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Featured Jesus's Death. Was That Unnecessary?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by thomas t, Dec 29, 2020.

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  1. yes

    80.0%
  2. no

    10.0%
  3. yes, more or less, although his answer was a bit emotional

    10.0%
  4. no, but he does have one or two valid points in his answer

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    O
     
  2. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    I didnt know you had expertise in Hebrew as well. Thats great.

    I will find your response.
     
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  3. Fool

    Fool ALL in all
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    evidently you've never read isaiah ch 66, or hosea 6:6.


    saul offered a sacrifice and got in trouble
     
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  4. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    How would it do that, exactly?
     
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  5. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    Could one also say that it is procedure rather than fairness which prevails and that the answer to 'Why' goes unresolved?

    I'm having a hard time parsing this post of yours and think you are trying to kill me.
     
  6. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Simply the while "Jewish tradition does not teach that sacrifice is needed in order to absolve sin" it does teach that blood-guilt must be atoned with blood.
    Never.
     
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  7. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    It was too lame for me to bother asking about
     
  8. Vouthon

    Vouthon Dominus Deus tuus ignis consumens est
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    Christus Victor was the original "model" or theory of salvation, espoused by practically all of the Church Fathers - emphasizing the "victory" of Jesus as the giver of eternal life from God the Father, triumphing over the darkness of a world in the bondage of death, "the wages of sin".

    As St. Paul boasted, Christ's crucifixion had “destroyed every rule and every authority and power” that is of the 'angels', or archons, prison-keeping over a decaying world enslaved to sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:24), because "the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25), "For He was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God." — (2 Corinthians 13:4)

    The Eastern Orthodox theologian and New Testament translator David Bentley Hart explains below what Jesus's death and rising actually meant for earliest Pauline and Johannine Christianity in the first century CE:


    “Gnosticism” and Universalism: A Review of ‘The Devil’s Redemption’


    What we call the “gnostic” schools should probably be seen as extreme expressions—bedizened with often tediously opulent mythologies, some perhaps only allegorical, many probably not—of a dualistic theological register that is already present, in an only slightly more muted and qualified form, in the earliest Christian documents, and that is especially conspicuous in the Pauline corpus and in the fourth Gospel.

    As does much of the New Testament, the “gnostic” narrative tells of a cosmic dispensation under the reign of the god of this aeon (2 Corinthians 4:4) or the Archon of this cosmos (John 14:30; Ephesians 2:2), and of spiritual beings hopelessly immured within heavenly spheres thronged by hostile archons and powers and principalities and daemons (Romans 8:3, 39; 1 Corinthians 10:20-21; 15:24; Ephesians 1:21; etc.), bound under and cursed by a law that was in fact ordained by lesser, merely angelic or archontic powers (Galatians 3:10-11, 19-20). Into this prison of spirits, this darkness that knows nothing of the true light (John 1:5), a divine savior descends from the aeon above (John 3:31; 8:23; etc.), bringing with him a wisdom that has been hidden from before the ages (Romans 16:25-26; Galatians 1:12; Ephesians 3:3-9; Colossians 1:26), a secret wisdom unknown even to “the archons of this cosmos” (1 Corinthians 2:7-8) that has the power to liberate fallen spirits (John 8:31-32, etc.).

    Now those blessed persons who possess “gnosis” (1 Corinthians 8:7; 13:2) constitute something of an exceptional company, “spiritual persons” (πνευματικοί), who enjoy a knowledge of the truth denied to the merely “psychical” (ψυχικοί) among us (1 Corinthians 14:36; Galatians 6:1; Jude 19). By his triumph over the cosmic archons, moreover, this savior has opened a pathway through the planetary spheres, the encompassing heavens, the armies of the air and the potentates on high, so that now “neither death nor life nor angels nor Archons nor things present nor things imminent nor Powers nor height nor depth nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God” (Romans 8:38-39).


