The Bible and Risqué Films

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by Namaste Jesus, May 3, 2014.

  1. Jane-Q

    Jane-Q ...pain...

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    Thomas,
    Listen to what you are saying . . .

    You have heard it said, "You shall not commit adultery." But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
    --Matthew 5:27-28.

    Except that Matthew is not quoting Jesus . . . Matthew is quoting Matthew.
    --Jane-Q.

    But, if we assume . . . that Luke had access to Matthew as well as Mark, then Q becomes redundant as a hypothesis.
    --Thomas.​

    The Q-document is irrelevant to my argument, one way or the other.
    You are not arguing against me, you are arguing against Q.

    Your anti-Q viewpoint makes my particular argument even stronger:
    1. If Matthew got his (so-called Q-) material from Luke:
    Why did he add the passage to the Sermon on the Mount about "adultery in his heart"?
    (Sounded good, like something Jesus might have said?) Rather than bowing to Luke's authority and recording only what Luke reports Jesus as saying?
    2. If Luke got his (so-called Q-) material from Matthew:
    Why did Luke then decide to edit-out this bit about "adultery in his heart"?
    Good writing by Matthew, potent message! Luke must have had sound reason to believe Jesus never said such a thing. Otherwise he would have gladly included such an eloquent passage.

    Either way:
    "Matthew is quoting Matthew." As I said. Not Jesus.

    Thomas, keep your head in the actual argument, at stake.
    Don't give your opponent stronger ammunition than she already has. ;) (By being distracted by some side disquisition, some pet-issue which sticks in your craw.)

    Jane.


    {{ The reason so many scholars find it hard to discount the Q-hypothesis is that:
    1. So many parables and sayings in Matthew and Luke match-up word for word. Which never happens with oral transmission of anecdotes and aphorisms.
    2. In Luke there is a logical/thematic connection to a group of parables or sayings in this chapter or that chapter, as if Luke is quoting them - in order - from a written book of collected anecdotes and aphorisms. Like the list of anecdotes and aphorisms found in the later Gospel of Thomas. No connecting narrative, just a list. Matthew, on the other hand, picks and chooses these parables and saying in a more willy-nilly fashion, as supporting material for this episode he is spinning or that argument he is making. As if Matthew is lifting them, not from an oral or written narrative story but from a list of individual anecdotes or aphorisms, as needed, to serve his particular story-needs - i.e. Jesus speeches are plunked in without logical/thematic progression. These two types of usage - "in order" or "plunked in" - are the sort of thing which linguists and folklorists would expect if there was a "common source."
    3. If, on the other hand, one had been derived from the other - Matthew derived from Luke or Luke derived from Matthew - there would be telltale linguistic or stylistic markers to pin-down which was original and which was the material derived from it. And linguists are not finding these markers in Matthew and Luke. So a "common source" - the Q-document - still seems to these scholars to be the most likely explanation for all the coincidental material in Matthew and Luke.
    Thomas, until I see better evidence, I'm willing to go with these scholars' judgment on this issue.
    }}

     
  2. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    Frrost said "Sometimes I wonder if the "Jesus was gay" argument is intended simply for shock value. There is certainly no logical basis for the claim."

    Just Sometimes????? I can think of no excuse to pull the gay argument except for shock value. It really is an absurd comment to make.
     
  3. Jane-Q

    Jane-Q ...pain...

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    I once knew a guy who - when he argued - only quoted single verses from the Bible, never a short-passage of verses. Lifting one verse out of its original context, as if it stood alone like it was sacred Law. (Like the anti-risqué quote which initiated this thread.)
    This is the giveaway . . . only one verse is ever listed in his argument.
    I call this "argument by Concordance," not argument by Scripture.

    Thomas,
    I need to be very patient with you, here.

    Jesus (in my view) never talks about "sinning in one's heart."
    That's Matthew. Him alone.
    Not Mark or Luke.
    Not John or Paul.

    --Jane-Q.

