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Featured Resurrection of Christ - What's the evidence for and against a literal resurrection

Discussion in 'Scriptural Debates' started by adrian009, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. Rough Beast Sloucher

    Rough Beast Sloucher Well-Known Member
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    Despite popular mythology, the core elements of the New Testament, including the Gospels and the letters of Paul, were already widely known and used, by the early 2nd century. What was established in the 4th century was what was to become the official canonical set of works to include. But none of those can be reasonably dated to any later than the early 2nd century.

    Concerning matters like these,I believe what I find convincing after extensive research into the subject. What about you? Research much?
     
  2. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    Thanks for posting and welcome to RF. Its always good to have our Jewish brothers and sisters joins us. I agree that Jesus was not literally resurrected and thanks for providing supporting verses from the Tanakh.

    I have a couple of questions for you that you may or may not be comfortable answering.

    (1) What do Jews believe about a soul and afterlife? I ask this as I believe the resurrection narrative in part brings a new understanding to these concepts.

    (2) In your personal view, are there any verses in the Tanakh that support the Christian belief that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah?
     
  3. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    Then why did you make this comment?

    Are you saying that the resurrection is irrelevant to a Christian interpretation of the fulfillment of prophecies about the "rod out of the stem of Jesse"? Like I said earlier, read at face value, in the context of scripture and history (whether truth or tradition), Isaiah 11 was obviously talking about events connected with the return of the Jews after the Babylonian exile - its quite easy to interpret the symbolism of the harmony between the figurative animals in terms of the passage itself - peace between Judah and Ephraim (i.e. the tribes that were previously at enmity) and between a restored Israel and their erstwhile oppressors - Assyria, Elam, Shinar etc. The "rod out of the stem of Jesse" was, of course, Zerubbabel - a descendant (according to OT tradition) of David - who acted as Governor of Judah under the sovereignty of the King of Persia. There is nothing left to be "fulfilled" in Isaiah 11 after about 500 BC. Of course that relatively peaceful era did not last long...

    ...but there is nothing in Isaiah 11 to even suggest that the writer imagined that it would be either global - indeed he even mentions that wars with other nations (the Philistines, Edom and Moab) would continue even in the era of "peace" he just described symbolically - or permanent. Neither is there any suggestion that peace would be lost and then partially re-established 500 years later and then lost again and then partially re-established another 1800 years on and then, eventually globalized at some unspecified date in the future of the Baha'i dispensation. None of that is even hinted at - it is not in the text, nor in the context nor in any sensible reading of history...

    ...However, what did happen 500 years later, was the appearance of the Christ - in one sense you might say he was a "resurrection" of Zerubbabel - the heir to the Davidic throne - no question that this is a Christian doctrine (based on a very tenuous and unconvincing genealogy). But of course he inconveniently died before taking the throne. It was absolutely necessary for him to be literally resurrected - a dead King was no use at all. That is the Christian interpretation and Isaiah 11 is brought to bear on that - but there is still nothing that points any further ahead in time than the second temple era - albeit this time the end of that era as opposed to the beginning. This time, the symbolism puts the "greater" "rod out of the stem of Jesse" at the helm of a Kingdom that would bring peace in men's hearts and have lion-like and lamb-like Christians lying down side by side in Christian harmony. That too didn't last too long...

    ...so now Baha'ism invents a third fulfillment with a new "rod out of the stem of Jesse" (based on an even more tenuous and far less convincing genealogy) - "the Ancient Beauty ruleth upon the Throne of David" (Proclamation of Baha'u'llah, p.89)...

    ...but if Jesus really was resurrected and really did ascend to occupy the real throne of David in the Heavenly Jerusalem - well that's just a tad inconvenient - central to the Christian scriptural tradition or not, it simply has to go - to make room for another divinely appointed royal bottom to park itself thereon...

