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Gospel Truth?

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Poll: Gospel Truth (35 member(s) have cast votes)

How reliable do you think the Gospels are?

  1. Very (7 votes [20.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.00%

  2. Somewhat (10 votes [28.57%])

    Percentage of vote: 28.57%

  3. not very much (9 votes [25.71%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.71%

  4. Not at all (9 votes [25.71%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.71%

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#26 Pete

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 12:50 PM

No worries Nick. It is understood. I think we are all getting that difficulty at the moment.

Edited by Pete, 21 March 2012 - 12:51 PM.


#27 Rev. Dr. Michael. DD

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 07:43 AM

There is in fact over 1,745 known mistakes in the KJV Bible, along with 144 contradictions.
You can see the contradictions here. I don't have a complete list of the mistakes yet but I'm working on it...
http://www.sacred-te...v/scb/index.htm

Here is an example of what happens when you don't translate something correctly or you fill in the blanks with what you want something to say.

The Virgin Birth explained.

In the hypothetical Scripture Q there is no mention of a Virgin Birth. It seems not to have been a subject of interest, and this is strange, because the idea of a Virgin Birth is totally strange to Judaism. It would have caused sensation and curiosity. This early silence can be interpreted as a non-existence of the mentioned doctrine.

Later, Hellenist influences led to the inclusion of the Virgin Birth theme into the Gospels (not all of them, some evangelists did not deem it worth to mention). As they scrutinized the Old Testament for prophecies concerning Jesus, they found the following passage:

Isaiah 7:14: "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." (NIV)
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." (ASV)

Most liberal theologians believe that the author of the Gospel of Matthew, or rather a later reviser, scanned an unknown ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. He found what he believed to be a reference to Jesus' birth. It was in Isaiah 7:14 (listed above). This has since become a famous passage; it is often recited at Christmas time. He simply copied it into Matthew (1:23) as a method of showing that prophecies in the Hebrew Testament were fulfilled in Jesus' life.

Unfortunately, the Greek translators had made a mistake (for a more detailed explanation, click here). When they were translating the Septuagint, they converted the Hebrew word "almah" into the Greek equivalent parthenos, meaning virgin. "Almah" appears several other times in the Hebrew Scriptures; in each case it means "young woman". When the scriptures referred to a virgin (and they do over many times) they always used the Hebrew word "bethulah". So, Isaiah was referring to a young woman becoming pregnant (a rather ordinary event).

Some English translators are accurate to the original Hebrew:

Revised English Bible: "...a young woman is with child..."
Revised Standard Version: "...a young woman shall conceive..."
James Moffatt Translation: "...a young woman with child..."
New Revised Standard Version: "...the young woman is with child..."
Others completely mistranslated the Hebrew and referred to the woman as both pregnant and a virgin - a miracle had occurred. This neatly settles the conflict that would otherwise occur between Isaiah and Matthew 1:22-23.

New International Version: "...the virgin will be with child..."
The Living Bible: "...a child shall be born to a virgin..."
Contemporary English Version: "...a virgin is pregnant...".
In a footnote, they say that the "Hebrew word did not imply a virgin birth". They give "young woman" as an alternate.

Others went part way. They mistranslated the Hebrew and said that the woman had been a virgin. However, they imply that the woman might have been a virgin, who engaged in sexual intercourse and then became pregnant:

American Standard Version: "...a virgin shall conceive..."
Amplified Bible: "...the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin shall conceive..."
King James Version "...a virgin shall conceive..."
New Living Translation: "...the virgin shall conceive a child..."
New Century Version: "...the virgin will be pregnant...".
They also admit in a footnote that the original Hebrew word really means "a young woman".

Some versions are vague and can be interpreted in many ways:

New World Translation: "...the maiden herself will actually become pregnant..."
The Jerusalem Bible: "...the virgin is conceiving"
I shall not discuss here if this prophecy refers to Jesus or not. I just mention it for an extraordinary example of later insertion in the original Gospel.
The writer(s) of the Gospel of John deny the Virgin Birth: Some liberals believe that the Gospel of John was written by a group of authors. The writers(s) did not mention the virgin birth, because, as presently is assumed, the Gospel was written in Palestine or adjacent regions, and grew from an originally Jewish group, that later suffered from conflicts with traditional Judaism. Nevertheless, they were not open to that kind of Hellenistic ideas, reflected also in the omission of the account concerning the institution of the Eucharist. In John 1:45 they refer to Jesus specifically as "the son of Joseph." John 6:42 repeats the phrase: "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know?"

The writer(s) of the Gospel of Thomas is Silent: This Gospel was possibly written about the same time as Mark, about 70 CE. It was in wide use among various Christian communities at the time, but never made it into the official canon. It is silent about any miracles associated with Jesus' birth. Its silence is not proof that the virgin birth was unknown to the author(s). Thomas is a "sayings gospel" which deals primarily with the parables and conversations of Jesus.
In conclusion the most likely scenario, as interpreted by many liberal Christians is:

The writer(s) of the Gospel of Q, circa 50 CE, seem to have been unaware of the virgin birth
Paul (who died about 64 CE) was similarly unaware
The writer of the Gospel of Mark, circa 70 CE hadn't heard of it either
If any of the above writers knew of a virgin birth, they would almost certainly have realized that it was a miraculous event and would have incorporated it into their writings.

Sometime between 70 and 90 CE, the story was invented, probably to strengthen the authority of Jesus' teachings by stating that his birth was miraculous. This was a time of great change, as the Roman Army had demolished Jerusalem and its temples and scattered some of the Jews throughout the Roman Empire. There, they would come into contact with many stories of virgin births of various politicians and deities from Pagan religions. In fact, it would have been unusual if the developing story of Jesus' birth did not include many of the features found in mythical figures of other religions.

By the 90's, the belief was widespread. The authors of Luke and Matthew incorporated it into their Gospels.
As J.S. Spong, Episcopal Bishop of Newark, NJ, wrote:

"In time, the virgin birth account will join Adam and Eve and the story of the cosmic ascension as clearly recognized mythological elements in our faith tradition whose purpose was not to describe a literal event but to capture the transcendent dimensions of God in the earthbound words and concepts of first-century human beings."

