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Sexism in the Church

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Zenobia
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RE: Sexism in the Church 2007/10/16 20:14:04 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Guest

Dear Zenobia   What does your name mean please?  Is Zen refer to balance and energy?  Did you post about Paschal Mystery? and what is meant by that  for you as I do not have much formal training in religion myself.  It ia very important too.  Janet

 
Hi Janet,
 
Zenobia is from the ancient Greek meaning life force of Zeus. Zeus was the God of the gods.  It's not a very common name and mostly I just get asked how to spell it.  Maybe there is to  'zen', I don't know.  But balance/energy sound like terms that relate.
 
I did make a post about the Paschal  Mystery in the heroes thread. That's what those stories make me think of.  Through their own suffering, they are contributing to Jesus's ongoing work of redeeming the world.
 
In ancient Greek, pascha means suffering.  I used to only connect paschal mystery with Easter as a commemoration of an event limited to the single historical event of Jesus' suffering death and resurrection which happened in a limited, literal, defined space, place (length of time, geography, year it took place, identities of the other human people who were there)  and limited dimension of time. This is ok but it limits Jesus' redemptive act to one brief episode in time.
 
Life's experiences have weathered my skin. Paschal Mystery now means something different to me.  The people on the heroes pages speak of it to me.  They are people who don't have to lift a finger to try to improve anything in the world but they do.  There is something in their soul force that compels them to sacrifice themselves for the betterment of humanity.  Sometimes they pay with the price of their lives for their work.  Which is hard for some to understand. But through doing what they are inspired to do, they let themselves be part of the part of the continuing Paschal Mystery and ongoing work of Jesus to bring salvation and redemption for everyone in the world. 
 
Maybe St. Francis of Assissi was talking about it when he wrote his prayer for peace. "Make me a channel of your peace."Jesus' death didn't end the suffering in the world.  Life is a lot easier if we don't offer ourselves as channels for a greater cause.  However being part of the work of redemption sometimes means enduring personal discomfort.  Christ's ongoing work of redemption is happening every day in more ways than we recognize. There is the work to end racism, find cures for disease, help struggling families, save the environment.  Some people do it in big ways and win Nobel Peace Prizes.  But most people who are part of the work of redemption do it on a daily basis in ordinary ways.
 
The Paschal Mystery - I think of it when I reflect about how despite all of what's wrong in the world there is still a stronger force of good that cannot be crushed.  No matter how it is challenged  (death on a cross, war) there is a force of good always rising up again and again to work at conquering what's wrong and to deliver Love.  Even though the evnts on Calvary happened so long ago, we literally have the opportunity to be part of it as they go on today.
 
Zenobia
 
 
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RE: Sexism in the Church 2007/10/16 20:21:38 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Guest

ORIGINAL: Zenobia

It's funny that you mention the movie All About Eve.

I recently saw the documentary movie, The Corporation. The thesis of the flim is that If one applies the criteria to diagnose a psycopath (as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSMV)), corporations (which by law are defined as a 'person') fit the bill and would be involuntarily hospitalized.

Zenobia







Without getting too much off topic, I once attended a corporate retreat where the president of the company addressed our department. He began his talk with the observation that the structure of most major corporations was modeled after the Catholic Church.

I remember one person in the audience raised the question of confession and how it factored into this model, which brought much laughter. It was generally agreed that while confession was good for the soul, it was not so good for the reputation. Perhaps the closest corporations come to confession is the performance review.

But it is an interesting comparison since we have hierarchal structure, sexism and now multiple personality disorder as traits common to both.


 
A friend is reading a book written by Yves Congar now dubbed the apostle of patience.  Congar worked in the Vatican and drew the conclusion that the raison d'etre of headquarters was to protect itself and ward off all challenge to it.  Congar has little good to say about the Vatican but persisted in challenging it. Just about everything Congar wrote was censured at one point- he was treated very shabbily.  Despite this or because of it, he. like Hans Kung, Karl Rahner, Hildegard of Bingen, is regarded as one who stands on the moral highground.
 
