Concerning the Nature of Jesus

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

boagie
 
Reply Fri 7 Dec, 2007 12:32 am
@NeitherExtreme,
Community service;)

 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Tue 1 Jan, 2008 05:33 pm
@boagie,
Quote:
As far as the Gospel of Thomas goes, I am no expert, but it seems to me that it is in direct disagreement with at least two of the others. And since it seems to be the most questionable (open to debate of course), and it is outnumbered, I'd probably eventually go with a consensus of the others if I can.


As far as I can tell, it contains, at least subtle, disagreements with all of the Gospels. The thing is, none of the Gospels are in agreement. In one, it's the Sermon on the Mount, in another, Jesus gives the Sermon on the Plain - and they are the same sermon. If I recall, "only begotten son" appears in John, and none of the other Gospels. Examples like this are plentiful.
The interesting part about the Gospel of Thomas (from the Nag Hammadi library) is the date it was written. Concerning this issue, there are two schools, the early and the late. If the early date is correct, it predates all of the other Gospels, and therefore was most likely a source for all of the other Gospels.
The later date puts it much later than the other books, but to be honest, this date is mostly defended by conservatism: the early date would so radically change the view of the Gospels as a whole, that accepting the early date causes all kinds of havoc with conservative scholarship and conservative theology.
I've done some reading on the issue, and am pretty well convinced of the early date. But, considering the fact that the date is still up for debate among experts, I recomend you do your own reading, on both sides of the issue.

I do encourage some scholarship here. I think you might have to rethink your notions about what the Gospels actually say, despite the rendering your most familiar with (I read the New King James version).

One quick aside about Mark: God may call Jesus his son, but my point is that Jesus is the son of God, but no more so than anyone else, other than that Jesus is more aware and concious of the fact that he is God's son that we are.

These are all great topics, and the discussion can never be a closed book. Keep working on this stuff; I'm always up for discussion.
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Tue 1 Jan, 2008 06:04 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Quote:
The thing is, none of the Gospels are in agreement. In one, it's the Sermon on the Mount, in another, Jesus gives the Sermon on the Plain - and they are the same sermon. If I recall, "only begotten son" appears in John, and none of the other Gospels. Examples like this are plentiful.


I believe names like 'The Sermon on the Mount' was a name given to that specific teaching by the compilers of the Bible, not by the author of that paticular Gospel. Thus, if you call it mount and I call it plain, that is not a disagrement between the Gospels, but a disagreement between what you and I call it. Yes, what we call the Sermon on the Mount and Sermon on the Plain do have subtle differences, but remember, they were both written by two differnet people, and those two people, being human, necessarily would have remembered it differently, and in fact thought that different details were important. Which leads to my next point.

The apparent contradictions that appear in the New Testament are not always contradictions. I can not say how often, or if this is always the case, but just because the differnet authors wrote down differnet details of events does not mean they are contradictions. For example, when Jesus dies on the cross, one Gospel says he asks for a drink of vinger and one does not. That does not mean there is a contradiction, it just means that one left that detail out.

Furthermore, the Gospels were written long after Jesus' death, so the authors will inevitably have forgotten or reconstructed certain historical events. The Gospels are probably inspired by God, but that does not mean God did not leave the interpretation of the inspiration to the authors.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Tue 1 Jan, 2008 10:31 pm
@de Silentio,
de Silento: You are right to claim that many differences in the New Testament are not necessarily contradictions, but none of this changes the point: the New Testament is not consistent.

Let us look at these passages:

Mathew 1:18-21
Quote:
18 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah* took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. 20But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.


Jesus' parents are told of their child's significance.

Luke 1:28-35
Quote:
And he came to her and said, 'Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.'* 29But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30The angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. 31And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.' 34Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be, since I am a virgin?'* 35The angel said to her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born* will be holy; he will be called Son of God.


Mary told of her child's significance.

In the next chapter of Luke we find this:
Luke 2:48-50
Quote:
48When his parents* saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, 'Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.' 49He said to them, 'Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?'* 50But they did not understand what he said to them.


Now his parents do not understand their son.

This seems to be a contradiction, and there are many more such examples to be found. But we have to be careful. This is not 'oh, there's a contradiction, the whole thing is worthless!'. That would be silly. As far as I can tell, this disagreement, however contradictory, has no bearing upon the message of Jesus. If anything, it is valuable because both events - those that have his parents aware of their child's importance, and the passage where they are confused - instruct whoever is lucky enough to read it.

