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Jesus and the Fig Tree

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

  1. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    ... and you know that I agree with you... but come on folks... read the entire thread... I gave MY opinion and Ryan asked ME "Do you have anything to back up your claim of it being a parable? " in post #7.
     
  2. Prima

    Prima Well-Known Member

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    I always ask you for stuff to back up your opinions, because I know you always have it and I like reading it :D (and then argueing with you about it...heehee)
     
  3. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah... but you have a reason.. I believed that our pal Ryan had a different agenda.... I've been around the block a few times, my friend... I'm pretty good at sniffing out true intentions.
     
  4. greatcalgarian

    greatcalgarian Well-Known Member

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    I think Ryan is trying to gain back his belief in Christianity. The way the thread goes, it is pushing him further away from the love of God. He put himself down now as Agnostic, meaning he is not sure whether there is a god or there is no god. And he has many questions regarding why he is re-thinking about his belief. One of which is whether there is any literal translation of the story of the fig if one is to read it all by himself, without any one interpreting the true meaning or intent of the story. I do not see anyone giving a very clear and concise and convincing way of interpreting that fig passage in the bible.
     
  5. true blood

    true blood Active Member

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    I think it's obvious proof that the fact Jesus got hungry proves he wasn't God but give him a break...because in a way he is the living Word of God. Also you have your story mixed up on the fig trees. In those days the fig tree was known as a "people's tree", meaning that any person was permitted to eat from any fig tree. These trees were public property. During the late spring, the fig tree normally blossoms with both leaves and sweet, edible buds. These buds are what Jesus intended to eat. Later these buds developed into figs.

    Mark 11:12, 13 "And on the morrow, when they were away from Bethany, he was hungry: And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not".

    You see, there were leaves, but no buds. That is why it says "he found nothing but leaves." "The time of figs was not yet" means that it was still spring, the time of buds before the time of the mature fruit. Since there was no buds, Jesus would of had to know there would be no fruit later. The tree to Jesus appeared from a distance to be flourishing, that is why he approached the tree, in hope to find buds which would have been a sign that mature fruit would follow, but the tree in reality was unfruitful. The wise people signify this "fig tree" as symbolized Israel. Israel was not budding, no fruit would follow. Israel looked good from a distance but upclose it was barren. And the moment in time of this story God was being forced to cut off His special blessing to Israel, the fig tree. From that point forward, no fruit would come out of Israel because they had rejected God's greatest gift to her. Note that this event is taking place when "And on the morrow, when they were away from Bethany" as stated in Mark 11:12. But you had posted that Matthew 21:18 to be describing the same event in which I must disagree. The event in Mark suggest that the fig tree number one grew by the way leading from Bethany to Jerusalem compared to the event in Matthew whose fig tree number two grew within Jerusalem. The tree in Mark, number one, had been cursed outside the city, and was found withered as they returned to Jerusalem. But this tree in Matthew, tree number two, was inside the city and cursed there. Also another great difference between the two events is in Matthew 21:19: ...and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently(immediately) the fig tree withered away. This second tree withered immediately while the previous had died over night. So Jesus might be guilty of killing two fig trees. But it's not like he cut the trees down with an axe. He only spoke words to the trees so it could prove difficult to prove his guilt.
     
  6. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    In "The Life & times of Jesus the Messiah" by Alfred Edersheim, the author states that “in Palestine the fruit appears before the leaves...” Since the tree was leafed, there should have been fruit.

    I have seen many explanations for this story, but here is an excellent explanation. It is worth taking the time to read. He gives reasons for why the fig tree does not only represent Israel, btw, but anyone. Here are a couple bytes for the impatient reader. ;)

    "When Jesus saw the fig tree it was a long way off. It was far from Jesus but he went to check it for fruit since it was demonstrating leaves which professed that there was food there. When he drew near, he found it had a profession without possessing fruit. Jesus did not curse the tree simply because it had no fruit, but rather because it put on a profession without first producing fruit."

    "We need to realize that whenever a person professes to be a Christian without first producing the fruits of true salvation, they fall under the curse that Jesus was illustrating."

    "Any religious group that puts on "fig leaves" (religious form and activities) without first demonstrating and feeding people with the fruit which is genuine (the word of God and spirits fruit) falls under an eternal curse."
     
  7. true blood

    true blood Active Member

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    This is interesting and I can only ask why would Alfred Edersheim write that "the fruit appears before the leaves..." compared to what the writer of Mark 11:13 records that the tree had leaves and the time of fruit had not come yet.
     
  8. Prima

    Prima Well-Known Member

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    Ryan, is this thread indeed pushing you farther from your love of God?

    Er...he was human, remember? Humans need food? No food makes us hungry?
     
  9. Voxton

    Voxton ·

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    I'd like to hear more about how the parable was supposed to reflect Jesus' frustration with Israel not accepting his teachings -- or just whatever the parable is supposed to mean, as interpreted by those who are in the know.

    If this was written in a modern setting, would it be described as Jesus being hungry one morning, seeing a Taco Bell, but finding it closed, he chucks a brick through its window, and maybe puts the place to the torch? "May no-one ever eat your chalupas again!!"
     
