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Old December 29th, 2017, 08:55 PM   #21

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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
I think the question was more referring to the religion of Christianity, like Jesus being the son of god, holy trinity, the new testament stories. Clearly Christianity emerged due to almost exclusively Jewish actors in Judah and was an expansion of the Jewish religion, but were there religions which the story and later dogma borrowed from? According to Christians Jesus is the son of the Jewish god Yahweh and later on theologans added in the holy trinity,but basically where were the elements of this concept received from? Judaism was a Monotheistic religion for quite some time prior to that era and aside from the concept of the Messiah from the Babylonian captivity, the Christian religion really doesn't tie in with any of the old testament theology and is almost entirely a new concept for Judaism(thinking early AD period).
Both the Western and Eastern Church (RCC and Eastern Orthodox) maintain that the dogma of Holy Trinity is derived from the Bible.

To say that Christianity doesn't tie in with the Old Testament would be to remove its very foundations.
It's not a new concept. Early Christians still adhered to many tenants of Judaism and Christians today still accept the Old Testament.
The OT is a precursor to the NT, and the later is viewed as its confirmation, but also that the NT perfected the OT.
Wasn't Jesus himself accused by the Pharisees and Sadducees of not observing and violating Jewish law?
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Old December 29th, 2017, 08:58 PM   #22

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Originally Posted by Disciple of Sophia View Post
The Christianity we know had little inspiration from either Judaism or Jesus.
How do you support this claim of yours?
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Old December 29th, 2017, 09:04 PM   #23

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Originally Posted by Apicius View Post

But that having been said, there was no 'bible' before the roman catholic church decided what it would be made up of.
No. That's not true. The RCC didn't decide what the Bible would be made of. Christian theology had developed during centuries, and often in response to the myriad of different branches (heresies) that existed in the early centuries of Christianity.

I think you should read more about the Ecumenical councils where the dogma was shaped. The first seven are accepted by both RCC and Eastern Orthodox (with the exception of Oriental churches), though RCC recognizes later councils as ecumenical.
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Old December 29th, 2017, 10:37 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Valens View Post
Both the Western and Eastern Church (RCC and Eastern Orthodox) maintain that the dogma of Holy Trinity is derived from the Bible.

To say that Christianity doesn't tie in with the Old Testament would be to remove its very foundations.
It's not a new concept. Early Christians still adhered to many tenants of Judaism and Christians today still accept the Old Testament.
The OT is a precursor to the NT, and the later is viewed as its confirmation, but also that the NT perfected the OT.
Wasn't Jesus himself accused by the Pharisees and Sadducees of not observing and violating Jewish law?
The Western and Eastern Orthodox Church also believe in the religion itself and both are the successors of the people who came up with the Holy Trinity at Nicaea three centuries after the events of the books, anything they say on the matter should be treated with skepticism at best IMHO. I was assuming this conversation was taking place under the pretext(or hypothetical pretext for the believers) the theology of the new testament is not true and was taken as inspiration from other religions. Reason being, if you believe church dogma, you're naturally not going to believe Christianity came from another source cause that would invalidate the religion potentially in favor of the older one.

The New Testament is fundamentally different than the old Testament. Here's the tie in's with the old testament.1)The setting, Jesus is a Jew who lives in Judah. 2)Jesus is supposedly the son of the god from the old testament and is the Messiah, a concept that originated in the Babylonian captivity. Are there more major tie in's to the New Testament in the Old? The Old Testament is in many ways after the early chapters a semi historical account of the peoples of Israel and their trials and tribulations, the New Testament is about three years of the life and times of one person. Those two accounts are fundamentally different and are tied together by the slimmest of threads. Is there proof of the Holy Trinity being a thing prior in the Old Testament prior to the New Testament?

Anyway, I was more curious about how polyheistic religions or zoroastrianism impacted the religious aspect of Christianity. I think the connection between Judaism is probably pretty well understood by most?
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Old December 30th, 2017, 12:00 AM   #25

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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
The Western and Eastern Orthodox Church also believe in the religion itself and both are the successors of the people who came up with the Holy Trinity at Nicaea three centuries after the events of the books, anything they say on the matter should be treated with skepticism at best IMHO. I was assuming this conversation was taking place under the pretext(or hypothetical pretext for the believers) the theology of the new testament is not true and was taken as inspiration from other religions. Reason being, if you believe church dogma, you're naturally not going to believe Christianity came from another source cause that would invalidate the religion potentially in favor of the older one.
Regardless of whether one of a believer or not, this claim needs to be scrutinized.
But I'm under the impression that there is a fundamental misunderstanding about the very nature of the NT and the Gospels.
The Gospels convey a very specific spiritual message, and that's the main purpose of their existence.
That's why it's pretty hard to determine their truthfulness. As far as I'm aware, some modern researchers have tried to challenge the account in the NT by:

1) Questioning the historicity of Jesus.
2) Questioning the authenticity and/or veracity of the specific events as described in the gospels.

