'An Affair On Golgotha' -- a refutation

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by RJM, Jan 19, 2021.

  1. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    https://www.interfaith.org/articles/golgotha/

    IMO this thesis/ article is so filled with unjustified conclusions and assumptions that it should not be taken seriously.

    I’ve tried to pull-out a few passages for quick comment, but there too many others to attempt a detailed point-by-point rebuttal.


    It must be remembered that it was not the Apostles who began the ‘mystery’ of a human sacrifice whose shed blood was a washing of regeneration for the forgiveness of man’s sins. It was not the chosen twelve of Jesus who made him a ‘sin-eater’, or a ‘scapegoat’, nor his death the center of Christian doctrine.
    The writer's misunderstanding of the nuances of the principle of sacrifice, and of Christ’s sacrifice in particular, has been discussed in other threads.

    “For many shall come, saying, I am God, and shall deceive many.”

    We have always been led to understand that Jesus was speaking of others who would come as false Messiahs, but no one has suggested that Jesus was speaking of those who would come claiming that he was the, I Am, the Living God.

    “And he asked them, But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” And he charged them to tell no one about him.” (Mark 8:29-30 RSV)

    … Jesus insists that believing he is God is a deception and his disciples throughout time should beware of its detrimental effects. .

    Who do people say that I am? Thou art the Christ! Who do you say that I am? Thou art the Christ. Tell this to no one! Why? Because it is not true in the sense in which the original statement translates, the Christ being God. Once more this student underlines the statement that the word, Christos, is not use in these verses, but rather, oti ego eimi, the I am, God. Only ignorance would refuse to accept what is in front of its eye.
    This argument is subjective and selective, mangling reality to suit the author’s own ‘conspiracy theory’ trying to prove that Jesus insisted he was NOT the Christ, and ignores passages that don’t fit his narrative:

    “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
    Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
    John 20:28-29


    “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”
    John 14:19

    etc

    “He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you Simon bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
    Matthew 13:15-20
    etc


    It is Paul who announced the martyred ‘lamb’ and the sacrificial blood of a human sacrifice to atone for our sins, not the Christ, and certainly not Peter. It is Paul who demands that we observe the bloodied sacrament of, Communion, not the Christ, not Peter, James, or John, and certainly not the Jerusalem Church.
    A misunderstanding of the act of communion, and debateable that the practice is attributed to Paul.

    Jesus’ personal following numbered in the dozens, if not more than a hundred. Those who were closest to him, including his family, women like Mary Magdelene, Mary the mother of James, Mary and Martha, Salome,* and Mary his mother; workers, self-proclaimed disciples, and the Apostles. *(The Gospel According to Thomas: Harper and Row; 1959: Pl. 9; Log 63: 30-31. “Salome said: I am Thy disciple.”) And now, after his thunderous entrance into the city, crowds followed everywhere.

    Jesus and the twelve were never alone and when they managed to separate themselves from the pressing crowd it was only to be a few yards away. And at every moment, eyes watched and ears listened.

    In this scenario it would have been almost impossible to arrest him when he was alone, in the light of day or at night. Even when he was in Bethany in the house of Simon, many people surrounded him including Lazarus’ sister, Mary, who had anointed him with oil.
    Completely unjustified assumption.


    Paul’s early genius prescribed sacramental acts that were eventually made part of his congregations’ activities, and deeply influenced the very Gospels that the mother Church in Jerusalem attempted to protect. Paul’s concept stated that Jesus’ blood availed for the forgiveness of sins (Romans 3:25; Ephesians 2:13; I John 1:7) Eventually, this concept influenced Matthew and it was added to the text. (The Interpreter’s Bible: Volume 7; Page 575)
    Unjustified, but it says so in The Interpreter’s Bible

    What Jesus said during the meal is unimportant to this study.
    Unimportant, or inconvenient?

    Much of it is drawn on Old Testament scripture and doctrine. Some of it has been added to from the writings of Paul. However, over the centuries the activities that took place that evening have become the sacramental doctrine of Christianity.
    Says …
    (The Interpreter’s Bible: Volume 7; Page 574 on Matthew 26:26-28; Page 575 on Matthew 26:30; Page 577 on Matthew 26:26:31, etc)

    “So the band of soldiers and their captains and the officers of the Jews seized Jesus and bound him.” (John 18:12 RSV)

    The band of soldiers might have been Romans, but since Jesus fell under Herod’s jurisdiction and not Rome’s, they were probably part of Herod’s contingent. Scripture tells us that Herod was in Jerusalem during the Passover celebration, and his troop might be the more likely to turn Jesus over to the High Priest. The Roman cohort certainly would not have done so.