Now that The Corporation is mentioned in this context, I will watch it again with this in mind.
 
Z
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RE: Sexism in the Church 2007/10/16 20:31:41 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Guest

  I saw the documentary Corporation and loved the way it showed how multinational corporations fit the criteria for psychopaths, 

) I was reading the website .org on matthew fox (the theologian, and not the actor, there are 2 Matthew Fox that are well known.  I do not know the actor one. ) The one who writes on religion, Creation Spirituality, and is called a "feminist theologian" by the Pope and calls it Original Blessings (not Original sin,) I agree, blessing.  The site is a .org site.
  Very interesting the insights he shares about pope benedict XVI and the Roman Catholic Church.

 
I have heard Matthew Fox (not the actor) speak many times.  On one occasion he read a 'scathing' poem he had written about Cardinal Ratzinger.  I am impressed by Dr. Fox's personal resolve to keep rising.  At one speaking engagement, a woman identified herself as being an activist for reform in the Catholic Church.  He gave warm words of encouragement.  His advice was to contribute at least 10% effort towards reform in the Church and to spend plenty of time in prayer and in the work of creating peace in oneself and in the world.  He also cautioned about the error of identifying the Vatican as the whole Catholic Church. Don't let them rattle your cage, he said.
 
He is an engaging speaker and an excellent writer.  I had the opportunity to speak to him one time. In wanting to offer him words of encouragement, I offered that while no one remembered who the Pope was at the time of Saint Francis of Assissi, St. Francis is remembered internationally.  Dr. Fox said he had no inclination to want to be remembered like St. Francis.  Instead he just wants to build peace in the world.  Very inspiring.
 
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RE: Sexism in the Church 2007/10/16 20:37:34 (permalink)
The Paschal Mystery:  The crucifixion, resurrection, ascension of Christ and the Pentecost of the Holy Spirit are historical events, the kairos of God into human time. However, to celebrate this mystery as history is to archive it in a museum to be gazed as a relic of some past era. It is safe there, memorable but unchallenging. Relics and artifacts behind glass don't call us into transformation. "Trans" means to enter the mystery. Figures that are transfigured, forms that that are transformed, appearances that are transparent, precedences that are transcendent, luminescence that is translucent, latency that is translated, call us into a living reality, a mystery burning with life and a pulsating heart that penetrates our own.
 
        Believing in the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ is not redemptive. The Scriptures speak of the Paschal Mystery both historically and out of the realm of time. They proclaim that the Paschal Lamb was slain before time began…that we are being crucified with Christ today, that we suffer with Him now, that whatever we do to the least of our brothers and sisters, we are now doing to Him, that He lives in us and we live in Him today. The Pentecost of history is happening today as people's souls are being crucified with Christ and reborn in His Holy Spirit here on earth.
 
        The heart of our jubilant celebration of supreme wonder and gratitude is not in an event of 2000 years past. We are in the Paschal Mystery now! "Now is the day of salvation!" We ourselves are redeemed.  We contribute to redemption. The passion of our Lord burns within us now. The resurrection of our spirits in Christ and the ongoing metanoia of Christlikeness in the world is happening as we breathe.
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RE: Sexism in the Church 2007/10/16 20:44:30 (permalink)
part of the paschal mystery includes helping give 'life' to others
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RE: Sexism in the Church 2007/10/16 20:53:49 (permalink)
part of the paschal mystery means that it continues today and that we are part of it not just in a 'remembering' way but in a contributing experiential participant way.  The Paschal Mystery is living and it infintessmally beyong what happens in a ritual celebrated in a Church building.
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RE: Sexism in the Church 2007/10/16 21:10:36 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Zenobia

A friend is reading a book written by Yves Congar now dubbed the apostle of patience.  Congar worked in the Vatican and drew the conclusion that the raison d'etre of headquarters was to protect itself and ward off all challenge to it.  Congar has little good to say about the Vatican but persisted in challenging it. Just about everything Congar wrote was censured at one point- he was treated very shabbily.  Despite this or because of it, he. like Hans Kung, Karl Rahner, Hildegard of Bingen, is regarded as one who stands on the moral highground.

