Harvey

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Jesus as a failed apocalyptic prophet.
« Reply #45 on: May 23, 2012, 10:23:08 am »
Arthureus wrote:
This isn't the claim  I'm making.  Rather, it's the much stronger one that Jesus was  an eschatological prophet -- the end time prediction was what he was  all about. It wasn't a message tangential to his central message; it was his central message: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!". . .If the mainstream scholars of the  historical Jesus are right and the points above are correct, then it  looks as though this line of reasoning undercuts Craig’s abductive  argument for the resurrection of Jesus.  For it seems extremely unlikely  that a god would resurrect a false prophet (recall, for example, the  passage from Deuteronomy above).

   

   I think the view that Jesus was an eschatological prophet is rather naive. He clearly believed that the Kingdom would come and that his ministry was deeply related to that event, but a more accurate view is that he believed that a major eschaton-like transformative event was in the works. That's what repent and believe the Good News is about. It meant individual by individual would become transformed and this mustard seed would spread to bring about the end. His ministry was related to Israel, and he believed it was the last days for the nation (which means he was a successful prophet). As for the eschaton, there is no clear evidence that Jesus believed it was imminent. Thus, in response:

   

   D1: Jesus may have joined JtB's community (or been somewhat affiliated), but Jesus does what John and the Qumran community refused to do: his ministry is in the cities of Israel. In addition, his message is driven more toward the Kingdom being in the individual versus external to the person. This clashes strongly with a view of Jesus as an eschatological prophet.

   

   D2: Son of Man references may or may not be eschatologically related, but they do not show the timing of such an event.

   

   D3: Unlike Jesus' time, the Christian church came under severe persecution by the time of Paul. After all, Jesus had been executed, James the son of Zebedee had been martyred, etc. It was thought that Jesus would return to restore the Kingdom. Such events are more likely to drive the church to an imminent eschatological view. In addition, Claudius expelled the Jews from Rome in 49 AD which only added to the turmoil. In Jesus' time, there was no heavy persecution. There was, however, severe oppression, and this is the environment that Jesus addressed by loving your enemies, praying for those who do evil to you, etc.

   

   D4: Mark 13:30 "this generation will not pass away until all these things take place" The eschatology referenced here is usually used to date the Gospel as being written in 66-70 AD. The reason is that the events mentioned are what happened in 66 - 70 AD. So, it's difficult to say whether Jesus said those things.

   

   D5: Not a good argument. Asking for a priority of his message has absolutely nothing to do with eschatology.

   

   D6: I'm not sure what he means by "interim ethic."

   

   D7:  I don't think you can use an argument about leaving a materialistic life as a sign that Jesus believed the eschaton was imminent. This message has little to do with eschatology.

   

   D8: Jesus might have believed the end to be near, but this may have nothing to do with his ministry and what he believed to be important. Although, I don't think the evidence suggests that he thought the end was near. I think he believed that God's judgment on Israel was near (and perhaps the possible expulsion of Rome out of the Holy Lands), but that's a different matter.

   

   D9: See D3.

   

   D10: See D3.

   

   D11: What predictions of Jesus??

   

   D12: I don't agree that the parables express this notion. They are mainly surrounding the notion of God's judgment, but not necessarily eschaton. None of his parables mention the destruction of the world.

   

   D13: "The last shall be first, and the first shall be last." This is a common biblical motif going back to Cain and Abel and Joseph and his brothers. The author is grasping at straws.

   

   D14: Writing biographies is for historians. The first followers of Jesus were farmers, tax collectors, and fishermen. How many people have sat down and wrote a chronology of events and a biography of important people in their lives even though they have a computer in front of them?

   

   D15: Revelation was written around the time of Emperor Domitian, so it's kind of odd that the author would make such a claim about what occurred 60 years prior to that time. It's like saying that what happened in October, 1962 was mostly attributable to events that happened in 1902.

   

   ----------------------

   The author is obviously bitter about his earlier experiences as a Christian. But, he hurts his argument by grasping at so many straws. One main problem for him is that the Q and Thomas community kept the words of Jesus without any eschatological references. If Jesus was the failed eschatological prophet as they say, then why were these words preserved without any mention of his end of the world beliefs?

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Matthias

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« Reply #46 on: May 23, 2012, 10:44:50 am »
harvey1 wrote: D6: I'm not sure what he means by "interim ethic."

I believe the idea here is that Jesus' ethics seem like a very impractical way to run a society, but sensical as a way of keeping an individual pure. This is perhaps somewhat suggestive, but similar things have been propounded by non-eschatological communities.