    And an additional point may also be made here. The Romans would have never hesitated to arrest Jesus during the day, regardless of the crowds in attendance. They had spilled Galilean blood often enough under Sabinus and Pontius Pilate, and in the Temple itself. The Herodians, however, were even more terrified of Jesus’ power over the multitudes than they had been of John. Herod most certainly would not have attempted such an act in broad daylight.

    The further we move from the event in history, the greater the army becomes that was sent to take him. Their numbers grow and their rank increases with every moment. And in this mass of troops, with lights glowing and sabers clashing, the trampling mob goes ‘stealthily’ up the Mount, moving through a multitude of encamped pilgrims without causing so much as a stir in their number. Incredible!
    Unprofessional conjecture.

    This is no fiction, this is no addendum, this is history true and brutal.

    “Now, there came about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was (the) Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principle men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.” (Josephus: Antiquities: Book XVIII; Chapter III.3)

    Josephus sets the date of the crucifixion at, 33 A.D. Jesus would have been between thirty-eight and thirty-nine years old. The church has explored the events of this act beyond that which is humane, yet what he said and thought in his last hours on this earth, remain blank pages. In the narratives of the crucifixion and the resurrection, the scriptures have been freely altered to suit the needs of the ‘church’ from the first century until this very day.
    This passage from Josephus is known to be modified by later interpolation ...


    Who was at the cross when Jesus was being crucified? It is an interesting question that history asks, and the answer will surprise many who have not given it proper consideration, including many ‘influential’ theologians.

    The Apostles were gone! They had fled, including Peter, who had denied him and then run away. The twelve were gone, nowhere in sight, and the cheering crowds were now looking for other heroes and following other masters. So who was there on the Place of the Skull?

    Roman soldiers, part of Pilate’s contingent; the two thieves whom Josephus identifies as revolutionists, certainly not criminals. The chief priests, scribes and elders, a few of the general public, and the women were there. Mary Magdelene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and Salome, Zebedee’s wife who was the mother of the ‘sons of thunder’.

    But then we are challenged by man’s egoistic nature. And in answer, we must state the theologian’s position clearly.

    “The fact that there has been no mention of these women disciples or ministrants to Jesus has led some scholars to suppose that (Mark 15:41) verse 41a is a gloss.”
    Conjecture

    Jesus would have been alone on, Golgotha, and there would have been no witness to what followed.
    Really!

    It is obvious from these attitudes on the part of the disciples, and some of the women, that there was no understanding whatsoever about a risen Christ, or a resurrection theme. Their knowledge was limited to what they had been taught by Jesus, and what they understood from life experience.
    It’s not obvious at all, except by extreme selection of the passages chosen to support the statement.

    The very heart of the Christian faith depends exclusively on the crucifixion and resurrection. Every sect of this religion agrees on these two traditions. That they happened is not questioned by the vast majority of Christianity, that the tradition is a reality to those numbers is understood. In Pauline Christianity it is emphatically demanded that a human sacrifice be available for the atonement of man’s sins. It is absolutely required that a human, blood offering be accessible to requite the sins of man.
    The author as usual completely misunderstanding the concept of sacrifice. Giving a valuable animal from the herd to God became the empty ritual of blood upon the altar, which error Christ’s sacrifice put an end to.

    At this point tradition holds that the Roman soldiers scourged Jesus. Beaten senseless, so weakened that he could not carry the crossbar of his own cross all the way to its destination. Simon the Cyrene was forced to take the cross and carry it for him to Golgotha. Stories of Jesus’ agony come down to us from the Roman Church, of beatings with whips that had bone or steel tips, terrible beatings that broke bones and caused near unconsciousness.

