I've been a long time in responding, I apologize. Between preparing for the
National Honor Society ceremony, work, school, and a little bit of something
called life, I couldn't prepare an adequate response. Turning a request for
"a few discrepancies" into a 7-page flame out doesn't bother me, but telling
me that I'm not playing fair does. Hermit, you in essence said, "Here's
what's wrong with your beliefs. These statements are contradictory,
therefore, one must be false." I simply showed, in a few passages, how
truth could exist in both. The difference between me saying that Joseph
might've been traded while he was a slave and you saying that Paul is the
1) I was on the defensive
2) Saying so was a logical conclusion based on information provided.
I don't know everything, and neither do you. You weren't there. For example, you quoted me a few passages about census after Babylon. I can't account for simple math errors, but as for the larger differences between two separate accounts, did you stop to consider who may have been counted? A census is a snapshot of history. If the children of Israel were back in the land, ready to rebuild, I'd bet that it was decided this was also a good time to repopulate the land. Now, not only could a slight difference in time make a large difference, but who was counted. If, as ancient times go, I count all the adult males and say, these are the children of Israel that came out from the mighty hand of Babylon, I'm going to have a different number than if you count all adults, or every head.
As for your initial comments of Jesus being a rabid zealot, I will have to disagree again. As I'm sure you're well aware, the Roman occupation of Israel/Palestine didn't sit well with the Jews. Everyone wanted a Messiah to overthrow the Romans, and many men tried to get the public support needed. Recalling Palm Sunday, the people didn't want to see a peaceful healer, they wanted a mighty leader to throw off the oppressors. A few words could've started a riot. Judging from the sizes of the crowds claimed, (at least once with 5,000 men (+women and children)) there may not have been enough to drive out the Romans, but there would at least be enough to get the incident recorded in a few history books. This isn't to mention that Jesus went to trial without a struggle, and so forth. Yes, he called the religious leaders of his day snakes, demons, the sons of Satan, and yes, he flipped a few tables. Check the story: He made a whip. He didn't run in maniacally, he took his time to craft his tool, he did as was needed, didn't kill anyone, and so forth.
I response to your question "I ask again, what did Jesus teach" there is the following with which you may be interested:
John 8:11 "Go and sin no more"
Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20
Jesus said, I shed my blood for the remission of your sins.
He has a bunch of guys that, in a cult, would be declared perfect as is. They followed Jesus for 3 years, know what he preaches, etc. And yet, Jesus knows that they will sin, that something must atone for that sin, and so forth. You can probably find more instances of Jesus breaking Jewish law (working on the Sabbath, talking uncleanly to Gentiles) than I can. So I pose this question, "What does this add up to?" Recap:
1) You're forgiven, sin no more 2) I will die to remove your sins 3) The law is made for man, not the other way around
>From this, I see:
Keep as many of the rules as you can, I know you're fallible, and I'll pay for the rest.
Breaking this down:
Keep as many rules as you can
I'll pay for the rest
(faith in His grace)
PS I think that I speak for the whole Snow Leopard pack when I say, we really do prefer this sort of discussion rather than "Let's Count! (With your host: the Hermit- a special thanks to the Bible)"