Posts tagged bible

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Time for a history lesson, kids!


Around 325 CE (or AD, if you prefer) the Roman emperor Costantine I, known as the first ruler to ever use Christianity as a tool to rule over people (err…I mean, unite people), convened the First Council of Nicaea. He felt that the Torah (Hebrew word for Law) was outdated and too hard for people to follow conveniently.

So he got together a bunch of his friends (roughly 1800 bishops) to decide exactly what people should believe when it comes to things like Jesus’ divinity, when Easter happened, and things like that. Up until that point, the stories of Jesus and the claims of his divinity were pretty scattered throughout Rome and were pretty inconsistent. 

Biblical canon, that is which books were ok for people to read as far as Jesus was concerned, took centuries to establish because they had to go through the literally hundreds of books written after 35 CE (written in almost entirely in Greek, but this will become important later) and pick which ones they felt would be easy to follow and fit with their view of what Christianity should be like. They also had to decide which books of the Jewish faith (written in Aramaic and Hebrew) would be included in the Old Testament. This happened between the mid-1500s and the mid-1600s. Granted, people had been using various books throughout history, these people just decided which ones were official. (The book of Revelations, for example, wasn’t accepted until the fifth century.) 

Flash forward to 1869. A Hungarian doctor named Karoly Maria Benkert coined the phrase homosexual. Up until that point, there was no word for it. In Greek, it fell under aphrodisia, which means love, because to the Greeks, it was all the same. 

Flash forward again! This time to 1946. The New Revised Standard version of the bible is first published and they throw the phrase “homosexual offenders” into 1 Corinthians chapter 6.

Now I’m not saying the bible condones homosexuality. In fact, the King James version of the same passage says the effeminate shall not be allowed into the kingdom of god, which I find humorous, but the fact that until the 1500s there was no official Christian bible and that in the last 100 years they added the word homosexual to the bible, really bothers me.

I have zero problem with faith. I have faith in a lot of things. I have a problem with people using a book written in the Bronze Age, and pieced together over 1600 years to try and tell me (400 years later) how to live my life, how to treat other people and why certain other people aren’t entitled to the same rights that they expect to be given themselves.

(Source: stevesmithis)

Filed under atheist rant atheists atheism Christian Christianity bible nicaea constintine i