    Nowhere in the Gospels is this scene reported. No scene like it is recorded anywhere in the Bible. There is nothing in the New Testament that tells us of Jesus being beaten in the manner of the bloody tradition that has been handed down through the centuries. Nowhere in the Gospels does it tell us that Jesus was handed over to the soldiers for the specific task of beating or flogging him. Nowhere in the Gospels does it tell us that the Roman soldiers battered him senseless, punched him, beat him, whipped him, or brutalized him.

    At which point the author goes on to explain that Jesus was not ‘scourged’ but only ‘flogged’

    The synoptic Gospels do not even go that far. Jesus is never turned over to the soldiers to be scourged, whipped or beaten, but rather to be publicly humiliated, one of the definitive meanings of the word, ‘to scourge’.

    “Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the Governor took Jesus…” (Matthew 27:26-27 RSV)

    … The scriptures use only one word for, scourge, and the only meaning that fit the church’s tradition when these writings were finally translated in the 14th century. They added a Latin word to a Greek text. But in the Greek, there were meanings for the word known to the Greeks other than that used in the Gospels. As if in their own defense, the Gospels demonstrate those meanings.

    The word, scourge, in the English and the Latin translations mean to whip, especially when used to inflict pain or punishment. But other meanings in the English and Greek translations include meanings of greater validity and importance in the Gospels. It is an instrument to censure, publicly condemn, chastise, to force as though by blows of a whip, to subject to severe criticism or satire, to mock or humiliate. (Enepaizon; Luke 22:63; to sport with or against, to mock, to deride.)

    … Luke has no scourging at all.

    “Pilate now took Jesus and had him flogged; and the soldiers plaited a crown of thorns…” (The New English Bible: John 19:1)

    So that’s ok then -- Jesus wasn’t all that badly hurt if he still able to talk to the women of Jerusalem:

    In Luke we have a long dissertation rendered by Jesus to the women who are following him. (Luke 23:27-31 The New English Bible) It is hard to conceive of the battered Jesus that tradition would have us accept when such documentation is placed in evidence. Or are we to dismiss the Gospels as being invalid, without any basis in fact, and something less holy than man’s tradition?

    Jesus did not have to carry his own cross:

    Fact, there is no place in the Synoptic Gospels where Jesus is compelled to carry his own cross. In each of them, word for word, Simon of Cyrene is given the cross at the very beginning of the journey to, Golgotha. Jesus is never given the cross, and in fact, leads the way.

    Because Simon of Cyrene in fact did all the carrying:

    “So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified him…” (John 19:17 RSV)

    Tradition has him stumbling pitifully down a cobblestone street, falling under the weight of the wood, but in the synoptic Gospels, he never lifts it. Another is chosen to carry it for him. And though John’s Gospel does have him carry it, he carries it all the way to, Golgotha, with no apparent problem. Which is to be believed?

    Jesus did not die on the cross. The Quran says it (no disrespect to the Quran intended)

    “…and their saying: We did kill the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the messenger of Allah; whereas they slew him not, nor did they compass his death upon the cross, but he was made to appear to them like one crucified to death; and those who have differed in the matter of his having been taken down alive from the cross are certainly in a state of doubt concerning it, but only follow a conjecture; they certainly did not compass his death in the manner they allege…” (The Holy Qur’an: Olive Branch Press; Muhammad Zafrulla Khan: Surah 4:156)

    “Call to mind also when you claimed to have brought about the death of a personage and then differed among yourselves concerning it, and Allah would bring to light that which you concealed. So we said: Test the crucial question by putting together other incidents relating to the affair and you will arrive at the truth.” (The Holy Qur’an: Olive Branch Press; Muhammad Zafrulla Khan: Surah 2:73)

    The legs of the thieves were broken, not to hasten death, but in order to save their lives:

    Due to the length of time it normally took for one to die on the cross, and the hour being very late, an action is taken that is not normal at these executions, especially when handled by the Romans. One was given all the time needed to suffer and die, the Romans not necessarily being kind hearted. Pilate, once again acts out of character in granting a petition to the priesthood.

    “The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day, (for the Sabbath day was a high day), besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they be taken away.” (John 19:31 KJV)

    Taken away still alive? The Gospels do not say!

    “So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him; but when they came to Jesus they saw that he was already dead…” (John 19:32-33 RSV)

    As for Jesus:

    Another vital point that is brought up by the lateness of the hour is the amazement on the part of the soldiers and Pilate as to how quickly Jesus appears to die. It would be even more surprising to them if Jesus was not beaten senseless and was in complete control of his physical body, his thought, and speech.. Both Luke and John point out these facts.