    Everything you know about the Gospel of Paul is likely wrong | Aeon Ideas


    Ask, for instance, the average American Christian – say, some genial Presbyterian who attends church regularly and owns a New International Version of the Bible – what gospel the Apostle Paul preached. The reply will fall along predictable lines: human beings, bearing the guilt of original sin and destined for eternal hell, cannot save themselves through good deeds, or make themselves acceptable to God; yet God, in his mercy, sent the eternal Son to offer himself up for our sins, and the righteousness of Christ has been graciously imputed or imparted to all who have faith.

    But it is a fantasy. It presumes elements of later Christian belief absent from Paul’s own writings. Some of these (like the idea that humans are born damnably guilty in God’s eyes, or that good deeds are not required for salvation) arise from a history of misleading translations. Others (like the concept of an eternal hell of conscious torment) are entirely imagined, attributed to Paul on the basis of some mistaken picture of what the New Testament as a whole teaches.

    Paul’s actual teachings, however, as taken directly from the Greek of his letters, emphasise neither original guilt nor imputed righteousness (he believed in neither), but rather the overthrow of bad angels.

    The story of salvation concerns the entire cosmos; and it is a story of invasion, conquest, spoliation and triumph. For Paul, the cosmos has been enslaved to death, both by our sin and by the malign governance of those ‘angelic’ or ‘daemonian’ agencies who reign over the earth from the heavens, and who hold spirits in thrall below the earth. These angelic beings, these Archons, whom Paul calls Thrones and Powers and Dominations and Spiritual Forces of Evil in the High Places, are the gods of the nations. In the Letter to the Galatians, he even hints that the angel of the Lord who rules over Israel might be one of their number. Whether fallen, or mutinous, or merely incompetent, these beings stand intractably between us and God. But Christ has conquered them all.

    In descending to Hades and ascending again through the heavens, Christ has vanquished all the Powers below and above that separate us from the love of God, taking them captive in a kind of triumphal procession.

    Paul’s voice, I hasten to add, is hardly an eccentric one. John’s Gospel too, for instance, tells of the divine saviour who comes ‘from above’, descending from God’s realm into this cosmos, overthrowing its reigning Archon, bringing God’s light into the darkness of our captivity, and ‘dragging’ everyone to himself. And, in varying registers, so do most of the texts of the New Testament. As I say, it is a conceptual world very remote from our own.


    That's what the 'early Pauline and Johannine Christians' believed Jesus's death and resurrection meant. Quite different from most contemporary Christians, certainly of the Reformed persuasion.

    (continued....)
     
    #48 Vouthon, Dec 29, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
  9. Vouthon

    Vouthon Dominus Deus tuus ignis consumens est
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    Amongst the Fathers, this fundamental axiom of faith in "Christ as Victor" over death on the cross through the power of eternal resurrection life, was paired with the mystical concept of theosis derived from the Gospel of John ("John 14:20, “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you”) and the Second Epistle of Peter ("that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, now that you have escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires" (2 Peter 1:4) .

    In Catholicism, our liturgy evokes it during the Communion or Eucharistic part of the Mass, when the priest says over the cup: "By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity." It was taught equally in the West as it was in the East. The doctrine is essential to the teaching of the Church Fathers, who held that "God became man, so that man might become God" [St. Augustine, Sermo 13 de Tempore].

    So that was orthodox, patristic Christianity. Quoting one Johannine scholar:


    "The Johannine vision of mutual indwelling of God and the believer opens to all the possibility of experiencing the divine presence. What is particularly Johannine is the emphasis on reciprocal indwelling. God dwells in us, and we dwell in God. In his use of the verb “dwell” (menein) the Fourth Evangelist expresses the mystery of divine interiority known through experience, which is usually termed mysticism"

    (Coloe (2007:193-201))​


    This mystical element was very important in the early church - its absence from much of contemporary Protestant theology is striking.

    I believe it was in the high Middle Ages, courtesy of St. Anselm with his novel and quite legalistic "penal substitution" theory - in a religious landscape that had become obsessed with the human Jesus (as opposed to the glorious, resurrected and eternal Son of God that so transfixed St. Paul in his epistles) - that this 'special emphasis' upon the death and sufferings of Christ in isolation from his resurrection from the dead became so prominent. The custom of the Stations of the Cross emerged at this time, around the thirteenth century.

