Author Topic: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered  (Read 20738 times)

MaddogLutheran

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #105 on: July 27, 2007, 03:31:24 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.
Interesting...I recently stumbled across a paper on the internet that fleshed out (sorry :)) that theory, but I had no way to tell how "authoritative" the scholarship was.  If I understand one of the theses, Matthew (targeting Jews) and Luke (Gentiles) were written about the same time, before sacking of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple, while Mark is perhaps the transcription of an oral narrative by Peter of his own personal recollections (explaining the absence of the Nativity narrative, it's abrupt ending, and it's curious Greek grammar), at which he had the texts of Matthew and Luke at hand to quote.  John still being the last and a bit later, but also an eye witness and addresses new things without much overlap to the others.  One of the underlying premises of this author's presentation was just as Pr. Tibbetts alluded to, there were some things not in controversy, because they were known to that first generation, and had no need to be explained or record.  The paper I mention did certainly acknowledge that there were particular points to what was recorded, including responding to contemporary skepticism of the claims of this new Jewish sect.  Take all this with a grain of salt.

Maybe this is all Seminary 101 to the pastors here...I'm no Scriptural scholar, to be sure, but I do find these things interesting.  And yes, as a layman, thank you Pr. Poedel - this one doesn't go for novel theories which undermine the simplest understanding of the text (granting I'm not reading it in the original Greek.)  Occam's razor works for me.

When it's recorded that Jesus asks Thomas to touch him, that says to me He has a physical body (not like mine), and what's going on is more than a shared vision.  If the disciples could share a common vision, why couldn't Jesus be physically present.  There's no reason that just because Jesus physically appears to some doesn't mean he can't appear as some sort of "vision" to Saul.  It's not an either/or.  He's God, allowed to suspend the laws of physics locally if He chooses.

I'm not saying Pr. Stoffregen's proposition is unworthy of debate, merely agreeing with the idea that there are some boundaries, as Pr. Poedel noted the pope for example has described on historical criticism, and others upstream.

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« Last Edit: July 27, 2007, 03:56:17 PM by MaddogLutheran »
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Richard Johnson

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #106 on: July 27, 2007, 03:36:49 PM »
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.

And there you have it then. What is it Paul wrote? "A stumbling block to Jews, and folly to Gentiles." And modern humanity wants, above all, to believe in "a god" of their own design. Meanwhile, "He who sits in the heavens laughs."
« Last Edit: July 27, 2007, 03:39:23 PM by Richard Johnson »
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scott3

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #107 on: July 27, 2007, 03:37:24 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?

This is all fascinating in a somewhat morbid way.  I only say "morbid" because none of it, best I can tell, addressed my critique.  There is obviously a wealth of different things that I could pursue herein, but for now, I'd prefer to hear your reaction to my criticism of your continuing approach.

That is, namely, by making the historicity of Jesus' ministry, death, resurrection and ascension an optional part of theology rather than something that is integral to what it means to be Christian, you are teaching a different theology, a different narrative, a different Gospel.  It doesn't matter that you may happen to believe that these things happened; what matters is that, according to the theology you are espousing, they are, strictly speaking, inconsequential to the Christian message.  This is not historic Christianity.  Rather, historic Christianity insists on both the "now-ness" of the proclamation that God uses to change hearts and minds, but the content of that proclamation is to bring into the present, through the Word, what God has in fact done for us -- sent His beloved Son in the power of the Spirit to suffer and die on our behalf and rise for our salvation.  THERE IS NO DICHOTOMY BETWEEN WHAT GOD HAS DONE AND IS DOING -- BOTH ARE PART AND PARCEL OF THE CHRISTIAN PROCLAMATION (sorry for yelling).

To say differently is to teach a different Gospel.

BTW -- in relation to the idea that the resurrected Jesus had a physical body, you are making arguments that is similar to the Reformed side of the debates in Reformation times.  That is, since Jesus has a real, physical body and it's located at the right hand of the Father in heaven, how can it be present in the Eucharist?  How does it never seem to run out?  Is it just really, really big?  Of course, all these questions are silly when you're talking about the power of God who can do what He likes with physical bodies.  But what you're saying is different again because they did accept that the risen Christ had some type of physical body, though of exactly what type we cannot say.

