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Discussion in 'Invitation Only Debates' started by Terry Sampson, May 19, 2020.

  1. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    BEFORE you post, take note: This is an "An Invitation Only" thread. If you don't have an invitation, you're posting in the wrong thread.

    Initially, I invite myself, @Terry Sampson, and @Harel13.
    Yo', Harel:
    FWIW, here it is; and maybe a little more than I proposed elsewhere.
    Don't let the word "Debate" in the sub-forum title throw you; I have no desire to debate anything here.
    • First topic. The nature of God/HaShem.
      • I have a speculation.
        • Previously, I discovered (to my satisfaction) that the Christian Doctrine of Original Sin very probably has roots in early Judaism.
        • My current speculation is that the Christian Doctrine of the Trinity has roots in a very early Hebrew Christian concept of God.
        • Briefly, my speculation goes something like this:
          • God our Father is one, infinite, and eternal.
          • He communicates via the Shekhina, the Ruach haKodesh, the Bat Kol, and creatures: either human or angelic.
          • The creatures are not gods.
          • The Bat Kol is an auditory experience but is not, to my knowledge, communicated through or associated with creatures or the Ruach haKodesh.
          • Attached below is one document containing three entries in the Encyclopedia Judaica: one about the Shekhina one about the Ruach haKodesh, and one about the Bat Kol.
          • From the first, about the Shekhina:
            • "SHEKHINAH (Heb. שְׁכִיָנה ; lit. “dwelling,” “resting”), or Divine Presence, refers most often in rabbinic literature to the numinous immanence of God in the world. The Shekhinah is God viewed in spatio-temporal terms as a presence, particularly in a this-worldly context: when He sanctifies a place, an object, an individual, or a whole people – a revelation of the holy in the midst of the profane. Sometimes, however, it is used simply as an alternative way of referring to God himself, .... The use of the term Shekhinah would thus seem to range from the numinous revelation of God, as in the theophany at Sinai or the awe-inspiring presence speaking to Moses from the Tabernacle, to the more mundane idea that a religious act, or mitzvah, draws man nearer to God. Sometimes the term is simply an alternative for “God,” while at others it has overtones of something separate from the Godhead; it may be used in a personalized or depersonalized way. From the point of view of Jewish theology it would be a mistake to overemphasize any given use to the exclusion of the others, and it is important to view it in the perspective of the Jewish monotheistic background as a whole."
          • From the second, about the Ruach haKodesh:
            • "A more problematical use of the term Ru’aḥ ha-Kodesh is when it is in some way hypostatized, or used as a synonym for God. This tendency toward hypostatization is already apparent in such expressions as “Ru’aḥ ha-Kodesh resting” on a person or a place, or someone “receiving Ru’aḥ ha-Kodesh.” But it is pronounced in descriptions of the Ru’aḥ ha-Kodesh speaking (Pes. 117a), or acting as defense counsel on Israel’s behalf (Lev. R. 6:1), or leaving Israel and returning to God (Eccles. R. 12:7). This hypostatization is essentially the product of free play of imagery, and does not have the connotations of Ru’aḥ ha-Kodesh as an entity separate from God. Neither are there any overtones of the Ru’aḥ ha-Kodesh somehow forming part of the Godhead, as is found in the Christian concept of the Holy Ghost, which was a translation of Ru’aḥ ha-Kodesh. The problems centering on this use of the term Ru’aḥ ha-Kodesh are the product of its different uses shading into one another. Sometimes it is used merely as a synonym for God, and at others it refers to the power of prophecy through divine inspiration. In order to maintain a perspective on the matter, the monotheistic background and the image character of rabbinic thinking must always be kept in mind."
        • It is my speculation that, during or after the loss of Hebrew Christians, the previous claims about Jesus morphed into something like the Shekhina-covered burning bush encountered by Moses, eventually resulting in the Doctrine of the Trinity.
     

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    #1 Terry Sampson, May 19, 2020
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  2. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    Feel free to invite Tumah, rosends, and or Ehav4Ever into this thread.
     
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  3. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    That's interesting, for a number of reasons:
    1. There wasn't a shechinah-presence during the time of the Second Temple, so early Christians had no real idea what the presence of such a force meant, which left everything to the imagination.
    2, The burning bush event is commonly seen as a form of nevuah (badly translated in English as prophecy) - so do you/theoretical early Christians differentiate between the shechinah and nevuah or not?
     
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  4. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    So...
    We have God, the shechinah and...what's Jesus, exactly, in this understanding? A part of God birthed into this world? A mortal-turned-divine entity? An angel?
     
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  5. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    The bush.
     
  6. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    Jesus is a bush?
    Oh, you mean a vessel for the shechinah?
     
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  7. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    Uh-uh. We have "God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth," the Shekinah, and the Ruach haKodesh, and the Bush.
     
  8. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    Yes.
     
  9. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    So, in other words: There's God, a kind of tube of holyness that passes divine energy from God to this world, and a vessel in the form of a mortal (is he mortal?)?
     