    Er ... Mark 6:50, 6:52, 7:6, 7.21 (more of that later), 8:17, 10:5, 16:14,
    Luke 1:51, 4:18, 6:45, 8:12, 12:45, 24:25,
    John 12:40, 13:2 ...
    and Paul bangs on about it endlessly . . .
    So does 1 John 2.

    --Thomas.​

    Thanks for bringing me to read 1 John, again.
    What a wonderful mini-encapsulation of early Christian theology!
    Though, as you will see, it helps my argument far better than it does yours. And it also serves as a good stand-in for Paul's theology, out of which (along with the Gospel of John, and John's community) 1 John derives.

    First though, what about your other references above?

    But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out: for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, "Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid." Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.
    --Mark 6:49-52.​

    :confused:

    So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, "Why do your disciples not live according to the Tradition of the Elders, but eat with defiled hands?" Jesus said to them, "Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written (Isaiah 29:13),
    This people honors me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me;
    in vain do they worship me,
    teaching human precepts as doctrines.

    You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition."

    --Mark 7:5-8.​

    :confused:

    And he cautioned them, saying, "Watch out - Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod." They said to one another, "Is it because we have no bread?" And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, "Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear?"
    --Mark 8:15-18.​

    :confused:

    "Sinning in one's heart" . . . Huh ? ? ? ?
    Oh Thomas!!
    (Why pad your argument with phony supporting references?
    Did you think no one would bother to check them?)

    Should I go on? . . .
    Each and every one of your Gospel references has the word "heart" in it. But if you look at each isolated verse in its context, not a single one of them mentions the word "sin" or even talks about the subject! Only a couple come remotely close . . . i.e. the two verses you quote from . . .

    I could just dismiss these out of hand:
    --Mark 7:21 has a wider context about the line in Jewish Law between the old kosher food laws (where "sin" applies) and the new "cleanliness laws" which the Pharisees are trying to impose on all good Jews (whereas, in Jesus' view, "sin" does not apply). And your quote is merely tagged onto the end of this important discussion. A little dig at Pharisee "hypocrisy" - as a metaphor for a lack of spiritual "cleanliness."
    --Luke 6:45 is contained within the mini-parable about "No good tree bears bad fruit." More a sociological or metaphysical speculation about the relationship between seed and eventual fruit. Between intention and act. It does not actually talk about moral choice.

    What makes each of these quotes of yours worth discussing, Thomas, is what they say about Paul's thought (and about the thought of the author of the 1 John epistle).

    "Sin" in ancient Jewish Monotheism is a legal concept.
    This is important.
    Most of us who read the Gospels and Epistles, read them from a 19th and 20th century Christian perspective - where "sin" is any old "bad" thing. We don't read these writings from the perspective of a 1st century person who is a member of the Jesus-sect within Jewish Monotheism.

    Here, humans are made of egoistic flesh.
    Most fleshly acts are morally neutral (eating food, trading goods, procreating, etc). But some fleshly acts are abominations to God.
    God made laws to keep humans in check. To draw a line-in-the-sand regarding these abominations.
    If you cross this line, you have sinned.
    If you are tempted by the flesh but resist crossing this line, you are righteous.
    It is a very simple morality. There is intention (the "seed"). And there is act (the "fruit"). Two separate things.
    Sin is not the intention. Sin is the act.

    To redeem one's sin, one must purify oneself and then pay off to God the debt-of-their-sin by making a blood (or grain) sacrifice at the Jerusalem Temple.
    (They must do so even if the act is an accidental sin - like accidentally touching a diseased person or a woman who is menstruating.)

    Here is a better translation of Mark 7:21-22 (NRSV):

    For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come:
    fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly.

    (i.e. Intention = "seed") = Heart.

    It is what comes out of a person that defiles.
    --Mark 7:20.​

    (i.e. Act = "fruit") = Sin.

    This is Jewish Law.
    A very simple morality, Thomas.
    (Reactive. Not a proactive morality. Not what you think or feel like doing, but what you actually do.)

    Then St. Paul comes along . . . and turns the old Jewish legal equation upon its head. He asks:
    "What if - due to Jesus - humans are not just born of the flesh but are also born of the spirit?" God's spirit.
    What if a person can choose the Spirit?
    What if humans can exhibit spiritual intentions: out of an unlimited - a transcendent - altruism?
    And then have the will to act-out these intentions: to take a risk and act within the world out of "pure love"?