Christianity's possible links with other (including non-monotheistic) religions is of less importance to Christian believers than personal matters of faith, I'd say.

In that vein, let me quote St. Paul:

But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

Corinthians 15:1-19

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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
The New Testament is fundamentally different than the old Testament. Here's the tie in's with the old testament.1)The setting, Jesus is a Jew who lives in Judah. 2)Jesus is supposedly the son of the god from the old testament and is the Messiah, a concept that originated in the Babylonian captivity. Are there more major tie in's to the New Testament in the Old? The Old Testament is in many ways after the early chapters a semi historical account of the peoples of Israel and their trials and tribulations, the New Testament is about three years of the life and times of one person. Those two accounts are fundamentally different and are tied together by the slimmest of threads. Is there proof of the Holy Trinity being a thing prior in the Old Testament prior to the New Testament?
You mention the word 'fundamentally', but the Bible does not seem to support this. Matthew and Luke both agree in tracing Jesus' lineage to king David.
It makes Jesus more than a mere 'Jew' who lives in Judah. Here's the direct link to the Old Testament.

I'd like to put a special emphasis on the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus makes more than clear references to Jewish law.

About the trinity. In all honesty, I don't feel bold enough to discuss this problem. Some of the greatest minds of Christianity have discussed it extensively over the centuries and there is no universal agreement, even among Christians.

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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
Anyway, I was more curious about how polyheistic religions or zoroastrianism impacted the religious aspect of Christianity. I think the connection between Judaism is probably pretty well understood by most?
Well, here's where a feel a bit more competent. I don't think there are serious scholars who would argue that polytheism made a serious impact on the formation of Christian dogma.
I suppose we could discuss the relation between early Judaism and polytheistic religions (Phoenicians maybe?) but again, it's not my field.

What's true is that Christianity had recycled many of the old pagan practices and adapted it to conform to Christian worldview. In this context, I consider that the Church more or less made a kind of a compromise with the old pagan world.
Many of early Christians almost certainly continued to practice elements of the old religious cults existing in the Roman Empire of the time. And in this regard, we have to note that Christianity had spread first around Hellenistic east, where there were already widely established religious cults and philosophical schools.
St. Paul and the other apostles preached in major cities from Asia Minor to Italy, and many of their audience were educated upper class citizens. Early Christian writers wrote for an educated audience already acquainted with Greek philosophical tradition as well as the works of ancient writers, poets and orators.
All of the early Christian writings were in Greek, and later Christian authors leaned on rich Greek literary tradition in their writing.
The point being: Christianity developed in a Greco-Roman framework. It drew heavily from Hellenistic philosophy, but it would be wrong to assume this negated its original Judaic origins.

In that vein, I will finish with a quote from Swiss theologian and New Testament critic, Johann Jacob Wetsttein:

If you want to fully understand the books of the New Testament, put yourself in the position of those to whom the apostles at first gave them to read.
Enter the spirit of that age and the areas in which they had been read. Make sure that, as much as it's possible, you acquaint yourself with the customs, habits, way of thinking, inherited perceptions, sayings, the figures of speech and everyday language of the people, as well as the way in which they tried to persuade somebody or to make their accounts authentic.


Bible. N.T. Greek. Wettstein. 1751. Amstelaedami : Ex officina Dommeriana, 1751-1752.

(Sorry if the quote is not good, since I translated it to English from a book of mine).

And if the post is to lengthy, I would summarize it this way: Christianity was inevitably the product of its time, but it does not mean we can reduce it to a mere product of socio-politic and cultural phenomena, or claim that this negates its spiritual message.

PS About the possible influences of Zoroastrianism on Christian teachings. Based on what I know about this, Christianity is a non-dualist religion, both in its understanding of God and the universe and the nature of men.
Zoroastrianism may have influenced some of Christian heresies, most notably Catharism.

