Author Topic: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered  (Read 33961 times)

scott3

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #90 on: July 26, 2007, 02:50:00 PM »
I have not once denied the reality of the crucifixion or the resurrection.

And:

Again, I believe that the gospel accounts are the true word of God. But like with the parables, and similes, and metaphors, that Jesus tells, they are true without necessarily being historically factual. The stories of the Good Samaritan or the Prodigal son or the shepherd seeking the one lost sheep probably never happened in history; but that doesn't make the stories false. It is part of Hebrew thinking to present the truth in stories -- and the stories do not necessarily have to be factual to convey truth.

Well, Brian, while you may never have come right out and said, "Hey guys, the crucifixion and resurrection never happened!!", you have more than opened the door for the legitimacy of that interpretation or at least not ruled it out of bounds.  You seem to be contending that the facticity of the crucifixion and resurrection is formally dispensable to the Christian faith, though it may be believed and asserted by-the-by.  What you appear to be holding up as of crucial importance to the Christian faith is an experience of Jesus (who may or or may not have a body -- again, apparently unimportant) even as the importance of the reality of what he did on the cross and in the empty tomb for our benefit is structurally downplayed.

So the problem comes in with your reducing the central, structural theological importance of the fact that Jesus really did suffer and die on our behalf and was resurrected for our salvation.  If this is no longer central to our proclamation and our theology, then what we are encountering are two structurally different theologies.  Two different narratives, if you will.  One is the classic Christian narrative that makes both the fact of Jesus' death and resurrection and how it is interpreted in the canonical gospels of central importance to theology and proclamation; the other seems to make Jesus' actual suffering, death and resurrection at best an appendix to theology and proclamation while only holding on to the interpretation found in the gospels (a la Bultmann).  One has no problem integrating what really happened with its interpretation; the other finds the integration of these two sides to be problematic.

These are two different animals, two different gospels.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2007, 04:52:18 PM by Scott._.Yakimow »

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #91 on: July 26, 2007, 07:50:44 PM »
It seems as though Brian is presenting two different (though not necessarily incompatible) points.  The first is that the execution and resurrection narratives are best understood and interpreted as parables.  The historicity of the resurrection is much less important than the results it produced.  (end point #1). 
Pretty close. I might say "best understood and interpreted parabolically," or more specifically, "with meanings beyond the literal and factual". There is a danger, which I've been accused of, of turning the resurrection accounts into parables -- and thus presenting them as not being historically factual events.

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Also, when one confesses that the resurrection is historically, factually, true, Brian is trying to determine what that means.  When one confesses that Jesus was raised from the dead... what does that mean in terms of the physicality of the body, especially in light of the witness of Scripture (end point #2),
Yes. I'm wondering where the word "physical" became essential to the resurrection. As far as I can tell, it is not stated in scriptures.

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and what bearing does that have on confessing the historicity/fact of the resurrection (combination points #1 & #2)
My preference is to ask about confessing the meaning(s) of the resurrection, or even more specifically, the meanings presented by the gospel writers and Paul about the resurrection. Certainly one meaning is that God raised Jesus from the dead. That is the historical, factual meaning. It can lead to defining faith by the answer to the question: "Do you believe it really happened?" Debates occure about exactly what happened. Who saw them? What did they see?  Easter faith becomes one of attesting that these unique and spectacular events happened on a particular Sunday morning and possibly for weeks afterwards (depending upon which gospel one uses) a long time ago.

Borg goes on:

What did Easter mean to the early followers of Jesus? To state my conclusion in advance, for them, including the authors of the New Testament, Easter had two primary meanings. First, the followers of Jesus continued to experience him after his death. They continued to know him as a figure of the present, and not simply as a figure from the past. Indeed, they experienced him as a divine reality, as one with God. Second, Easter meant that God had vindicated Jesus. As Acts 2:36 puts it, "This Jesus whom you crucified, God has made him both Lord and Messiah." Easter is God's "yes" to Jesus and God's "no" to the powers that killed him. Jesus was executed by Rome and vindicated by God. To put these two meanings as concisely as possible, Easter meant "Jesus lives" and "Jesus is Lord."
(p. 276)