The author is obviously bitter about his earlier experiences as a Christian. But, he hurts his argument by grasping at so many straws. One main problem for him is that the Q and Thomas community kept the words of Jesus without any eschatological references. If Jesus was the failed eschatological prophet as they say, then why were these words preserved without any mention of his end of the world beliefs?

Thomas is certainly non-millenial, but there are a lot of aspects that seem consciously anti-millenial: logia 3, &c. (Allen Brent discusses this pretty extensively in the early parts of A Political History of Early Christianity, if you're interested.) So we can certainly say that of the communities that preserved Jesus' words some were millenial and some not, but from that I don't think we can conclude much about the man's millenialism or lack thereof itself.

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Fred

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Jesus as a failed apocalyptic prophet.
« Reply #47 on: May 23, 2012, 12:26:06 pm »
 

harvey1 wrote:
Quote from: Arthureus
This isn't the claim I'm making. Rather, it's the much stronger one that Jesus was an eschatological prophet -- the end time prediction was what he was all about. It wasn't a message tangential to his central message; it was his central message: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!". . .If the mainstream scholars of the historical Jesus are right and the points above are correct, then it looks as though this line of reasoning undercuts Craig’s abductive argument for the resurrection of Jesus. For it seems extremely unlikely that a god would resurrect a false prophet (recall, for example, the passage from Deuteronomy above).


I think the view that Jesus was an eschatological prophet is rather naive.

 

And yet, a number of scholars who have applied the historical-critical method to the data have drawn this conclusion that Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet.  I'm not arguing from authority that they're right, but I think it's wrong headed to suggest that they're all naïve.  They have some good arguments.  The methodology is based on treating the Bible as they would any other historical documents, which obviously means leaving Christian assumptions at the door.  They employ the historical method in their analysis (source criticism, external and internal criticism, and historical reasoning).  This considers the genre, and the implications of the genre.  It considers literary relationships between the Gospels, the historical and cultural environment in which they were written. It considers the authorship (what can we surmise about the authors?), how the authors beliefs would influence the content, and the likely dates of the writings.   Like any historical document, it contains data of varying degrees of reliability and attempts to sort that out. History is not an exact science, but it does the best it can with the data that is available.

 

Christians tend to treat the Gospels as veridical history, and interpret them through their faith.  This is fine for Christians qua Christians, but it's not pure history – it's apologetics, or (at best) an apologetic history.    

 

The Op lists a set of hypotheses that have been developed by these critical scholars.  It's easy to dismiss  everything in the list with a brief comment, since they're merely the intermediate conclusions and the arguments behind them are unstated.  I'll just point out that you've done so by raising objections that seem rooted in your Christian beliefs.  For example, when you say " a more accurate view is that he believed that a major eschaton-like transformative event was in the works. That's what repent and believe the Good News is about. It meant individual by individual would become transformed and this mustard seed would spread to bring about the end."

 

You "know" what the Good News is about, but what you "know" may not be based on the best explanation of the material in the Bible, but instead be based on the assumptions you are taught to believe as a Christain.    

 

The author is obviously bitter about his earlier experiences as a Christian. But, he hurts his argument by grasping at so many straws. One main problem for him is that the Q and Thomas community kept the words of Jesus without any eschatological references. If Jesus was the failed eschatological prophet as they say, then why were these words preserved without any mention of his end of the world beliefs?

 

I don't know how you can be so certain about the motivations of the "exapologist" who outlined the points in the OP, but regardless – he didn't make up these items, he's just summarizing the works of some historical-critical scholars.   It is their arguments that are pertinent.  

 

Regarding Thomas: this was a later Gospel used be a group of Gnostics, who appear to have embraced some of Jesus' teaching.  Being written in the 2nd century, it shouldn't be surprising that they wouldn't deal with an imminent apocalypse. Regarding the Q Gospel, it's quite consistent with an apocalyptic hypothesis, for example:

 

"Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.   21  "Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. "Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.   22  "Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man.   23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.   24  "But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.   25  "Woe to you w
   ho are full now, for you will be hungry. "Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep
.  

 

When will these things occur?  When the Son of Man arrives, and the Kingdom of God is established on earth and the forces of evil will be overcome.

Fred

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Harvey

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« Reply #48 on: May 23, 2012, 01:52:24 pm »
fredonly wrote: And yet, a number of scholars who have applied the historical-critical method to the data have drawn this conclusion that Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet.  I'm not arguing from authority that they're right, but I think it's wrong headed to suggest that they're all naïve.  They have some good arguments.  The methodology is based on treating the Bible as they would any other historical documents, which obviously means leaving Christian assumptions at the door.  They employ the historical method in their analysis (source criticism, external and internal criticism, and historical reasoning).  This considers the genre, and the implications of the genre.  It considers literary relationships between the Gospels, the historical and cultural environment in which they were written. It considers the authorship (what can we surmise about the authors?), how the authors beliefs would influence the content, and the likely dates of the writings.   Like any historical document, it contains data of varying degrees of reliability and attempts to sort that out. History is not an exact science, but it does the best it can with the data that is available.

