Friday, June 19, 2020

Exploring Biblical Heritages or Blind Faith in Unexamined Beliefs?

The Bible is one of the most important books in the world because people of every nation, people of every color and race, and people that speak thousands of languages read it, believe in it and used it to learn about God and what God wants them to do. But, Bible readers also go to war against other Bible readers. Why?

We call finding an answer to that question -- Exploring Our Biblical Heritages.  It is a science based approach to discovering the histories of the Bible and Bible based institutions. It is the journey described on the above graphic, which introduces people to twelve important factors.

#1. Prioritizing facts before unexamined beliefs.

#2. Incorporating the roles DNA and the brain play in belief systems and human actions.

#3. Learning about the roles three Persian Kings – Cyrus the Great, Darius the Great and Artaxerxes I – played in the creation of Second Temple Judaism [6] (building the Second Temple [#4] and creating the first Torah scroll [#5]).

#7. Translating the Jewish Scriptures from Hebrew into Greek (the Septuagint), which created Hellenistic Judaism and provided future gentile Christians with the Greek Old Testament.

#8. Yeshua, the Jewish Jesus, created a Jewish movement he called “The Kingdom of Heaven.” It was not a new non-Jewish religion.

#9. Roman authorities governed the Jewish homeland, crucified Yeshua, and executed Peter, Paul and Yeshua’s brother Jacob (called James in modern Bibles). A Roman citizen from Tarsus created the movement in which members were first called “Christians.

#10. Roman Emperors -- specifically Constantine the Great, Flavius Claudius Julianus, Valentinian I and Theodosius the Great -- played major roles in the creation of the Roman Catholic Church and Rabbinic Judaism.

#11. Decisions about which books are in the Christian Bible were made Roman Catholic bishops and councils.

#12. Without the biblical based phrases – “all men are created equal” and “they are endowed by their Creator” – the United States of America as we know it would not exist.

I was an ordained minister and I was unaware of any of the factors above. My professional education taught me how to persuade people to believe my church’s doctrines (listed in our statement of faith) and defend them against people who attacked them.

I believed that people had to believe the right things
to go to Heaven so they would spend eternity with God
instead of spending eternity in Hell with the Devil!

That was my top priority. Today I know when those beliefs originated, who created them, why they were created and how they evolved over the centuries. I also know that simply giving people a new list of “the right things to believe” doesn’t work.

In order to effectively change long-held trusted beliefs
fact based stories about those beliefs get the best results.

Exploring Our Biblical Heritages educational emails are designed to connect readers to those stories, provide additional information and pose questions for explorers to consider and discuss. Thank you for being an explorer and reading this email.

May your explorations make your life safer, more fulfilled and happier.
Jim Myers

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