, that you believe in. But they are still stories, which can be false. No one in the academy disputes that. Why do you?HK30 18:53, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

I would like to encourage those editors who feel that the article is failing to represent significant minority viewpoints to discuss incorporating those viewpoints into the article somewhere other than the article's very first sentence. Further, we have an article on connotation, if any editor here is actually unclear about the concept. Jkelly 19:12, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Again, this is not introducing a minority pov, or a majority pov. Its ONLY accurately describing that the accounts of Jesus are from stories in the NT. This does not state the minority view that these stories are all fictional, but neither should it imply that they are historical, either. HK30 19:22, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
See MPOV. Tom Harrison Talk 19:47, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Good point Tom. I read that and I bet that is exactly the problem with the editors here. Their religious POV clouds their ability to see that its a POV and they think they are being neutral when they are not. I'm sure they are going to punishe me now, reporting me, trying to get me banned, etc. I guess saying that I'll convert won't be believed. HK30 21:00, 12 April 2006 (UTC)


So does "accounts", it simply acknowladges that the accounts exist, not whether they are factual or not. Homestarmy 18:37, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Would it harm the intro too much to change "multiple and related accounts" to just "the accounts"? Homestarmy 18:11, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
No, but the existing wording "as recounted in the NT" is perfectly adequate. That one can subject the NT to detailed textual analysis is true, but it is entirely too detailed an issue to need flagging up in a general introductory section: it merely insinuates the unreliability of the record from the outset, which is not NPOV when dealing with a major religion. You wouldn't start an article on Evolution by pointing out that there were six different editions of Darwin's Origin of Species, not all of which said the same thing. Myopic Bookworm 20:03, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
But the Bible is generally regarded as not reliable by all mainstream sources, so this should be prefectly fine as far as this is accurately insinuated. It reflects the academic consensus on the question. This is not the academic consensus with The Origin of Species, a scientific work and masterpiece. HK30 20:41, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Mainstream here is not considered the people involved in Biblical Critisism because this is not the Biblical critisism article, this is the Christianity article. That means the "academic consensus" does not consist of "skeptics, skeptics, and nothing but the skeptics". By the way, if Origin of the Species is really a scientific work and masterpiece, then I guess I get to dig up all the old creationist arguments which point out, very eloquently I might add, that Origin of the species had blatantly racist overtures, contradicts the modern day theory by saying that all progression is going "upward", has a foreward written which says that evolution is "Unproved and unprovable. We only believe it because the only alternative is special creation, and that is unthinkable", had no way to explain how traits were being carried, (I.E. DNA and genetics) and rung its own deathtoll when Darwin admitted that any example of irreducible complexity in anything would compleatly destroy his theory, in addition to admitting that "to suggest that the eye could be formed from natural selection seems, I freely admit, absurd in the highest degree". Back to the article however, the Christianity article should not come from a skeptics POV, but from an NPOV. Christianity comes from the teachings of Jesus Christ. This is quite NPOV. Adding "comes from the reader-rabbit-esque escapades of Jesus" is quite clearly not NPOV, and unnecessary. Homestarmy 21:10, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
About your undestanding of Darwin and his work, I'd say you are a victim of falling for creationist propaganda, which is mostly filled with lies. I won't bother to correct you here since it will be off-topic, except to point out that you are wrong on every account, including that false quote. Darwin actually dedicated a section on explaining the evolution of the eye, btw. Mainstream are the articles Giovanni gave above from the PBS series, and the quotes about the Bible being stories by story tellers, telling stories for a purpose--not eye witness accounts. To say that Christianity is centered on the stories of the life, actions, etc of Jesus is simply and plainly accurate and NPOV. It is not skeptical. You and others dont like stories because that implies that it could be false, and your POV is getting in the way in acknowlegeing that NPOV possiblity (probablity from my POV). HK30 21:42, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
The sources I have gotten that information from are ones which I regard as highly trustworthy due to a long time of using them and their so far proven accuracy, im afraid shrugging it off as "lies" is not making me think any more highly of your opinion. So if im wrong that Darwin didn't include DNA, that also makes favorable documentaries of Darwin filled with lies, since they also state he couldn't say how exactly traits were supposedly being transfered because he couldn't collaborate with Mendal or with genetics, despite them living in the same time period. This is not simply a matter of mere historical revisionism, trying to attack that is now exiting the realm of Christian apologetics and attacking my history teacher directly. Also, PBS is by no means NPOV, its under the control of the government, and last I checked, the government doesn't qualify as NPOV. (Especially when certain members vandalize certain political pages and cause RfA's to develop asking a whole chunk of D.C. area IP addresses to be banned). Trying to say that the Gospels were not eyewitness accounts also pretty much has no chance of being proven, though we've gone over the "abscence of evidence is not evidence of abscence" debate plenty enough already. The definition of skeptical, by its very nature, demands that a POV which does not really believe something is a skeptical POV, for instance, not trusting the governments claims about WMD's in Iraq, not trusting wild conspiracy theories, not believing in Invisible Pink Unicorns, and being wary of those white chunks in your hamburger meat. Lack of trust is directly related to "skeptical". Finally, "stories" does not merely present equally balanced options of them being true or false, it is quite blatantly leaning towared supposing them to be as fictional as reader rabbit, which most editors in favor of this have made quite clear is exactly their POV. "The accounts" would work much better, it makes no value statement about the accounts, it simply says "The accounts". Homestarmy 21:54, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Again, off-topic, so I won't embarass you here. PBS is the government? I see your ignorance of Darwin and evolution extends to other areas as well. Read about it here PBS. Are you seeing black helicopters, too, by anychance? Forget PBS, look at the sources in the PBS documentary: mainstream New Testiment Scholars are quoted above by Giovanni: The accounts of Jesus's life, actions, thoughts, are found exclusively in these Christian stories, and no, they are not eye-witness accounts (as the quotes above clearly state). If you disagree with that then you simply disagree with the meanstream of biblical scholarship that include Christians (not skeptics). HK30 22:27, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Hmm, "Public Broadcasting Network", I wasn't aware that was a privately owned institution, nor was I aware being controlled by the government makes it "the government". The day Barney shows up on the presidential ballot with Big Bird as his running mate is the day I seriously stop taking so much allergy medicine. I'm afraid I also see no sign in the quotes of anything coming near "They were not first-hand accounts", but I did see several unsupported assertions about "unreliability of the gospels due to contradictions" this and "It was never meant to be literal because I say so" that, nor did I see any specific mention of any contradictions. (Perhaps because mentioning them would just lead to their work getting discredited, I have yet to see a single contradiction in the Bible anywhere which didn't turn out to, in short, not be a contradiction.) There were also a couple "I think"s, a possible false dilemna concerning whether they claim to be eyewitness or not, (I.E. "Either it claims to be an eyewitness account, or it is not an eyewitness account) another possible false dilemna concerning "moral edification", (I.E. it was either a non-literal account that had moral lessons in it, or no morality was ever mentioned and it might of been literal), a "perhaps" in there about whether early Christians had a "hard time" (Whatever that means) interpreting the Bible literally or not. in short, it seems to be speculation. Speculation from perhaps scholarly authorities, but speculation is as speculation does. I'd also like to note that the early church fathers seemed to have no problems whatsoever with the Bible historically speaking, it was mostly heretical sects (Who for the most part didn't depend on the bible themselves) they were dealing with, nothing about alternate interpretations of "contradictory language" or whatever, the early church fathers were often very precise on their definitions, such as at the early Nicene councils where they had unamity of purpose. (After getting rid of the people who clearly wern't Christian at all, I.E. denied blantantly obvious facts about Christianity) And how exactly did that one author gain the ability to judge all of the early Christians again?
This conversation has gotten far too bloated. the issue it seems to me is thus, "Account" vs. "stories", and I ask you, why is "account" less correct than "stories"? Homestarmy 23:28, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
And at this point, why are we edit warring about it? This is not how agreements are forged. Homestarmy 23:53, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

HK30, I don't think anyone is arguing truth or falsehood. However, we disagree on the tone, or the connotation of words like stories and character. I understand your POV and respect it, but we are not talking about the historicity of Jesus now. The changes proposed initally by Gio are POV; their objective is to cast doubt. The original wording did not support or dispute Jesus. It simply stated facts. No facts are improved by the changes. It is decidely POV. Now, focus just on what is said here; do not go off on tangents. How is "stories" more correct than "account" (thank you Homestar for your concise language)? If you can't support your proposition and gain the support of the community, the proposal is rejected. Storm Rider (talk) 00:00, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

The changes proposed by Gio are not POV. They only allow doubt by being more accurate: the teachings, life, and actions of Jesus based on the stories found in the NT. It simply stated facts. The reason its improved is because in the prior version it stated based on Jesus, instead of on the stories of Jesus. There is no Jesus established. True most folks currently think he was real (even if the stories of his actions, life, words, etc are thought to be mostly NOT true, ie. fictional, by the same scholars-80% of the words attributed to Jesus are fictional, false, according to the Jesus Seminar--but still part of the stories about him). So, since the sentence talks not just about the existence of Jesus as a real person but about his life, teachings, words, actions, etc--then this is not a minority view to intorduce the possiblity of doubt by stating the facts accurately: based on the stories told in the New Testiment. Those stories could be false or true, but stories they were and those are what Christianity the religion bases itself on. USing the word "acccounts" is better, but "story" fits perfectly. HK30 00:08, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
The problem to me seems apparently when you look at the inconsistancy, does the article on the Qur'an call it a "storybook", does the Muhammad article say that "The most relied upon source for information on Muhammad comes from the stories of the Qur'an..." does the Vedras (I think I spelled that right) refer to itself as a "story", or other religious examples? The inconsistancy of changing this to "story" whereas everything else is left pretty much how our article currently is seems, at least to me, a good enough argument on its own to suggest there is more to changing this article to "story" than meets the eye. Furthermore, the Jesus Seminar alone has its own controversies which make it a bit wrong to suggest it represents consensus, and as I understand it they were not voting to see what was "fake" and what was real, but to see what sort of things were most likely to have been attributed to Jesus. There's a bit of a difference between "fake" and "not likely". Homestarmy 00:16, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
No, they had different categories for how much doubt various selections of the many stories (often contradictory, since these stories were not written at the same time or by the same groups of people), and among there categories include those things which are most probably fake. About other religions, I don't know enough about them to say if the account of their prophet/leader is composed of stories from their book of faith and that that constitutes the center of their religion. But that is certainly the case for Christianity. HK30 00:26, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Christianity is not based on the stories of Jesus (whether they are true or not); it is based on the person of Jesus (whether He is real or not). Christians worship Jesus; they don't worship a book about Him. And in order for Christianity to be centered on Jesus, it is not at all a logical necessity that Jesus truly exists. If you ever read The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis, you might remember that a witch hypnotizes the characters into (almost) thinking that Aslan (representing Jesus) doesn't exisit, and Puddleglum, who is trying desperately to shake off the effects of the spell, says, "I'm on Aslan's side, even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it." So, no, the version we had before this ridiculous edit war started did not imply that Jesus was a real person. But the version proposed by Giovanni is clearly intended to give the impression that he wasn't. AnnH 00:30, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

But if the person is never real then all you do have are the stories about him. Infact, that is all there exists about Jesus--stories from Christians, period, hence the speculation that Jesus may be a fictional character like Hercules. So, in reality, when you worship Jesus (real or not) you are doing so BASED on the stories of him, and other stories like the creation myth, the flood myth, along with the pagan stories, and customs that Christians adopted. In anycase, you can not escape that its the stories of Jesus's life, actions, beliefs, etc that is worshiped, so therefore it should say based on the stories of Jesus found in the NT. That does not say anything about the historicitity of Jesus, which you correctly point out is not necessary logically for Christianity. Jesus can be just as much made up as God is and not affect the religion. HK30 00:38, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Or perhaps our worship is based on being born again, you know, he kind of promised that that's what you had to do to enter the kingdom of God. Myth is clearly a loaded term also, and associating it with pagan stories doesn't help your case that "stories" is not POV. And actually, we can escape "that its the stories" being worshipped, I don't bow down to my Bible every day nor do I pray "Oh Bible, what wilt thou stories giveth me today?" Homestarmy 00:55, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