Now that The Corporation is mentioned in this context, I will watch it again with this in mind.

Z


 
 
Yves Congar, a French Dominican priest, was one of the pioneers in the Church's theology of ecumenism and the place of the laity in the Church. As with most pioneers breaking new ground and exploring new avenues, he encountered suspicion, hostility and active opposition and sanctions from Church authorities. For a time, he was banned for ecumenical work including speaking and lectures and banished from France to Rome and England. During all this he managed to maintain a deep love for the Church and a loyalty to his Order and to his deeply felt insights. His scholarly work has had a profound impact on contemporary theology. Eventually, he was exonerated and became one of the most influential theologians at the Second Vatican Council. Shortly before his death he was made a cardinal of the Church.
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RE: Sexism in the Church 2007/10/16 21:15:18 (permalink)
In September 1956 the French Dominican theologian and ecumenist. Yves Congar, wrote to his mother to explain why, two years previously, he had been silenced by church authorities: What put me wrong (in their eyes) is not having said false things, but having said things they do not like to have said. Congar's deep concern for truth led him to continue saying things that some Church authorities did not wish to hear during his long and influential career spanning the late thirties to 1982 when he published his last book. His claim that the word priest in Apostolic times, for instance, referred either to priests of the Levitical order and is accurately applied only to Christ or the baptized--not the ministers of the Church hierarchy--was revolutionary at the time.
 
For most of his theological career, Congar worked under the intense scrutiny of Vatican authorities with their continual accusations, suspicions and restrictions on his writings and ministry: From the beginning of 1947 to the end of 1956, he once wrote, I knew nothing from that quarter [Rome] but an uninterrupted series of denunciations, warnings, restrictive or discriminatory measures, and mistrustful interventions.  The situation, however, was not destined to last forever and his silencing was only a brief but painful interruption in a brilliant career of loyal service to the Church. The Church would eventually come to accept his views and honour him for them, but only after a long and difficult struggle with Roman authorities at the highest level.  His personal and, until recently, unpublished account of his dealings with what he called the 'Roman hydra' are now available in Journal d'un theologien 1946-1956.
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RE: Sexism in the Church 2007/10/16 21:16:27 (permalink)
definition of hydra:  the seven- or nine-headed water-serpent (monster) slain by Hercules
 
 
Zenobia,
 
Please tell your friend I like reading about Congar, too.
 

 
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RE: Sexism in the Church 2007/10/16 21:53:03 (permalink)
The VAtican seems to have ingrained into it a fierce set of reactionary and dictatorial tendencies.  I wonder why this is so.
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RE: Sexism in the Church 2007/10/16 23:19:59 (permalink)
Just wondering? Has the Vatican ever denounced the Taliban’s treatment of women as a human rights violation? If so what did they say?
 
Since the Vatican’s own treatment of women, although not as abysmal as the Taliban, is not exactly stellar, it may be a little difficult for them.
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RE: Sexism in the Church 2007/10/17 01:24:39 (permalink)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dear friend,
 
Good question. I am not personally familiar with any such condemnation. 
 
I will keep my eyes open for any information about this.
 
~Sophie~ 
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RE: Sexism in the Church 2007/10/18 04:00:33 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Zenobia

ORIGINAL: Guest

ORIGINAL: Zenobia

It's funny that you mention the movie All About Eve.

I recently saw the documentary movie, The Corporation. The thesis of the flim is that If one applies the criteria to diagnose a psycopath (as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSMV)), corporations (which by law are defined as a 'person') fit the bill and would be involuntarily hospitalized.

Zenobia







Without getting too much off topic, I once attended a corporate retreat where the president of the company addressed our department. He began his talk with the observation that the structure of most major corporations was modeled after the Catholic Church.

I remember one person in the audience raised the question of confession and how it factored into this model, which brought much laughter. It was generally agreed that while confession was good for the soul, it was not so good for the reputation. Perhaps the closest corporations come to confession is the performance review.