    The Son of God was revealed for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. Those who have been born of God do not sin, because God's seed abides in them.
    1 John 3:8-9.

    The commandment we have from Jesus is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.
    1 John 4:21.

    Whoever says, "I abide in him," ought to walk just as Jesus walked.
    1 John 2:6.​

    According to Paul, Jesus' intention in his ministry is "the kingdom of God" (transcendent altruism) . . .
    i.e. that Jesus walks entirely in the Spirit (God's spirit).
    And what is Jesus' action?
    He chooses not the will of the flesh, but chooses to die for his beliefs (die for others) . . . as an act of "pure love."

    To "walk with Jesus" (according to Paul) is to walk entirely within the Spirit . . . without bad intentions in one's heart and without sin in one's actions.
    To erase that old line in the sand.
    To erase that barrier between intention and action. Good seed => good fruit.
    (A proactive, not a reactive morality. Based upon taking risks . . . acting-out of unlimited love.)

    Little children, let us love,
    not in words or speech, but in truth and action.

    1 John 3:18.​

    This is a brave new kind of morality which Paul and his followers are talking about.
    (Mark's community and John's community, yes and yes!! And Luke's community? Probably yes, too!
    But Matthew's community? No!
    Matthew is still trying to reform and expand the old Jewish reactive-morality. Not to thoroughly reconceptualize it, as Pauline communities do. Matthew's morality is still about each individual being pure in-and-of-oneself, retreating from potentially negative actions in the world . . . in the old Jewish line-in-the-sand sense.)
    Paul's morality is entirely unprecedented (aimed at proactively reaching outward and doing good in the world) . . . an utter revelation within Jewish Monotheism!

    God's heart. No sin.

    Jane.

     
  4. Frrostedman

    Frrostedman Keepin' it cool

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    Better says who, and on what grounds? Well, within the context of this debate, the translation is better says you and that's because other translations make it clear you have no support for your argument in Mark 7:21.

    My preferred translation is the English Standard Version. Your preferred version, the NRSV is lauded as perhaps the most flagrant in its changing of passages. My ESV doesn't varnish or sugar coat the Gospel; it just tells it like it is. With that said, the standard translation of Mark 7:21 reads

    • For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

    That says the opposite of what you are arguing, does it not? Look at what I underlined in the verse. Your argument is that evil thoughts from the heart don't defile a person. That Jesus never said that, and Matthew made it up. Is Mark making this one up?

    And I think that is where Thomas was going when he argued that your arguments are typically drawn using questionable writings, and use of questionable tactics in order to conform things to fit your view. Or, in this case, borderline a radical translation of the bible is used, and then taken out of context. This is now the 2nd time in a row I've spotted you, it seems, intentionally spinning the context of a word or words to suit your needs when the context is something else entirely. I find this case particularly striking because had you just stayed away from Mark 7 altogether, you might have been a little safer and more convincing in your argument. It seems you couldn't resist going for the Holy Grail but had to twist context to pull it off.

    But even with all that said; even if your preferred translation is used; Jesus is putting "evil intentions" in line with a host of other sinful activities, obviously equating the entire group. Jesus considers "evil intentions" from within the heart, to be sinful. I guess we better define "intention."


    • in·ten·tion

      noun 1. an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result.

    "Determining mentally." Sounds like a thought to me. So in your effort to escape the words "evil thoughts" you ended up citing a verse that in and of itself, shoots down your argument. And it's a verse from Mark, so you don't have the "dishonest Matthew" card to use either.
     
  5. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    Jane, you don't think you're a bit condescending?
     
  6. Jane-Q

    Jane-Q ...pain...

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    Hi A Cup Of Tea.

    I know Thomas is something of an institution here at Interfaith.org . . .
    But that does not mean he should be given a pass for "padding his argument with phony supporting references."

