Biblical Texts: explication & discussion

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prothero
 
Reply Mon 31 May, 2010 01:06 pm
@Krumple,
Krumple;171354 wrote:
I have heard some Christians say that if we ever had the technology to travel through time and went back to the time of the supposed resurrection and did not witness the events as they are "inconsistently" recorded they would still believe in the resurrection.
"some Christians" yes.
Most Christians? arguable
All Christians? definitely not.

Was the resurrection a physical event which could have been documented, videotaped and played back? I doubt it.

Was the resurrection at the least "a spiritual experience" which profoundly altered the lives of the disciples and subsequently the history of the world? Can one rationally deny it?

Profound "spiritual experiences" mystical experiences have had a huge impact on history. Almost all religious and many "scientific" breakthroughs have a mystical or spiritual aspect to them. It goes along with the notion about higher levels of reality or truth (beyond the empirical, the material, the sensual) being available to human experience and reason and being able to transform our world. Art and religion speak directly to the truth of human experience not to historical accuracy or to scientific empiricism.
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Mon 31 May, 2010 09:36 pm
@KaseiJin,
Without the resurrection there would be no Christian religion!!
 
prothero
 
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 12:19 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall;171583 wrote:
Without the resurrection there would be no Christian religion!!
Well there are lots of religions founded on charismatic figures who did not claim to be god in the flesh not did they bodily rise from the grave after death.
Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, etc. So I think one is overstating the case.
There are lots of modern day Christians who do not think of the crucifixtion as a blood sacrifice (vicarious, sacrificial or substitutionary attonement) for the original sin of man or of the resurrection as a physical bodily rise from the grave.
Christianity is a big tent with lots of varying interpretations.
A physical bodily resurrection may be crucial to your faith but many have faith in a more spiritual interpretation.
Personally I do not think the test of faith is orthodoxy (correct belief) and I do not think one should be required to affirm miracles or supernatural forms of divine action or revelation to be Christian.
 
KaseiJin
 
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 06:52 pm
@prothero,
I wish to point out, a few matters which are most secure in understanding, and which are determined by not only biblical textual sources, but supported by archaeological studies as well.

Pre-Exilic Judaism, especially, did not see this resurrection tenet as being anything other that of the body and person as they were (meaning in the normal fleshly fashion). The early Christian movement held that same tenet as well. We can see from early textual content (espcially Papias) that it had been held that Yeshua had raised a number of people from the state of having been dead, and that a few of his followers had too. It could be imagined, from the wording, that it had been about as common as heart transplants today.

However, it must always be kept in mind (because it is a simply fact of early Christian doctrine and teaching) that the Christian resurrection was absolutely, and directly tied in with, the second coming--parousia. At the time when Yeshua would return (in the role as the king of YHWH's new kingdom set up to rule and judge over the entire world), the resurrection would happen. Afterwards, we can think (though it's not as sure and concrete an assertion) that they thought there would be a second death after a thousand years.

The fact that the second coming was a falsehood, the resurrection that was to come with it was a falsehood. Neither events were real, actual history (and never will be). We must always keep in mind, that to alter our understanding of what 'resurrection' may mean, is to discard or reject exactly what it actually was to those who came up with the idea in Judaism; and carried it over to Christianity. The resurrection was to be a real, physical 'standing again' of the person who had died, not any mental or 'spiritual' shift or something. The only thinkable execption might be said to be those who would be among the elect to rule with the messiah in the heavens.

Regardless of how we may alter, adjust, and re-interpret the database, to do so is to reject the database. Then, we can reason that by rejecting the database, we have made the assertion that the database was incorrect; thus false. If we hold that a direct and physical resurrection to occur with and at the coming of the messiah within the bounds of the generation living in the year 33 CE was false, then there is no reason at all to reason that any simple adjustment of what had been believed, and taught then, would be a truth of nature...because it is still rooted in that database which we have declared false.