    But now we are at the crux of the matter!

    Which is that the vinegar on the sponge was really a strong drug that only made Jesus look dead, later to be revived:

    It is essential that the cause of death be remembered, and that the soldiers gave him the draught. We are about to investigate the crucifixion in a manner that no major critic has done and then presented it to the public. We are going to conduct a medical examination of the drugs that were given to Jesus as well as his medical condition when he was taken down from the cross. The Gospels testify to both, as well as to what medical aid was given to him after the fact …
    Did Jesus die on the cross?


    … “It was a pious Jewish custom to give a condemned man unmixed wine or wine with an opiate in it…” (The Interpreter’s Bible: Volume 7; Page 602-603)

    Vinegar is thought to refer to sour wine. Wine mixed with gall is an, opiate. All the accounts are bound into one momentary event, though expressed in different manners. Jesus drinks the ‘potion’ and is immediately rendered unconscious. Even in John, the opiate is given and Jesus cries out, losing consciousness at once. All the Gospel stories agree.

    Here it is necessary to quote the Interpreter’s Bible, once again, but not for scholarship’s sake.
    Lol …

    And it continues laboriously for several more pages, ending finally with:

    Did Jesus die on the cross?
    No!
    Then a question must follow.
    Why is it impossible for man to accept a ‘saved’ Jesus, rather than a ‘crucified’ Jesus? Without the abhorrence of a human sacrifice, without man’s blood lust satisfied, he cannot survive. Paul’s ‘church’ turns to dust. In closing, my only question to the present faith is simple.
    Why isn’t God enough?


    Simple, isn’t it?
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2022
  2. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    I never found it simple to become a Muslim.
    A lot of white people consider me to be a traitor :(

    ..but then it was no different when Christianity was first introduced. Human beings are very tribal.
    ..monkey see, monkey do.

    However, the articles are mostly conjecture imo, as I already said.

    ..apart from Jesus not dying on the cross, of course..
    It's a pity we don't have video footage ;)
     
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  3. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Absolutely no disrespect intended. Merely the irony of using Quran as a stick to beat the Gospels, in the context?

    They're fools, imo. In life I've found that the one good person makes up for the other 20 a**holes, Muhammad

    The New Testament came first though? ;)

    Which is not itself a problem, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. The problem is that it is just one of several others published on the Homepage without a counterpoint -- thus inferring to newcomers to the Homepage that biased conjecture is what IO is about?
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Interesting point.
     
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  5. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    He shoots, he scores...

    True, but it always seems the 20 a**holes are the ones we end up dealing with day to day...

    Some things don't need to be dignified with a response.

    While I know Mr Garaffa was pretty insistent about his scholarship, a lot of this stuff here comes from peripheral "tin foil hat" conspiracy theory stuff, like "Holy Blood, Holy Grail." These guys use just enough verifiable "truth" to seem reasonable, then carry off into sensationalist "Da Vinci Code" speculation. Some of it can be interesting to ponder, but insufficient cause to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    The thing that sticks most in my craw, clearly demonstrating a complete ignorance of the cultural soup of the time and place, is the harping on about human sacrifice. Those are arguments commonly used by Pagans, Atheists and Muslims in my experience in a misguided attempt to undermine Christianity, and while on the surface seems to have merit, the arguments completely ignore the context of the time and place. EVERYBODY at the time in that area, ALL AROUND the Mediterranean and into the Arab world made blood sacrifice. It was ubiquitous, it was endemic, it was undeniable. It was a FACT OF LIFE. It doesn't matter what the sensitivities are now, from squeamish people looking to be offended, the same people who are only too eager to wolf down a bacon double cheeseburger with a large order of fries and a super size soda pop and waddle to their next social consciousness meeting to be offended by cow flatulence or plastic soda straws. Such narrow minded views attempting to superimpose their way of life today onto life 1700 to 2000 years ago demonstrates an inability to truly measure antiquity in a scholarly manner. And those that do know better are in it for the money, fueling the prejudices of the gullible.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
  6. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    It's surprising that there was anybody left alive, then ;)
     
  7. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Indeed. If it wasn't for Christianity, probably wouldn't be so many people around, they would have run out of animals to sacrifice and turned on each other. ;) The Romans were well on the way with crucifixion parties and gladiatorial "games." That's not counting good old fashioned war, the greatest human sacrificial offering of all time.

