Pharisees and Sadducees had been important and respected folks for about two centuries by the time our Lord talked about love.
They agreed on quite a bit. Maybe more than they realized. But they didn’t see assorted political, social, and philosophical points the same way. One was Helenization, adopting at least some foreign ideas.
Pharisees didn’t like Helenization. Sadducees thought it was a generally good idea. That attitude reminds of today ‘new ideas are bad’ Christian factions.
As usual, it’s not that simple.
But Sadducees thought the written Torah was divine authority’s only source.1
They saw the Torah as the only source for worship and everyday life.
That makes me a bit more like the Pharisees. Looking at how they saw Helenization, I’m sort of like a Sadducee.
That may need explaining.
I’m a Christian, so I think “ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.” So do many Christians who aren’t Catholic.
What’s changed is how much I know about why it’s important. Another plus is that now I have the full version.
My Bible includes Baruch, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Sirach, Tobit, and Wisdom — and the unexpurgated versions of Daniel and Esther.
I certainly don’t mind having a Bible that includes Wisdom.
Some Protestants I’ve known feel that the only “real” Bible is their edited version.
Small wonder some, not all, think Catholics aren’t Christians.
Some Catholics feel the same way about Protestants. I don’t. I also see no point in ignoring what we’re learning about God’s creation, and that’s another topic.2
That, and post-1960s “creation science,” is more of a Protestant fundamentalist thing.
So, I think, is yearning for cultural values that helped make the 1960s possible.
Some Catholics are equally dedicated to nostalgia and ignoring what we’ve been learning about God’s creation. I don’t see a point in unyielding loyalty to pre-Victorian science.
I sympathize, a little, with folks who feel that way. I wouldn’t mind seeing fewer venom-spitting Christians. Or none.3
I think loving folks is a good idea. It is, or should be, something all Christians believe. But all Abrahamic religions agree on that point, although not on exactly what love means.
Many religions say unconditional and benevolent love is a good idea, including Buddhism and Hinduism. Mettā and Karuṇā are close to what should be the Christian view of love. There’s a considerable gap between “should be” and “is,” and that’s yet another topic.4
Neither is an extravagant claim our Lord made. It’s what Jesus did later that matters.
“Jesus said to them, ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.'”
Quite a few folks made similar claims, and some folks believed them. It’s not an everyday thing, but it’s not rare either.
Jesus was tortured and executed. Again, noting unusual about that.
Having at least few folks say they saw him a little later also isn’t outstanding.
Elvis sightings were front page news in American tabloids long after he died. I think some folks who thought they saw Elvis were sincere, and mistaken.
What’s different about Jesus is that he eventually convinced the surviving Apostles that they weren’t hallucinating or seeing a ghost. He even convinced Saul, a dedicated Christian-hunter, to become a Christian and start taking crazy risks.
Two millennia later, folks around the world think Saul and Steven had the right idea. Sometimes with pretty much the same results, and that’s yet again another topic.5
But I’m fascinated by what we’re learning about this universe.
What we’re learning doesn’t always agree what folks thought was so.
That’s meant thinking about why ancient Mesopotamian astrologers and Aristotle didn’t have all the answers. Maybe it’s more work than grimly clinging to increasingly outdated assumptions, but it makes more sense. To me, anyway.
Again, I don’t see a conflict. That’s partly because I don’t expect science to tell me why I’m here, or read the Bible to learn how this universe works.
I also see no reason to fear what we’re learning about this wonder-filled universe:
- “Acting Like Truth Matters”
(May 21, 2017)
- “Truth and Love”
(May 7, 2017 )
- “Making a Universe: Why Bother?”
(January 29, 2017)
- “Knowledge: Opening the Gift”
(March 26, 2017)
- “Faith, the Universe, and Wisdom”
(August 28, 2016)
- God, love, and Wisdom: my perspective
- “London Fires, Mostly” (June 25, 2017)
- “DNA and Cancer” (March 31, 2017)
- “Independence Day 2017” (July 4, 2017)
- “Natural Law, Our Rules” (February 5, 2017)
- “Climate Change, Attitudes” (July 14, 2017)
- “DNA and Cancer” (March 31, 2017)
- “More Than a 3-Day Weekend” (May 28, 2017)
- “Hating People: Not an Option” (November 15, 2016)
- Love and being Christian, part of my view
- The Bible
- Cultural impact of Elvis Presley
- Gail Brewer-Giorgio
- History of alien abduction claims
- Elvis sightings
- List of people claimed to be Jesus
- List of people who have been considered deities
- List of messiah claimants
- Some of my take on Jesus and getting a grip
- “ESA’s Gaia, HD 164695, and SETI” (September 17, 2017)
- “Emmaus: Looking Back and Ahead” (April 30, 2017)
- “The Eighth Day: Two Millennia and Counting” (April 16, 2017)
- “Acting Like Truth Matters” (May 21, 2017)