What Bible did Joseph Campbell endorse and make reference to

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tenz146
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What Bible did Joseph Campbell endorse and make reference to

Post by tenz146 » Sat Oct 11, 2008 10:03 pm

Which Bible did Joseph Campbell make reference to when talking on the subject of Christianity?
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Post by David_Kudler » Sun Oct 12, 2008 6:23 pm

The edition of the Bible to which Campbell referred almost exclusively was the so-called King James Version. He did so, I believe, both because of its nearly universal familiarity and because of its rich language.
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Post by tenz146 » Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:24 pm

Thank You David, but i also remember he said he had a book in the new testament he prefered over others. Do you know which one?
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Post by Myrtle » Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:13 pm

Tenz146, Campbell often mentions the Thomas Gospel. It is not one of the New Testament books, but it is one of the New Testament Apocrypha (hidden writings). Could that be the one you are looking for?
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Post by indraant » Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:36 pm

Quite right. In the Power of Myth he quotes Thomas.

"Whoever drinks from my mouth will become like me; I myself shall become that person, and the hidden things will be revealed to him."

and then says to Moyers "That's Buddhism"
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Post by Ned Kelly » Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:47 am

He didn't "endorse" the Bible at all, although he acknowledged considerable wisdom in parts of it.
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Post by Chrissurf » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:31 pm

I was under the impression he was an atheist who was fascinated with the phenomena of all religions.
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Post by Neoplato » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:37 pm

I was under the impression he was an atheist who was fascinated with the phenomena of all religions.-Chris
Wow! :shock: That would be news to me. The passion in his voice when he talks about comparative religion lead me to think otherwise.

But then again, some would think I'm an atheist too by some definitions.
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Post by Chrissurf » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:12 am

I was surprised as well, but in the Bill Moyer special he talks about a conversation with a priest about faith which lead me to think he was an atheist. I could be wrong. He could have had a sort of "higher consciousness" philosophy that wasn't uniquely religious, more of an agnostic kind of thing, but I don't know for sure. I'd be interested to hear from someone who does know.
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Post by Clemsy » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:25 am

Hi Chris!

I can say with quite a bit of confidence that Campbell was not, and you will not find any reliable reference saying otherwise, an atheist. Now if I recall that conversation correctly, and I may be a bit off, they were discussing evidence for the existence of god. Campbell asked him, of what use is faith if you have evidence... which flustered the priest.

Campbell's primary thesis is that myth is the sign post that points you toward god, that god is the personification of the mystery of existence, an idea that transcends all categories of thought. People get caught up in the various 'masks' we put on it, misidentify the mask for what it references and therefor miss the point altogether. What did he say? It's a quote from someone else...Frazier?
The best things can't be discussed. The second best are misunderstood.
No... Campbell was no atheist. He does come across, at least the way I understand him, as having little patience with the literalistic, ethnic monotheism of the Biblical traditions.

You know... delusional Christian minister burns a Koran. Delusional Muslims kill a bunch of innocent people in response.

Exasperates me too.

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Post by boringguy » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:39 am

Hi Chrissurf,

Welcome to JCF. I don't have any of reference material with me at the moment so I can't offer the quotes until later if you want them, but Campbell, a number of times indicates that he had a belief in "God'. If we are thinking of the same story from POM about a conversation Campbell relates to where a priest ( cardinal?) asked him if he believed in a personal God, and Campbell, as I recall, said something to the effect of, no, more toward an impersonal god.
Campbell stated many times that all Gods are simple the constructs of the mind of man, and although I can't recall every reading anything where Campbell went so far as to give an in depth explaination of his perception of God, and good for him for that, my take is that he did relate to a source of transendence that is beyond all words, thoughts, or constructs of simply man.


:oops: opps looks like I was writing while Clemsy posted and have said much the same thing. :oops:

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Post by Clemsy » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:46 am

I love it when that happens! 8)
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Post by Chrissurf » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:00 am

This is cool. I like this forum already. Smart responses thank you.
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Post by Myrtle » Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:22 am

This is a Campbell quote from Power of Myth (page 49). According to a few other sources, he was referring to something Heinrich Zimmer said.
The best things can't be told because they transcend thought. The second best are misunderstood, because those are the thoughts that are supposed to refer to that which can't be thought about. The third best are what we talk about.
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Post by Clemsy » Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:53 am

Thanks Myrtle! It was Zimmer indeed.
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