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Old 01-18-2001, 05:14 PM   #1
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Post Theological Contradictions

Since the thread where this debate began is almost full, I thought I would start a new one. Nomad had asked me to present what I thought were examples of theological contradictions:

quote:
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penatis: Here is an example of a popular (this is just one of many) Christian creed:
1. Jesus was born of a virgin.
2. Jesus died on the cross as a blood sacrifice to atone for the sins of the world.
3. Jesus physically rose from the tomb (after being dead about 35 hours.)
4. Jesus appeared to his disciples after coming back to life.
5. Jesus ascended to the sky.
6. Jesus will return to judge ALL humanity.
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Nomad: All doctrinal beliefs, so fair enough.


Since the book attributed to "Mark" is considered to be the earliest written narrative depicting the life of Jesus, I will compare/contrast it with the creed above. (For anyone who claims that the whole NT should be used, I will say only that whoever wrote "Mark" considered it to be the whole NT at the time of its writing. That is good enough for me.)
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Nomad: Time to stop. You have no evidence at all that Mark considered his gospel to be the only story of Jesus' life.

If Nomad has evidence demonstrating the writer of “Mark” knew of other stories, then he needs to present it.

Nomad: Don't read into the motivations of an author unless you get to ask him. So as you already know, I am going to slap you for advancing several arguments from silence, then address anything else you may have added to your idiosyncratic understanding of the concept of a contradiction.

I don't presume to know the first thing about the writer. Nor should Nomad. The writer is anonymous. But one thing is crystal clear: At the time of the author's writing, there was no NT.

quote:
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1. The writer mentions nothing of a virgin birth. (In my view, the writer knew nothing of this myth.) As a matter of fact, in "Mark," Jesus has a mother, brothers, and sisters. No mention is made of a father.
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Nomad: Point one of course is that this is a big old argument from silence. You have no idea why Mark didn't include a birth narrative, and offer pure 100% speculation on your part.

penatis: It is reasonable to think that a person writing a theologically-based narrative of someone's life would include something as unusual and significant as a virgin birth. (Nomad must think that actual virgin births were so common two thousand years ago that “Mark’s” community would not have found it extraordinary for Jesus to have been born of a virgin.) Of course, there is nothing in the narrative that even hints of the virgin birth myth. Jesus is portrayed as totally human, and in some cases, not a very appealing one at that.

Nomad: Second, you clearly do not know how to read Greek, since it is not established that Jesus had any brothers at all. The Greek for brothers is identical to the Greek for brethren and cousins (that's why the Catholic and Orthodox Churches teach that Mary was a virgin her entire life you know).

The Catholic and Orthodox Churches sometimes ignore(d) the text of the NT. For example, see the following:

1. The word “brother“ (Greek: adelphos)is used a number of times in “Mark.” In ALL of the following cases it is used to denote a male sibling:

"And passing along by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother (adelphos) of Simon casting a net in the sea." (1:16)

"And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother (adelphos)..." (1:19)

"Is not this the carpenter [Jesus], the son of Mary and brother (adelphos) of James and Joses and Judas and Simon and are not his sisters (adelphe) here with us?" (6:3)

"Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother (adelphos) dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the wife, and raise up children for his brother (adelphos);" (12:19)

In the following passage, the writer makes a clear distinction between Jesus’ biological mother, sisters, and brothers and Jesus’ followers, whom Jesus dubs “my mother and my brothers.”

“And his mother and his brothers (adelphos) came; and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting about him; and they said to him, ‘Your mother and your brothers (adelphos) are outside, asking for you.’ And he replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers (adelphos)?’ And looking around on those who sat about him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers (adelphos)! Whoever does the will of God is my brother (adelphos), and sister (adelphe), and mother.’” (3:31-35)

2. The Greek word for "cousin" or “kin” is suggenes. For instance:

"And behold thy cousin (suggenes) Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age:" (Luke 1:36 KJV)

If “Mark” had meant “cousin” or “kin,” he would have used the appropriate Greek word, suggenes.

3. Paul, writing in the mid to late fifties CE, said, “[Jesus] was descended from David according to the flesh ...” (Rom. 1:3) This is an explicit allusion to a natural, physical conception.