Last edited by Valens; December 30th, 2017 at 12:09 AM.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 12:34 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Valens View Post
Regardless of whether one of a believer or not, this claim needs to be scrutinized.
But I'm under the impression that there is a fundamental misunderstanding about the very nature of the NT and the Gospels.
The Gospels convey a very specific spiritual message, and that's the main purpose of their existence.
That's why it's pretty hard to determine their truthfulness. As far as I'm aware, some modern researchers have tried to challenge the account in the NT by:

1) Questioning the historicity of Jesus.
2) Questioning the authenticity and/or veracity of the specific events as described in the gospels.

Christianity's possible links with other (including non-monotheistic) religions is of less importance to Christian believers than personal matters of faith, I'd say.

In that vein, let me quote St. Paul:

But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

Corinthians 15:1-19



You mention the word 'fundamentally', but the Bible does not seem to support this. Matthew and Luke both agree in tracing Jesus' lineage to king David.
It makes Jesus more than a mere 'Jew' who lives in Judah. Here's the direct link to the Old Testament.

I'd like to put a special emphasis on the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus makes more than clear references to Jewish law.

About the trinity. In all honesty, I don't feel bold enough to discuss this problem. Some of the greatest minds of Christianity have discussed it extensively over the centuries and there is no universal agreement, even among Christians.



Well, here's where a feel a bit more competent. I don't think there are serious scholars who would argue that polytheism made a serious impact on the formation of Christian dogma.
I suppose we could discuss the relation between early Judaism and polytheistic religions (Phoenicians maybe?) but again, it's not my field.

What's true is that Christianity had recycled many of the old pagan practices and adapted it to conform to Christian worldview. In this context, I consider that the Church more or less made a kind of a compromise with the old pagan world.
Many of early Christians almost certainly continued to practice elements of the old religious cults existing in the Roman Empire of the time. And in this regard, we have to note that Christianity had spread first around Hellenistic east, where there were already widely established religious cults and philosophical schools.
St. Paul and the other apostles preached in major cities from Asia Minor to Italy, and many of their audience were educated upper class citizens. Early Christian writers wrote for an educated audience already acquainted with Greek philosophical tradition as well as the works of ancient writers, poets and orators.
All of the early Christian writings were in Greek, and later Christian authors leaned on rich Greek literary tradition in their writing.
The point being: Christianity developed in a Greco-Roman framework. It drew heavily from Hellenistic philosophy, but it would be wrong to assume this negated its original Judaic origins.

In that vein, I will finish with a quote from Swiss theologian and New Testament critic, Johann Jacob Wetsttein:

If you want to fully understand the books of the New Testament, put yourself in the position of those to whom the apostles at first gave them to read.
Enter the spirit of that age and the areas in which they had been read. Make sure that, as much as it's possible, you acquaint yourself with the customs, habits, way of thinking, inherited perceptions, sayings, the figures of speech and everyday language of the people, as well as the way in which they tried to persuade somebody or to make their accounts authentic.


Bible. N.T. Greek. Wettstein. 1751. Amstelaedami : Ex officina Dommeriana, 1751-1752.

(Sorry if the quote is not good, since I translated it to English from a book of mine).

And if the post is to lengthy, I would summarize it this way: Christianity was inevitably the product of its time, but it does not mean we can reduce it to a mere product of socio-politic and cultural phenomena, or claim that this negates its spiritual message.
Agree with the first paragraph. I think the only part of the new testament that can be proven to have occurred with any sense of reliability is the Crucifixion. I remember reading on wikipedia a lot of historians think the John the Baptist stuff is true only because it wouldn't be in best interest of the gospel writers agenda to lie about that, but it was 2,000 years ago, I'm skeptical about applying modern motives or lack of motives to millennia ago but that's a good point. In general, I think the New Testament was about morals and lessons more so than about history. That being said I want to make it clear I was talking more about the theological aspect of the New Testament which is the virgin birth, Jesus being the messiah and the son of god, the Nicene Holy Trinity, etc,etc, I was not talking about if Jesus was a real person or the events of his life beyond his role in a religious context as a deity. Those are the aspects I'm curious to see where might have been borrowed from. For me the one that shares the most resemblance is the Romulus story minus Remus.