I can't see what is heretical about declaring "Jesus lives" and "Jesus is Lord." I note that the Easter greeting is: "Christ is risen!" Not, "Christ was raised!" From early on, proclaming the resurrection was about what's happening in the present more than what happened in the past. (Although, it is the past event makes the present presence possible; and the present presence points back to the historical event.)
"The church ... had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #92 on: July 26, 2007, 07:58:22 PM »
Brian,

As good liberal theology as this is, the question will eventually be asked and needs to be answered: "Did he rise, physically, from the grave or not?"  In the Autobiography thread you speak of evangelism to the postmodern mind.  That mind will eventually ask: "Do you actually believe this?"  and that postmodern mind is suspicious of answers it percieves as evasive.  So it may be good theology in a liberal modern sense but it is not good evangelical theology.

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #93 on: July 26, 2007, 08:22:30 PM »
Well, Brian, while you may never have come right out and said, "Hey guys, the crucifixion and resurrection never happened!!", you have more than opened the door for the legitimacy of that interpretation or at least not ruled it out of bounds.

I also note, no one has asked me if I believed the crucifixion and resurrection really happened. It seems that others just assume that because I recommend interpreting the resurrection stories parabolically, I believe that they must not have happened.

I believe that Jesus was crucified. I believe that Jesus was historically, and factually raised from the dead. I believe that the risen Jesus appeared and greatly transformed the disciples. I believe that Paul had an encounter with the risen Jesus that was so powerful that it totally changed his life. I don't know if the account of Paul's encounter with Jesus as a bright light (the light of the world) was similar or completely different from the encounters the other disciples had on Easter day. I don't know if other such encounters led the the development recorded in John that Jesus is the light of the world -- or moved many artist to picture Jesus with a white halo.

I also believe that the gospel stories about the resurrection appearances, which were written 40 or more years after the event, are likely to have part of the developing tradition about Jesus. A development, for instance, that expanded the early, simple creed, "Jesus is Lord," into the Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds. Our doctrines about the two natures of Christ and the Triune God as three persons and one God, developed over time. While based on scripture passages, such beliefs are certainly not developed in scriptures as completely as they were centuries later. (Adoptionism was another development based on scriptures, but was not accepted as orthodox.)

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So the problem comes in with your reducing the central, structural theological importance of the fact that Jesus really did suffer and die on our behalf and was resurrected for our salvation.  If this is no longer central to our proclamation and our theology, then what we are encountering are two structurally different theologies.
Which statement do you think is more central to our theology: "Christ was raised" or "Christ is risen"? We know which was the shout of the early believers.

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These are two different animals, two different gospels.
Yes, one centers on what God did for us. The other centers on what God is doing for us. One, to put it bluntly, is a history lesson. (And lots of college students study the Bible for its historical value.) The other is taking seriously the fact that Jesus is alive and present with us today (even if we never see the physical body of Jesus or even a bright light or hear an audible voice, but see only the bread and wine of holy communion and the assembly of believers, aka, the church, aka, "the body of Christ").
« Last Edit: July 26, 2007, 08:27:56 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church ... had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

scott3

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #94 on: July 27, 2007, 10:44:20 AM »
I also note, no one has asked me if I believed the crucifixion and resurrection really happened. It seems that others just assume that because I recommend interpreting the resurrection stories parabolically, I believe that they must not have happened.

I believe that Jesus was crucified. I believe that Jesus was historically, and factually raised from the dead. I believe that the risen Jesus appeared and greatly transformed the disciples. I believe that Paul had an encounter with the risen Jesus that was so powerful that it totally changed his life. I don't know if the account of Paul's encounter with Jesus as a bright light (the light of the world) was similar or completely different from the encounters the other disciples had on Easter day. I don't know if other such encounters led the the development recorded in John that Jesus is the light of the world -- or moved many artist to picture Jesus with a white halo.

