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Author Topic: How much did Jesus' disciples have to pay for their Christianity 101 course?  (Read 2538 times)
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Matt
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« on: June 18, 2010, 10:11:01 »

... and how much should interested people have to pay today?

I just posted the following on my Facebook status where most of those reading it will be "Christians". 

I would be interested in getting your perspective on it given what you know about the situation. Guesses are welcome.
(It was kind of a trick question and one to which I wanted Christians to think through... including the students and "professors".)

I already got one answer on FB telling me that I shouldn't be asking because my "position" is that I am employed at a Bible College where I am being paid by students paying for their "credit hours"!
The irony is that the person telling me this just "happens" to be the Institute librian with whom I worked for several years AND she just "happens" to be the wife of the college registrar!  I think that is funny although I would suppose "she was not amused".

Question:

Should someone in my position ask this question?
Considering the time that has passed, and inflation, etc. etc. How much do you think the disciples of Jesus would have to pay and how many credit hours would they be credited for for the training they received under Jesus? In other words, compared to what they paid then,... how much would that be in 2010 [currency]?

Put another way: Considering what Jesus charged his disciples 2000 years ago, how much should I charge in 2010 [currency] to pass on to those willing to listen, what I know of the Father's Love and "the good news of the kingdom"?

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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2010, 11:00:18 »

I'm probably being stupid here, but... did Jesus charge his disciples to be his disciples? As in, they had to pay him money?

Bloody Church, always trying to scam people out of money..
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Matt
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2010, 11:25:27 »

I'm probably being stupid here, but... did Jesus charge his disciples to be his disciples? As in, they had to pay him money?

Bloody Church, always trying to scam people out of money..

I hate to give the answer so early in the discussion but I also don't want readers to get the wrong idea.  The answer, once revealed should then lead to the second question which "non-church people" like yourself seem to understand so much more readily than the professing "Bible Believing" folk do. 
So why do we charge students in Bible Colleges?  And the question before that, Why do we HAVE Bible Colleges?  Why do churches have "Sunday Schools" either for children or adults?  Why do churches have clergy?  Why? Why? Why?


Give me your thoughts and rants etc. I'll be comparing the "Christian" answers I get on Facebook. But do submit there too if you can.
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Mr Cog
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2010, 11:26:54 »

I thought they were volunteers
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Matt
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2010, 11:50:19 »

I thought they were volunteers

IF you are correct, (I am not saying you are not) what are the implications? 
IF I came to your "town" and set up a soap box, or happened to be invited to your home and you invited other friends in to let me "hold forth" but I didn't charge them anything to learn "the grand secrets of Life" would you and your friends dismiss me as a kook, or wonder what the catch was, or would you think that maybe it was worth looking into, especially if I could "heal the sick" and give hope to the hopeless?

Discuss further. 

I will post a quote from the Bible, the "actual words of Jesus" in a bit, but again not to be "quoting Scripture" per se, but to have you all consider how literally we (professing Christians) should apply it, and to have your comment on what you see as to the implications IF professing believers really "obeyed" what their "Master" taught.
My contention here is that Non Church people know more about what is implied that the Churchy type and I will get better answers from my Lovely friends than the majority on my Facebook fourm.


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Matt
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2010, 11:56:08 »

I am not sure how accessible my Facebook status is but if you can get there and want to comment (and stir up some of the complacent "pat-answer" Christians), I am there as "Grant Alford".  I think it may be restricted to "friends" just now, but I will welcome all of you as a "friend" if I recognise your non-lovely name (or you send me a message telling me who you are... in the real world.)
 
In other words if the request doesn't come as "Sexy Sally wants to be your friend" or some such which I delete immediately.
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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2010, 15:41:43 »

£5
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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2010, 16:46:02 »

In other words if the request doesn't come as "Sexy Sally wants to be your friend" or some such which I delete immediately.

Ah, but Gidds' real name is actually Sexy Sally.
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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2010, 17:08:37 »

..at your service.
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« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2010, 22:02:46 »

"We have got to stop meeting like this"
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« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2010, 23:30:11 »

why should they have to pay? Why did the desciples have to pay? doesn't that mean Jesus was a bit of a flake charging them to be his friends? or does it make him a prostitute?
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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2010, 00:00:28 »

OK you all. 
The point is/was that Jesus did NOT charge anyone anything. And here in the strongest words possible,  and I would say extremely clearly, Jesus is sending out his disciples with these  words:

See the passage linked below, (Matthew 10:5-16) but consider particularly the phrase "Freely you have received, freelly give". (verse 8)
Matthew 10:5-16

My raising the question as I did on my Facebook status was to "challenge" the Christians who say they depend on the Bible as their (only) source for "doctrine and practice", and yet build edifices to the glory of man and call them churches and raise salaries for all kinds of "minister of music", "minister of youth", etc. etc. or raise up Bible Colleges and Seminaries and professors of theology etc. etc. so they can "pass" on the great truths of the Love of God, and the kingdom of heaven. 