I think this conversation is finished based upon HK30's comment above: "USing the word "acccounts" is better, but "story" fits perfectly." I understand him/her to say that accounts is a better term, but that story also fits perfectly. Let's not argue further; we all agree that accounts is better. Let's leave it there and move on. Thank you HK30 for finalizing this issue. Storm Rider (talk) 00:59, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Hmm I guess my proposed changes did have some support, but I didnt expect it to turn into a full scale edit war. I think what HK30 meant was that "acounts" is better than nothing, but not better than "story." I might settle for "accounts" myself. Giovanni33 02:22, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
To clarify, I included in my suggestion "multiple and related" to keep accounts from getting the connotation that "story" was feared of having.
KV 04:01, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Dear all, we have discussed this "based on ..." issues before and the wording "based on life and death of Jesus ... as recounted in the NT" was the result of that. Christians don't agree on the specific position of the Bible in their faith. "Based on the NT (account of Jesus)" might fit most Protestant denominations but it doesn't fit the Catholic or Eastern Orthodox position. In fact, the editors that have been bent on including anyone self-identifying as Christians (I only say Gnostics) cannot possibly argue for a "based on the NT" version - all Christians, even the most bizarre sects put Jesus (life, death, teaching) in the centre. Issues of whether Jesus existed (about which there is no serious doubt) ahould be and are covered in the Jesus article (or its verious forks). (self-professed) Str1977 (smile back) 19:47, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, but Jesus only exists in the NT. Where else does he exist? Nowwhere. So, this is indeed based on accounts in the NT of Jesus for all Christians. Its just the interpretation, and which NT version is to be used, which is the issue among different versions of Christianity. Giovanni33 03:00, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Which version Geo, the chinese version, the somalia version, the french version? Do we need to get some translators in here? :D Homestarmy 12:41, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Actually, Jesus does exist outside of the New Testament, he exists in many songs, South Park, Passion of the Christ, and even in a lot of New Age works where he is described as an ascended master. So long as the New Testament includes the Coptic and Gnostic accounts, it should be pretty NPOV currently.
KV 18:29, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

While others are preoccupied with pushing a certain POV and uttering nonsensical claims, I have thought up another possible wording, combining the contributions of valid editors. How about: "Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on Jesus of Nazareth, known by Christians as Jesus Christ, and the New Testament accounts of his life, teachings, and actions of Jesus of Nazareth." It includes the account wording but also takes into account that Christianity, at least not all versions, are not centred on the NT accounts but on the person of JC. (self-professed) Str1977 (smile back) 18:24, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I oppose this change. Its excessively wordy and reverts back to the original problem. The wording using the words "accounts" is perfectly fine and NPOV. I reverted. I also restored the external link you keep taking out. I noticed from the Hitler talk page you like to try to censor the opposition, Str1977. Don't try to do the same thing that you tried to do here:[2] Your latest removal of this link was under the excuse that the title it was given was not accurate--not what the website is called--so you removed it completely, instead of fixing. But, in looking at it, you didnt even tell the truth. It is called "The Origins of Christitanity." 18:35, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I will counterpropose: "Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the accounts of the life, teachings, and actions ofJesus of Nazareth, known by Christians as Jesus Christ, in the New Testament and other early Christian writings"
KV 18:33, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree, KV. I restored the consensus text back to: "Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the New Testament accounts of the life, teachings, and actions of Jesus of Nazareth, known by Christians as Jesus Christ." 18:44, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
KV, your proposal is NPOV - I grant you that, but it is inaccuracte as Christianity is not centered on the NT accounts - this might be true for some forms of Protestantism but not for the whole of Christianity. My version(s) are both accurate and NPOV.
As for your reverting, 206 ..., I am sorry to say that I don't have influence on the editing of the link I removed. Hence I couldn't fix the problem I addressed - this link does not deal with the "origins of Christianity", even though it is titled that way. I proposes a one-sided account more concerned with "criticising" Christianity. An accurate title would be "one-sided account of the origins of Christianity meant to bash it" - I cannot include such a title as it would be POV.
Last but not least, 206 ..., by reverting you also reverted the history section to an inaccurate version which included a meddling with a quote, which IMHO is a capital crime in the realm of encyclopedias. 19:01, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Str1977 (smile back) 19:01, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
The article is its own POV. You don't like it and what it claims to be about because its not your POV. You are censoring the opposition, again, because you can't edit the contents of the link (a decidedly good thing!). I looked at the link and it is about the origins of Christianity from that POV. I reverted the history section because its accurate and valid. You have not make your case what is not accurate about it. Lastly, the quote you said is meddled with--that is not true either. The only change is to link "capital crime" to "dealth penalty." What is the difference? Capital crime is death penalty. If you were sincere you could fix it by having it say "capital crime" and think linking to "death penalty." The intention of the change is obviously to link to death penalty. It does not change any meaning of the quote. 19:22, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, first things first: there was a change to the quote - from "sentence of death" to "sentence of death penalty" - as I said this is a capital crime. I have retained the link in my last edit. And you asked about the difference: when we quote a source we quote its words ... correctly, without changing it and without (silently) ommitting or adding something.
The other problems you restored to the history section have been discussed time and again.
Re the linked article: we only have a few links and these few links should not advocate extreme views, if ever so cleverly cloaked. If we had 25 links, things would be different. But there recently was a push towards a reduction of links. I was not involved and can live with many and with few links, but this is not one of the links fitting among this small number.
And of course, you didn't agree with Tom, as you said, you reverted his edit too. Str1977 (smile back) 19:37, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I did agree with Tom. Tom reverted your edit--which was identical to what I was reverted to for the intro. You keep inserting a wordy and redundant intro that is contary to the consensus version. I suggest you stop edit warring and reach consensus first. The same goes for the link. Its only extreme from your POV. Your POV is extreme from my POV. The issue here is not censoring the opposing view point. You have a history of doing that, I see. The quote difference is a distinction without a diffference. Again, if you care about the difference between the words capital crime and dealth penalty, then fix it by having it still link to death penalty. You know how to do that, right? 19:42, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
206, you should read more carefully.
Your version indeed differs from Tom's version. He removed an unintentional repition in my version, created by "copy and paste" - you take out an essential part of it.
If my version is wordy it is because I was trying to achieve a compromise which is both accurate and NPOV. The version you revert to is not the long standing consensus.
You call the link "the opposing view" - but there is no link advocating something (the scholarly account) to which this could be "the opposing view".
The quote difference is revealing - the one who made the change appearently doesn't care for accuracy ... and you seem to support him. If you haven't realized: I have already fixed the problem while retaining the link, but you seem to be bent on reverting it (or to lazy, preferring a blankett revert). Str1977 (smile back) 19:51, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Your version is not accurate. It restores the same problem that led to the change and use of "accounts." The stories of Jesus from the NT are what Christianity is based on. The NT can have different versions but they are the gospels (new ones being found still). What is accepted and not (what is orthodox or not) is a matter of POV, but they are still part of the NT in a broad sense. There is no historical mention of Jesus that is credible outside of these biblical sources. So it stands accruate and NPOV as is. The Link is one POV (opposing to your POV)on the origins of Christianity. All the other links give the orthodox mainstream POV. If you want you can change the way the title reads to indicate its a minority view. I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with you taking it out completely. The quote was fixed, quite easily, so now its exactly the same as before except it has a link to death penalty. 19:58, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

"The stories of Jesus from the NT are what Christianity is based on" - you say so but this isn't accurate. Christianity is centered on Jesus - the NT is the main source about him. Your usage of story reveals your intention to push a POV (an extreme one, BTW). You are also competely mistaken about what NT means - it is a collection of 27 books, no more - no less. New parts of it are not found still. What is accepted as part of the NT is not a matter of POV but a matter of fact. And of course, you are dead wrong about sources outside the NT. Str1977 (smile back) 20:06, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm going to have to weigh in here and agree with AnnH above, and plenty of other posters. Christianity is not centred on the accounts of Jesus life. No Christian would phrase it that way, and while I'm not saying we should always take what people say about their faith as the most accurate description, to use a wording that almost every Christian would disagree with is clearly not helpful to the general reader.

The phrase is a problem for a few reasons. First: The focus of Christianity is on the person not the book. In fact to be accused of worshipping the accounts would be insulting and blasphemous to many - approximately the equivalent of accusing Muslims of worshipping Mohammed. Secondly: many Christians believe that Jesus interacts with his people in ways other than the Bible, especially through the holy Spirit. Thirdly: not all Christians would consider that the New Testament stories are necessarily historical, or that their faith is based on them. Let's find a better way to say this. DJ Clayworth 20:07, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

The link, if it belongs anywhere, belongs on Early Christianity or History of Christianity. Tom Harrison Talk 20:11, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I disagree with the POV pushing of the Christian POV and I bet that most editors (who are not Christian) here would also agree with me.
  • The link is valid and should not be censored
  • All stories of Jesus are based on biblical sources. Nothing exists outside it that is credible. Hence, Christianity is based on the life of Jesus as told in these stories. That is simply being accurate not to mention NPOV. Saying that Jesus exists in the Holy Spirit is just Christian supertistious dogma and has no basis in reality. There is not such thing as a real holy spirit, etc--so it can not be based on it. That is like saying that Christianity is based on God! No, its based on these texts, stories written by humans and we call these collection of stories about Jesus the NT. 20:25, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
"superstion" and "dogma" are your point of view. So is it that the Holy Spirit does not exist. Please stick to neutrality. DJ Clayworth 20:33, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I am fine with what is currently there: "Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on Jesus of Nazareth, known by Christians as Jesus Christ, and the New Testament accounts of his life, teachings, and actions." DJ Clayworth 20:40, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Arg, I didn't even think about "Accounts" possibly meaning any mention of Jesus no matter if it was the NT or not :/. Homestarmy 20:43, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Ignoring 206's POVy words and his ignoring of extrabiblical sources (which exist but are irrelevant here, since they aren't constitutive for Christian belief) I want to address 206's statement "Hence, Christianity is based on the life of Jesus as told in these stories." Yes, 206, and that is exactly what my previous version (that which used to be the consensus said: "based on the life ... as recounted in the NT". Str1977 (smile back) 21:55, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Regarding the first two words of your post, Str, "Ignoring 206", you can all ignore 206, as he was blocked for a month two or three days ago, and through some glitch in the system, managed to post here despite the block. I have reinstated the block. And I'd like to point out that anyone who posts a link to a website that attacks other users or that gives or claims to give personal information (real name, location, etc.) about other users will be blocked instantly, and the posts will be removed from the system. AnnH 22:00, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I don't think we should ignore him. All arguments no matter who makes them should be evaulated for the merits of the arguments as opposed to the person making them. I think .206's arguments are basically correct and sound so I support this text version, which seems to me is only restoring what was the long standing conensus. Giovanni33 02:34, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
The point is, Gio, that he doesn't have the right to post here at all, since he's blocked. In fact the 3RR policy specifically excludes from 3RR the removal of posts made by blocked or banned users. So, I stand by what I said. AnnH 21:22, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

New Testament as sole Source

Str, if it is inaccurate, then surely we must do something to change that. I reworded to the New Testament and other Early Christian writings becaue I thought that would be the other source. We can probably fix this if you let us know what the other sources are, so we can include them in some way or form. The New Testament as a primary source I thought was the primary basis for the entire mainstream, but I may be wrong. I do know that it was the basis when I was forced through Catechism so many years ago, so I would have to say it's accurate for Catholics as well as Protestants. But, let us fix this error. Please divulge with details.

KV 04:56, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Dear King, of course the NT plays a major role for Christianity as a source about Jesus and about doctrine, the religion is not centered on a text but on a person. It'd be accurate to say "Christianity is ... centred on Jesus". The "as recounted ..." bit was added to ensure NPOV, since not all agree that the NT is an accurate depiction of the real Jesus. Str1977 (smile back) 21:16, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Ok, but what is also used to make an accurate description? That you left unanswered.
KV 17:11, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

External links

I'm not sure it's reasonable to provide links to the Rosicrucians and the Syriac Orthodox, but not the Mormons or Baptists. I think these could use some pruning, keeping in mind that this is the general survey article about Christianity. Anything linked from here should have some element of universality, as well as the usual requirements of content and notability. Tom Harrison Talk 17:11, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Two Birds with one Stone

I apparently tried to get out the anonymous Jesus Christ absolutely is the Messiah addition and knocked out HK03's "a character" addition to the intro. Two opposing POVs knocked out in one revert..... do I get a prize for this?

KV 18:06, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps there is a POV blasting barnstar somewhere? :) Homestarmy 19:24, 15 April 2006 (UTC)


We have Giovanni trying to push the idea that Jesus may not have been real, mortal or immortal. Why not just add a controversies section. I can fill in a few more beyond the Jesus may be completely fictional controversy. It seems an appropriate place to cover it.

