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Old 01-07-2001, 08:29 AM   #11
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In reading Scripture and Josephus one will discover
"many" used in conjunction with angels. That is, you will
never discover "all" angels. "Many" is also often used in
conjunction with Pharisees. You will not discover "all"
pharisees nor will you find "many" Sadducees. There was
an angel in Jesus' burial tomb. This angel was a Pharisee
and his name was Simon Magus and he was crucified with

Here is a curious verse in Acts (19:19) "Many of
them also which used curious arts brought their books
together, and burned them before all men: and they
counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand
pieces of silver."

I call it a vernacular language.

thanks, offa
Old 01-08-2001, 07:01 AM   #12
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Just replying to a few so far.

The Anchor Bible Dictionary gives three possibilities for the Sons of God. 1) fallen angels 2) the godly descendents of Seth 3) powerful lords of the day enacting first rights to women newly married. The purpose of the passage is to show the dwindling number of the godly until only Noah is left.
I prefer #2, and don't take Enoch's (which is not the true author) 400 ft tall man eating Nephilim as fact.

Much of the Psudopigrapha's genre does not claim accuracy and are midrashes and apocalypsises. That is one reason it is not in the cannon. One way to tell if the specific book intends accuracy is if in the first line of the book the author bungles a well know historical fact (say the king under who the exile took place). He did it intentionally and not deceptively. It is a literary device that functions like our "once upon a time" clause and the readers understand it to be fictional.

It is a very true observation that the Bible is not written in a universal language void of ambiguous idioms and what not. But no language exists that is universally translatable. What is interesting though is that Hebrew is the only dead language that has been resurrected to modern use.

The first rule of Jewish interpretation in the OT is that God speaks the language of men. To speak in language that is understandable to all generations would exclude the present generation from understanding certain things, to whom He is directly speaking. Rather it was intended that the present generation would understand completely and preserve the ideas and concepts and keep the language contemporary. I have often desired a universal, no problems language fully translatable , but alas, only the disciplined who dig continuously find the gems they are looking for.

language goes through evolution. Better understanding of the dynamics of language (and culture) clears up a lot of ambiguities and contradictions in the Bible. I wish more Christians would study this so I wouldn’t see so many shoddy word studies.

[This message has been edited by Josephus (edited January 08, 2001).]
Old 01-08-2001, 07:38 AM   #13
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Also, a quick tidbit on hyperbole

Yes, the Bible purposely uses exaggerations at times ("all" for example, context should say literal or exaggerated), but to my knowledge not without sufficient tip off. Often we discount this literary devise by taking the text in the opposite extreme it intends. But this fails to see the purpose of hyperbole. It's emphasizing that the event was dramatic and unusual. But it would be incorrect to take hyperbole literally also. A balance somewhere between slightly beyond common and just before outlandish is safe interpretation game. I know this is broad playground, Context is the rule of thumb.

One example:

"The whole city gathered at the door" (Mark 1:33). Question, how big was a "city"? A better question how big was this particular city? You'll find your research enlightening. Also, this is the first in a series of progressions.

"there gathered together, so many that there was no longer room, even near the door" (Mark 2:2). How big is the crowd following Jesus now?

"And He told His disciples to that a boat should stand ready for Him, in order that they might not crowd Him, for He had healed many, with the result that all those who had afflictions pressed about Him in order to touch Him" (Mark 3:9,10). But He doesn't expressly use it yet.

"And He came home, and the multitude gathered again, to such and extent that they could not even eat a meal" (Mark 3:20). Now? How big was a home? In what position did they eat?

"And He began teaching again by the sea. And such a very great multitude gathered to Him that He got into a boat in the sea and sat down, and the whole multitude was by the sea on the sand" (Mark 4:1). Now He's using the boat.

There are more, but suffice it to say that this is developing building tension between Jesus' intent to teach and the miracle seekers. In the larger context of Mark, a tension between their expectations of Messiah and His definition of Messiah. Shortly thereafter, it is interesting that Jesus purposely behaves in such a way to turn many away. This is much different than modern evangelists who “seek” large crowds. Jesus had no trouble attracting mass people, but turns many shallow ones away.

This is an example of context and hyperbole.
Old 01-10-2001, 10:41 PM   #14
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Offa, could you clarify your post a little. Sorry, but I didn't see where you were coming from or aim at specifically.
Old 01-12-2001, 12:53 PM   #15
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Sure Josephus, I will explain. the person who taught me to read in vernacular (pesher) is Flavius Josephus.
"All" does not mean "everybody" nor does "many" mean "whole bunch of". If you have the "Works of Josephus" just read the preface and the first couple of pages and watch how
Josephus' uses "many: and "all". Notice that their use is redundant (He is talking about two different sects).
BTW, the beasts are human and "eat" means "sex". "Feasting" is an orgy!


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