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Old March 11th, 2018, 07:22 AM   #1
ZZZ
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Biblical Questions: Medieval Edition


Ok, although I generally consider myself to be agnostic, I'd say I'm pretty Biblically literate. So I have some questions about where some of these Medieval religious concepts came from in the Biblical text. I don't necessarily need a quote, but any explanations you have are much appreciated.

- Purgatory - Where did this come from and how could the concept be Biblically justified?

- Dante's Inferno - Where did Dante Alighieri get the inspiration for his conception of hell? I understand he was making a strong political statement. But why the nine rings of concentric circles? I understand the concept of rings also carried into his Paradiso as well.

- How did the Christian authorities of the time (Medieval Western Europe) explain the existence of the Old Testament in the same binding as the New Testament? I ask this because of the extreme prejudice Jews faced in many of these countries. Multiple expulsions, accusations of blood libel, etc.

And if there's anything anyone wants to add, feel free.
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Old March 11th, 2018, 07:49 AM   #2
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I'm pretty sure Purgatory was one of many things the Protestant Reformation insisted had no Biblical justification or origin.

Another one was the number of sacraments. The Catholic Church said there were seven: baptism, confirmation, confession, marriage, communion, holy orders, and last rites. The Protestants said only baptism and communion had Biblical origins. The Catholics said the Bible was not the last word on such things.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 03:39 AM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZZZ View Post

- How did the Christian authorities of the time (Medieval Western Europe) explain the existence of the Old Testament in the same binding as the New Testament? I ask this because of the extreme prejudice Jews faced in many of these countries. Multiple expulsions, accusations of blood libel, etc.

.
I don't know what 'Christian Authorities of Medieval Western Europe' are.

The religious authority was the Pope and therefore the church. Aside from that each country had it's own king and it's own government.

The 2 did not always agree.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 04:37 AM   #4
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Purgatory. To be in God's presence one must be without sin. I believe to Protestants this removal of sin happens in an instant sometime before the physical resurrection and is called sanctification.
Whereas the Catholic church teaches that the removal called purgatory happens over a period of time.
As to Christian Authority, Thomas Aquinas comes to mind.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 08:39 AM   #5
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I'm pretty sure Purgatory was one of many things the Protestant Reformation insisted had no Biblical justification or origin

Originally apokastasia, Latinized to purgatory, I believe the idea comes from Clement of Alexandria, actve ca AD 190-250. It was also promulgated by one of his followers, Origen. IMO, the Alexandrian School was very good at inventing ideas. Origen believed that even Satan would emerge saved from purgatory, despite literal text otherwise. Origen is most (in)famous for castrating himself after misinterpreting a verse about lust, and for reinterpreting the scriptures as allegory.

Out of curiosity, I wonder which Reformer you would have indicted for this Alexandrian stuff.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 09:37 AM   #6
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Purgatory. To be in God's presence one must be without sin. I believe to Protestants this removal of sin happens in an instant sometime before the physical resurrection and is called sanctification.
Whereas the Catholic church teaches that the removal called purgatory happens over a period of time.
As to Christian Authority, Thomas Aquinas comes to mind.
Do Protestant denominations teach that sins are removed? Removed from what?
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Old March 12th, 2018, 11:16 AM   #7
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Purgatory gives the Church the opportunity to 'sell' masses for the dead, and 'indulgences' for sins. It is not all over when you die - your family can continue paying for masses for your soul, in case you might be in 'purgatory', and needing their help to get out.
An excellent financial idea, I think!
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Old March 12th, 2018, 11:22 AM   #8
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Out of curiosity, I wonder which Reformer you would have indicted for this Alexandrian stuff.
I'm not sure what you mean by this.

It's not my inclination to look for fault in history, especially in religious history. I don't think it's possible to find an objectively right or wrong answer in any matter of faith. I can figure out what works for me, faith-wise, but what works for me might not work for anyone else.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 12:14 PM   #9
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I'm not sure what you mean by this.

It's not my inclination to look for fault in history, especially in religious history. I don't think it's possible to find an objectively right or wrong answer in any matter of faith. I can figure out what works for me, faith-wise, but what works for me might not work for anyone else.
I was wondering whose statements you could be thinking of, having missed the mark by 1,300 years and one continent?
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Old March 12th, 2018, 02:07 PM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZZZ View Post
Ok, although I generally consider myself to be agnostic, I'd say I'm pretty Biblically literate. So I have some questions about where some of these Medieval religious concepts came from in the Biblical text. I don't necessarily need a quote, but any explanations you have are much appreciated.

- Purgatory - Where did this come from and how could the concept be Biblically justified?

- Dante's Inferno - Where did Dante Alighieri get the inspiration for his conception of hell? I understand he was making a strong political statement. But why the nine rings of concentric circles? I understand the concept of rings also carried into his Paradiso as well.
Well, the Christian interpretation of "Hell" is pretty much very closely linked to the Classical Greco-Roman "Afterlife". Which, as we all know, was rules by Hades, who shares very similar attributes to "Satan", the "ruler" of "Hell".

To quote a very small peice:

Quote:
according to historian J.M.C. Toynbee’s book “Death and Burial in the Roman World.” The Roman writer Virgil, for example, imagined an underworld divided into three regions—a hell where criminals underwent torture in punishment for their deeds, a halfway region called limbo where infants and people who had died young dwelled, and the Elysian Fields, where heroes enjoyed a pleasurable existence.


The Romans viewed death as a pleasurable existence

Others believed that the dead dwelled in the sky or in the Moon...
Source: How the Ancient Religions Viewed the Afterlife - The Story of God with Morgan Freeman Article - National Geographic Channel
I will get into more detail about this at a later point, when I have the time to do so ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZZZ View Post
- How did the Christian authorities of the time (Medieval Western Europe) explain the existence of the Old Testament in the same binding as the New Testament? I ask this because of the extreme prejudice Jews faced in many of these countries. Multiple expulsions, accusations of blood libel, etc.

And if there's anything anyone wants to add, feel free.
Well to be fair, when your choices are between converting or being boiled in oil or another horrific fiats such as this, I don't think that the finer comparisons of the religion which you are converting to really matters...

I honestly think that the "Old Testament" was included into the Bible in order to make it easier to convert the Jewish population. However this failed and it was kinda to later to turn back. Thus they ran with it and correctly figured that the choice between seeing you and your family tortured to death in the most horrific ways or converting, will render all of that nonsense irrelevant...

Last edited by The Cell; March 12th, 2018 at 02:15 PM.
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