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Talk:Christianity

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Paul vs. The Gnostics dichotomy in this article[edit]

There seems to be this dichotomy presented that Gnosticism was apposed to Pauline Christianity. This is utterly false; Gnostics (esp. Valentinians) used Paul's epistles in order to formulate their doctrines. Additionally, Marcion of Sinope, another gnostic heretic, formulated his canon with 10 Pauline epistles. (see This article for more.

Historical and modern opposition to Paul stems from the position of Judaization, i.e. retaining Pharisaical/Talmudic Jewish practices in a Christian context. It has nothing to do, per se, with Gnosticism, and often doesn't make sense given that most gnostic sects believed the Jewish god to be essentially the enemy of mankind. 65.29.84.33 (talk) 20:18, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

In my opinion, this article takes the Post Modernist "Liberal" approach of Christians as the "De Facto" Rational one.[edit]

The article has a tone that Christianity is "whatever" Christians want it to be. This is somewhat true, but somewhat not. The flexibility in it's interpretation, when it necessarily contradictions what the text states, can not be held as "Legitimate", and therefore one must scrutinize and question the claims of Christian apologists [like Davis] themselves who say "Christianity is compatible with evolution and homosexuality", instead of simply letting the readers to believe that "it is".
Also, I found that a lack of citation to Christian sources is made when one view is forwarded. I am critical of Christianity, and see no merit in "merely informing" people about "what it means" [That Wikiperdia can do], unless it critically examines the "Truth, Morality, and Practical Implications" of what it teaches.
Others who see some additions I made to the article as "too critical" should contradict it within the article itself, citing Christian sources where contradictory positions are legitimized, instead of simply arguing that some "Liberal Christians" [Who basically claim words have no meaning, and it is all what you think it is] said so, hence it must be true.
I believe this is the problem with regressive Left. PBfreespace (talk) 19:38, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Since I already made my argument about this subject with word replacements elsewhere, I'll wait to see what Hobosapien has to say. --Castaigne2 (talk) 19:40, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Lede needs to show diversity in Christianity[edit]

One problem I have with the old lede is that it only describes a subset of Christianity; not all denominations past or even present accept the Trinity, Jesus being the son of god, and there are better examples of the polytheistic nature of some sects of Christianity then the Trinity (even the sects that do use it even agree on what it even is).--BruceGrubb (talk) 00:42, 12 November 2016 (UTC)

Perhaps it is because I am use to writing technical papers but I don't really understand how the following is unreadable.

Christianity in theory is a monotheistic religion but there are various aspects presented by certain subdivisions that throw doubt on that idea. These include (but are not limited to:

  • Trinity [1]
  • various sects that held or hold to a tritheisticWikipedia's W.svg aka three equal gods system),
  • the idea that Satan is the "god" of this world (one way to read 2 Corinthians 4:4)
  • Virgin Mary, Angels, and Saints can be prayed to rather to god directly[2] (at odds with Septuagint First Commandment as a 'god' by another name is still a god and that Commandment by its very existence acknowledges other gods as existing.)

It cannot even be claimed that the primary distinction between Christianity and Judaism is the belief that Jesus is the Messiah and Son of God, and that he died and was risen as a final sacrifice for humans' sins as there were (and still are) denominations that held that Jesus was simply "more righteous, prudent, and wise than other men"[3]

What can be said is Christianity came out of grew out of Judaism as it was practiced between 200 BCE-100 CE.[4] and the idea some great leader would rise up.

  1. which Extra Credit took a stab at explaining It should be noted there are
    Bouncywikilogo.gif
    There is a broader, perhaps slightly less biased, article on Wikipedia about Christianity
    sects of Christianity that reject the whole trinity idea
  2. "Christian Deceptions: Case Study B: One God out of Many" Bad News About Christianity
  3. Against Heresies (Book I, Chapter 26, Paragraph 1)
  4. See the Wikipedia article on Hellenistic Judaism.

Perhaps it is that I am putting a lot here and it is not suited to speed read but it is readable.--BruceGrubb (talk) 03:27, 12 November 2016 (UTC)

Again, give me a chance and I'll see if I can't polish it up. The points are great, but it reads terribly. It's not formatted well. I'm sorry. This is what I think; let's get other people's opinions and let's solve this. Again, I'd love to polish it up myself and re-add it. But you gotta give me time on that. All the best, Reverend Black Percy (talk) 03:32, 12 November 2016 (UTC)

Monotheistic or Henotheistic[edit]

Is Christianity really Monotheistic (doctrine or belief that there is only one God) or would it be more accurate to say it is Henotheistic (the belief in and worship of a single god while accepting the existence or possible existence of other deities)?

Nick Lilavois gave an excellent summation of the situation in quora:

There is no "Christian religion".

Christianity is a term that refers to a whole family of religions with various diverse beliefs.