Yeshua, as a side note here, most likely did not go around teaching or even insinuating that he was YHWH. In other words, there was no 'I am god,' nor 'Yeshua is god,' talk in that day and age. That kind of stuff came later, and after the Greek influence became overwhelmingly strong enough to push the original Jewish base out of the picture.
 
prothero
 
Reply Tue 1 Jun, 2010 10:46 pm
@KaseiJin,
KaseiJin;171853 wrote:
I wish to point out, a few matters which are most secure in understanding, and which are determined by not only biblical textual sources, but supported by archaeological studies as well.

Pre-Exilic Judaism, especially, did not see this resurrection tenet as being anything other that of the body and person as they were (meaning in the normal fleshly fashion). The early Christian movement held that same tenet as well. We can see from early textual content (espcially Papias) that it had been held that Yeshua had raised a number of people from the state of having been dead, and that a few of his followers had too. It could be imagined, from the wording, that it had been about as common as heart transplants today.

However, it must always be kept in mind (because it is a simply fact of early Christian doctrine and teaching) that the Christian resurrection was absolutely, and directly tied in with, the second coming--parousia. At the time when Yeshua would return (in the role as the king of YHWH's new kingdom set up to rule and judge over the entire world), the resurrection would happen. Afterwards, we can think (though it's not as sure and concrete an assertion) that they thought there would be a second death after a thousand years.

The fact that the second coming was a falsehood, the resurrection that was to come with it was a falsehood. Neither events were real, actual history (and never will be). We must always keep in mind, that to alter our understanding of what 'resurrection' may mean, is to discard or reject exactly what it actually was to those who came up with the idea in Judaism; and carried it over to Christianity. The resurrection was to be a real, physical 'standing again' of the person who had died, not any mental or 'spiritual' shift or something. The only thinkable execption might be said to be those who would be among the elect to rule with the messiah in the heavens.

Regardless of how we may alter, adjust, and re-interpret the database, to do so is to reject the database. Then, we can reason that by rejecting the database, we have made the assertion that the database was incorrect; thus false. If we hold that a direct and physical resurrection to occur with and at the coming of the messiah within the bounds of the generation living in the year 33 CE was false, then there is no reason at all to reason that any simple adjustment of what had been believed, and taught then, would be a truth of nature...because it is still rooted in that database which we have declared false.

Yeshua, as a side note here, most likely did not go around teaching or even insinuating that he was YHWH. In other words, there was no 'I am god,' nor 'Yeshua is god,' talk in that day and age. That kind of stuff came later, and after the Greek influence became overwhelmingly strong enough to push the original Jewish base out of the picture.
The role of bodily resurrection and even the entire question of life after death was never as settled in Jewish tradition as you imply. Among many other differences between the pharisees and the sadducees was a difference in belief in life after death. The entire question of final judgement, life after death, heaven and hell has no clear cut authoritarian tradition or answer in Jewish theology even to this day.

Jesus as a traditional and apparently learned Jew was unlikely to commit blasphemy by declaring himself to be god in the flesh or the messiah. These were likely additions to the tradition after the fact.

There are of course Jews even to this day who do believe in a physical bodily resurrection but they would seem to be a minority and life after death is not a strong emphasis in Jewish practice or theology. Christians much more emphasize salvation and life after death although there is no clear cut vision of heaven and the vision of hell largely draws on Dante. Perhaps the major division in modern Christianity is between those for whom the emphasis is on sin, salvation and life after death and those for whom the emphasis is on compassion, social justice and the kingdom of heaven on earth.

You do seem to have a great degree of information (well beyond that of the average Chrisitan, almost scholarly) but things are a little less clear cut than you would imply. Early Christianity had a wide degree of varying interpretations of the nature and signficance of Jesus life and the resurrection. It took a few hundred years for orthodoxy to emerge largely by supression of competing sects and burning of competing texts.
.
 
mark noble
 
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 01:50 pm
@prothero,
Hi KJ,
I read your opening post, and gathered that it was attempting to provide proof of whether or not God is responsible for the entire message therein, through conduit or directly. I haven't had time to read all posts today - So I may be mistaken? Ignore this if so... My friend and I have been discussing Colossians 2:14 of late, and he, being thoroughly devout, has searched all avenues, in pursuit of understanding. It has revealed that, indeed, a portion of the bible has been written by man (mainly leviticus), with no intervention by God, there present.
Like I say - I may well be off-point on this, but, time permitting, maybe you could elaborate on what this verse means to you.