    Medieval piety became fixated with the 'fleshly' incarnation of Christ from 11th century, displacing earlier focus on the resurrection (victorious Christ) with the corporeal suffering Christ. Que, the rise in prominence of 'stigmata' from St. Francis onwards.

    In contrast, the earliest Christians didn't even have crosses - their predominant focus had been upon Christ as "Victor" over death. Hence, Easter remaining the most important Christian feast day with Good Friday as a sombre prelude even today.

    However, around the same time as St. Anselm's penal substitution malarkey, the monk Abelard (the guy who had a love-affair with the nun Heloise) counteracted St. Anselm with his own "exemplar" theory or salvation by way of moral influence model:


    Moral influence theory of atonement - Wikipedia.


    The moral influence or example theory of the atonement in Christianity, developed or most notably propagated by Abelard (1079-1142),[1][2] [note 1] is an alternative to Anselm's satisfaction theory of atonement.[1] Abelard focussed on changing man's perception of God as not offended, harsh, and judgemental, but as loving.[3] According to Abelard, "Jesus died as the demonstration of God's love," a demonstration which can change the hearts and minds of the sinners, turning back to God.[3][4]

    During the Protestant Reformation in Western Christianity, the majority of the Reformers strongly rejected the moral influence view of the atonement in favour of penal substitution, a highly forensic modification of the honor-oriented Anselmian satisfaction model.

    So, that's my 'neat' summary of Christian soteriologies. Many of the contemporary iterations of salvation theology - especially in the Protestant churches and as exhibited in that garish horror-porn fest that was heretical-schismatic 'traditionalist' Catholic Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ (ughhhh!) - would have been most alien to Christians living in the first, second and third through to fifth centuries.
     
    #49 Vouthon, Dec 29, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
  10. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    According to Jewish tradition, Charity is greater than sacrifice.

    Sukkah 49b:9

    Rabbi Elazar said: One who performs acts of charity is greater than one who sacrifices all types of offerings, as it is stated: “To perform charity and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than an offering” (Proverbs 21:3), including all types of offerings. And Rabbi Elazar said: Acts of kindness, assisting someone in need, are greater than charity, as it is stated: “Sow to yourselves according to charity, and reap according to kindness” (Hosea 10:12)​
     
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  11. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    In the context of God choosing to send humanity a Divine Teacher because He believed we needed One, Christ was sent forth.

    He had a Mission to accomplish and He did that. But had the people been open and receptive there was no need for Him to be crucified. But when are God’s Messengers ever accepted?

    It’s always the clergy of the previous religion, sensing a threat to their temporal power try to suppress the popularity of the new teachings and if they can’t do that then they resort to torture, cruelties and anything that will discourage people from following Him.

    They did this to Jesus, to Muhammad and Moses and exiled Baha’u’llah for 40 years just because they feared His popularity would replace them.

    Leaders of religion have always been the first to oppose a new Prophet of God.

    But there was no need to kill Christ. However, He willingly gave His Life for His Mission.
     
  12. cOLTER

    cOLTER Well-Known Member

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    Jesus had mentioned it earlier:


    18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”

    19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”

    20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

    Remember, I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
     
  13. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    I'm less concerned with what Christian belief was originally - or with what some think Christian belief ought to be - than the spectrum of beliefs that Christians today actually hold.

    ... though I think this dichotomy is relevant to Dawkins, especially: a lot of the criticism of Dawkins is rooted in the argument that he's arguing againt a simplistic (maybe cartoonish?) version of Christianity, and not arguing against the points that theologians, Church Fathers, etc. made.

    But I think this because those theologians, etc. aren't very relevant to the beliefs of many modern-day Christians. He engages with actual beliefs that real-life Christians hold and the reasons they give for those beliefs, and gets criticized for straw-manning Christianity because of it.

    Interesting you bring up that movie.

