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Old 08-29-2001, 10:36 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally posted by E_muse:
<STRONG>My reference to flitting between interpretations involved your statement that regarded the missing corpse as a fact - and possibly non docetic - and yet failed to apply an equally straightforward interpretation throughout the text.</STRONG>

I have ALREADY told you that I had erred and was simply making an unwarranted assumption.

Michael
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Old 08-29-2001, 06:51 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally posted by E_muse:

You are asserting that a finite number of interpretations of the Markan text are possible and equally valid. You are saying that no interpretation can be proven right.


Michael said:

No, I am saying that many interpretations might be thought right. I am not saying that no interpretation can be proven wrong. As I have already said. Several times.
Well, it seems that any individual or group is going to think that their own interpretation is the right one.

Anyway, my issue is one of validity of interpretation. As you said:

Quote:
"Because it is not in the text, and because the text contains no denial of a purely spiritual resurrection of Jesus (as you have noted) we may now find either interpretation equally valid. As you confirm:
You have plainly stated that we may find a Docetist or anti-Docetist interpretation of the text as being equally valid.

My point is that a Docetic belief system cannot be derived from the text. You yourself have said that the writer is being ambiguous.

As I have stated above, anything which must be read into the text cannot be supported by the text in the sense that it has not been derived from it.

Did the Docetist's become so because they read the Gospel of Mark, or were they able to fit Mark into their pre-existent belief system? If the latter is true then a Docetic reading of Mark is not an interpretation in the sense that I am defining the word.

As of the point regarding equal validity:

You have clearly stated that you think that physical resurrection is an impossibility, and not from an ambiguous text in Mark. You said:

Quote:
"I refuse to believe in a physical resurrection because it is impossible, not because of some ambiguous passage in Mark.
Do you see any form of resurrection as possible?

If you don't, then I cannot see how you can't but see all interpretations of the text (which claims that Christ was raised), as interpretations of a fantasy and all equally meaningless. They must then, all be valid interpretations of a fantasy as all conclusions as to the nature of the resurrected Christ are all false.

Quote:
I said:

This is especially the case as you still haven't given your own rules for interpreting ancient texts for assessment.


To which Michael replied:

You must have missed my last post. See the one before yours.
No, I did read it. But even if we know everything about those who would have read Mark, this does not prove that Mark was wanting to leave all these possible options open. It merely explains how the text has been understood in so many different ways.

Mark may no more have been leaving his text open to a docetic interpretation than Darwin intended to pave the way for Nietzche's concept of the Ubermensche.

What I am saying plainly is that a person could never come to a docetic understanding of Jesus' resurrection from the Markan text.

Quote:
You assert that there are more than one and equally valid interpretations of the text, none of which can be proved wrong or right.

Michael replied:

No, I assert only that there are many interpretations of the text. "Right or wrong" do not apply in interpretation. "Supported or unsupported," maybe.
If right or wrong don't apply in interpretation, why do you state above:

Quote:
No, I am saying that many interpretations might be thought right. I am not saying that no interpretation can be proven wrong.
The term risen can mean all of the following in the original language:

- to arouse, cause to rise
- to arouse from sleep, to awake
- to arouse from the sleep of death, to recall the dead to life
- to cause to rise from a seat or bed etc.
- to raise up, produce, cause to appear
- to cause to appear, bring before the public
- to raise up, stir up, against one
- to raise up i.e. cause to be born
- of buildings, to raise up, construct, erect

When the young man declares 'He is risen', I conclude that everything which was Christ prior to his death came alive after his death because this seems the implication of the language used and because anything else requires reading into the text something which isn't there. This also seems the conclusion whichever position one holds. For example:

I can understand the text in one of three ways:

1. He was raised a spirit, now seperated from his body which simply dissolved or disappeared - or never really existed. 'He is risen' and 'He is not here' do not include the body. In fact, no reference to Jesus in Mark can be taken to include a literal body - he only appeared a physical human being prior to his death and he only appeared to be physically human afterwards.
2. Jesus did possess real flesh and blood and everthing which made up 'Jesus' prior to his death was raised after it. 'He' is risen applies to Christ's total person which included a real body.
3. He wasn't raised at all. It is all fable and therefore points 1 and 2 are esentially meaningless.

If 3 is true then I see little point in discussing 1 and 2.

