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Finished reading SPQR, have a different opinion about the first Christians.


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This was an interesting read, never read anything about Rome from it's beginnings to the end, learned a lot.  For one, Nero wasn't as bad as people say he was, not saying he was a great guy but still.  Anyway, what stuck out were the Christians.  Up till now I had the impression the early ones were like the original Antifa, they rioted, destroyed temples, had old rites banned, burned libraries etc.  What's interesting is one of the reasons why the religion spread, the imperial beliefs kinda sucked if you were a typical Roman, poor and/or a slave.  A new belief system where the God says all are equal, blessed are the poor, greed is bad and love thy neighbor?  Add into the mix just how bad things were, how corrupt the privileged class and temples were as well as how degenerate Roman society was at that time?  Wow Christianity would have been an easy choice religion wise.  When I read just how brutal they were to the poor, big suprise they rebelled the way they did. 

More time goes on more I start to see a lot of the Christian religions opponents had the benefits of growing up as a privileged member of western society.  They really weren't bad, compared to some of their contemporaries and what came later they paled in comparison as far as bad actions go.

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1 hour ago, poptart said:

This was an interesting read, never read anything about Rome from it's beginnings to the end, learned a lot.  For one, Nero wasn't as bad as people say he was, not saying he was a great guy but still.  Anyway, what stuck out were the Christians.  Up till now I had the impression the early ones were like the original Antifa, they rioted, destroyed temples, had old rites banned, burned libraries etc.  What's interesting is one of the reasons why the religion spread, the imperial beliefs kinda sucked if you were a typical Roman, poor and/or a slave.  A new belief system where the God says all are equal, blessed are the poor, greed is bad and love thy neighbor?  Add into the mix just how bad things were, how corrupt the privileged class and temples were as well as how degenerate Roman society was at that time?  Wow Christianity would have been an easy choice religion wise.  When I read just how brutal they were to the poor, big suprise they rebelled the way they did. 

More time goes on more I start to see a lot of the Christian religions opponents had the benefits of growing up as a privileged member of western society.  They really weren't bad, compared to some of their contemporaries and what came later they paled in comparison as far as bad actions go.

One of the highlights of my life was visiting Rome a year or two ago. It changed everything for me. I was awestruck by the beauty of all the old churches and just astounded by the ancient Roman structures older than any building I'd ever seen before. They have this air of immensity that applies to the whole idea of the Roman Empire. From the first-century until the 19th there was always somebody proclaiming themselves as the heir of the Emperors on the Palatine. I became so absolutely intrigued that I chose the Roman navy as my research topic this semester and am considering professional work in the classics. 

But you can't go to the Colosseum without seeing the blood that was shed (and yes, I know that fights to the death in the Colosseum weren't that common.) You can't admire the Arch of Titus without seeing the carvings of the Temple Menorah being hauled away. You can't tour the Domus Augustana without feeling the weight of the emperors, one after another, who were murdered there by their own guards, and if you walk over to the facade overlooking the Circus Maximus you can almost see the contradictions; here was sport and here was death. And everyone who tours the Forum in awe of the ruins walks in the footsteps of not only senators and generals but thousands of captives displayed there in triumph. To say nothing of the fact that, unbeknownst to most, they are in sight of the Mamertine Prison, where the greatest of the Apostles went to die. 

Rome was brutal and in the end brutality was its reward. 

Edit: that being said, if I were to live anywhere outside of the United States it would be Rome. I've never been in a more beautiful city, the food is incredible, the history is without peer, and I've long believed that to dismiss the beauty or utility of something because of objections to its creation is to commit the genetic fallacy. So I love Rome. 

Edited by OGHoosier
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13 hours ago, OGHoosier said:

One of the highlights of my life was visiting Rome a year or two ago. It changed everything for me. I was awestruck by the beauty of all the old churches and just astounded by the ancient Roman structures older than any building I'd ever seen before. They have this air of immensity that applies to the whole idea of the Roman Empire. From the first-century until the 19th there was always somebody proclaiming themselves as the heir of the Emperors on the Palatine. I became so absolutely intrigued that I chose the Roman navy as my research topic this semester and am considering professional work in the classics. 