Thank you, KJ. have a great day. And I'm sorry if I'm out of sync with this thread. I will catch up tomorrow.

Mark...
 
ABYA
 
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 05:09 pm
@mark noble,
Quote:
Hi KJ,
I read your opening post, and gathered that it was attempting to provide proof of whether or not God is responsible for the entire message therein, through conduit or directly. I haven't had time to read all posts today - So I may be mistaken? Ignore this if so... My friend and I have been discussing Colossians 2:14 of late, and he, being thoroughly devout, has searched all avenues, in pursuit of understanding. It has revealed that, indeed, a portion of the bible has been written by man (mainly leviticus), with no intervention by God, there present.
Like I say - I may well be off-point on this, but, time permitting, maybe you could elaborate on what this verse means to you.

Thank you, KJ. have a great day. And I'm sorry if I'm out of sync with this thread. I will catch up tomorrow.


Hi Mark
I fail to see how you can claim the book of Leviticus the word of man and not the word of God, I'd like you to explain your reasons.
It's in Leviticus 19:18 that we read, " Love your neighbour as yourself " I think this is the first time we come across it in the Bible. This then becomes one of the main themes of Gods message and by the time we get to Galations 5:14 we read " The entire law is summed up in a single command: " Love your neighbour as yourself."
Everything hangs of this law, surely its the law of God, not of man.
 
KaseiJin
 
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 10:37 pm
@prothero,
prothero;171959 wrote:
The role of bodily resurrection and even the entire question of life after death was never as settled in Jewish tradition as you imply. Among many other differences between the pharisees and the sadducees was a difference in belief in life after death. The entire question of final judgement, life after death, heaven and hell has no clear cut authoritarian tradition or answer in Jewish theology even to this day.


Thank you for the extra clarification, thoughts, concern, and appreciation. While it cannot be denied that I did couch my expression in a rather aboslute positive style, I still stand by it. Especially in 'Pre-Exilic Judaism' [note the timing] we will not really find any notion of any resurrection idea (and all we really have to go on, pretty much, are the older texts and archaeology). We do have the notion of the nephesh ruach khayal being the living being, man or animal, which is no longer exists at death. Exactly as you say, there is a degree of uncertainty in this area, however, (especially) due to not being able to so accurately date texts.

We can gather from a number of sources--especially Joshepus (Ant. Jews XVIII. I. 1~3) that these groups most basically got going in the Maccabee period, and with that, even, the foremost difference at the beginning seemed to be the Saducees' rejection of the oral law and the notion of any immortal attribute of a person. The difference regarding resurrection, according to what can be deduced from the evidence, seemingly coming a bit later in the Second Temple period (late second century BCE). By the first century CE, there was a big gap between them.

Sorry...just ran out of time (these lunch breaks are short on Thursdays). I'll get back with some more, and some comments and corrections on some other posts made by some others. One big thing here, however, is (again) we should refrain from seeing the Bible as a single book...it'd be best to see it as a part of a collection of writings, most of which are not there in what we call the Bible (of today)...we've been short-handed.






Jesus as a traditional and apparently learned Jew was unlikely to commit blasphemy by declaring himself to be god in the flesh or the messiah. These were likely additions to the tradition after the fact.

There are of course Jews even to this day who do believe in a physical bodily resurrection but they would seem to be a minority and life after death is not a strong emphasis in Jewish practice or theology. Christians much more emphasize salvation and life after death although there is no clear cut vision of heaven and the vision of hell largely draws on Dante. Perhaps the major division in modern Christianity is between those for whom the emphasis is on sin, salvation and life after death and those for whom the emphasis is on compassion, social justice and the kingdom of heaven on earth.

