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Old 05-31-2001, 05:04 PM   #1
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Post Why Did The Disciples Not Recognize Jesus?

After the crucifiction of Jesus the story theme is set for his appearance three times among the disciples. On the road to Emaneus, at the disciples home and then on the shore where they were fishing. None of these times did the disciples recognize their lord who had been with them three+ years. Why?

Because it was not Jesus and another disciple not of the twelve who came to them and spoke the words of Christ? (spirit of Christ in him)

This must be an allegory lesson on how the resurrection occurs. Of which I think scripture describes the resurrection to be while Jesus was alive. In other words, the way Jesus was "raised up" among the brethren was them honoring him in his knowledge and wisdom of the law and prophet sayings. Jesus said at the beginning of his ministry, "I must be raised up as Moses raised the serpent in the wilderness".

Also, I believe this to explain how the reference is thrown back to the OT prophet teachings of the hole in his side (pierced) and hands etc. Wish I could explain this better but maybe you catch the points I'm attempting to make.

Jesus said "I am the resurrection". And "the words, they are spirit and they are life".

Jesus told the disciples "where I go you cannot follow" and it was the "spirit" which Jesus said would return to them. How? The "words" of teaching is that which the disciples remembered as the other disciple "opened" (made them to understand) the scriptures as told by the OT prophets.



 
Old 06-03-2001, 11:07 PM   #2
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Crystal:
After the crucifiction of Jesus the story theme is set for his appearance three times among the disciples. On the road to Emaneus, at the disciples home and then on the shore where they were fishing. None of these times did the disciples recognize their lord who had been with them three+ years. Why?

Because it was not Jesus and another disciple not of the twelve who came to them and spoke the words of Christ? (spirit of Christ in him)

This must be an allegory lesson on how the resurrection occurs. Of which I think scripture describes the resurrection to be while Jesus was alive. In other words, the way Jesus was "raised up" among the brethren was them honoring him in his knowledge and wisdom of the law and prophet sayings. Jesus said at the beginning of his ministry, "I must be raised up as Moses raised the serpent in the wilderness".

Also, I believe this to explain how the reference is thrown back to the OT prophet teachings of the hole in his side (pierced) and hands etc. Wish I could explain this better but maybe you catch the points I'm attempting to make.

Jesus said "I am the resurrection". And "the words, they are spirit and they are life".

Jesus told the disciples "where I go you cannot follow" and it was the "spirit" which Jesus said would return to them. How? The "words" of teaching is that which the disciples remembered as the other disciple "opened" (made them to understand) the scriptures as told by the OT prophets.
</font>
Crystal-

I think the bar is really much higher than this to show that the disciples believed that the resurrection of Jesus occurred in their hearts and not in the physical world. If we uncritically accept the Gospel story, then doubting Thomas's story is really unambiguous- Jesus Christ was brought back from the dead in the body. Or if we uncritically accepted the end of John, he showed "many convincing proofs" that he was alive.

Moses raised up a serpent on a pole so that people might look at it and be healed from the serpents God sent among the Israelites for their lack of trust. Compare Jesus' crucifixion and the disciples subsequent quotation of "Cursed is he who is hung on a tree."

Also, the disciples explain in the Gospels that when Jesus was talking of being "raised up" and "glorified" he was actually talking about his death, but they didn't understand it at the time.

The conclusion to all these 'non-recognition' stories is that the disciples recognize him at the end anyway. Does that not scotch the idea that it was another disciple who came and visited them? What about the strange appearing and disappearing? What was going on there, on this theory?

An alternate theory of non-recognition is that Jesus was the last person on earth they expected to see alive. They all lost their faith, and Peter as the representative of the disciples only does it in the boldest terms in public, swearing and cursing at him.

They lost their faith (on the same night Peter said he would die for him) and misunderstood Jesus' references to his death because he did not fit the mold of the Messiah the Jewish culture of that time had prepared them for. They expected a political, kingly Messiah, and believing him to be the Messiah, could not understand his repeated references to what sounded like abject failure; execution as a criminal (cf. "Get thee behind me Satan" after Jesus first explains his fate to the apostles after the confession in Caesarea Philippi).

Their world shattered on the night that Jesus was arrested. Peter begins to swing his sword in the first Battle of the Kingly Messiah, and Jesus shuts the battle off like it never began, and consents to being led to his execution. Even that night, they had been drunk with dreaming about power-sharing under Jesus I, at the Last Supper. He became a common criminal and a fraud in their eyes.

So, that anything should actually turn out like he said (like coming back from the dead, which was a bizarre notion to them anyway... I am searching for my reference on this claim) would have been unbelievable to them. That he should be alive would be shocking and they would surely have to rub their eyes a little bit to see, as they do in the Gospels.

If Jesus concealed his identity from them at first, for some purpose of his own, they would not have recognized him.

I would need much more detailed evidence that the resurrection has been written in to these stories. I believe it makes nonsense out of the disciples' confession of faith. The confession of the resurrection would have been the last thing they would believe if it did not happen.

