||[Jun. 21st, 2011|11:23 am]
I attended theological college in the 1970s- where I was taught that the old testament is unhistorical, the gospels utterly unreliable, the sayings of Jesus plagiarised and the whole Bible (though it wasn't put that way) a crazy patchwork of lies and forgeries. I was then expected to go out and preach from it as if I believed it was the Word of God.|
It did my head in.
When I became a witch I made a virtue out of there being no such thing as a Wiccan scripture.
2011-06-21 05:00 pm (UTC)
Things had changed considerably by 1988. On the first day we were told that the first year would be spent tearing everything to pieces, the second year would be spent putting things together "after a fashion", and the third should be spent making up our own minds.
I don't think things can be put back together. God knows I tried.
2011-06-21 07:21 pm (UTC)
I think it is very sad that something that is so officially sanctioned can be such a tissue of lies - that these are then fed to children to believe in and fear disbelieving.
What a shame that good morals cannot just be taught to children by story and example without these fables that are held up to be truth.
I still feel guilt about not quite believing and I'm in my mid fifties. Now I learn that it's all known to be fabricated, even by those who teach about preaching the stuff! This does feel like something of a revelation!
The clergy who taught me were decent people. They had ways of disguising from themselves the iniquity- and absurdity- of what they were doing.
Christianity is a cult of the dying and rising god- modelled on the pre-existing cults of Mithras, Horus etc, etc. The sayings of Jesus are plagiarised from all over the place. Jesus himself probably never existed.
Google "Jesus plagiarism" and you'll find various sites that list the sources from which the Christian mythos was cobbled together
A theologian. A scholar. A witch.
I always suspected there was something extraordinary about you.
Not perhaps the typical career arc. :)
2011-06-21 08:49 pm (UTC)
I think that "after a fashion" expresses that - and the point was surely that it can't be done, and no-one expects it to be done. The part that I don't understand is the "expected to teach it as if it was the Word of God" part. Didn't they teach you anything at all about John's Gospel and Genesis?
The Gospel reading that precedes the sermon closes with the words- "This is the Gospel of Christ", not with "This is a story some unknown author made up a couple of generations after the supposed crucifixion of Jesus."
In the context of worship there is surely a presumption that the preacher will treat the text s/he is preaching on as divinely inspired.
Edited at 2011-06-22 08:18 am (UTC)
2011-06-22 09:51 am (UTC)
Yes, of course - but recognizing divine inspiration doesn't exclude examining the text for sources - which was why I asked whether you weren't taught anything about what the Fourth Gospel says about Genesis and the Word of God.
Also, now I think about it, it was long before 1970 that I was taught that - probably around 1958. Also, surely you were taught the meaning of Gospel?
That must have been a really weird theological college - did you never think about trying a different one?
Westcott House, Cambridge- 1973-76.
I forget what St John says about Genesis. It would be a kindness to remind me.
Gospel is old English and means God's word, right?