KV 18:08, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

The problem is, the articles over Jesus, Christianity, and all that sometimes seem to be incorporating the same exact material over and over again. Jesus has mention of the Jesus-Myth, Historicity of Jesus has it I think, Historical Jesus may have it too, and it's getting out of hand, this whole string of articles always seems to be incorporating the same material from other pages time and time again. The idea has been pushed enough, especially considering the low esteem the theory is properly given in all the articles noting it, since it is such an extremely fringe view. Homestarmy 21:34, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps, but I do know there are some correlations with Osiris that may give it an interesting addition.
I'll check it over and such, and we might be able to make it briefer with a link to the main article. But certainly there shoudl be a direct link to such an article prevalent in the main article.
KV 17:12, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
KV 04:53, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
I added it in so we don't have to mention Jesus not being real in the introduction.
KV 05:03, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
KV, I don't think this "controversies" section an appropriate part of this overview article.
As for the "Jesus myth" - it is a fringe view and hence there isn't actually a controversy and it isn't actually on-topic - it has its small reference in the Jesus article (and even that is included gratis).
As for Osiris, I know some people nake such comparisons but they must be worded in an NPOV manner, e.g. "some argue ..." or "according to ...", especially since most of the parallels strangely twist the actual story of Osiris, who wasn't an actual human being in Egyptian mythology, wasn't resurrected at all (only pieces put to together for a bit of necrophilia) but reborn into the after-life, where he was the king. Egyptians didn't believe in a resurrection but in a life after death depending on the physical preservation of their bodies.
Str1977 (smile back) 19:05, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I have attempted to tidy this section. However, I think that it is quite out of place in this entry: all of the material should be at Criticisms of Christianity or in the other articles mentioned. Myopic Bookworm 17:08, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
I have reviewed that article and found that it doesnt' quite fit as the same. These controversies are not relating to Christian Actions or the accuracy in interpretting the Bible, but rather controversial theories regarding Christianity, 1 that Jesus didnt' exist, 2 that it may be a retelling of the story of Osiris. I don't get the point of the sermon on the mount....... the controversy anyways. That needs to be clarified.
KV 17:18, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Giovanni's accusation

Giovanni33 made a reversion with the comment: (only allow pro-Christian sites? I looked at the references it gives, and they look good. External sites can be POV.)

Actually most pro-Christian external sites have been removed, usually by Christians, the few sites linked are mostly informative, not pro. Contrast with Atheism which has no critical sites and over 100 web sites, articles and citations, nearly 100% pro-atheism. Especially notable in the contrast is that there are no sites listed under the Christianity article that mock Atheism. They would most likely be removed by Christian editors. Pollinator 04:59, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

First of all I did not make an accusation. I made a somewhat sarcastic, rhetorical question, replying to the edit summary that removed the link on the claim that it was "anti-Christian." This implies that only pro-Christian links are allowed. The sites that are there now are all pro-Christian. That is true but I don't have a problem with it, as long as other non-traditional POV'are allowed a voice in the external links section, as that is the purpose, in addition to being informative. Your analogy about atheism is faulty since Atheism has nothing to do with Christianity, nor does the site that you removed. It was about Christianity, from a minority POV, that was well referenced and informative. A site that mocks Atheism would have no place on in this article. It might have a place on the atheist page, if it was a good one and informative, not just a mindless rant. So, you have not made a valid case why this link about Christianity should be not be allowed, but only pro-Christian links that give a dominant POV in a favorable light. And you say they are not pro? Read again. One even admits that it is a place "for all Christians to share their faith," which among other things is even exclusive in their own mission words against others who do not share their faith.Giovanni33 05:14, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Since the same editor appears to of inserted another link from the same site on the Jesus page, it's possible it is exactly like that link, twisting the references out of context and/or making unsupported blanket statements and a whole lot of false assumptions. However, I haven't read this one, so I can't say if that's the case. What does this article have to say? Homestarmy 14:48, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
I see the link I restored is gone again. Rationale? I'm restoring it. Giovanni33 02:23, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
The rationale My rationale for not including it is that it's non-notable opinion by no one in particular. If it belongs anywhere, it belongs on Early Christianity or History of Christianity, or maybe one of the conspiracy theory pages. Tom Harrison Talk 02:33, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Ok, i've read the link. It seems, as I suspected, rather similar to the link this editor I think placed on the Jesus article awhile ago, which we discussed and seemed to come to an agreement to remove. Allow me to propose the following observations on this link:
  • Appears to be leading with a sort of "revealing true information" standpoint, in other words, its almost like its trying to convert people away from Christianity, hardly appropriate....unless, of course, we're allowed to put in a few Evangelism websites of our own, I don't think i'd protest that :).
  • Leads with assertion of contradictions and inconsistancies, which basically sparked a humungous branch of apologetics, clearly making the issue highly debateable.
  • Goes into Jesus-myth arguments, already determined to be extreme minority viewpoint I believe, including what appeared to be the pagan influence argument. I assume we can find better sources for it than this article
  • Raises Gnosticism to the status of "Also Christian" to attempt to defeat Christianity by association, which as im sure most editors here are aware, is extremely contentious at best and flat out heresy at worst.
  • Sources used seem extensive at first glance, but much of it appears to only come from the Jesus mysteries which is more extreme minority POVing, or other Jesus-myth sources

Those were some of the major things I picked up. Honestly, on the first point alone, I wouldn't mind leaving it in as long as space was given to put in a few Christian evangelism sites, I have a few nice ones in mind.... Homestarmy 02:38, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

If nobody else wants to talk about this link, im going to start removing it more aggresively.... Homestarmy 23:48, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Honestly, I dont' care about external links right now...... but I want to point out that Gnosticism is clearly a form of Christianity, though it certainly conflicts with modern orthodoxy. We are trying to discuss Christianity in the article, not defeat it or triumph it.
KV 23:53, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
But its trying to equate Gnosticism on the same level as "modern orthodoxy" to try and attack the orthodox by seemingly saying "Well, they said this side was wrong, that's WRONG!", in Gnosticisms own right, its almost a compleatly new religion. I mean their hedonistic, (I think thats the right word, the thing with acknolwadging the existance of more than 1 god) think the God of the Bible is evil, spit out bunches of fake gospels to my knowladge and as I understand it decieved quite a large amount of people into thinking they were totally authoritative, and I think my other objections at least have some sort of merit. Who even wrote that article in the first place? Homestarmy 23:58, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
The link should go. See Wikipedia:External links. The word you were lokking for is not hedonism, it is polytheism, but even that is the wrong word to apply to early Gnostic Christianity. Jkelly 00:18, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Well I didn't think it was polytheism because they don't worship all the gods they believed exist :/. Homestarmy 00:21, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

You're thinking of "henotheistic". And that means that you worship one God, but acknowledge the existence of others...... which I think is written in the Ten Commandments anyways. I know the Cainites specifically believe that Yahweh was evil, but not the God of the New Testament, who is supposedly the real God who created everything and sent Jesus. And then the rest, you just reduce yourself to complete POV. Wikipedia does not care which gospels are real and which are fake, it only cares about what can be verified. If they misled people, that's not Wikipedia's concern, only that they claim this, others claim that, and verifiable events 1-3 happened.
KV 00:22, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
But the external link doesn't seem to care that they "claimed it", as I understand it, it says that they "were" it. But the Gnosticism thing certainly isn't the only problem, nor is it really the big clencher or anything. The link needs to be evaluated as a whole :/. Homestarmy 00:24, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Version of Bible

We have in the article, a quote: In the Christian scriptures, the name "Christian" (and so by implication "Christianity") is first attested in Acts 11:26: "For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch Jesus' disciples were first called Christians" (Gr. χριστιανους, from Christ Gr. Χριστός, which means "the anointed one").

Does anyone know the version of the bible this comes from so I can properly cite it? I'm planning on personally citing some of these claims.

KV 18:20, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

I can't find out which version it is; however if you go here this site will let you look up the same passage in multiple versions. The New International Version is very close to what is here. DJ Clayworth 18:35, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Cease and desist!

Now look, while ya'll are edit warring away on the order of one clause or phrase or whatever in the intro your messing up some NPOVing that somebody did in the history section, this is getting old. Homestarmy 20:59, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, its not getting any better. How exactly does "They suppressed" not imply ultimately succeeding, and how can it possibly be rendered falsifiable when the population the sentence is examining started and ended with an unknown number of people? I can at least deduce from that that this historical claim is not very scientific. Though, science doesn't exactly make all of history either. Therefore, let us use one of the most used (and perhaps mis-used) gifts that God has given us, our brains. "Acted to suppress" is 3 words. "Suppressed" is one word. The first term is 5 syllables, the second is 2. The minority of difference between the two expressions leads me to conclude that the hypothesis of "The former is too wordy" is both null and void. Moving on, "suppressed" does not specify the degrees of success that the church may or may not of had in keeping down paganistic groups, something I would venture is quite up for debate considering the far-off time period in question, whereas "acted to suppress" implies that the church took an action designed to suppress, hinder, expulse, or otherwise prevent a certain population from doing things, without raising the issue of "How well did the church suppress when the church's suppression suppresses suppression of suppresable majorities which may or may not be truly suppressable?" or any other "how much wood can a wood chuck chuck" puns by me. Must I continue my nit-picking speech of unecessary-ness? Homestarmy 22:35, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Insofar as it implies they succeeded it would be quite accurate. They did succeed in suppressing other beliefs. They did a very good job, very thorough. Do you think their effort was non-effective? I'd love to see any reference that would make such a claim. Infact, they suppressed the pagan and heretical versions so well that we almost know nothing about them, except from the polemics against them, and some hidden texts that managed to survive the suppression. But, it really doesn’t say how successful. I think it should have something to this effect. So that is a good idea. In anycase, I don't see much difference between acted to suppress and suppressed except the former leaves open the possibility that their actions did not actually lead to any real suppression, which is a silly idea. Nonetheless in the interest of stopping this edit war, I used "acted to suppress." I'll look up later something to the effect about just how effective these actions to suppress were.Giovanni33 02:38, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
I think the main distinction that it didn't seem to be making at first was whether it succeeded 100 percently or not, after all, "suppressed", at least to me, implied total and utter success. Since we know at least the polemics as you say, I suppose the church didn't succeed 100 percently. Homestarmy 02:39, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
The polemics I mention are by the folks doing the suppression--they woudn't suppress their own attacks ofcourse; we don't even know how accurate those characterizations are even since they are attacking polemics against these other belliefs, and opponents often distort their enemies POV, esp. when they suppress their opponents voice. But some things did survive, so the suppression as more like 99% effective. I don't think it necessarily means that suppression need be 100% successful to call it such. To review the meanings of the word: "sup·press ( s…-prµs“) v. tr. To put an end to forcibly; subdue. 2. To curtail or prohibit the activities of. 3. To keep from being revealed, published, or circulated. 4. To deliberately exclude." Giovanni33 02:53, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

I do not see a significant difference between "acted to suppress" and "suppressed". I do think the first is softer in tone, but it is not significant. Saying they suppressed something does connote that a) one had the ability to do so, and 2) that there was some degree of success, but hardly complete. Homestar, am I missing something or are we quibbling over minutae? Storm Rider (talk) 03:47, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

The only real difference is in tone...... supressed is active, and is supposed to be good for writing in most cases, acted to supress is passive, but better in some cases. I don't know which is technically better here....... but it seems to mean the exact same thing, it is a stylistic concern.
KV 05:22, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Well you are right Storm, we are quibbling over minutia. However, this little thing and several other changes to this paragraph started an edit war, so that kinda annoyed me because there were edits in both in the intro and the history section being reverted so I didn't even know what the war was over until I started trying to preserve the NPOVing somebody tried to do to the history section :/. Homestarmy 12:26, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Not again.....ok, what is in this link your trying to put in Kecik thats worth edit warring over? Homestarmy 00:48, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Sockpuppet alert. (not referring to any of the above editors) Timothy Usher 01:36, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't know why this edit war repeated itself. I had a compromised version "acted to suppress" and things were calm. And then Str1977 reverts back (and removes the link again!!), and the edit war continues as before. Unwiki-like indeed. There is a disucussion above about the link. Don't remove it unless you go to talk and make a case, in the very least. I and other editors don't feel its right to censor the other POV and only have links to orthodox pro-Christian sites. At least one link to an alternative view (which this is), should be allowed; censorship of the other side is wrong and violates wikipeadia guildelines on the use of external links, from my understanding. Giovanni33 03:15, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I edited the intro but left the link. I don't care about the link but I like the intro much better as it moves Jesus closer to the beginning of the article's first sentence. That's completely appropriate as he is the central idea and defining characteristic of Christianity. --ElKevbo 03:23, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I saw that and tried my hand at the intro. I aimed for simplicity. I hope this is satisfactory. Put simply: Christianity' is a monotheistic religion centered on the accounts of Jesus of Nazareth as recounted in the New Testament.Giovanni33 03:24, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I like the simplicity but I'm not sure it's grammatically correct. Can you "recount" a person? Or must you recount stories of his or her life? There appears to be a middle ground between your suggested intro and the previous intro. I'm not changing it as I don't really have much an intellectual or emotional stake in this article or its topic; I'm just keeping an eye on it as it's a high traffic and oft vandalized article. --ElKevbo 03:29, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, its grammatically correct. That is recounts in the NT is the accoutns of Jesus. Christianity is centered on the accounts of the life, actions, words of Jesus (stories), as recounted in the New Testament (the story book). I prefer to call based on the stories of the life, etc of a character called Jesus, recounted in the NT--but that would never be accepted here since Christians get offended by the use of the word story, even though that is exactly what it is. Giovanni33 03:43, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Differences in Introduction

Both versions begin with:

Christianity' is a monotheistic religion centered on...”

