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Old 05-01-2001, 04:36 PM   #11
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Turton,

I do not deny that the Jews had a rich source of pagan, or even Old Testament miracle stories, to draw on had they wished to do so. My focus was on whether they actually did so. As you can see from my original post in this thread, it does not appear that such figures were common, or at least commonly reported, among Jews in first century Palestine.

The fact that there were many pagan myths to draw on is remarkable to the extent that it appears that the Jews in Palestine apparently declined to do so. The fact that there were so many Old Testament stories to draw on is all the more remarkable because such stories do not appear to have been widely believed or reported. In short, for people who had access to so many miracle stories, and who undoubtedly believed that miracles were possible, the Jews in first century Palestine seem remarkably reserved when it came to actually reporting that such things were happening in their midst.

I'm afraid I am unable to respond to your critique of W.L. Craig as the link is dead. I'm unwilling to defend the statement unless I know the context.
 
Old 05-01-2001, 06:59 PM   #12
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Layman:
Turton,

I do not deny that the Jews had a rich source of pagan, or even Old Testament miracle stories, to draw on had they wished to do so. My focus was on whether they actually did so. As you can see from my original post in this thread, it does not appear that such figures were common, or at least commonly reported, among Jews in first century Palestine.


There is evidence in the NT confirming the existence of Jewish magician/exorcists similar to, and during the time of, Jesus.

1. Jesus said, "And if I cast out demons by Be-el'zebul, by whom do your sons cast them out?" (Mt. 12:27)

2. "And God did extraordinary miracles [magic] by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to pronounce the [magic] name of Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, 'I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.' Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this." (Acts 19:11-14)

"...there were Jewish exorcists..., and it may be that some of them used methods akin to those described in [magical papyri]. The reality of the demon world, constantly assumed in the New Testament, is clearly presupposed." C. K. Barret, The New Testament Background, P. 30.

3. "And if I cast out demons by Be-elzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out?...But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you." (Lk. 11:19-20)

Layman: The fact that there were many pagan myths to draw on is remarkable to the extent that it appears that the Jews in Palestine apparently declined to do so.

See above examples.

Layman: The fact that there were so many Old Testament stories to draw on is all the more remarkable because such stories do not appear to have been widely believed or reported. In short, for people who had access to so many miracle stories, and who undoubtedly believed that miracles were possible, the Jews in first century Palestine seem remarkably reserved when it came to actually reporting that such things were happening in their midst.

Jews and Jesus' followers believed in the efficacy of magicians and their potent magic:

"And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and pallets, that as Peter came by at least his shadow would fall on some of them." (Acts 5:14-15) "The pagan belief in the virtue which in latent in the shadow of a holy man is referred to in Acts v.15, where we are told that the sick folk and demoniacs on whom the shadow of Peter fell 'were healed every one.' The belief was common that there were healing powers in the apparel of holy men, and when the 'handkerchiefs and aprons' of Paul were brought and laid upon the sick,' the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them...[see quote #2 above]'" E.A. Wallis Budge, Amulets and Superstitions, pp. xxvii-xxviii.

 
Old 05-01-2001, 07:27 PM   #13
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[quote]<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by rodahi:
Quote:
Originally posted by Layman:
Turton,

I do not deny that the Jews had a rich source of pagan, or even Old Testament miracle stories, to draw on had they wished to do so. My focus was on whether they actually did so. As you can see from my original post in this thread, it does not appear that such figures were common, or at least commonly reported, among Jews in first century Palestine.


There is evidence in the NT confirming the existence of Jewish magician/exorcists similar to, and during the time of, Jesus.

1. Jesus said, "And if I cast out demons by Be-el'zebul, by whom do your sons cast them out?" (Mt. 12:27)

2. "And God did extraordinary miracles [magic] by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to pronounce the [magic] name of Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, 'I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.' Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this." (Acts 19:11-14)

"...there were Jewish exorcists..., and it may be that some of them used methods akin to those described in [magical papyri]. The reality of the demon world, constantly assumed in the New Testament, is clearly presupposed." C. K. Barret, The New Testament Background, P. 30.

3. "And if I cast out demons by Be-elzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out?...But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you." (Lk. 11:19-20)

Layman: The fact that there were many pagan myths to draw on is remarkable to the extent that it appears that the Jews in Palestine apparently declined to do so.

See above examples.

Layman: The fact that there were so many Old Testament stories to draw on is all the more remarkable because such stories do not appear to have been widely believed or reported. In short, for people who had access to so many miracle stories, and who undoubtedly believed that miracles were possible, the Jews in first century Palestine seem remarkably reserved when it came to actually reporting that such things were happening in their midst.