  10. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    I suppose questions I'd ask about this understanding are:
    1. If Moses' bush was a literal bush, that is, not a living creature (sorry, plant-lovers), why the sudden need for a living being as a vessel?
    2. Once again, Early Christians could only ever speculate on what the Shechinah was like. Did they interpret Jesus' charismatic character as a divine force? Or was it his alleged miracles? Because miracles enacted by both past and contemporary figures weren't considered to have made them vessels in the same sense that you describe here. So what made Jesus different?
    3. Is there a basis for this in the Tanach?
     
  11. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    Last part first. Yes, he's 100% mortal, AND most importantly (to me) a biological descendant of Abraham.
    Yeah, I know. Historically, Christians affirm that Jesus was fully human and fully God. I have some serious doubts about the Christian version of fully human stuff though, due to my substantial exposure to genetic genealogy.
    Fully human humans inherit no less than 46 chromosomes, 23 from their fathers and 23 from their mothers. One of the 23 from their fathers is the gender chromosome: an X if the child is to be a female; a Y if the child is to be a male. One of the 23 from their mothers is the X gender chromosome.
    Intersex folks inherit an extra sex chromosome: I don't know all that much about the "extra" sex chromosome.
    Fully human humans inherit four kinds of DNA:
    • Gender-based X DNA from their mothers;
    • Gender-based X or Y DNA from their fathers;
    • Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) soley from their mothers; and
    • Roughly 3700 centimorgans of Autosomal DNA from their mothers and roughly 3700 centimorgans of Autosomal DNA from their fathers.
      • Autosomal DNA is DNA inherited from ancestors. Hardly ever is any DNA inherited from 8 generations before the child. Ancestral autosomal DNA fades over generations.
    • If, as affirmed in the Doctrine of Jesus' incarnation, he had human maternal ancestry and divine paternal ancestry, then either Jesus inherited no more than 23 chromosomes--all from his mother--and no Y-chromosome, and only roughly 3700 centimorgans of DNA, obliging God to manufacture some on the spot at conception or ???
    Divinely-created-on-the-spot "paternal DNA" stretches some folks' imagination.
     
    #11 Terry Sampson, May 19, 2020
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  12. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    Presumably the same way that god could inject a child into a virgin woman, god could also create another set of chromosomes...but this is a bit off-topic. :)
     
  13. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    Uhhh, excuse me? The earliest Christians were Jews. So are you saying that the Jews of the Second Temple and, thereafter, had no clue what the Shekhina was or what they were talking about?
    The only reason I am somewhat aquainted with the concept is that I've encountered the concept in my reading. But I can easily imagine hanging around some early Hebrew Christians and hearing stories.
     
  14. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    It's commonly accepted by Jews for many millennia now that there was no Shechinah, no Divine Presence in Judea/Israel from the time of the destruction of the First Temple and subsequently the Babylonian Exile.
    What that concept means is: a. Jews at the time knew (and know to this day) what factors must necessarily be fulfilled for having the Presence dwell among them. b. Had no idea what having the Presence actually felt like. They knew that during the First Temple, for example, there were various special daily miracles that occurred, due to the Presence but that there were no such miracles in the Second Temple. Those miracles were a sign of the Presence. But what did day-to-day life with the Presence feel like? That, no one knows (to my knowledge).

    Edit: I guess, per this, it may be argued that early Christians thought that Presence equals abundance of miracles, hence belief in Jesus?
     
    #14 Harel13, May 19, 2020
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  15. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    I suppose that could be argued by somebody, but certainly not by me. Any "miracles" attributed to Jesus would, I suspect, have attracted attention to him, but belief in him strong enough to die for? Maybe, maybe not. A resurrection would do it for me, though.

    Really? That's interesting, and a pity, I think. Maybe I've read one too many passages by the Hasidim.
     
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  16. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    A tube? I've never thought of God and holyness tubes passing divine energy from outside the world into this world. Those tubes, if they existed, would have to do some serious dodging to weave in and out between planets and asteroids and such wouldn't they?
     
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  17. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    That addresses my next question: what's the difference between Jesus and any other miracle-worker?
    How come?
    Definitely. The reason, by the way, is that the majority of Israel weren't in the land of Israel during the Second Temple Era but chose to remain in exile.

    This brings me back to one of my earlier questions: do you differentiate between nevuah, that is, a high-level connection with God and the shechinah? Because those aren't the same. Evidence of this can be seen in that there are two different reasons as to why there wasn't nevuah and why there wasn't shechinah in the Second Temple era.
     
  18. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    It's a Jewish concept called "tzinorot" which can be translated as tubes or pipes that start from the heavens and come down to earth. Interpret that how you want.
     
  19. Terry Sampson

    Terry Sampson Well-Known Member

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    "Sudden need"?
    When it comes to God and what He decides to do and not do, I'm hesitant to think of him having "sudden needs".
    A decision to do something at a certain point in time and space? Yeah, I buy that. A little nudge here, a big nudge there, here a bigger nudge, there a smaller nudge. And eventually, I suspect, what He wants gets nudged into place.

    Why a living being? He got tired of bushes that don't move, maybe?
     
  20. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    But there was only one bush, over a millennia prior. Were there other vessels in-between? Were there vessels before the bush? Will there be more vessels?
     
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