One has “known by Christians as Jesus Christ”, the other doesn’t. In this way Giovanni33 et al’s version is simpler, and in this respect superior, but is also eliminating information. The question is whether the link to “Christ” justifies the clutter.

As for the rest of it,

“...Jesus of Nazareth and the New Testament accounts of his life, teachings and actions.”

“...the accounts of Jesus of Nazareth as recounted in the New Testament

“accounts recounted” is ugly, inelegant and confusing.

The first version is much better, although I would simplify it to “ and teachings.”Timothy Usher 04:16, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

I tried to make it simple and to the point, which is what the intro should strive to be without taking away any needed info. The "known by Christians as Jesus Christ" is not needed since the link to Jesus of Nazereth makes the clear in its introduction. I don't see why you say that "the accounts of Jesus of Nazareth as recounted in the New Testament”is in any way ugly, inelegant or confusing. How so? Its straigh forward. Again, for the record, I prefer "based on the stories of the life, teaching and actions recounted in the NT." But, in past talk discussions "stories" was not accepted, but "accounts" was acceptable. To make it simple, "accounts of ..." includes "life, teachings and actions." The main difference between the version and why the longer, cluttered one fails, is that its not accurate or NPOV, since it assumes the existence of a real historical Jesus, whereas in reality we don't know--that is a matter of interpretation. What we do know, and what the established facts are is that its based on "accounts," or "stories" of Jesus AS recounted (told) in the New Testament. Giovanni33 04:30, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
The notion that Jesus did not actually exist is a fringe one. Perhaps there is someplace in the article we can make mention of it, but it's necessary that the introduction reflect such skepticism.
I also find it odd that several editors are apparently on wikipedia only to back this change, referring to a talk page they never visit themselves. I'd find their edit summaries, which are strikingly alike, more credible if they would appear here. Might you arrange that?Timothy Usher 04:39, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, its a fringe view, which is exactly why this article does not make the space to articulate it. In the other Jesus articles it only allows for a sentence. But because its a minority view is no excuse to use language that assumes that existence of something, adds interpreation to the facts to assert a POV as if it were established fact. That is not NPOV. The language should report that facts, which if done honesty, leaves open for interpretation of the facts to the reader.
About your "odd" observations, I don't find it too odd. Many Chrisitan editors have friends who push a POV and do so without using the talk pages. They see their friend support something so they jump in, sometimes without even paying attention to what it is they are opposing. Its common. I can't make anyone come to talk other than plead as I do in my edit summaries.Giovanni33 04:44, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Is Kecik your friend? You've some common interests. Unlike you, he's been quite laconic, letting his reverts speak for themselves. I'd be very interested to see what he has to say about all this. Kecik? Are you out there? The talk page calleth.Timothy Usher 04:53, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
No, Im not Kecik, nor do I know him, and before you keep insinuating that this user is my sockepuppet, the check has already been done and proved that he/she is not. Kecik does participate in the talk pages on occassion. Giovanni33 05:04, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
You put on an elaborate pretence of not having any connection to User:BelindaGong, even to the messages you sent to the talk page of that account, and despite being asked about it repeatedly. Then, when the usercheck estabished that both accounts came from the same IP, you suddenly decided that she was your wife and that you had had every right to keep your relationship private, although she, as a new user, had been aggressively reverting to your version, massively violating 3RR (even when we don't combine her reverts with yours), following you around and voting for whatever you voted for, lecturing the Christian editors when they reverted you twice or three times, and complaining about the hypocrisy and dishonesty of the Christian editors. Then, when you were blocked for sockpuppetry, the Freethinker99 account turned up, pretended to be a brand new user who had happened to find this article and had read the talk page and agreed with you. He started, as a brand new user, reverting to your version. Then, unfortunately, you answered a question on your talk page (denying you had any connection with any of the users who were reverting to your version), and forgot, when signing it, that you were still logged on as Freethinker. Can you give one good reason why we should believe you when you deny any connection with Kecik? Have you reformed and realized that the BelindaGiovanni affair was wrong, that it was taking an unfair advantage, that it was contrary to Wikipedia rules (even if you are two separate people) to have an account created for the purpose of making sure that another account gets its way? And by the way, a check does not prove anything, since it's perfectly possible for a person to edit from separate IPs. That's why the ArbCom looks at other evidence besides the technical evidence. My home IP begins with 83. My work IP begins with 147. If I reverted three times a day (and took one vote) as Musical Linguist from my home computer, and then did the same from a computer in the staff room, a check user wouldn't prove I wasn't the same user. Kecik hardly ever contributes to the talk page, but I've never seen you lecturing him about his undiscussed reverts the way you do with established editors who have many talk page posts. Twenty-one of his twenty-three article edits are reverts to your version. MikaM is also obviously an account created for the purpose of reverting to you and supporting you. Ditto for RTS, NPOV77, HK30, and Mercury2001. There are strong linguistic and behavioural similarities. Most new users don't know how to revert. I cannot think of any user who has broken rules to the extent that you have, in an effort to get his way. AnnH 07:15, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Yawn. This song of your is getting very boring and old. Speculate all you want, this is not true, and for those who want to know the truth, I've offered many times to furnish the proof of my claims. But I see this is just used as a diversionary tactic, a red-herring, and a personal attack because you can't win on the merits of the arguments. Pity. I will say that you and Str1977 fits the description your trying to paint for users who happen so share my POV. You both seem to follow each other around with the purpose of supporting each others edit wars. Giovanni33 07:46, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure I've ever seen Musical Linguist outside of this page. But it is obvious enough from the edit history that sockpuppetry is present - the other night, Mercury2001 admitted as much, denying only that he/she was Kecik and reminding me to assume good faith.Timothy Usher 07:57, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Thats true, there are some addmitted sockepuppets here. I don't think Kecik is one of them. I know FionaS addmitted to being one, and I don't know about Mercury, but its logical to suspect so, including KH30. However, some of the aditted socketpuppets have stated their reason was to keep their main account anonymous. Using a socketpuppet is NOT against the rules, and its perfectly fine if you have a good reason, such as not wanted to be retaliated against or picked on, wikistalked, etc. Some people on here are very involved in their POV's and consider others who oppose them as "enemies." I can understand that they feared being attacked, later. So, I'm not against users using puppets, as long as it is not to violate the 3RR rule, or other not allowed uses. As far as Musical Linguist being outside of this page, she is. She will appear anywhere Str1977 needs help in reverting to his version. I know from experience. Giovanni33 09:09, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
The problem is, Giovanni, that you are refusing to allow a Christian point of view - which introduces a bias. How can a page about Christianity be NPOV when other views are allowed, even encouraged, but a Christian point of view is banished? Pollinator 04:46, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
If you want to introduce a Christian POV, that is fine as long as it describes it as a POV and not as a fact. I don't have an objection to say "known as Christ by Christians. I just want to keep the intro concise. I think the rest of the article does a good job as describing the Christian POV's (more than one) in a NPOV manner. But, ofcourse, a non-religious account and description of the facts and beliefs of the religion is what this article is supposed to be about. Wikipedia is a secular encyclopedia for the purpose of being informative not for converting or propagating a POV. Giovanni33 04:51, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Agreed that the purpose is to be informative, not to covert. But that works both ways, and banishing a Christian definition in an article about Christianity goes the other way. Pollinator 05:20, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Im not banishing a Christian POV, I'm just not letting a Christian POV be THE pov, as if it were true as a matter of fact, instead of a POV. Again, a NPOV definition should be primary. Then, differing POV's can be presented as POV's.Giovanni33 05:39, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Timothy in that the first version is better and it gets even better (shorter and more concise) when "actions" is removed (personally, I think "actions" and "life" are redundant). So the full sentence would read: Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on Jesus of Nazareth and the New Testament accounts of his life, and teachings." How is this? Are there remaining objections? --ElKevbo 05:06, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. Pollinator 05:20, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I would support instead: "Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the New Testament accounts of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Giovanni33 05:47, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I would like to point out that the argument that a Christian definition is alright.......... in Pollinator's edit summary, isn't right. If so, we'd mention that it's the one true religion. Not my belief, but that's the argument. We must have a NPOV introduction... which is why I'm trying to include str's argument that it's not all NT........ though he still hasn't mentioned what other sources there are....
Did I say anything about "one true religion?" Ah, a straw man is coming into focus...Pollinator 05:57, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
KV 05:10, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree and I corrected it. A Christian definition ok if it states that this is the definition according to such a Christian POV. Such as "Christians regard it as...ect." But the introduction should base itself, as should the rest of the article, on the principls of neutrality and no point of view. Pollinator seems to think just because the article is on the subject of Christianity that it should have a dominant Christian POV. That is not correct. Should the article on Nazism have a dominant Nazi point of view? Ofcourse not. Article subject is just that--what the subject is about. Its not a licesnce to violate NPOV policies. MikaM 05:17, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

"Dominant?" "Nazis?", Where did that come from? -Just so we all can clarify where the propaganda comes from...Pollinator 05:57, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps this reflects the fact that MikaM, like Giovanni33 and Kecik (at least), spent time on Adolf Hitler before migrating en masse to this page.Timothy Usher 08:14, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
This is an example, an analogy so you can see the bias you are arguing for. Sometimes its hard to see it when you are too close to your own subject matter, but think about a page on Nazism. Should it primarily be framed by the definitions that Nazis want to use to describe themselves? Ofcourse not. A Nazi would argue that "Nazism has done many positive things." This is not allowed and for the same reason you are not allowed to assume your opinion/POV as it it were fact; a Christian POV should not be given dominance simply because the article is about Christianity.Giovanni33 06:29, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry - what? We're stating that there are extra-NT sources about Jesus upon which Christianity is built but don't or can't state what those sources are? State the sources or drop the issue. --ElKevbo 05:22, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Millions of people talk to Jesus every day. Now your view may be that they are deluding themselves, which is your right. But you are essentially demanding that only your POV be allowed. Most of these people are non-notable, true, but it's interesting that a group of people keeps trying to link the personal web page of a non-notable person to this page. Again, only one side is allowed. NPOV gets tossed. Pollinator 05:57, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Nonesense. All the links there are traditional pro-Christian accounts, and only one link gives a skeptical, non-traditional POV---a pov that is not a personal webpage of a non-notable person, its presenting the POV of notable scholars, and thus valid. Allowing this POV in the external links among all the others, is what NPOV is about--allowing all POV's. Millions of people used to talk about the earth being flat. It doesnt make it true. Infact its a fallacy known as argumentum ad populum.Giovanni33 06:21, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I understand, but I'm trying to prevent an edit war. I think it may be a ploy to revert to the Christian POV one (which I don't see either really being POV), so let's just see what he does with it in. It might not be a ploy, but then he needs to tell us these other sources.
KV 05:25, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Of course a Christian POV "should be stated" in an article on Christianity. Some want to remove all Christian POVs, and only leave the non-Christian ones. Christianity has produced some very positive things in the world, but you'd hardly know it from the present article. Pollinator 05:57, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
You must be joking. The article has a huge section on "Beliefs" which state the Christian POV's, what Christians think. You can state a POV but it must be treated in a NPOV manner, not stated as a fact or true. You think that Christianity has done many positive things. That is YOUR pov, its not a fact. You can state that according to X, Y is argued to have been Z. You can't stated an opinion as if it were a fact, or present only one side of an argument/POV. That you are not allowed to do this seems to be your main objection. Giovanni33 06:26, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Now you must be joking! -Thousands of hospitals, universities, clinics, orphanages, adoption agencies, disaster relief organizations, etc., etc., etc., etc., is POV? This is far more significant than some of the other material on the page. Certainly it's conspicuously absent. Tilt. Pollinator 06:51, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't think there are any other sources other than the NT (that are not fakes). That is part of the reason that the existence is questioned. There's no secular sources like all other historical figures, esp. ones that made a big impact in history. That is why many people, including a minority of scholars who are experts in the question believe Jesus was a mythical character. Most, however, do assume he was real. Assumption is the operative word here, its not an established fact. That is why I support Giovanni's wording of based on "accounts of.."MikaM 05:26, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Please add that into the controversies section.
KV 05:33, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Christian + and -

Well, let's give this it's own category....... So what is exactly the proposed changes to show the good done by Christianity? Let's discuss these changes specifically.