But you can't go to the Colosseum without seeing the blood that was shed (and yes, I know that fights to the death in the Colosseum weren't that common.) You can't admire the Arch of Titus without seeing the carvings of the Temple Menorah being hauled away. You can't tour the Domus Augustana without feeling the weight of the emperors, one after another, who were murdered there by their own guards, and if you walk over to the facade overlooking the Circus Maximus you can almost see the contradictions; here was sport and here was death. And everyone who tours the Forum in awe of the ruins walks in the footsteps of not only senators and generals but thousands of captives displayed there in triumph. To say nothing of the fact that, unbeknownst to most, they are in sight of the Mamertine Prison, where the greatest of the Apostles went to die. 

Rome was brutal and in the end brutality was its reward. 

Edit: that being said, if I were to live anywhere outside of the United States it would be Rome. I've never been in a more beautiful city, the food is incredible, the history is without peer, and I've long believed that to dismiss the beauty or utility of something because of objections to its creation is to commit the genetic fallacy. So I love Rome. 

Been to Rome too, it's amazing.  Think seeing the Vatican made one of the biggest impressions on my life.  Another thing about late Rome that always impressed me, how when the worthwhile Roman families moved away, started up places like Venice/Milan and how their militias gave everyone a run for the money.  The USA is still quite Anglo culturally hence why people like Robin Hood were so liked.  Don't get me wrong, love the movies but it wasn't the longbow that was banned by the church.

https://www.wearethemighty.com/mighty-history/catholic-church-banned-crossbow-warfare/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Innocent_II

Other thing that strikes me about Rome, geez they put a lot of the vikings to shame brutality wise, that's saying something.  Also, their gods were about as mean.  Like I said, it's something that made me take a good long look again at  the Christian religion in the west.  I've had my fair share of misgivings against Christians but i've never really had anything against the Church as an institutions.  Even the LDS, the ones here I talk to are fantastic and while I've had my differences with others IRL, like the Catholic/High Protestant Churches the LDS church is fantastic, shame some of their people are what they are but it is what it is.  Anyway, for all the early problems they had they really were one of the few, if not only orgs that did anything for the least of these.  Communal dinners, kindness etc.  Didn't matter if you were some high born Roman, a solider or a slave, all were equal.  That and with the degeneracy that was so rampant among the upper classes as well as how badly they exploited the poor, in a way I can see why the early Christians rioted as bad as they did.  I don't justify it but when you oppress a people that badly, well things happen.  That and thanks to the early Church there are repurposed Temples in Rome that were saved.  By the time the Roman empire was in serious decline a lot of people really didn't care about the gods nor the imperial religion, a lot of Christians just walked in and fixed things.  People like to blame the church for the dark ages but no one bothers to consider that things were already headed in that direction.  Without the Church a lot would have been lost and Europe probably would have descended into total barbarism.  Humbling when you think about it.

 

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29 minutes ago, poptart said:

Been to Rome too, it's amazing.  Think seeing the Vatican made one of the biggest impressions on my life.  Another thing about late Rome that always impressed me, how when the worthwhile Roman families moved away, started up places like Venice/Milan and how their militias gave everyone a run for the money.  The USA is still quite Anglo culturally hence why people like Robin Hood were so liked.  Don't get me wrong, love the movies but it wasn't the longbow that was banned by the church.

https://www.wearethemighty.com/mighty-history/catholic-church-banned-crossbow-warfare/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Innocent_II

Other thing that strikes me about Rome, geez they put a lot of the vikings to shame brutality wise, that's saying something.  Also, their gods were about as mean.  Like I said, it's something that made me take a good long look again at  the Christian religion in the west.  I've had my fair share of misgivings against Christians but i've never really had anything against the Church as an institutions.  Even the LDS, the ones here I talk to are fantastic and while I've had my differences with others IRL, like the Catholic/High Protestant Churches the LDS church is fantastic, shame some of their people are what they are but it is what it is.  Anyway, for all the early problems they had they really were one of the few, if not only orgs that did anything for the least of these.  Communal dinners, kindness etc.  Didn't matter if you were some high born Roman, a solider or a slave, all were equal.  That and with the degeneracy that was so rampant among the upper classes as well as how badly they exploited the poor, in a way I can see why the early Christians rioted as bad as they did.  I don't justify it but when you oppress a people that badly, well things happen.  That and thanks to the early Church there are repurposed Temples in Rome that were saved.  By the time the Roman empire was in serious decline a lot of people really didn't care about the gods nor the imperial religion, a lot of Christians just walked in and fixed things.  People like to blame the church for the dark ages but no one bothers to consider that things were already headed in that direction.  Without the Church a lot would have been lost and Europe probably would have descended into total barbarism.  Humbling when you think about it.