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  10. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Well, you could be right... but you have to remember that we Catholics don't expect anyone to come to faith by just reading the Bible... especially a few verses. This Protestant way of thinking.. that to become a Christian you must read the Bible and hope that faith drops on your head, is foreign to us. Sorry if I'm not being helpful, but it seems many of the atheist/agnostics here on this site look to the Bible for all things Christian... you read a verse in the OT that shows a vengeful God and smile in satisfaction... you read a verse like this one about the fig tree and wait for an "explaination".... well folks, hate to break it to ya, but not everyone becomes a Christian by reading the Bible and "figuring" it out. I became a Christian before I ever read the OT... and I had only read the NT in pieces a half-dozen times in 10 years. If someone like Ryan is trying to go verse by verse and attempt to come closer to God, I'm of the opinion he is going to continue to be agnostic. NetDoc and others will disagree, but I just wanted to put my two cents out there.;)

    Peace to all.
     
  11. john313

    john313 warrior-poet

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    Peace,
    i read in one of the gnostic gospels that the way it happened was that Peter was the one that cursed the tree, but the tree did not die. When Peter asked Jesus why it did not die, Jesus basically asked him why he cursed the tree since Peter knew it was not time for fruit to be on the tree. then Peter saw the error of his way and realized he should not have been angry. something like that. but that was in a gnostic gospel.
     
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  12. Stick of Joseph

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    Ryan,
    Here is the way I see the parable meaning. Christ sees the tree, goes to, searches and does not find, knowing that this tree should produce fruit because of what it is. A christian is not christian if he isn't giving the knowledge he has gained to others. I see this as just another excellent parable. Christ always taught by parables and example. If you read just one verse after the passage in Matthew you read, And all things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing ye shall receive. Christ was teaching two very important principles with one action.
     
  13. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    Maybe he wasn't a gardener? I don't know but here's another reference to the fig bearing fruit before the leaves:

    The fruit of the fig tree is one of the delicacies of the East, and is very often spoken of in Scripture. The early fig was especially prized, Isaiah 28:4 Jeremiah 24:2 Nahum 3:12, though the summer fig is most abundant, 2 Kings 20:7 Isaiah 38:21. It is a peculiarity of the fig tree that its fruit begins to appear before the leaves, and without any show of blossoms.
    --Crossmap dictionary
     
  14. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    I see the point you guys are debating; and there is obviously some doubt..

    But isn't this academic anyway ? I think we can all accept that the whole passage was a parable, as Scott said - much earlier in this thread. ( I must admit that I did some 'looking up' on this Scott - not because I didn't trust your judgement, but to satisfy my own need to come to the same conclusion).:eek:
     
  15. blueman

    blueman God's Warrior

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    Ryan, another broad stretch in the conclusion you drew. It wasn't the season for the tree to have leaves either, since a fig tree full of leaves was usually a place to find food. Could it have a been a lesson he was trying to teach His disciples about faith? You made reference other verses in the passage, but failed to expound on anything else beside Jesus cursing the fig tree. Where did Jesus derive the power to curse a fig tree by the sound of His voice anyway? An ordinary man would not have this power, I know I don't. He wanted to show His disciples that they would have the power through faith to do great things and at the same time them that God's judgement will come to those that appear fruitful, but are really not. Expound on the full passage of scripture you make reference to, not just 1 or 2 verses. :)
     
  16. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that this was a time when fig trees should have had fruit, but this particular one did not. By the time the tree has leaves it should be well into producing fruit, but this one had none. The cursing was an editorial on the state of Judaism. The tree flaunted its leaves like an arrogant Judaist, but closer inspection shows that it bears no fruit, the real sign of religious veracity. Judaism at the time was a pompous, self-righteous husk of what it once was. It waved its leaves for everyone to see, but bore no fruit. Christ cursed it for its hypocrisy, as he also did the self-indignant Jews that persecuted Him. Their world came crashing to a hault shortly after his death.

    To every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven: A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up...

    No one ever said God was not allowed to kill a tree. If you think it's wrong then maybe you need to read about the spiritual maturity of those in the Bible that judged Christ based on their own conclusions of what God should be like.
     
  17. blueman

    blueman God's Warrior

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    I am not sure how you derive that Jesus wasn't God in the flesh and I must underscore flesh, because He got hungry? He came down here as flesh, with the same bodily features, emotions and senses as any other man. The one differentiator was tat He was sinless. No other man or woman can make that claim while in a fleshly body with a mind, will and emotion that sometimes has the propensity to sin, usually daily in some shape or form. :)
     
  18. greatcalgarian

    greatcalgarian Well-Known Member

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    This perhaps is the best answer in this thread. Put it in another way, the gospel started with oral tradition. There is no way that in the development over the first hundred years or so, there will be different people remembering the story in a different way. It appears that what is claimed by John in one of the gnostic gospel appeared to have better parabol teaching then all others, which are trying to add additional explanation into the fig tree currently recorded in the two gospel accepted by Christian in the 400 AC. John, do you know which gnostic gospel? It cannot be Thomas right?
     
  19. greatcalgarian

    greatcalgarian Well-Known Member

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    Catholic has a simple way out. Just put everything into faith, and not to spend too much time scrutinizing the bible. Accept that bible is inspired by God, but contain human introduced error. Do not take bible to be inerrant, then there is no more problem. Good for you. No wonder my catholic sister refused to discuss religion with me :D
     
  20. greatcalgarian

    greatcalgarian Well-Known Member

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    I like this fig tree, leave first, flower first, bud first line of explanation......it is reading too much into the original passage.:biglaugh:
     
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