Okay there would be another one, again I feel like I did a bad job explaining what I meant by ties to the old testament, I meant like theological and narrative ties. David being Jesus's g,g,g,g,g2 grandfather wouldn't be a really major link, especially not religiously. David's story was more of a political story about the foundation of Israel than a religious one like the new testament anyway.

Anyway in reference to the David point, I'm very skeptical of that claim and it could just as easily be a way of saying he's the "successor" of David rather than kin. 1000 years is a very long time and I'd be skeptical of someone today claiming ancestry of a figure from 10 centuries back. Even if we know that this is what they are claiming and with something 2000 years ago, I don't think we're even sure they meant David was Jesus's literal ancestor, never mind if they had any proof. Don't think it's really relevant to the conversation but it would be fascinating.

Jesus was Jewish and lived in Judah. I think I conceded this was a strand that loosely connected the two books. The Old Testament is largely the story of Israel and the later parts are basically a Jewish telling of accurate history we can to an extent verify happened. The New Testament is a fundamentally different type of story of one man's travels, even if it happens to be located in the same location.

In terms of Christianity taking stories from paganism when I was younger I heard a lot of references. The Romulus one is the one that made the most sense to me, though I heard Bill Maher mention some Egyptian ones a while back, not that he's a credible source which is why I'm asking here about that. There's also the similarities to Zoroastrianism, beyond the shoplifiting of the devil but in terms of the moral dualism that is very present in Christianity. Also as another poster I think pointed out Mithrism could be seen to Zoroastrianism and Mazda as Christianity was to Judaism and Yahweh.

Also saw a documentary(I'll post it if someone wants, I think I did on another thread a few months back and no one really cared) about how Jesus could have been a political ploy having to do with the tense system in Judah in the first century made up by Josephus who was a Jew who had ties to the Romans. I do tentatively believe in the existence of Jesus but this was an interesting perspective and even if Jesus was real by this count what if Josephus, the Gospel writers or the Nicean council took elements from the religions of the then present and past to make the Holy Trinity and to connect Christianity to Judaism?

Last edited by Emperor of Wurttemburg 43; December 30th, 2017 at 12:37 AM.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 12:38 AM   #27
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Here's an interesting chart.

https://www.google.com/search?q=reli...umzAdrK0JUytM:
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Old December 30th, 2017, 02:26 AM   #28

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Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
Agree with the first paragraph. I think the only part of the new testament that can be proven to have occurred with any sense of reliability is the Crucifixion. I remember reading on wikipedia a lot of historians think the John the Baptist stuff is true only because it wouldn't be in best interest of the gospel writers agenda to lie about that, but it was 2,000 years ago, I'm skeptical about applying modern motives or lack of motives to millennia ago but that's a good point. In general, I think the New Testament was about morals and lessons more so than about history. That being said I want to make it clear I was talking more about the theological aspect of the New Testament which is the virgin birth, Jesus being the messiah and the son of god, the Nicene Holy Trinity, etc,etc, I was not talking about if Jesus was a real person or the events of his life beyond his role in a religious context as a deity. Those are the aspects I'm curious to see where might have been borrowed from. For me the one that shares the most resemblance is the Romulus story minus Remus.
Yet, the historical significance of Jesus and his mission is of huge importance to Christianity and Christians. It has been so since the very earliest days of Christianity.
Jesus as a real historical personality is for Christians a confirmation that God has a direct involvement in the course of human history and that everything that happens has its cause in Him.

If Jesus was not a real person, he could not have risen from the dead and therefore no resurrection, without which there is no Christianity, as St. Paul himself had said.

Morals and lessions all have their role, but the exact point of Christianity and its clear distinction from pre-Christian faiths is that God is not hidden in books and riddles, he's not a distant God accessible by some esoteric means, but a living God with whom one can form a personal relation.

In this aspect, Christianity is unique. The parallels with ancient myths, if we can find them at all, would be pretty superficial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
Okay there would be another one, again I feel like I did a bad job explaining what I meant by ties to the old testament, I meant like theological and narrative ties. David being Jesus's g,g,g,g,g2 grandfather wouldn't be a really major link, especially not religiously. David's story was more of a political story about the foundation of Israel than a religious one like the new testament anyway.

Anyway in reference to the David point, I'm very skeptical of that claim and it could just as easily be a way of saying he's the "successor" of David rather than kin. 1000 years is a very long time and I'd be skeptical of someone today claiming ancestry of a figure from 10 centuries back. Even if we know that this is what they are claiming and with something 2000 years ago, I don't think we're even sure they meant David was Jesus's literal ancestor, never mind if they had any proof. Don't think it's really relevant to the conversation but it would be fascinating.