You're right that I didn't ask you what you believed.  Neither was that my criticism of your approach.  My criticism was that your approach of calling the gospels in their entirety "parables" (rather than simply pointing out where there are parables in the gospels) structurally degrades the importance that what happened actually happened.  Jesus really did suffer and die and rise again, and all of this matters.  If it didn't really and truly happen, then we are still in our sins.  Your theology has to be able to account for the central structural importance of the facticity of these events of Jesus life for Christian proclamation.  Christians have not treated them in a by-the-by manner where you can take their facticity or leave their facticity (as you previously had approvingly quoted Borg as saying) because this is to change the nature of the Gospel itself.  Paul points out clearly in 1 Cor 15 that if the resurrection didn't really and actually happen, we are still in our sins and our faith is in vain.  To say that it doesn't matter all that much would be a foreign idea to Paul and would simply be the proclamation of a message different from his.

Both the reality of the events (along with their canonical interpretation) and the continuing transformation that the Spirit works through the Word (which is about those events!) are crucial and there is no tension between the two.  To first posit a tension that doesn't exist only to later resolve that tension by downplaying the importance of the facticity of events is an approach different than the Christian proclamation.  Classic Christian proclamation has never had a problem with holding together the reality of what happened (and its inspired interpretation) with the ongoing transformative proclamation of those events; to adopt a proclamation that does have this problem is to adopt a different proclamation.

Two different narratives.  Two different Gospels.

Which statement do you think is more central to our theology: "Christ was raised" or "Christ is risen"? We know which was the shout of the early believers.

The fact that Christ was raised means that Christ is risen and lives with us today, changing hearts and minds by the power of the Spirit through his proclamation, the proclamation of the living Word. 

There is no tension here.  I don't have to choose.  To say that I do is to change the very structure of the narrative of what happened then and what's happening now and so is a different gospel.

Yes, one centers on what God did for us. The other centers on what God is doing for us. One, to put it bluntly, is a history lesson. (And lots of college students study the Bible for its historical value.) The other is taking seriously the fact that Jesus is alive and present with us today (even if we never see the physical body of Jesus or even a bright light or hear an audible voice, but see only the bread and wine of holy communion and the assembly of believers, aka, the church, aka, "the body of Christ").

Here is a great example of your saying that one must take an "either - or" approach.  Christian proclamation has never seen this need.  Rather, the crucial importance of the facticity of the ministry, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Jesus has always played a central role in the structure of Christian theology that is based upon the canonical interpretation we find in the gospels.  Everything that Jesus did (history) was for our sake and he continues to transform us today through the proclamation of what actually happened (history again) and why it happened (interpretation).  To downplay the central, structural role that these events have for Christian theology is to change the narrative and so change the nature of the Gospel itself.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2007, 11:15:29 AM by Scott._.Yakimow »

Dave_Poedel

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #95 on: July 27, 2007, 02:30:40 PM »
OK, Brian.  Looking at John 20, the Apostle (yes, I believe that the same John wrote the Gospel, the Epistles and Revelation) recounts the appearance of the Risen Lord Jesus bodily to His disciples.  Yes, his body is a glorified one, not limited by such things as doors and windows, capable of "disappearing".  John also recounts the fact that "he showed them his hands and feet" v.20, and "the disciples were glad when they SAW the Lord" (emphasis mine).  Later, when Thomas was with them, Jesus said "put your finger here, and SEE my hands; and put out your hand....do not disbelieve but believe" v. 27, ESV.

This is not a vision of a group of disciples, this is not a redacted story to make a point, it is a FACT.  Corporeal flesh, unlimited by time and space...the best hint to what our glorified bodies will be.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #96 on: July 27, 2007, 02:34:51 PM »
You're right that I didn't ask you what you believed.  Neither was that my criticism of your approach.  My criticism was that your approach of calling the gospels in their entirety "parables" (rather than simply pointing out where there are parables in the gospels) structurally degrades the importance that what happened actually happened.
Well, I believe that Mark, especially with the ending that isn't an ending, functions like a parable, or, I've compared the gospels also to sermons, where good preachers take traditional material (namely the texts of scriptures) and proclaim it in ways that make sense to and bring a message to a contemporary audience. Seldom is the main point in a sermon the giving of just a history lesson. Even when preaching historical stuff, at least my aim is to make it an exciting story that draws the hearers into the story, so that they are no longer like observers of what happened a long time ago to others, but they become participants in the story. (I think that's what parables seek to do.)

