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Old 08-08-2001, 11:15 AM   #1
Mark G.
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Post Messianic prophecies

From a previous discussion...

Dear all,

Several points.

1) Was Genesis 3 referring to Satan when speaking of the serpent? Entirely possible: please see Revelation 12:8-10 and Revelation 20:1-3.

2) ex-preacher, you were looking for the fulfillment of prophecy in Genesis 3 in the NT. Please refer to Galatians 4:4.

3)
Quote:
Are you saying that Jesus is the only one referred to as born of a woman? You earlier referenced us to Matthew 1:1-15 as a contrast. Yet within those verses we are told that Perez was the offspring of the woman Tamar (v. 3), Boaz the son of Rahab (v. 5), Obed the son of Ruth (v. 5) and Solomon the son of Uriah's wife (better known as Bathsheba v. 6).
If we presuppose that "seed of a woman" refers to a virgin birth, then only Jesus fulfils this requirement. Ex-preacher, please note that each person that you have enumerated from Matthew 1:1-15 has a father listed along with a mother. That would disqualify them as a candidate for Messiah.

I would like to deal with the issue of virgin when looking at other prophecies.

Can we all agree, that if Genesis 3 contains a Messianic prophecy, then Jesus didn't violate it? If the answer is yes, I would like to move on.
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Old 08-08-2001, 11:47 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mark G.:
<STRONG>1) Was Genesis 3 referring to Satan when speaking of the serpent? Entirely possible: please see Revelation 12:8-10 and Revelation 20:1-3.</STRONG>
You are confusing two issues. Did the writer of Revelation think that the serpent in Genesis 3 was Satan? Probably. Did the writer of Genesis 3 think it was Satan? Absolutely not. Satan makes only three brief appearances in the OT, none of them in Genesis or even in the Pentateuch. Satan was an invention of the Persians, borrowed by Jews during their captivity. Thus, only the post-exilic books of Chronicles, Job and Zechariah even mention Satan.

You haven't answered my question about the "seed" of the serpent. Did Satan have children? Who was his spouse?

The passage in question is almost universally regarded as a reference to the relationship between snakes and people. Even many conservative Christian scholars agree.

Quote:
<STRONG>2) ex-preacher, you were looking for the fulfillment of prophecy in Genesis 3 in the NT. Please refer to Galatians 4:4.</STRONG>
No dice. Do you really think Gal 4:4 is a quotation of Gen 3:15? The phrase "born of a woman" simply affirms that Jesus was human. Paul nowhere expresses a belief in a virgin birth. He was apparently unfamiliar with this element of doctrine. Isn't that odd?

Quote:
<STRONG>3) If we presuppose that "seed of a woman" refers to a virgin birth, then only Jesus fulfils this requirement.</STRONG>
No, I do not grant that "seed of a woman" refers to a prediction of a virgin birth. I challenge you to find one Jewish scholar (a non-Christian) who has ever taken that position. You're making a second presupposition - that Jesus was born of a virgin. I do not grant that supposition either.

Quote:
<STRONG>Ex-preacher, please note that each person that you have enumerated from Matthew 1:1-15 has a father listed along with a mother. That would disqualify them as a candidate for Messiah.</STRONG>
Here's the best possible spin of your position: Matthew said Jesus was born of a virgin and Matthew didn't say Jesus was Joseph's son, therefore Jesus was born of a virgin. This is circular reasoning at its best.

Here's a phrase to chew on from Philip in John 1:45 - "Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." Someone forgot to tell Philip (and John) about the virgin birth.

Quote:
<STRONG>Can we all agree, that if Genesis 3 contains a Messianic prophecy, then Jesus didn't violate it? If the answer is yes, I would like to move on.</STRONG>
It doesn't contain a messianic prophecy so this question is meaningless. If it did, then anyone born of a woman would fulfill the prophecy. But I'll be glad to move on.
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Old 08-08-2001, 12:15 PM   #3
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From the point of view of the plain sense of the text, it seems patently absurd to think that there is anything messianic at all in Genesis 3. Again, we are dealing with aetiology here, not prophecy.

I was once bitten by a snake, and I am also born of a woman. Therefore, one might argue, Genesis 3 could be referring to me! In fact, I am an even better candidate for this alleged oblique messianic reference than Jesus, since I really was bitten by a snake.