What do the messages tell us:

Yes, I am here again to write you on the truths of the New Testament, and this time a few thoughts on the Gospel of Luke, dealing with the supposed virginity of my mother. As a matter of fact, the entire conception of the virgin birth was not new in the New Testament days, and as I have pointed out previously to you, the Greeks conceived of gods born in supernatural ways and without benefit of mortal fathers, and this idea goes back to the Buddhist religion. In their writings dealing with Buddha, it is described how Buddha's mother was transported to a mythical heaven and there impregnated in a mysterious way with the child Buddha, without the aid of a husband. The writer of the Gospel which is called the Gospel of Luke was very much affected by this story, and wishing to give me the status of God, ascribed to me events analogous to what he found in the writings on Buddha.

Revelation 35: The virgin birth; fasting; temptation by the devil; washing of the Divine Love
From: New Testament Revelations

In addition, the later New Testament writers turned to Greek mythology or some of their tales regarding my miracles and in that way they read that Poseidon, the god of the sea, walked on the water, which was sufficient for their imagination to have me also walk on the water. And in this way they secured the idea for making my mother a virgin by their reading of the Greek legends that told of a number of goddesses who gave birth to sons although they themselves were virgins, and I can name such instances of Demetrius and Danae who gave birth to Perseus without the benefit of a mate, and several others.

Revelation 48: The ancient origins of some of the miracles found in the New Testament
From: New Testament Revelations

I would like to express myself about some of the Messianic passages found in Isaiah, the prophet, and one of these is the passage dealing with the so-called virgin who would give birth to a son who would eat honey and butter, and who is supposed to represent me.

Now, the truth is that this message is Messianic in nature, and although it would be applied to one of the prophet's sons, yet it also has a far-reaching meaning which could be applied to the coming of the Messiah. The word which is translated by some churches to mean virgin simply means a young woman, and the meaning was that a child was to be born who would be simple and ingenuous, without sin, and that this child, called Emmanuel, would have the faith in the Heavenly Father which King Ahaz did not have. So that, while a child was meant who could have been a child of the prophet, one who, because of the invasion of the Assyrians would be compelled to live in the country, yet the utterance had a wider meaning to indicate the birth of a child with certain qualities which went beyond those of the child which Isaiah may have had in mind when the passage first came to him.

Revelation 43: Messianic passages from Isaiah
From: New Testament Revelations

Hans Radix

#28 nestingwave

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:11 AM

Hi Dr. Rev. Yes, I studied this a while ago and discovered that not only were their "mistakes" but manipulations. In other words "priestcraft." This was for the purpose of starting Constantine's "ianity" of a totalitarian "state" religion.

Also here is a group I learned about that is very important in understanding the original Aramaic writing before Rome distorted it.

namaste

#29 Dan56

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 10:56 AM

We already know from even Biblical sources that Jesus's home town of Nazareth was seen in an unfavorable light John 1:46

"Nazareth!" exclaimed Nathanael. "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" "Come and see for yourself," Philip replied.


Perhaps most Jews just didn't expect the Messiah to hail from Nazareth or any other small town. They were expecting the Mashiach to be a great anointed king, not a peasant from Nazareth.

The writer of John's Gosple wont even signify that the Baptist even actually Baptizes Jesus. We are merely told that John sees the the dove descend onto Jesus. Now notice what happens the next day. We know that the other Synoptic Gospels tells us that after the dove descends on Jesus and he is baptized he "immediately" heads intot he desert for 40 days and nights and is tempted of the devil. Oh no not for our superhuman Jesus in the Gospel of John he is above temptation and we are told the next day returns to the same site and his first two future disciples are actually followers of John the Baptist and they leave John and follow Jesus. Quite different from the way the disciples are first selected in the Synoptics where Simon and ANdrew are fishing and called by Jesus. In John Simon isn't even one of the first two selected. Also note the third day in John's Gospel Jesus is athe wedding perfroming his first miracle while at this point in the Synoptics he is in the desert still. Of imporatnace too is that in John's Gospel Jesus has begun his ministry, performed miracles and his disciples are even baptizing at the same time as John the Baptist while the Synoptics clearly tell us that Jesus did not begin his ministry until AFTER John was imprisoned.

Somebody is lying to us.


Your timeline is completely skewed... John records the Baptist as saying "I saw (past tense) the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him." Jesus had already returned from the 40 days of temptation in the wilderness. A full year passes between the fast in the wilderness and the arrest of the Baptist. This period of time is recorded only in the first 3 chapters of John. In the first year of Christ's ministry, we read of the turning water into wine, driving the buyers and sellers out of the Temple, and the conversation with Nicodemus. All this occurred prior to the imprisonment of the Baptist and is recalled only by John.
http://www.biblecent...uch/e-wds36.php

Regarding the calling of the apostles, Peter & Andrew abandoning their nets; and James and John abandoning their father Zebedee boat. This makes sense if as John records, these men had already heard Jesus preach and teach for some time before the episode described in the synoptic gospels.
http://www.answering...ples_chrono.htm

The Gospel of John has the temple incident where Jesus flips tables happening at the begining of a 3 year ministry (Jesus goes to Jerusalem for Passover 3xs) while the Synoptics have it occuring at the end of Jesus's ministry which seems to last only one year and only one visit to Jerusalem.


Consider that Jesus cleansed the Temple twice, once at the beginning of his ministry and again towards the end, so there is no chronological contradiction. The descriptions of each incident is somewhat different.
http://newtheologica...nse-temple.html

The four gospels cohere together in a unified storyline and present the same characters in the life of Jesus, although John omits some and highlights others. John's gospel follows the ministry of Jesus chronologically and historically. John emphasized the aspect of Jesus ministry near Jerusalem, while the synoptic gospels concentrated on his ministry in Galilee. With some effort, all so-called discrepancies can be resolved.

In the hypothetical Scripture Q there is no mention of a Virgin Birth.


:) .... There's no mention of a virgin birth in a lot of hypothetical books.... :)

Edited by Dan56, 22 March 2012 - 10:58 AM.


#30 Rev. Dr. Michael. DD

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 04:53 PM

The Gospel of John, incorporating the hypothetical Signs Gospel, probably appeared about 90 C.E. and the third edition (insertions and additions) 100-150 C.E..

"The Signs Gospel is reconstructed chiefly by looking for points in John where obvious literary seams appear; such seams often indicate inconsistencies and even contradictions in the text of the completed gospel. These rough spots are infrequence in the synoptic gospels, even where Matthew or Luke reproduces material from Mark or Q. But they are common in John and seem to suggest that when using the hypothetical 'source', the author of John quoted it practically verbatim; the author simply allowed the rough connections and inconsistencies to stand."