 

It's been said that the Vulgate Bible was the pillar on which Europe leaned as it fought off invasions from the south and the east. The church also provided the foundations for the university system and it is thanks to the monks and scholars that we have what documentary collections we have from classical Mediterranean history. We would know nothing of Polybius and Livy and Plutarch and Diodorus were it not for dusty monks in monasteries, toiling away on manuscripts and building better than they knew. I've generally been sympathetic to the Catholic Church and that kind of increased when I went to Rome. They've done a lot of bad things as an institution but any institution that old is going to ruffle hella feathers in future generations when expectations have changed. In the meantime there's quite a bit of their legacy which I treasure and without which our modern world could never have been. Some thanks the Church gets for that, I suppose. 

Especially re: your comment about the Church preserving ancient temples. There was something of a mixed record on that, but in all they did pretty well. The astounding extent of Roman ruins which remain in ancient Rome testify to that. The Colosseum got stripped of its marble facings to decorate some mansions and churches and Roman denizens were drilling into the walls of the structure to extract the iron spikes that held it together. It would have collapsed if the Pope hadn't pulled out some excuse (something about the Christian martyrs who died there) to declare the place a church. We have the Colosseum and the Pantheon because the Catholics intervened to stop their destruction. I stayed in an airbnb near the Pantheon and I will always be thankful to the Catholics for preserving and beautifying it, and preserving Rome in general. I was struck by how the interior of the Pantheon and the Rotunda of the Charters of Freedom in the US National Archives are almost identical. It even comes down to the name - the word "Rotonda" is how Romans refer to the Pantheon. Our own United States wouldn't be half what it is without the influences and culture preserved by the Catholics. Our dependence on them would horrify the rabid American antipapists of ages past but frankly they were wrong. 

It doesn't help that the antipapists would usually turn on us next so I never had very tender feelings for them in the first place. James G. Blaine btfo. 

tl;dr Respect the Catholics. 

Edited by OGHoosier
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51 minutes ago, OGHoosier said:

It's been said that the Vulgate Bible was the pillar on which Europe leaned as it fought off invasions from the south and the east. The church also provided the foundations for the university system and it is thanks to the monks and scholars that we have what documentary collections we have from classical Mediterranean history. We would know nothing of Polybius and Livy and Plutarch and Diodorus were it not for dusty monks in monasteries, toiling away on manuscripts and building better than they knew. I've generally been sympathetic to the Catholic Church and that kind of increased when I went to Rome. They've done a lot of bad things as an institution but any institution that old is going to ruffle hella feathers in future generations when expectations have changed. In the meantime there's quite a bit of their legacy which I treasure and without which our modern world could never have been. Some thanks the Church gets for that, I suppose. 

Especially re: your comment about the Church preserving ancient temples. There was something of a mixed record on that, but in all they did pretty well. The astounding extent of Roman ruins which remain in ancient Rome testify to that. The Colosseum got stripped of its marble facings to decorate some mansions and churches and Roman denizens were drilling into the walls of the structure to extract the iron spikes that held it together. It would have collapsed if the Pope hadn't pulled out some excuse (something about the Christian martyrs who died there) to declare the place a church. We have the Colosseum and the Pantheon because the Catholics intervened to stop their destruction. I stayed in an airbnb near the Pantheon and I will always be thankful to the Catholics for preserving and beautifying it, and preserving Rome in general. I was struck by how the interior of the Pantheon and the Rotunda of the Charters of Freedom in the US National Archives are almost identical. It even comes down to the name - the word "Rotonda" is how Romans refer to the Pantheon. Our own United States wouldn't be half what it is without the influences and culture preserved by the Catholics. Our dependence on them would horrify the rabid American antipapists of ages past but frankly they were wrong. 

It doesn't help that the antipapists would usually turn on us next so I never had very tender feelings for them in the first place. James G. Blaine btfo. 

tl;dr Respect the Catholics. 

I've been dunked twice, second time was Catholic.  Even though I don't believe it by canon law (I think), I'm still Catholic no matter how much I identify as something else.  (Mother Church gives nothing up.....)