But it is an interesting comparison since we have hierarchal structure, sexism and now multiple personality disorder as traits common to both.



A friend is reading a book written by Yves Congar now dubbed the apostle of patience.  Congar worked in the Vatican and drew the conclusion that the raison d'etre of headquarters was to protect itself and ward off all challenge to it.  Congar has little good to say about the Vatican but persisted in challenging it. Just about everything Congar wrote was censured at one point- he was treated very shabbily.  Despite this or because of it, he. like Hans Kung, Karl Rahner, Hildegard of Bingen, is regarded as one who stands on the moral highground.

Now that The Corporation is mentioned in this context, I will watch it again with this in mind.

Z


 
It is interesting that you mention Yves Congar.
 
I heard him say that one of the most important things one can be equipped with when working for reform in the Church is a knowledge of Church history.
 
The more I learn here, I am coming to realise that he is probably 100% correct in this.
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RE: Sexism in the Church 2007/10/20 01:06:40 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Zenobia

ORIGINAL: Guest

Dear Zenobia   What does your name mean please?  Is Zen refer to balance and energy?  Did you post about Paschal Mystery? and what is meant by that  for you as I do not have much formal training in religion myself.  It ia very important too.  Janet


Hi Janet,

Zenobia is from the ancient Greek meaning life force of Zeus. Zeus was the God of the gods.  It's not a very common name and mostly I just get asked how to spell it.  Maybe there is to  'zen', I don't know.  But balance/energy sound like terms that relate.

I did make a post about the Paschal  Mystery in the heroes thread. That's what those stories make me think of.  Through their own suffering, they are contributing to Jesus's ongoing work of redeeming the world.

In ancient Greek, pascha means suffering.  I used to only connect paschal mystery with Easter as a commemoration of an event limited to the single historical event of Jesus' suffering death and resurrection which happened in a limited, literal, defined space, place (length of time, geography, year it took place, identities of the other human people who were there)  and limited dimension of time. This is ok but it limits Jesus' redemptive act to one brief episode in time.

Life's experiences have weathered my skin. Paschal Mystery now means something different to me.  The people on the heroes pages speak of it to me.  They are people who don't have to lift a finger to try to improve anything in the world but they do.  There is something in their soul force that compels them to sacrifice themselves for the betterment of humanity.  Sometimes they pay with the price of their lives for their work.  Which is hard for some to understand. But through doing what they are inspired to do, they let themselves be part of the part of the continuing Paschal Mystery and ongoing work of Jesus to bring salvation and redemption for everyone in the world. 

Maybe St. Francis of Assissi was talking about it when he wrote his prayer for peace. "Make me a channel of your peace."Jesus' death didn't end the suffering in the world.  Life is a lot easier if we don't offer ourselves as channels for a greater cause.  However being part of the work of redemption sometimes means enduring personal discomfort.  Christ's ongoing work of redemption is happening every day in more ways than we recognize. There is the work to end racism, find cures for disease, help struggling families, save the environment.  Some people do it in big ways and win Nobel Peace Prizes.  But most people who are part of the work of redemption do it on a daily basis in ordinary ways.

The Paschal Mystery - I think of it when I reflect about how despite all of what's wrong in the world there is still a stronger force of good that cannot be crushed.  No matter how it is challenged  (death on a cross, war) there is a force of good always rising up again and again to work at conquering what's wrong and to deliver Love.  Even though the evnts on Calvary happened so long ago, we literally have the opportunity to be part of it as they go on today.

Zenobia

 
Dear Zenobia,
 
Thank you for sharing about the origins of your name and the Paschal Mystery (the depth and breadth of which I shall never fully comprehend!)
 
As an aside about your name, did you know that the eastern Church venerates the siblings Zenobius and Zenobia?  Their feast day is October 30.   They were Christian martyrs from Cilicia who lived in the late third century. They were slain during the persecutions of co-Emperor Diocletian (r. 284-305). Zenobius was a physician in the town of Aegae in Asia Minor (modern Turkey) and Zenobia was his sister. There is a strong possibility that Zenobius may have been a bishop or may be Zenobius of Antioch.
 