    And sure, I could be wrong in what I'm arguing - regarding "sinning in one's heart." I admit it. I have no agenda here, I'm only after the truth (whatever the truth turns out to be).
    Still . . . Phony references to make your argument look stronger than it is?

    I challenge you, A Cup Of Tea, to read all 13 (of the 15) references Thomas sites but does not quote, and read them in their context:

    Mark 6:50, 6:52, 7:6, . . . 8:17, 10:5, 16:14,
    Luke 1:51, 4:18, . . . 8:12, 12:45, 24:25,
    John 12:40, 13:2 . . .

    Do any have any clear connection to "sinning in one's heart"?
    Seriously. Read them!

    You might conclude that I have been downright polite, in this matter.
    You might have far harsher remarks than I to direct Thomas' way.

    Jane.

     
  7. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    I like Thomas, but he can take it. And you should blow every argument you are able into smithereens if you can. Thomas is just as able to be wrong as everyone else.

    My criticism is was your attitude, specificity being condescending, and that is not for Thomas sake, it's for the environment of the forum. I'm protective of this place, not Thomas.

    (I though you were really interesting in the beginning and I pointed out to Thomas that I thought he was surprisingly hard on you, I'm simply doing the same thing to you)
     
  8. Irene

    Irene New Member

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    Hi Frosty ...

    Before I opine, I must first read all her posts in this thread, so I can make a better assessment of what she is trying to convey as a whole, and that may take me a while. Looks like she added a few more new posts, and I haven't read them yet, but seems now the focus of the conversation is more on if our Lord really said the verse or Matthew added it himself ...

    I have to say, from my experience, this type of debate doesn't do much for me, so I usually don't get into it ... If you call yourself a bible believing Christian, I may be called a red-letter believing Christian. Not to offend you Frost, but I have certain reservations about some parts of the Scripture, but His words are my Bible. If I once start doubting some of them may not be His, I don't know where to stop ... Some time ago, I decided I won't take that path ... [Of course I don't pretend to understand all of His words correctly. I'm still trying to get what He really meant in many passages ...]

    One thing I can tell you about my belief is that our Lord was concerned about "sinning in one's heart", and encouraged us to fight against it. I read Mark 7:21-23 just like the way you do. In my own understanding, it is a Christian discipline to resist impure thoughts. I believe that's what Matt.5:28 is saying and I believe it's His word. I'm not saying if we fail to keep up with the teaching, we're doomed. Most of us fail to be free from carnal desire. It's human nature. God knows it and forgives us. We may fail repeatedly, but we pick ourselves up and try again. I think God expects us to "try" even if we don't succeed ... I'd like to believe it's our intent that matters more to Him.

    And not just adultery, it's the same with murder. If one wants to murder someone but doesn't act on it, it is not a crime of course, but it still is a sin [in one's heart]. If someone enjoys going over in his mind how he might kill another person (for revenge or whatever reasons), and gets pleasure out of that imagination, that is damaging to his soul, and it goes against Christ's teachings ... and this is my belief.
     
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    No. You miss the point.

    You accuse A, a known source, of fabrication,
    You accept B, an unknown source, as being authentic.

    On what grounds? Who's to say Q wasn't fabricating?

    +++

    No. I accept Q, I don't have a problem with Q, I have a problem with your assumption that Matthew is making it up, on your hypothesis that Q refutes him.

    So ... how about this:
    Matthew had Mark, and Q, and other materials, including those we might call exclusively Matthaen;
    Luke had Mark, a proto-Matthew if not the finished article, and other materials, including those we might call exclusively Lucan — such as the testimony of the Blessed Virgin, if the internal evidence of the text is anything to go by.

    So Q becomes common, but it's not the stamp of authenticity, in fact Q might be flawed, and bits missing, but was compiled and corrected from other sources.

    How about that?

    Jane-Q, if you want to continue this discussion, please desist from the 'playing to the gallery' sophistry.
     
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    OK. If anyone wants me to take this up, I will.
     
  11. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    I think you should, it's obviously unresolved, better to shines light on all the dark corners leaving doubt no ground to stand on.
    I'm going to reread your exchange so I can better follow both your reasoning. I get the feeling Jane thinks I have it in for her so I intend to change her mind.
     