"Though rudimentary, it announces the single message of early Christianity: the good news that at last the Messiah has come. It presents Jesus' miracles as self-evident and self-sufficient proofs of this news, and calls on its readers to believe it - to perceive the miracles as signs - just as the original disciples are shown to have done. Because of this singular focus on Jesus' signs, this 'book' (John 20:30) can be called the Signs Gospel."
"The model for reshaping these miracle stories (about Jesus) as messianic proofs was the series of 'signs' that Moses had worked in Exodus. Over the centuries it had been expected that the future Messiah would be the Prophet that Moses had promised, who would be, like himself, the representative of Israel's God."

The Compete Gospels, Robert J. Miller, Editor (1994), pp. 175, 176

After the calamities of Jerusalem in AD 70 and the growing hostility of the Jews to the Christians, early church tradition tells that many of its founders moved to Asia Minor - one of Antioch's first bishops is said to have heard 'John' preach when he had been a boy. But then, John's Gospel also bears strong traces of Egyptian Alexandria; it holds many of the abstractions and expressions invented and used by the religious philosophers of that most learned city....Recent linguistic analysis of all four Gospels, however, has tied them not to these grand cities of the Empire but to the verbal culture of Palestine itself. The construction of their Greek texts, the shading and coloring of the writing strongly suggest that much of them has been translated from Palestinian Aramaic, Jesus' own language."

John Romer, Testament

Indeed, Burton Mack in his "Q - The lost Gospel" claims that John's Gospel war written and edited in Palestine, Syria or in the region of today's Libanon, reflecting the growing tension between Jews and Judaeo-Christians in its strong anti-Jewish flavor.

"What we have here, then, is a Gospel which knows exact details of Jewish life and piety before 70 but which looks back from outside on the Jews as a separate, hostile group (although salvation is 'of them' at 4:22, in the sense of their truly offered worship to God). Its Greek style, language and allusions are consistent with a Greek-speaking Jew; it also assumes an audience outside Judaea. These facts are consistent (but not exclusively so) with a beloved disciple who has left Judaea for the Gentiles, even with one of the Johns (writing, possibly, at Ephesus or in Asia Minor): they reinforce the belief of the author of the postscript, the apparent belief of the author of the epilogue (chapter 21), and the odd, oblique references to the disciple in the Gospel itself."

Robin Lane Fox, The Unauthorized Version


Steven Carr, in his "Are the Gospels Eyewitness Accounts?", writes:

It was assumed by the early Christians that John's Gospel was written by John, simply because a disciple is called John in the Gospel.
One thing is clear. John's Gospel clashes head-on with the other three Gospels. The events in Mark seem to take place over a two or three month period. John puts 3 Passovers in the ministry of Jesus. (This might have been a reason why Papias wrote this somewhat contemptuous remark on Mark's Gospel. Helpfile author's comment) In John's Gospel, there are no exorcisms. There is not a single parable, although the other Gospels have this as one of the main ways Jesus taught. There is no Lord's Prayer in John. There is no Sermon on the Mount. The main commandments of the other Gospels is to love your neighbor and to love your enemies. John's Gospel does not think that worth recording. He gives the main commandment of Jesus that Christians should love one another. This is something that the Jesus of Matthew 5:46 says that even tax-collectors and pagans do.

There is no agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, no Virgin Birth in Bethlehem, no temptation by Satan, no Transfiguration, no proclamation that the kingdom of God is coming, no stay in the wilderness. How could anybody leave out such important stories if they were circulating freely among Christians?
In Mark 8:11, Jesus refuses to ever give a sign. In John 2:11, 2:23, 3:2, 4:48, 4:54, 6:2, 6:14, 7:31, 9:16, 11:47, 12:8, 12:37, 20:30 there are many signs. John does not record anything about the blood of the new covenant at the Last Supper.

These are all things that you would imagine a disciple of Jesus would have commented on.
In the other Gospels Jesus never states directly who he his. In John, this seems to be all he talks about. In John, Jesus only mentions the Kingdom of God once (John 3:3-5), in sharp contrast to the Jesus of the other three Gospels. Mark and Matthew has Jesus teach the disciples a great deal in private. In John, Jesus' teaching is entirely in public. Jesus speaks in long narratives, just like the voice of the narrator in John.

John has a very different account of how the disciples were called than the other Gospels have. In John, 2 disciples of John the Baptist follow Jesus, when they hear John speak of Jesus. This took place in Bethany, not Capernaum as in Mark. Philip brings Nathanael who is not listed in the Synoptics.
John has Nathanael say to Jesus `Rabbi, you are the Son of God'. In Mark, the disciples are quite unaware of who Jesus is - only supernatural beings know. Matthew makes sure that only Judas Iscariot ever calls Jesus `Rabbi'.

The text of John shows clear signs of being edited. Almost everybody accepts that it originally ended at Chapter 20:31 and that Chapter 21 was added later. It is possible that John 1:1-18 were also added later as they use many terms not in the main text, but this is disputed.
In John 2:23, Jesus is in Jerusalem, the capital of Judea. He talks to Nicodemus and then goes, in John 3:12, into the land of Judea. Notice that the NIV tries to get around this by translating `ge' (land) as countryside, so that Jesus goes into the countryside of Judea. This is the only time that the NIV translates `ge' as `countryside', and `countryside' (chora) is translated correctly everywhere else in the NIV. The translation is done just to avoid a contradiction.

Jesus is in Jerusalem for all of chapter 5. Then in 6:1, he goes to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. How could he go to the other side, if he is not already at one side, but is in fact three days journey away.
Peter asks Jesus `Lord, where are you going?' (John 13:36). Thomas says `Lord, we do not know where you are going' (John 14:5). Very soon after, Jesus says to the disciples `None of you ask me - Where are you going?'. (John 16:5). It seems that chapters 15,16 and 17 have been spliced on to an original story.

John 16:5 contradicts John 14:5. John 12:44-50 is out of any context as Jesus has just gone into hiding (12:36). John 3:31-36 is another passage that does not seem to have any context. Is it the narrator speaking, or John the Baptist, or Jesus?
In John 5:26-30, he virtually repeats what he said in John 5:19-25. John 6:51-58 is very repetitive of what Jesus has just said in 6:35-50.

As a conclusion we can say, John's Gospel contradicts the others and seems to have been heavily edited and reworked. The portrait of Jesus is so different from the others that I do not see how it can be claimed, as it often is, that the Gospels present a consistent and coherent characterization of Jesus.