Later writers, such as the authors of Revelation, put their own spin on the stories in the Hebrew Bible. So did the authors of the Qur'an. But if we examine the text of Genesis 3 itself, we see there is no mention of "mashiach" (messiah) and no reference to "haSatan". (In fact, the term "haSatan" appears only in postexilic writings, and not anywhere in the early J strand (which includes Gen 3).)

So far, Jesus is batting 0 for 1. (Or at least Jesus is doing slightly worse than I am in terms of fulfilling messianic prophecies.) Perhaps we should move onto the next example. In fact, we could settle the matter quite simply if those with Christological views could adduce a single verse in the Hebrew Bible which explicitly refers to Jesus of Nazareth. If you would like an example of the kind of prophecy I'm talking about, see 1 Kings 13, where a nameless prophet during the days of Jereboam I "prophesies" the great deeds of the Judahite King Josiah, some 3 centuries later! (Josiah is the hero of the Deuteronomistic History and apparently went to his grate utterly sinless!)

"And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of YHWH unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. And he cried against the altar in the word of YHWH and said, O altar, altar, thus saith YHWH; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee."

Now that is a very clear example of a prophecy (see 2 Kings 23:14-18)! (Of course, it isn't really, since this is all the work of the Deuteronomistic Historian, but let's leave that issue for another discussion.) If Josiah is important enough to be mentioned by name in this way, why not Jesus?

[ August 09, 2001: Message edited by: Apikorus ]
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Old 08-08-2001, 02:43 PM   #4
Vibr8gKiwi
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mark G.:
<STRONG>[edited down by Vibr8gKiwi]
If we presuppose that "seed of a woman" refers to a virgin birth, then only Jesus fulfils this requirement.

I would like to deal with the issue of virgin when looking at other prophecies.

Can we all agree, that if Genesis 3 contains a Messianic prophecy, then Jesus didn't violate it? If the answer is yes, I would like to move on.</STRONG>
The connection between these verses that you've presented is such a stretch I didn't even see the point at first. Now I think I'm going to stand back and watch this for a while. So far nothing has been worth commenting on and I doubt even many Christians would buy this argument. As stated by others, the verses in Genesis don't appear to be a messianic prophecy. They look nothing like a reference to Jesus, a virgin or any such thing. However I can see how someone with faith might inject their belief into the text, but that merely is a reflection of their belief, rather than what the simple straightforward reading of the text actually says.

At this point I'll just let you move on and hope things start getting more objective (though I won't hold my breath).
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Old 08-08-2001, 05:20 PM   #5
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Hi Mark G. It is good to see you here again. Stick around.

Did you read any of the books we recommended?

Michael
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Old 08-08-2001, 11:39 PM   #6
Metacrock
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Quote:
Originally posted by ex-preacher:
<STRONG>

It doesn't contain a messianic prophecy so this question is meaningless. If it did, then anyone born of a woman would fulfill the prophecy. But I'll be glad to move on.</STRONG>
Rabbis understood it to refur to a mystery concerning the seed of the Messiah. They say speicifically in yalkut that it has a mysterious origin, "from someplace else" perhaps meaning not of human origin.

See Alfred Edersheim Life and Times of Jesus The Messiah

It's true that the serpent probably was not thought of as Satan. But there is no proof that Paul didn't know of believe the virign birth. That is totally an argument from silence. And the passage about 'the child bearing" is probalby a reference to the doctrine.

Is the Bible The Word of God?
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Old 08-08-2001, 11:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vibr8gKiwi:
<STRONG>

The connection between these verses that you've presented is such a stretch I didn't even see the point at first. Now I think I'm going to stand back and watch this for a while. So far nothing has been worth commenting on and I doubt even many Christians would buy this argument. As stated by others, the verses in Genesis don't appear to be a messianic prophecy. They look nothing like a reference to Jesus, a virgin or any such thing. However I can see how someone with faith might inject their belief into the text, but that merely is a reflection of their belief, rather than what the simple straightforward reading of the text actually says.

