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Old 04-27-2001, 07:23 PM   #31
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Valar,

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> If you read the gospel accounts in the gnostic books, you tend to see this second interpretation; i.e., a brand new body was created for Jesus, one which eliminated the need for a tomb, for a burial scenario, for angels moving large rocks. Paul's epistles all point to such a resurrection. </font>
The notion that Paul somehow did not believe in a bodily resurrection of Jesus has been refuted.

Here is the link: http://www.infidels.org/electronic/f...ML/000220.html


 
Old 04-27-2001, 07:59 PM   #32
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
The case for many miracle workers in Jesus time or location is largely overstated. In fact, when we focus, as we should, on first century Palestine, such reputed miracle workers are downright rare.</font>
This is a typical false predicament often set up by apologists. The "environment" for miracle workers would encompass not merely 1st century Palestine, but also adjacent lands and cultures, any cultures that interacted routinely with Palestine (Hellenic culture, for example) as well as any past miracles the disciples might have been familiar with, such as those in the Torah, in folk/oral traditions, and of course, fanciful stories that might leak into Palestine through trade with other parts of the world. That would be a robust supply of miracles and miracle workers, sufficient for any creative need.

Consider this from the trusty folks at Britannica:

The conquests of Alexander the Great culminated in 331 BC, and the subtle but strong influence of Greek culture, language, and customs that was spread by his conquests united his empire. Jews in both Palestine and the Diaspora (Dispersion) were, however, affected by Hellenism, as in ideas of cosmic dualism and rich religious imagery derived in part from Eastern influence as a result of the Greek conquests. Greek words were transliterated into Hebrew and Aramaic even in connection with religious ideas and institutions as, for example, synagogue (religious assembly), Sanhedrin (religious court), and paraclete (advocate, intercessor). It could be argued that the very preoccupation with ancient texts and tradition and the interpretation thereof is a Hellenistic phenomenon.

Not that it really matters -- the other false predicament here being that the disciples and Jesus followers were culture-robots of Judiasm and dumb as mules, incapable of creative, independent invention, unlike all other humans. There is no reason at all that Jesus followers couldn't have dreamed up the whole thing on their own, through myth processes common in savior cults in other lands and times.

Michael

[This message has been edited by turtonm (edited April 27, 2001).]
 
Old 04-27-2001, 08:08 PM   #33
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:
This is a typical false predicament often set up by apologists. The "environment" for miracle workers would encompass not merely 1st century Palestine, but also adjacent lands and cultures, any cultures that interacted routinely with Palestine (Hellenic culture, for example) as well as any past miracles the disciples might have been familiar with, such as those in the Torah, in folk/oral traditions, and of course, fanciful stories that might leak into Palestine through trade with other parts of the world. That would be a robust supply of miracles and miracle workers, sufficient for any creative need.

Not that it really matters -- the other false predicament here being that the disciples and Jesus followers were culture-robots of Judiasm and dumb as mules, incapable of creative, independent invention, unlike all other humans. There is no reason at all that Jesus followers couldn't have dreamed up the whole thing on their own.

Michael
</font>
If the miracle stories arose in first century Palestine in a given social context and the miracle stories arose from first century Jews raised in that environment, then it is the most appropriate focal point.

If you would like to discuss this in detail perhaps we could take it up at my thread on "Other Jesus Miracle Workers." No one seemed very interested in it.
 
Old 04-28-2001, 02:03 AM   #34
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
Afterall, it was a Herod who had John the Baptist killed for merely being a religious leader.</font>
First off, my apologies to the board for the error about Luke telling us of the Magi. It dawned on me as I went to be last night, but I was in no condition to resurrect myself to come down to correct it! Oh, well...

Are you so certain that Antipas killed the Baptist for purely religious reasons, Layman? You should remember that John was harshly critical of his marriage practices, and that he had collected a rather large gathering of followers.

It is also rather irrelevant to make a connection between Antipas and Herod II. Being in Rome much of his childhood, and not in either the Galilee nor Judea, Antipas' nephew would not have had much contact with his uncle, the Tetrach. He also had access to the most powerful, richest men of the Empire. So, regardless of why Antipas had John executed, there is no real grounds for saying that once you've seen one Herod, you've seen them all.