We shouldn't expect our Gospels and Scripture to perfectly align. There are too many variables - errors of the scribes, different perspectives from the eye witnesses, changes of these original stories in the oral tradition, changing and developing belief systems among early Christians, ect.

It's okay to have contradictions, it's okay to have differences. The specifics of when, who exactly, if it really happened, the absolute location - none of this is important.
If the teachings are good, the whole thing could be fantasy and the books would be equally valuable.
 
dpmartin
 
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2008 01:50 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas
not to take away from the point your trying to get across.....

All though the specifics of what one remembers more about the Lord then the other can seem contradictory. Even what you have posted as a example is not contradictory, it was apparent that though Joseph and Mary were told certain things by God about there son, they fully did not understand. Even the Apostles were perplexed many time while they walked with Him and yet did not understand until after the day of pentecost where the indwelling of the Holy Spirit brought them into understanding and remembrance that they themselves have even stated.

I believe it is important to understand, which I believe has been alluded to, about the bible(scriptures). They are a witness of Him even the Old Testament. Jesus stated it Himself:
Jn:5:39: Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

The writers old and new testify of the God they know. What the Lord their God said and what the Lord their God did. Their relationship with their God.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2008 04:20 pm
@dpmartin,
dpmartin - What you have said is not far from what I am arguing.

You claim Joseph and Mary did not understand, this is fine, but this example is not the only contradiction. My point is that these quibbles, these minor apparent contradictions, simply do not matter. They only matter if you take the Bible literally.

Quote:
The writers old and new testify of the God they know. What the Lord their God said and what the Lord their God did. Their relationship with their God.


Sort of. The Gospels are there to instruct us. It seems to me that Jesus was a real, living person, a great person. It seems the Gospels are based on his life and teachings. Given the nature of the Gospels, the way they are written and the content, that they are not supposed to be biographies of Jesus - they are something far more valuable. The Gospels show us how we should strive to live our lives, because by taking those lessons to heart, we will come closer to God. They are some of the many fingers pointing to the moon, the moon is the Kingdom of God.
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2008 06:50 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Quote:
We shouldn't expect our Gospels and Scripture to perfectly align. There are too many variables - errors of the scribes, different perspectives from the eye witnesses, changes of these original stories in the oral tradition, changing and developing belief systems among early Christians, ect.

It's okay to have contradictions, it's okay to have differences. The specifics of when, who exactly, if it really happened, the absolute location - none of this is important.
If the teachings are good, the whole thing could be fantasy and the books would be equally valuable.


I agree with most of what you're saying, and I think it actually coincides with what I was saying.

However, I do not think if the Bible was fantasy that it would be equally valuable. I believe the point of the Bible is to instruct us how to connect with God through Jesus, as there is no other way. Sin stops us from being able to 'be' with God. For the jewish people, it was general adherence to the law that brought them close to God, but this was not sufficient. For, no one can be with God except through Jesus (there is a passage that says this, but I do not know where exactly).

Now, if the Bible was a fantasy, it would fall short of instructing about Jesus and his purpose (the atonement). If you compare what the New Testament teaches, understanding what Jesus did for mankind (the atonement) is by far the most important and most valuable. If the Bible is mere fantasy, the atonement loses most of its force (I will not say all of its force), and thus the value and importance that goes with it.
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2008 06:57 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Quote:
d.t. - The Gospels show us how we should strive to live our lives, because by taking those lessons to heart, we will come closer to God


I think that is only a minor part of what the Gospels show us (see my above post)

Without the atonement, we cannot come close to God, our sins prevent that. That is the problem with doing a reading of the Gospels that disregards the atonement. The ethics and way of life comes from knowing Jesus in your heart and accepting what he has done for mankind.
 
dpmartin
 
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2008 07:27 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas


"They are some of the many fingers pointing to the moon, the moon is the Kingdom of God."

What is that suppose to mean???
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2008 07:56 pm
@dpmartin,
dpmartin - Imagine for a moment that you want to see the moon. You go out, and look up in the sky, but do not see it. Your friends see the moon, so they point at it saying, "There it is!" They will all point in different ways, relative to where they stand, but they are all pointing at the same thing.

de Silentio - I think we do have many agreements, but I do have some concerns.