Steven Carr, "Are the Gospels Eyewitness Accounts?",

Chap 21 is in Sinaiticus. However UV illumination indicates that Jn 21:25 was not part of the original codex. Apparently in the place of the latter Jn 21:25 addition, was written (and erased)…

Mike MacDonell - Biblical Studies (230)

[…] most mainstream scholars hold that John 21 was a later addition. This hypothesis holds that the original gospel concluded with verses 30-31 of chapter 20. Then the whole gospel was redacted and chapter 21 was added.

Steven Craig Miller - Biblical Studies (231)

According to the Johannine gospel Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover (John 19:14-16,31). But according to the Synoptics, the "Last Supper" (before Jesus was arrested and crucified) was a Passover meal (Mark 14:1-2,12-17; see also Luke 22:1,7-15; and Matthew 26:1-2,17-20). While occasionally one will find someone who tries to reconcile these passages, the majority of mainstream scholars have accepted the discrepancy between the Synoptics and the Johannine gospel as a fact (or at least as the most probable interpretation of these passages).

Steven Craig Miller - Biblical Studies (231)

The following is largely an attempt to digest the arguments Rudolf Bultmann gives for the hypothesis that John 21 is an addition written by someone other than the author of John chapters 1-20. It is taken from an English translation of Bultmann's German commentary on "The Gospel of John" (1971; German edition, 1966).
Bultmann analyzes the language and style, sentence connections, and vocabulary of chapter 21 in relation to the rest of the Johannine gospel. Although admittedly this affords no sure proof that chapter 21 was written by someone other than the author of chapters 1-20, there are a number of differences which might in part corroborate the hypothesis of different authors. The following note a few differences in vocabulary.

[snip: leaving out the Greek words for being too specific (author of the Helpfile)]
One should keep in mind that there is most likely a possibility of taking almost any chapter and finding vocabulary used in that chapter different from the rest of the gospel. Such differences prove little.
Bultmann writes:
"It is not irrelevant to note the curious fact that the disciples are here [in John 21] assumed to be fishermen; whereas of course that agrees with the Synoptics, not a word of it has hitherto been said in this Gospel. Similarly it is only here that the sons of Zebedee appear (v. 2), hitherto they have not been named. Finally it is strange that at this point only, and not in 1.45, Nathaniel is described as hailing from Cana" (701).

[Paraphrasing Bultmann] Chapter 21 gives the tradition of the appearances of the Risen Lord in Galilee. This tradition is attested by Mark and Matthew, but it had been completely ignored in John chapter 20. In chapter 21, it comes without any preparation, for example, there is no mention made of the disciples journey from Jerusalem to Galilee. Furthermore, the story told at John 20:19-29 is related in such a manner that no further appearances of the Risen Lord are anticipated. "After the commissioning of the disciples in 20.22ff, it is more than surprising that the disciples, instead of bearing testimony, are found fishing in the Sea of Galilee ..." (Bultmann, 701). In addition, Bultmann suggests that the narrative of John 21:1-13 was originally told as a story relating the first time the disciples met the Risen Lord (contrary to what the author says at verse 14).

The strongest evidence for this hypothesis is John 21:24 which reads:
"This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true" (Jn 21:24 NRSV).
"This ... disciple" is the disciple mentioned in verses 20-23, and verse 24 suggests that "this ... disciple" is the author of, or major source for, John chapters 1-20, and "we" refers to a Johannine school (or leaders in the Johannine community) who re-wrote this Johannine gospel adding chapter 21.

Bultmann writes:
"Ch. 21 is a postscript; for with 20.30f the Gospel reached its conclusion. The only question is from whom this postscript was derived. That the Evangelist himself added it, and put it after his first conclusion, then to append yet a second concluding statement (vv. 24ff.), is extraordinarily improbable" (700).
Such literary hypotheses are rarely absolutely convincing, and I doubt I have done total justice to Bultmann's arguments, nonetheless, most mainstream scholars hold that this hypothesis - that chapter 21 is a later addition to the Johannine gospel by someone other than the author for most of John chapters 1-20 - is "more probable" than taking chapter 21 as having been written by the same author of the rest of this gospel.

Steven Craig Miller - Biblical Studies (244)

The Johannine Jesus is ripped from the synoptic and Judaic traditions and made into a Orphic mystery. In the manner of the soter-gods (Dionysus and Osiris) Jesus is made into the role of a mystery soter god and declares that he is "the Bread of God."

For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

John 6:33-35

This non-Jewish concept is an abomination to the very Jews who Jesus lived among, taught, and himself believed accordingly. The Johannine Jesus is made to declare: "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. (6:56) This distinctly pagan element that John grafts onto the Jesus-story gets to the core of the god-man pagan mystery-cults of the Gentile world. John's Jesus's own disciples told him that the pagan soter motif was "a hard saying; who can hear it?" (6:60) Of course to the psuedopigraphical author of John, the Jews were incapable of understanding the mysteries that he wrote about anyway. Their fate was predestined to turn away from his pagan construct and retain their own Jewish ways.

These, and other Johannine elements attached to a paganized Jesus were so close to the cult of Dionysus that Justin found himself apologizing for their similiaries. Additionally, the cult of Dionysus and pre-200 CE Christianity were often confused with each other so that people accused the Christians of infanticide, sexual orgies, and omophagia, (eating of human flesh as a transubtantiation of the god), practices which were widely known as Dionysaic. Justin found himself defending Christianity against these charges declaring

"Do you also...believe that we eat human flesh and that after our banquets we extinguish the lights and indulge in unbridled sensuality?"

Trypho 10

Tertullian likewise wrote,

"We are accused of observing a holy rite in which we kill a little child and then eat it...[and] after the feast, we practice incest...."

Apology 39

Of course we know a great deal of early Christian Eucharist practice from many sources, most revealing Cyril (315-386) of Jerusalem and his Lectures. These Christian practices entitled "mystagogical" (after the pagan mysteries) describe the process whereby initiates are to become "wedded to Christ" (as Orphic initiates were to Dionysus) and led into a grand processional to the chapel for esoteric study and final initiation.

Eighteen of Cyril's lectures are a catechism concerning the fundamentals of Christian faith warning adherents to beware of the Devil and his machinations, told of the world's end, and the secrets of heaven, hell, and the resurrection. Perhaps most revealing due to its striking connection to the pagan soter mysteries, Cryil describes an eventual Eucharist ceremony where the initiate accepts a eucharist as a substitute for the literal body of the Christ:

"Thus we come to bear Christ in us, because His Body and Blood are distributed through our members; thus it is that, according to the blessed Peter, we become partakers of the divine nature."