KV 07:04, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I see that is your POV Pollinator--and that fact that you think Christians did all these good things. But others will say the blance is tipped way farther in the other direction (even if they accept your opinion/povregarding the alleged goodness of those things. For instance, take religious wars, slaughters, murders. Such as:

  • The Crusades - 9,000,000 killed.
  • The Medieval Inquisition - 1,000,000 killed.
  • The Spanish Inquisition - 30,000 killed.
  • French religious wars - Catholics vs. Calvinist Huguenots - at least 100,000 killed.
  • The Thirty Years war - Catholic League vs. Protestant Union - 14,000,000 killed.
  • The “witch” hunts in Europe from 1487 to 1782 - 2,000,000 killed.
  • Northern Ireland.
  • Bosnia and their “ethnic cleansing”.
  • The Holocaust - 11,000,000 killed.
  • Rwandana Genocide --1,000,000 killed.

These are just the numbers. The details are ugly. Like the story of your Jesus loving Crusaders when they took Jerusalem from the Infidels at the end of the First Crusade in 1099. They had every man, woman, and child who was not a Christian (including babies) rounded up and executed. Christian historians who accompanied the Crusaders wrote that the entire city washed in blood of civilians, with the beheading of newborns being the most graphic. Your Christian brothers murdered about 20,000 in that one incident, out of a two century-long Crusades-- recruited by Pope Urban II to fight for God as a chance for absolving their sins, with the end result of the sacking of Jerusalem by these religionists. The cruelties, tourture, the absurdities, the atrocities can not be matched in history. Infact, it could be argued that this superstition was so harmful that it put a halt to the progress of humanity into the Dark Ages, all way way from after the fall of Classical Greece until the birth of the Italian Renaisance--ruled by superstition and ignorance. So, forgive me if I may question the POV that Christianity is based on "goodness." If you stated one side, the dark side should also be given a voice. Both are POV's, desite the fact that we both have facts to support them. And, these POV's are best left for their own articles, yes? Giovanni33 07:40, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Might I point out that when someone does something wrong and invokes a particular faith, that it does not automatically validate their actions as part of that faith, nor does it mean that everyone of that faith is as wrong as they are. If a terrorist blows himself & 20 innocents up and leaves behind a video stating that he did it to "do Allah's will", does it mean that all Muslims are implicated? Does it mean that all Muslims are terrorists? means that man used Islam as an EXCUSE to do evil. Such is the case with the Crusades, the Inquisitions, the witch hunts, et. al. ad nauseum. Simply because someone invokes the name of Christ does not mean that he is doing what is taught in the Bible. It does not mean that Christians as a whole see his actions as right, and it certainly does not invalidate the entire belief system. FrodoB 20:16, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Why do you include the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide as religious conflicts? And where on earth are you getting your numbers - we can start with the Spanish Inquisition. 30,000 killed? Not that I remotely support the inquisition, I'm only curious about the figures.Timothy Usher 07:48, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
The Halocaust was not a religious thing....... unless you accept that Hitler thought himself the anti-christ...... it was racial and of course included any political opponents, not just Jews (who were deemed by race, not religion). Rwanda I'm not sure on.... but Bosnia also was not a primarily religious thing, it was mainly ethnic which degraded to using religion partly as a rationale. There were Bosnian Christians killed as well as the Muslims, I have an ex-gf who is a Bosnian, in there at the time..... prior to the war everyone loved religious diversity, especially the kids who got ALL of the religious holidays off...
If the stats can be backed up, that's a good point however... and both should be included.
KV 07:59, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Boy, this is going to be long but I'll try to keep it short. My numbers are good and actually even conservative. I get them as a student of history. Regarding the Spanish Inquisition, the numbers are disputed, but there some much higher statistics of large death tolls that are given by historians such as Will Durant, who, in, The Reformation (1957) cites Juan Antonio Llorente, General Secretary of the Inquisition from 1789 to 1801, as estimating that 31,912 people were executed from 1480-1808. He also cites Hernando de Pulgar, a secretary to Queen Isabella, as estimating 2,000 people were burned before 1490. Philip Schaff in his History of the Christian Church gave a number of 8,800 people burned in the 18 years of Torquemada. Matthew White, in reviewing these and other figures, gives a median number of deaths at 32,000, with around 9,000 under Torquemada [3]. R. J. Rummel describes similar figures as "most realistic," though he cites some historians who give figures of up to 135,000 people killed under Torquemada. This number includes 125,000 who are claimed to have died in prison due to poor conditions, leaving 10,000 sentenced to death.
About the genocides, those were not religious conflicts per se, but ones in which were committed by Christians leaders and Christian populations supporting them along with the support, at different levels, of the the organized religious Chistian institutions. There are many books that implicate the role of Christianity in supporting early and young fascist movements aroudn the world, and of the supporting role that Christianity had for Hitler's Nazi Germany, specifically. For instance, see The Great Scandal: Christianity's Role in the Rise of the Nazis by Gregory S. Paul [] "Most German Christians supported the Reich; many continued to do so in the face of mounting evidence that the dictatorship was depraved and murderously cruel. Elsewhere in Europe the story was often the same. Only with Christianity’s forbearance and frequent cooperation could fascistic movements gain majority support in Christian nations. European fascism was the fruit of a Christian culture. Millions of Christians actively supported these notorious regimes. Thousands participated in their atrocities."
Professor Robert P. Erickson did an unusually comprehensive investigation of the theologians' writings, utterances, and activities as they pertain to Nazism and the Jewish Question. He reports his findings in a book, Theologians Under Hitler. If anyone should know whether submission or opposition is demanded of the followers of the living Christ when confronted with a regime as totally reprehensible as that of the Nazis, surely it would be these theologians.

What conclusions did Erickson reach as to the stance of the would be expected to exemplify the ultimate in the embodiment of those noble values that millions of Sunday school children are taught attach to Christian folk? They are grim: "They supported Hitler openly, enthusiastically, and with little restraint." In fact, they deemed it the Christian thing to do. They "saw themselves and were seen by others as genuine Christians acting upon genuine Christian impulses." Furthermore, all three tended "to see God's hand in the elevation of Hitler to power."

To a lesser extent in Rwanda, there was a role played by christianity in inciting Hutus to committ the murders, and genocide. Some raids were even led by priests. This reminds of of the WW2 - Croatation (Catholic) fascism had a clear religious role for the genocide.

Croatia in WW2 was a Roman Catholic Nazi state, that killed an estimated 700,000 Serbs and other minorities with the enthusiastic support of Roman Catholic priests, nuns, bishops, the hierarchy and the Vatican, some of whom (notably the Franciscans) even participated in the killing. The historian John Cornwell lists some of the major facts of church collaboration with Pavelic's regime:

  • 1. Clergy participated in the killing, notably Franciscans, who killed in the field and in camps. The Jasenovac concentration camp was run for a time by a Franciscan friar. It was later run by another priest.
  • 2. The war ended without any explicit Vatican condemnation of the Croat genocide.
  • 3. The Vatican hid Pavelic in Rome after the war (also here), and helped him escape Europe.
  • 4. The Croat war criminal Andrija Artukovic was given refuge in a Catholic monastery in Ireland before escaping Europe.
  • 5. Unbelievably, the Vatican excommunicated all Catholics who were involved in the trial of Archbishop Stepinac. Remember that the Vatican never excommunicated Hitler, Himmler, Pavelic or a single one of the tens of thousands of Catholic genocidal killers of the Holocaust. Yet it excommunicated people involved in the trial of a war criminal. The church's morality here can only be described as sick.
When a reporter asked Pius why he did not protest the liquidation of the Jews, the Pope answered, "Dear friend, do not forget that millions of Catholics are serving in the German armies. Am I to involve them in a conflict of conscience?" Lewy, p. 304. That is, Guenter Lewy, The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany (London and New York) 1964

He writes: "But perhaps the greatest failure of Pope Pius XII was his silence over the Holocaust, even though he knew it was in progress. Although there are many heroic stories of Catholics helping Jews survive the Holocaust, they do not include Pope Pius, the Holy See, or the German Catholic authorities. When a reporter asked Pius why he did not protest the liquidation of the Jews, the Pope answered, "Dear friend, do not forget that millions of Catholics are serving in the German armies. Am I to involve them in a conflict of conscience?" (70) As perhaps the world's greatest "moral leader," he was charged with precisely that responsibility, no? Lewy writes: "The history of Hitler and the Church reveals a relationship built on...shared goals, benefits, admiration, envy, friendliness, and ultimate alliance." The Holocaust, Part 5: The Protestant Reaction To The Nazi Holocaust; Part 4: Catholic Reaction; Part 3: Its Foundation In Christian Anti-Semitism in the following links:

And to top it off, here is an argument, which is scholarly and argues this point: Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies: A First Look suggesting that religion is a major, if not the primary, source of social evils. See: The same argument, that Christianity, or rather religion in gerneral is a significant source of social evil is common among secular humanists. For example in this page, there is an article entitled:

Christianity's Social Harms, which argues that "Christian doctrines have harmed society in a variety of ways." And that the doctrines continue to "impede efforts to solve social problems." See[7] and [8] It might be interesting to note that these criticism of Christinaity are not even allowed, but opposed by the same group of Christians here on the article about the subject itself: Criticism of Christianity I tried to work on that article and I was strongly opposed and blocked, so I just gave up. All this really belongs there, and more (the role against Science). I might go back to see if there has been any progress but I was not the only one to give up after they put up blocks to express these criticisms--even in its own article page. Giovanni33 08:36, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

"About the genocides, those were not religious conflicts per se, but ones in which were committed by Christians leaders..."
Are you certain that Adolf Hitler was a Christian leader? And what would be the comparable figures for atheist (e.g. Communist) leaders during the 20th century?
Oh yes...what has this to do with the article?Timothy Usher 08:50, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, Hiter was a Christian, like many facists and dictators in history. Review the evidence here: [9] And: [10] Atheism is merely the refusal to believe in a God for whom no scientific evidence exists. It is not an orgianized institution and ideology in the way Christianity is. And, it does not necessarily lead to Stalinism, or decadence, or the breakdown of family values, or any of these other ridiculous charges that are routinely levied at it. I find no studies that link atheism as a movement to the crimes we see in the bloody history of the "goodness" of Christianity. What does this have to do with this article? The argument started by Pollen above about the "goodness" of Christianity not being a POV. So, I'm proving it is a POV by showing the very real other POV. And, also to respond to your questions. Maybe we should stop this discussion, here, and go back to the article itself. I think I've proven my point. It just seems that many people are so insulated from other views that they think their view is the ony one and mistake it for a fact that everone else excepts. Giovanni33 09:03, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I'll review your links. For now, let me offer that the notion that athetheism is "not an orgianized institution and ideology in the way Christianity is" is deceptive, in that it is overwhelmingly (though not exclusively) associated with the Marxist-influenced left. That doesn't make all atheists Stalinists, any more than all Christians are Torquemadists. At the very least, it illustrates that the history of the 20th century does not support the notion, as is implicit in your presentation, that a decline in Christian belief is likely to lead to a decrease in genocidal atrocities.Timothy Usher 09:21, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Please see the following link

There you can see "British historian Paul Johnson has called On the Jews and their Lies the "first work of modern anti-Semitism, and a giant step forward on the road to the Holocaust."