Quote:
I believe the point of the Bible is to instruct us how to connect with God through Jesus, as there is no other way.


There is no other way to connect with God other than through Jesus. What is it to connect with God through Jesus? Must it be through knowledge of the historical figure Jesus and Christian theology, or are other faith traditions capable of producing a connection with God?

Quote:
Now, if the Bible was a fantasy, it would fall short of instructing about Jesus and his purpose (the atonement).


Our disagreement about the purpose of Jesus aside, why would the Bible be any less valuable if the story is not historically accurate?

Quote:
If you compare what the New Testament teaches, understanding what Jesus did for mankind (the atonement) is by far the most important and most valuable.


I'm not entirely sure what you mean by atonement. It seems to me that the New Testament teaches about the life and teaching of a man called Jesus. In his life, he heals, teaches forgiveness and peace, and through his actions in life, shows us that forgiveness and love are the ways to God. He sacrificed his life so that we might see that God wants us to love Him and His creation.

Quote:
If the Bible is mere fantasy, the atonement loses most of its force (I will not say all of its force), and thus the value and importance that goes with it.


Force to who? No one will read the book the same, even if they try to take it literally. Besides, if the Bible's message is atonment, why does the Bible's historical inaccuracy decrease the value of the message?
 
dpmartin
 
Reply Thu 3 Jan, 2008 10:37 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas
There are many fingers pointing every where but if it is the Truth you are pointing at then why do you not follow Jesus. Jesus is ether a nice guy, or He is who He says He is The Truth the Way The Life.

If the Life that God has offered in and through His Son Jesus the Christ is unacceptable to you, then what life could you have, seeing that God is the source and giver of Life.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Thu 3 Jan, 2008 03:46 pm
@dpmartin,
Quote:
Jesus is ether a nice guy, or He is who He says He is The Truth the Way The Life.


Nothing I have said rejects the notion that he is what you say he is. Only if you think he is the only Truth Way and Life will I have to disagree.

Quote:
If the Life that God has offered in and through His Son Jesus the Christ is unacceptable to you, then what life could you have, seeing that God is the source and giver of Life.


I've tried to be respectful. This sort of topic can be very personal to people; it certainly is to me, and it seems significant to you as well. I hope we do not fall into an endless, useless debate. Thus far I have found this to be good dialogue between different views.

The whole premise of the question is flawed. I've never suggested that it is unacceptable. What I have suggested is that Jesus is no more divine than anyone or anything else. I've also suggested that saying some physical things are more divine than other physical things is dualism. Dualism which has, as far as I can tell, only been supported by an appeal to God's power.
 
dpmartin
 
Reply Thu 3 Jan, 2008 05:48 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas
Well concerning the nature of Jesus the Christ, He is the Word of God which is the Truth the Only Truth there is. Therefore the only Way to know God given By God in the flesh to the world so that those in the world may know God through The Truth, God's Word the only One. The same Word revealed to creation when God said let there be Light. The same Voice of the Lord in the garden. The same that was to be called upon after Seth and Enos were born. The same that spoke to Noah. The same that spoke to Abraham, the same that choose Isaac, the same that blessed Jacob, the same that spoke to Moses.
The same Jesus the Christ who has come to establish His kingdom offering the Mercy of God, in Grace and Truth.

That is just a few things about the nature of Jesus, there is more if you like.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sat 5 Jan, 2008 11:40 am
@dpmartin,
The same light may shine through many windows.
 
dpmartin
 
Reply Sat 5 Jan, 2008 02:43 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas

more like: there are many shades of gray, but there is only One Light, the Lord Jesus.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sat 5 Jan, 2008 03:06 pm
@dpmartin,
Care to explain why Jesus is the only man who could teach truth?

Quote:
Well concerning the nature of Jesus the Christ, He is the Word of God which is the Truth the Only Truth there is. Therefore the only Way to know God given By God in the flesh to the world so that those in the world may know God through The Truth, God's Word the only One.


You are still assuming that, for whatever reason, only Jesus could teach that truth.
Going back to something earlier:

Quote:
There are many fingers pointing every where but if it is the Truth you are pointing at then why do you not follow Jesus. Jesus is ether a nice guy, or He is who He says He is The Truth the Way The Life.


