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Old 07-31-2001, 10:43 PM   #1
critical thinking made ez
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Post Witness to Jesus' miracles... or not

I've wondered why the early witness' to Jesus' miracles failed to believe that he was the messiah.

There they were, thousands on the hilltops watching him perform miracles; afterwards they just went home and forgot about everything. Where were these people when he was traveling? Where were they when he was jailed and killed?

Were they so accustomed to trickery that they did not believe he was a God?
Could Jesus/God not convinced them?

Or was it that he didn't do any miracles and just told fables to the lame of mind. That may explain why he never had more than a handful of on-going followers.

Can anyone here, explain this mystery to me?
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Old 08-01-2001, 05:32 AM   #2
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forget about the witnesses, what about his own disciples? peter denied him three times, thomas had to stick his finger in the holes for proof, and many of the rest of them struggled to believe as well (i.e. the accounts of the resurrection). these guys had seen the whole thing, start to finish. you'd think that after seeing what they supposedly saw they wouldn't have a problem believing that jesus was the messiah. but i guess 'think' is the operative word here.
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Old 08-01-2001, 07:48 AM   #3
critical thinking made ez
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If healings were taking place... real healings... shouldn't the crowds have grown exponentially almost daily?

Seeing such miracles, all of that part of the world should have been beating a path to his door.

People should have lined up their dead family members hoping JC would bring them back to life. Did no one hear of these things or did they not happen the way they were written?

Did the local Jewish Religious leaders think he was using powers of evil to do such things or since none of these events happened, did they never have to really address it in their recorded conversations in the Bible?
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Old 08-01-2001, 09:21 AM   #4
JohnV
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Isaiah 6
{9}He said, "Go and tell this people: "`Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.'
{10}Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed."

There's other passages like it.
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Old 08-01-2001, 09:45 AM   #5
rodahi
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Quote:
Originally posted by JohnV:
<STRONG>Isaiah 6
{9}He said, "Go and tell this people: "`Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.'
{10}Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed."

There's other passages like it.</STRONG>
I present Isaiah 6 in its entirety to show that the writer says nothing about Jesus or his so-called miracles:

Isaiah 6
1
In the year that King Uzzi'ah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple.
2
Above him stood the seraphim; each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
3
And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory."
4
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.
5
And I said: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!"
6
Then flew one of the seraphim to me, having in his hand a burning coal which he had taken with tongs from the altar.
7
And he touched my mouth, and said: "Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin forgiven."
8
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me."
9
And he said, "Go, and say to this people: 'Hear and hear, but do not understand; see and see, but do not perceive.'
10
Make the heart of this people fat, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed."
11
Then I said, "How long, O Lord?" And he said: "Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without men, and the land is utterly desolate,
12
and the LORD removes men far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.
13
And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains standing when it is felled." The holy seed is its stump.


Any reader with average intelligence and reading ability can easily see Jesus is neither mentioned or alluded to in this chapter. The same goes for all of the OT.

rodahi
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Old 08-01-2001, 11:41 AM   #6
JohnV
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Quote:
Any reader with average intelligence and reading ability can easily see Jesus is neither mentioned or alluded to in this chapter. The same goes for all of the OT.

rodahi
Thanks for presenting your view, but I'd prefer to discuss this with people with above average intelligence and reading ability.
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Old 08-01-2001, 11:51 AM   #7
James Still
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Quote:
Originally posted by JohnV:
<STRONG>Thanks for presenting your view, but I'd prefer to discuss this with people with above average intelligence and reading ability.</STRONG>
Ok I'll bite John. Why do you think the passage in Isaiah you quoted above has anything to do with the NT narrative about Jesus?
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Old 08-01-2001, 12:06 PM   #8
Vorkosigan
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Quote:
Originally posted by JohnV:
<STRONG>Thanks for presenting your view, but I'd prefer to discuss this with people with above average intelligence and reading ability.</STRONG>
You have been.

Please point to the specific passage in the quote where Jesus is mentioned.

Michael
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Old 08-01-2001, 12:16 PM   #9
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Modern bible scholarship has totally abandoned the notion that Jesus is referred to - even obliquely - in the Hebrew Bible. Even Christian scholars of Isaiah like Joseph Blenkinsopp (a leading Isaiah scholar, Professor of Old Testament Studies at Notre Dame (endowed chair), and author of the recently released Anchor Bible commentary to Isaiah 1-39) and Walter Brueggemann (an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, Professor at Columbia Theological Seminary, and author of the two volume Westminster Bible Commentary on Isaiah) acknowledge that Jesus' retrojection into Isaiah (and into the Hebrew Bible in general) is simply the product of Christian imagination. It is of course telling that you won't find a single modern bible scholar who is *not* a Christian who says that Jesus is referred to in the Hebrew Bible. It is, suspiciously, only those who are fettered by confessional stance who say such things.

Christological readings of Isaiah may be useful and even compelling, but they cannot be true to the plain sense of the text, which was of course written centuries before Jesus was born. The prophetic authors of the Hebrew Bible were concerned with their own times and with the imminent future.

As an example of the abject weakness of the Christological reading of Isaiah, consider the famous alleged reference to the virgin birth in Isa 7:14. Now of course it is well known that the Hebrew term "almah" most likely means "young woman" rather than "virgin" (which is Heb. "bethulah"), and that the Septuagint likely mistranslated "almah" as "parthenos" (Greek for "virgin"). As an aside, the early rabbinic recensions of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, which sought to revise the LXX so as to bring it in line with the proto-masoretic text, correct "parthenos" to "neanis" (young woman).

But the linguistic issue here is hardly the only problem with the passage. First of all, it is clear that the context here is the Syro-Ephraimite war and that the birth of the child Immanuel would serve as a sign to Ahaz that the immediate crisis and conflict with Rezin and Pekah would abate.

Furthermore, Christian exegetes must be rather uncomfortable when they read the following verses Isa 7:15-16, which state clearly that for a time the child Immanuel would not know good from evil. (I.e. he would be as morally naive as any other human child.) Of course the New Testament tells us virtually nothing about Jesus' childhood, but the notion that Jesus would ever have not distinguished good and evil is enough to make any evangelical cringe, which perhaps is why they never seem to quote these continuing verses.

Informed readers of the New Testament must also acknowledge that it was clearly the goal of the gospel authors to retroject Jesus into the Hebrew Bible, which they knew in its Greek (LXX) translation. Repeatedly the gospel authors rework material from the Elijah and Elisha cycles in the LXX of Kings in fabricating their miracle stories of Jesus. E.g. Elijah and Elisha multiply foodstuffs, so Jesus must do the same. Elijah and Elisha work miraculous healings/raising from the dead, so Jesus must do the same. In many cases, key words or phrases have been taken from the LXX and reused in the gospel narratives. See e.g. Randal Helms' fine little book "Gospel Fictions".

[ August 01, 2001: Message edited by: Apikorus ]
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Old 08-01-2001, 12:22 PM   #10
JohnV
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Quote:
Ok I'll bite John. Why do you think the passage in Isaiah you quoted above has anything to do with the NT narrative about Jesus?
Where did I say it has anything to do with Jesus?

The question concerned the witnesses of Jesus' miracles, so I presented one passage showing that the witnesses, the people of Israel, continually fail to understand the things God shows them. IMO If someone wants to try to pick this particular passage apart, go ahead, but I think we can find sufficient verses to show that this is a theme of the OT.

Also, I'm of above average intelligence and reading ability, and I think that the OT sometimes alludes to Jesus, so rodahi's blanket statement is false.
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