    Christianity showed sacrifice wasn't necessary. And unlike all the others, the *only* sacrifice offered was ONE willing sacrificial offering to cover EVERYONE. Christianity ended blood sacrifice. Ironic, isn't it?
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2021
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  8. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    Meaningless doctrine. Prophet Abraham saw in a dream to sacrifice his son.
    However, Almighty God does NOT require human sacrifice .. just our dedication and obedience.

    Furthermore, a "human Jesus" laying down his life and being resurrected would not make him God or Divine.
    This type of narrative is pagan in origin. It has nothing to do with Judaism.
     
  9. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Again missing the point: God required of Abraham to be ready to give to him the most precious thing in the world. This is the essence of sacrifice: to be prepared to give to God everything.

    It's not about the killing or the blood, but warped by human beings it soon became so -- sacrifice is about giving to God?

    Christ came to fix that, and other things too, of course.
    It makes Him The Christ, the bridge between God and man, fully divine and fully human -- both
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
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  10. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    I think you are deliberately conflating "sacrifice" with "human sacrifice," in an attempt to obfuscate.

    Almighty G-d, in point of fact, did require sacrifice.

    What do you know of the G-d Commanded sacrifice of the Paschal lambs? What do you understand of the precise timing of Jesus' offering of himself and giving up the Ghost? What do you understand of the peripheral events that are recorded to have taken place at that very moment? What do you grasp about his offering bringing an end to the requirement for blood sacrifice?

    You are attempting, as I've heard others, to suggest that Christians want to sacrifice humans from that day forward. What evidence do you have to support that contention? THAT, is meaningless doctrine. That requires rhetorical gymnastics with no basis in any manner of fact or truth, only hyperbole and groundless accusation.

    I noticed you didn't respond to my point of fact about war being the greatest human sacrificial offering...perhaps because that particular finger points ALL AROUND? I'm certain Ha-Satan laughs with glee every time he starts a war.

    Look, I get it that religion, any religion, has to sell itself to its adherents. I've learned to look past the pejoratives and unfounded prejudices used to sell a faith. To my way of thinking, any religion or philosophy or meme that has to sell itself by saying "look how bad they are/everyone else is" without presenting what benefit they provide are hiding something. If they must focus on the negative of others rather than the positive of their own, something isn't right.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
  11. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Yes. Just get on with it. What's so much energy directed against those outside the faith?
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
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  12. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    Uhh .. no. The word "Christ" is Greek for Messiah.
    ..so strictly speaking, a Christian is one who believes Jesus is the Messiah. The disciples believed Jesus was the Messiah throughout his life.
    Whatever happened to Jesus i.e. his apparent crucifixion, does not affect that at ALL!

    It is dogma which has nothing to do with a Jewish Jesus. He himself would denounce it.
    Such concepts are pagan in origin i.e. gods dying and coming back to life.
    .. I'm a Unitarian .. sorry .. God is One and does not die .. ever :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
  13. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    We do not know this, and if what is written is accurate then I don't think this statement is true. But then the entire line of reasoning is for the sole purpose of undermining Christianity to begin with.

    This presupposes death is the end.

    Of course, a Jewish Jesus would likely deny that death is the end, considering among the many Jewish beliefs of afterlife I've heard. The Well of Souls as but one example.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
  14. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Unfortunately it's all one narrative: the virgin birth, teaching the elders in the temple, turning the water into wine, healing the sick raising Lazarus from the dead, feeding the 5000, casting out demons, walking on water and calming the storm, the last supper, the crucifixion and the piercing with the lance -- the Resurrection -- you need to re-read the Gospel of Matthew.
    As CS Lewis said:

    "Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
  15. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    Do I?
    I think we all need to study Biblical text in light of modern scholarship.
    The gospel of Matthew is believed to have been derived from the gospel of Mark.

