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Author Topic: christianity from paganism  (Read 8008 times)

EmberHearth

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Re: christianity from paganism
« Reply #120 on: December 16, 2018, 11:09:41 pm »
No they weren't. They were Jews.

Both.

Peter and the twelve saw themselves as Jews.

Paul, in particular, took Christianity to the pagan Gentiles.  Bart Ehrman's book about Paul suggests that Paul targeted the "god-fearing" pagans who socially and financially supported Jewish synagogues, causing conflict.

Early in Christianity, there was a debate over whether Christians had to keep Jewish law.  The Gentiles largely "won".

EmberHearth

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Re: christianity from paganism
« Reply #121 on: December 16, 2018, 11:48:56 pm »
The term monotheism is post Christianity and was actually a debate within Christianity itself.

One of the reasons that Jews in Roman times were allowed not to perform the civic sacrifices, was because they had a long historical presence as monotheists.

I personally do not believe that Christianity or any religion I know of is monotheistic in a strict sense of the word and I think we give that term way too much attention in general

There are Jews and Muslims who are strict monotheists. Also some Unitarian Christians.

That Jewish and/or Muslim cosmologies may include lesser beings like Angels does not prevent them from being monotheistic.

MamaThistle

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Re: christianity from paganism
« Reply #122 on: December 23, 2018, 01:03:47 pm »
One of the reasons that Jews in Roman times were allowed not to perform the civic sacrifices, was because they had a long historical presence as monotheists.

There are Jews and Muslims who are strict monotheists. Also some Unitarian Christians.

That Jewish and/or Muslim cosmologies may include lesser beings like Angels does not prevent them from being monotheistic.

I'm not disagreeing that the term has been applied to Judaism, Islam, and Christians. My issue is with the usefulness of the term itself. The word 'monotheism' only goes back to 1600s, which is not true for other terms, such as animism, polytheism, etc. It was used by Christians to essentially accuse each other of being "polytheists", as at the time monotheism was used to advance certain modes of Christianity as the "elite religion" and to justify colonization.

The definition of monotheism has a lot of issues and is not particularly helpful. There is a lot of disagreement as to what it should include, what it doesn't include, etc. There are certain classes of monotheism that I find are less problematic as definitions, but of course, they don't apply broadly.

Considering the history of the term itself, I don't like to apply it outside of that context. That's just my preference. :)
"Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people."

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