BTW #2 -- Check out John 21:13.  Here, Jesus takes bread and fish and gives it to the disciples.  Perhaps he levitated it?  He is also comprehended in the 3p plural of vs. 15, so it appears that either he ate the bread and fish or it flopped to the ground after he tried to insert it into his non-existent mouth.  Lk 24:42-43 indicates that there weren't any bits of food dropping through Jesus' non-existent body when he at the fish there, either.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2007, 03:57:30 PM by Scott._.Yakimow »

peter_speckhard

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #108 on: July 27, 2007, 03:37:42 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 people who were glad to be told that it might not have happened were not well-served by you on that occassion for several reasons. First, it happened because the Bible says it happened and was not speaking metaphorically. Secondly, it is poor scholarship to assume that an account "seems unlikely" just because there are no other records of it. Thirdly, it makes no difference whether Matthew wanted Jesus to be seen as the new Moses; it only matters whether He was or not, and in what ways or with what differences. Fourthly, you encouraged people to think it is okay not to believe the parts of the Bible they don't like. And lastly, we live in a world where God does indeed allow children to be slaughtered rather routinely. Not coming to grips with that is a much bigger hindrance to faith in the real God as opposed to a god we might invent for ourselves than recognizing and dealing with the problem ever could be. In every way-- regarding the nature of the Scriptures, historical data, faith-edification, and life-application, your hearers would have been much better served had you simply proceeded on the (correct) assumption that the slaughter of the innocents really happened and then preached a law/Gospel sermon on that difficult text rather than inviting them into interesting little digressions. The people who liked it because it lets them believe in a God who doesn't allow for that sort of thing deserved to be corrected. Experience will surely reveal theodicy issues in their lives, and now they are that much less equipped to deal with them. But they have learned to speculate about Matthew's original readers, so they have that going for them. Which is nice.  
« Last Edit: July 27, 2007, 03:39:24 PM by peter_speckhard »

scott3

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #109 on: July 27, 2007, 03:40:00 PM »
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.

And there you have it then.

Feuerbach would be proud.

MaddogLutheran

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #110 on: July 27, 2007, 03:58:52 PM »
And there you have it then. What is it Paul wrote? "A stumbling block to Jews, and folly to Gentiles." And modern humanity wants, above all, to believe in "a god" of their own design...
And modify the pronouns in the liturgy accordingly.   ;D
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Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #111 on: July 27, 2007, 04:00:13 PM »
First, it happened because the Bible says it happened and was not speaking metaphorically.
That's your interpretation of it.

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Secondly, it is poor scholarship to assume that an account "seems unlikely" just because there are no other records of it.

That is exactly what good scholarship is about. Things that are recorded in multiple of unconnected sources are more likely to have happened than those recorded in only one source.

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Thirdly, it makes no difference whether Matthew wanted Jesus to be seen as the new Moses; it only matters whether He was or not, and in what ways or with what differences.
Neither Mark nor Luke nor John present Jesus as the new Moses. It is a way of interpreting Jesus. It is not the only way. Seldom do I present Jesus as a "new Moses" in a sermon, unless I'm preaching on Matthew.

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Fourthly, you encouraged people to think it is okay not to believe the parts of the Bible they don't like.

I encourage people to believe the message of the Bible.

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And lastly, we live in a world where God does indeed allow children to be slaughtered rather routinely.
Yup, and one of the points I plan to make in my sermon is that we should be ranting and raving to God, pounding on his door, keeping him up all night because such evil continues to happenin our world. The kingdom Jesus said was near doesn't seem so near when children are slaughtered or starve to death or die because they lacked medical care.

I can see clearly from your posts why there needs to be both an LCMS and an ELCA. I could not, in good conscience, preach the text as you suggest, and you couldn't do it the way I do. We belong in different church bodies.
"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]

peter_speckhard

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #112 on: July 27, 2007, 04:03:23 PM »
Finally we agree on something.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #113 on: July 27, 2007, 04:07:20 PM »
And there you have it then. What is it Paul wrote? "A stumbling block to Jews, and folly to Gentiles." And modern humanity wants, above all, to believe in "a god" of their own design. Meanwhile, "He who sits in the heavens laughs."
Ah, but what is the stubbling block / folly: that Herod actually killed innocent children or that the meaning Matthew intends by telling this story doesn't depend on it being factual?

To put on a literal hat for the moment, your scripture quote has a very specific context: "We proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles" (1 Cor 1:23). It's the preaching of the crufixion that is a stumbling block / folly -- not even the preaching of the resurrection (at least in that context)! And certainly not a question about whether or not tens or hundreds or thousands of infants were slaughtered.
"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]

Richard Johnson

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #114 on: July 27, 2007, 04:40:17 PM »
First, it happened because the Bible says it happened and was not speaking metaphorically.
That's your interpretation of it.
And, of course, the interpretation of the church for two millenia. I don't disagree with Peter, though I might be more inclined to say the reverse is also true: The Bible says it happened because it happened.


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Secondly, it is poor scholarship to assume that an account "seems unlikely" just because there are no other records of it.

That is exactly what good scholarship is about. Things that are recorded in multiple of unconnected sources are more likely to have happened than those recorded in only one source.