--Aminz 08:57, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Aminz, I'm not about to defend Martin Luther in this regard, in which he's indefensible. Nor can one deny the continuity in German anti-Semitism, and that Luther contributed substantially thereto. However, I'd understoof Adolf Hitler to have opposed Christianity as a religion of the weak. I don't have the heart to finish this train of thought, but you can follow up on it if you're interested.Timothy Usher 09:07, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Hitler saw himself as a great reformer and leader of a new Christianity. He was critical of many things relating to control over it, and some political issues, but he always saw himself as a Christian. Beware of a lot of fake quotes, that have been dismissed by historians. These two sites will give you lots of evidence for the question of Hitler's view of Christianity: And: Btw, isnt it intersting that they still proudly call it the Lutheran Church? Its like having a Hitleran Church. No shame. Giovanni33 09:14, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I've seen plenty of fake quotes from both sides in the whole "What did various characters in history believe" debate, (John adams in particular, wow, I've seen everything from making him look like the next pope to making him sound like the anti-christ to making him sound like a living, breathing "annals of Deism" so to speak) but I don't think it really matters if Hitler claimed he was the next pope or something, it should be blatantly obvious that his actions pretty much had no Biblical support behind them whatsoever. To call Hitler a Christian would be akin to calling the Pope the next grand mufti of Islam, and such claims would have to be clearly substantiated probably by something besides the internet and definently reaserched by more than just one person. Why does it always seem so increadibly necessary to people critical of Christianity to always accept anyone who claims to be a Christian to be just as much a Christian as every other Christian in the world? Homestarmy 12:37, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and another note, looking at one of your links Geo, I figured I might as well head off an awful fight before it starts. Here's what one of your sites had to say about Hitler's actions, "Hitler was not only a confessed Christian, but his intolerance and atrocities were consistent with Biblical scripture and he acted as other Christians of the past and present. ". To try and head off what im sure would be a horribly annoying discussion I challenge thee to provide a single scrap of scripture anywhere which literally says, without some anti-christ allegorical interpretations or out-of-context stuff, (The devil can quote scripture for his own purposes after all) that every atrocity Hitler committed was supported by the Bible and is consistant with the new covenant. Remember, if it's not consistant with it, its not Christianity. There wouldn't be Christianity without the new covenant. Homestarmy 12:46, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
You did well to head me off. Actually, Im short on time so I will be saving you a long reply, but it means you have to look for it yourself. But, I will give you an excellent source for the study of the Bible, which assorts different teachings with a click of a mouse, so I'm sure that you can find ample Bible quotes to support any injustice, any absurdity, any cruelty and violance, and any intolerance that is made to order---its one book fits all. The website is and I recommend clicking to the right on the following to see the compilations it gives for the following:
  • Injustice
  • Absurdity
  • Cruelty and Violence
  • Intolerance
You might be happy to know there is a section called "good stuff" which lists all the good things found in the bible. However, its small compared to all the bad stuff the Bible teaches. Giovanni33 08:53, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
I have not yet had time to look for things in the Bible that could be argued to be in support of Nazi actions, however, they are so plentiful that I just happen to run into some (as I do all the time) by hapenstance. Don't these biblical passage strike you as very nazi-like, genocidal?
"From there Elisha went up to Bethel. While he was on his way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him. "Go up baldhead," they shouted, "go up baldhead!" The prophet turned and saw them, and he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two shebears came out of the woods and tore forty two of the children to pieces. (2 Kings 2:23-24 NAB)
"Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, "Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all – old and young, girls and women and little children. But do not touch anyone with the mark. Begin your task right here at the Temple." So they began by killing the seventy leaders. "Defile the Temple!" the LORD commanded. "Fill its courtyards with the bodies of those you kill! Go!" So they went throughout the city and did as they were told." (Ezekiel 9:5-7 NLT)
"You are my battle-ax and sword," says the LORD. "With you I will shatter nations and destroy many kingdoms. With you I will shatter armies, destroying the horse and rider, the chariot and charioteer. With you I will shatter men and women, old people and children, young men and maidens. With you I will shatter shepherds and flocks, farmers and oxen, captains and rulers. "As you watch, I will repay Babylon and the people of Babylonia for all the wrong they have done to my people in Jerusalem," says the LORD. "Look, O mighty mountain, destroyer of the earth! I am your enemy," says the LORD. "I will raise my fist against you, to roll you down from the heights. When I am finished, you will be nothing but a heap of rubble. You will be desolate forever. Even your stones will never again be used for building. You will be completely wiped out," says the LORD. (Jeremiah 51:20-26)
I honestly don't know how anyone can claim the Bible is good given so much that is so terrible in it. And, how can anyone seriously claim that this is all the inspired words of God himself? They must really have a poor opinion of God.Giovanni33 04:52, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Gio, out of your ten items, two are not of religious motivation at all (Ruanda, Holocaust), two only in so far as religion is part of the identity of each of the involved groups (Ireland, Bosnia), another one was more of a power struggle in which religion played some part but hardly the primary one (30 years war). Your numbers are not "conservative" estimations but ridiculously exagerated (9 million in the Crusades, you are talking nonsense - the witch hunt number was 500 thousand). And last but not least, some of this stuff is already covered in general form in the history and the persecution section - this is the overview article after all. And Gio, nobeliefs is just as credible on this as Nazi sites are on Jews. Str1977 (smile back) 19:12, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Lots of estimates put the witchhunt 'casualties' much lower than 500,000. There is also good evidence that a lot of the 'witches' condemned were done so by secular, not religious authorities, because people wanted to be able to seize property of the condemned. I've never worked out why 'Christian' genocides get so much attention, yet the three biggest genocides of the last hundred years were perpetrated by atheists and nobody goes round saying 'oh those evil atheists'. DJ Clayworth 21:16, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
If mention is made of this, it surely shouldn't be to say "oh, the evil Christians." But what some people have done in the name of Christianity, that very well may be in contradiction to its teachings, is of interest. What fundamentalism has the effect of doing to people is of topic. Surely, it should be mentioned what modern feelings on events were, that not all sects at the time agreed with such actions, etc.
KV 21:26, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I think there is value here in separating "Christendom and the religio-political leaders" and "Christians". Certainly Jesus would have something to say about millions being killed, using his name as a pretense or cover...
  • "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." -John 13:35;
  • "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right." -Acts 10:34,35;
  • "If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar." -1 John 4:20,21;
  • "What causes fights and quarrels among you?..." -James 4:1-3;
  • "By their fruit you will recognize them" -Matthew 7:15-20;
  • "Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute." -2 Peter 2:1-3 (which is what you see happening right here in this thread.)
--Oscillate 19:36, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
The article isn't about Christians only, but all of Christianity, and what has been done in its name. I agree that many of the aid efforts need to be discussed, showing some positive contribution by Christianity (if not in the article, through a link to an article on the Contributions of Christianity), but then it also needs to show what has happened illy in its name. Al Qaeda would be a destructive force in Islam that most Muslims would reject without a problem, but still such discussion would belong in Islam. Of course notice must be taken in the aid efforts that many organizations (though not all) require conversion or similar measures to recieve the aid. That is something that Jesus would also be against, IMO. We should discuss as much as possible, good article size is 30-50 kb excluding markup, as in the brackets for links, image code, reference markup, etc. So we have plenty of room to add such things, given Christianity being such a large subject.
The witch hunts are certainly Christian, as are the crusades, though not all Christians supported either.... the Catholic Church, for example, ran the Crusades and the Orthodox city of Constanople was the sole target of one Crusade as the crusaders sacked the city and never actually fulfilled their mission. All of this should be mentioned briefly.
KV 21:20, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I find it interesting to go back to much ealier versions of this article and find things that might be worthy to be reincluded. I found this section, which might be apt for an expanion under the Persecutions section:
"In spite of the widely held belief that violence is antithetical to Christ's teachings, Christian adherents have at times persecuted, tortured, and killed others for refusing to believe in their type of Christianity. Some individual Christians have also committed murder and acts of terrorism, killing people for not converting to christianity, killing homosexuals, and even bombing abortion clinics. The Ku Klux Klan, a largely Christian terrorist group, often uses the bible to incite violence against minorities and Jews. Likewise few would deny the role of Christianity in The Crusades, the Purging, and the Witch Hunts that acted as a means to exterminate nonchristians between the Dark Ages and the early settlement of the USA." Giovanni33 08:43, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Though the witch hunts were alsmost completely carried out by secular authorities and (not forgetting:) the populace, they were carried out by Christians, though based more on pagan remnants than on actual Christian principles. The number I provided is the maximum within the confines of serious historical scholarship.
The Crusades were done by Christians and I may go on record that I don't have the slightest intention of covering them up, as I am not one of those who condemns the Crusades in general (notwithstanding the crimes that were included and notwithstanding the eventual corruption of the idea). However, I have to contradict KV: the Eastern (Orthodox) Emperor was part of the origins of the movement whereas the attack on Constantinople in 1204 was already a corruption, fuelled by the Venetians, by power struggles within Constantinople (an expelled Emperor called in the crusaders) and an anti-Byzantine sentiment among crusaders (stemming from the treatment they received at the hands of the Emperor since 1096). But that's only an aside.
As for including this, I want to remind you again that this is the overview article on Christianity. We have a history section and a persecution section, which already covers this in the depth commanded by this article's scope. Let me cite:
  • "Numerous military struggles followed, including the Crusades, the Spanish Reconquista and the eventual conquest of the Byzantine Empire and south-eastern Europe by the Turks."
  • "During the following centuries, competition between Catholicism and Protestantism became deeply entangled with political struggles among European states ..."
  • "Christians have also been perpetrators of persecution, which has been directed against members of other religions and also against other Christians. Christian mobs, sometimes with the government support, have destroyed pagan temples and oppressed adherents of paganism (such as the philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria, who was murdered by a Christian mob). Jewish communities have periodically suffered violence at Christian hands. Christian governments have suppressed or persecuted dissenting Christian denominations, and denominational strife has sometimes escalated into Religious wars and inquisitions. Witch hunts, carried out by secular authorities or popular mobs, were a frequent phenomenon in parts of early modern Europe and, to a lesser degree, North America."
Digging up old versions that were changed long ago for good reasons does not contribute to improving this article.
Str1977 (smile back) 13:34, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Ah, but how do you know they wre changed for good reasons? All change on wikipeadia does not always move directly in a straight forward line. Its like evolution, it goes in many directions, with its own logic and mechanisms and someimtes good things are changed and lost. Its good to review older versions and review the reasons for why they are not included in the article anymore. I don't think you should assume that just because its no longer used it can not contribute to improving that article.Giovanni33 06:01, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
I find it most amazing that you said you are not one of those who condemns the Crusades despite the crimes you admit they committed and their "eventual corruption of the idea." It was a lot more than an idea--the crusades were mercenary murderers. So if you don't condemn the Crusades (in general) then does that mean you support it and defend it? How about a modern version of the crusades then? Its not often I run into someone with this hard-line POV. I'm intereted. Giovanni33 08:59, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Err, back to the things you were mentioning for me Geo, the 2 Kings 2:23-24 thing doesn't tell us exactly what those children were thinking. God doesn't just punish people for their actions, otherwise, His justice wouldn't be very compleate now would it? After all, the thought police are soon to be formed in the US of A so all those Christians don't dare to offend the homosexuals.....but anyway, if the children were just being silly and wern't thinking anything bad, do you really think Ezekial's curse of them would of gotten God's attention? The information not there is everything, and the information that is there doesn't demand a verdict of "EZEKIAL WAS A NAZI WHO ATTACKED LITTLE CHILDREN!" which isn't even necessarily related with Nazi-ism in the first place. Ezekial 9:5-7 is a somewhat similar situation, I don't remember the context behind that exactly, but if it's the part where the Jewish people basically forsake God and fill the temple with pagan stuff despite God's frequent and blindingly obvious intervention for the Jewish people on a somewhat frequent basis, then the people Ezekial was ordering the deaths of wern't exactly the preists of the Lord if you know what I mean. Jeremiah 51:20-26 is just God talking about using someone (I guess Jeremiah, I don't know the context.) to go out and conquer people, specifically Babylon. Believe it or don't, but Babylon was not exactly a very nice city to other peoples. I mean lets be honest, God specifically is recorded as saying here "...I will repay Babylon and the people of Babylonia for all the wrong they have done to my people in Jerusalem". It sounds like He's telling us that He's gonna use someone to exact justice here, which is quite in-line with the idea of God being infinitly just. Believe it or not, but sometimes justice doesn't always seem nice to people. But hey, I wouldn't blame you for it necessarily, firstly because im not supposed to judge you, and secondly because I don't see why you would think the Law of God is a good thingfor God to uphold anyway when you seem to not have much understanding of it at all. Homestarmy 17:23, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Ah yes, I'm quite aware of how the police treat anti-homosexual protesters.......... throwing teargas at them, going into the crowds spraying mace (caught on video) to incite the crowd, keeping them in a "free speech zone" in an area so far away that no one can actually see them from what they are protesting.... Oh wait, no....... those are those homosexual-loving, anti-war liberals and leftists who go through that. Where is this supposed persecution of anti-homosexual Christians? In that you can't bash them in front of everyone at work, that you can't decide to NOT hire them, that you can't lynch them?
KV 17:38, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Osiris and the Ressurection

I want to note that the citations I have offered specifically talk about Ra as the monotheistic God (of which all other gods and goddesses were but manifestations, phases, forms of) and specifically note the similarity. I suppose I should add in something about the Coptic Church, since that'll probably NPOV it...... though I'm not sure the source.... I know I saw it in some documentary.