(22,3)

Additionally, as expressed by Lohfink (former Catholic Theological professor at University of Tübingen, now at Munich) [1987] we are in a serious exegetical predicament as to the nature of the "kingdom of God" due to the Gospel of John's success in "transforming the concept into the ideas of God's righteousness." Almost from the beginning the synoptic kingdom of God that Jesus spent so much time preaching others to aspire to, was quickly misunderstood and lost (specifically what was originally meant by zoe, dikaiosune, theou, and basileia theou) John successfully places Jesus in the role of the savior through whom all must pass in order to achieve the kingdom of God. Clearly, Jesus did not teach this himself in the synoptics.

Jesus taught that the kingdom of God was a present-tense manifestation (or a gift) which was readily available to those who repent and follow the Law.

"Blessed are the eyes which see what you see. For I tell you: Many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and have not seen it..."

(Luke 10:23ff)

and when tempted by a lawyer who asks "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus replies:

What is written in the law? how readest thou? And [the lawyer] answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

(Luke 10:26ff)

Later Jesus emphasizes the present-tense gift of the kingdom of God by telling his disciples that "the kingdom of God is already at your disposal." (17:21) Lohfink says that "Jesus' message is simply misunderstood if it is formulated in such a way that God gives his kingdom, but not entirely; that he allows it to break forth, but only part way; that he reveals it, but only proleptically."

None of these Judaic elements survive in the Hellenic Gospel of John. Jesus' words are ignored and the pagan soter mysteries are preferred instead. The two cannot be reconciled against each other: either Jesus was originally correct in the synoptic tradition in saying that rigid adherence to the law would bring the worshipper to God or John's mysteries that place Jesus in the central role of eternal life-giver are correct. Either Jesus was a Jewish Messiah (eschatological messenger) per the synoptics, or he was a Johannine Logos and Creator of the world.

James Still - Contextual Problems with the Gospel of John

#31 ObedEdom

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 06:20 PM

Yes, the bible is perfect and right, even the hundreds of contradictions.

A proper response for Hexalpa and Pete when I get home.


Properly put that would be "assumed contradictions".

#32 Bro. Hex

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 06:27 PM

Very interesting post Rev "Dr Mike",
I feel like I just read a short "book" on this subject.
Thanks for a very time-consuming post...
your typing fingers must be cramping :jest:

Properly put that would be "assumed contradictions".

I prefer the term "apparent".
One actually must do a great deal of "assuming"
if one tries to resolve the inconsistencies that are visible
on the "face" of the text.

Edited by Hexalpa, 22 March 2012 - 06:28 PM.


#33 ObedEdom

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 06:28 PM

snip

Hans Radix


Sorry, but if Jesus was not born of a virgin... then He would have been born in sin [as the seed of sinful man]: Then we may as well just throw out the whole Bible and act like animals and rape, kill, steal and destroy because there would be no consequences for our actions.

#34 Bro. Hex

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 06:31 PM

Sorry, but if Jesus was not born of a virgin... then He would have been born in sin


Well of course he was.... if you believe in "original sin".
(I do not). But I don't see that your "conclusion" ("then we may as well ...etc.")
is in any way a logical consequence of Jesus having been
"conceived in the usual way".

Edited by Hexalpa, 22 March 2012 - 06:35 PM.


#35 Rev. Dr. Michael. DD

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 08:21 PM

Sorry, but if Jesus was not born of a virgin... then He would have been born in sin [as the seed of sinful man]: Then we may as well just throw out the whole Bible and act like animals and rape, kill, steal and destroy because there would be no consequences for our actions.


Well your comments don't even make sense. You don't think man can do what is right without the Bible?
Joseph and Mary were husband and wife. The Bible is wrong on this and many more accounts.

"Question - Was Joseph the father of Jesus
Well, I suppose I am the only one in all the universe of God, who knows the fact with reference to that question, and I as a spirit of the Celestial Spheres, knowing only truth, say to you and all the world, that Joseph was the actual father of Jesus, and that he was conceived and born as any other mortal was conceived and born. The Holy Spirit did not beget him and I never was informed that such a thing would happen. I was known by Joseph before the conception of Jesus, and by him I was made pregnant with that blessed son. This is the truth and all accounts and statements to the contrary are erroneous.

I was a simple Jewish maiden, and never had any knowledge that my son was to be different from the sons of other mothers, and it was not until after the development in him of the Divine Nature of the Father, that I realized that he was so different from the sons of other mothers.

Your sister and mother in Christ, Mary


True Gospel Revealed Anew From Jesus - Birth and Life of Jesus Up to the Time of His Public Ministry


#36 Rev. Dr. Michael. DD

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 08:57 PM

One place where orthodox battled heretic was over when exactly Jesus became Son of God. Orthodox Christians maintained that Jesus was Son of God from conception or even earlier. Heretics maintained that Jesus became Son of God at his baptism or at his resurrection. Romans 1:4 says that "(Jesus was) designated Son of God in power according to the spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead", which seems to imply that even Paul was not unsympathetic to this view.

The orthodox said that Joseph was not really Jesus' biological father. Some heretics said that Jesus was an ordinary man until he became Son of God and so was born in the normal way. Sadly for the orthodox, the Gospels did say that Jesus' father was Joseph. So some of them simply eliminated those places which said that Joseph was the father of Jesus. For example, Luke 2:33 says that Jesus' "father and mother began to marvel". Many Greek manuscripts changed the text to read "Joseph and his mother began to marvel". Luke 2:48 says "Look, your father and I have been grieved". Some manuscripts were altered to read "Your relatives and I..." or "We have been grieved". In Luke 2:43 "his parents" was often changed to "Joseph and his mother".

The suppression of Joseph's role and the declaration of the Virgin Birth brought an interesting reaction from Jewish side. In the Talmud, Yeshu (Jesus) Ben Pandera (or Ben Panthera) is mentioned. The story goes that he was the illegitimate son of Mary, who betrayed her fiancé with a Roman legionary. Product of that adventure was Jesus, who later on brought much disgrace over Israel. Without going in detail, obviously the Christian claim of Mary being a virgin (parthenos in Greek) attributed the name "Son of the virgin" to Jesus. Some Jewish circles did not understand the meaning or wanted to ridicule the story, and called Jesus Ben Panthera (misspelling the Greek word). Later the knowledge about the origin of that name was lost, and as a Jew never gets his name from his mother, they concluded that Panthera was the father of Jesus. Panthera certainly is not a Jewish name, so Jesus' father must have been a foreigner. Who were the foreigners in Palestine during Jesus' lifetime? The Romans, of course! So it was concluded, that Jesus was the illegitimate son of a Roman soldier.

