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Jesus and the Fig Tree

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by Ryan2065, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. Ryan2065

    Ryan2065 Well-Known Member

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    The story that I am describing here is in both Matthew 21:18-19;20-22 and Mark 11:12-14;20-25. This is where Jesus is hungry and he sees a fig tree off in the distance. He thinks, oh, maybe the fig tree has some figs on it. So he goes up to the fig tree and sees that it is bare and has no figs on it. Jesus knows that it is not the time for the fig tree to bear any fruit, because that was god's plan. God made everything so he made fig trees, and he decided that fig trees would bear fruit at certain times. This was NOT one of those times this fig tree was supposed to bear fruit. What did Jesus do? He cursed the fig tree. When he and his disciples left the city they were visiting, they passed the fig tree again. It was dead. Thats right, Jesus killed it.

    The reason I bring this passage up is because I think this is obvious proof (to me at least) that Jesus was not god. I just wanted to debate this because this is pretty much the straw that broke the camels back. I heard this story and this is what made me 100% sure I did not want to be catholic anymore. So now that I am finally able to discuss this with others, I want to see other people's ideas of this story.
     
  2. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Ummm... I don't know what about this passage moved you so much... but I see it as just a silly little story... what was so upsetting to you about it?
     
  3. Ryan2065

    Ryan2065 Well-Known Member

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    It was upsetting because Jesus killed a fig tree. His reason? Because he was hungry and it had no fruit for him. Why didn't it have fruit? Because God created the fig tree to only bear fruit when it was in season.

    So Jesus didn't like gods plan and killed the fig tree... thats how I translate the story.
     
  4. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    ... and you take this as a literal event, why?
     
  5. Ryan2065

    Ryan2065 Well-Known Member

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    Hrm, I wanted to know other peoples views of this passage really, because I've only ever seen it the one way.
    Because if even one story of the NT isn't a literal event (and this appears in 2 books) then what do you say is or isn't a literal event? Maybe the resurrection was just a fable for us to grow on. I think you can either say that the NT is 4 guys best attempt at a historical document, or you say it was 4 guys telling fables for us to grown on. But this I don't want to debate here, I want to debate the meaning of this passage here. I'll copy and paste this into the "How can the New Testament be even remotely correct?" thread and if you want to respond to the NT statement you could respond there. I just don't want this thread to go horribly off topic =)
     
  6. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    OK... here's my view: it's a parable.
    Well that's kinda the whole point of Biblical exegesis... people have studied the Bible for over a thousand years... do you think just because you can't figure out what is what, that no one else can?????
    ... and maybe it's not.... we just read the Bible differently... you seem to think that the only reason for anyone to believe in the Christian faith or the resurection is to read about it in the Bible.... well there are a billion or so of us Catholics who don't agree.... and I'd also like to point out that HISTORY does not agree with you either.
     
  7. Ryan2065

    Ryan2065 Well-Known Member

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    Are you confusing this with Luke 13:6-9 because here is the passage in Mark...
    To me it seems that the writer of Mark really wanted the reader to think it was Jesus doing this. Do you have anything to back up your claim of it being a parable? The Catholic church saying it is a parable and not a real story or something of the sort? Or is this just a personal view. (I'm really asking, no attack here or anything...)
    **Note the passage from Mark is semi-edited. Jesus did stuff between night and morning, but it isn't relevant to the story.**
     
  8. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    I don't make a habit of "confusing" Bible verses....
    ... and I should care what you think about this, why? Where exactly did you study theology/Biblical exegesis?
    The NAB, The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine-United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.... Imprimatur= James A. Hickey S.T.D., J.C.D. Archbishop of Washington... good enough for ya?

    Again.. just because you've "studied" the Bible for a few years and haven't "figured it out" yet, does not mean a thing to a Church that has been around for 2,000 years.
     
  9. Ryan2065

    Ryan2065 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so I did some research and found this...
    http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/mark/mark11.htm
    Which, unless if I am reading it wrong, does not mean it IS a parable, but that Jesus really did this and he wanted others to read into his action. So basically they are saying Jesus LITERALLY cursed and killed the fig tree, but that you are supposed to read into it. Am I reading that wrong? That is exactly what the NAB says... Though of course I have just studied the bible for a few years... What do I know right? :flirt:
     
  10. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Hehe.... so my opinion is not as valid as yours... that it?
    Not much, I'm afraid... you've made the same mistake here that you make with ALL Scripture.... read a bit, just enough to think you know what you are talking about, and then pronounce it as "knowledge".