   

   There's a lot of theories. I think naive is a good choice of words given that a strict eschatological view doesn't account for the wisdom sage theory and other theories.

   

   
fredonly wrote: Christians tend to treat the Gospels as veridical history, and interpret them through their faith.  This is fine for Christians qua Christians, but it's not pure history – it's apologetics, or (at best) an apologetic history.

   

   How is this different than me saying that the blogger is interpreting his views from a biased point of view? I have good evidence of bias because he mentioned the Book of Revelation which was written over 60 years from Jesus' death. I don't think any scholar would make such an argument.

   

   
fredonly wrote: Regarding Thomas: this was a later Gospel used be a group of Gnostics, who appear to have embraced some of Jesus' teaching.  Being written in the 2nd century, it shouldn't be surprising that they wouldn't deal with an imminent apocalypse.

   

   The date of Thomas is uncertain. However, there's good evidence to indicate that Thomas has a connection directly to Jesus independent of Q and the Gospels.

   

   
fredonly wrote: Regarding the Q Gospel, it's quite consistent with an apocalyptic hypothesis, for example

   

   Q is not as consistent as you suggest. For example, Crossan quotes David Seeley to emphasize this point:

   

   
...futuristic eschatology never appears in those passages where the ethics and values on which a community might be based are set forth. Instead, with two exceptions it appears only in those situations where the ethics and values have already been set forth. . . Even in the two exceptions, there continues to be no link between futuristic eschatology and social formation. . . when one seeks out Q passages which do contain ethics and values, they are resistant to being read in futuristic, eschatological terms. (JDC, "The Birth of Christianity," p.264)

   

   Crossan states, "His conclusion, like Kloppenborg's is that 'futuristic, eschatology was a late development in the Q community, which was built up without it... Later on, after the community encountered resistance by outsiders and doubts by insiders, it employed futuristic, eschatological threats.'"

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Fred

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« Reply #49 on: May 23, 2012, 09:43:00 pm »
 

harvey1 wrote:
Quote from: fredonly
And yet, a number of scholars who have applied the historical-critical method to the data have drawn this conclusion that Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet. I'm not arguing from authority that they're right, but I think it's wrong headed to suggest that they're all naïve. They have some good arguments. The methodology is based on treating the Bible as they would any other historical documents, which obviously means leaving Christian assumptions at the door. They employ the historical method in their analysis (source criticism, external and internal criticism, and historical reasoning). This considers the genre, and the implications of the genre. It considers literary relationships between the Gospels, the historical and cultural environment in which they were written. It considers the authorship (what can we surmise about the authors?), how the authors beliefs would influence the content, and the likely dates of the writings. Like any historical document, it contains data of varying degrees of reliability and attempts to sort that out. History is not an exact science, but it does the best it can with the data that is available.


There's a lot of theories. I think naive is a good choice of words given that a strict eschatological view doesn't account for the wisdom sage theory and other theories.

 

Why would you expect each theory to account for each alternative theory?  Each theory has to account for the evidence.  The question is which theory provides the best explanation of the evidence.  Formulators of theories obviously feel theirs is the best, and they sometimes do compare their theories to others to make their case.

 

What is naïve about applying the historical method to the data?  Different theories come out of it because there's not much data to go on.  Consequently, any broad theory is built from layers of hypotheses.  Each hypothesis is an opportunity for error.  . E.P. Sanders describes the process in an intellectually honest manner:

 

Sanders wrote: …one should begin with what is relatively secure and work out to more uncertain points. But finding agreement about the ground rules by which what is relatively secure can be identified is very difficult….There is, as is usual in dealing with historical questions, no opening which does not involve one in a circle of interpretation, that is, which does not depend on points which in turn require us to understand others. Historians always work in this kind of circle, moving from evidence to tentative conclustions, then back to the evidence with renewed insight, and so on….We start by determining the evidence which is most secure….

 

Sanders proceeds to describe the process that entails developing historical hypotheses from the “most secure” evidence, and then adding additional layers of hypothesis from this foundation. Even the “most secure” evidence is somewhat tenuous, but each subsequent layer becomes increasingly so because it depends on more and more speculation, educated guesses based on the hypotheses of the previous layer. (Taken from E.P. Sanders, Jesus and Judaism).

 

harvey1 wrote:
Quote from: fredonly
Christians tend to treat the Gospels as veridical history, and interpret them through their faith. This is fine for Christians qua Christians, but it's not pure history – it's apologetics, or (at best) an apologetic history.