    That is what Isaiah 11, and the "rod out of the stem of Jesse" and the prophesies that relate thereto have to do with whether the resurrection was literal or not - in the scriptural tradition - historical reality is a different matter altogether and has very little to do with Judaism, Christianity or Baha'ism.
     
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  4. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    John 1:1, John 1:3, and John 1:14 are often used to justify the belief that Jesus is physically God incarnate?

    However there are verses that suggest this can not possibly be true:

    1 John 4:12
    "No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us."

    Mark 13:32
    But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

    1 KIng 8:27
    But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

    Malachi 3:6
    For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

    Scripture seems to imply that Jesus can not possibly be God incarnate.

    Perhaps it would be better to think of Jesus as being a perfect image or reflection of Gods' divine attributes?

    Colossians 1:15 in regards to Jesus
    "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature"

    John 5:19
    Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

    John 8:28
    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

    So in this manner Moses also speaks as God

    Deuteronomy 29:2-6

    So Moses is to the Jews what Jesus has become to the Christians. Although the language is different Moses was the salvation for the Hebrew people, both physically and spiritually.

    The word logos (Greek for word) as used in John 1:1-3 is most likely used in a similar manner to Philos a Hellenized Jew who lived before Christ.

    Philo - Wikipedia

    Philo's use of the word Logos is more like a mediator between God and man, rather than God Himself.

    Philo - Wikipedia
     
  5. Rough Beast Sloucher

    Rough Beast Sloucher Well-Known Member
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    Included in his list of what he considered minimal Jewish beliefs, RamBam (Maimonides) listed belief that the dead will be resurrected,
    Judaism 101: What Do Jews Believe? This was a tenet of Pharisaic beliefs at the time of Jesus and remains so ad is mentioned in the Gospels inn that context. The details of what that entailed differed among commentators. RESURRECTION - JewishEncyclopedia.com

    2 Samuel 12:23 But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.

    I do not see this as ruling out a future resurrection. It seems to me to be only David's explanation of why he stopped fasting when the child died. While the child still lived the fasting might have helped convince God to let the child live. But the child being dead despite all that David did or could do, there was no longer a reason to fast. David could not save the child and of course it was not withing his power to bring the child back from the dead. But this does not mean that God will not resurrect anyone in the future.
     
  6. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    Other than the gospels and the letters of the apostles we don't have too much to go on from external sources:

    Josephus - Wikipedia

    Tacitus - Wikipedia

    If the dramatic events described in the gospels, particularly Matthew 27:51-54 really happened, historians seem to have missed it.

    You sound uncomfortable considering anything other than the view that the authors of the gospels (John and Matthew at least) were eye witnesses to the events they were witnessing. I get it. It doesn't really matter too much to me whether they were or weren't. I accept the gospels as Divinely inspired regardless. The author to John is anonymous and although there are arguments that the author was the apostle John there are reasonable arguments to the contrary which I have presented and you have ignored.

    1. Background to the Study of John

    I think it is unlikely that the author of Matthew wrote versions in both Greek and Hebrew, and the earliest reference to gospel of Matthew is from Papias who refers to a Hebrew, not Greek text. Eusebius then quotes Papias. However the gospel of Matthew is written in Greek, not Hebrew, so the whole argument about Matthew being the author based on Papias essentially collapses.

    'The Gospel of Matthew is anonymous: the author is not named within the text, and the superscription "according to Matthew" was added some time in the 2nd century. The tradition that the author was Matthew the Apostle begins with Papias of Hierapolis (c. AD 100–140), an early bishop and Apostolic Father, who is cited by the Church historian Eusebius (AD 260–340), as follows: "Matthew collected the oracles [logia: sayings of or about Jesus] in the Hebrew language [Hebraïdi dialektōi], and each one interpreted [hērmēneusen—perhaps 'translated'] them as best he could." On the surface this could imply that Matthew's gospel itself was written in Hebrew or Aramaic by the apostle Matthew and later translated into Greek, but nowhere does the author claim to have been an eyewitness to events, and Matthew's Greek "reveals none of the telltale marks of a translation." Scholars have put forward several theories to explain Papias: perhaps Matthew wrote two gospels, one, now lost, in Hebrew, the other the surviving Greek version; or perhaps the logia were a collection of sayings rather than the gospel; or by dialektōi Papias may have meant that Matthew wrote in the Jewish style rather than in the Hebrew language.The consensus is that Papias does not describe the Gospel of Matthew as we know it, and it is generally accepted that Matthew was written in Greek, not in Aramaic or Hebrew.'