 
Old 04-28-2001, 02:42 AM   #35
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
[b]First, you are talking about the wrong James. I believe CS is referring to James the brother of the Lord. Josephus records his martyrdom at the hands of the High Priest.

Second, regardless, the most reasonable inference is that James the Just was executed for his association with the Jesus Movement. [B]</font>
Assuming that it was James, Jesus' brother, then we have a different set of circumstances. Noted by Hegisippus to have been called the Righteous, it is unlikely that James would have been so well received in Jerusalem, by all, that he would have been preaching a second god figure to them. It is only some 35 years after the crucifixion that James is cast from the Temple and clubbed to death. In that time he was noted to have been in the Temple daily, it is suggested that he was High Priest at one point (being allowed into the Holy of Holies), and the reason he was asked by the priests to calm the Jesus movement was that he was so well respected by them.

That they blew it, according to the reports, is irrelevant. They would not have thought to use him if he had been a vociferous preacher of Jesus, or if he had been known as a leader of such preachers.

Also, one can posit that these men were executed for being part of a Jesus movement and not necessarily reject the political aspects of such a claim. Remember, Josephus tells us (if it is a valid reference, and not interpolation) that Jerusalem fell because of the death of James. If the population was so devoted to him as suggested, and if the authorities killed him, it would add another stick to the coals of smoldering revolution which ultimately erupted five or so years later.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I believe that Acts is quite clear that Peter and John were apprehended by the temple authorities after they preached in the temple. They were then interrogated, flogged, and ordered not to preach about Jesus anymore. Is that your idea of unmolested?</font>
It is also quite clear that this comes rather later. Acts 2:46 tells us that they went daily to the Temple, moving openly in the city; it was after they cured the lame man that the priests became agitated enough to arrest them. How many days are "days"? If they were the known and self advertised disciples of the one the priests had Pilate execute, why were they allowed so much liberty? If they were teaching blasphemy on the Temple steps, why were they allowed "days"? Why were they flogged, rather than stoned, as per the prescribed punishment for blasphemy?

There are holes in the story, Layman.

[quote]<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Examine, for a moment, Luke's practice in writing his Gospel. He relied heavily on preexisting source material: Mark, Q, and "L." It also appears that he was pretty faithful to those sources (how else would Markan dependence be detected and how else would we know that Q even existed?). The most reasonable conclusion would be that Luke followed the same practice in Acts. [QUOTE]

As there are no identifed precursors to Acts, and as those places where Luke and Matthew do not copy Mark they differ, often considerably, I would suggest that you assume too much.

It is more likely that they each heard reports of Jesus in varying ways. Where there was no hard copy (see Crossan's study of oral vs. written in The Birth of Christianity) but only oral tradition they do not match. Hence, they each created their own matrix in which to place the stories.

As Mark, even with the added 12 verses of chapter 16, does not speak of things post Easter Sunday, save for a rather amorphous verse 20, it is unlikely that Luke used him as a reference for Acts. As there is no other contemporary work extant that speaks of these things, and as we see him diverge from Matthew on other details not in Q or Mark, it is untenable to say, with certainty, that he followed anyone else's information.

Quote:
The line between religion and politics wasn't always so clear cut. And when you start making messianic claims, which the disciples were making based on their argument that Jesus had risen from the dead then those would have made the a Herod nervous enough to take action. </font>
One thing is certain: to a first century Jew a messianic claim would not have been a claim of divinity. bar Kochba, who was thought to be the Mosiach, was not thought to be God. You should remember that Herod had lived through the "metamorphosis" of his good friend, Gaius Caligula, back in Rome. He had first hand witnessed the machinations of Sejanus, the total retribution of Tiberius, the perilously tense moments following the assassination of Caligula and the elevation of Claudius, when Rome had nearly plunged into civil war. This was not a rural yokel who was unused to the ways of politics.

Remembering that the claimed Messiah was dead (and to the Jewish mind that would have either 1) made him a failed messiah, a concept that is not contradicted in Jewish lore, or 2)would have negated the claim) the political threat of a dead man would have been nil. From that perspective, it is far mroe likely that he viewed Jakkob (James the Lesser) as a political threat, than his dead brother.