Some are Trinitarian- believing Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three aspects of one god.

("Holy Ghost" refers to the aspect of god that connects with humanity and bestows grace- but it was originally a female aspect of God, "the Mother", that was later desexed by a male dominated theology.)

Others are Polytheists- they believe Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three separate Gods who act as one.

Some believe in lesser Gods- angels, saints, demons, devils, and Satan. Beings that are not as powerful as God, but far greater than humans.

Some are Dualistic- that God and Satan are locked in eternal conflict. Some see Satan as a servant of God. Some see Satan as just a part of God.

Some believe that god is evil- a "Demiurge", and there is a greater god that has no dominion over us that is good.

Some see Jesus as a God, some see him as a manifestation of "The Son", some see him as an avatar of "God" as a whole, some see him as just a human being touched by grace.

Some just use the word "Jesus" to mean god- even saying that Jesus created the universe.

Some believe that God is the God of this world, and other worlds have other Gods- and all of the gods in the universe were once people on other worlds.

Some are purely monotheistic; there is only God, nothing but God, period. No trinity, no angels, satan, nothing but God. Even our souls are just parts of God.

And yet, all of them claim to be monotheistic, because the terms are flexible.

For example, you are Muslim, and you say you are Monotheist. correct?

Do you believe in Angels and Djin?

While you do not call them "gods" or worship them, they do equate to the gods in a polytheistic religion. Polytheistic gods are not all-powerful and all-knowing, just more powerful than humans- like Angels and Djin.

This is the crux of the matter. Christianity may claim it is Monotheistic but when you look at it many sects of it are really Henotheistic.--BruceGrubb (talk) 00:58, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

I'm sorry but i must disagree with you, forasmuch as the Trinity is the most important and fundamental belief in Mainstream Christianity (Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Churches, and Protestantism), which is not simply made up of many sects, otherwise these Confessions wouldn't be mainstream (for further information, see Christian doctrine on Britannica).

Moreover, why do you put so much emphasis on Henotheism? Most Christians (both mainstream and sectarian) consider themselves to be Monotheists; i mean, i can't really see the point of what you're doing. Also, references about what you affirm are missing.

By the way, if you look carefully at Lilavois' summation you'll realize that it's more pointed towards Monotheism and Polytheism (and religions in general...) than to Monotheism and Henotheism, with a special recall to "pure Monotheism", which is a distinctive feature of religions like Islam, Sikhism, and Bahai Faith. I think that BruceGrubb didn't understand what Lilavois was trying to say, and distorted his words in order to attack the Trinity dogma without basis, or maybe just for show... i can't really tell.--Sofer (talk) 02:09, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

I think most people who say Christianity is monotheistic rather then henotheistic don't understand one is the belief in one God (ie no other gods at all) and belief in one true God (there are other gods but they are not worthy or deserving of worship).
"Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (note the plural here); it tends to get merged with the "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image" commandment but in context these are two separate commandments.
Marcion of Sinope, who wrote the first Christian bible held there were two 'gods': the god of the Jews which he said was the world creator and ruler but was also ignorant of its own origins and possibly evil (Demiurge) and the god who created the universe who sent Jesus to free everyone from the tyranny of the Demiurge. This concept survives in some modern bibles in 2 Corinthians 4:4 as "the god of this world" or "the god of this age" who many Christians say is a reference to Satan. Note 2 Corinthians 4:4 does not say fallen angel or devil but "god".
Gerald McDermott's The Bible's many Gods presents other examples of henotheism:
"The idea that there are other “gods” who exist as real supernatural beings, albeit infinitely inferior to the only Creator and Redeemer, pervades the Bible. The Psalms fairly explode with evidence."
"In Deuteronomy 4:19 the Israelites are forbidden from worshipping “the sun, the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven . . . [which] Yahweh your god has allotted to all the peoples everywhere under heaven.” In other words, they were told not to worship other gods, not because those gods did not exist, but because they were supposed to rule other peoples, not Israel."
"Gerald McDermott is the Jordan-Trexler Professor of Religion at Roanoke College. He is the co-author of A Trinitarian Theology of Religions (forthcoming from Oxford University Press)."
A noted Professor of Religion who got published by Oxford University Press would qualify as a reliable source even by wikipedia's standards.--BruceGrubb (talk) 01:12, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
Okay, now we're talking, But this source about Henotheism in the Hebrew Bible pertains to Ancient Israelite religion (See the Wikipedia article on Origins of Judaism.), not to the Christian Trinity! We are going off-topic.