How would you all respond to this passage in the Bible?

Would you accept it as some kind of symbolic message not intended to be taken literally?  Would those professing to be a follower of Jesus have some justification for doing what they do today (in our culture) of having expensive church buildings, and paid clergy, or "schools of religion etc?

IF Jesus HAD charged, all of your points about being a flake, and/or prostitute would be true. And my "mathmatical question" about multiplying the amount he charged by a  compensating figure for time and inflation etc since then, should bring us to a very same sum. 
$0.00 x anything = ?
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« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2010, 11:10:13 »

$40?
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« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2010, 04:17:33 »

Good point.

But the trouble is the modern day teachers of the bible have to make a living, so why not make a living from what they are good at?

How did Jesus and his disciples make a living? does it matter that there weren't that many of them? Maybe it was easier to support a small group with little money but now they're a huge organisation they're not going to get anywhere without cold hard cash.
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« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2010, 07:49:50 »

Good point.

But the trouble is the modern day teachers of the bible have to make a living, so why not make a living from what they are good at?

How did Jesus and his disciples make a living? does it matter that there weren't that many of them? Maybe it was easier to support a small group with little money but now they're a huge organisation they're not going to get anywhere without cold hard cash.

My  original question, has raised so many more questions in my own mind, and I think a growing conviction that they are all related.  I would have to say that your question arises naturally but ONLY BECAUSE we have failed to "stick to the programme" as Jesus intended it.

For instance: How did Jesus and his disciples make a living?
The passage quoted told us that in addition to their "teaching", they were going to authenticate their message by bringing healing and peace to the community.  Further they would be welcomed  (or hated) and find food and lodging as they "served".
By what authority or example was this method  ever "meant" to become a mega organisation?
If I came to your community and did as Jesus commanded, and one of your number went to another community, ie. the next block or apt. complex and did the same, where is the Organisation and why wouldn't the same principles apply?

How much "cash" is required when you invite friends in for an evenin'g?  Do you charge them for the refreshments you serve?
Do they ever do "pot luck" or bring something to share? 
THIS is what we are given as a picture of what the "Church" was in the New Testament.
Even when an "apostle was sent out, there was no charge to the new assembly.  Paul was a tent maker/sail maker and either supported himself, or had the backing of other bodies who contributed to the cause... FREELY.
There is no indication that the messengers ever received a salary or occupied a position as "clergy".  A local assembly was to function with every person exercising particular "gifts" of which a "preacher/teacher" was only one.  Hospitality, administration, etc. were all to be utilised in the instruction and care and expansion of the "church".  And the "chruch" was never seen as a building, but the people  making up one particular fellowship and always a part of the greater whole, referred to as the "Body" (or Bride) of Christ of whom he is the "Head"  (and the "Groom").

Do you think such an organism as this would appeal to you and your friends more than this "thing" ... this monolithic organization that we presently call "the church"?

The question: "Why not make a living by what they are good at?" meaning, "Why not charge people to learn about Jesus like we would charge them to learn how to paint a picture, or build a house or be a doctor or lawyer?"
 
Would this be a good enough reason?:

BECAUSE the one of whom they claim to be a follower said: "DON"T"!
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« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2010, 07:55:30 »

Follow up:
Questions that "believers" have to ask, are things like:
According to the Bible, (their book of example, and authority) ....
1. How much did the believers spend on the building and maintenance of a building?
2. How much did they spend on having a "pastor"?
3. Was there even such a position as a "pastor" and if so what did he "do"?
4. What evidence is there that he ever preached a "sermon" in his lifetime?
These are legitimate questions and I would appreciate your perspectives as some whom I suppose may not be as "subjective" as if I were to ask them of my "chruchy" friends.
Thanks
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« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2010, 11:14:44 »

I'm going to say 30 pieces of silver
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« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2010, 21:06:27 »

I'm going to say 30 pieces of silver

You get partial marks for connecting the specific amount and currency (at least the KJV 1611 equivalent) as a "Biblical" figure*. But it may still be a failing grade for mixing up some vital details.  ie. The disciple first RECEIVED payment of that amount FROM the Religious Teachers to give them information.  And then when he realised what his information led to, he attempted to return it to the Teachers. 
*30 pieces of silver, equal to 120 denarii or the amount of pay a common labourer would make for 120 days labour.

(The above information is given without charge, even though I have gleaned it from a source that cost me some outlay in cash to have on hand.)
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