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Which prophecies did Jesus fulfill as to be the Messiah?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Me Myself, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. nazz

    nazz Doubting Thomas

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    I was just wanting to make sure I knew what you meant. I'm not sure why that is a problem, but okay. Disappointing as I was immensely enjoying the discussion.

    I did not phrase what I said correctly. I meant an Orthodox Jew will not eat food prepared in an un-kashered kitchen.
     
  2. Shermana

    Shermana Heretic

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    I believe it's not by Paul in the first place.

    http://www.radikalkritik.de/DID PAUL WRITE GALATIANS.pdf

    The mainstream standard argument that it's the "Most Pauline" is a prime example of circular reasoning.
     
  3. nazz

    nazz Doubting Thomas

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    There is none but that is what Josephus reported.
     
    #483 nazz, Nov 24, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
  4. Shermana

    Shermana Heretic

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    Well anyways, as we can see from the Apostolical constitutions, it seems that the idea that the proto-orthodox were strongly anti-Law may be only what the anti-Judaizers WANTED you to think....so much that they'd resort to redacting the documents to say otherwise.
     
    #484 Shermana, Nov 24, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
  5. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    It's not that you said anything wrong, but that we're operating on some very different basic premises, and I don't honestly believe anything good could come out of taking any further down the road. I see the "apostolic church" as being the basic institution of Peter and the others, whereas other groups split off, with the Ebionites being likely the first to do so.

    Also, I don't put much stock in much of what is attributed to the Ebionites since there's too little to go on. IOW, I can't go along with a constant doubting of the intent and authorship of the "N.T.", which I do believe is fair game, but then accept writings and beliefs about the Ebionites as if they were slam-dunk facts. I've read just about anything and everything on the 2nd century Jerusalem church and the "heretical churches", and what I perceive is that the church is a work in progress that pretty much gradually walked away from the Law-- or at least the letter of the Law-- and that this started quite early while the apostles were still alive and kicking.

    Secondly, a discussion on this subject is of only minor importance to me since I'm neither Christian nor theistic, so I tend not to like to invest a lot of time on this subject (I have partial paralysis in my left hand due to a neck injury sustained about 8 years ago, so a note of this length will take about 15-20 minutes to write at a minimum).

    Shalom
     
  6. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    Good thoughts that I will keep in mind. Perhaps it is as you say.
     
  7. nazz

    nazz Doubting Thomas

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    The term "apostolic church" kind of just threw me. I don't think the Ebionites "split off" but rather were one group which remained for some time after its dissolution. Not the only such group as the Nazoreans were another, more orthodox group (as relates to the orthodoxy of the other Christian communities). But both terms, Nazorean and Ebionite, were also applied to members of the original church. In fact what is often translated as "Jesus of Nazareth" in the NT actually reads "Jesus the Nazorean" in the Greek. Even Paul was accused as being "a ringleader of the sect of the Nazoreans" (Acts 24:5). At this point it is really unclear when exactly those terms were used as an exclusive designation for particular separate groups.

    That's true as all we really know about them is what their detractors had to say about them and we can't expect them to be unbiased. There is something called the Gospel of the Ebionites, that scholars believe express their thoughts, but it exists only in quotations from Epiphanius, a church heresiologist, writing in the 4th century.

    Gospel of the Ebionites

    Oh, I don't.

    Ah, sorry to hear that.
     
  8. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    At least some scholars believe that "... the Nazorean" part may have been the result of a midrash that somewhere along the line was injected into the text, which isn't really that unusual. First of all, the town of Nazareth didn't exist as "Nazareth" back during Jesus' time, and then there's no indication that Jesus was a nazir.

    Not to belabor the point, but even though both you and I have some suspicions about Paul, I do believe that what he (or whomever) writes only makes sense if there was originally only "one body", which is a recurrent theme in the epistles, and not just with Paul. Also, James the Just is labeled as a bishop of the Jerusalem church by Clement and some others, which was very much a part of that "one body".

    This leads me to believe that James, even though claimed by the Ebionites, either really never left the "one body" to actually become an Ebionite or that he may have left for a short period of time only to return. The fact that we have no documentation from him or the Ebionites to confirm that he was actually with them tends to lead me in the direction that he probably never left the "one body". Obviously, I'm not gonna bet my house on this, but I have to lean in that direction.

    Thanks, but my defective neck and left hand unfortunately also matches my defective head.

    Shalom
     
  9. nazz

    nazz Doubting Thomas

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    Yes, "Nazorean" does not mean an inhabitant of Nazareth nor does it have any connection with the Nazirites. It's not from the same Hebrew root NZR but from NTSR. That's why Christians are called in Hebrew ha-Notsrim. But since Greek had no letter like the Hebrew tsade they simply used the zeta for both in transliteration. Scholars have been puzzled by Matthew's stated connection with Jesus being called a Nazorean and an unidentified prophecy in the Tanakh. But it may be connected to Isaiah's prophecy about a branch (netzer) arising from the root of Jesse.

    Yes, I agree there was "one body" in theory. That was certainly the goal. But that one body could not hold together due to differences over the Law between the Jewish and Gentile believers.