    Some scholars propose that this story is the development in tradition of a parable of Jesus about the destruction of a fruitless tree, such as LK 13, 6-9
    From the commentary for Matthew 21:18-22

    When you look at ALL three stories, how they differ, and how they are similar... a basic understanding of Biblical exegesis will dictate that these verses be read in a allegorical sense..... but I'm sure you know ALL about the senses of Scripture and how to read the Bible... right?:flirt:
     
  11. Mr Spinkles

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    Well that's just not fair, Scott, and you know it. I'm sure if our friend Ryan had 2,000 years, he could find ways of rationalizing myth, too. ;)

    I see it the same way. But what reasons are there--besides faith in the authority of the Church--to dismiss the fig tree story and embrace the Virgin birth and Resurrection stories as neither silly nor fictional? Or is this a topic for another thread?
     
  12. Ryan2065

    Ryan2065 Well-Known Member

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    I think thats poorly written, but do correct me if im wrong, that doesn't come right out and say that this story is a parable? And just to note.... the same people that said the above quote, also said this quote...
    So either the Catholic church is giving us conflicting stories, or you are getting the wrong reading out of the quote you posted =)
     
  13. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Hehe...jerk... I'll put up with you because I love ya!
    Well... the historical belief in the Resurection is the basis for the Christian faith... like I said, this happened long before the compilation of Scripture and there is abundant evidence (in my opinion) to support it... but yes, that's for another thread.

    .... but the Virgin birth and other traditional stories of the Church have no other basis than faith.... but that's not the point I'm trying to make.... Ryan thinks he has found the only way to interpret Scripture, and I'm just trying to show that just because he (or you) read something a certain way, it by no means is any more "correct" than MY interpretation.
     
  14. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Like I said on the other thread... this seems to be a waste of time... you have every right to your opinion... I've said my peace.

    Best wishes,
    Scott
     
  15. Ezzedean

    Ezzedean Active Member

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    I couldn't have said it better myself. Scott in ll of your replies, it seems like you have an attitude towards Ryan which is sometimes disrespectful. You asked him "And I should care what you think of this, why?" Well if you dont care for what he thinks, why are you responding to what he has to say?

    Me personally, I agree with Ryan to the fact that Jesus is not God, and the way he looks at the story of the fig tree is pretty interesting and makes sense to me. Dont get me wrong, I believe in Jesus, but not as God.

    Salam
    Ezzedean
     
  16. Mr Spinkles

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    Well, that's not the impression I got from his OP:
    For what it's worth, when our interpretations differ, it's a good indication to me that my interpretation is wrong. When it comes to the NT, you really know your stuff. :)
     
  17. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Hey... I could be wrong.... but you don't see me starting threads attacking atheists beliefs, now do ya? ;)
    Why, thanks... but it's not about right or wrong... that's why I don't believe this thread had anything to do with "learning" about this particual scripture... this thread was about attacking Christians who view some verses as stories and some as literal... I gave my opinon that it was a parable, and he quickly streered the thread away from that....

    To each his own,
    Scott
     
  18. Xaero4

    Xaero4 Member

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    I think your forgetting something: JESUS WAS A HUMAN BEING. He felt anger just as we do, except...we don't have the power to curse things.
     
  19. Prima

    Prima Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure that this one story should be the deciding factor in your religious belief - that's kind of like saying "I don't want to be Jewish any more because of this little passage about shrimp!"

    Regardless of how it's interpreted or meant, I don't think it's hugely important. I personally think that it can't possibly be literal, not because I've read fifty billion things about how the Catholic Church interprets it, but because I don't believe Jesus was the kind of guy who would curse a tree just because he was grumpy :)

    I would suggest you not get too caught up in the Bible - that's how people become fanatical or *gasp* fundamentalist ;) Instead, I think it's more important to look at the general religion and doctrine.

    But yes, this story affected me a lot too - perhaps because I love trees :D There was another debate about this that got deleted, I think, but the long and short of it is that I understand the point of the story, but if it really happened, Jesus was being immature, irresponsible, or rude, and since those aren't things that really come to mind when you think 'Son of God' then it probably isn't true. :D
     
  20. Prima

    Prima Well-Known Member

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    Christians believe that the Bible was written for anyone and everyone, so that anyone can grow, learn, and interpret how they need to. I don't believe Ryan's opinion is any less important that a Bible scholar or theologian. (which I'm sure I misspelled) :D Of course, if I did think that, I wouldn't let myself post about it, since my Biblical learning is purely independent (except for a few Bible study classes!)
     
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