Oh, I don't think so. Think about textual criticism: scholars generally assume the the "most difficult reading" is most likely to be original. Besides, lest we forget, Bethlehem was a nothing backwater town of low population. Herod's slaughter of all the children under two (which likely wouldn't be all that many children, though obviously still horrible) would hardly catch the notice of the world beyond Bethlehem--particularly in light of Herod's known brutality.

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Thirdly, it makes no difference whether Matthew wanted Jesus to be seen as the new Moses; it only matters whether He was or not, and in what ways or with what differences.
Neither Mark nor Luke nor John present Jesus as the new Moses. It is a way of interpreting Jesus. It is not the only way. Seldom do I present Jesus as a "new Moses" in a sermon, unless I'm preaching on Matthew.

Well, why would you?

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Fourthly, you encouraged people to think it is okay not to believe the parts of the Bible they don't like.

I encourage people to believe the message of the Bible.

Whatever that message might be, huh? Whatever they think it might be, or hope it might be on any given day.

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And lastly, we live in a world where God does indeed allow children to be slaughtered rather routinely.
Yup, and one of the points I plan to make in my sermon is that we should be ranting and raving to God, pounding on his door, keeping him up all night because such evil continues to happenin our world. The kingdom Jesus said was near doesn't seem so near when children are slaughtered or starve to death or die because they lacked medical care.

So on the Festival of Holy Innocents, you preach about the need for affordable health care? OK then.

I can see clearly from your posts why there needs to be both an LCMS and an ELCA. I could not, in good conscience, preach the text as you suggest, and you couldn't do it the way I do. We belong in different church bodies.

Or maybe different universes?
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

scott3

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #115 on: July 27, 2007, 04:48:11 PM »
I can see clearly from your posts why there needs to be both an LCMS and an ELCA. I could not, in good conscience, preach the text as you suggest, and you couldn't do it the way I do. We belong in different church bodies.

So can I take this as an affirmation of my critique re: the theology you're here advocating?  That it is, in fact, a different Gospel in the ways that I have indicated above (and to which I haven't received a clear response)?

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #116 on: July 27, 2007, 09:43:24 PM »
That is, namely, by making the historicity of Jesus' ministry, death, resurrection and ascension an optional part of theology rather than something that is integral to what it means to be Christian, you are teaching a different theology, a different narrative, a different Gospel.  It doesn't matter that you may happen to believe that these things happened; what matters is that, according to the theology you are espousing, they are, strictly speaking, inconsequential to the Christian message.  This is not historic Christianity.  Rather, historic Christianity insists on both the "now-ness" of the proclamation that God uses to change hearts and minds, but the content of that proclamation is to bring into the present, through the Word, what God has in fact done for us -- sent His beloved Son in the power of the Spirit to suffer and die on our behalf and rise for our salvation.  THERE IS NO DICHOTOMY BETWEEN WHAT GOD HAS DONE AND IS DOING -- BOTH ARE PART AND PARCEL OF THE CHRISTIAN PROCLAMATION (sorry for yelling).
However, when historicity of the stories becomes as important as the more-than-historical/factual meaning, one gets a theology, which I have actually heard, of people making a belief in a six-24 hour days of creation essential for Christianity; or, some, who are less literal, will concede that one day is like a 1000 years, so that there could be six 1000-year periods. I talked to a minister who is convinced and his brand of Christianity requires believing that there were no such animals as dinosaurs living on the planet, because they are not mentioned in the Bible and the don't find into the short time spand. The fossils we find were created that way by God to confuse in believers.

You may argue that the OT is different than the gospels, but I think that the literalism and historicism you are espousing for the gospels naturally leads to such convictions about the OT. If you are willing to adopt such an understanding of Genesis 1, you are, at least, consistent that the historical factuality has to be as important as contemporary meaning and proclamation. (The minister I am referring to above is retired LCMS.)

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BTW -- in relation to the idea that the resurrected Jesus had a physical body, you are making arguments that is similar to the Reformed side of the debates in Reformation times.  That is, since Jesus has a real, physical body and it's located at the right hand of the Father in heaven, how can it be present in the Eucharist?  How does it never seem to run out?  Is it just really, really big?  Of course, all these questions are silly when you're talking about the power of God who can do what He likes with physical bodies.  But what you're saying is different again because they did accept that the risen Christ had some type of physical body, though of exactly what type we cannot say.
While I may be sounding Reformed-like, that isn't the argument I've presented, but I simply look at the statement Paul makes about resurrected bodies: they are spiritual (pneumatikos) bodies. He even states in the midst of talking about the resurrected "spiritual body": "The first Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit" (1 Cor 15:45). Isn't he writing about Jesus as the "last Adam"? Of course, one way out of this is to argue that Paul is talking about our resurrected bodies, which will be spiritual; and not Jesus' resurrected body, which, like his life on earth, was unique.

One of the things I see in biblical studies and biblical theology is that it is a whole lot messier than systematics. Verses and images and statements don't always neatly fit together.