4. Numerous early Christians believed that Jesus was a mere man, conceived and born the way ALL men are. “Mark” would have fit their theology like a glove. With respect to these early Christians, Bart Ehrman states, "Christians of second and third centuries generally--regardless of theological persuasion--claimed to espouse the views of Jesus' earliest followers. With regard at least to the adoptionists [those who believed Jesus was a mere man], modern scholarship has conceded the claim. These Christians did not originate their views of Christ; adoptionist Christologies can be traced to sources that predate the books of the New Testament." The Orthodox corruption of Scripture, P. 48.



[This message has been edited by penatis (edited January 18, 2001).]
 
Old 01-19-2001, 12:12 AM   #2
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Nomad: Time to stop. You have no evidence at all that Mark considered his gospel to be the only story of Jesus' life.

penatis: If Nomad has evidence demonstrating the writer of “Mark” knew of other stories, then he needs to present it.


More to the point, Mark either intends to write historically/factually, or allegorically. If his intention is factual history, it is difficult to imagine why he would not be thorough. If he writes allegorically, then christianity is just a myth.

This reasoning applies whether or not Mark might have thought other people were writing gospels. Still and all, given the earliness of the writing and the lack of evidence to the contrary, the assertion that he probably considered himself writing in isolation deserves an affirmative rebuttal. Without such an affirmative rebuttal, the issue isn't proven but I find it strongly persuasive.

Nomad: Point one of course is that this is a big old argument from silence.

The fact is that he's silent. We are allowed to construct a narrative from facts. Again, penatis' narrative from Mark's silence is persuasive. Again, not proof, but still deserving of an affirmative rebuttal.

Nomad: Second, you clearly do not know how to read Greek, since it is not established that Jesus had any brothers at all. The Greek for brothers is identical to the Greek for brethren and cousins (that's why the Catholic and Orthodox Churches teach that Mary was a virgin her entire life you know).

If these are actual quotes, then Nomad can definitely lose the attitude. If not then penatis should not put words in Nomad's mouth.

And again, penatis' point is persuasive.

----

All in all, penatis makes a good case. Rather than see a collection of "you can't prove it" denials, I would prefer to see an affirmative rebuttal of penatis' arguments" Penatis has made his prima facie case and shifts some degree of the burden of proof to Nomad.
 
Old 01-19-2001, 12:28 AM   #3
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While mentioning that you know the fact that Mark is in the genre of theological narrative, you don't seem to understand how this genre works.

The gospel writers are preachers/teachers offering not an objective or exhaustive account of Jesus, but rather only the facts that support their particular slant on Jesus. They are not histories written for on-lookers to draw any doctrine that they might possibly see in it. They are not random miracle stories that are left to the interpretation of the reader. They are specific instances chosen in order to teach a specific lesson that is audience centered. Mark is written to the Romans. The style of the language, the stories told, and the content of them, all fit a typical Roman audience, just as Matthew fits a 1st century Jewish audience, Luke fits a more Greecian audience, and John fits an Asia Minor audience.

The gospel writers are answering the questions of their audiences' applying what they know of Jesus. That's just how the genre works. Things that are not pertinent to the thought flow of the lesson are not included.

Therefore, even if Mark is the earliest gospel written, the genre denies the fact that it is trying to be a complete NT. Further more, you made the assertion that Mark was trying to be a complete biography and NT. It is you who must support your claim, not another prove otherwise. Nomad was trying to be objective, and you pitted his objectivity against your assertion. Either you don't understand logic or you are purposely trying to discredit the Bible at all costs whether it's true or not.

You have a nice way not only of reading into texts and lifting them out of context, but you even do it with Nomad's words. All he was doing is giving the reason why some groups have adopted the doctrine of Marry's perpetual virginity. He was not supporting it. I do not believe Marry stayed a virgin after Jesus' birth, nor do I think Nomad does. But intent on twisting his words in order to find a contradiction you never asked him to clarify.

Both Joseph and Marry are descendant from David. He can be solely born of Marry and still be a descendant of David.

There are so many passages in Mark that teach that Jesus is God and Christ, that an omission of the virgin birth does not hurt the doctrine. If you want me to go though one I will. By you citing groups that disagreed with the gospels and the early church, you prove nothing of a contradiction between the Bible (Mark specifically) and the creed you presented.

You are foolish to not recognize that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. You refuse to reckon with Nomads arguments, but insist that he reckon with yours.

You are very foolish in your ignorant accusations. Silence would be wisdom for you and your position.