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Jesus really did suffer and die and rise again, and all of this matters.  If it didn't really and truly happen, then we are still in our sins.  Your theology has to be able to account for the central structural importance of the facticity of these events of Jesus life for Christian proclamation.  Christians have not treated them in a by-the-by manner where you can take their facticity or leave their facticity (as you previously had approvingly quoted Borg as saying) because this is to change the nature of the Gospel itself.
What Borg argues is that the way historical events were remembered was colored by the developing tradition. Most notably, the resurrection then colored everything they remembered about the pre-resurrected Jesus; and probably influenced the way they remembered him, and certainly how they came to understand things he said and did. I think that that's just part of human nature.

After 9/11, I think all of us found new and different ways of interpreting and applying biblical texts because of that tragic event. Although we aren't writing holy scriptures, we do write sermons, and we know that our experiences, our growth and maturity as Christians, insights given to us by others, influence the way we read and understand scriptures and what we write in sermons.

I think that the later experiences of the believers influenced what stories they remembered about Jesus -- and how they told them. For a simple example, in regards to the Lord's Prayer, the words Matthew attributes to Jesus, "When you are praying,...." He is writing from and/or to a group of people who pray. That is reflected in the way he remembers Jesus' words and events. In contrast, Luke has the disciples see Jesus at prayer, then say, "Teach us to pray,...." This suggests that Luke's audience may not have been people who were in the habit of praying and that colors the way he remembers Jesus' words and events.

As Borg states, and as I have experienced for myself, such conclusions about the gospels come from intense studies of scriptures. They arise out of noting all the subtle differences and similarities in the gospels. We come to conclusions about their compositions that we think best explain what is actually in scriptures -- what the texts actually say.

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Paul points out clearly in 1 Cor 15 that if the resurrection didn't really and actually happen, we are still in our sins and our faith is in vain.  To say that it doesn't matter all that much would be a foreign idea to Paul and would simply be the proclamation of a message different from his.
And yet, Paul's experience of the resurrection did not include a "body". When he argues about the resurrected body, he calls it a "spiritual" body (among other terms. While Paul insists on the necessity of the resurrection of Jesus, he doesn't help us understand exactly what that means, except, perhaps, as Borg summarizes the meaning of the resurrection: Jesus is Lord and Jesus is alive.

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To first posit a tension that doesn't exist only to later resolve that tension by downplaying the importance of the facticity of events is an approach different than the Christian proclamation.  Classic Christian proclamation has never had a problem with holding together the reality of what happened (and its inspired interpretation) with the ongoing transformative proclamation of those events; to adopt a proclamation that does have this problem is to adopt a different proclamation.
Perhaps your experience is different than mine, but I have run into people for whom their understanding of Christianity is tied only to accept the historical details. If you believe that Jesus was born from a virgin, you must be a Christian. If you believe the tomb was empty and Jesus was physically raised from the dead, you must be a Christian. Besides overlooking the importance of life in Christ today; we also have, with those two statements, biblical evangelism that said nothing about the virgin birth, and statements about the resurrection that don't stress the physicality of it. The importance of those topics are part of the developing tradition. They are not present in Paul's letters -- the earliest written scriptures. Theya re not present in the gospel of Mark, the earliest written gospel. They apparently weren't all that important to those biblical writers. As I wrote above, such conclusions come from studying scriptures. Trying to find ways of explaning what is or isn't in the sacred writings. Did Paul proclaim the necessity of believing in the virgin birth or the physical resurrection of Jesus, (her certainly did preach on the resurrection of Jesus and it's necessity,) on his great missionary journeys? While we can't know for certain, we do know that such preaching is not in the records in Acts, nor in his letters. So, I have encounted situations where there was not a both/and, but only the historical part.