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BTW #2 -- Check out John 21:13.  Here, Jesus takes bread and fish and gives it to the disciples. Perhaps he levitated it?
Do such questions help understand the meaning of the passage? Why was this story remembered? Why was this story significant in John's community (and then for us)? "John," or whoever added this epilogue, certainly intends it to be connected with the feeding of the 5000. Those are the only two places in the NT that a particular word for fish is used. It is often argued that the feeding miracle is John's teaching on the Eucharist. Which suggests that both of these "fish" stories have meanings related to the celebration on Holy Communion. (It's been argued, and I think they are pursuasive, that the continued celebration of the eucharist grew out of these post-easter eating stories rather than just what happened in the upper room. Jesus was present in the disciples' eating at Emmaus and on the shore.

John 21 also has many other more-than-historical/factual meanings, such as 153 fish being a symbol for all nations, such as the connection between the word helko found in 21:6, 11 and its use in 6:44; 12:32; and 18:10. Hauling in the fish is similar to what Jesus does in drawing all people to himself. Peter's actions in hauling in fish is in contrast to his drawing out his sword.
"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 #117 on: July 27, 2007, 10:06:14 PM »
Again, Brian, you are engaging in a sort of gnosticism.  By applying "secret knowledge" that is not readily discerable to those plainly reading the text, you are doing the same thing the Roman Church did with the Scripture with their allegorizing everything.  Didn't we have a Reformation about this?  Maybe it's time for a new Reformation to recover the plain meaning of Scripture from the gnosticizing approach by this "higher" criticism of the Holy Scripture.

ENOUGH!

ptmccain

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #118 on: July 27, 2007, 10:10:44 PM »
When the texts are not important anyway, as they aren't for those of Brian's ilk, it doesn't matter, and you can twist them and turn them and make them say whatever you want. Brian, ultimately, is a charismatic/enthusiast who doesn't need the text, nor reality of the texts. All that matters is the "transformational" nature of the texts.

Brian does not even clearly affirm that he believes that the resurrection of Christ's body is a fact.

scott3

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Re: The Gospels -- Jesus Remembered
« Reply #119 on: July 27, 2007, 10:29:12 PM »
That is, namely, by making the historicity of Jesus' ministry, death, resurrection and ascension an optional part of theology rather than something that is integral to what it means to be Christian, you are teaching a different theology, a different narrative, a different Gospel.  It doesn't matter that you may happen to believe that these things happened; what matters is that, according to the theology you are espousing, they are, strictly speaking, inconsequential to the Christian message.  This is not historic Christianity.  Rather, historic Christianity insists on both the "now-ness" of the proclamation that God uses to change hearts and minds, but the content of that proclamation is to bring into the present, through the Word, what God has in fact done for us -- sent His beloved Son in the power of the Spirit to suffer and die on our behalf and rise for our salvation.  THERE IS NO DICHOTOMY BETWEEN WHAT GOD HAS DONE AND IS DOING -- BOTH ARE PART AND PARCEL OF THE CHRISTIAN PROCLAMATION (sorry for yelling).
However, when historicity of the stories becomes as important as the more-than-historical/factual meaning, one gets a theology, which I have actually heard, of people making a belief in a six-24 hour days of creation essential for Christianity; or, some, who are less literal, will concede that one day is like a 1000 years, so that there could be six 1000-year periods. I talked to a minister who is convinced and his brand of Christianity requires believing that there were no such animals as dinosaurs living on the planet, because they are not mentioned in the Bible and the don't find into the short time spand. The fossils we find were created that way by God to confuse in believers.

You may argue that the OT is different than the gospels, but I think that the literalism and historicism you are espousing for the gospels naturally leads to such convictions about the OT. If you are willing to adopt such an understanding of Genesis 1, you are, at least, consistent that the historical factuality has to be as important as contemporary meaning and proclamation. (The minister I am referring to above is retired LCMS.)

Is it just me, or has this not yet responded to my point?  One second, we were talking about "Jesus Remembered" (the title of the thread) and I was, in effect, pointing out that there had to be something that had happened to be remembered, and now we're onto dinosaurs and fossils?

Anyway.

My point, for the fourth time, is that there need be no dichotomy or tension between the reality / facticity of Jesus suffering, death, resurrection and ascension (along with its canonical interpretation) and the present-day proclamation of what Jesus has actually done for us, a proclamation that the Spirit uses to convert us, to regenerate us.  To put the two in tension is neither scriptural nor in line with the classic Christian proclamation.  It changes the very structure of Christian theology so that the Christian story itself is told in another manner.

This is to say, that this is another Gospel.

And we do know what Paul says about that in Gal 1.

Would you care to respond directly to this critique?  You do realize that my point is that Paul is right about the seriousness of proclaiming another Gospel -- even if it is proclaimed by angels in heaven or by Paul himself.