Regarding Marcion of Sinope and the "other God" or "Demiurge" (or Satan, as you please) in the New Testament, you are clearly confusing Henotheism with Dualism, which is totally different (Marcionism was a Christian-Dualistic sect indeed).
And as if that wasn't enough, Marcion thought that this "evil" and "lesser God" was the God of the Old Testament, which subjugated humanity with his "evil creation" (i.e., the Mosaic Law); not surprisingly, Marcion was one of the first Anti-Semites in the history of Christianity. Cool story, isn't it?--Sofer (talk) 02:53, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

"In practice, there exists as well a "unitarianism of Jesus Christ," better called a "henotheism of the Son," that comes to expression in Marcion" Ted Peters's God as Trinity Westminster John Knox Press
"Christocentrism in particular can reduce to the "henotheism" of the church, the fideism of its internal doctrines, an anthropocentrism that guarantees human salvation and eternal life" - American Protestant Ethics and the Legacy of H. Richard Niebuhr Georgetown University Press
The God as the devil wikipedia article give some more examples. Once you accept the devil as a 'god' you are no longer dealing with a monotheistic system but a henotheistic one.--BruceGrubb (talk) 01:46, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
No, you're dealing with Misotheism and Dystheism: they are both Monotheistic systems and both of them revolve around "One Evil God".

As i said before, we are going off-topic. The real question here is: Is Christianity monotheistic or henotheistic? You should look for some refs, i already have mine. We will continue tomorrow, i have to sleep. Bye.--Sofer (talk) 03:04, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

A thumbnail of the situation can be found at bad news about christianity and looks at the complex situation regarding what Christianity is. Also none of this addresses 2 Corinthians 4:4 which many Christians says refers to Satan and generally is rendered as "the god of this world" or "the god of this age". Not fallen angel not the devil but 'god'.
Monotheism, Henotheism, Polytheism at Debating Christianity and Religion give a snapshot of the debate
Benjamin Sommer's Monotheism in the Hebrew Bible shows what is going on. He states "If we adopt the common definition of monotheism as the belief that no deities exist other than the one God, then the Hebrew Bible is not a monotheistic work." and then proceeds to throw that out and use "Monotheism, then, is the belief that one supreme being exists whose will is sovereign over all other beings. ... It is not the number of divine beings that matters to monotheism but the relationships between them." But what he avoids like the plague is explaining how that differs from henotheism. It seems we have people engaging in a Humpty Dumpty situation and distorting what "monotheism" means to something else then what your average dictionary says.--BruceGrubb (talk) 02:23, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

I happen to agree with BruceGrubb on this point. Consider also the over 10,000 Catholic saints that one may pray to individually, the separate prayer to the holy ghost (per Augustine) and the Marian prayer. Now, Catholics will offer up a lot of theological contortionism by insisting that they are not really worshipping anyone but God specifically (they're just worshipping someone else than God specifically) — but never mind who they pray to. I would contend that the concept of Satan can essentially be understood as an omnipresent counter-Deity, who explicitly has features which God does not have and is fully conceived of as a split from God proper, who fills important roles in the greater theology, who is also timeless and rules a realm of his own, and who never was human but something different entirely — and as such, is one example of the essential reliance on a heritage of polytheism in Christianity. Never mind considering existences such as the living creaturesWikipedia's W.svg — the implication being (if nothing else) to demonstrate that God does not exist alone even "at the top". Alongside the various classes of angels and archangels, the existence of which are essentially component in a sort of pantheon, coupled with the literalist scriptural phrasings given by BruceGrubb above, it seems clear is that the term "monotheism" cannot in the strictest sense be applied. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 10:00, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

As I said on my own talk page if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck odds are it is a duck. I would like to point out that Henotheism is a form of Polytheism and Christianity tries to side step the issue by calling what would be considered 'gods' in any polytheistic religion angels, demons, or saints. To paraphrase a statement from Star Trek V 'What would God need with an angel or saint?'
Furthermore the article already states "Tutelary deities (a guardian, patron or protector of a particular place, geographic feature, person, lineage, nation, culture or occupation) was broken up into Saints (for example, Instead of praying to Hermes/Mercury for safe travel you prayed to St. Christopher) and Guardian Angels while Genius loci ("spirit of place") got turned into the idea that ground could be concreted." How is that different from henotheism? So far other then clever word games we haven't seen anything that doesn't show that functionally Christianity isn't henotheistic.
Finally anthropologists have noted that in places where Roman Catholicism replaced the local polytheistic religion the saints for all practical purposes became differ names for the already existing gods (Pagan Saints as one article puts it) Looking up "saints as gods" in goggle produces millions of articles some of which actually deal with the subject searched for.
"These other gods you mentioned are not gods at all. They are simply pieces of wood and stones, false gods And you worship them as if they are the true God.” Village chief: “No, we do not. It is true that they are pieces of wood and stones. But we use them only as intermediaries. It is like your angels and saints." - 1976 The Anthropological Study of Education Mouton Publishers (:one of the world's leading publishers in the fields of linguistics and communication science") pg 49--BruceGrubb (talk) 11:03, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
I would like to add the Encyclopedia of Anthropology by SAGE Publications, Inc clearly states some views of the Trinity falls under henotheism in the form of monolatry.
"It is essential to distinguish between henotheism (the belief in one god, but without denying the existence of others) and monotheism (the belief that only one Cod exists)." - Eugene Albert Nida (1954) Customs and Cultures: Anthropology for Christian Missions note 12 page 291.
Various people on answers.yahoo's "Is Christianity monotheistic or henotheistic religion?" shows the complexity of the question.--BruceGrubb (talk) 17:10, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
Well, if we had to label every single religion in the world that considers the existence of other beings besides of God (or Gods), then EVERY RELIGION should fall within the category of Henotheism according to you. That's so simple: your argument is invalid, and is supported neither by evidence nor by authoritative scholars and academics of religious studies (historians of religion, anthropologists of religion, sociologists of religion etc.).