Jews and Jesus' followers believed in the efficacy of magicians and their potent magic:

"And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and pallets, that as Peter came by at least his shadow would fall on some of them." (Acts 5:14-15) "The pagan belief in the virtue which in latent in the shadow of a holy man is referred to in Acts v.15, where we are told that the sick folk and demoniacs on whom the shadow of Peter fell 'were healed every one.' The belief was common that there were healing powers in the apparel of holy men, and when the 'handkerchiefs and aprons' of Paul were brought and laid upon the sick,' the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them...[see quote #2 above]'" E.A. Wallis Budge, Amulets and Superstitions, pp. xxvii-xxviii.
Quote:
</font>
You have a point about the exorcisms.

Again, though, I admit that the Jews believed in miracle working, my point is that despite that belief figures such as Jesus are extremely rare.
 
Old 05-01-2001, 10:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
You have a point about the exorcisms.

Again, though, I admit that the Jews believed in miracle working, my point is that despite that belief figures such as Jesus are extremely rare.
</font>
I am not sure what you mean here. If Jesus' fellow Jews (and others) did precisely what Jesus did, how can you say that "figures such as Jesus are extremely rare?" As I pointed out, using evidence from the NT, just the opposite is true. Many Jews, like Jesus, practiced magic.

According to Charles Guignebert "...a number of magical texts have come down to us which show us the syncretic process at work in a limited but none the less genuine form, and their mere existence proves, in my opinion, that there must have also been other more elaborate and complicated forms. The names Iao, Sabaoth, Michael, Raphael and other Jewish angels are there to be found side by side with those of Egyptian or Greek divinities Moreover, the Jews were renowned throughout the Roman world for their skill in magical arts, and here again we may recognize the influence of syncretism, for this knowledge must have come to them principally through contact with the Chaldeans. 'After the Jews,' says Cumont, 'had been initiated into the secret lore and practices of the Persians and the Chaldeans, they served as the indirect means by which knowledge of certain formulae spread throughout the area of the Dispersion.'" The Jewish World in the Time of Jesus, P. 240.

With respect to Jesus' "miracles," and their similarity to those of others, including his fellow Jews, E. M. Butler states, "The interesting and seemingly symbolical feature of the temptation was Christ's refusal to perform works of magic in order to prove his divinity. It was almost like a prophecy that there was to be no more magic allowed, and certainly a statement that magic was devilish. And yet Christ practiced it, for his miracles do not differ from the similar and sometimes identical feats of his predecessors and successors." The Myth of the Magus, pp. 66-67.

rodahi
 
Old 05-01-2001, 10:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by rodahi:
I am not sure what you mean here. If Jesus' fellow Jews (and others) did precisely what Jesus did, how can you say that "figures such as Jesus are extremely rare?" As I pointed out, using evidence from the NT, just the opposite is true. Many Jews, like Jesus, practiced magic.

According to Charles Guignebert "...a number of magical texts have come down to us which show us the syncretic process at work in a limited but none the less genuine form, and their mere existence proves, in my opinion, that there must have also been other more elaborate and complicated forms. The names Iao, Sabaoth, Michael, Raphael and other Jewish angels are there to be found side by side with those of Egyptian or Greek divinities Moreover, the Jews were renowned throughout the Roman world for their skill in magical arts, and here again we may recognize the influence of syncretism, for this knowledge must have come to them principally through contact with the Chaldeans. 'After the Jews,' says Cumont, 'had been initiated into the secret lore and practices of the Persians and the Chaldeans, they served as the indirect means by which knowledge of certain formulae spread throughout the area of the Dispersion.'" The Jewish World in the Time of Jesus, P. 240.

With respect to Jesus' "miracles," and their similarity to those of others, including his fellow Jews, E. M. Butler states, "The interesting and seemingly symbolical feature of the temptation was Christ's refusal to perform works of magic in order to prove his divinity. It was almost like a prophecy that there was to be no more magic allowed, and certainly a statement that magic was devilish. And yet Christ practiced it, for his miracles do not differ from the similar and sometimes identical feats of his predecessors and successors." The Myth of the Magus, pp. 66-67.

rodahi
</font>
Who where they Rodahi? Other than you reference to Paul's healings, admittedly patterned after Jesus, you have nothing here but conclusory statements. Most skeptics I know put there eggs in the Honi and Hanini baskets. I've elminated Honi, and hope to do Hanini as time permits.

So who where these Jewish miracle workers and which first century Jews were reporting their miracles?
 
Old 05-02-2001, 06:17 AM   #16
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:
Gad! I didn't even notice this thread.

....also embarrassing to McClellan to admit that he won the battle because of this knowledge.
</font>
Not to break the thread too far, but if God really was supporting Little Mac, he would have pushed him to move in a more timely fashion, or to use IVth Corps in the afternoon of the 17th or the morning of the 18th. Either way, he could have parted Lee like the Red Sea, and marched his army into the promised land of Richmond.

Clearly, the three cigars were merely a false sign, intended to draw out the Satanic McClellan for what he was, a false messiah!