Borg also points out another area of tension: that of believing and that of following; or as a way he phrases the two paradigms: "belief-centered," which emphasizes the importance of holding Christian beliefs about Jesus, God, and the Bible; and "way-centered," which emphasizes that Christianity is about following Jesus on a path. Jesus called the first disciples to follow him. In terms of their beliefs, in Matthew they are called people of little faith; and in Mark, people of no faith. Why is it that something like 80% of Americans believe that they can be good Christians and never attend church? I think that it's because they have been brought up on a "belief-centered" Christianity that makes the faith a set of doctrines or statements that one gives assent to. Prior to creeds and doctrines and other such academic stuff, I think Christianity was more about the way one lived, whether or not a person knew or understood or assented to, for instance, everything in the Athanasian Creed, which ends with: "One cannot be saved without believing this firmly and faithfully." Shouldn't Christianity have something to do with gathering together in Jesus' name, "doing this" in remembrance of him, going out and making disciples? Why aren't those as important in defining Christians as agreeing with a virgin birth and a physical resurrection of Jesus?
"The church ... had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Dave_Poedel

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #97 on: July 27, 2007, 02:49:36 PM »
Brian:

My experience is that when you start messing with the Scriptures, the folks in the pews throw up their hands, get really mad and go find a church that believes what they were taught all of their lives.  The Church has described the Scriptures as "holy" for a reason and all of this subtle analysis, comparing subtle differences in the Gospels, etc. is just not helpful to the folks we are called to SERVE.  I am reading B16's new book on Jesus and he does a masterful treatment on the proper uses as well as the limitations of historical-critical exegesis.  The bottom line is that the Scripture is the Church's book, interpreted by the Church for 2000 years and will remain the Sacred Scripture until Christ comes again in His glory.

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #98 on: July 27, 2007, 02:49:45 PM »
OK, Brian.  Looking at John 20, the Apostle (yes, I believe that the same John wrote the Gospel, the Epistles and Revelation) recounts the appearance of the Risen Lord Jesus bodily to His disciples.  Yes, his body is a glorified one, not limited by such things as doors and windows, capable of "disappearing".  John also recounts the fact that "he showed them his hands and feet" v.20, and "the disciples were glad when they SAW the Lord" (emphasis mine).
Paul said that he SAW the risen Lord, but what he saw was nothing like the account in John 20.

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This is not a vision of a group of disciples, this is not a redacted story to make a point, it is a FACT.  Corporeal flesh, unlimited by time and space...the best hint to what our glorified bodies will be.
Nothing in John 20 indicates that there was corporeal flesh. If Thomas stuck his finger in the nail hole in Jesus' hand, he would have felt nothing. Similarly with his hand in the hole in his side.

In addition, how did Jesus know that Thomas said, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nals and my hand in his side, I will not believe" (20:25), unless Jesus, was in that room, without a body and unseen by any of the disciples at that time? Limiting the resurrection to a corporeal body, limits the places the risen Jesus can be. If, however, the resurrected body is a spiritual one, as Paul states in 1 Cor 15, but one that can appear as human, and maybe even take on fleshly attributes, or appear as a bright light as Paul (and many others, even in the contemporary world have seen,) (or be really present in bread and wine, and assemblies gathering in Jesus' name,) that seems to fit some of the biblical stories better and people's experiences today, for those who are privileged to "see" something.
"The church ... had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Dave_Poedel

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #99 on: July 27, 2007, 02:55:48 PM »
OK, Brian.  Looking at John 20, the Apostle (yes, I believe that the same John wrote the Gospel, the Epistles and Revelation) recounts the appearance of the Risen Lord Jesus bodily to His disciples.  Yes, his body is a glorified one, not limited by such things as doors and windows, capable of "disappearing".  John also recounts the fact that "he showed them his hands and feet" v.20, and "the disciples were glad when they SAW the Lord" (emphasis mine).
Paul said that he SAW the risen Lord, but what he saw was nothing like the account in John 20.