I'd like to shed some light on this matter, because you don't seem to understand. The following quotes are two definitions of Henotheism according to Encyclopædia Britannica (please, read carefully):

In the course of analyzing and recording various beliefs connected with the gods, historians of religions have used certain categories to identify different attitudes toward the gods. Thus, in the latter part of the 19th century the terms henotheism and kathenotheism were used to refer to the exalting of a particular god as exclusively the highest within the framework of a particular hymn or ritual—e.g., in the hymns of the Vedas (the ancient sacred texts of India). This process often consisted in loading other gods’ attributes on the selected focus of worship. Within the framework of another part of the same ritual tradition, another god may be selected as supreme focus. Kathenotheism literally means belief in one god at a time. The term monolatry has a connected but different sense; it refers to the worship of one god as supreme and sole object of the worship of a group while not denying the existence of deities belonging to other groups. The term henotheism is also used to cover this case or, more generally, to mean belief in the supremacy of a single god without denying others. This seems to have been the situation for a period in ancient Israel in regard to the cult of Yahweh.
—Ninian Smart, "The Nature of Polytheism", in Polytheism (2016), Britannica.com
Henotheism (from the Greek heis theos, “one god”)—a belief in worship of one god, though the existence of other gods is granted—also called kathenotheism (Greek kath hena theon, “one god at a time”)—which literally implies worship of various gods one at a time—has gone out of fashion as a term. It was introduced by the eminent 19th-century philologist and scholar in comparative mythology and religion Max Müller. Many later authors prefer the term monolatry—which is the worship of one god, whether or not the existence of other deities is posited—to the term henotheism. Both terms mean that one god has a central and dominating position in such a way that it is possible to address this god as if he were the one and only god without, however, abandoning the principle of polytheism by denying or in any other way belittling the real existence of the other gods, as the above-mentioned forms of monotheism do. Henotheism as a religious concept is at home in cultures with a highly centralized monarchical government. It was especially prevalent in some periods in the history of Babylonia and Egypt.
—Theodorus P. van Baaren, "Henotheism, or kathenotheism", in Monotheism (2016), Britannica.com

For a useful and brief overview on the history, definition and usage of terms "Monotheism", "Monolatry" and "Henotheism" by historians of religion, see Nathan MacDonald, Deuteronomy and the Meaning of "Monotheism", pp. 53-54, (Revised edition, Mohr Siebeck 2012):

[...] The origin of the word [Henotheism] is attributed to F. M. Müller in 1860 [...]. Müller understands "monotheism" to be the belief that there is one God alone. As such it is a negation of the belief in many gods and must presuppose "polytheism". [...] Polytheism, the belief in many gods, presupposes the idea of "a" god. The plural presupposes the singular. For this primeval sense that there is a superior being, a god, Müller [...] coined the word "henotheism". The distinction between "monotheism" and "henotheism" is stated by Müller [...]:

"If therefore, an expression had been given to that primitive intuition of the Deity which is the mainspring of all later religions, it would have been - There is a god, but not yet There is but One God. The latter form of faith, the belief in One God, is properly called Monotheism, whereas the term of Henotheism would best express the faith in a single god."

In Müller's judgement "henotheism" is a natural, unreflective, but legitimate expression of monotheism. As with "monolatry" the term is now used of an intermediate stage between "polytheism" and "monotheism". Frequently "monolatry" and "henotheism" are used as synonyms [...]. Attempts have been made to differentiate the terms. Meek [...] understood monolatry as a devotion to one god in which other deities were excluded, and henotheism as a devotion to one god in which other deities were absorbed. M. Rose sees "henotheism" as a temporany devotion to one god, "monolatry" as the close relationship between a community and a god. He notes, however, that some regard "monolatry" as an enduring devotion to one god [...]. A definition of "henotheism" as a temporany devotion to one god finds a basis in Müller [...]. Henotheism is seen as a religious stage in which temporarily one god was adored and the plurality of gods disappeared from view.
—Nathan MacDonald, Deuteronomy and the Meaning of "Monotheism", pp.53-54, (Revised edition, Mohr Siebeck 2012).