How is this different than me saying that the blogger is interpreting his views from a biased point of view? I have good evidence of bias because he mentioned the Book of Revelation which was written over 60 years from Jesus' death. I don't think any scholar would make such an argument.

 

I'm fine with dismissing the blogger; he's not making an argument – just making a statement.  I'm just not fine with dismissing the scholars who's work he is quoting.  

harvey1 wrote:
Quote from: fredonly
Regarding Thomas: this was a later Gospel used be a group of Gnostics, who appear to have embraced some of Jesus' teaching. Being written in the 2nd century, it shouldn't be surprising that they wouldn't deal with an imminent apocalypse.


The date of Thomas is uncertain. However, there's good evidence to indicate that Thomas has a connection directly to Jesus independent of Q and the Gospels.

 

An independent connection is plausible, but your original comment about Q was unwarranted, when you said,  "One main problem for him is that the Q and Thomas community kept the words of Jesus without any eschatological references."  

 

   ,"sans-serif""="">The lack of eschatological reference in Thomas tells us more about the Christians who wrote and used it than about Jesus.  

harvey1 wrote:
Quote from: fredonly
Regarding the Q Gospel, it's quite consistent with an apocalyptic hypothesis, for example


Q is not as consistent as you suggest. For example, Crossan quotes David Seeley to emphasize this point:

...futuristic eschatology never appears in those passages where the ethics and values on which a community might be based are set forth. Instead, with two exceptions it appears only in those situations where the ethics and values have already been set forth. . . Even in the two exceptions, there continues to be no link between futuristic eschatology and social formation. . . when one seeks out Q passages which do contain ethics and values, they are resistant to being read in futuristic, eschatological terms. (JDC, "The Birth of Christianity," p.264)


Crossan states, "His conclusion, like Kloppenborg's is that 'futuristic, eschatology was a late development in the Q community, which was built up without it... Later on, after the community encountered resistance by outsiders and doubts by insiders, it employed futuristic, eschatological threats.'"

 

You're misinterpreting Crossan regarding Q.  He agrees the references to the kingdom are eschatological, where he differs (subtly) is in the type of eschatology that he believes is revealed. In this book, he's primarily discussing early Christianity, not primarily Jesus.  Crossan observes that various eschatologies are present in early Christianity.  In his earlier book, Excavating Jesus,he deals more directly with Jesus.  On page 174, he says:

 

Crossan wrote: A major debate among contemporary scholars concerns whether the historical Jesus was an apocalyptic or nonapocalyptic figure. Quite often the disagreement gets nowhere, as both sides fail in any detailed analysis of those twin options…. Our general hope in this book is to get beyond the impasse by insisting on the continuum in basic content from a coventantal through an eschatological to an apocalyptic Kingdom of God. Our specific hope in this conclusion is to locate Jesus and the Kingdom of God movement more accurately among those first-century apocalypticists and/or protesters.

 

So I don't really think Crossan rejects the notion of Jesus as an apocalypticist so much as he wants to clarify something more specific about the message he was conveying.  

Fred

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evansp

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« Reply #51 on: September 12, 2012, 03:01:24 am »
Open the eyes and the ears.

Isa 61:2-. Luke 4:19. "To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD..."

Luke 4:20- "And he CLOSED the book..."

Luke 4:21. "...THIS day is THIS scripture fulfilled in your ears."

"All" is NOT equal to "some", or "few", or "this".

He did NOT read, "...and the day of vengeance of our God." Isa 61:-2. We may not insert it by our own Authority.

An Omission is NOT an Affirmation or a Negation. It must be Logically Concluded.

Matt 23:36 "Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation."

Here, there is no Hypothetical. Matt 23:34-35 can be ascribed to history, i.e. that generation.

Matt 23:39 "For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, TILL (Gr. HEOS AN) ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."

The word "till", but specifically (Gr.) heos an, carries a strong Hypothetical force. The verse may be worded in this manner:

IF ye shall say, "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord" (A), THEN ye shall see Me henceforth. (B)

A -> B

This is the same phraseology used in Matt 24:34.

Matt 24:34  "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, TILL (Gr. HEOS AN) all these things be fulfilled."

IF all these things be fulfilled (P), THEN this generation shall pass. (Q)

P -> Q

We may NOT Affirm the Consequent and say that the passing of their generation Affirms (P).

Psa 22:28 For the kingdom is the LORD'S: and he is the governor among the nations.

Psa 22:30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.

(L) the generation has been accounted

(M) He is Governor among the nations

(~M) Messiah the Governor is cut off (Dan 9:27)...

Can you figure out the rest?
"My function is to probe for biological infestations. To destroy that which is NOT perfect. I am Nomad."