    Gospel of Matthew - Wikipedia
     
  7. columbus

    columbus yawn <ignore> yawn

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    Like The Lord of the Rings are widely known and used in the 20th century?
    Tom
     
  8. Rough Beast Sloucher

    Rough Beast Sloucher Well-Known Member
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    Um ... what?
     
  9. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    I'm good with an Omnipotent, All-Powerful God. But just because God can do something, doesn't mean to say that He will.

    You still haven't explained your beliefs about heaven and hell? If heaven is up in the physical heavens then you have a problem with the ascension of Christ. If heaven isn't up in the physical heavens you have an even bigger problem.
     
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  10. Maranguape

    Maranguape New Member

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    Regarding the soul and afterlife, I am not going to give you the opinions of other Jews but what the Tanach, especially Torah says about this question of yours. If you read Genesis 2:7, when HaShem formed man from the dust of the earth, He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul. To become is to be, not to have. Therefore, we are souls; we don't have souls. At death, when the body goes back to the dust, the breath of life goes back to HaShem Who gave it to man. (Ecclesiastes 7:20) So, what we call soul is only the combination of the breath of life within the body. To complete the answer to your first question, if you read Psalm 49:12,20 as man is laid in Sheol which is the grave, the dead one remains in the eternal home of the dead. Hence, there is no afterlife.

    Now, as your second question is concerned, the answer is negative; there is nothing in the Tanakh that supports the Christian belief that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah. "IS" is not the right time to use when talking about Jesus because he has been dead for over 2000 years by now. On the other hand, Jesus could not have been the Messiah as an individual but as part of the People. The individual is born, lives his span of life and dies. Are we supposed to expect a new Messiah in every generation? Obviously not! The Messiah is not supposed to die but to remain as a People before the Lord forever and, as an individual, it is impossible. Then if you read Habakkuk 3:13, "The Lord goes forth to save His People, to save His Anointed One." That's what Messiah is, the Anointed One of the Lord aka Israel, the Son of God if you read Exodus 4:22,23.
     
  11. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    I'm beginning to suspect this is all a bit geographical - would it have been easier for you swallow if Christ had ascended down to heaven on a long white cloud? ;)
     
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  12. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    Its pleasing to read a thoughtful assessment of Christian theology in the light of history. I like the appreciation of how the message of Christ would have been adapted to a Greco-Roman audience.

    I had in mind the widespread death and carnage that spread across Europe as a result of the reformation, but must admit I had my timeframes a little muddled. Thanks for clarifying that.

    Giordana Bruno appears to have been too extreme to really leave a major mark in history, unlike Erasmus and Luther. The schism of Christianity leaving the body of Christ irrepairably broken with opposing theologies, not to mention the endless fragmentation amonsgt the Protestants, has left it struggling to provide effective remedies for the divisions that afflict humanity.

    I feel you present a much more satisfying and meaningful narrative, than proclaimed by the Christian evangelists. Despite being adherents of two different Faiths. I don't see we are too far from each other in regards thinking about the resurrection of Christ.
     
    #512 adrian009, Jan 31, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
  13. kaat

    kaat Storm Animal

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    I certainly respect that.
     
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  14. Neb

    Neb Active Member

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    ”Was” is the right word but now he admitted he’s between agnosticism and atheism.