    The divine nature of Jesus was a major issue for the Matthaean community, the crucial element separating the early Christians from their Jewish neighbors; while Mark begins with Jesus' baptism and temptations, Matthew goes back to Jesus' origins, showing him as the Son of God from his birth, the fulfillment of messianic prophecies of the Old Testament
    - wikipedia -

    The theological debates at the time of Mark's writing are evident in the way Mark belittles the disciples of Jesus. This derision of the disciples is in contrast to other religions where the companions of the founder are venerated
    - wikipedia

    ..believing that the Bible is "the word of God" is just that .. a belief. The Bible canon is comprised of various scrolls of varying ages. Many of the authors speak authoritatively about "the nature of Jesus", and yet they contradict each other
    i.e. have their own opinions.
    Modern scholars also believe the gospel authors to be anonymous and be members of "Christian churchs" that evolved several decades AD
    ..so rather than quote this verse or that from the 4 gospels, we need to consider what is historical fact and what is the authors opinion :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
  16. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    But we also need to read the texts ourselves and discover how God speaks to us as individuals through them? 'Lectio Divina' The individual meaning is often between the lines?
    Yes. They are allowed to have their own opinions. There are four gospels. Mark is traditionally the first. They all come together, to reveal Jesus. God knows what's happening. God works in mysterious ways. God is capable of creating a synchronicity from contradiction. The contradiction is preserved, not censored out.
    IMO yes. Before rubbishing it, a person needs first to read it?
     
  17. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Save Our Souls

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    I'm not "rubbishing it" ..
    I would trust the testimony of Jesus' disciples. I'm very wary of embracing a creed of somebody who appears to contradict their view. As I say .. we need to distinguish between historical fact and the personal opinions that are embedded in the gospels by their authors.
    ..particularly John!
     
  18. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    But I don’t believe that continual ritual prayers and taking every word of the scripture literally is what God requires of me. I have never understood people who do that. But that is their way. Good if it works for them. God meets everybody where they are, who is sincere. The same passage from scripture can mean different things at different times. It is a personal relationship with God, with spirit, with angels – different for every soul, and yet uniform in the experience. It is the touch of God.

    God's presence is all the soul can pray for.

    The scriptures are the shell of the nut, the words contain and protect truth. They contain the mysteries of spirit, that cannot be expressed in words. There are different words that could be used, and there are different faiths and scriptures. God knows what’s going on. God creates synchronicity. The scriptures reveal divine law by speaking directly to the soul. Most scriptures. Most religions. Any century. Any civilization. Any culture. And also the book of nature.

    As I said, there is the practice of ‘lectio divina’ which is reading scripture with an open mind and letting the meaning come through as what God is saying to me, as an individual.

    So it’s not about me trying to prove that my faith is right and yours is wrong. I don’t care. As long as your religion doesn’t force itself upon me and insist I should believe as you do.

    I still need to know if you have read any of the gospels within recently? Or are you commenting about them second-hand? What I mean is that before entering an in-depth debate about any scripture, I would need to refresh myself by reading its actual content, in context?
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
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  19. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    https://www.interfaith.org/articles/golgotha/

    So much ... and so little substance.

    +++

    And there is much to examine ...

    Now ... the moment has come for the truth to be revealed...

    Before we face the gauntlet there are certain facts that must be understood...

    Again, the author of this screed is sore in need of an editor to trim out the hyperbole and the histrionics ... what he signally fails to do is reveal anything with any substance or explain anything with any clarity.

    To even consider the only other option, that Jesus denies that he is the Christ, would be an incredible stroke against the very doctrines of Christianity. Throughout Mark, Jesus is emphatic in telling the disciples not to tell this to anyone. The messianic secret ...

    The 'Messianic secret' was put forward by the German Lutheran theologian Wilhelm Wrede in 1901, that Jesus never claimed to be the Messiah and that Mark (and the rest of the New Testament authors) sensationalized Him and made Him into the Messiah. Wrede’s theory enjoyed some popularity during the 1920s but faded soon thereafter. Subsequent scholarship raised insurmountable problems that showed Wrede’s hypothesis was insufficient and today is regarded as indefensible. In short, the 'Messianic secret' was a failed theory long before the author wrote his thesis.

