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Featured Did Jesus commit suicide?

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by iam1me, Feb 27, 2020.

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  1. amatuerscholar

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    First off, you're really repeating what I said. To understand the first section of the passage, you have to understand the Hebrew Scripture that is being referenced. Because this is taking ideas directly out of places like Isaiah 40:11 and Ezekiel 34:11-16. Isaiah 56:8 is actually placing that unique role in the hands of God. Zechariah 11:15-17 also gets to the idea by using the opposite idea, the worthless shepherd, to tell leaders who they shouldn't be. More so, if we go back to Ezekiel 34, we again have God saying what Jesus says in John.

    So no, it's not a unique role at all, as the idea of the Good Shepherd is something that is scattered through Hebrew Scripture. Even King David is showcased as a good shepherd. And if we look at verses 1-5, it's all about setting up this analogy for the Good Shepherd, which is why I spend so much time looking at the theme here. Because the theme is what the entire passage is about. Verses 7-18 are looking at verses 1-5 and interpreting them. So we have to separate verses 1-5 from 7-18. We also have to see the symbolic language here. The whole thing is symbol. This is another reason why this passage is generally assumed not to be from Jesus, which is something you've never addressed. And this technique used in these verses is something we find throughout only John. John presents Jesus teaching in a very different manner.

    But let's look at how the author of John has Jesus interpret this. The first thing we have to do is look at the word Good. The Greek word that is used is kalos. Kalos isn't really good, but is best understood in the idea of the cultural value of honor and shame. We aren't talking about good and evil. Really what we should be looking at is the noble shepherd.

    Kalos, or honor, is a way to label behavior that is recognized as excellent. This really leads to the idea of a noble death. And we need to take this in context as the author of John was writing in a Hellenistic world, and we need to keep that in mind. We know what constituted a noble death based on funeral orations at that time. We have the Greek speaker Hyperides who praises soldiers for their noble deaths, in that they "sacrificed their lives that others might live well." Literally, he's praising them for laying down their lives during battle. They fell during battle, and many would praise such soldiers for doing such. Clearly, this isn't about soldiers going out and committing suicide, but they nonetheless go out and sacrifice themselves so that others can live. They go out knowing they may die, but they don't run away because the end goal is to save others. Because of that, they are often referred to as saviors.

    There is more to it though. To have a noble death, it must be voluntary. If a slave was sent off to war, that wouldn't be a noble death as that slave has no option. They are forced to fight, they don't do so voluntarily. It has to be a choice made. However, if a soldier would go out and kill himself, that wouldn't be seen as noble, because there has to be a level of honor there. Honor comes with it by choosing one way rather than another. You have to be courageous in order to take fate into your own hands. Literally, you're giving up your life, no one is taking it from you, because you have taken control of your fate.

    It gets a bit more complicated, because if you have a preference for death, if you are looking to die, if you want to die, that was deemed shameful. Instead, it was all about taking up the choice to fight, and if you died because of that, it was seen as honorable and lent itself to being a noble death. And there was the idea that you chose what death you would get. You chose to die in battle instead of dying from old age, or from something else.

    The death also have to benefit others. It has to be voluntarily accepted. This cultural context all comes into play, and this is what John is referencing as well. This is the context in which he is writing.

    Now, John right away tells us that this shepherd is noble because his death benefits his flock. Jesus is the noble shepherd because he lays his life down for his sheep, in the same way that Hyperides calls the soldiers who defended Athens as noble, because they laid their lives down by dying in battle for the city. This really is looking at Jesus as being a hero, as opposed to being a coward who would just run away. And we don't have to guess that this is what John is saying, because he clearly tells us this by showing the shepherd as a hero, while comparing him to the hireling, which flees in the face of the wolf attack. The hireling is a coward.

    This brings up another great point. Jesus is talking about his death in the context of an attack. Just as a shepherd must protect his sheep in the face of a wolf attack, Jesus is saying he must protect his flock in the face of an attack. The whole point is that the noble shepherd decides to fight for his flock, that they fight the enemy, and in the process, may die in fighting. That is why they are noble. The whole point is that the noble shepherd will remain during an attack, while others will run away. The noble shepherd will remain during the attack, and in the process, choose death instead of being a coward. They will lay their lives down for their flocks during an attack.