The point is, I do follow Jesus. I find great value in his teachings, but why should I be so arrogant and presumptious to say that only the teachings of Jesus have value? Do I disregard the Tao-Te-Ching or Buddhist teaching because they are for a different society than the message of Jesus? No one since the time of Jesus has lived in the society the Gospels were written for (and they were, as a matter of historical fact, written for particular audiences).

The notion that truth can be told by someone other than Jesus does not diminish the greatness of Jesus. If the Holy Spirit was in Jesus as he taught, good! let us learn from him. If the Holy Spirit was in the Buddha as he taught, good! let us learn from him.

We both agree, it seems, that the Holy Spirit was in Jesus as he taught. We might disagree about the Buddha, but that's fine. The point is that such a thing is possible, and should not be ruled out. What is the Holy Spirit not capable of?
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Sat 5 Jan, 2008 06:55 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Quote:
Care to explain why Jesus is the only man who could teach truth?


It seems like you would be interested in Kierkegaard's book Philosophical Fragments. If you have not already read it.

Quote:
You are still assuming that, for whatever reason, only Jesus could teach that truth.
Going back to something earlier:


Are you sure you know what the Truth is? There is always something that comes back to me when I think about philosophy, it goes something like this: The Higher cannot come from the Lower (or the Lower cannot produce the Higher). For example, something perfect cannot come from imperfect things, no matter how many imperfect things there are.

To relate this, If the Truth is what Jesus taught, and if Jesus is God, and if God is the Truth, Then no man that is lower than God can teach the Truth. Since all men are lower than God, they will never be able to produce something Higher than them, which is the Truth.

Quote:
If the Holy Spirit was in Jesus as he taught, good! let us learn from him.

The Holy Spirit is Jesus, and Jesus is the Holy Spirit. Basic Trinity.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sat 5 Jan, 2008 07:07 pm
@de Silentio,
I appreciate the suggestion for reading, but I could as easily suggest something like "Living Buddha, Living Christ" to the same effect. I'm certainly open to any point of view; I can't think of anything I've argued here that is entirely orinial, so if you make his arguments here I'll be happy to engage them.

Quote:
There is always something that comes back to me when I think about philosophy, it goes something like this: The Higher cannot come from the Lower (or the Lower cannot produce the Higher). For example, something perfect cannot come from imperfect things, no matter how many imperfect things there are.


Then some correction is needed. The higher can come from the lower. Emergence is an example of this.

Quote:
To relate this, If the Truth is what Jesus taught, and if Jesus is God, and if God is the Truth, Then no man that is lower than God can teach the Truth. Since all men are lower than God, they will never be able to produce something Higher than them, which is the Truth.


How high is God? Wink

On a serious note, you are making the argument that Jesus is higher than men in the sense that he is capable of teaching something other men are not, and therefore, no other men can teach what he teaches.

Further, if the Truth is out of the reach of men, how can they ever know God?

Quote:
The Holy Spirit is Jesus, and Jesus is the Holy Spirit. Basic Trinity.


Would you suggest the physical body of Jesus is the Holy Spirit? If so, you'll have to explain this dualism between Holy and unholy. If not, then what of Jesus is the Holy Spirit, if not his teaching (through word and deed)? And whatever it is, why is everyone else barred access to it?
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Sat 5 Jan, 2008 07:27 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Quote:
I appreciate the suggestion for reading, but I could as easily suggest something like "Living Buddha, Living Christ" to the same effect. I'm certainly open to any point of view;


Do you know what Kierkegaards book is about? I don't know what the books you suggested are about, but I bet they are nothing like Philosophical Fragments.

Quote:
Would you suggest the physical body of Jesus is the Holy Spirit?


Good question. I am pretty sure his glorified body is. When we talk about Jesus, we have to remember that he is God and Man, in one. This is more or less unexplainable by us, we will have to wait and see how this logical inconsistency is possible.

Now, to answer your question. I woul have to say Yes. Since he is all God, even in his human form (a form that was concieved by the union of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary). To answer your question about dualism: There is no dualism because Jesus is both God and Man at the same time. It is not a dualistic nature, it is more like one nature, again, that is incomprehensible by us.

It may seem like I am talking in pardoxes, but my limited knowledge (and the nature of this beast) leave me no other option.
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Sat 5 Jan, 2008 07:29 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
I think we keep chaning our posts when the other is responding. Hold off until I respond again.

It was my fault for doing it first.

Smile
 
 

 
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 08/18/2019 at 10:37:21