    If Jesus did not say it, how dare men use this ‘sacred’ vehicle to demand that he did when they admit to the contrary? In the same manner, they have used God’s Holy Scriptures to advance their own doctrines and traditions throughout history.
    But, on the other hand, if Jesus did say it, then the argument is void. As no argument is presented, this is void.

    To prove the newest of upheavals, The Gospel According To John, has been restored and placed at its theological head. It is being used as the basis for the claim that Jesus of Nazareth is God.
    By whom, he does not say. As I understand it, the whole thrust of the New Testament claims that Jesus is God.

    We are told that it was authored by John, the disciple. Arguments against its authority are, (1) John would have been of extraordinary old age...
    Wrong. Contemporary scholarship suggests the base-layer of John was probably contemporary with Mark and Paul. It seems the scribe was aware of Mark (or his source materials) but still might be prior to both. Certainly, he was unaware of Matthew and Luke.

    (2) as a Galilean Jew of the orthodoxy; the text exhibits a definite, anti-Semitic nature...
    This view is now regarded as out-dated, with the emergence of later archaeology and scholarship, especially with reference to Hebrew scholars – happily ignored up until the latter half of the last century. What was once deemed anti-semitic is now seen as tensions within the broader Jewish community. John's whole premise is couched in terms of a Jew preaching to the Jews.

    (3) the Church would be permitting a Gnostic text into their doctrine...
    The claim that the Prologue and flavour of John was Gnostic has been demonstrated false by a greater understanding of Jewish mystical currents in Second Temple Era, and indeed by the Dead Sea Scrolls, as John is notably closer to the Qumran documents – the use of 'light' and 'dark' as motifs, for example.

    (4) the church’s permissiveness would allow the use, and manipulation, of a five hundred year old text that originally appeared as Plato’s, Ode To Wisdom ...
    It would have helped if the writer had offered a reference so that readers could judge for themselves. I have no idea what he's talking about here. Google was no help either.

    (5) the admission of a document purported to be genuine to Jesus’ words and actions that appear almost one hundred and seventy years after the fact.
    What, the Gospel of John? The latest it can be is 125AD, so at the outside less than a hundred years. As stated above, it's possible the origin of the gospel was within 20 years.

    Explicit explanation of the argument are as follows. The Interpreter’s Bible: Volume 7; Page 887, notes that in this Gospel, “…where intense hatred of the Jews is frequently given expression…” gives voice to point (2).
    And scholarship subsequent to the 1950s has shown this to be a misunderstanding.

    The preface of the Gospel, “In the beginning was the word…” (John 1:1) is well known to have originally been an ode to Wisdom created by Greek philosophers five hundred years before an unknown evangelist adapted it for use in the Gospel, which dates approximately one hundred seventy years after the fact.
    Entirely wrong. Again, no supporting reference or evidence.

    The Interpreter’s Bible, agrees that the word, Logos, is borrowed from the original where it represented divine reason. Philo of Alexandria uses this word more than thirteen hundred times in his expositions of the Old Testament. (See: I.B.: Volume 7; Page 442).
    John’s use of the term "Logos" (1:1-2; most frequently rendered "Word" in modern English translations) drew much attention. The writer seems to insist it reveals his Gnostic leanings (cf Bultmann, The Gospel of John. 1971).

    Commentaries suggest the term is deeply rooted in Old Testament thought (e.g. Genesis 1, Proverbs 8). Further, the role of the Johannine Logos parallels personified Wisdom in a number of traditions within Judaism (e.g. Sirach 24). Sirach's Wisdom and John's Logos cannot simply be identified with each other, since the former is a creation of God (Sirach 1:9) whereas John holds the Logos as pre-existent and Divine. John's use of such language in his setting could scarcely avoid associations with Hellenistic thought ("Logos" played a key role in Stoic thought and in Philo).

    It may well be that the Greek world provided the main source for its interpretation. C. H. Dodd argued that John’s adoption of the term deliberately reflects the ambiguity of the word in Judaism, employing a Greek philosophical term that captures both the immanent and the transcendent implications, all within a decidedly Christian framework (C. H. Dodd, The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel Cambridge University Press, 1953). Other scholars develop Old Testament and Wisdom backgrounds.