    Moving forward, to 10:14, we get another idea here. The shepherd is noble because he knows his flock. This has to do with justice and duty. Jesus has a duty to his flock, and is obligated by justice to stand in front of any attack. That is because he knows his flock, they are his. He can't simply abandon them. But on the other hand, his flock knows him, and they also have duties on their side. They can't just abandon him. In 10:15, he brings this together. In the two verses he's really saying, this flock is mine, I know them by name, I have a duty to them, and because of that, I must lay down my life for them. If we jump back to the overall context, which is back in verses 11-12, where we first get the idea that the shepherd will lay down their life, we see that in context, that is about laying down one's life in the face of an attack. As in, instead of running away like the hireling, the shepherd has the duty to stay and fight, and lay down their lives if needed. That is the duty Jesus picks up.

    Now moving to verse 16, where you bring up Gentiles. So no. Not talking about Gentiles necessarily. Jesus is talking about his flock, but as we know, not all Jews followed him. And throughout the Gospels, it's to the Jews that Jesus preaches. Jesus is saying that there are other sheep, and he wants to bring them all under one flock, as it benefits all. Instead of having flocks spread about, it makes sense to have them gathered in one pasture, so that the shepherd can project them all. Now we know Jesus doesn't do this all at once. But he's saying that his death isn't just for his own flock, but for the scattered flocks as well. This may include Gentiles, but is not simply in reference to Gentiles.

    Finally, to verse 17. We have a couple of things going on. First, we are looking at a relationship between God and Jesus. Jesus say God loves him because he lays down his life. Love was considered part of justice in antiquity. It was a bond that held groups together. There is also the suggestion of pride from God in Jesus. The whole reason is that Jesus is being obedient. Jesus is doing what his duty calls him to do. Now, as has been mentioned a number of times, the idea of laying down one's life is a common idea. As shown, it wasn't in reference to suicide, but by choosing to die instead of fleeing in a fight. This is what the wolf attack is suggesting. Throughout this, he doesn't constantly repeat that he has to lay down his life though. He says it three times, and each time he introduces an idea that concerns a noble death. The first time he does mention it, he makes it clear that it is in reference to a fight, instead of running away like a coward.

    Now, is Jesus saying that he will be resurrected, that he will take his life back? No. To do such would be to claim something that would appear ludicrous, and thus it would be shameful. Really, it would be blasphemous for Jesus to claim that he had the power to resurrect himself, as giving life like that is something ascribed to the gods. So unless Jesus was saying, hey, I'm a god, I can give life, he simply wasn't saying that he was going to take his life back in the idea that he would resurrect himself.

    So we have to look at 17-18 as a whole to get a clear idea. Jesus make the claim no one takes his life from him. Now we have already established that laying down one's life is in reference to an attack, that instead of fleeing, one takes their fate in their own hand, and chooses their death.

    We have to take a quick step back though to the reference to the wolf. The wolf for Jesus was something more. Jesus clearly wasn't looking after real sheep, so a wolf wouldn't have been his enemy. His enemy was something much more powerful. In 16:33, he goes as far as to say that he has overcome the world. More specifically, we can see in the Gospel that his enemy are the Jewish authorities, and the Romans. That is the foe he is going up against. We also have to keep John 14:30 in mind, as Jesus tells specifically that his foe has no power over him.

    So what Jesus is saying in 17-18 is that he isn't a victim. He dies unconquered, which is an idea that goes back to Greek funeral orations. Next, the idea that he can both lay down his life, and take it up is in reference to his death being entirely in his own hands. He's not being conquered, he's not becoming a victim. He has a noble death, and he has taken that fate into his hand to own it. He's not running away as a coward would. He sees the dangers in front of him, and chooses to face them, and by doing so, he takes his death into his hand in that he's not allowing anyone to conquer him. He's saying that his death is voluntary. No one has power over him. He doesn't have to face the danger in front of him, but he does so willingly, as a solider does who is defending their country. Simply, he controls his own destiny.

    The taking it up part it a bit more difficult as we don't see it in other rhetoric, as only God has the power to give life. So either he's just saying that he has power over his life, or he's crossing a boundary and attributing to himself with the power of God (as he is saying he will take his life back, not that God will resurrect him), and we begin to see some suggestion of a Trinitarian view forming.

    So, what does this all mean? First, we still can't say Jesus actually said this. I've given several reasons now. Second, we have to take it in context, both a cultural context and within a context of Hebrew scripture. Third, we see this is talking about a noble death, and the point isn't that Jesus kills himself, but instead that instead of being a coward, he stands up to the coming enemy, and takes his fate into his own hand.
     
  2. Cooky

    Cooky Veteran Member

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    Nice red herring, but the Trinity is beside the point.

    ...The point is that it's impossible for me to prove a negative in regards to showing how the definition of suicide does not include being a sacrifice for God. And that's because it doesn't, and never can. Therefore the two terms are exclusively separate.