If you want a real interesting read, here's the battle of Rhodes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Rhodes_(1480)

and probably one of the biggest Naval battle of the time Battle of Lepanto aka the Battle of the Holy Rosary.  They supposedly had processions all around Rome for days praying for victory.  If the Holy League had lost, good chance Western Europe would have been done.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Lepanto

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_the_Rosary

Here's something else about the Catholic Church, without them we'd not have a lot of our Unis, Hospitals and Charities.  It's a shame we can't have the Ambulance Corps they have in Europe but at least we have the Order of Malta here plus a few others.  About 20% of the hospitals built within the past 20 years, especially the rural ones were built by the Catholic Church.  Heard from friends in the Midwest the Franciscans are buying up old hospitals like crazy.  Also, your Prophet is really a cool guy, while a lot of Catholics and others here bicker, insult and call Pope Francis a Heretic he made friends with him.  I get it, people have gripes with the Pope but he's still the Pope, have some respect.  That's one of the American peoples biggest problems, they have little respect for everything yet assume the institutions they leech off of will always be there to protect them from their poor life choices.  It's an amazing thing when someone from another belief system of sorts has more respect for the head of another religion than many of it's more privileged, entitled followers.

BTW, there's a Protestant order of Malta as well...

Edited by poptart
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On 12/11/2020 at 11:50 AM, OGHoosier said:

It's been said that the Vulgate Bible was the pillar on which Europe leaned as it fought off invasions from the south and the east. The church also provided the foundations for the university system and it is thanks to the monks and scholars that we have what documentary collections we have from classical Mediterranean history. We would know nothing of Polybius and Livy and Plutarch and Diodorus were it not for dusty monks in monasteries, toiling away on manuscripts and building better than they knew. I've generally been sympathetic to the Catholic Church and that kind of increased when I went to Rome. They've done a lot of bad things as an institution but any institution that old is going to ruffle hella feathers in future generations when expectations have changed. In the meantime there's quite a bit of their legacy which I treasure and without which our modern world could never have been. Some thanks the Church gets for that, I suppose. 

Especially re: your comment about the Church preserving ancient temples. There was something of a mixed record on that, but in all they did pretty well. The astounding extent of Roman ruins which remain in ancient Rome testify to that. The Colosseum got stripped of its marble facings to decorate some mansions and churches and Roman denizens were drilling into the walls of the structure to extract the iron spikes that held it together. It would have collapsed if the Pope hadn't pulled out some excuse (something about the Christian martyrs who died there) to declare the place a church. We have the Colosseum and the Pantheon because the Catholics intervened to stop their destruction. I stayed in an airbnb near the Pantheon and I will always be thankful to the Catholics for preserving and beautifying it, and preserving Rome in general. I was struck by how the interior of the Pantheon and the Rotunda of the Charters of Freedom in the US National Archives are almost identical. It even comes down to the name - the word "Rotonda" is how Romans refer to the Pantheon. Our own United States wouldn't be half what it is without the influences and culture preserved by the Catholics. Our dependence on them would horrify the rabid American antipapists of ages past but frankly they were wrong. 

It doesn't help that the antipapists would usually turn on us next so I never had very tender feelings for them in the first place. James G. Blaine btfo. 

tl;dr Respect the Catholics. 

Having been raised Catholic and having gone to a Catholic High School for 2 years, on my track it was required that i take Latin, and I still consult the Vulgate fairly often.  I prefer it over the King James, and it's fun to compare the translations.  That practice actually made it clear to me, early in my intellectual explorations, that the meaning of languages can be vastly different and the possibility of any language adequately "representing reality" was nil.

Pretty weird to think that for me the Vulgate showed me how to be a postmodern Christian!   James and Wittgenstein completed the job!

Anyway- yeah, Rome is great, visited there a few times!   On the other hand I wonder how well it would do economically without ruins and the Vatican and all those visitors flowing in providing a continuous stream of income.   Pardon the small downer but it IS beautiful.   Don't know if they still do the "sound and light" presentation in the Forum but it is really an amazing experience. They highlight certain buildings with spotlights and do dramatic readings and quotes from people who spoke there, as in the Senate for example.  For me it was like a trip in a time machine.

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On 12/11/2020 at 12:50 PM, OGHoosier said:

tl;dr Respect the Catholics. 