Everything is clear now. Hopefully, we've come to the end:

  1. the term Henotheism has been coined and used by F. M. Müller and other 19th-century historians of religion to describe "a devotion to one god in which other deities were absorbed", "a temporany devotion to one god", and "a religious stage in which temporarily one god was adored". Also, as van Baaren stated, Henotheism and Kathenotheism "one at a time—has gone out of fashion as a term";
  2. Henotheism as a concept or category of religious belief was used and understood in a very precise way from religious scholars during the 19th century, and, together with terms like fetishism and totemism, is obsolete, nobody would use it as a definition of religious belief nowadays;
  3. BruceGrubb manipulated and distorted it in order to attack Christianity (especially Roman Catholicism) because this religion doesn't fit with his own standards and/or definition of Monotheism-Henotheism-Religion-Whatever, or just because he hates it (or Catholics alone), i can't really tell;
  4. this entire discussion has been a great misunderstanding about What religious scholars said 300 years ago and What BruceGrubb doesn't like of Christianity.

I hope this is gonna be helpful for all of us, because we are losing a lot of time around this pointless topic. By the way, you CAN'T edit the page as you wish without consensus. It's called vandalism on RW, did you know that?--Sofer (talk) 03:56, 17 November 2016 (UTC)

The Encyclopædia Britannica is good start for information but it doesn't always get the nuances right. The aforementioned Encyclopedia of Anthropology talks about Henotheism and kathenotheism being parallel lines of thought ie similar but not exactly identical. Moreover Müller presented Monarchial polytheism where "one god becomes supremely powerful among in a fixed hierarchical arrangement" which would fit those denominations where Satan is the 'god' of this world but less powerful then God.
Peter Van Nuffelen's Monotheism Between Pagans and Christians in Late Antiquity (2010) goes into Müller's views in far more detail. It states "Consequently, the distinction between monotheism and henotheism possesses relative and heuristic, rather then absolute value" (pg 143-4)
Also we need to remember that Müller's Anthropological Religion came out in 1892...well over hundred years ago. Internet archive has this version (there are later versions but their plain text is so badly messed up to make them unreadable). "After these two stages, which I called Henotheism and Polytheism, follows in the end that of real Monotheism, a belief in one god, as excluding the very possibility of any other gods." But by this definition those denominations of Christians that accept Satan as "god" of this world (and those denominations that say the other gods are really demons ala Jack Chick) cannot be Monotheistic.
Loren T. Stuckenbruck's 1995 Angel Veneration and Christology specifically uses henotheism and monolatry "to describe Early Judaism and the Palestinian Jesus Movement"
"To the extent that, in a given instance, "monotheism" can denote allegiance to one deity as opposed to others, it comprehends the meaning attached to the terms "henotheism" and "monolatry"" (comprehend in this contest means to comprise, or encompass rather then its more common meaning of understand) note 49 page 15.
Joseph D. Galgalo points out in African Christianity: The Stranger Within that while the God of Christianity was no stranger how he was viewed "was a clear monotheism, which nevertheless closely bordered on henotheism."
Transforming Faith talks of the "continuous struggle between social henotheism and radical monotheism" in both Judaism and Christianity
For terms that have supposedly "gone out of fashion" they continue to pop up a lot in scholarly and other works --BruceGrubb (talk) 03:28, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
Encyclopædia Britannica is a much more reliable source than the ones that you use; as i explained in the previous quote from Deuteronomy and the Meaning of "Monotheism", Müller and his colleagues gave a precise definition of "Henotheism" and "Monolatry", that doesn't match with what you're trying to demonstrate without any evidence.

Anyway, you continue to appeal to the conflict between God and Satan in the NT as if it was a proof of Henotheism inside Christianity, but i already told you that conflict between a good God and an evil God is called Dualism (Good VS. Evil, Black VS. White, etc.)!
I explained in detail the meaning and history of the term "Henotheism" with my previous quote from MacDonald's essay, but you STILL won't listen...

Hellenistic Judaism (Essenism and Jewish Apocalypticism mainly) inherited it from Zoroastrianism (Ahura Mazda, God of Light, VS. Ahreman, God of Darkness) during the Babylonian Captivity, and Jewish Christians were influenced by it just like the Essenes: you should check out John J. Collins, Holmes Professor of Old Testament Criticism and Interpretation at Yale Divinity School, one of the most renowned specialists of Jewish Apocalyptic literature, and his works (Apocalypticism in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Chapter 3; John J. Collins, Robert A. Kugler, Religion in the Dead Sea Scrolls, pp. 17-19).

