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Old 01-17-2001, 10:46 AM   #1
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Question Is Jesus talking about evolution?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Mark ch4
26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.
28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
</font>
Ok so it's not specifically evoultion, but God planted the seed and the Earth grew us itself, seems to sugest it?
 
Old 01-17-2001, 03:36 PM   #2
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Or, in more modern English:

-------
(Mark 4:26)
He also said, ďThis is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces corn Ė first the stalk, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.Ē
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No, this is a parable on the nature of the kingdom of God, known as the parable of the seed growing secretly. What itís talking about is not evolution, itís a typical conversion experience that Iím sure many atheists on this board will have experienced too. Itís talking about the niggling feeling at the back of the mind that prompts people to convert to a new belief. If youíve ever had that feeling, youíll know what I mean. Itís that little fuzzy patch of doubt at the back of your thoughts that keeps telling you somethingís not quite right, but you canít quite place what. And it isnít something that you can put out of your mind, either Ė it keeps on gnawing away at your consciousness, bothering you. Thatís the seed thatís sown in the soil (the mind) in this parable. Then you dimly begin to realise what it is that the little thought in your mind is telling you Ė the seed is beginning to grow Ė the stalkís sprouting. The ear blossoming into grain is the final touch Ė the moment of realisation of that doubt into a positive belief.

What this is talking about is a typical conversion experience to a religion or a philosophy, and someone who has converted to Christianity, and someone who has become an atheist have recounted exactly the same sort of experience to me. Itís not about evolution at all Ė itís simply a poetic way of describing a process of thought, which Christians might attribute to God Ďplantingí the seed Ė the initial thought that blossomed into conversion.
 
Old 01-17-2001, 08:56 PM   #3
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Individual conversion?

Rather, it is focusing on the single aspect of large growth, saying this is what the corporate kingdom of God will do. That is fill the whole earth.
 
Old 01-18-2001, 10:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Josephus:
Individual conversion?

Rather, it is focusing on the single aspect of large growth, saying this is what the corporate kingdom of God will do. That is fill the whole earth.
</font>
Well, it could be, I suppose. But there's nothing particularly secret about the spread of Christianity today, and if Jesus actually gave this parable, then this would be before people had to be Christian in secret. It's the bit here - 'Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how,' that makes me think that this is talking about individual conversion, not mass conversion. It seems to work a lot better as a way of talking about a thought that you cannot put out of your mind, rather than an incredulous statement of "Whoa! This thing is spreading like wildfire! How on earth does it do it?" People do not convert the infidel night and day - even missionaries need their sleep. A niggling doubt, however, is likely to bother you while you're awake, while you're dreaming, all the time.
 
Old 01-18-2001, 08:10 PM   #5
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Talking

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Josephus:
Individual conversion?

Rather, it is focusing on the single aspect of large growth, saying this is what the corporate kingdom of God will do. That is fill the whole earth.
</font>
According to Pliny the Elder, a philosopher/naturalist and near contemporary of Jesus, the mustard seed grew into a mass of bitter weeds, choking the crops, attracting bothersome birds and making life generally miserable for the first-century farmer.

Jesus' original rural listeners heard him compare the Kingdom of God to a noxious weed with dangerous take-over properties!

This subversion of conventional wisdom is key to many of his parables and aphorisms. Beware of looking for either a savior or a wisdom prophet who harmonizes with your expectations!

 
Old 01-19-2001, 03:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by aikido7:
According to Pliny the Elder, a philosopher/naturalist and near contemporary of Jesus, the mustard seed grew into a mass of bitter weeds, choking the crops, attracting bothersome birds and making life generally miserable for the first-century farmer.

Jesus' original rural listeners heard him compare the Kingdom of God to a noxious weed with dangerous take-over properties!

This subversion of conventional wisdom is key to many of his parables and aphorisms. Beware of looking for either a savior or a wisdom prophet who harmonizes with your expectations!

</font>
According to a textbook I have on Mark's gospel, the mustard plant growing in Palestine is a 'shrub about eight to ten feet tall with branches strong enough to support and give shelter to birds'. So yes, attracting bothersome birds for farmers seems about right. Far be it from me to become a Christian apologist, but presumably the mustard seed grew in the wild as well as in fields to annoy farmers. But I'd like to hear more about this 'subversion of conventional wisdom' in his parables.
 
Old 01-20-2001, 05:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Mendeh:
Far be it from me to become a Christian apologist, but presumably the mustard seed grew in the wild as well as in fields to annoy farmers. But I'd like to hear more about this 'subversion of conventional wisdom' in his parables. </font>
For impoverished farmers being squeezed further and further into debt, a message from Jesus that the Kingdom was a weed which would choke out the good crops was certainly a subversion of conventional rural expectations. Jesus, too, may have been (subtly?) burlesquing the mythic "Great Cedar of Lebanon" which often symbolized the Jewish nation triumphant in spite of exile in the middle of Pax Romana.

Most of the aphorisms and parables of the refined "voice print" of Jesus gleaned from generations of biblical scholarship since the Enlightenment and jump-started by the knowledge explosion in anthropology, the social sciences, textual studies, computer science, archeology and even DNA studies(No--I'm not talking about "the shroud" here) have shown a very different Jesus than the one piously and/or previously understood. A still tantalizingly mysterious figure, but one more thoughtfully and thus more securely anchored in his time and the multiplicities of first-century Judaism.

 
Old 01-21-2001, 05:17 AM   #8
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Can you give me some sources? I'm not trying to shoot you down at all, but I'd like some specific examples. And what DNA studies are you referring to?
 
Old 01-22-2001, 05:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Mendeh:
Can you give me some sources? I'm not trying to shoot you down at all, but I'd like some specific examples. And what DNA studies are you referring to?</font>
Did you want sources from the gospels themselves? That is, possible explanations and "takes" on the authentic parables and aphorisms? Or do you want exposure to the latest scholarship (which includes some possible explanations) from scholars?

For the other part of your post (the application of recent DNA work in the field of biblical scholarship) I can cite Dr. Scott Woodward, a BYU molecular biologist who leads a high-tech team using genetic science to help sort out the thousands of Dead Sea Scroll scraps--some the size of pencil shavings--and facilitate arranging them into completed manuscripts. Since scrolls are made of parchment--animal tissue--DNA analysis has proved to be a great tool in checking out similarities and variations among particular ancient herds of goats or sheep.

If they are able to find genetic similarities in particular herds of ancient goats--for example, one from Egypt or Syria--it could lead to theroies about who wrote the scrolls: if the authors were a close-knit community or widely dispersed.

As recently as five years ago a statue of Mary "weeping tears of blood" attracted thousands to an Italian village, even though DNA work showed the blood to be from a man.
 
Old 01-23-2001, 03:33 PM   #10
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Sorry, aikido7, I wasn't very clear. I just meant something to clarify your statement - "Most of the aphorisms and parables of the refined "voice print" of Jesus gleaned from generations of biblical scholarship since the Enlightenment...have shown a very different Jesus than the one piously and/or previously understood. A still tantalizingly mysterious figure, but one more thoughtfully and thus more securely anchored in his time and the multiplicities of first-century Judaism."
I suppose that I just want to know in what ways Jesus has been shown to be different from the expectations of people before the Enlightenment (do you mean the Renaissance?(i.e. period of time of Galileo, Leonardo da Vinci, etc) - I think this is just a language barrier thing). Some sort of quote, just to further explain or demonstrate how he has been shown to be different from previous expectations.

And also, thanks for your clarification on the DNA tests - I haven't heard about that being done on the Dead Sea Scrolls before - it looks interesting.
 
 

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