It is wonderful to have you here!
 
with love and blessings,
 
~Sophie~
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RE: Sexism in the Church 2007/10/20 04:42:51 (permalink)
Pope Benedict interprets Paul’s “in Christ there is no male or female” to mean that through Christ all enmity and discord between men and women is erased. He does not see it as erasing defined preconceived roles for men and women in the Church or in the family. As I understand it he interprets Paul as meaning that in Christ we are all living harmoniously accepting our stereotyped male and female roles with men dominant and women submissive according to God’s plan.
 
Could this have been Paul’s meaning? Many saints spent their lives doing good works but were still blinded by their sexist culture. Perhaps St. Paul was no different. There are of course the Church Fathers who were blatantly sexist. Even Mother Teresa did not support ordination of women. In fact she sent letters of encouragement to organizations like Women of Faith and Family, who openly support a submissive role of women in the home.
 
I am aware of writings of Bart Ehrman who claims the misogynist passages of Paul and Timothy were scribal inserts. But is this based solely on inconsistencies in Paul’s letters? If this is the only basis for this assertion, it is not that convincing. Perhaps someone could offer more information on this explanation.
 
As an aside on Ehrman [(He) became an Evangelical Christian as a teen. He attended Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College (B.A., 1978). His desire to know the original words of the Bible led him to textual criticism, which in turn undermined his faith in the Bible as the inerrant word of God. Ehrman now considers himself an agnostic. He appeared on The Colbert Report, as well as The Daily Show, in 2006 to promote his book Misquoting Jesus and was jokingly called an "atheist without balls" (alluding to his agnosticism) on national television by Stephen Colbert.]-Wilkipedia
 
I am also aware of the rationalizations that the sexist letters of Paul and Timothy were temporary prohibitions. But these seem like hand waving arguments.
 
It seems to me that a more likely explanation would be that influences of cultural prejudices and misinterpretations of the second Creation story were responsible for the sexist passages from Peter, Paul, and Timothy. By the way, I find such passages completely sickening and demeaning to women.
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RE: Sexism in the Church 2007/10/20 17:45:53 (permalink)
  Thanks for your post. I do not get how Pope Benedict XVI can say we have stereotypical roles, wife submit to husband, when Jesus was the Greatest Sexual Stereotypyical Barrier Breaker himself!!!
 
 
   There is Jesus engaging the many times married Samaritan woman in Theology Lessons and getting this woman to Preach His Gospel to all her community!  Whoah that was just not done in those times so the male disciples stand around astonished by this.  No No No the Pope is not getting this right at all.  Jesus is not making women follow submissive, silent roles at all!!!!  Ridiculous to claim that!!
 
 
    Jesus makes a woman    Whoah  a woman???    The Major Witness !!  Whoah  Women Can Not be Witnesses according to Roman law and Jewish custom !!! What?????
Jesus makes woman Mary Magdalene   Chief Witness  and  Preacher  of the  immensely  important  News of  his Resurrection   So Jesus DOES NOT APPROVE OF SEX STEREOTYPES  AT ALL!    Women can DO ALL THAT MEN DO, even more as only women do anointing of Jesus as recorded in the New Testament.
 
     Jesus bids Mary Magdalene  to go back  and  Publically  Announce  to  All  The Community of his church.   No------ not silent, submissive, defer to males woman role here either!!!!  No, Jesus does not support sexual stereotyping of what a woman can or can not do.
 
     I agree that Paul struggled with this issue but ultimately obeyed the fact that the women were equal, were true co-workers in Christ, were true apostles, preachers, prophets and leaders in the church of Jesus.  He asked his congreagation to respect, honor and obey the women leaders, deacons and apostles, missionaries and praises the women very highly.
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RE: Sexism in the Church 2007/10/20 17:56:36 (permalink)
  Hi I have read some of Bart Ehrman's books and I think he has got this issue right.  He is a Biblical Textual expert and employs recognized, very credible techniques to analyze the way the words and phrases go and he is among many many biblical textual scholars who have come to exactly the same conclusion, I think Dr. Wijngaards has also found the same, that these passages are indeed not original to Paul but insertions by later scribes who have altered the text.
 