KV 19:05, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Ok Str, I can accept that last version. I'll look for that citation soon.
KV 19:27, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm all for Budge (though many of his findings have been superceded), but it has nothing to do with this article.Timothy Usher 20:50, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

It has plenty to do with the article in showing potential controversy. If there is a controversy as such, it should be discussed. I didn't create a large section on it, and so that should do.
KV 21:09, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
KV, I reverted to preserve my edits from last night, which primarily consisted of removing superflous text. However, I've restored the most recent version of the controversies section. I'm not clear that the Osiris theory needs to be here, but it looks like other editors have tempered it, and I don't wish to provoke another wholesale revert.Timothy Usher 01:46, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

If someone can tell me what work by Budge this section relies on, I'll redo the references in the new in-text style. I'd like to deal with this soon, becuase there's something wrong with the templates as it is. Tom Harrison Talk 02:05, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

I redid the refs using the new tags, citing Egyptian Religion. I left out the page numbers as unnecessary, but if anyone wants them there is a way to add them to the existing Template:Cite book. Tom Harrison Talk 02:28, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
I personally think we should change everything to ref tags, seeing as it's important to tell people WHAT page this happened on. It's easier verified with the page numbers.
KV 17:05, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
That's fine with me; there's a place in the template to add them, documented on Template talk:Cite book. Tom Harrison Talk 18:33, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

edit war over link

I see the external link that talked about the origins of Christianity from the non-mainstream POV has been removed, once again. I won't put it back myself, this time. I don't think its productive to contribute to that edit war over the link. So, I'll leave it out, and seek a better link that presents the same POV, that should at least be allowed one external link. I'm sure there are beter ones anyway. Hopefully, I'll find one that is up to the quality standards for consensus support, although I have a feeling that its more to do with the POV than the quality, but we'll see. Giovanni33 08:36, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

So this is the link I found to replace the other one which was causing a bit of an edit war. Ostensibly the objection was one of qualty not POV, so I found a secular persepective that was informative on the history of Christianity but yet scholarly and higher quality standards: *The Bible And Christianity - The Historical Origins A rational, secular, historical perspective on the history of Christianity and its scripture. Enjoy the read. It has some good links to Burton Mack and other sites, as well. Its well referenced and has some good book recommendations. Its a long read but I like to read. Overall better quality than the other site but still presenting a non-Christian traditional view, which is all that I required to be given a voice as one link in this externa link section. Giovanni33 08:34, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

First, who is Scott Bidstrup besides a guy with an opinion? Beyond that, my same objections apply: If it belongs anywhere, it belongs on Early Christianity or History of Christianity, or (seeing a pattern here) one of the conspiracy theory pages. Tom Harrison Talk 12:33, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't care who Scott Bidstrup is (anymore than any reader to any article on Wikipeadia should care who the editors are---they could be anonymous for all that matters), what matters is the POV that is articulated and the quality of the references for the information that it presents, which is good. I see no reason why the main Christianity article can't have at least one external link that presents a non-orthodx view of its history. I'm replacing the link. Giovanni33 22:33, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

GIO, I am not editing the link. However, the point you have to remember is that on WIKI we strive to use references (and links) that are reputable. I went to Bidstrup's site and I could not determine if he is qualified or not. He obviously has an opinion about a great deal of things, but your position will be strengthened by ensuring that those sources and links you use are reputable. A few months ago you used a number of scholarly sources that had written about early Christianity, some not as reputable as desired, but surely the others have sites you can link to. BTW, I typically don't appreciate personal pages like Bidstrup's, I think it does more harm to one's position than aids, but the points he makes are not unique. There has got to be better out there. I will seek others and I urge you to do the same. Storm Rider (talk) 00:34, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Why is the entry from some other wiki about Christianity being removed over and over with apparently no mention of it in the edit summaries? It seems we have 2 "suppressed links" now. Homestarmy 20:25, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
I initially removed it the other day because it didn't seem to be working, though I see it works now. I don't know why Alienus removed it today. Tom Harrison Talk 20:41, 23 April 2006 (UTC)


I keep seeing edit summaries that claim to be restoring "compromise intro wording." I'd be interested to know who considers "centered on New Testament accounts" to be compromise wording. Tom Harrison Talk 19:17, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

All I can say is that it was that editor's twenty-sixth revert out of twenty-eight article edits (and the other two were minor corrections just after a revert). His sole contributions are to revert to Giovanni's version, vote for what Giovanni wants, and back up Giovanni on the talk page. Obviously there's some form of puppetry going on. AnnH 19:30, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Are you suggesting that Giovanni is Kecik's sockpuppet?
KV 19:45, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, that is AnnH's mantra, like a broken record. I am no socket-puppet. I've already been user checked. I dont have time like others but I will revert the POV pushing by this self-proclaimed partisan Catholic editor and her cohorts without pology. All POV's need to be respected but we must all abide by the NPOV policies of Wikipeadia. Frankly, its AnnH's attacks on users, instead of making arguments for her POV is shameful for an admin. No doubt she will respond with more attacks on users (esp. Giovanni) instead of improvements on the article.
The intro is a comrpomise and it is NOT what Giovanni wants, if anyone bothers to read above. Giovanni wants "story" and charcter" not accounts. He didnt want "known to Christians as Jesus Christ." That is why this is a compromised version that I picked up from talk, and addressed issues by other editors.
As has been explained above, if Christianity is centered in Jesus (as it is), then it is done so based on the accounts of him, which exist only from the NT (the gospels of Jesus). So this is a matter of being accurate and not pushing a POV assuming that Jesus as a real person is an established fact--its not. Its an assumption). The other version is stating an assumption as a fact and that violates NPOV. Lets just stick to the facts, shall we? Kecik 21:24, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Im a cohort? Don't I get some cool cohort nickname or something? Homestarmy 22:14, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Since we're speaking of ourselves in the third person now, Timothy concurs with Tom and Ann's comments above. Timothy would also be interested to see what MikaM has to say about all this. Perhaps together they can all arrive at a consensus.Timothy Usher 22:34, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Certain groups of Christians (Catholics being the largest) believe that the Holy Spirit is active to this day and inspires/guides people such as the Pope. Therefore to say Christianity is centred on the NT is limited in it's coverage which is why it's POV. The only point I've ever wondered about is the "Christianity is a monotheistic religion" bit as I know some others (such as some Islamists) regard Christianity as polytheistic. I've always thought "Christianity defines itself as a monotheistic religion' would be closer to NPOV. Gilraen of Dorthonion AKA SophiaTalkTCF 22:36, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
This is simple misinterpretation. Orthodox doctrine claims that Jesus *is* God, not that he's another god. Personally I find this absurd, but it's not polytheism.Timothy Usher 00:42, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
The Bible does clearly state in many places that there is only one God, the Islam thing i've found is just getting all uppity over the trinity. If Christianity really did state there were 3 gods, it would be pretty contradictory. Homestarmy 00:54, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
And it is contradictory. The bible is contradictory. In some places it talks about there being more than one God in existence. Also, there certainly are some god-like creatures that is worships, aside from the main god. There is one big one and many small ones, esp. if you include all the angels, etc. I agree with Sophia's NPOV treatment of the wording, esp. since others don't agree with their interpretation and reading of the religion. Self-definined is more accurate, and a harmless change.
About the intro, yes, Christianticy is greater in its beliefs than simply the NT--however it is centered on it becaues of the fact that its centered on Jesus. I don't think anyone would disagree that Christianity is centered (revolves around) the character of and belief in the teachings, life, etc of the purported Jesus Christ. Having established this fact, it logically follows then that its centered around that accounts of Jesus (since that is what informs one of his life, actions, beliefs, etc--the story of Jesus and other stories. And where do these accounts take place? The NT. Therefore, the wording is accurate. It does not limit all Christian belifs only to the NT, but it does correctly identify what its main focus is, what its centered around: the accounts of the life, teachings, etc of Jesus. So, I restored the other intro. Giovanni33 03:05, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Might I ask why you restored the parentheses I eliminated?Timothy Usher 03:09, 22 April 2006 (UTC
That is non-intentional/accidental. Sorry. You can restor the parentesis and I won't oppose that edit. Giovanni33 04:41, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm sure that's true. Apology accepted. I wanted to point it out to you because last night I'd made a bunch of fairly uncontroversial edits for style, eliminating needless language and the like, only to have it all lost by careless reverters focussed on the one part of the article which is important to them. This forced me to revert, and then restore their changes so they wouldn't happen again. If you're going to revert a section - and I speak also to KV - please limit it to that section so that I don't have to repeat my work! Thanks.Timothy Usher 05:11, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
I generally try to only edit the section I'm working in, but my changes to make the controversies section included references and notes, which meant that I would have to once again alter 3 sections in order to make the changes. Had the controversies section stayed, I wouldn't have had to revert. Apologies just the same. KV 05:21, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
No problem, KV. Thanks though.Timothy Usher 06:13, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Adding Images

What exactly is the Wikipedia criteria for adding new images? I noticed that one of the complaints against this article is lack of pictures, but it would be easy to get an image of the Chi-Rho, or of Luther, or even of a worship service. Are these not included due to lack of time on the contributors parts, or some other reason?

Kc8ukw 19:19, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Whatever is chosen would have to be considered NPOV........ I imagine something that would not be geared towards a specific sect would do wonders for this article.
KV 19:47, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Watch out for copyright and fair use etc. I'm unsure on these things but an experienced admin should be able to guide you. Gilraen of Dorthonion AKA SophiaTalkTCF 20:10, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Everything at Wikimedia Commons is free and reusable (except for those awaiting deletion). The category could use some people sorting it. Jkelly 20:22, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Intro Paragraph

In light of the explanation of what the other sources are, let me throw out a model new paragraph that we can discuss:

Christianity is a monotheistic religion based primarily upon the accounts of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, known by Christians as Jesus Christ, in the form of the gospels of his apostles. Additional information may or may not be accepted by individual sects from sources such as early Christian canonical texts in the New Testament or belief that figures such as the Pope (in Catholicism for example) recieve divine inspiration through the Holy Spirit.

It's a bit bulkier, but it'll be more accurate I believe. Before we make any changes, let us come to a compromise here, seeing as there are already edit wars going on with the section.