If 1 is true then Mark gives no indication of this. Point 1 has then not been taken from the Markan text itself but read into the text. However, when seeking to understand the perceptions of the disciples there is no essential difference between 1 and 2. How Jesus appeared before his death is how he appeared after his death. The only difference is that in point 1, Jesus was as divorced from a real body following his resurrection as he was before it.

There is no purpose in arguing for point 1 - even if it were true (the Docetist comes from a Greek word meaning to 'seem' remember), as Christ would have seemed physically real to his disciples both before and after his death whilst actually being only a phantom the whole time, making no difference to their claim that Christ was physically raised - even if the Docetic position were true - as he would have been perceived as physically real. If this were not true then the whole Docetic position seems to fall apart. No manner of post resurrection appearances or fingers in sides would help the early disciples escape this one. However, this involves reading something into the Markan text which the writer hasn't included or commented on.

Also, if Christ appeared to be real in every sense, how did the Docetist's know that their claim was true? If any of them did know the 'physical' Christ and he appeared to them as real in every way, how did they know that he was in fact a phantom?

The claim of a physical resurrection seems to best correlate with what the Disciples would have experienced (even if the Docetic position is true) and so I would suggest that a Docetic position would become more pronounced the further we get from those who actually experienced the events.

Hope this makes some sort of sense.

[ August 29, 2001: Message edited by: E_muse ]
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Old 09-04-2001, 03:12 AM   #73
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Apologies, there is one more underlying interpretive principle behind my above post which I intended to include with the others I have mentioned above but didn't!

It is - to seek the interpretation which would best match the experiences of the first Disciples.

Remember, Docetist's believed that Jesus was never fully human but only seemed to be - throughout his life, not just after his resurrection. However, to those around him, Jesus would still have appeared fully human, even if he wasn't!

Repeating myself, even if the Docetic understanding of Christ's incarnation is correct, it would seem likely that those in immediate contact with Jesus would have thought that he was fully human and therefore physical and this would be what they reported.
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Old 09-04-2001, 07:09 AM   #74
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Originally posted by E_muse:
Repeating myself, even if the Docetic understanding of Christ's incarnation is correct, it would seem likely that those in immediate contact with Jesus would have thought that he was fully human and therefore physical and this would be what they reported.

That's nice, E_muse, but it isn't in Mark. And therefore it remains only your interpretation.

Michael
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Old 09-06-2001, 03:34 PM   #75
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Quote:
That's nice, E_muse, but it isn't in Mark. And therefore it remains only your interpretation.
I freely admit that I am looking at inference here.

Anyone's reading of a text is an interpretation. This seems inescapable.
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Old 09-06-2001, 06:17 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally posted by E_muse:
<STRONG>

I freely admit that I am looking at inference here.

Anyone's reading of a text is an interpretation. This seems inescapable.</STRONG>
That's all I've ever said.

Michael
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Old 09-10-2001, 10:22 AM   #77
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Quote:
That's all I've ever said.
Well, not quite all. You've also stated that Docetic and non-Docetic interpretations of the text are equally valid - including a finite number of interpretations which you don't yet know of.

I've sought to demonstrate that, even if the Docetic position is true (that Jesus only seemed real throughout his life), he would still have appeared as real to his immediate followers and that this is how they would have experienced him and reported him.

Therefore, in order to hold a Docetic understanding of Christ, something would have to be added from outside the text. Also, a Docetic understanding of Christ could only really be established on the basis of a Christ who seemed real in every way. And remember, to many gnostics, Jesus was as equally phantasmal prior to his death as he would have been after it.
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Old 09-10-2001, 03:18 PM   #78
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by E_muse:
[QB]

Well, not quite all. You've also stated that Docetic and non-Docetic interpretations of the text are equally valid - including a finite number of interpretations which you don't yet know of.[/b]

Perfectly true.

[b]I've sought to demonstrate that, even if the Docetic position is true (that Jesus only seemed real throughout his life), he would still have appeared as real to his immediate followers and that this is how they would have experienced him and reported him.[/b

I have no problem with this interpretation.

Therefore, in order to hold a Docetic understanding of Christ, something would have to be added from outside the text.

That is true of most interpretations.

Also, a Docetic understanding of Christ could only really be established on the basis of a Christ who seemed real in every way. And remember, to many gnostics, Jesus was as equally phantasmal prior to his death as he would have been after it.

Sure, that was their interpretation.

Michael
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