  12. Jane-Q

    Jane-Q ...pain...

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    Hi Frrostedman.

    Your lost post finally appeared.
    I have to say, you have an interesting way of arguing.
    Frankly, I enjoy arguing - as a kind of sport. (Never outgrew college bull-sessions, I guess.)
    But beneath that, I really am after "the truth" . . . I don't care what the truth is, I just want to know it.

    If folks are going to debate the character of God or Jesus, then the starting place is, "Let's assume for the sake of discussion, that the bible is true." Otherwise, I can reject any argument against the character of God/Jesus by claiming it is based on a false premise.

    Don't take offense, but this is actually an intellectually-dishonest place to start. It will always lead you into circular arguments. The Bible is not God. God is God. That, instead, is the "given."
    I would prefer something more like this:

    "Let us assume for the sake of discussion that there is truth in the Bible."

    But what is that truth?
    The Bible was not written in the 19th or 20th century. It is not a romantic-era document.
    People had a different sense of "selfhood" 2 millenniums ago (New Testament) and an even more different sense of "selfhood" 2.5 millenniums ago (Old Testament).
    Today's romantic sense of subjectivity did not exist back in Roman and pre-Roman times.
    (Go to a college library and read a chapter or two of The Structured Self in Hellenistic and Roman Thought by Christopher Gill {BD450 .G4892 2006}, or tap-into any other respected scholar in this field.)
    What was the sense of "self" actually like, back then?
    This "self" in the classical and in the ancient Jewish world is not self-evident from documents from the era. It is something we have to "reconstruct" from the evidence we find within those documents alongside comparing one document to another.

    The truth about "selfhood" and other historical issues is actually plentiful within the Bible, particularly when Biblical passages are compared to extra-biblical documents. But this involves a kind of literary archeology - i.e. you have to dig for it.
    To assume that the nuggets of truth are to be easily found, right there on the surface . . . this is intellectually dishonest. You would be projecting present-day understandings back upon an earlier age.

    If you are going to build an honest theology out of this all, you have to build it upon rock, not upon sand.

    Jane.

    {{ Specific answers to your complains follow, in posts below. }}

     
  13. Jane-Q

    Jane-Q ...pain...

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    Hi Frrostedman.

    I argue that calling it a sin to look at a woman lustfully with adultery in mind is consistent with OT Law because it is nothing less than the act of Coveting which is forbidden.

    Yes. On the surface, coveting ("thou shalt not covet" - 10th Commandment) does sound like "sinning in one's heart," doesn't it?
    I have a two-part challenge for you, Frrostedman. As a self-check . . . on your intellectual honesty:

    1. "Covet" is an English-language word. What is the Greek word for "covet" used in the original New Testament? What is the Hebrew word for "covet" used in the original Old Testament? What does the word in koine Greek literally mean, but also what does this word imply? What does the word in ancient Hebrew literally mean, but also what does it imply?

    My bet is . . . that - in the ancient Hebrew (possibly also the Greek) - "to covet" is not just thoughts (intentions) but implies a physical action of some kind. My Lutheran Study Bible has this margin-note to the 10th Commandment:

    Exodus 20:17 You shall not covet:
    The word "covet" implies desiring something to the extent of trying to take possession, as in Exodus 34:24 and Joshua 7:21.

    2. My impression is that - in the Old Testament - God punishes individuals and groups for only two reasons: First, for the breaking of a "thou shalt not" commandment or for doing something else specifically prohibited by God. Second, the failure to perform mandated ritual deeds which fulfill their covenant obligations (circumcising male infants, attending 3 seasonal festivals, performing the correct sacrifices, etc). Outside of "covet" (which is a disputed issue), Frrostedman, find me one unambiguous sequence in the entire Old Testament where God punishes someone for a "thought." Punishes for an inner "thought," not for an outer/public "deed" . . .
    Find me just one clear instance of such punishment and I will concede your argument.

    I don't think you will. It is just not consistent with how God operated in the Hebrew Bible.
    How well do you know your Bible, Frrostedman? Give it look . . .