You do seem to have a great degree of information (well beyond that of the average Chrisitan, almost scholarly) but things are a little less clear cut than you would imply. Early Christianity had a wide degree of varying interpretations of the nature and signficance of Jesus life and the resurrection. It took a few hundred years for orthodoxy to emerge largely by supression of competing sects and burning of competing texts.
.[/QUOTE]
 
mark noble
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 07:01 am
@ABYA,
ABYA;172262 wrote:
Hi Mark
I fail to see how you can claim the book of Leviticus the word of man and not the word of God, I'd like you to explain your reasons.
It's in Leviticus 19:18 that we read, " Love your neighbour as yourself " I think this is the first time we come across it in the Bible. This then becomes one of the main themes of Gods message and by the time we get to Galations 5:14 we read " The entire law is summed up in a single command: " Love your neighbour as yourself."
Everything hangs of this law, surely its the law of God, not of man.


Hi Abya,
I've just today been discussing this with my good friend, and he doesn't like it one bit (The fact that God is not entirely present in the biblical text). But he says that - Paul is talking about putting to one side the handwriting of men and concentrating on what is given by God - And goes on to say that God is responsible, indeed, for the moral message, but that He has no part in the procedures of "men". He then directed me to Colossians 2: 20-22. and it all made sense..
Let me know how you percieve these texts, if you don't mind, of course?

Thank you Abya, and have a fantastic day.

Mark...
 
ABYA
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 05:11 pm
@KaseiJin,
Mark Wrote
Quote:
Hi Abya,
I've just today been discussing this with my good friend, and he doesn't like it one bit (The fact that God is not entirely present in the biblical text). But he says that - Paul is talking about putting to one side the handwriting of men and concentrating on what is given by God - And goes on to say that God is responsible, indeed, for the moral message, but that He has no part in the procedures of "men". He then directed me to Colossians 2: 20-22. and it all made sense..
Let me know how you percieve these texts, if you don't mind, of course?


Hi Mark
Prior to the destruction of the second temple, commandments had thier roots in Spirituality. Earthly manifestations of the commandments was an expression of corrections that had been made within the Spiritual desire, The physical act of carrying out a commandment and the Spiritual correction that preceeded the act were considered one action.
Following the destruction of the second temple, man fell from the level of Spiritual understanding, this is what the destruction of the 2nd temple means. From this point on, man continued with the physical traditions of the commandments, but they were no longer interwoven with Spiritual corrections.
Maybe the verses you cite show a lack of Pauls understanding as they seem to disagree with Luke 1:6

All the best to you, you Swansea Jack. BLUEBIRDS, BLUEBIRDS
 
Jacques Maritain
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 05:18 pm
@prothero,
prothero;171628 wrote:
Well there are lots of religions founded on charismatic figures who did not claim to be god in the flesh not did they bodily rise from the grave after death.
Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, etc. So I think one is overstating the case.

Not really, St. Paul himself noted that the Resurrection is key to the Christian faith, or else we might as well sing today for tomorrow we die.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 06:12 pm
@Jacques Maritain,
Jacques Maritain;172678 wrote:
Not really, St. Paul himself noted that the Resurrection is key to the Christian faith, or else we might as well sing today for tomorrow we die.


It might be key, but there is nothing that provides any proof that it actually occurred. It is one of complete acceptance without evidence. Not even the biblical accounts of the event are concise. They each have different details and some are almost complete contradictions. Clearly that if the writers couldn't get the details correct then it calls into question if the event even took place.
 
Jacques Maritain
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 06:29 pm
@Krumple,
Krumple;172713 wrote:
It might be key, but there is nothing that provides any proof that it actually occurred. It is one of complete acceptance without evidence.


Even if there was no proof, the resurrection still lays at the very heart of the Christian faith. This is really only negated by fringe elements of the Christian tradition.

Quote:

Not even the biblical accounts of the event are concise. They each have different details and some are almost complete contradictions. Clearly that if the writers couldn't get the details correct then it calls into question if the event even took place.


Well the Gospels are first-hand accounts written decades after Christ's death. So on that account alone, certain "contradictions" are going to be found, hence why it has been important to have several accounts of Christ's life as opposed to merely one. This is also why scriptures has often been seen as "inspired" literature, rather than the literal incarnate word of God(as Muslims see the Koran for example).
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 06:35 pm
@Jacques Maritain,
Jacques Maritain;172725 wrote:
Even if there was no proof, the resurrection still lays at the very heart of the Christian faith. This is really only negated by fringe elements of the Christian tradition.