What tell us the messages:

Yes, I am Joseph, the father of Jesus. I would like to say a few words in corroboration that my son Jesus of the Bible wrote to you concerning my name as hidden in the New Testament, and that you must not have any doubt that what my son writes you is the truth. Fear not, but have faith in the accuracy of the messages that he writes to you. The reason for this hiding of my name from the readers of the New Testament was to prevent the identity of the father who had no faith in Jesus at the crucifixion, but you must have absolute faith in what he tells you is the truth.

Yes, I am Joseph, father of Jesus, and I was called Alphaeus by some writers of the Gospel. And you must know that I was the real father of Jesus in the flesh, regardless of what the New Testament has to say about this.

Jesus' father was called Alphaeus by some of the Gospel writers
From: New Testament Revelations

Most of what the New Testament says about me is untrue. I was married legally to Joseph, my husband, who was a young man, and not the decrepit, impotent old man he is described as by the writers who seek to make me a virgin and mother to a son whose Father has no body or spirit, only an All-Soul filled with Divine Love and Mercy, even in the taking by death of loved ones whose bodies can no longer function or sustain life as it is found on earth. No, I was wife and mother to eight flesh and blood children, my first-born being Jeshua, or Jeshu, for the people spoke differently and pronounced differently in northern and central Palestine, as people speak differently in various parts of your own country. He was born exactly like other babies, and neither he nor Joseph, nor I, had any inkling of what his career was to be; and this is the truth and entirely contrary to what is stated in the Scriptures.

Jesus' birth and youth as revealed by Mary, mother of Jesus
From: New Testament Revelations

Well, I suppose I am the only one in all the universe of God, who knows the fact with reference to that question, and I as a spirit of the Celestial Spheres, knowing only truth, say to you and all the world, that Joseph was the actual father of Jesus, and that he was conceived and born as any other mortal was conceived and born. The Holy Spirit did not beget him and I never was informed that such a thing would happen. I was known by Joseph before the conception of Jesus, and by him I was made pregnant with that blessed son. This is the truth and all accounts and statements to the contrary are erroneous.

Mary writes that Jesus was the natural son of Joseph and Mary
From: True Gospel Revealed Anew by Jesus - Volume 2

#37 Dan56

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 12:24 AM

There is no agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, no Virgin Birth in Bethlehem, no temptation by Satan, no Transfiguration, no proclamation that the kingdom of God is coming, no stay in the wilderness. How could anybody leave out such important stories if they were circulating freely among Christians?


Since John wrote the last gospel, he probably had read or had knowledge of what Matthew, Mark and Luke had already written. So why would he rehash the same ground when he had the opportunity to cover material not known? Matthew and Luke begin with Jesus birth, Mark begins with his baptism, and John begins after his baptism. John didn't repetitiously copy what the other gospels already reported, he included additional facts about Christ. New information makes John's Gospel different from the others, but different does not equate to contradictory. I still see no contradictions. Despite revealing new information, there are still many fundamental similarities; http://bible.org/ser...ynoptic-gospels

According to the Johannine gospel Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover (John 19:14-16,31). But according to the Synoptics, the "Last Supper" (before Jesus was arrested and crucified) was a Passover meal (Mark 14:1-2,12-17; see also Luke 22:1,7-15; and Matthew 26:1-2,17-20). While occasionally one will find someone who tries to reconcile these passages, the majority of mainstream scholars have accepted the discrepancy between the Synoptics and the Johannine gospel as a fact (or at least as the most probable interpretation of these passages).

Steven Craig Miller - Biblical Studies (231)


Mainstream 'scholars' accept the discrepancy, why doesn't that surprise me. I'd recommend studying it yourself, here's a helpful site: http://www.centuryon...rucifixion.html

#38 Fawzo

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 12:43 AM

Sorry, but if Jesus was not born of a virgin... then He would have been born in sin [as the seed of sinful man]: Then we may as well just throw out the whole Bible and act like animals and rape, kill, steal and destroy because there would be no consequences for our actions.

That logic is ridiculous. We have evolved and evolved beings know that to behave in those manners is not conducive to continued success in survival for the species. That is why many cultures had similar moral codes even before the mythic Adam and Eve in the BIble were ever invented.

#39 Fawzo

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 12:54 AM

Since John wrote the last gospel, he probably had read or had knowledge of what Matthew, Mark and Luke had already written. So why would he rehash the same ground when he had the opportunity to cover material not known? Matthew and Luke begin with Jesus birth, Mark begins with his baptism, and John begins after his baptism. John didn't repetitiously copy what the other gospels already reported, he included additional facts about Christ. New information makes John's Gospel different from the others, but different does not equate to contradictory. I still see no contradictions. Despite revealing new information, there are still many fundamental similarities; http://bible.org/ser...ynoptic-gospels



Mainstream 'scholars' accept the discrepancy, why doesn't that surprise me. I'd recommend studying it yourself, here's a helpful site: http://www.centuryon...rucifixion.html

Dan my post covers why the other authors wrote what they wrote. Rumors about Jesus's bastard birth, debate over his divinity and when it occurred, differences in personal theological points of view. These all led the Gospel writers and all those other Christians who formed the many Christian forgeries to pick up a pen and write.

Not to cast asperions on your intelligence Dan, but many of those Bible scholars and textual critics are smarter then you and I could ever be in this life. Some of these folks are beyond brilliant and have studied the subject their whole lives with a fervor unmatched.

Seems kind of foolish to attempt to study Greek, Hebrew and pour over all those text and the 100.000's of variations that exist to just find out what others who have already brilliantly done so found. But go ahead and knock yourself out. I'm pretty sure you'll soon be standing the same perceptions that many such folks before you did like Bart D. Ehrman and scores of others that the Bible is written by man and for man.

#40 Pete

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 02:42 AM

Sorry, but if Jesus was not born of a virgin... then He would have been born in sin [as the seed of sinful man]: Then we may as well just throw out the whole Bible and act like animals and rape, kill, steal and destroy because there would be no consequences for our actions.

Just a point here ObedEdom. There are many athiests and agnostics who have thrown out the bible and do not act like animals, rape, kill, steal, or destroy, not because of a proposed fear of punishment as fundamentalists suggest but because it is their personal moral conviction that it would be wrong to do so. I am sorry but I do not follow your logic. The bible is not (IMO) the only source of developing one's moral convictions and in fact there are many things in the bible that I would not recommend anyone does.