    That's my 2-part challenge. If you are still convinced you are right.

    Jane.

     
  14. Jane-Q

    Jane-Q ...pain...

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    Hi again, Frrostedman.
    Hi Jan. Gee, I just replied to Marcia. So I guess the my next reply will be to Cindy?
    Sorry. Was never part of the Brady Bunch.
    But Augustine is part of my intellectual/theological family. His Confessions is the first deep exploration of the Inner World of the self which the human race has definitive testimony of. Not only the first literary autobiography ever written, but probably still the best. I don't have a clue where you get the idea I have something against Augustine. Love the man! (Though he and I do have some theological quibbles.)

    The kind of "inner life" you are claiming that Matthew (and his "Jesus") are talking about . . . did not exist in the Roman Eastern Mediterranean in 30 CE.
    No. This begins with Augustine.
    It is Augustine who moves "sin" into the "heart" (or rather, into the deep psyche, i.e. into the modern sense of "soul"). No one before him goes there (no one, anyway, who I have seen definitive evidence of).
    Here is where this idea of a sinful soul begins. (i.e. "Subjectivity" in the modern sense.)
    Just because this idea of a soulful "inner life" is commonplace today . . . does not mean that primitive hunter/gatherers experienced life this way. Anthropologists will tell you they did not. Nor did early agriculturalists and herders experience life this way. Nor the earliest city-dwellers. This did not develop in humanity until halfway thru the first millennium CE in the west, and only in recent centuries has it penetrated Asia. And it would not become commonplace, even in the west, till maybe as late as the 19th and 20th century.

    In 30 CE, only the "public world" is real - it is a world whose moral focus is entirely upon "justice." And, on rare occasions, upon "mercy."
    All the ancient polytheistic gods are "public" deities. Yahweh, likewise (but, unlike the others, Yahweh evolves).
    The "private" world of individuals is considered "unreal." A space of containable temptations, on the one hand, and of debilitating "demons," on the other.
    Remember what Jesus' day-job is? An exorcist of demons. He has the soft hands of a healer and the confident voice of a hypnotist. He heals people. He tells the "adulteress" he rescues to "go and sin no more," but . . . does Jesus ever tell this to those he exorcizes? No! They are not "sinners." These are people who are sick (who have "psychological" problems).

    Using words like "demons" (or "angels" or "Satan" and the like) is a useful tool for poets and mystics and exorcists. But in the new Monotheistic world of 30 CE, such things cannot exist. (Those who believe in such micro-deities are - in the literal sense - reverting to polytheism. Abandoning God. Plain and simple.)
    When Jesus is tempted in the desert, "Satan" and the "angels" are psychological metaphors. Poetic tools for the gospel writers. (And poets sometimes do believe in the reality of their own metaphors, but it doesn't make their metaphors true).
    So, Frrostedman, get real about Satan in the desert! He is not Herod Antipas. He is not Caesar Tiberius. He is not a real person "making Jesus an offer he can't refuse." Jesus' experience of "Satan" is perhaps more powerful than the experience from any real person could be - i.e. because the source is Jesus' own psychological temptation.

    In 30 CE, numerous Jewish sects are trying to rethink Jewish Monotheism. Pharisees and mystics in particular. Jesus offers a third alternative.
    Jesus says the Kingdom of God is arriving, but Jesus' disciples never register this. "Do you have ears and cannot hear? Do you have eyes and cannot see?"
    Only Paul sees what had been so utterly radical in Jesus' ministry:
    There is the egoism of the flesh and there is the altruism of the spirit. And Jesus somehow managed to do the "impossible": He walked in God's Spirit. (Lived in the flesh but, in his ministry, ignored the flesh.) Jesus walked in transcendent altruism.
    According to Paul, this is the brand of Jewish Monotheism which Jesus introduced to the world.
    (Fade in.)
    You might not see it yet, but . . .
    God's Kingdom is here, so . . . just walk as Jesus walked - with pure altruism - and you are living in God's Kingdom.

