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The Mosaic Law gave the Israelites wonderful Health & Hygiene rule


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#31 Fortigurn

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 03:18 PM

Now I'm being successfully sidetracked from Jeppo's original question. I also have Nick's questions to answer.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

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#32 Jeppo

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 05:26 PM

Aristotle observed that lower forms of life (such as wasps, maggots and flies) were often to be found near mud, dead meat and manure, etc (particularly under warm conditions). Without attempting any form of experimentation (as we would today), he used reason and logic to conclude that these creatures were spontaneously generated by the effects of heat upon the various substances in which they were found.


This is what amazes me. How could such an intelligent man draw such an idiotic conclusion, and completely fail to even make an attempt to verify it? :)


This amazes me too. He was obviously a busy man. Not enough time for field work!

Now I'm being successfully sidetracked from Jeppo's original question. I also have Nick's questions to answer.


Fort, take as long as you need. No pressure from me - don't forget to chill out a bit, it's almost xmas. Indigestion ahoy! :swoon:

#33 Fortigurn

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 05:44 PM

Aristotle observed that lower forms of life (such as wasps, maggots and flies) were often to be found near mud, dead meat and manure, etc (particularly under warm conditions). Without attempting any form of experimentation (as we would today), he used reason and logic to conclude that these creatures were spontaneously generated by the effects of heat upon the various substances in which they were found.


This is what amazes me. How could such an intelligent man draw such an idiotic conclusion, and completely fail to even make an attempt to verify it? :)


This amazes me too. He was obviously a busy man. Not enough time for field work!


You'd think he'd at least take timeout to check if his ideas were remotely relevant to observable reality. :violin:

Now I'm being successfully sidetracked from Jeppo's original question. I also have Nick's questions to answer.


Fort, take as long as you need. No pressure from me - don't forget to chill out a bit, it's almost xmas. Indigestion ahoy! :swoon:


That's very generous of you Jeppo. :thank: I've been out for almost all the day taking photos for the kindergarten Christmas party, and only arrived back tonight after 9pm. I have a small mountain of church work to do by tomorrow (including several information requests which have required me to trawl through Livy and Tacitus), and I've only just managed to get on top of it in the last hour or so, aside from trying to do Nick's post some justice. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day, but I hope to come back to this with a post which introduces my key arguments. :colter:
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics

#34 Fortigurn

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 05:01 PM

I finally have an opportunity to lay out the key points in my case. I have divided the points into two main sections, as the explanation for the loss of the health and hygiene benefits of the Law is a complex subject and took place gradually over a continuum of changing Christian attitudes to the Law.

1st-2nd centuries

* The New Testament did not prohibit the healthy/hygiene laws: A lot of the rituals in the Law of Moses continued to be kept by the early Christians. In fact the New Testament makes this clear. The apostles didn't teach anyone to abandon the Law. They only taught that it wasn't necessary for salvation, and that therefore no longer needed to be kept for salvation.

* Early Christians were not in a position to institute systematic hygiene reform: Unlike the Christians of the 4th century onwards, early Christians were not in positions of political power or influence, and were thus unable to transmit or institute systematic hygiene reform throughout the empire. In fact they were unable even to establish good hygiene practices which would survive the later influence of Greek Christianity from the 2nd century onwards. Despite this, even up to the 4th century it's apparent that Gentile Christians were maintaining certain of the purity rituals of the Law of Moses ('Finally, for all their depreciating Jewish purity ritual, the Church Fathers do mention purity customs being observed by Christians', Brenner and Van Heuter in Semeia 86:201, 2001).

* 2nd century Christians sought to dismiss the health and hygiene laws because of their desire to distinguish themselves as non-Jewish: I have found that the earliest Christian text rejecting the Jewish purity rituals was written subsequent to the Bar Kochba rebellion of 135 AD, and was a direct reaction to it. Bar Kochba tried to rebuild the temple, the Romans crushed the rebellion, and some local Christians felt the need to disassociate themselves even more obviously from the Jewish religion and ritual, in order to differentiate themselves for the sake of safety from the Romans (It is the earliest explicit evidence of the exclusive gentile community discourse we found among the Fathers, and as observed above it is hardly coincidental that it is to be dated just after the Bar Kokhba war', Brenner and Van Heuter in Semeia 86:209, 2001).

2nd-4th centuries

* Post-apostolic Greek Christians rejected Biblical hygiene advice in favour of Aristotle and existing hygiene traditions: The health and hygiene benefits would have been prolonged and promoted a good deal more if Christianity (originally a Jewish movement), hadn't been taken over by a bunch of rightwing Greeks and Romans who worshipped Aristotle and who preferred Greek and Roman 'hygiene'.

* Post-apostolic Greek Christians introduced an allegorical hermeneutic which impaired the practical application of Mosaic health and hygiene practices: From the 3rd century onwards, Greek allegorical methods of interpretation gained enormous influence in Christianty (largely through Origen). This prevented the literal interpretation and practical application of certain texts, including the Mosaic health and hygiene laws. A misunderstanding of leprosy in the Bible led to the allegorization of certain health principles, just as allegorizing hermeneutic reinterpreted Kingdom of God as a spiritual rather than literal reality.

Despite this, a tradition did survive of both reading literally and applying practically the health and hygiene regulations in the Law of Moses. Their benefit within the Christian tradition was therefore severely impaired, but not entirely lost.
Miserere mei Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum
dele iniquitatem meam.

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">I am a Christadelphian. Click here to see my confession of faith.
______________________________________________________________________
‘John Wesley once received a note which said, “The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn’t need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew.”

Wesley answered “Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous, however, as I already knew the Lord has no need for my ‘book-learning,’ as you put it. However—although the Lord has not directed me to say so—on my own responsibility I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance, either.”

Osborne & Woodward, ‘Handbook for Bible study’, pp. 13-14 (1979)

______________________________________________________________________
target="_blank">Apologetics




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