KV 05:06, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't have any problems with that intro., although I'd changed "in the form of the." to something else like "from the gospels of his..." Giovanni33 05:57, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Hmm. My sociological training is bridling at the idea of defining a religion primarily by its beliefs rather than by its practices. It seems to me that some of the most common Christian practices, such as worship attendance and baptism, should be mentioned early on. They are at least as defining as any statement of belief. --FOo 05:22, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
I think that's a good point. The whole article seems to give too little coverage of practices. In a limited sense, you might say Christianity is the religion practiced by people who have been baptised. Tom Harrison Talk 17:18, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
I fail to see how the practices are more important than the beliefs in defining something. The beliefs are what make it Christianity and not Islam or Confucianism. The actions of course are to be mentioned, but I don't believe they should be in the beginning. It certainly would be easier to define it by belief than by practice, because there are many more significant common beliefs than significant common practices. Whereas practices could be extemely different causing one denomination to have radically different and irreconcileable practices, there is a defining belief that would tie them together (i.e. Jesus is the Messiah) even though one may sacrifice cats to Jesus and the other protects cats in the name of Jesus. Certainly the tradition of Christmas would be an example where the belief was more important than the practice...... despite Jesus being born around October, Christmas is celebrated on December 25th, three days after the pagan holiday of Yule, which was known for the colors red and green, exchanging gifts, kissing under mistletoes, and a fat jolly man in a red suit no less, and the birth of the Sun (the God in Wicca). Under papal edict, the Pagans were allowed to celebrate their old holidays on condition that they were Christianized, they felt it was easier that way.
KV 05:48, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Str1977 is making some argument on the edit summaries regarding the intro, but I wish he'd make them here instead of on edit summaries. One is that Christians know better what Christianity is than non-Christians. So having a Christian POV itself makes one more knowlegable about the relgion. Ofcourse, I disagree, but others should comment. I think Christians may be more familiar than an average non-Christian, but many Christians are quite ignorant about their own religion, esp. the origins and its history. Also, being a Christian is a matter of faith and believing some things based on faith, not of knowing more in an academic sense regarding the nature of the religion. And, perhaps most important it doesnt make one more qualified to employ and description of the ideas in a NPOV manner. Infact beign so close to the subject may actually hinder an ability to free onself from the bias. So in this sense the impute of non-Christians is vital to check POV bias.
Str1977 also said "indeed the definition of a religion should not contradict what believer say it is, as long as NPOV wording is employed." I agree with this, at least. But there is lack of agreement about the NPOV wording that is employed, per above. Do you find KV's suggestion above NPOV and accurate? Lets try to keep discussion on the talk pages, instead of edit summaries.Giovanni33 09:06, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Giovanni, I agree with your points here. And I note that this statement, "Str1977 is making some argument on the edit summaries regarding the intro, but I wish he'd make them here instead of on edit summaries," squarely applies to a number of usernames which have supported your proposed version, as discussed. It's my hope that they don't now see fit to involve themselves prior to making more than a cursory showing on this page. I'm happy to see we're in agreement on this principle.
And, although I've not made significant copy edits tonight, thank you for your consideration in this regard. They are seperate issues altogether - as is your external link, which Str1977 reverted along with the disputed section, seemingly reflexively and without review. This is the psychology of version wars which we ought avoid. I may or may not remove it, but I'll read it first, without prejudice.Timothy Usher 09:19, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
I can see what the new intro is trying to achieve but for a "tag" line it's too wordy. Also Christianity is not divided into sects but denominations. I also think it underestimates the authority of Papal Infallibility to Catholics who make up the majority of Christians worldwide. The only real way to avoid all these problems is to say it's centred on Jesus (which is real whether he was or not). There isn't room in the intro for all the bun-fights to be thrashed out so the central widely accepted core elements need to be there. The importance of the NT is empahasised in the current intro which is correct as this is fundamental to all Christians. Until editing here I hadn't realised the importance and difference of Prima scriptura and Sacred Tradition which needs to be reflected (or more likely any conflict avoided and the semantics exlained later) in the intro. Gilraen of Dorthonion AKA SophiaTalkTCF 09:57, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
There's plenty of room left, and we don't need just a tagline to begin with. Instead we have a one sentence description of most denominations, then a clarifying sentence afterwards. Perhaps we can pull down the wordiness some:
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based primarily upon the accounts of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, known by Christians as Jesus Christ, in the form of the gospels. Additional sources may or may not be accepted by individual denominations such as early Christian canonical texts in the New Testament or the accepted infalliability and divine inspiration of figures such as the Pope (in Catholicism for example).
How about that? Shortened, reworded, another attempt.
KV 16:54, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Although it's all useful information, I don't see the need to include all of it in the introduction. The introduction should make general statements that can be qualified later in the article. This applies to the question of Jesus' existence, the purported divine authority of the Pope, the inclusion of apocryphal texts outside the standard New Testament, of additional scripture as per LDS, etc. Our goal here should be to say something clear and true in the manner of a generalization. Detail and qualification is what the rest of the article is for.
Otherwise it is only a matter of time before someone else notices that their POV isn't adequatedly represented, and burdens it still further.Timothy Usher 02:08, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Timothy.
The intro should include the essentials, be concise and NPOV. The former wording "... centred on Jesus ... and the NT accounts" did that.
As for Gio's objection: though you obviously intentend it as a sneer and insult, I will address your "By your logic Nazis know about fascism more than non-fascists? Illogical and untrue" anyway. - No, it's not illogical and untrue - if I were to write about Nazism or Fascisim (skipping over your equation of the two) I would look at what Nazis or Fascist wrote and said about what they believed and thought. If I had asked Goebbels for a summary and he would have explained: Nazism is ..., as shown in our party manifesto", I would not be accurate in then writing: "Nazism is its party manifesto".
Of course, our definition has to be NPOV - but our former version is NPOV, even avoiding an affirmation of Jesus as the Christ. It is also accurate, for reasons explained time and again.
PS. I haven't yet read the new link added by Gio. I will comment on it once I have. However, the current link title does violate NPOV policy. Hence I will change it. Str1977 (smile back) 19:03, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Let me explain it again: Of course, Gio, some or many Christians are badly informed but there are also informed Christians and, in all humility, I think I can count myself and other Christians on this page among them. Now, Christianity is defined by what Christians believe (and in the past you seemed to be very fervent about this definition) - though things are a bit more complicated, we can use this as a basis for our argument. If this proposition is true than what Christians say they believe is what they believe and, ergo, is Christianity ("belief" here should include rites and other actions etc.). Which means we report what Christians believe in NPOV wording. Since Christians do not (in general) define their faith: "we believe in the accounts of the NT" but "we believe that Jesus is the Christ" the version preferred is more accurate. Str1977 (smile back) 19:18, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
I do prefer the proposed beginning to the current one in terms of readability, but I agree that the current beginning is better as far as introducing general points that can be later expounded upon, and think it better to stay, generally, with out current beginning. If we do switch the intro paragraph, I'm not sure changing sect to denomination was appropriate - groups like the Church of Christ, (dare we call it a denomination?), refer to themselves as undenominational. In their mind, a denomination exists only with a structured hierarchy, and they believe this to be unbiblical. Also, we should incorporate the rest of the information in the current intro somewhere in the article, even if we change the intro. Kc8ukw 15:38, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

I should point out that those of us who are denominational use the terms somewhat differently. In my own tradition, Lutheranism is a denomination, while groups such as the ELCA, LCMS (Missouri Synod) and WELS (Wisconsin Synod) are sects. In this sense, sects share common leadership, while denominations share common traditions. Grigory Deepdelver of BrockenboringTalkTCF 15:49, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

No Criticism Allowed

I thought "this" might be of interest to some of you on this page: Liberty Belle 11:06, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, attempt so censor always backfire. Its like trying to put out fire with gasoline. My understanding was that this site contained personal information, and that is all it takes to get the site banned, even if not the real motivation for trying to silence the problems it raises. To the sites credit, it does look like the personal information has been removed but that site is still not allowed. But I wonder, where is the so-called "Atheist gang?" Is there one? I don't see one. Giovanni33 22:10, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Careful Gio, remember what the website says, your tone is sounding pretty critical.... :D Homestarmy 22:13, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
Oh, honestly there is neither an atheist gang nor a Christian cabal. Doubleblue was banned after it revealed personal information that led to KHM03 being harrassed (which is why he retired from Wikipedia). After SOPHIA reported the incident some users were banned (hardly an "Annish Inquistion!) As far as I can tell this started when Gio and SOPHIA were accused of sockpuppetry almost three months ago. User_talk:John1838 and User_talk:J1838 (the user pages are protect-deleted) responded with comments that are very similar to the double blue site. People should take note that it was SOPHIA who reported the violation, in fact they should note how SOPHIA has responded to all of this in general. I have no problems with criticism or with people expressing their opinions. but cyberstalking cannot be allowed. Grigory Deepdelver of BrockenboringTalkTCF 01:08, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Really? KHM03 has left Wikipedia? I don't believe it. He would not leave. If anything, he is just on a wikibreak. If he left, I'm sure I can get him back. Althought we did not agree much, I'd hate to see him leave. And the same goes for Str1977. Without them (esp. Str1977), who would I edit war with?Giovanni33 01:51, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Ok, KHM03 does not have his e-mail activated as an option, so I can't e-mail him. Does someone have his e-mail address? Ofcourse it was on that website Im sure (since it was linked to his personal site, which I ca probably find), but I'll have to look for it. I'll convince him to come back.Giovanni33 02:28, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Never mind, I was able to find his website, etc, and get his e-mail address from it. He will be back in due time.Giovanni33 02:55, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
He retired from Wikipedia on April 18. For obvious reasons I prefer not to give out his e-mail address, but I let him know what you said above. Grigory Deepdelver of BrockenboringTalkTCF 02:59, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
I've removed the link that was triggering the spam trap. 'Liberty Belle', huh? Clever name. Tom Harrison Talk 00:40, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Spam trap? The link was to Wikipedia Review. How is that spam? Giovanni33 00:48, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
What we need is a cyberstalking/cyberbullying trap. Grigory Deepdelver of BrockenboringTalkTCF 01:08, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Gio there are problems with banned links being posted via other means. The admins are waiting for conformation that no personal info on wikipedia editors is posted to these sites before unblocking - hopefully soon. Gilraen of Dorthonion AKA SophiaTalkTCF 00:51, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Would anyhone object to this whole section being deleted as it has nothing to do with improving the article and is just giving air time to stalkers. Gilraen of Dorthonion AKA SophiaTalkTCF 01:12, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
The only thing is that some people would say "Its like trying to put out fire with gasoline." Yes they are stalkers, but some people would see deleting a talk page section as an example of censorship. They might not be aware of the stalking. Grigory Deepdelver of BrockenboringTalkTCF 01:20, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
How about a "CTS syle" subpage then? Gilraen of Dorthonion AKA SophiaTalkTCF 01:23, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
I would not be opposed to a subpage. Note to double blue: I have never left a message on this page before today (that I can remember, anyway). Grigory Deepdelver of BrockenboringTalkTCF 01:28, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

See also meta:Talk:Spam_blacklist#Wikipedia Review. Grigory Deepdelver of BrockenboringTalkTCF 03:37, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

From what I read, Essjay is saying, "I am not talking about Gator at all; the employer of one of the people listed on that page was contacted, and the individual was concerned for their job, thier personal safety, and the personal safety of thier families." Is that why our KHM03 decided to leave? I'm familiar with what happened to Gator and why he left, but did the same thing happen to KHM03? I find that really hard to believe. Maybe Essjay is not talking about KHM, but someone else? How does someone find out where one works, anyway? I don't think that info was on his homepage. Giovanni33 06:15, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm a bit confused....... if we are talking about the page I think we are, I don't see anyone given their real names at all, save the names AnnH and Tom Harrison, which are given as Wikipedia names anyways....
KV 06:20, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, but it originally had the links to the personal page of KHM03, who mentioned it before himself. And in his personal webpage he gives out a lot of info about his wife, kids, and a lot of information about him being a preacher. The current version of the website no longer has this link. It also used to use everyone real names (used by the editors before), but now has removed all references to their real names. I'm just wondering the details about who contacted whose work place and in what manner. With gator they sent a letter. I'm surprised if this happened to KHM03 but it would explain why he wants to leave. Giovanni33 06:42, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, Essjay is talking about KHM03. I don't know his personal webpage, but the information Essjay mentions was not on his Wikipedia or Theopedia user accounts. KHM03 told me that someone threatened his kids and sent an inappropriate letter to his bishop. I don't know who, but KHM03 definitely feels threatened.Grigory Deepdelver of BrockenboringTalkTCF 08:17, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm sorry to hear that. This makes it serious and now KHM03 might really have left. What KHM03 can do is to come back with a newbie account and no one would know who he was. Or, on the other hand, I doubt whoever sent in the letter is anything more than a prankster and the letter is extent of their malfeasance, so I'd ingore it and not give in and allow oneself to be bullied away. Otherwise, it only rewards the criminal action and encourages them to do it again to others. If they are not effective then they would not use this tactic. The person probably lives no where near KHM03; its only words from a distance in a letter that should be discarded and ignored. I hope KHM03 reconsiders leaving as a result of this. Giovanni33 08:39, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
I forwarded your e-mail to KHM03 and let him know about all of the above, so we'll see what happens. Gator didn't answer my e-mails after his incident, so I don't know if KHM03 will. Obviously I haven't seen the letter to his bishop, but I did see the message (signed by his "fan club" and naming his children) on his talk page before it was erased. If HK30 wants evidence of harrassment, the admins can certainly recover the deleted edits to his talk page. All I have to go on is what I have seen on his talk page and the e-mail I received from KHM03.
This is the the third recent stalking incident that I am aware of (although the other two were unrelated.) I find this all very disturbing. Grigory Deepdelver of BrockenboringTalkTCF 09:26, 23 April 2006 (UTC)