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RE: [GTh] Christian Origins

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  • David C. Hindley
    ... suddenly became eligible to do all these priestly things in the Jewish Temple. Or are we talking about the first Christian Temple in the Apostle s
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 1, 2002
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      Tom Saunders asks:

      >>Somebody please explain to me how the followers of Jesus
      suddenly became eligible to do all these priestly things in
      the Jewish Temple. Or are we talking about the first
      Christian 'Temple" in the Apostle's village? And I'm
      thinking outskirts of Jerusalem.<<

      I'm not sure what you are asking. What is so priestly about
      continuing "steadfastly in the apostles' teaching and
      fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers" with
      the apostles doing "many wonders and signs," as they all
      fellowshipped "together, and had all things common," selling
      their possessions and goods" ... parceling the proceeds from
      the sale "to all, according as any man had need" and
      continued "steadfastly with one accord in the temple, and
      breaking [their] bread at home, they took their food with
      gladness and singleness of heart, praising God"?

      I was being facetious in my earlier post about an "apostle's
      village" in Jerusalem, suggesting the term makes one think
      of something like Greenwich Village in NYC. First of all,
      Jerusalem probably did not have anything resembling a
      Greenwich Village. Acts simply says that they liquidated
      their assets and pooled their resources in a communal manner
      while living in Jerusalem and attending the temple much of
      the time to pray and thank God.

      Instead of imagining that they established some sort of new
      temple outside of town, you would be better served asking
      yourself what about the "apostles' teaching" made them sell
      everything they had and spend every day "continuing
      steadfastly with one accord in the temple" in an excited
      fervor as they said special prayers. What were they praying
      for? Sounds all so "ends of days-ish".

      Kinda makes me think of the "Golden temple of Amritsar"
      which became filled with militant Sikhs demanding an
      independent Sikh state in Punjab in the early 80s. These
      smuggled in hundreds of automatic weapons, rocket propelled
      grenades and launchers, mortars and tens of thousands of
      rounds of ammunition, and then held off the Indian army in a
      running gun battle for some time when they tried to disarm
      them in 1984.

      But, of course, that is outrageous...

      Respectfully,

      Dave Hindley
      Cleveland, Ohio, USA
    • Tom Saunders
      David Hindley writes: I was being facetious in my earlier post about an apostle s village in Jerusalem, suggesting the term makes one think of something like
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 2, 2002
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        David Hindley writes:

        I was being facetious in my earlier post about an "apostle's
        village" in Jerusalem, suggesting the term makes one think
        of something like Greenwich Village in NYC.

        My reasoning in bringing up the 'Apostle's Villiage' is that it makes no sense that the Apostles actually practiced their new religion in the Jewish Temple. Scripture does not make it clear that the Apostles actually built a seperate church within the villiage, but that could be the case. Unless, it was their intention to build a church within men which would negate the need for an actual designated structure.

        I think the records of Stephan and James being executed at "the Temple" and other references to it has hidden the possibility that there was actually a designated site in Jerusalem used exclusively by the early Christians. Regardless of an actual structure this would be 'ground zero' for the beginnings of the first common Christian literature.

        Peter is reputed to have converted 3000 in one day. As this is the only numerical figure we have on that early Christian population, based on a literacy rate of one half a percent .5, that leaves 15 people literate. Am I off the mark here?

        Tom Saunders
        Platter Flats, OK






        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jeffrey Glen Jackson
        ... I ve often wondered if the ancient literacy rate might not have been much higher than commonly supposed. We English speakers tend to think reading and
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 2, 2002
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          > Peter is reputed to have converted 3000 in one day. As this is the
          > only numerical figure we have on that early Christian population,
          > based on a literacy rate of one half a percent .5, that leaves 15 people
          > literate. Am I off the mark here?

          I've often wondered if the ancient literacy rate might not have
          been much higher than commonly supposed. We English speakers
          tend to think reading and writing is very hard because we try to
          cram some 40 sounds, give or take, into 26 letters, then try to
          spell each of those sounds a half dozen ways each, resulting in
          a written language that virtually hieroglyphic in complexity.

          Given a language with a smaller number of sounds, and only one
          symbol per sound, how hard is it really to get to the point where
          you can sound out a sentence, or write something another person
          could read and understand? I dare say most any intelligent person
          could probably reach that point in a day or two of serious effort.
          Now granted that person is not going to be reading or writing a
          large number of words per minute, but ...

          What if the preference for short sayings in the synoptic Gospels is
          not entirely because Jesus always taught that way, as opposed to using
          extended discourses, as the Jesus Seminar folk suppose, but because
          the earliest church had large numbers of such marginally literate
          persons, and so a short saying distilling Jesus' teaching was something
          they could profitably read and understand?



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