This is your problem, BruceGrubb: you don't listen. You never listen and you never learn. You are losing your time and also you make me lose my time. Christianity is not Henotheism (at least, it's a lesser form of Dualism). Got it?--Sofer (talk) 05:39, 17 November 2016 (UTC)

I listen to rational debate. You don't seem to understand here are several forms of Dualism. There is the God and His creation the world dualism, mind-body dualism, and two deity dualism. This difference is where the smoke and mirrors comes in: "In the OT, from “the beginning” there is no cosmic dualism between spirit and matter—God alone is the Creator, which also rules out pantheism, animism, henotheism, and polytheism." (Evangelical Dictionary of Theology Baker Publishing Group) As can be seen this ignores the Henotheism seen in the early sections of the OT.
"The various teachings of Judaism have often been regarded as specifications of the central idea of monotheism. One God, the creator of the world, has freely elected the Jewish people for a unique covenantal relationship with himself. This one and only God has been affirmed by virtually all professing Jews in a variety of ways throughout the ages." - (https://www.britannica.com/topic/Judaism Judaism, Encyclopædia Britannica) As shown by Gerald McDermott (who despite being a noted Professor of Religion who got published by Oxford University Press you claim is less reliable then Encyclopædia Britannica) this is nonsense as ancient Jews believed in other gods but they weren't their God. And since the Encyclopædia Britannica can be shown to being inaccurate here it raises the question of how accurate it is elsewhere.
"Henotheism: Adherence to one particular god out of several, especially by a family, tribe, or other group." - Oxford Living Dictionaries
"Monotheism: the doctrine or belief that there is only one God." - Oxford Living Dictionaries
"Dualism: (in Christian theology) the doctrine that Christ had two coexisting natures, human and divine." - Oxford Living Dictionaries
Yes Oxford Living Dictionaries does have the "The religious doctrine that the universe contains opposed powers of good and evil, especially seen as balanced equals." definition as well but note it goes out of its way to say what the term means in "Christian theology" and in that contest it says nothing about Satan.--BruceGrubb (talk) 12:43, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
I would like to point out that The Encyclopedia of Christianity Brill Academic Publishers (reliable source by wikipedia and generally ranked higher then encyclopedias) states "Henotheism" (or "kathenotheis") refers to veneration of a singe god as the true deity (-> God). It is a relative -> monotheism that does not rule out the existence of other gods (-> Polytheism) and that finds cultic expression in the subjective monolatry of individual dietes which in turn may emerge as supreme." (sic) - page 524
"Henotheism is the belief in a multiplicity of gods but the worship of only one. The one worshipped god might be picked out because it is seen as being especially powerful or important, and this is sometimes labeled monolatry; some Christian sects take this view of the Trinity... Henotheism is found in narrower forms especially ditheism, and can also develop into monotheism. Ditheists hold that there are two god, usually one god and one evil." - Encyclopedia of Anthropology
"This resource is highly recommended for all academic libraries and any other library with patrons interested in anthropology." (ARBA 2007-04-12) The ARBA here is the American Reference Books Annual which is regarded as a reliable source by wikipedia.--BruceGrubb (talk) 20:04, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
Gosh, What a hotchpotch! Be serious, you've been jumbling things up since yesterday (monotheism with henotheism, henotheism with monolatry, polytheism with dualism, two-natures of the Christ with dualism in general, and so on...) and i still can't understand what is your goal: what are you trying to say?
You started this topic by quoting Lilavois, then you tried to show Christian Trinity as a form of Henotheism (without citing any source that could prove this alleged correlation between them; you basically just hid behind Ancient Israelites' monolatry, but that's not the case, we're talking about the NT, not the OT), and now you're attacking the Encyclopædia Britannica claiming that it's not reliable, but what do we see if we look at your sources?
Your critique relies on an highly questionable quote from the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (In the OT, from “the beginning” there is no cosmic dualism between spirit and matter—God alone is the Creator, which also rules out pantheism, animism, henotheism, and polytheism; so, how should we define this type of all-comprehensive belief? Is there any definition for it? Seriously, i never heard anything like that!)