Jesus was Jewish and lived in Judah. I think I conceded this was a strand that loosely connected the two books. The Old Testament is largely the story of Israel and the later parts are basically a Jewish telling of accurate history we can to an extent verify happened. The New Testament is a fundamentally different type of story of one man's travels, even if it happens to be located in the same location.
The OT is the story about Israel, but more specifically, it is a story of the relationship between the Israelities (as God's chosen people) and God, and this is essential.

It's absolutely unfounded to claim that the OT and other Jewish holy texts are mere historical chronicles, because they are nothing similar. It is an intimate history of God's relationship with his people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
In terms of Christianity taking stories from paganism when I was younger I heard a lot of references. The Romulus one is the one that made the most sense to me, though I heard Bill Maher mention some Egyptian ones a while back, not that he's a credible source which is why I'm asking here about that. There's also the similarities to Zoroastrianism, beyond the shoplifiting of the devil but in terms of the moral dualism that is very present in Christianity. Also as another poster I think pointed out Mithrism could be seen to Zoroastrianism and Mazda as Christianity was to Judaism and Yahweh.
Can you give us some example where exactly do you see the parallels between Christianity (the specific points of its teaching, to be exact) and the story about Romulus and Remus?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperoroftheBavarians43 View Post
Also saw a documentary(I'll post it if someone wants, I think I did on another thread a few months back and no one really cared) about how Jesus could have been a political ploy having to do with the tense system in Judah in the first century made up by Josephus who was a Jew who had ties to the Romans. I do tentatively believe in the existence of Jesus but this was an interesting perspective and even if Jesus was real by this count what if Josephus, the Gospel writers or the Nicean council took elements from the religions of the then present and past to make the Holy Trinity and to connect Christianity to Judaism?
There's a bunch of such popular theories these days. I don't give them much credit, since most tend to be sensationalistic. I don't think anything of the sort holds significant influence in scholarly circles.

Last edited by Valens; December 30th, 2017 at 02:29 AM.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 10:10 AM   #29
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The idea that Christianity or rather modern Christiianity is rooted exclusively in Judaism is erroneous.
Helenism -the influence of ancient Greece and Rome which heavily influenced Roman culture and philiosophy was an equally major force in defining Roman Catholicism up to and after the Reformation.
Hellinism rejected the vengefu,l punishing, Hebrew concept of of JAWEH the avenger and pumisher of sinners.
That's why Scottish Presbyterianism was Calvinistic i.e heavily Judaic in its prectices and stern unforgiving attitude to sinners.which the poet Robert Burns satirised in his poem 'HOLY WILLIE 'S PRAYER' where stern Calvinist Willie glories in GOD sending 'one to heaven and nine to hell' and damnation.
Hellenism with its more tolerant view of sinners was/ is at the base of the RC practice of confession where a Catholic will tell he priest how long it he has been since his last confession then tell the Priest all his most recent mortal sins which are forgiven with a prayer penance(ten Hail Mary's etc) and the slate is rubbed clean with God until the next time.
In contrast in Calvinistic Presbyterianism all sins go into the black book for all eternity until on death the sinner faces an uuncertain future before his/her maker on the day of judgement.
On the other hand ,some Protestant churches reject the idea that you can work your ticket to paradise by good behaviour and acts of contrition.They cite the doctrine that Justification (being saved from hell) is by faith alone based on the Book of Romans in the new Testament. This is the doctrine with which Martin Luther launched the Reformation.
'Justification by Faith lone isthe lynchpin of all modern Protestant evangelists like Billy Billy Graham where foks come forwrd declae publicly that they taske Jesus Christto be their personal Saviour and are henceforth saved subject to subsequently observing decent personal behaviourial codes
Howeven, the Manichees were declared hertics by the RC church because they taught that ALL MATERIAL THINGS WERE INNATELY EVIL AND CORRUPT. -including people.
Some people believe that to be a Christian you must be ''born again''. This comes straight from the man himself. Those who are not born again might be described as nominal Christians.

Jesus and Nicodemus

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily,verily, I say unto thee, ''Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven.

Nicodemus saith unto him. How can a man be born again when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. John 3. verses 3 to 6
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Old December 30th, 2017, 11:04 AM   #30

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