Many skeptics do not like the confidence that Christians put in a book that is not credible in their minds. The fact is that there is much evidence supporting the Bible's claims to historical accuracy, text critical accuracy, and cohesion of ideas. The only other reason for skepticism lies in the believe that miracle accounts can't be true. Yet consider the stakes. It only takes one miracle in all of history to prove that they can exist. But to prove they don't exist, one needs to prove that they have never happened, past or present. If, one and only one has been verified, then all supernatural accounts in all religious literature must be weighed along with tangible proof. While I admit, many people longing to see miracles have very low standards of evaluating their legitimacy and others outright lie, there have been bonified and unexplainable miracles. Therefore, discounting the Bible because it contains miracles is unfounded. Rather, since miracles are none repeatable in a lab, their legitimacy rests on the credibility of eye witness accounts. The Bible has proven through scientific means (archeology and methodical exegesis) to be credible in the claims that we have been able to be evaluated for authenticity. Therefore, believe in the Bible is not unfounded blind faith in a supernatural God. Rather, it is faith in the credibility of its witnesses. Nomad can do a much better job than I can in referencing all of its credibility. The credibility of the Bible is fact. The belief in it based on that credibility is faith. Thus, to date, God's existence is not proved, nor are the Bible's claims. Rather, it is faith founded on credible testimony.
 
Old 01-19-2001, 08:22 AM   #4
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Josephus:

Your interpretation of Mark as theological narrative is compelling and persuasive. However that interpretation destroys Mark's credibility as historical scholarship. If Mark considers it acceptable to make errors of omission, why would he feel it wrong to make errors of commission?

You seem to want to have it both ways: The parts that you agree with are historical fact, the parts you disagree with are theological narrative. That's ludicrous.

Even bending over backwards to taking a charitable posture, accepting even highly improbable events as plausible, penatis makes a good case that the virgin birth was an add-on, not historical fact.

And I must say, I find your use of blatant ad hominem attacks contemptible. If you don't have the intelligence, honesty or integrity to participate in this debate, then don't.
 
Old 01-19-2001, 08:32 AM   #5
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Single Dad---

You will find Nomad's own words at
http://www.infidels.org/electronic/f.../000151-4.html

the direct, unedited, quote is:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Point one of course is that this is a big old argument from silence. You have no idea why Mark didn't include a birth narrative, and offer pure 100% speculation on your part. Second, you clearly do not know how to read Greek, since it is not established that Jesus had any brothers at all. The Greek for brothers is identical to the Greek for brethren and cousins (that's why the Catholic and Orthodox Churches teach that Mary was a virgin her entire life you know).
</font>
 
Old 01-19-2001, 11:51 AM   #6
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That was my point. Omission of a detail is not an error in this style of writing. Investigate it. Many OT texts do the same thing, ignoring what we would consider monumental, and including what we would feel unjournalistic. They are thematically based.
 
Old 01-19-2001, 12:44 PM   #7
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That was my point. Omission of a detail is not an error in this style of writing. Investigate it. Many OT texts do the same thing, ignoring what we would consider monumental, and including what we would feel unjournalistic. They are thematically based.

I believe you. Mark makes perfect sense as theological narrative. Omission of significant detail is, however, an error in historical scholarship. You're claiming, very persuasively, that Mark's work is not historical scholarship.
 
Old 01-19-2001, 03:07 PM   #8
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Okay, first things first. To SD, the ancients never used, or had any use for the scientific methods of recording history as we understand it. The modern biography arose from the Enlightenment, and a way of looking at the world. So to use our standards to test the methodology of the ancients is quite pointless. I don't really want to get too deeply into this at this point (lacking the time until I get home again), but if you wish, we can look at this in more detail next week.

Now, on to penatis.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by penatis:

Nomad: Time to stop. You have no evidence at all that Mark considered his gospel to be the only story of Jesus' life.

If Nomad has evidence demonstrating the writer of “Mark” knew of other stories, then he needs to present it.</font>
The Apostles were quite famous by the time Mark was written (probably 65-70AD), and their letters, together with the basics of the Gospel (The Passion Narritive, the Q tradition, and probably even UrMark were all in circulation by this time). It is generally accepted by NT scholars of all stripes that Mark was using sources for his writings. And there is NO serious dispute about the epistles of Paul and Peter pre-existing Mark. (If we need sources on a lot of what I am going to say here, then ya'll will have to wait until I get home)

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: Don't read into the motivations of an author unless you get to ask him. So as you already know, I am going to slap you for advancing several arguments from silence, then address anything else you may have added to your idiosyncratic understanding of the concept of a contradiction.