End of digression.&lt;G&gt;
 
Old 05-02-2001, 07:16 PM   #17
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quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by rodahi:
I am not sure what you mean here. If Jesus' fellow Jews (and others) did precisely what Jesus did, how can you say that "figures such as Jesus are extremely rare?" As I pointed out, using evidence from the NT, just the opposite is true. Many Jews, like Jesus, practiced magic.
According to Charles Guignebert "...a number of magical texts have come down to us which show us the syncretic process at work in a limited but none the less genuine form, and their mere existence proves, in my opinion, that there must have also been other more elaborate and complicated forms. The names Iao, Sabaoth, Michael, Raphael and other Jewish angels are there to be found side by side with those of Egyptian or Greek divinities Moreover, the Jews were renowned throughout the Roman world for their skill in magical arts, and here again we may recognize the influence of syncretism, for this knowledge must have come to them principally through contact with the Chaldeans. 'After the Jews,' says Cumont, 'had been initiated into the secret lore and practices of the Persians and the Chaldeans, they served as the indirect means by which knowledge of certain formulae spread throughout the area of the Dispersion.'" The Jewish World in the Time of Jesus, P. 240.

With respect to Jesus' "miracles," and their similarity to those of others, including his fellow Jews, E. M. Butler states, "The interesting and seemingly symbolical feature of the temptation was Christ's refusal to perform works of magic in order to prove his divinity. It was almost like a prophecy that there was to be no more magic allowed, and certainly a statement that magic was devilish. And yet Christ practiced it, for his miracles do not differ from the similar and sometimes identical feats of his predecessors and successors." The Myth of the Magus, pp. 66-67.

rodahi



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Layman: Who where they Rodahi?

Are you suggesting that since I cannot name all the Jewish and non-Jewish magicians (other than Jesus and a couple of others), Jesus must have been virtually the only one? With all due respect, Layman, this is an absurd question to ask.

Layman: Other than you reference to Paul's healings, admittedly patterned after Jesus, you have nothing here but conclusory statements.

I do not admit that Peter's and Paul's magical practices are patterned after Jesus. I think all three practiced magic as holy men/magicians. They may have been influenced by Jesus, but they were probably doing precisely what other magicians were doing during the first century.

We read in Acts, "And this became known to all residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks; and fear fell upon them all; and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. Many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all; and they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver."

Suetonius speaks of magical book burnings in the year 13 BCE, "Augustus collected all the copies of Greek and Latin prophetic verse then current, the work of either anonymous or unrespected authors, and burned more than two thousand. He kept only the [magical] Sibylline books." Augustus 31.1

Hans Dieter Betz has this to say, "...the first centuries of the Christian era saw many burnings of books, often of magical books, and not a few burnings that included the magicians themselves...Magical beliefs and practices can hardly be overestimated in their importance for the daily life of the people. The religious beliefs and practices of most people were identical with some form of magic, and the neat distinction we make today between approved and disapproved forms of religion--calling the former 'religion' and 'church' and the later 'magic' and 'cult'--did not exist in antiquity except among a few intellectuals." The Magical Papyri in Translation, P. xli.

I ask you, Who were the people using books containing "magic arts" and "prophecies?" Who were the people who were practicing magic and prophecy? Answer: Jewish and non-Jewish magicians. Jesus fits the situation perfectly.

Layman: Most skeptics I know put there eggs in the Honi and Hanini baskets. I've elminated Honi, and hope to do Hanini as time permits.

I am not particularly interested in either person. They were just two among many.

Layman: So who where these Jewish miracle workers and which first century Jews were reporting their miracles?

They were practioners of the magical arts, and they were reported by the writers of the NT, Josephus, et al.

rodahi




[This message has been edited by rodahi (edited May 02, 2001).]
 
Old 05-03-2001, 09:05 PM   #18
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http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/1995/95.04.12.html

Contains an informative review of a book on magic amulets: Greek Magical Amulets: The Inscribed Gold, Silver, Copper, and Bronze Lamellae. Part I: Published Texts of Known
Provenance.

as Kotansky's specimens reflect the complex Greco-Roman cultures that had settled, negotiated misfortunes, and entombed their departed loved ones throughout Europe and the Near East. One encounters a Jewish amulet from Wales, an Egyptian divine name from York, England, and an invocation of Romulus from Hungary

Lots of interesting knowledge here.

And here is a discussion of possible magical inscriptions on first-century jewish graves.

http://www.jhom.com/topics/letters/grave.html

Michael



[This message has been edited by turtonm (edited May 03, 2001).]
 
Old 05-04-2001, 01:23 PM   #19
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In addition to Akiba, whom I mentioned in another thread, another possible first century Jewish magic worker is Rabbi Nehuniah ben Ha-Qanah, an early mystic and magic-user who seems to have later gotten his name linked to the Kabbala. There are also miracle stories associated with Rabbi Meir (2nd century, tomb in Tiberias), who freed his wife's sister from a house of ill-fame through a miracle and some judicious bribery. Story is here.

http://www.ohr.org.il/yomi/yomi090.htm

More here, a little more scholarly.

http://www.andromeda.rutgers.edu/~zahavy/beruriah.htm

Was it this type of thing that Morton Smith focused on in his research?

Michael
 
 

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