If I did signatures, I'd put that in mine 😁

I remember when the LDS temple in Rome was dedicated, there was a thread about it, and it turns out it was one of the few temples that had all LDS apostles attend the dedication. I teasingly made the argument that that was a tacit admission that Rome was the center of Christianity and the Pope was its head ;) 

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53 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Pretty weird to think that for me the Vulgate showed me how to be a postmodern Christian! 

Your path to the LDS church never ceases to amaze me, ha! But hey, it was psychedelic mushrooms that eventually led me to the Tridentine mass, so who am I to say anything? 

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11 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

Your path to the LDS church never ceases to amaze me, ha! But hey, it was psychedelic mushrooms that eventually led me to the Tridentine mass, so who am I to say anything? 

For me, that would be an easy trip without mushrooms, but of course they help at any such occasion.  ;)

But man, for a liturgy I have to admit a full High six candle Tridentine with incense and chant in a Cathedral would convert the stones in the pillars if they had not been already baptized by osmosis !! ;)

But unfortunately the liturgy is not the doctrine.  🙂  Could I just switch it around a little, like change the Trinity?  Intercession of the saints?  I think I am OK with "real presence" with the idea of creation by the Word- Barron seems to think that's ok, Rorty and all that postmodern stuff....

And then maybe canonizing the Book of Mormon and throwing in the keys for temple ordinances- ?   I mean it's all a mystery anyway, right?....

But first I have to get ordained as a sealer before we start our new religion and then.....    oops, that has to be authorized by the prophet, so we need to talk him into it....

Well, that's a little to work on at least.....   

Oh and confession- that's got to go too-- I should be able to go direct on that...   hmmmmm....  ;)

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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13 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

For me, that would be an easy trip without mushrooms, but of course they help at any such occasion.  ;)

But man, for a liturgy I have to admit a full High six candle Tridentine with incense and chant in a Cathedral would convert the stones in the pillars if they had not been already baptized by osmosis !! ;)

But unfortunately the liturgy is not the doctrine.  🙂  Could I just switch it around a little, like change the Trinity?  Intercession of the saints?  I think I am OK with "real presence" with the idea of creation by the Word- Barron seems to think that's ok, Rorty and all that postmodern stuff....

And then maybe canonizing the Book of Mormon and throwing in the keys for temple ordinances- ?   I mean it's all a mystery anyway, right?....

But first I have to get ordained as a sealer before we start our new religion and then.....    oops, that has to be authorized by the prophet, so we need to talk him into it....

Well, that's a little to work on at least.....   

Oh and confession- that's got to go too-- I should be able to go direct on that...   hmmmmm....  ;)

 

You might like the Lutheran take on confession, it's done in the beginning by the pastor/reverend and that's that, rest is on you.

Anyway, differences aside, let me toss this out there, plus side to asking for the Saints and Jesus's Mom to help out?  They've done more to get there, a lot more.  Mary is my fav, why ask Jesus to do something when you can ask his Mom?  No good son ignores his mom and most likely will do as she asks.   Let's look at the wedding, who else but Mary could have talked Jesus into doing it?  I'm quite sure even St. Peter would have had a hard time. 

Then again, in the end it's the High church side of the fence I'd hang out on, it's familiar and I prefer it.  That and we have better vestments and bling. 

 

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On 12/14/2020 at 1:28 PM, MiserereNobis said:

Your path to the LDS church never ceases to amaze me, ha! But hey, it was psychedelic mushrooms that eventually led me to the Tridentine mass, so who am I to say anything? 

Go on....

BTW, it's still purgatory that's one of my favorite concepts.  Everyone goes to heaven but we all fry a bit, some longer than others.  It makes sense, it's the only way you can make things fair.  The idea that someone can repent in the end and have the same thing a pious saint did is most unfair.  That and if you look at human nature, people are spiteful creatures by nature, you have to look no further than how the country is right now to see it.  People think purgatory and hell is unfair yet no one ever asks who put them there?  Sure wasn't Jesus.  That, and I'd think Jesus/God saw that one coming, if he just let everyone in there would be no end of infighting, letting the majority of the faithful fry a bit is a great way to shut people up. 

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35 minutes ago, poptart said:

Go on....