   Mr. Ehrman  writes popular books that are often easy to read by many people and many find them very enjoyable and accessable,  However he stands among many other theologians who have less of the "common touch" or writing to the public skill that Ehrman has,  yet they have come to the same scholarly conclusion: the antiwoman passages are  scribal inserts to prop up a anti-woman position not original to Paul or Jesus.  Lots and lots of biblical scholars and theologians agree with Erhman.
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RE: Sexism in the Church 2007/10/20 18:52:02 (permalink)
If the sexist passages were scribal inserts and not original to Paul, then all Christian Churches should remove these passages from the New Testament. Why perpetuate a lie?
 
I don’t know of any Bibles that have deleted them.
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RE: Sexism in the Church 2007/10/20 19:27:11 (permalink)
 The bible has a very long history with being copied and recopied over the centuries and with revisions and great debates over which texts and which versions of texts should be included, excluded.  It has been changed and tampered with over time according to the winning powers to be in the church hierarchy of the time.  We work with what we have, yet this can not blind us to the reality that research and careful expert study does show that yes the text has been in places changed from the original.  Deleting controversial passages is not necessary I believe, but being aware of what is there and the reasons  it ended up in the bible is what is important.
 
   I have read three of Bart Erhman's books, Misquoting Jesus,  and the one about the discovery of the Gospel of Judas which was found in an Egyptian ancient Christian's tomb and one other book of his.  He writes with humour and clarity and with a great love of the bible.  I loved reading his books.  He is funny and insightful.
 
   Bart Erhaman can label himself as an agnostic, however what shines through when I read his books is his great love  and admiration for Jesus and Christianity and spirituality. 
 
     We do not have to "throw the baby out with the bathwater" so to speak because the bible has been tampered with because of the prevailing theological powers to be of the time throughout its long history.  We can recognize the influence of schools of thought in church history and understand how it became the bible it is.
 
    This is where we can learn so much and Erhman writes very well and I found his books enjoyable and easy to read.  Though I do not literally believe in everything in the bible, there is great spiritual truth in it along with lots of contradictions too.  Just like the world we live in.  God bless    from  Maria
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RE: Sexism in the Church 2007/10/20 19:38:18 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Guest

 The bible has a very long history with being copied and recopied over the centuries and with revisions and great debates over which texts and which versions of texts should be included, excluded.  It has been changed and tampered with over time according to the winning powers to be in the church hierarchy of the time.  We work with what we have, yet this can not blind us to the reality that research and careful expert study does show that yes the text has been in places changed from the original.  Deleting controversial passages is not necessary I believe, but being aware of what is there and the reasons  it ended up in the bible is what is important.

  I have read three of Bart Erhman's books, Misquoting Jesus,  and the one about the discovery of the Gospel of Judas which was found in an Egyptian ancient Christian's tomb and one other book of his.  He writes with humour and clarity and with a great love of the bible.  I loved reading his books.  He is funny and insightful.

  Bart Erhaman can label himself as an agnostic, however what shines through when I read his books is his great love  and admiration for Jesus and Christianity and spirituality. 

    We do not have to "throw the baby out with the bathwater" so to speak because the bible has been tampered with because of the prevailing theological powers to be of the time throughout its long history.  We can recognize the influence of schools of thought in church history and understand how it became the bible it is.

   This is where we can learn so much and Erhman writes very well and I found his books enjoyable and easy to read.  Though I do not literally believe in everything in the bible, there is great spiritual truth in it along with lots of contradictions too.  Just like the world we live in.  God bless    from  Maria

 
 
I strongly disagree. If it can be proven that the text is not original to the author, then it should be deleted. This is not just a matter of understanding something in the context of the time in which it was written. This is falsely attributing statements to St. Paul that were never made (if indeed this is what happened).
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