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This is not a vision of a group of disciples, this is not a redacted story to make a point, it is a FACT.  Corporeal flesh, unlimited by time and space...the best hint to what our glorified bodies will be.
Nothing in John 20 indicates that there was corporeal flesh. If Thomas stuck his finger in the nail hole in Jesus' hand, he would have felt nothing. Similarly with his hand in the hole in his side.

In addition, how did Jesus know that Thomas said, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nals and my hand in his side, I will not believe" (20:25), unless Jesus, was in that room, without a body and unseen by any of the disciples at that time? Limiting the resurrection to a corporeal body, limits the places the risen Jesus can be. If, however, the resurrected body is a spiritual one, as Paul states in 1 Cor 15, but one that can appear as human, and maybe even take on fleshly attributes, or appear as a bright light as Paul (and many others, even in the contemporary world have seen,) (or be really present in bread and wine, and assemblies gathering in Jesus' name,) that seems to fit some of the biblical stories better and people's experiences today, for those who are privileged to "see" something.

Sorry, Brian.  I can't go there at all, no way, no how. If Thomas put his hand into Jesus' hand or side, he would have felt the glorified flesh of Jesus.  Jesus is God, and fully capable of knowing what Thomas was thinking, as He is fully aware of the pain in my figurative heart as I write this.  Kyrie eleison!

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #100 on: July 27, 2007, 02:59:59 PM »
My experience is that when you start messing with the Scriptures, the folks in the pews throw up their hands, get really mad and go find a church that believes what they were taught all of their lives.
Who's messing with scriptures? Frankly, a lot of people in the pews would find their beliefs challenged if they actually read and studied scriptures. Some, actually find the higher-critical approach to be life-giving to them. A phrase I've used to describe some people, "Don't confuse me with the Bible, my faith is made up."

I was still in seminary (over 30 years ago) when I was a supply preacher at a suburban church in Denver. The text was the killing of the innocents. I presented the scholarly opinions that (1) since there are no other records of such a killing, it seems unlikely that it really happened, (2) however, from what he know of Herod from other historical records, he is the type of man who could have given such an order, so it could have happened, and (3) the reason Matthew tells the story is to present Jesus as a new Moses, at whose birth children were killed, and who had a connection with Egypt; and to again show how Jesus comes to fulfill scriptures.

A couple people after the service expressed great appreciation to me for suggesting that it might not have really happened, because they hated that story in the Bible. It was a hindrance to their faith in God. They didn't want to believe in a God who would allow the slaughter of little children. So, what might drive some people out of the church, may be exactly the same thing that draws others in.
"The church ... had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #101 on: July 27, 2007, 03:01:30 PM »
Sorry, Brian.  I can't go there at all, no way, no how. If Thomas put his hand into Jesus' hand or side, he would have felt the glorified flesh of Jesus.  Jesus is God, and fully capable of knowing what Thomas was thinking, as He is fully aware of the pain in my figurative heart as I write this.  Kyrie eleison!
When you take the bread (or wafer) of holy communion, are you feeling bread or Jesus?
"The church ... had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #102 on: July 27, 2007, 03:07:52 PM »
They are not present in Paul's letters -- the earliest written scriptures. Theya re not present in the gospel of Mark, the earliest written gospel. They apparently weren't all that important to those biblical writers.

Or they weren't matters of controversy, so it was not necessary to include them in these particular books.  Once again you treat each document as if it were in a vacuum, and that its audience (both the original and current) knows nothing other than what in written on that particular papyrus/parchment/page.  The ancients were not such wooden literalists as you; neither are today's fundamentalists.

Incidentally, I prefer to follow the scholarship (both ancient and current) that finds Matthew's (and not Mark's) as the oldest Gospel.

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #103 on: July 27, 2007, 03:13:12 PM »

Limiting the resurrection to a corporeal body, limits the places the risen Jesus can be.

The only one "limiting" the resurrected Jesus' body in this thread is you, Brian.

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #104 on: July 27, 2007, 03:15:53 PM »
When you take the bread (or wafer) of holy communion, are you feeling bread or Jesus?

Yes.

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The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
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