But to go away from among men, if there are gods, is not a thing to be afraid of, for the gods will not involve thee in evil; but if indeed they do not exist, or if they have no concern about human affairs, what is it to me to live in a universe devoid of gods or devoid of Providence? But Gods there are, undoubtedly, and they regard human affairs; and have put it wholly in our power, that we should not fall into what is truly evil Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact.
Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. Cited as being from The Meditations. This quote does not exist there; although there are several other statements about everything being an opinion, none of these are connected to a sentence about perspectives. The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. First cited by Leo Tolstoy in Bethink Yourselves! Nothing closely resembling it appears in Meditations. Wikipedia has an article about: Marcus Aurelius.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Marcus Aurelius. Wikisource has original works written by or about: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. Categories : Pages including material from Bartlett's to be reviewed Roman philosophers Roman emperors People from Rome Stoics 2nd century births 2nd century deaths. As a result, throughout the King James Bible, people "worship" many things. A slave worships his owner, the assembled of Satan worship an angel, and Roman soldiers mocking Jesus worship him. In each of these instances, the word does not mean "praise God's glory" or anything like that; instead, it means to bow or prostrate oneself.
By translating the same word different ways, these modern Bibles are adding a bit of linguistic support to the idea that the people who knew Jesus understood him to be God. In other words, with a little translational trickery, a fundamental tenet of Christianity—that Jesus is God—was reinforced in the Bible, even in places where it directly contradicts the rest of the verse.
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That kind of manipulation occurs many times. But the publishers of some Bibles decided to insert their beliefs into translations that had nothing to do with the Greek. The Living Bible, for example, says Jesus " was God"—even though modern translators pretty much just invented the words. Which raises a big issue for Christians: the Trinity—the belief that Jesus and God are the same and, with the Holy Spirit, are a single entity—is a fundamental, yet deeply confusing, tenet.
So where does the clear declaration of God and Jesus as part of a triumvirate appear in the Greek manuscripts? Why would God, in conveying his message to the world, speak in whispers and riddles? It seems nonsensical, but the belief that he refused to convey a clear message has led to the slaughter of many thousands of Christians by Christians. In fact, Christians are believed to have massacred more followers of Jesus than any other group or nation.
Those who believed in the Trinity butchered Christians who didn't. Groups who believed Jesus was two entities—God and man—killed those who thought Jesus was merely flesh and blood. Some felt certain God inspired Old Testament Scriptures, others were convinced they were the product of a different, evil God. Some believed the Crucifixion brought salvation to humankind, others insisted it didn't, and still others believed Jesus wasn't crucified.
Indeed, for hundreds of years after the death of Jesus, groups adopted radically conflicting writings about the details of his life and the meaning of his ministry, and murdered those who disagreed. For many centuries, Christianity was first a battle of books and then a battle of blood.
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The reason, in large part, was that there were no universally accepted manuscripts that set out what it meant to be a Christian, so most sects had their own gospels. One sect of Christianity—the Gnostics—believed that the disciple Thomas was not only Jesus's twin brother but also the founder of churches across Asia.
Christianity was in chaos in its early days, with some sects declaring the others heretics. And then, in the early s, Emperor Constantine of Rome declared he had become follower of Jesus, ended his empire's persecution of Christians and set out to reconcile the disputes among the sects. Constantine was a brutal sociopath who murdered his eldest son, decapitated his brother-in-law and killed his wife by boiling her alive, and that was after he proclaimed that he had converted from worshipping the sun god to being a Christian. Yet he also changed the course of Christian history, ultimately influencing which books made it into the New Testament.
By that point, the primary disputes centered on whether Jesus was God—the followers of a priest named Arius said no, that God created Jesus.
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But the Bishop of Alexander said yes, that Jesus had existed throughout all eternity. The dispute raged on in the streets of Constantinople, with everyone—shopkeepers, bakers and tradesmen—arguing about which view was right. Constantine, in a reflection of his shallow understanding of theology, was annoyed that what he considered a minor dispute was causing such turmoil, and feared that it weaken him politically. So he decided to force an agreement on the question. Constantine convened a meeting in the lakeside town of Nicaea. Invitations were sent around the world to bishops and leaders of various sects, although not all of them.
The group included the educated and the illiterate, zealots and hermits. Constantine arrived wearing jewels and gold on his scarlet robe and pearls on his crown, eager to discuss the true essence of a poor carpenter who had died years before. Things that are today accepted without much thought were adopted or reinforced at Nicaea.
For example, the Old Testament was clear in declaring that God rested on the seventh day, making it the Sabbath. The seventh day of the week is Saturday, the day of Jewish worship and rest.
Jesus himself invoked the holiness of the Jewish Sabbath. The word Sunday does not appear in the Bible, either as the Sabbath or anything else. But four years before Nicaea, Constantine declared Sunday as a day of rest in honor of the sun god. At Nicaea, rules were adopted regarding the proper positions for prayer on Sundays—standing, not kneeling; nothing was said of the Jewish Sabbath or Saturday.
Many theologians and Christian historians believe that it was at this moment, to satisfy Constantine and his commitment to his empire's many sun worshippers, that the Holy Sabbath was moved by one day, contradicting the clear words of what ultimately became the Bible. And while the Bible mentioned nothing about the day of Jesus's birth, the birth of the sun god was celebrated on December 25 in Rome; Christian historians of the 12th century wrote that it was the pagan holiday that led to the designation of that date for Christmas.
The majority of the time at Nicaea was spent debating whether Jesus was a man who was the son of God, as Arius proclaimed, or God himself, as the church hierarchy maintained.
The followers of Arius marshaled evidence from the letters of Paul and other Christian writings. In the Gospel of Mark, speaking of the Second Coming, Jesus said, "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Paul's writings are consistent in his reference to God as one being and Jesus as his son. Same with the Gospel of Matthew, where Peter tells Jesus that he is the "Son of the living God" and Jesus responds that "Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
But Constantine sided with those who believed Jesus was both God and man, so a statement of belief, called the Nicene Creed, was composed to proclaim that.
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Those who refused to sign the statement were banished. Others were slaughtered. After they had returned home and were far from Rome, some who signed the document later sent letters to Constantine saying they had only done so out of fear for their lives. About 50 years later, in A. The Nicene Creed was rewritten, and those who refused to sign the statement were banished, and another wholesale slaughter began, this time of those who rejected the Trinity, a concept that is nowhere in the original Greek manuscripts and is often contradicted by it. To this day, congregants in Christian churches at Sunday services worldwide recite the Nicene Creed, which serves as affirmation of their belief in the Trinity.
It is doubtful many of them know the words they utter are not from the Bible, and were the cause of so much bloodshed. Some modern Christians attempt to use the Gospel of John to justify the Trinity—even though it doesn't explicitly mention it—but they are relying on bad translations of the Greek and sentences inserted by scribes. To understand how what we call the Bible was made, you must see how the beliefs that became part of Christian orthodoxy were pushed into it by the Holy Roman Empire.
By the fifth century, the political and theological councils voted on which of the many Gospels in circulation were to make up the New Testament.
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With the power of Rome behind them, the practitioners of this proclaimed orthodoxy wiped out other sects and tried to destroy every copy of their Gospels and other writings. And recall that they were already working from a fundamentally flawed document.