I suppose I'm a fringe element, because I think the resurrection is symbolic. :flowers:
 
Jacques Maritain
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 06:38 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;172730 wrote:
I suppose I'm a fringe element, because I think the resurrection is symbolic. :flowers:

Maybe, you do follow Blake after all. Wink

To see the resurrection as purely symbolic however does negate Christ's historical being, which in turn negates the incarnation. That has deep implications for the Christian tradition.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 06:40 pm
@Jacques Maritain,
Jacques Maritain;172725 wrote:
Well the Gospels are first-hand accounts written decades after Christ's death. So on that account alone, certain "contradictions" are going to be found, hence why it has been important to have several accounts of Christ's life as opposed to merely one. This is also why scriptures has often been seen as "inspired" literature, rather than the literal incarnate word of God(as Muslims see the Koran for example).


Well it seems strange that in each account the details do not coincide with each other. If you were an actual eye witness to the events surely there would have been at least some resemblance of each others story but every single account is different. Who was present, where it took place, what was said and what events transpired. Every single account is different.

I could understand it the event was just some mundane luncheon and so no one bothered to pay attention but this was something no one had ever witnessed before. I would think they would have been paying for closer attention to what was actually happening. Yet none of the accounts back up each others claims.

The only time this happens is if, the writers were not in fact actual eye witnesses but instead heard the story at least second hand and then some time later wrote it down. Or, the event never happened.
 
Jacques Maritain
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 06:45 pm
@Krumple,
If it didn't happen, the last thing you would really want to do is going around saying that it did. Early Christians really had nothing to gain by saying so. Not just with the resurrection, but even the virgin birth of Jesus.
 
KaseiJin
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 08:41 pm
@mark noble,
mark noble;172189 wrote:
Hi KJ,
I read your opening post, and gathered that it was attempting to provide proof of whether or not God is responsible for the entire message therein, through conduit or directly.


Again, I had wanted to post more, but . . . so many things happening today and tomorrow...I hope all will put up with my absence a bit longer.

Here, mark noble, I'd like to touch base on this one question. Yes, my position is that biblical texts (and that includes all those within our canons of today {please note that there is more than one canon out there}) evidence human activity alone, for the extremely greatest part. The few areas where we can 'take it' that information expressed, which seems to have been 'foreshadowing of future events,' could have some other explanation, are still open for discussion, but cannot be supported by the YHWH god-model, nor the Christian god-model, nor any Gnostic god-model, which the bulk of the texts describe and prescribe.

Thus, no. The texts in our Bible of today do not contain any information which could have come from the god-models those same texts give us, and those texts do not evidence any material degree at all of supernatural superintendence.

Be back later...I notice some effort by others to apply faulty argumentation towards reasons for early Christian teachings of resurrection events.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 09:59 pm
@Jacques Maritain,
Jacques Maritain;172738 wrote:
If it didn't happen, the last thing you would really want to do is going around saying that it did. Early Christians really had nothing to gain by saying so. Not just with the resurrection, but even the virgin birth of Jesus.


Well virgin birth is a lot easier to believe, it happens all the time just ask any catholic school girl.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 10:38 pm
@Jacques Maritain,
Jacques Maritain;172733 wrote:
Maybe, you do follow Blake after all. Wink

To see the resurrection as purely symbolic however does negate Christ's historical being, which in turn negates the incarnation. That has deep implications for the Christian tradition.


I certainly don't want to offend anyone. So please know that I respect other viewpoints.

I should say that I don't personally consider the Christian tradition superior to others. I interpret Plato, the Tao, Wittgenstein, Blake, and the early Hegel as all pointing toward the same thing.

For me the historical Christ is not important. And even the historical meaning of the Gospels is not important. I lean toward complete immanence. I think that concept alone cannot be God, and that the word "God" is sometimes a hindrance. I wouldn't be lying if I called myself an atheist. My theology is so negative that's barely worth the term "theology" and yet I feel it is the right way, at least for me.
 
 

 
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