Thoughts to Consider Regarding Religion

Most Theologians and scholars already know these things, but amazingly few others seem to be aware of them, even including Ministers and other religious leaders! These collected comments are not intended to cause anyone to alter their beliefs, but to better understand where their beliefs fit in with the rest of thinking.

Christianity

Christians enormously focus on Jesus, but that neglects the fact that Jesus is only one part of the Trinity. Even more significant, Jesus regularly Prayed to "The Father" and Jesus is generally referred to as the "Son of God". The Father is the Lord Who provided the Ten Commandments, and was also the One True God that Abraham Worshipped, where Abraham was therefore the very first True Believer in One God.

Christians somewhat confuse things by referring to that One True God by Three Separate Identities, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, but if those Names were removed, it can clearly be said that Christians are Believers in the One True God of Abraham.

Christians rely on the Jewish texts, which are referred to as the Old Testament, and in addition, the New Testament which describes the environment of Jesus.

Jews, Judaism

Jews consider the New Testament non-credible, so they have more clear identification of One True God, Whom they call Jehovah, Who was the God who provided the Ten Commandments to Moses and was the God of Abraham. If that Name of Jehovah is removed, it can clearly be said that Jews are Believers in the One True God of Abraham.

Jews rely exclusively on their ancient texts, centrally the Pentateuch, which they call the Torah, the First Five Books of the Bible, but also the other Old Testament texts.

Muslims

Muslims are required to Pray five times every day, with the first sentence of each Prayer making absolutely clear that they are Praying to the One True God of Abraham. Muslims call Him Allah. Muslims even are required to face Mecca for all such Prayers, for a single reason. They believe that Abraham had personally built a building there called the Kaaba, and they face it to honor Abraham as being the very first True Believer of the One True God.

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Muslims use a book called the Koran for guidance. It was transcribed from descriptions given by Muhammad from experiences he had had in some caves around 20 years earlier. The Koran REGULARLY refers to "the book", many hundreds of times. Many Muslims misunderstand those references to be referring to the Koran itself, but that is not the case. The Koran is actually referring to the Taurat, the Five Books that Moses had composed. In principle, that suggests that they believe in the exact same First Five Books of the Bible as Jews and Christians, but Muslims believe that the texts used by Jews and Christians had been "corrupted" and that current texts are therefore not valid. They admit that they also do not have access to any of the actual correct Original texts, but they greatly criticize Jews and Christians for accepting the "corrupted" texts.

Conclusion

If Christians, Jews and Muslims would stop using their own specific Names for God, and instead call Him "Lord", we have a situation where all are Worshipping the exact same Lord (the One True God of Abraham), and even basing much of that Worship on the very same Five Books that Moses presented to mankind.

Most Christians, Jews and Muslims actually believe that Moses himself actually wrote down those texts. That is certainly NOT true! First, Moses occupied himself very completely just in attempting to keep the Jews alive in Egypt and in the deserts. There is no logical way that he would have dedicated the hundreds of hours necessary to be chiseling all those words into stones, much less hauling that massive amount of stones with them! Second, it turns out that since Moses lived around 1275 BC, he actually lived BEFORE any actual "written language" had even yet been invented! The very first written languages were just getting invented around 1300 BC and Ancient Hebrew (Palaeo-Hebrew) apparently first arose around 1000 BC. There WERE "symbol systems" such as hieroglyphics and cuneiform, but they were not capable of expressing sentences or concepts. It is hard to even imagine how many hundreds of picture symbols would be necessary to express the simple statement "Honor the Sabbath".

However, except for a few Pharaohs and other Kings, no one else could afford the materials or the time to record such symbols anyway. The universal method of communication was in oral traditions. Each generation of people would teach the next generation the EXACT wording of the words of Moses. That happened for around 15 generations before the words of Moses actually got written down in Ancient Hebrew, roughly at the time of King David.

The Bible actually contains a sort of proof for this situation. In the same way that the childhood game of telephone unavoidably caused slight differences to occur each time the story was told, it seems unavoidable that 15 generations of oral tradition regarding Moses words would have caused some minor differences. Look at Genesis 6 or 7, and you will see that the stories are actually told twice, with the text alternating between the two threads! They are essentially the same, but there are slight differences, such as the number of animals that Noah brought onto the Ark.

The apparent explanation was that there were (at least) two separate oral traditions of Moses words at the point when they were first actually written down. So there was probably at least two SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT wordings. The Scribes each created their transcription from the oral tradition that they were familiar with. It appears that for several centuries, those two slightly different wordings must have co-existed. Eventually, Jewish scholars realized that they needed to have ONE specific text to accept. However, how could they discard EITHER versions exact wording? They could not take the chance of discarding the wording that happened to be more correct! So the solution available to them was to include BOTH texts, by inter-threading them together. Which would result in the peculiar double-story we have today.

The two wordings are actually amazingly similar, with only minor details ever being slightly different. It is am impressive confirmation of how carefully all those 15 generations of people were about exactly memorizing the oral traditions!


This presentation was first placed on the Internet in Dec 2007.

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C Johnson, Pastor, A Christ Walk Church