    Paul teaches this to the churches he or his assistants found (Greek-speaking communities to the north and west of Roman Palestine like Mark's and John's communities, and likely also Luke's). This eventually becomes doctrine in the Greek and Latin churches, and Germanic ones still later.
    The Disciples around Jesus (plus Jesus' latecomer brother, James) actually miss the point (in Paul's view) and teach a somewhat different message to the Aramaic-speaking communities they found (mostly to the east of Roman Palestine), one of those being Matthew's community.
    This other message eventually produces the Monarchian-style doctrines of the early (i.e. pre-Nicaea) Syriac (i.e. Aramaic) churches (which in time spread Christianity to China and India) as well as shapes the doctrine of a fringe Arabic-speaking Nestorian sect which eventually calls itself Islam.

    This is real history, Frrostedman. (This is not New Age, and certainly not the Brady Bunch.) Real (world-shaking) disputation between Jewish sects. Then real (world-shaking) disputation between Christian sects.
    Where is the real Jesus in all of this?
    (Not sure I actually know. But am pretty sure you yourself haven't a clue.)

    Don't get distracted (like Thomas) by side issues which are irrelevant to my core contention.
    ("Evil thoughts" or "evil intentions" are exactly the same thing: I only used "intention" to give the reader more philosophical clarity as to my meaning - i.e. the relationship of "seed" to "fruit." If you like the word "thoughts" better, fine. Makes no difference. Don't you see that? By the way: Is the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible considered radical in your church? Huh, that's weird. "Weightlessness," similarly, was just a shorthand to give the reader a quick picture of the temptation in question.)
    You seem to read my every word as if there is something sinister lurking there.
    Relax. Read the small (supporting) ideas for clarity. Use your energy arguing, instead, against my big ideas.
    You have some very radical views that are 180° in the opposite direction of established, common sense biblical views.
    Who was it who said:
    "Common sense is for people who never travel beyond the borders of their narrow, local world" . . . ?

    Try reading some anthropology, archeology, psychology, history, linguistics. Plus some Jewish scholars writing about Christianity. God lives in these writings, too.
    You might then discover that I am more in the mainstream of contemporary (i.e. 21st century) Biblical thinking than you are.

    You will never find the truth of the Bible via the Bible alone.

    You scorn God by attempting to.
    Besides, if you (instead) pursue this extra-biblical path . . . You will be more fun to argue Bible with.
    Because we both, then, will be talking about something real.

    Jane.

     
  15. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

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    OK Jane-Q, rest assured I’m not that guy.

    And if you want me to continue this dialogue, please desist from the ad hominems and sophistry and assumptions about my character. I know you come from a really combative culture, but do us both a favour ... don't bring it here ... when I do, it tends to get pointed out to me.

    My pleasure. It’s under-rated.

    Glad you see it that way. Most people view the supposed ‘High Cristology’ of John as suspicious, compared to the supposed ‘Low Christology’ of Mark.

    Oh, really? :rolleyes:

    John was dependent on himself, not Paul. According to tradition John settled at Ephesus, which was a community of Pauline founding. The Johannine Epistles follow John’s insistence on the physical Incarnation. The whole thrust of the Johannine literature was to counter the Hellenic dualism some erroneously read into Paul’s theology, which, totally unlike the Johannine corpus, doesn't assert the physical as much as it does the spiritual ... understandable really, as Paul never met Him in the flesh.

    Twice confused?

    The ancient world, much like today, sees the 'heart' as the essential core of being of the person. We say things today like, “I knew in my heart” or “I should have listened to my heart”, because that’s where the 'I' of me speaks from. We say the beloved, "I love you with all my heart" or "My heart is yours" ... the heart speaks for the whole person. The heart is the measure of our humanity.

    Well I rather hoped you would, but I must admit I'm taken aback by the suggestion that I'm lying.

    Up to you. If you think I'm just spinning stuff founded on phony references, I wouldn't bother.

    Yes. By looking at all references of the term, you get an overview of how the term is deployed. Pick just one, and you might get a skewed notion.

    D'you think so? I see it differently.

    "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth that which is evil. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh" Luke 6:45.