Edited by Pete, 23 March 2012 - 02:45 AM.


#41 Pete

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 03:05 AM

Dan my post covers why the other authors wrote what they wrote. Rumors about Jesus's bastard birth, debate over his divinity and when it occurred, differences in personal theological points of view. These all led the Gospel writers and all those other Christians who formed the many Christian forgeries to pick up a pen and write.

Not to cast asperions on your intelligence Dan, but many of those Bible scholars and textual critics are smarter then you and I could ever be in this life. Some of these folks are beyond brilliant and have studied the subject their whole lives with a fervor unmatched.

Seems kind of foolish to attempt to study Greek, Hebrew and pour over all those text and the 100.000's of variations that exist to just find out what others who have already brilliantly done so found. But go ahead and knock yourself out. I'm pretty sure you'll soon be standing the same perceptions that many such folks before you did like Bart D. Ehrman and scores of others that the Bible is written by man and for man.

I also note that Paul who wrote the earliest writings, but I do not believe all that are claimed to be his, does not ever mention that Jesus had a virgin birth. I find that odd because Paul wanted to portray Jesus as special and never mentioned this once. I think if the virgin story held any weight then I feel he would of mentioned it in order to give support for his viewpoint. I am sure it would of been a pivotable arguement if he had could have proved it or I suspect if he even knew of it.

Edited by Pete, 23 March 2012 - 03:06 AM.


#42 RabbiO

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 05:54 AM

The suppression of Joseph's role and the declaration of the Virgin Birth brought an interesting reaction from Jewish side. In the Talmud, Yeshu (Jesus) Ben Pandera (or Ben Panthera) is mentioned. The story goes that he was the illegitimate son of Mary, who betrayed her fiancé with a Roman legionary. Product of that adventure was Jesus, who later on brought much disgrace over Israel. Without going in detail, obviously the Christian claim of Mary being a virgin (parthenos in Greek) attributed the name "Son of the virgin" to Jesus. Some Jewish circles did not understand the meaning or wanted to ridicule the story, and called Jesus Ben Panthera (misspelling the Greek word). Later the knowledge about the origin of that name was lost, and as a Jew never gets his name from his mother, they concluded that Panthera was the father of Jesus. Panthera certainly is not a Jewish name, so Jesus' father must have been a foreigner. Who were the foreigners in Palestine during Jesus' lifetime? The Romans, of course! So it was concluded, that Jesus was the illegitimate son of a Roman soldier.


And you believe this because???

#43 Rev. Dr. Michael. DD

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 07:05 AM

And you believe this because???


What part are you referring to? Jesus was born to a virgin and his real father was a Roman? I don't believe that for a minute. If that is what you got out of my post then please go back and read the whole thing over again.

What I believe is what Jesus said, that he is the son of Joseph and Marry and they were married before his conception. Jesus is not God but the son of God.

#44 RabbiO

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 07:17 AM

What part are you referring to?


This - "Without going in detail, obviously the Christian claim of Mary being a virgin (parthenos in Greek) attributed the name "Son of the virgin" to Jesus. Some Jewish circles did not understand the meaning or wanted to ridicule the story, and called Jesus Ben Panthera (misspelling the Greek word). Later the knowledge about the origin of that name was lost, and as a Jew never gets his name from his mother, they concluded that Panthera was the father of Jesus. Panthera certainly is not a Jewish name, so Jesus' father must have been a foreigner. Who were the foreigners in Palestine during Jesus' lifetime? The Romans, of course! So it was concluded, that Jesus was the illegitimate son of a Roman soldier."

#45 Rev. Dr. Michael. DD

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 07:37 AM

RabbiO, I do not believe that Panthera was Jesus' father, like I stated above, Jesus was the son of Marry and Joseph.

BOOK OF MATTHEW
One thing we have to bear in mind investigating the canonical Gospels, is the issue of dating. Scholar X says that Mark was written after 70 AD, scholar Y says it was written between 60 and 65 AD. This kind of reasoning is not valid at all, because the Gospels in their present, final redaction, were all written much later, and the first, original Gospels cannot be found in them, they have been mutilated, added to or erased from during multiple stages of edition.
The Authorship of this Gospel is debated by scholars, because the only primary source for this claim is Papias, a notoriously unreliable church father.

"This is related by Papias about Mark, and about Matthew this was said, `Matthew collected the oracles in the Hebrew language, and each interpreted them as best he could'."

Eusebius quoting Papias of Hieropolis (d. ca. 138 CE) in Ecclesiastical History 3.39.14-16

It is commonly agreed that Matthew wrote his Gospel somewhere after the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70 A.D.

"Matthew was written in Jewish circles well before the final tearing away of Jewish Christians from their participation in synagogue worship that occurred around the year 88 C.E. That would tend to anchor the date for this gospel between 75 C.E. and 85 C.E., with the range of 80 C.E. to 82 C.E. being the best guess of most scholars."

John Shelby Spong, Liberating the Gospels, p. 102

Was it the first Gospel? Most scholars nowadays say no. Matthew follows the rough outlines of Mark, as Luke does. But there exists no common agreement between Bible students.

"The arguments for Matthean priority, though not overwhelming, are substantial. Matthew looks original. His eight thousand supposed departures from Mark's text are cleverly disguised. It looks early and Palestinian, reflecting a terrible clash between Jesus and the religious authorities, rather than a post-70 clash between church and synagogue. Mark looks like Peter's version of the same Palestinian tradition composed for Jewish and Gentile readers outside Palestine. Mark shows signs of conspicuously making omission, e.g. parables."

John Wenham, Redating Matthew, Mark & Luke (1991), p. 88

"Matthew has chosen and `shaped' his traditions with the needs and concerns of Christians in his own day in mind. Matthew writes as a pastor [...] One of the most distinctive features of Matthew is the ferocity of anti-Jewish polemic..."

Graham N. Stanton, The Gospels and Jesus, The Oxford Bible Series (1989), paperback, p. 77

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you..."

Matthew 23:37a - Luke 13:34a

"The tendency of the gospel writers, especially Matthew, was to make the event fit the prophecies lifted (and occasionally edited) from the Old Testament. In addition, the gospel writers did not hesitate to take words from the Greek scriptures and put them on the lips of Jesus, because these words, too, were sacred words."

Robert W. Funk, Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar, The Five Gospels

One point to note here. During Jesus' time the word for Jews (ioudaioV) meant Judeans. According to the gospels, Jesus was a Galilean. Therefore the polemic was directed against his Jerusalem-centered opponents.