I don't presume to know the first thing about the writer. Nor should Nomad. The writer is anonymous. But one thing is crystal clear: At the time of the author's writing, there was no NT. </font>
Of course there was no Canonical NT writings when the Gospel of Mark came out. This is axiomatic. On the other hand, there were Christians running around, and they were teaching through oral traditions about the life of Jesus. We see elements of this in Paul's letters in particular, but no serious scholar I am aware of thinks that Mark just fell out of the sky on the Christian community.

Out of curiousity, where do you think Mark got his stories?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">1. The writer mentions nothing of a virgin birth. (In my view, the writer knew nothing of this myth.) As a matter of fact, in "Mark," Jesus has a mother, brothers, and sisters. No mention is made of a father.

Nomad: Point one of course is that this is a big old argument from silence. You have no idea why Mark didn't include a birth narrative, and offer pure 100% speculation on your part.

penatis: It is reasonable to think that a person writing a theologically-based narrative of someone's life would include something as unusual and significant as a virgin birth.</font>
Since we have Matthew and Luke independently producing their stories of the virgin birth (no one thinks that Luke or Matthew used each other as sources), then it is very reasonable to assume that the virgin birth narrative was already known to the Christian community.

What you have done here penatis is failed to address my central points from the previous thread. Mark had no reason to include the bith story in his Gospel. His audience was largely Greek and/or Roman, and would have had a limited knowledge of, or interest in Hebrew OT prophecies (hence the reason that Mark virtually ignores OT Scripture in his writings).

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> (Nomad must think that actual virgin births were so common two thousand years ago that “Mark’s” community would not have found it extraordinary for Jesus to have been born of a virgin.)</font>
Don't be stupid penatis. If you want to know what I think ask me. If you want to address my points, then do so. I am not really interested in doing yet another multipage dance with you.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Of course, there is nothing in the narrative that even hints of the virgin birth myth.</font>
There is nothing in the narrative that even hints at a birth of any kind. Since your posts have also neglected your own birth, then are we to assume that you have never been born? Do not use arguments from silence.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Jesus is portrayed as totally human, and in some cases, not a very appealing one at that.</font>
Jesus is portrayed as the Son of God from the opening statement, and there is no question that the author of Mark believed Jesus was the Messiah. As for Jesus not being very appealing, well, that is the case of the entire NT so far as you are concerned. That is why you are an atheist ex-Christian after all.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: Second, you clearly do not know how to read Greek, since it is not established that Jesus had any brothers at all. The Greek for brothers is identical to the Greek for brethren and cousins (that's why the Catholic and Orthodox Churches teach that Mary was a virgin her entire life you know).

The Catholic and Orthodox Churches sometimes ignore(d) the text of the NT.</font>
First, as a Lutheran, I am neutral on the question of Mary Ever The Virgin, but if I have learned anything, it is to never argue with people about what their own language means. Since the Greek Orthodox Church and the ancients who used Greek as one of their first languages seem to think Jesus never had any brothers, I take that pretty seriously as an argument that He never had any brothers.

So what do we know about ancient Greek and who was related to whom, and how? Let's take a look:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> For example, see the following:

1. The word “brother“ (Greek: adelphos)</font>
You are aware, penatis, that adelphos has more than one definition I hope. Let's use an anti-Catholic site to show this.

From Strong's Concordance:

adelphos {ad-el-fos'}

AV - brethren, brother, brother's, brother's way 1;

1) a brother, whether born of the same two parents or only of the
same father or mother
2) having the same national ancestor, belonging to the same
people, or countryman
3) any fellow or man
4) a fellow believer, united to another by the bond of affection
5) an associate in employment or office
6) brethren in Christ
6a) his brothers by blood
6b) all men
6c) apostles
6d) Christians, as those who are exalted to the same heavenly place


Clearly adelphos means a lot more than merely brothers that are children of the same parents. I'll offer a few quotations from Mark to show that the author knew this as well.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">...is used a number of times in “Mark.” In ALL of the following cases it is used to denote a male sibling:</font>
Umm... except maybe this one... which you skipped until later in your post. (Or Luke 6:42, or usages in the epistles which you ignored completely)

Mark 3:31-35 (KJV) There came then his brethren (adelphos) and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him.
And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.


Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">(Mark 6:3)"Is not this the carpenter [Jesus], the son of Mary and brother (adelphos) of James and Joses and Judas and Simon and are not his sisters (adelphe) here with us?" (6:3)</font>
Note for this verse from the New American Bible:

3 Is he not the carpenter?: no other gospel calls Jesus a carpenter. Some witnesses have "the carpenter's son," as in Matthew 13:55. Son of Mary: contrary to Jewish custom, which calls a man the son of his father, this expression may reflect Mark's own faith that God is the Father of Jesus (Mark 1:1,11; 8:38; 13:32; 14:36). The brother of James . . . Simon: in Semitic usage, the terms "brother," "sister" are applied not only to children of the same parents, but to nephews, nieces, cousins, half-brothers, and half-sisters; cf Genesis 14:16; 29:15; Lev 10:4. While one cannot suppose that the meaning of a Greek word should be sought in the first place from Semitic usage, the Septuagint often translates the Hebrew ah by the Greek word adelphos, "brother," as in the cited passages, a fact that may argue for a similar breadth of meaning in some New Testament passages. For instance, there is no doubt that in v 17, "brother" is used of Philip, who was actually the half-brother of Herod Antipas. On the other hand, Mark may have understood the terms literally; see also Matthew 3:31-32; 12:46; 13:55-56; Luke 8:19; John 7:3,5. The question of meaning here would not have arisen but for the faith of the church in Mary's perpetual virginity.

Personally, I don't want to make a big issue out of this question (unless penatis does), but let's just admit that there is more than one way (in other word's penatis' way) of reading and translating Scripture. But then again, I think we already knew that.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">"Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother (adelphos) dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the wife, and raise up children for his brother (adelphos);" (12:19)</font>
How about Luke 6:42? Is Jesus only talking about blood related brothers?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">In the following passage, the writer makes a clear distinction between Jesus’ biological mother, sisters, and brothers and Jesus’ followers, whom Jesus dubs “my mother and my brothers.”

“And his mother and his brothers (adelphos) came; and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting about him; and they said to him, ‘Your mother and your brothers (adelphos) are outside, asking for you.’ And he replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers (adelphos)?’ And looking around on those who sat about him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers (adelphos)! Whoever does the will of God is my brother (adelphos), and sister (adelphe), and mother.’” (3:31-35)</font>
I already showed this passage above, and as we can see, Jesus is teaching that many can be called his "brother", or "sister" without being a blood relation. And as for James, the brother of Jesus mentioned earlier, here is what we learn in the Catholic Encyclopedia:

...the prominence and authority of James among the Apostles (Acts 15:13; Gal 2:9; in the latter text he is even named before Cephas) could have belonged only to one of their number. Now there were only two Apostles names James: James the son of Zebedee, and James the son of Alpheus (Matt 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13). The former is out of the question, since he was dead at the time of the events to which Acts 15:6ssq., and Gal 2:9-12 refer (cf. Acts 12:2). James "the brother of the Lord" is therefore one with James the son of Alpheus, and consequently with James the Less, the identity of these two being generally conceded. Again, on comparing John 19:25 with Matt 27:56, and Mark 15:40 (cf. Mark 15:47; 16:1), we find that Mary of Cleophas, or more correctly Clopas (Klopas), the sister of Mary the Mother of Christ, is the same as Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joseph, or Joses.

To sum up, as I said before, I have no personal opinion on the eternal virginity of Mary, but given the fact that the Greek word can be read as a blood related brother, but also as a cousin, or a non-blood related brother, I think we should give some credence to the opinion and translation offered by the people who lived at the time, and spoke and wrote the language themselves.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">3. Paul, writing in the mid to late fifties CE, said, “[Jesus] was descended from David according to the flesh ...” (Rom. 1:3) This is an explicit allusion to a natural, physical conception.</font>
Since Mary was descended from David (see Luke's geneology), and the prophecy of the Messiah was that he would come through the line of the mother (as opposed to the more traditional male lineage common for the Jews).

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">4. Numerous early Christians believed that Jesus was a mere man, conceived and born the way ALL men are.</font>
Yet again you are making a very weak argument. Early people that called themselves Christian ranged from those that Jesus never had a real human body at all, to those that thought He was merely a man. The Church rejected all of these as heresies, and did so on the basis of clear Scripture.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> “Mark” would have fit their theology like a glove. With respect to these early Christians, Bart Ehrman states, "Christians of second and third centuries generally--regardless of theological persuasion--claimed to espouse the views of Jesus' earliest followers. With regard at least to the adoptionists [those who believed Jesus was a mere man], modern scholarship has conceded the claim. These Christians did not originate their views of Christ; adoptionist Christologies can be traced to sources that predate the books of the New Testament." The Orthodox corruption of Scripture, P. 48.</font>
Setting aside the obvious bias of this author (no, I haven't read his book, but anyone that thinks the Orthodox view corrupted Scripture as we see by the title clearly has a theological point to make), let's see what others from the 2nd and 3rd Century believed about the virgin birth.