    My first time in a Catholic mass was shortly after the Passion of the Christ came out, and the priest spoke about it in his homily. He highly recommended the movie and recommended that everyone go and see it to get a better appreciation of Christ's suffering.

    That priest at least saw no disconnect between the movie and Catholic teaching.
     
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  14. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    Ah... so not his death by torture so much as his resurrection, but acknowledging that someone can't rise from the dead unless they're dead.
     
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  15. cOLTER

    cOLTER Well-Known Member

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    They all watched him die. Body dead! The apostles went into hiding, confused, depressed! Mary went to redo the grave wrap. She was shocked to discover Jesus alive and in a new form. The apostles STILL doubted! More reports were coming In, sightings of the resurrected Jesus. Then, he suddenly appears to the apostles!

    God the Son never died, only the temp mortal form he took on during the incarnate life.

    That's the "proof" to his followers.
     
  16. cOLTER

    cOLTER Well-Known Member

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    Triumphant Life. Sooooo much had already happened before the tragic death. But because the resurrection was that last and greatest miracle, they sort of forgot his life and focus on his death and resurrection.
     
  17. SeekingAllTruth

    SeekingAllTruth Well-Known Member

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    I mention a lot in other threads about what the church has **SOLD** people over the centuries as being vital doctrine in order for the church to survive as an institution. This is at the top of the list: this fraud that we need Jesus in order to get into heaven.

    Here's how the church constructed the story: Lucifer rebelled against God. 1/3 of the angels decided to go with Lucifer and rebel against God as well--WHY, nobody can fathom a guess (who counted them and figured out it was EXACTLY 1/3, I'd like to know) and sin entered the universe. There was a war in heaven--as if an omnipotent God really needed his remaining angels to fight to protect Him when He could have blown Lucifer and the entire bunch out of heaven with one blast of His breath. But this makes for a more riveting story to tell your congregants.

    God then creates the universe and earth and puts man and woman in it. He plants a loaded gun in the form of a tree of knowledge next to them and says, "Don't touch this". So what do you think the man and woman do with the help of the serpent? Why they touch it, of course--God knowing full well that they would. Now God curses them abut says He's going to send a savior to redeem mankind from the sin the man and woman brought on the entire universe because they took a bite out of an apple. Have you ever heard anything so absurd? I have to go to hell unless I accept Jesus as my savior because some idiot in a garden 6000 years ago took a bite out of an apple!

    So now the church has me where it wants me. I am a sinner because I inherited Adam's sin. And the only way to free me from this sin and going to hell to burn forever for a sin I didn't commit, I just inherited it is to subjugate myself to Jesus, and by extension the church leaders--who will now tell me what God wants me to do, which usually amounts to giving money to them and having to do what they tell me to do or the church leaders will burn me to death. Pretty good deal for them, not so good for me.

    Of course as we civilized and the Age of Reason came in the church was forced to give up this practice they loved so much of burning heretics at the stake. Now that people have the freedom to figure out this whole "You need Jesus" was just a ruse invented by the church to keep them in money, power and influence, their power is now waning as people exercise their freedom to just walk away from Jesus. And voila! People find that nothing bad happens to them when they walk away. No car hits them, no lightning strikes them. Nothing good happened to them when they stayed with Jesus and now nothing bad happens to them when they leave Jesus. It's like Jesus was never really there to begin with. And you know what? He never was.
     
    #57 SeekingAllTruth, Dec 29, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
  18. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    Isn't this just a rephrasing of what I said?
     
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  19. QuestioningMind

    QuestioningMind Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, but none of this makes any sense to me. How exactly did accepting a human sacrifice 'fix' or 'pay' for anything? Why would a moral and loving god want his creations to celebrate a human sacrifice? And what exactly is the sacrifice that Jesus made, if within days of 'giving up' his life it's given back to him?
     
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  20. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    FYI: there's the disgusting part.

    To whatever extent Jesus dying on the cross would be good and courageous, God demanding his - or anyone else's - death would be evil and cruel.

    If Jesus's sacrifice is meaningful, then God is a monster.
     
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