As we have no mention of a strong movement Jesus movement by Josephus (only that he had followers to this day) it is unlikely that the Jesus movement in Herod's unified kingdom would have been that much of a threat to him. It is far more likely that he viewed it as a nuisance, swatting at a fly and not tilting at a dragon.

I do not deny Herod had James the Greater beheaded (though neither do I say it definitely happened, as reported in Acts) I do reject your reliance on Luke for its interpretation.
 
Old 04-28-2001, 06:55 AM   #36
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Layman:
If the miracle stories arose in first century Palestine in a given social context and the miracle stories arose from first century Jews raised in that environment, then it is the most appropriate focal point.

I agree, Layman. My point is: what does this really mean, to focus on 1st century Palestine? It was not exactly isolated from the rest of the world. It looks to me like you want to restrict the discussion of possible influences as much as possible. My view is rather richer than that.

If you would like to discuss this in detail perhaps we could take it up at my thread on "Other Jesus Miracle Workers." No one seemed very interested in it.

Sorry. But your construction of 1st century Palestine is so impoverished that there is nothing to discuss.

Michael
 
Old 04-28-2001, 11:33 AM   #37
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[quote]<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:
Quote:
Originally posted by Layman:
If the miracle stories arose in first century Palestine in a given social context and the miracle stories arose from first century Jews raised in that environment, then it is the most appropriate focal point.

I agree, Layman. My point is: what does this really mean, to focus on 1st century Palestine? It was not exactly isolated from the rest of the world. It looks to me like you want to restrict the discussion of possible influences as much as possible. My view is rather richer than that.

If you would like to discuss this in detail perhaps we could take it up at my thread on "Other Jesus Miracle Workers." No one seemed very interested in it.

Sorry. But your construction of 1st century Palestine is so impoverished that there is nothing to discuss.

Michael
Quote:
</font>
Impoverished by the works of Raymond E. Brown?

Mike, if you either can't discuss it, or don't have time to, just say so. It's not a big deal.

But instead, after I took the time to do some research and start a thread, you just make a broad, dismissive statement with no support or references.
 
Old 04-28-2001, 11:46 AM   #38
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Valar,

I'm curious if you are going to withdraw your statement that Paul's death in Rome was not written about until "well into the second century." Have you ever read 1 Clement? Did you know it was written around 95 CE?

If not I believe that the text is available online at various websites.

Valar:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Are you so certain that Antipas killed the Baptist for purely religious reasons, Layman? </font>
Actually, that is not what I said. I said that John was merely a religious leader. But I also made it clear that the line between religion and politics was not clear in those times.

Layman:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> The line between religion and politics wasn't always so clear cut. And when you start making messianic claims, which the disciples were making based on their argument that Jesus had risen from the dead then those would have made the a Herod nervous enough to take action. </font>
So I think you are making my point for me. You are asserting that James would not have been killed for participating in a religious movement. I said that the line between the two was often blurred. Herod' killing of John is an example of that. John was not a political revolutionary or a zealot. But as a religious leader he still caused political problems for Herod and was killed.

I don't think that because one Herod was raised in Jerusalem and the other wasn't makes any difference to the analysis. It is a distinction without a difference. The political situation was much the same. The line between politics and religion remained blurred.

And even more so when we are dealing with supporters of a supposedly resurrected Messiah who was executed by the Romans as the "King of the Jews."
 
Old 04-28-2001, 12:11 PM   #39
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Valar,

I'm not sure what your point is about James, Jesus' brother. Are you claiming that he was not a religious leader or killed for religious reasons? Josephus is quite clear that James was killed at the instigitation of the High Priest. No Roman authorities were invovled.

And Josephus reference to Jerusalem falling because of James' death carries no implication that James was anything other than a religious leader. Josephus is clear that the murder of James was unjust, and that therefore God punished Jerusalem for the murder by using the Romans. He does not imply in any way that James was involved in political revolution.

Quite the contrary in fact. Josephus works are basically a Roman Apologetic. He is casting the zealots and political revolutionaries as misguided at best and resisting God at worst. He is basically claiming that it is God's will that Rome rule the world, including Israel.

Given that, it is very unlikely that Josephus would portray James in such a favorable light had James been some sort of political revolutionary.