"Matthew presents a combination of anti-Pharisaic polemic and a description of Jesus' teaching of fulfilling the law and the prophets in episodes such as the Sermon on the Mount, which can be seen as the work of a writer conscious of setting a competing tradition to the Pharisees, saying that the Christians are in effect the new hasidim in a similar vein to the polemic of the Essenes against the Jerusalem priesthood."

Chris King, "Das Leben Jeshu - Vie de Jesus - The Life of Jesus"

The phrase "when Jesus finished" appears only five times in Matthew, at the conclusion of each of block of Matthew's teaching. According to Michael Goulder, the blocks were related to the five great celebratory festivals in the Jewish liturgical year:

1. The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) - Pentecost (Shavuot)
2. Instructions to the twelve disciples (Matthew 10:5-11:1) - New Year (Rosh Hashanah)

3. Teaching material tied together with the Harvest (Matthew 13:1-53) - Tabernacles (Sukkot)
4. The transfiguration (Matthew 18:1-19:1) - Dedication (Hanukkah)
5. The Apocalypse and Day of Judgment (Matthew 24-25) - Passover


"Because Mark only provided lections from Rosh Hashanah to Passover, Matthew had to undertake a massive midrashic (amplifying) rewriting of Mark. He covered the months Mark omitted. He dulled Mark's criticism of the Torah, Jewish practices, and the scribes. He expanded the content of the teaching of Jesus so that the five celebratory festivals of the Jewish year could be observed in an appropriate and proper Christian style, and, in the process, he heightened the sense that Jesus was the fulfillment of the law and the prophets.

In this process Matthew would revise, expand, and transform Mark into a document almost twice its size, and he would also make it far more suitable for use in a relatively strict and theologically conservative Jewish Christian world. He would create a gospel narrative that was capable of providing a lection from Christian writings to be read on every Sabbath worship occasion of the year. He would also provide the teaching material that would transform the great Jewish festivals into Christian celebrations."

John Shelby Spong, Liberating the Gospels, p. 117-118, 106

#46 RabbiO

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 09:02 AM

Let's try this one more time:
1) Without going in detail, obviously the Christian claim of Mary being a virgin (parthenos in Greek) attributed the name "Son of the virgin" to Jesus.
2) Some Jewish circles did not understand the meaning or wanted to ridicule the story, and called Jesus Ben Panthera (misspelling the Greek word).
3)Later the knowledge about the origin of that name was lost, and as a Jew never gets his name from his mother, they concluded that Panthera was the father of Jesus. Panthera certainly is not a Jewish name, so Jesus' father must have been a foreigner.
4) Who were the foreigners in Palestine during Jesus' lifetime? The Romans, of course!
5) So it was concluded, that Jesus was the illegitimate son of a Roman soldier.

#47 Pete

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 10:45 AM

please ignore this entry. Something went wrong with my editing.

Edited by Pete, 23 March 2012 - 10:57 AM.


#48 Pete

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 10:56 AM

Properly put that would be "assumed contradictions".

Now lets see. In my opinion the biggest contradiction is the bible's message about God. We have a God who drowns nearly the whole world because he cannot stand disobediance. We see him destroying cities for no good reason and fixing the mind of Pharaoh just so he can punish his people some more.
We then have instructions in the form of said laws from God that says some people should not be shown any compassion or tolerance and put to death. See:- http://www.evilbible.com/Murder.htm
We then have God dividing himself into three so that he can die as a sacrifice for sins because God cannot forgive in any other way. I note also if Jesus was God then what sacrifice would that be when you know if you are God and that you cannot be killed and you would return in three days completely well.
We have messages of Jesus' love, peace, and forgiveness for everyone and we still note that his father just had nearly had everyone drowned. We also note if there was a flood then according to the bible's dating then there would have been one almighty gap in Egyptian history but oddly there is not.
We also left with the question of the nature of God. Loving or just plain vengeful?
You may argue there is no contradictions in the bible but in my mind there are plenty.

Edited by Pete, 23 March 2012 - 10:59 AM.


#49 Fawzo

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 03:52 PM

I also note that Paul who wrote the earliest writings, but I do not believe all that are claimed to be his, does not ever mention that Jesus had a virgin birth. I find that odd because Paul wanted to portray Jesus as special and never mentioned this once. I think if the virgin story held any weight then I feel he would of mentioned it in order to give support for his viewpoint. I am sure it would of been a pivotable arguement if he had could have proved it or I suspect if he even knew of it.

The whole necessity of a virgin birth is mind boggling to me and makes no sense whatsoever to me.

If one thinks deeply about it one just has to shake one's head. Did any omniscient deity have to specially create his own sacrifice unto himself, to appease himself for something he himself allows and knew was going to take place?

If God could go through all that trouble just to create one hybrid perfect being without sin, he could have just as easily created a whole race of spotless hybrid humans without sin. The people of those times seemed pretty superstitious and pretty ignorant compared to some of the other societies of the ancient world at that time IMHO, (My apologies to RabbiO and any other folks who are offended by those comments. It is just the opinion of one silly Alpaca) The whole sacrificial system wreaks of barbarism to me and my sensibilities as a modern man, though it may have been deemed perfectly acceptable back in those times.

It seems that for a God to be accepted and worthy of praise and worship in that time period it needed a Supernatural birth. Look at all the Gods in the surrounding cultures such as Mithras born from a rock, is a perfect example. A great theme that runs through many myths is the Deity who goes through a supernatural transformation and incarnates on earth to save mankind. This theme was popular long before one Jesus of Nazareth was born.

Then add into the mix the dark questions about Jesus's own birth and his seedy hometown and then throw on top of that disciples who truly believed Jesus was the Messiah and then these authors searched the scriptures such as the poorly translated Septuagint for prophecies to confirm Jesus as such and it is no wonder we have two authors who came up with two different lineages and two different birth stories attempting to enhance the appeal of their master for the general ignorant public.

My theory seems much more plausible to me than a virgin birth necessitated by a deity who had to create his own sacrifice unto himself to appease himself for situations he allowed to take place. I guess anything is possible but the plausibility of such is close to 0 in my opinion.

#50 Bro. Hex

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:04 PM

If one thinks deeply about it one just has to shake one's head.
"Did any omniscient deity (really) have to specially create his own sacrifice unto himself,
(just) to appease himself for something he himself allows and knew was going to take place?"


It really does defy credibility, Fawz, when you put it so plainly...
If you "didn't already believe this story",
I think it would be a really hard sell




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