According to what you say, this is nonsense as ancient Jews believed in other gods but they weren't their God; but i already replied (The term "henotheism" is also used to cover this case or, more generally, to mean belief in the supremacy of a single god without denying others. This seems to have been the situation for a period in ancient Israel in regard to the cult of Yahweh) and i will bring another few quotes that will explain things properly, with a special look at ancient Near East civilization and Ancient Israelite religion this time:
When one god possesses much greater power and authority than all the other gods combined, researchers call the religion a henotheism. A henotheism stands between polytheism (in which there are many gods, each with relatively equal power and authority) and monotheism (in which there is one god and no other supernatural agents of any kind). In the ancient Near East, every patron god was the divine king in a henotheism, and all other gods were subordinate to him. In most henotheisms, humans were permitted to worship many gods, but the patron remained in charge. This approach offered the human king a practical advantage. The king could permit the gods of popular piety a place in the divine realm without taking the risk that one of these alternate gods might threaten his own religious and political supremacy. Henotheism was a religious umbrella under which every god, no matter how minor, could find a place. On rare occasions, so-called intolerant henotheism was imposed. In this case, worship of lesser gods was prohibited and the patron god alone received worship. Some researchers call this intolerant henotheism a monolatry, which means "worship of only one". Many portions of the Bible express monolatry. For example, when Yahweh declares that he is a jealous god who banishes all other gods from his presence, the author of this commandment does not deny that other gods exist but prohibits worship of them (Deuteronomy 5:7-10). Likewise, when Micah announces that other kingdoms will walk "each in the name of its god", but Israel will walk in the name of Yahweh, Micah does not deny that other gods might be real (Micah 4:5).
—K. L. Noll, Canaan and Israel in Antiquity: A Textbook on History and Religion (2013), Bloomsbury T&T Clark, p. 188.
See also Robert Goldenberg, Professor of History and Judaic Studies at Stony Brook University (SUNY), The Origins of Judaism: From Canaan to the Rise of Islam (Cambridge University Press, 2007).
I'm sorry to tell you man, but in the end, Monotheism (or Henotheism, or Monolatry, or whatever you wanna call it) it's all about racism and politics, not God:
The Great Religions of Western civilization, Judaism and those that followed, are all monotheistic: they claim that the God they worship is the only god there is. The Bible is an important source of this conception, but the scriptures of ancient Israel actually offer a more complicated picture. [...]
Scripture repeatedly emphasizes the foreign origin and the foreign connection of gods other than YHWH; Jeremiah ties the worship of such gods to the threat of exile; if the people insist on worshiping other nations' gods, they will wind up having to worship those gods in the other nations' lands. Monotheism thus became a by-product of patriotism (or xenophobia), of the wish to streghthen Israel's identity by purging its life of elements that were felt to be of foreign origin.
But still the question remains: this process of ongoing exclusion did not have to result in the denial of the other gods' very existence. [...] The other so-called gods are not YHWH's rivals: if anything, they are his agents and servants. They are surely no more than that.
—Robert Goldenberg, The Origins of Judaism: From Canaan to the Rise of Islam (2007), Cambridge University Press, pp. 26-35.
To what pertains to Oxford Living Dictionaries and missing references to Satan, i recall myself to what i said before, Christianity is a Monotheistic religion but is also a lesser form of Dualism:
  1. God creates the world and rules it;
  2. Satan tries to dethrone Him;
  3. Satan is defeated and sent to Hell;
  4. Satan takes revenge thorugh Adam's Fall;
  5. Humans become mortal and are banished from Eden;
  6. God sends his Son to save humanity from the Original Sin;
  7. Jesus resists to Satan's temptations and goes on with his task;
  8. Jesus is crucified, he dies and rises from the dead;
  9. Original Sin is erased through Jesus' death and resurrection;
  10. Satan seems to rule the world for an unspecified period of time;
  11. At the end of time, he's defeated by Jesus and the world is saved.
By the way, you are the one that's going around in circles. If you look carefully, the entire Christian mythology is very funny and explains itself: Yahweh (or God the Father, it doesn't matter) is the REAL string-puller, the "Matrix" behind everything (Creation, Satan's rebellion, Adam's fall, Sodom and Gomorrah, the Flood, Virgin birth, Jesus' sacrifice, Judgement Day etc.) and is far more cruel and powerful than Satan; if we think about it, Dystheism (or "God as the Devil") is the basic core of Christian faith.
Satan is only a puppet in his hands, just like Jesus and every other being mentioned in the Bible. Neither Henotheism nor Dualism could fit here, since the good Creator is also the bad Guy! (Monotheism, Bro... Monotheism)