Cheers,
Dan
 
Old 06-04-2001, 11:54 AM   #3
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[b]I would need much more detailed evidence that the resurrection has been written in to these stories. I believe it makes nonsense out of the disciples' confession of faith. The confession of the resurrection would have been the last thing they would believe if it did not happen.

Obviously, since the dead do not rise, the Resurrection never happened. There are many explanations as to why the disciples might say they saw Jesus, or why someone might write that they did, but Jesus actually rising from the dead is not a possible one.

People cling obstinately to faith even when disproved by circumstance. The Maji-maji and God's Army both believed that their magic protects them from bullets, regardless of how many warriors got slaughtered by government bullets. The spectacular failure of the Ghost Dancers to get rid of the White Man has not entirely eradicated that religion. Jesus' failure to return and wind up the world in that generation has not deterred his followers from elaborating a religion on his teachings. Even when the Taiping generals sold out their leader, they still believed he was the younger brother of Jesus and had ascended into heaven.

People's belief systems are bound up with their identities, and they do not change them, regardless of actual evidence from the world.


Michael
 
Old 06-04-2001, 12:59 PM   #4
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Around these parts we still have Elvis sightings on a fairly regular basis. Reportedly, one guy even passed a lie detector test to that effect. So one of three possibilities is true:

1) Elvis never died; it was all a giant conspiracy. (Perhaps to boost his sagging career.)

2) He has been bodily resurrected. (Well there is precedence for this - at least among Christians.)

3) People are seeing what they want to see.

What do you think?



 
Old 06-04-2001, 01:12 PM   #5
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Actually, Howard, Crystal was suggesting a fourth possibility, wasn't she?

Anyway, IMHO, the more interesting question is why the Gospel writers thought the nonrecognition scenes fit their story. (Putting aside for a moment the possiblity that it's literal history.) My suggestion would be that they were trying to convey that the resurrection had been a transforming experience. That is, the risen Christ was both like and unlike his earthly incarnation, and thus worthy of worship.

Just an idea.
 
Old 06-04-2001, 02:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by JubalH:
Actually, Howard, Crystal was suggesting a fourth possibility, wasn't she?

Anyway, IMHO, the more interesting question is why the Gospel writers thought the nonrecognition scenes fit their story. (Putting aside for a moment the possiblity that it's literal history.) My suggestion would be that they were trying to convey that the resurrection had been a transforming experience. That is, the risen Christ was both like and unlike his earthly incarnation, and thus worthy of worship.

Just an idea.
</font>
I would add that according to the Gospel writers' story, no disciple thought Jesus was worthy of worship when he was executed. The resurrection, in this story, is not only a transforming experience for Jesus; it is a transforming experience for the apostles.
 
Old 06-04-2001, 02:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:

Obviously, since the dead do not rise, the Resurrection never happened. There are many explanations as to why the disciples might say they saw Jesus, or why someone might write that they did, but Jesus actually rising from the dead is not a possible one.
</font>
This is not so obvious. Can you explain to me how you arrived at your belief that the dead do not rise? Is it a private theory? (I'm sorry if you have written about this in other posts I am unaware of)

To say that it is not possible that Jesus rose from the dead is tantamount to saying that it is a logical impossibility, not just a contingent one. Surely if the nature of this world is not a given question (ie, if it is open for debate), then it is a possible hypothesis that supernatural happenings may occur. Can you explain why you believe that the nature of the world is a given question, or why the resurrection is a logical impossibility?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
People cling obstinately to faith even when disproved by circumstance. The Maji-maji and God's Army both believed that their magic protects them from bullets, regardless of how many warriors got slaughtered by government bullets. The spectacular failure of the Ghost Dancers to get rid of the White Man has not entirely eradicated that religion. Jesus' failure to return and wind up the world in that generation has not deterred his followers from elaborating a religion on his teachings. Even when the Taiping generals sold out their leader, they still believed he was the younger brother of Jesus and had ascended into heaven.

People's belief systems are bound up with their identities, and they do not change them, regardless of actual evidence from the world.

</font>
What circumstance, actual evidence could change your belief that the dead do not rise?

And I hope you will not mind me saying that I am a Christian because of, not in spite of, actual evidence from the world.

Dan
 
Old 06-04-2001, 03:01 PM   #8
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Smile

BTW, Dan, I don't want to give the wrong impression. As my chosen moniker suggests, I'm a skeptic. Just trying to make sense of the story, not accepting its validity.

[This message has been edited by JubalH (edited June 04, 2001).]
 
Old 06-04-2001, 03:12 PM   #9
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Smile

Thanks JubalH-

I wasn't trying to cut against your idea! Just throwing something else into the mix.

I think I need to put more tone into these posts. It's so easy to seem awful here...

Take care,
Dan
 
Old 06-04-2001, 03:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by DanLewis:
What circumstance, actual evidence could change your belief that the dead do not rise?

And I hope you will not mind me saying that I am a Christian because of, not in spite of, actual evidence from the world.

Dan
</font>
I'm not Michael, but I say actual evidence of a resurrection might suffice. And you can say that you are a Christian because of evidence, but evidence that will convince you may not be sufficient for me, or Michael, or most atheists.

Isaac
 
 

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