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In the Name of God بسم الله

Leslie P

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  1. I think I would also echo Dave's advice to find a sensible local minister, preferably at a church with a good pastoral support ministry. Although certain drugs can be mixed blessings for mental health, beta blockers have few side effects and work well for anxiety. Obviously talk to a properly qualified doctor to access them first!
  2. Hopefully this can be helpful. I'll add to it if I run across anything else. Firstly, some specific Christian perspectives on anxiety: Here Here Here Secondly, some books dealing with anxiety from a Christian perspective: Here Here A couple of websites: Here Here Finally, some general Christian speakers who talk sense without yelling: Here Here Here (All British, but we tend not to shout!)
  3. Thanks for your thoughts. With regard to the Homilies/Recognitions, I did a bit of looking at a range of academic books to see what mention they get. The general resource books don't mention them at all. Some more specialist books give them a brief mention, in the context of the development of 2/3/4th century heretical groups. None of these books- all standard resources for Biblical history- use them at all in the context of Paul or indeed anything else in the first century. They have simply been rewritten too much for any weight at all to be placed on them, hence they are totally ignored
  4. Thank you for your thoughts on this. A very different direction! There is a very solid reason the Clementine Homilies/Recognitions don't get used really at all in the academic world to research first century Christianity. The Clementine Homilies have, as you say, been through a lot of revising and rewriting. There are plenty of theories about the original document, but no-one knows what it said, or when it was written. It is simply not the case that scholarship agrees it goes back to the time of Peter. It is, in any case a 'romance'- a fiction. The final writing was 3rd/4th century.
  5. There's a whole industry dealing with authenticity of the New Testament. It's quite helpful in discussion with non-Christians, because it stops people waving a hand and saying “the NT is completely unhistorical”- they have to do some serious History, or lose credibility. I don't know a lot about Hadith science, but not dissimilar methods get used to determine sihha- 'other identical reports from other transmitters' corresponds to multiple attestation etc. Much of the similarities are common to all historical method. Those using historical authenticity to look at the NT use things lik
  6. Again, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am impressed by your level of knowledge of the Bible! So first of all, back to the p3 material. It was certainly true that Saul persecuted the Early Church. It seems very clear that he had some sort of experience which turned him around 180 degrees (not a dream, but an absolutely compelling vision). You say he attempted to change the beliefs of the Early Church. Why? Saul was a fanatical Pharisee. Why would he want to make the Jewish-Christian sect both highly successful and even more deviant from Judaism? He suffered horrendously for doing
  7. Thanks again for your thoughts. Let's start with the next issue from p3: Mathew 7:24“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” In First Century Israel this would have been clearly seen as a reference to the Temple. The old Temple was on its way out, and would be destroyed. Jesus is bringing in God's Kingdom, and what Jesus is doing here is inviting His listeners to build the New Temple by following Him. Absolutely, Jesus had to fulfil the prophecy. But if He is prepared as the Messiah
  8. Thanks for the thoughts again. The points I'm making are: there are a number of possible explanations for why Jesus said what He did. For example, asking the man to focus on where the Torah came from unlocks ways of thinking about Jesus. Remember that the question the man asked was a very, very common one in First Century Israel- when the Kingdom of God came, who was 'in' and who was 'out'. Josephus looks at this in his writings. That's the (well-known) question Jesus is answering. My explanation means that Jesus' answer refers to the question, rather than going off in a very differe
  9. Thanks again for your thoughts on this. Remember Jesus asks a question, rather than makes a statement. I don't think your account deals with that. Here's where I think we are with this passage. There are a number of possible readings for this- a teaser for the man to conclude Jesus is God; asking why Jesus can alter Torah; pointing at God's greatness; other;...and yours. I've given a number of reasons why I don't think yours works, but even at best it's one possibility amongst a number of others. Yes, but they were using the word Eulogēmenos (blessed) towards Him which is cal
  10. Thanks again for your thoughts. But that also fits with my construction- Jesus has set the man a puzzle and while he's working it out, it makes sense to drop the 'good'. So again, my reading is at least as good as yours. Also, I don't think this idea of Jesus rejecting praise because of overwhelming humility works. This is the same Jesus who, also in the next chapter of Mark, enters Jerusalem to the cries of “Hosanna!; “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!; Hosanna in the highest heaven!”. The same Jesus who is shortly after anointed with the most expensive perf
  11. Thanks for the reply. There are a number of plausible reasons why Jesus answered in the way He did. Mine has the dual advantages of continuing a train of reasoning without breaking the context (yours requires a switch from Torah to praise/divinity), and Matthew's additional explanation. But I don't need to show that my explanation is more likely than yours- just that it is a plausible reading for what went on. I'm not the one claiming deductions about what Jesus was saying. The doctrine was around long before that. Paul clearly believes Jesus is God in flesh, so does John, bu
  12. Thanks for the replies again. It could just as easily be Trinitarian, which I am. These sorts of detailed dictionary definition discussions never troubled the Early Church, and they don't need to trouble the modern one. OK, let's zoom out a little. An awful lot of what Jesus does in the New Testament is about 'changing the rules'. Parables, direct quotes, oblique hints...The way God is followed is going to be very different once Jesus has done what needs to be done. Now Torah was given by God. It was 'the rules'. Only God could change it. So when the man comes
  13. Thanks for the information. This isn't something I know much about, so I'm not putting a POV across when I ask the following: the only potential mention of Christians would appear to be 'People of the City', and scholarship appears to be very divided about what it refers to. A large body of opinion seems to think the events took place before Jesus. Is that a fair summary of where things are?
  14. I know what you mean. However they're by no means all like that. You can find that sort of devoted, quiet, thoughtful worship in other churches.
  15. You've given an awful lot of material here. Thanks for putting in the time for this. If it's OK with you, I'll deal with this a section at a time, so each part can get my full attention. I've put a number of counterarguments to your conclusion. Specifically (1) The immediate context is that of who gets to be part of the Kingdom of God. The question of Jesus' divinity has not been raised in any way or form. (2) No-one replies to a minor compliment like “You're a good teacher” by saying they're not God. It doesn't follow in any way! (3) Matthew paraphrases Jesus' comment to explain what He
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