BTW, it's still purgatory that's one of my favorite concepts.  Everyone goes to heaven but we all fry a bit, some longer than others.  It makes sense, it's the only way you can make things fair.  The idea that someone can repent in the end and have the same thing a pious saint did is most unfair.  That and if you look at human nature, people are spiteful creatures by nature, you have to look no further than how the country is right now to see it.  People think purgatory and hell is unfair yet no one ever asks who put them there?  Sure wasn't Jesus.  That, and I'd think Jesus/God saw that one coming, if he just let everyone in there would be no end of infighting, letting the majority of the faithful fry a bit is a great way to shut people up. 

I think we all go through a "fire" of some sort for all of the bad things we do and have done.  The Holy Spirit cleanses and purifies us as part of the redemption process, so either we get cleaned or we remain filthy and dirty from our own sins.

And when thinking about the redemption process I like to think of old soda bottles, which I redeemed (for 5 cents each) when I was a lot younger.  Someone had to clean those things from a lot of mess sometimes to make them safe to drink from again.

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55 minutes ago, poptart said:

Anyway, differences aside, let me toss this out there, plus side to asking for the Saints and Jesus's Mom to help out?  They've done more to get there, a lot more.  Mary is my fav, why ask Jesus to do something when you can ask his Mom?  No good son ignores his mom and most likely will do as she asks.

Uh, I see this all quite differently but if you are not good I will tell your mom on you.

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On 12/14/2020 at 2:34 PM, mfbukowski said:

Having been raised Catholic and having gone to a Catholic High School for 2 years, on my track it was required that i take Latin, and I still consult the Vulgate fairly often.  I prefer it over the King James, and it's fun to compare the translations.  That practice actually made it clear to me, early in my intellectual explorations, that the meaning of languages can be vastly different and the possibility of any language adequately "representing reality" was nil.

Pretty weird to think that for me the Vulgate showed me how to be a postmodern Christian!   James and Wittgenstein completed the job!

Anyway- yeah, Rome is great, visited there a few times!   On the other hand I wonder how well it would do economically without ruins and the Vatican and all those visitors flowing in providing a continuous stream of income.   Pardon the small downer but it IS beautiful.   Don't know if they still do the "sound and light" presentation in the Forum but it is really an amazing experience. They highlight certain buildings with spotlights and do dramatic readings and quotes from people who spoke there, as in the Senate for example.  For me it was like a trip in a time machine.

Do you believe the bolded portion of the above holds true for Joseph Smith’s translation of the Book of Mormon?

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On 12/14/2020 at 2:34 PM, mfbukowski said:

Don't know if they still do the "sound and light" presentation in the Forum but it is really an amazing experience. They highlight certain buildings with spotlights and do dramatic readings and quotes from people who spoke there, as in the Senate for example. 

What the heck, I didn't even know they did that. I'm going to find out and if they still do that I will get there no matter what. 

 

On 12/14/2020 at 3:27 PM, MiserereNobis said:

 

I remember when the LDS temple in Rome was dedicated, there was a thread about it, and it turns out it was one of the few temples that had all LDS apostles attend the dedication. I teasingly made the argument that that was a tacit admission that Rome was the center of Christianity and the Pope was its head

 Honestly, I wouldn't dispute that the Pope is the closest thing there is to the leader of the global Christian community. Save Jesus Christ, of course. And anybody who would dispute that Rome is the historic heart of Christianity is bonkers. 

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3 hours ago, Ahab said:

I think we all go through a "fire" of some sort for all of the bad things we do and have done.  The Holy Spirit cleanses and purifies us as part of the redemption process, so either we get cleaned or we remain filthy and dirty from our own sins.

And when thinking about the redemption process I like to think of old soda bottles, which I redeemed (for 5 cents each) when I was a lot younger.  Someone had to clean those things from a lot of mess sometimes to make them safe to drink from again.

 

3 hours ago, Ahab said:

I think we all go through a "fire" of some sort for all of the bad things we do and have done.  The Holy Spirit cleanses and purifies us as part of the redemption process, so either we get cleaned or we remain filthy and dirty from our own sins.

And when thinking about the redemption process I like to think of old soda bottles, which I redeemed (for 5 cents each) when I was a lot younger.  Someone had to clean those things from a lot of mess sometimes to make them safe to drink from again.

I prefer the fire version. 

3 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Uh, I see this all quite differently but if you are not good I will tell your mom on you.