Your argument is still invalid and this topic is totally useless, as i demonstrated too well: Monotheism, Polytheism, Henotheism, Monolatry, Deism, Pantheism, Animism and Whatever are meaningless categories in this discussion: God is a Bastard, that's all.
(see Examples of God personally killing people and compare it to Examples of Satan personally killing people; also, don't miss Problem of evil, Divine retribution, List of actions prohibited by the Bible and Slavery in the Bible, which are quite interesting).

I hope it's over now, there's no need to continue. I don't have time to lose.--Sofer (talk) 00:59, 18 November 2016 (UTC)

Discussion is over[edit]

The user BruceGrubb continued with his persistent vandal edits without consensus, instead of debating politely with me. I had to block him and protect the main page more than once. For this reason, the discussion is over.--Sofer (talk) 02:49, 18 November 2016 (UTC)

Talk:Christianity[edit]

This discussion was moved here from User talk:Worzelpete#Talk:Christianity.

I think that the discussion is over; Note 2 won't be changed. Can we end it here? I don't have time to lose.--Sofer (talk) 01:06, 18 November 2016 (UTC)

Reverend Black Percy said on his talk page that he would take care of the article before to discuss about what should we do. Can we just stop to let BruceGrubb continuously vandalize that page and keep it as it was before the discussion took over? That would be great.--Sofer (talk) 22:51, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
I think the best idea would be to mod-lock the page. Unfortunately I don't have that power. Worzelpete (talk) 21:58, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
What is a mod-lock? Should we ask to/talk about it with an administrator? (by the way, Christianity is not the only one that he vandalizes...)--Sofer (talk) 23:13, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

Hi guys. First of all, it's not possible to lock the page, because the highest lock level is "sysops only". BG is a sysop and unless he does anything to lose it, he won't be deprived of it.

Secondly, I've spoken with BG twice now about his writing style. I also acted on the promise I gave on my talkpage.

I don't know anything about Sofer's charges against BG of peddling pseudohistory and the likes. All I know is that I've done what I set out to do previously, and that I'm still monitoring the situation. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:12, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

I was talking about most of his edits on Christianity and Basic history of Christianity, the ones that i just tried to rollback. However, it doesn't matter anymore: i'm bored of this entire situation, and i see that he still won't listen. I didn't debate with him for 4 days because i had nothing to do, i was trying to help him (and the page, of course) to understand that he can't write whatever he wants just because "it's right" according to him, or because he likes to put his own opinions on an encyclopedia to feel more important, without any regard of the others.
This is an issue that concerns everyone. We have to help each other in this Community, and i tried, just as you. So, i won't go on with this; i have a job, i have a life, i have a family, and i have a lot more better things to do than talking with someone indifferent to any suggestion or advice: there is none so deaf as he who will not hear. That said, i'm out of RW. Thank you guys for helping me and supporting my efforts, i really appreciate that; you're great. Beer.gif --Sofer (talk) 00:35, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
I advice you to take a break, sure, but your dedication will be missed. And BG's style of writing will have to be adressed. It's not over if you don't want it to be. All the best, Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:48, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

Considering I put my latest addition though both LibreOffice's spelling and grammar checker I am doing the best I can to fix my writing style. Furthermore, it is not just Jews and Muslims who put out claims of "Christian" polytheism but denominations and sects within Christianity as well. Roman Catholics and Mormons seem to be prime targets of supposed polytheism but there are others. Finally, "Polytheism and Christian belief" Journal of Theological Studies, NS, Vol. 57, Pt 1, April 2006 states in its abstract "Social Trinitarianism should be classified as a version of polytheism rather than monotheism."--BruceGrubb (talk) 20:09, 23 November 2016 (UTC)

That's all great — or rather; that's all for another talkpage — but the main problem I'm having is that you write article text like you write talkpage text. Meaning, it's totally your writing style to also insert something like "..."Polytheism and Christian belief" Journal of Theological Studies, NS, Vol. 57, Pt 1, April 2006 states in its abstract "Social Trinitarianism should be classified as a version of polytheism rather than monotheism."" into mainspace articles. Which is a disaster for readability. You can't re-read thisWikipedia's W.svg too many times. All the best, Reverend Black Percy (talk) 22:00, 23 November 2016 (UTC)
Social Trinitarianism is a ridiculously complex matter and I really didn't want to fill up Worzelpete's talk page with text explaining exactly what Social Trinitarianism was. Besides talk pages aren't really suited to our standard ref code system and links do break so better to have the entire reference then a "Some scholars have pointed out..." reference link that, if it breaks down the road, could be difficult if not impossible to find again.--BruceGrubb (talk) 13:21, 24 November 2016 (UTC)

Gospel Dating[edit]

There's a lot of incompetent history going on in this article.

The page states that the dating of the four Gospels (Mark 70 AD Matthew 80 AD Luke 85 AD John 95 AD) are assumptions and there is no evidence that these documents were written before the first century. That's crap. The opinion of the overwhelming majority of secular scholars is that all four Gospels are first century documents -- because that is a precise fact. The earliest fragment of the Gospel of John (P52) dates to about 125 AD, meaning John was almost certainly first century. Clement of Rome, an author of the first century (who wrote either 70 or 95 AD) quotes from as many as three of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke). The fact that we have a first century author quoting the gospels completely ends this debate, the Gospels are all first century documents. That is a well-established fact of history -- I don't know of the troll who seems to have completely missed all the authors who speak of or quote the gospels are an extremely early date (Clement of Rome, 95 AD; Ignatius, 95-105 AD; Papias, 95-110 AD, etc).

Even Early Christian Writings gives ranges in the 2nd century (which I might add starts with the year 100 CE not 101 CE) for Matthew (80-100 CE), Luke (80-130 CE), and John (90-120 CE). If Clement and Ignatius (Papias is only known via third hand accounts and therefore useless as evidence) really quoted from the Gospels we wouldn't have the date ranges we do. This logically means that the supposed quotes are not in reality quotes. QED.--BruceGrubb (talk) 22:12, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

.