    The burden now lies on you to prove with sources how the word "suicide" could and does include being a sacrifice for God. I'll be waiting for your evidence... :cool:
     
    #122 Cooky, Mar 6, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2020
  3. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    No.
    I am writing from a scriptural perspective.
    I can present a case for that.
    But on the other hand you have quoted the Gospel of John which clearly shows that the writer, Apostle John of Patmos was obviously never a witness to any of the events during Jesus's life. He did have a large collection of very useful reports and accounts but he had no idea about how they fitted together ion to an accurate timeline, which is how he placed Jesus demonstrating in the Temple against the money-changers and sacrifice sellers in the first week or so of his mission, instead of during the last.

    In the synoptics there is a Jesus son of man, and a Jesus son of the Father........ which Jesus do you think was your Jesus?
     
  4. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

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    Not a red herring. The truth of the Trinity is irrelevant to this discussion. The point is that a term doesn't need appear to be applicable - such as with the Trinity (which I'm assuming you believe as a Catholic).

    It is VERY possible to show that two mutually exclusive terms conflict from their definitions. If you've ever taken a class that involves logical proofs then you'd know that. The reason you can't apply such an argument to suicide and sacrifice is because they are NOT, in fact, mutually exclusive. Ie, you can't substantiate your position.

    The evidence has been provided in the OP - go read it thoroughly
     
  5. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

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    No you are very much writing from a secular perspective. The scriptures are quite clear on the matter. You are tossing out their testimony to fit a secular perspective.

    Whether he was a direct eye witness himself is irrelevant.

    It's the same Jesus :rolleyes:
     
  6. iam1me

    iam1me Active Member

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    Were gonna have to agree to disagree at this point. The meaning of those verses is clear as day. You'd rather attempt to read your own ideas into scripture rather than read what they actually say. Same with your usage of the dictionary. Hence you conveniently throw out his clear comments about the resurrection, because of your own nonsense view of nobility.

    1 Corinthians 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles
     
  7. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    No
    The synoptics show two men, one was Jesus son of man, the other was Jesus son of God. Both were arrested for causing severe disturbances, both sentenced. But the people loved one so much that the Prefect was pressed to pardon him. It's there for you to read in the scriptures. But the second man's first name was removed after the earliest copies of the bible, and his last name shown in eastern Aramaic........ a way of hiding this man's identity ion plain sight. All in the scriptures.

    And so it's hard top know which man was put up on a cross. And in any event, whereas the two other convicts were killed at dusk (broken legs finishes a crucifixion very quickly) the third was saved, his right lung cleared of fluids, and he was taken down and got clear away........ all in the scriptures.

    The possibilities a thus varied ............ but very real possibilities.

    But, by all means, do show your version....... with scriptures.



    At least you do accept that apostle John was no witness. That does help.
    Only Magdalene, Salomme and some few other women were witnesses from afar, and of course (later) Joseph the Levite and Merchant.
     
  8. Cooky

    Cooky Veteran Member

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    It seems like everything is subjective with you, even facts and logic. I'm also disappointed that you didn't grasp what 'proving a negative' means, while stubbornly standing your ground without being open to new information. How unfortunate.

    ...I see no reason to continue this conversation with you, since you seem unopen to dialogue and set on only getting your point across to others. It's a selfish conversation IMO.
     
  9. amatuerscholar

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    Or in other words, I did what you asked, I showed why your interpretation is wrong, and why your argument is wrong, and you can't defend your position. You can't offer a rebuttal, so you have to use an ad homniem instead. That really is the definition of intellectual dishonesty. But I guess when you have nothing, just make an insult.
     
  10. Muffled

    Muffled Jesus in me

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    I believe it is what it is even if someone else chose to define it differently.

    I believe Jesus was divine from conception. The Bible refers to His death because that is the perception when it appears the person died. Only John was spiritually minded enough to notice the distinction.

    I believe it is possible that you don't have the ability to reason correctly. I believe the idea of a primitive invention is complete fantasy.

    I believe that makes sense for pagan beliefs but not for Biblical beliefs.
     
  11. Muffled

    Muffled Jesus in me

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    I believe I stand corrected. Thank you for being patient with me. I think I just read how Jesus was saying how He had authority to lay down His life and thought that settled it and did not bother to read on to the last sentence.
     
  12. Muffled

    Muffled Jesus in me

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    I believe He doesn't say that He was given the authority. I think it might not be a stretch to think that being commanded authenticates His authority.
     
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