Cool, no arguments from me.  I say lets all do like Pope Francis and President Nelson and get along.  Also yeah, that's kind of the concept, sort of...

44 minutes ago, OGHoosier said:

What the heck, I didn't even know they did that. I'm going to find out and if they still do that I will get there no matter what. 

 

 Honestly, I wouldn't dispute that the Pope is the closest thing there is to the leader of the global Christian community. Save Jesus Christ, of course. And anybody who would dispute that Rome is the historic heart of Christianity is bonkers. 

Ohh boy the USA has more than a few of em, more than a few high ups in the Catholic Church do not like the current pope.  Sad really but that's kind of how it's always been here I think. 

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2 hours ago, OGHoosier said:

What the heck, I didn't even know they did that. I'm going to find out and if they still do that I will get there no matter what. 

https://blog.ricksteves.com/blog/sound-light-shows-rome/

 

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5 hours ago, teddyaware said:

Do you believe the bolded portion of the above holds true for Joseph Smith’s translation of the Book of Mormon?

Well it depends.

Is it possible to misinterpret the Book of Mormon?   Are there any errors in the Book of Mormon?  Does everyone interpret every word of the BOM the same way?  If someone does not understand some of the revelatory portions is that the fault of the translator?

Language itself is ambiguous- it is symbolic.  When I say the word "chair" a chair doesn't fall out of my mouth!  You will visualize a different chair than I will if I simply mention the word.  If you are on a hike can a rock become a "chair"?

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13 hours ago, poptart said:

Ohh boy the USA has more than a few of em, more than a few high ups in the Catholic Church do not like the current pope.  Sad really but that's kind of how it's always been here I think. 

Well, I mean, I'm not the happiest with the current Pope, though I suppose it doesn't matter so much because I am not a Catholic and my opinion means squat. That said, he's definitely the most globally prominent Christian (in the eyes of the world, at least 😉).

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20 hours ago, teddyaware said:

Do you believe the bolded portion of the above holds true for Joseph Smith’s translation of the Book of Mormon?

I believe that a postmodern view is the ONLY rational way - acceptable to the world as an explanation which THEY consider "rational" - to explain miracles, visitations from God, the need for temples and their efficacy and allow them to understand their own personal revelations- as they receive them in following the Moroni challenge.

The only way these folks are going to understand these phenomena to be "real", starting with their personal present reductionalist and "scientific" view is to show them a different paradigm - a way of seeing reality- which will allow them to take a second look and understand that personal revelation and all that it implies is as "real' as the computer in front of them.  And even atheist philosophers would understand and affirm the veracity of the previous sentence- I know of no logical defense against it.

There is no reason to fight against such a view of the church, and in my opinion, such a view has the potential of converting many.

Honest, I'm a good guy!

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7 hours ago, OGHoosier said:

Well, I mean, I'm not the happiest with the current Pope, though I suppose it doesn't matter so much because I am not a Catholic and my opinion means squat. That said, he's definitely the most globally prominent Christian (in the eyes of the world, at least 😉).

As long as we have each other, we'll never run out of problems.

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On 12/10/2020 at 9:14 PM, OGHoosier said:

One of the highlights of my life was visiting Rome a year or two ago. It changed everything for me. I was awestruck by the beauty of all the old churches and just astounded by the ancient Roman structures older than any building I'd ever seen before. They have this air of immensity that applies to the whole idea of the Roman Empire. From the first-century until the 19th there was always somebody proclaiming themselves as the heir of the Emperors on the Palatine. I became so absolutely intrigued that I chose the Roman navy as my research topic this semester and am considering professional work in the classics. 

But you can't go to the Colosseum without seeing the blood that was shed (and yes, I know that fights to the death in the Colosseum weren't that common.) You can't admire the Arch of Titus without seeing the carvings of the Temple Menorah being hauled away. You can't tour the Domus Augustana without feeling the weight of the emperors, one after another, who were murdered there by their own guards, and if you walk over to the facade overlooking the Circus Maximus you can almost see the contradictions; here was sport and here was death. And everyone who tours the Forum in awe of the ruins walks in the footsteps of not only senators and generals but thousands of captives displayed there in triumph. To say nothing of the fact that, unbeknownst to most, they are in sight of the Mamertine Prison, where the greatest of the Apostles went to die. 