Valar:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> It is also quite clear that this comes rather later. Acts 2:46 tells us that they went daily to the Temple, moving openly in the city; it was after they cured the lame man that the priests became agitated enough to arrest them. How many days are "days"? If
they were the known and self advertised disciples of the one the priests had Pilate execute, why were they allowed so much liberty? If they were teaching blasphemy on the Temple steps, why were they allowed "days"? Why were they flogged, rather than stoned, as per the prescribed punishment for blasphemy?

There are holes in the story, Layman. </font>
I'm going to have to ask you to start quoting Acts when you are claiming what his "story" is and why it has holes. So far you have falsely attributed the story of the Magi to Luke and now are mischaracterizing what his "story" was. Your mischaracterization of Acts 2:46 is yet another example. Nowhere in it does Luke discuss that the disciples were teaching anything in the Temple, much less blasphemy.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. </font>
So, Acts does not portray them as preaching blasphemy, if they were teaching anything at all, in the Temple.

Even when we get to Acts 3, Luke does not portray Peter and John as preaching blasphemy. They were not telling the Jews at the temple that Jesus was God. They were telling them that Jesus was resurrected and that meant that God had approved him. A bodily resurrection did not necessarily mean that the resurrected one was God. In fact, what we seem to have here is an example of "servant" Christology:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers [i] glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go....

To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of your from your inqiuities. </font>
Acts 3:13.

So again, even in Acts 3 there is no blasephemy. Nevertheless, there is enough to provoke the Temple authorities because 1) the healing of the lame man itself challanged their power, and 2) Peter's speech was very critical of their role in Jesus' death.

Therefore, the only holes so far are with your mischaracterization of Acts, not with Acts itself.

As for Acts use of sources.

Valar:

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> As there are no identifed precursors to Acts, and as those places where Luke and Matthew do not copy Mark they differ, often considerably, I would suggest that you assume too much. </font>
This is another inaccurate description of the use of sources. It is very established that Luke used Mark, Q, and L, as sources. The fact is that there is much agreement between Luke and Matthew when they are not using Mark, and that agreement is known as Q. The agreement is so strong many scholars believe that Q was in fact a written document.

So, I am not assuming. I have examined Luke's use of sources in his Gospel and reasonable inferred that he would follow the same pattern in Acts. There are textual features of Acts which support this view. You are the only one "assuming" anything here and you are "assuming" that Acts did not use sources because you don't know what those precurors might have been.

And I never claimed that Luke used Mark as a source for Acts. Given Luke's association with Paul and the "We" sections, there are a host of available sources, including Paul, Peter, John, and James. Even if we don't accept Luke's association with Paul, he was only writing about 15 years after the events involved. And he does demonstrate geographic familiarity with Judea and the places Paul had travelled. So he was most likely in the places he was writing about and had access to those who had been involved.

Really, as far as I can tell, the only reason you don't like Acts' characterization of events is that it supports the theory that the early Christians were persecuted for their beliefs. Given the fact that this is overwhelming confirmed by Paul's own letters and Josephus, you have failed to provide any evidential reason rejecting Acts.
 
Old 04-28-2001, 12:16 PM   #40
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
Impoverished by the works of Raymond E. Brown?

Mike, if you either can't discuss it, or don't have time to, just say so. It's not a big deal.

But instead, after I took the time to do some research and start a thread, you just make a broad, dismissive statement with no support or references.
</font>
I don't need support or references. I don't need to hide behind Raymond Brown's skirts, or invoke his name to cover what are obviously absurd constructions of one of the more culturally interesting and robust areas, historically.

BTW, Layman, in case you didn't notice, TWO POSTS AGO I substantiated my case with a long cite from Britannica. So far I have not seen YOU post anything to support this fantastic idea you have that the jews lived in isolation from all other cultures, culture robots supreme, totally uninventive, without any concept that just up the road in Syrian Roman merchants were running trade routes to China and India, and just down the road, Egypt was the terminus of another set of routes to India and China.

So far, Layman, it is YOU who has not posted any reference, cite or link to support this fantastic scenario. I ALREADY have. I can't help dismissing your case, Layman, if you don't present one.

Michael
 
 

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