"The Book [the Protoevangelium] of James [records] that the brethren of Jesus were sons of Joseph by a former wife, whom he married before Mary. Now those who say so wish to preserve the honor of Mary in virginity to the end, so that body of hers which was appointed to minister to the Word . . . might not know intercourse with a man after that the Holy Spirit came into her and the power from on high overshadowed her. And I think it in harmony with reason that Jesus was the firstfruit among men of the purity which consists in [perpetual] chastity, and Mary was among women. For it were not pious to ascribe to any other than to her the first-fruit of virginity" (Origen, Commentary on Matthew 2:17 [A.D. 248]).

The Protoevangelium of James that Origen quotes was written in the early 2nd Century (about 120AD), and is very clear that Mary was a virgin her entire life.

Finally, I'll wrap up with Jerome:

"(Helvidius) produces Tertullian as a witness (to his view) and quotes Victorinus, bishop of Petavium. Of Tertullian, I say no more than that he did not belong to the Church (Montanist by then). But as regards Victorinus, I assert what has already been proven from the gospel--that he (Victorinus) spoke of the brethren of the Lord NOT as being sons of Mary but brethren in the sense I have explained, that is to say, brethren in point of kinship, not by nature. (By discussing such things we) are . . . following the tiny streams of opinion. Might I not array against you the whole series of ancient writers? Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, and many other apostolic and eloquent men, who against (the heretics) Ebion, Theodotus of Byzantium, and Valentinus, held these same views and wrote volumes replete with wisdom. If you had ever read what they wrote, you would be a wiser man" (Against Helvidius: The Perpetual Virginity of Mary 19 [A.D. 383]).

So, am I 100% convinced Mary stayed a virgin her whole life? Not quite. Maybe 99% though, and I see no reason to say she could not have been. In any event, I will still take the word of the ancients on this over those of poor penatis.

Peace,

Nomad

P.S. I forgot one of the best arguments that Jesus had no brothers, and it was offered by a Catholic friend of mine. If James was the brother of Jesus, and son of Mary, then when Jesus was crucified, he had no reason to give His mother into the care of John the Evangilist.

John 19:26-27 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

Jewish custom and practices would have made certain that Mary would have been taken care of by her biological sons once Jesus was dead. Since she moved in with John, and did so at Jesus own instructions, then why was this necessary (unless she had no other children)? Just a thought.


[This message has been edited by Nomad (edited January 19, 2001).]
 
Old 01-19-2001, 03:10 PM   #9
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Singledad,
I must apologize for my arrogance in my manner. My comments were not originally directed at you, but Penatis. So, I also apologize to you Penatis for being harsh on you.

Still, I hold to my evidence. An argument from absence of evidence (or silence) does not discredit the Bible any more than it would discredit evolution that has not found the missing link. Both jump large holes in light of other evidences. I do wish that Penatis would approach the text with a little more humility as also I should approach skeptics with humility not being aware of all their concerns with the Biblical text.

Respectfully submitted
 
Old 01-19-2001, 03:23 PM   #10
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In defense of Josephus,
When you come to a book of the Bible you must understand that each book is written in a specific genre. These include narrative, poetry, wisdom, prophecy, apocaliptic, parable, and epistle. These are the main Biblical genres or pattens of writting. For an exellent breakdown of Biblical genre see "The Hermeneutical Spiral", by, Grant Osborne. A Gospel is a genre that contains genres, such as narrative, parable, and apocaliptic. You must learn these patterns and why a Biblical author would choose them to communicate. Mark has an initial audience in mind. If it is the Romans they are not going to care so much about Jewish prophecies being fullfilled by the life of Christ so naturally Mark isn't going to mention these things as much as Matthew who is writting to Jews who are expecting and looking for Messiah.
A Biblical author is what is called a redactor. He is a weaver of material, that redacts a story from information to speak to a certain audience. If Mark leaves out historical information from the life of Christ it is because he either didn't know it, recall it at the time, or did not feel it would suit his audience.
 
 

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