Rome was brutal and in the end brutality was its reward. 

Edit: that being said, if I were to live anywhere outside of the United States it would be Rome. I've never been in a more beautiful city, the food is incredible, the history is without peer, and I've long believed that to dismiss the beauty or utility of something because of objections to its creation is to commit the genetic fallacy. So I love Rome. 

Roman ruins are scattered all thorughout Europe as far away as England and Scotland.  They are all over the Mediterranean.  I spent the last 14 years spending 6 months of each year sailing in the Mediterranean.  Some of the best Roman ruins I have seen are actually located in Turkey.  I think there are more Roman ruins in Turkey then in Rome itself.  In Pula Croatia, is one of the most complete Roman coliseums, and is still being used.  One night we were on my sailboat in the harbor close to the Coliseum and thought we heard Tom Jones singing.  The next day we go into town, and sure enough, posters all over the place advertising his concert at the coliseum.  On that same trip, we had on board a guy that specialized in ancient Christianity studies.  We were anchored in a bay south of Pula and were walking amongst some Roman ruins.  This guy identified a Christian baptismal font from according to him,  probably around 300ad.

I have seen Catholic churches constructed with marble from Roman ruins.  You can see the Roman carvings on the stone going sideways and every other direction on the church walls.  They just wanted the marble left over from the fall of the Roman Empire.  I have also seen ordinary apartment buildings that have been around for hundreds of years still being lived in, built by marble from Roman temples.  

Most people don't realize how vast the Roman Empire was and how long it lasted, well over 1,000 years and that is not even counting the Byzantine period after the Roman Empire split in two.

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16 hours ago, california boy said:

Roman ruins are scattered all thorughout Europe as far away as England and Scotland.  They are all over the Mediterranean.  I spent the last 14 years spending 6 months of each year sailing in the Mediterranean.  Some of the best Roman ruins I have seen are actually located in Turkey.  I think there are more Roman ruins in Turkey then in Rome itself.  In Pula Croatia, is one of the most complete Roman coliseums, and is still being used.  One night we were on my sailboat in the harbor close to the Coliseum and thought we heard Tom Jones singing.  The next day we go into town, and sure enough, posters all over the place advertising his concert at the coliseum.  On that same trip, we had on board a guy that specialized in ancient Christianity studies.  We were anchored in a bay south of Pula and were walking amongst some Roman ruins.  This guy identified a Christian baptismal font from according to him,  probably around 300ad.

I have seen Catholic churches constructed with marble from Roman ruins.  You can see the Roman carvings on the stone going sideways and every other direction on the church walls.  They just wanted the marble left over from the fall of the Roman Empire.  I have also seen ordinary apartment buildings that have been around for hundreds of years still being lived in, built by marble from Roman temples.  

Most people don't realize how vast the Roman Empire was and how long it lasted, well over 1,000 years and that is not even counting the Byzantine period after the Roman Empire split in two.

All of that is phenomenally cool.

I'm sad that Istanbul has sprawled over and largely flattened the monumental structures of ancient Constantinople (with the exception of the Hagia Sophia, of course). I've been told that good Byzantine ruins exist in Thrace which I might try and check out one day. 

Touring these ruins with an expert would be a dream come true. 

 

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27 minutes ago, OGHoosier said:

All of that is phenomenally cool.

I'm sad that Istanbul has sprawled over and largely flattened the monumental structures of ancient Constantinople (with the exception of the Hagia Sophia, of course). I've been told that good Byzantine ruins exist in Thrace which I might try and check out one day. 

Touring these ruins with an expert would be a dream come true. 

 

While a lot of the Byzantine architecture in Istanbul has been destroyed, there is actually still quite a bit there.  Certainly worth the visit.  The spice markets, Blue Mosque, Suleymaniye Mosque, Chora Church and Topkapi Palace alone are worth the trip.  First time my partner visited Istanbul, he planned to stay a week.  He ended up staying 3 weeks.   I have been there several times, and still would love going back.

Some of the best Roman ruins in the world are at Ephesus south of Istanbul.  During the time of Paul, it was a costal town.  Now it is 50 miles inland due to the silting from the river that flows to the sea.  The buildings don't have the grander of the coliseum or Pantheon in Rome, but it is a much more complete Roman city with full streets of shops and grand libraries.  

 

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