    I gave you the evidence written in the bible and if you believe the bible is the inerrant word of God then why asked this question: “Resurrection of Christ - What's the evidence for and against a literal resurrection?”

    Like agnosticism/atheism, you brought science in as your argument that it is impossible for a literal resurrection and at the same time you are saying that
    There is no logic to what you are saying. You cannot be both TRUE and FALSE at the same time. You are contradicting yourself. If one is saying s/he went to the dentist yesterday then, later on, said s/he didn’t go the dentist yesterday then we can sense there is a contradiction on both statements, right? The truth is not self-contradictory the same as the inerrant, i.e., incapable of being wrong, the word God.
     
  15. Neb

    Neb Active Member

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    have they or anyone seen the original?
     
  16. Neb

    Neb Active Member

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    You are mixing two beliefs in one and that’s the reason why you are so confused. There is no truth in it because of self-contradiction, it’s logic. People think there were many roads to the truth so they mix one belief with another. Mixing Christianity with paganism, with Buddhism, with Taoism, with Mysticism, with your belief, and all them ISM, along with their own traditions and superstitions is what you called pluralism. It’s like hedging your bets on the unknown while the True Identity of Christianity, or by itself and not adhering to any beliefs, was considered narrow-minded by these people, so they want to disprove or challenge the apostles’ gospels so they could prove that their hybridized belief is the true religion. If one says s/he is a Christian but bow or worship or adhere to other things, other than God, then one might think all Christians are like this.
     
  17. columbus

    columbus yawn <ignore> yawn

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    Getting my mother inlaw to stay on her diabetes diet is like pulling teeth! Now I have to go to the dentist nearly every day!
    Tom
     
  18. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    The Jews consider Isaiah 11 Messianic.

    Messiah in Judaism - Wikipedia

    Of course from humanist perspective that denies the existence of God and prophets, Isaiah would have been written after the event when your understanding of the text and history would already have been fulfilled. Why am I not surprised by this line of argument?

    I suppose these verses talk about the temporal peace of Hezekiah's reign?

    For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
    Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

    Isaiah 9:6-7
     
  19. RabbiO

    RabbiO הרב יונה בן זכריה

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    I suppose if I were to say your thoughts and your words are familiar, you would try to convince me that we haven't danced before.
     
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  20. adrian009

    adrian009 Veteran Member
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    That's true. He was a fundamentalist Christian, then became a liberal Christian for 15 years and now identifies his belief as agnostic/atheism

    Your 'evidence' is interpreting NT texts literally. That is why there are so many YECs in denial about science that clearly refutes a literal interpretation of the first nine chapters of genesis. Are you one of them?

    Science is entirely relevant here, because we have a fundamental contradiction between religious belief and science. In my religion if science absolutely disapproves what religion teaches, then we go with the science. In your religion, if science contradicts and disproves your belief, you accuse science as being hijacked by atheists!

    Science and religion are concerned with truth but have different approaches and methods. As truth is one, and we have a shared reality there must be harmony between religion and science. We don't live in parallel universes.

    For me there is no contradiction. I read the verses concerning Christ's resurrection as allegorical and symbolic, just as I do with the opening verses of genesis. If I read such verses literally then there would be a contradiction.

    No, but that's not the point. With the gospels we have a reliable testimony as to the Life and Teachings of Christ. Muslims reject this. Baha'is don't.

    I am very clear about what I believe and why. The confusion rest with you. I suspect like many Christian fundamentalists, you struggle with worldviews of Faith adherents that you are not familiar with. What you have written here simply exemplifies a common false premise about the Baha'i Faith. It is not a hybrid religion. It is theologically distinct independent religion based on the Teachings of Baha'u'llah. Just as Islam is based on Muhammad, Christianity based on Christ, Judaism on Moses, and Buddhism the Buddha, the Baha'i Faith is based on the Teachings of Baha'u'llah.
     
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