At this point I'll just let you move on and hope things start getting more objective (though I won't hold my breath).</STRONG>
Don't appear to be based upon what? The Rabbinical authorities tooks as such. see Edersheim LIfe and Times of Jesus The Messiah


Edersheim states: "It is is not without hesitation that we make reference to the Jewish allusions to the miraculous birth of the Savior. Yet there are two expressions which convey the idea of, if not super human origin, yet of some great mystery attaching to his birth. The first occurrs in connection with the birth of Seth R. Tanocum said in the name of R. Samuel "Eve had respect [regard, looing to] the seed which is to come 'form another place' and who is this? This is King Messiah [Ber R. 23 ed. Warsh] The second appears in the narrative of the Crime of Lot's daughters 'it is not written that we may preserve a seed from our father," but 'seed form our father.' This is that seed which is coming form another place. And who is this? This is MEssiah the king.'" (Edersheim p178, in Ber R. 51= Bereshith Rabba on Genesis).

Is The Bible The Word of God?

[ August 09, 2001: Message edited by: Metacrock ]

[ August 09, 2001: Message edited by: Metacrock ]
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Old 08-09-2001, 12:45 AM   #8
Apikorus
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Metacrock, there's a danger to quoting secondary sources when you don't read Hebrew or Aramaic and are generally ignorant of the rabbinic literature. You should try to avoid phrases such as "the rabbis thought" unless you can demonstrate that what follows is actually a majority opinion. I can cite passages from the Talmud which say that messiah's name would be Hanina. Does that mean "the rabbis thought" messiah would be called Hanina? There are dozens of examples of rabbinic opinions about messiah which don't fit Jesus at all. (Remember the rabbis knew about the Christian claims regarding Jesus yet still emphatically rejected them!)

The problem with Edersheim is that, while he adduces many useful texts, his work is so tendentious that his own analyses are of little value to modern scholars of Jewish messianism. For example, Patai's "Messiah Texts" doesn't even reference Edersheim. Nor, so far as I can tell, do Moshe Idel or Gershom Scholem.

You do bring up an important point, though, which is worth emphasizing. Early Christian belief about messiah is not purely sui generis, but must be understood within the context of late Second Temple Judaism. This is of course perhaps 800 years after the J author wrote the stories in Genesis 3, and 800 years is quite a long time. The emerging midrashic identification of messianic allusions in the Hebrew Bible very much went beyond the plain sense of the text (as midrash generally does). No rabbinic authority would claim that a messianic reading of Genesis 3 is peshat.

[ August 09, 2001: Message edited by: Apikorus ]
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Old 08-10-2001, 09:03 PM   #9
Mark G.
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ex-preacher,

Quote:
Did the writer of Genesis 3 think it was Satan? Absolutely not.
How do you know, what the writer of Genesis 3 thought? I am afraid this is pure speculation. The writer of Genesis 3 could have used the same symbolism as the writer of Revelation.

To answer your question "Did Satan have children?", please refer to John 8:44 to find the answer. In this case, as you can see, the "fatherhood" is figurative and not physical.

Quote:
The passage in question is almost universally regarded as a reference to the relationship between snakes and people. Even many conservative Christian scholars agree.
Counter example: please refer to the book "Evidence that demands a verdict" by John McDowell (page 151) for a reference to this passage.

Quote:
Here's the best possible spin of your position: Matthew said Jesus was born of a virgin and Matthew didn't say Jesus was Joseph's son, therefore Jesus was born of a virgin. This is circular reasoning at its best.
I was not using circular reasoning to argue that Jesus was born of a virgin. I was simply stating that Matthew was not claiming that any of the men listed in Matthew 1:1-16 were born of a virgin. But he is claiming, that Jesus was born in such a way.

Quote:
Here's a phrase to chew on from Philip in John 1:45 - "Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." Someone forgot to tell Philip (and John) about the virgin birth.
Let's look at Luke 3:22

"...and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."

In this passage a voice from heaven (God) proclaims Jesus to be his son. In the very next verse Luke says: "Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli..." "So it was thought" refers to the fact that Joseph was his legal and adopted father who also raised him. In the same sense, Philip in John 1:45 refers to Jesus as to an adopted son of Joseph. If Philip was speaking of Jesus' physical father, why would Nathaniel in John 1:49 exclaim: "You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel."

The previous discussion touched on the issue of existence of a prophecy that the Messiah was going to come from a virgin.

Let's consider Isaiah 7:14. This passage was quoted by Matthew in Matthew 1:23 as applying to Jesus and his virgin birth.

[ August 10, 2001: Message edited by: Mark G. ]
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