    The evil acts proceeds from the evil heart.
    "But he said that the things which come out from a man, they defile a man. For from within out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and defile a man" Mark 7:20-23.

    A sin by definition requires the sinner to know that what he or she is doing is wrong. You don't have to 'do' the thing to know it's wrong, it's the knowing it's wrong, and the doing it anyway.

    So the culpability lies in the intention, not the act.

    This is the point He makes in Matthew 5:28: "But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart."

    Christ forgives sin where He finds it, where He can. Where He can't forgive sin, or more accurately where His grace is refused, is when the sinner knows his way of thinking is wrong, but doesn't change it.

    Thus the widow at the temple is justified, the publican is justified, but I very much doubt they were without sin.

    I don't know about Jesus (I've a pretty good idea), but I do know, without a shadow of doubt, that if I sat with my wife and our neighbours, lusting after my neighbour, my wife would be none to pleased about it, and at some point I'd be told: "You're not the man I thought you were ..." My cry: "But I never did anything!" wouldn't cut much ice.

    Our Lord taught in parables. That involves the necessity of you thinking beyond the literal text.

    Not quite.
    Take the publican in Luke 18: "And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner. I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather than the other: because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled: and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted" (Luke 18:13-14).
    It's not the not sinning, the publican is a sinner, by his own admission. It's the repentance before God.

    Look at John 8: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her" (v7). They walked away. Were they all actual adulterers then? I tend to think not. I tend to think they examined their consciences and saw fault. I further tend to think no-one fancied his chances before Christ by saying, "I haven't sinned."

    And, I think tellingly in this context:
    "But he is a Jew, that is one inwardly; and the circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God" (2:29).

    No they're not, they're the one thing. The fruit is the product of the seed. No seed, no fruit. No fruit, no seed.

    I think I have demonstrated, and it's there in the Synoptics, John, Peter and Paul, that you are totally, absolutely, utterly wrong.

    Frankly, I am flabbergasted that someone can misconstrue the text so comprehensively.

    If you wish to discuss this further, please can we focus on the texts I've highlighted in Orange? One's Mark, the other's Luke ... unless you're going to insist they're putting their own spin on it too, like you assume of Matthew?

    But do check first that I haven't made them up ... ;)
     
  16. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Staff Member

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    No disrespect intended to Thomas or Jane Q, but as far as the thread is concerned, you have both made your positions abundantly clear. Obviously, neither one of you is going to change your mind, nor should you, but I fail to see the point of further debate here, say for ego fulfillment and the possible amusement of those who get a charge out of it.

    I think your personal differences in this matter should be continued in private or at the very least, on a separate thread.

    Just my 2 cents, for what it's worth.
     
  17. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    Have to agree with NJ here. I've been dutifully reading all the backs and forths, and honestly I started to get cross eyed two pages ago. If you wish to continue, fine. A separate thread would be a good idea.
     
  18. Frrostedman

    Frrostedman Keepin' it cool

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    One argument is biblical. The other one is not biblical. The one that isn't biblical was put forth by someone who doesn't place any importance on being biblical anyway.

    That's the crux of the matter. And yes, quite clearly, neither side is going to budge.

    One thing for sure is, both sides can't be right.
     
  19. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Staff Member

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    That kind of thinking has spawned many a war. I think a better question would be, what difference does it make?
     
  20. Frrostedman

    Frrostedman Keepin' it cool

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    You scored a lot of points with many people there, but the person you scored the most points with is undoubtedly Hillary Clinton.

    From a cynical point of view, one may conclude that none of the dialog we are participating in here makes a difference. Just a fancy way to kill time, perhaps?

    And yet, here we are.

    I like to think of it as exciting and fun. The clash of philosophical ideologies, vehemently opposed. Like the public debates back in the day. Audiences used to pack theatre houses to watch 2 diametrically opposed, intellectual titans go toe-to-toe for hours on end. It's what we, as thinking people do. It's what human beings do. It's just a philosophical or "spiritual" way of shooting hoops, playing chess, whatever. And we learn stuff along the way.

    Good times.
     

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