    They argue, moreover, that while the Hellenistic connotations are inevitable and useful for drawing the attention of a wide range of first-century audiences, these associations are secondary and in some respects incidental, since the Fourth Gospel’s employment of the term turns out to be quite contrary to a Hellenistic worldview, as well as in some ways quite distinct from previous Jewish uses. Leon Morris puts it this way:
    "John could scarcely have used the Greek term without arousing in the minds of those who used the Greek language thought of something supremely great in the universe. But though he could not have been unmindful of the association aroused by the term, his thought does not arrive from the Greek background. His Gospel shows little trace of acquaintance with Greek philosophy and even less dependence on it. And the really important thing is that John, in his use of the Logos, is cutting clean across one of the fundamentals of Greek ideas." (In Herman Ridderbos, The Gospel According to John (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987).

    Beasley-Murray agrees, and sees Johannine usage as indicative of the Evangelist’s acumen in communicating the Gospel and its distinctive message within the philosophical and cultural context of his time:
    "The remarkable feature of this presentation is that it employs categories universally known, possessing universal appeal, which would attract and have attracted alike Jews, Christians, pagans, Hellenists and Orientals in their varied cultures, followers of ancient and modem religions, philosophers and people of humble status who were seekers after God." (George Beasley-Murray, John, World Biblical Commentary, Thomas Nelson, 1999)

    A dozen pagan rites, including the most powerful, that of Mythranism, repeat this story over and over again before Christianity ever became a dream in man’s mind.
    Mythranism – by which I presume the author means Mithraism – does not repeat the story, it's quite different. Also, Mithraism in Rome borrowed a number of motifs from Christian iconography – there's no evidence elsewhere – and that Christianity is a derivative of Mithraism is a meme that has been shown to be false.

    It must be understood, without question, that Christianity today is not the church that Jesus founded, nor is it based on the principles that he taught. What proof do we have? Are Jesus’ own words enough?
    Well as you have dismissed the New Testament as a reliable text, and if your thesis is right, then the Church effectively wrote the NT, then we dop not have Jesus' own words, do we? Throughout, the writer wants it both ways, refutiung Scripture when it suits, citing it as authentic when it suits, without apparent rhyme or reason.

    Jesus did not choose Paul ...
    Yet based on Scripture and Paul's testimony, he did, so where does this come from?

    It is Paul who announced the martyred ‘lamb’ ...
    Well Paul mentions it once – "For our passover also hath been sacrificed, [even] Christ" (1 Corinthians 5:7). However the theology of the sacrificial lamb is based on John's Gospel: "The next day, John saw Jesus coming to him, and he saith: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who taketh away the sin of the world." (1:29), "And beholding Jesus walking, he saith: Behold the Lamb of God." (1:36), and the Lamb is mentioned 29 times in Revelations!

    It is Paul who demands that we observe the bloodied sacrament of, Communion, not the Christ, not Peter ...
    "Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things as gold or silver, from your vain conversation of the tradition of your fathers: But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled, Foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but manifested in the last times for you" (1 Peter 18-20).
    So, this argument is utter nonsense.

    It's a matter of note that Garaffa dismisses Scripture where it suits, and claims its authenticity where it suits, without rhyme or reason.

    +++

    Regarding the extensive commentary on the Passion-Ascension, I will not dignify it with a response. Smoke and no substance.

    +++

    Paul’s ministry was assaulted by Jewish Christians known to us as the Judiazers.

    As I've demonstrated elsewhere, the writer is largely ignorant of Paul and his ministry.

    The Hellenists, especially Stephen, were insistent that the role of Judaism was over and that the religion was dead.
    Quite simply wrong.

    “To Stephen Israel had been apostate throughout her history; her rejection of Jesus is merely the culmination of a series of misdeeds. Christianity must break with Judaism because the two are incompatible.” (Peake’s Commentary on the Bible: Thomas Nelson & Sons LTD; Page 871 70d)
    Again, an ill-informed overstatement. No scholar would support that thesis. sadly I have searched Peake's Commentary but can't find the text he quotes...
     
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  20. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Who do you propose to be the arbiter of historic fact? I'm asking as an historian. Josephus sheds some light, but precious little. No other historians of the era approached the matter in any attitude remotely close to neutral, and even Josephus has to mind his words.

    When we are done, do we have your permission to use the same methods and resources to examine the Qu'ran?

    Can't pick and choose and be an honest scholar...
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021

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