    I don't think he left to become an Ebionite either. As I said that term existed as a general term for the early Christians (due to their general poverty) but it was only much later, probably long after the death of James, that it began being used in a sectarian way. But I think it is pretty well established that James, like the later Ebionites, believed in full Torah observance. The only possible difference being that the Ebionites seemed to have rejected the animal sacrificial system and we don't know for sure how James viewed that. But there are reports of him being a vegetarian.

    :D

    I don't think we are so far off in our views. We both recognize the fact that at some point the early Christian church rejected the idea that Christians (whether Jew or Gentile) needed to observe the Torah (other than general moral commandments repeated in the NT) and you think that happened gradually across the board and was primarily influenced by Jesus' own relaxed view of the Law and his emphasis on its ethical rather than ritual demands (if I am properly understanding your view--if not please correct me). I don't deny that was a factor but I think the deciding factor was the inability of "one body" to continue to exist with two sets of competing rules and this caused a split leading the one body to become two (actually three if you count the Gnostic faction).

    I think history is more on my side. This split did not occur until at least the beginning of the second century. James was long dead by that time as were probably most if not all of the other apostles. There is no historical indication that James or any other apostle caved into Gentile pressure to abandon Torah (and one has to wonder why they were so "zealous of the Law" if Jesus wasn't?) But after James and the others died and the influence of the Jerusalem church waned the power center of the church shifted to Gentile territory. What remained were small groups of Torah observant Jewish Christians living in the Trans-Jordan area. The now Gentile dominated church for a while tolerated their views but eventually declared them to be heretical. Increasingly marginalized from the mainstream church they eventually just died out.
     
    #489 nazz, Nov 25, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013
  10. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Interesting hypothesis, and I hadn't run across that before.

    Totally agree as I've posted this many times before on different threads.

    Possibly, but I'm not sure.

    But did James remain as such, and I'm not sure he did. I get the impression he might have eventually come around based on the idea that the dispute between he and Paul is covered in the scriptures, leading me to believe that James probably relented, albeit reluctantly, especially since he was a leader in the early church. If he hadn't, I can't see whereas he could have maintained that position. IOW, he might have "taken one for the team".


    Yes-- I just can't see these changes happening unless Jesus somehow opened that door.

    Totally agree, and it's just this point that makes me think that it's possible James eventually came around to that understanding as well.

    Only in your dreams. :p

    I don't know, and I'll leave it at that.

    Agreed. And I also believe that it's likely the decimation of Israel by the Romans helped that along as well.
     
  11. nazz

    nazz Doubting Thomas

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    I'm not either and neither are scholars. As you mentioned we have so little information on the Ebionites and what we have is questionable. From the information we do have it seems they were a group of Torah observant Jewish Christians who rejected animal sacrifice, were vegetarian, and also considered Jesus to be the incarnation not of God but of the archangel Michael. They believed he was only adopted as the son of God when he was baptized. They may have also rejected the virgin birth doctrine.

    Now if this is true then in what ways would they have differed from the Torah observant Jews dominating the Jerusalem church? Well Acts reports that even Paul offered sacrifices in the Temple. Paul does report that some Christians practiced vegetarianism (albeit for a different reason). Paul does consider Jesus to be the son of God but he also states that he was declared to be so after his resurrection. Paul never mentions a virgin birth but rather indicates that Jesus was naturally born in the same verse he mentions Jesus being raised to this exalted status:

    ...concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. [Rom. 1:3-4]

    It seems to me that there was no set orthodoxy in the early days of the church so it seems doubtful any group would feel the need to separate out from the rest in a heterodox fashion.

    And I'm not seeing any good reason why he would have. As I said before scholars think the account in Acts is a whitewash and that James and Paul not only did not see eye to eye on this issue but didn't even reach a compromise. I am more inclined to accept Paul's testimony about this in his own letters as they were written much earlier than Acts and it does not seem reasonable that Paul should invent a controversy that did not exist. Paul goes so far as questioning the authority of Peter, James, and John as "so called pillars" of the church and even suggests they castrate themselves if they feel so strongly about circumcision! [Galatians 5:12] In the verse immediately before that one Paul asks...

    And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution?


    ...indicating that there are those in the church doing so and he further identifies those as men who "came from James".

    Even if James did reluctantly agree to the compromise of the Jerusalem Decree he may have had hopes of getting more out the bargain later. IOW, that the Gentiles being instructed to observe Noachide law would come to adopt more of the Torah as they went along. This is hinted at in the last sentence ascribed to James in Acts when proclaiming the decree:

    “Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”
     
  12. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    I do think there was definitely some orthodoxy, but that it appears that they're even debating some basic Laws, such as circumcision and keeping kosher, tells me that Jesus wasn't entirely clear to them in regards to the Law, and that it's likely that the "law of love" teaching from Jesus left things in a bit of a limbo. In Judaism historically, even though we may debate the details, things as basic as to whether to be circumcised or keep kosher is well beyond the pale, and yet we see them arguing over even these basics.

    But these scholars read the exact same passages you and I do and, in reality, they know no more than either of us on this matter. OTOH, I interpret all of scripture as allegory-- nothing more and nothing less. To me, our discussion here is merely academic, but it is interesting or I'd have left long ago. And I do believe you bring up some interesting points, at least a couple of which I had not run across before, so thanks.

    But we don't know the entire context of this, so I do believe we must be careful with reading too much into it. In English, it comes off as a bit of an insult, but did Paul really mean it that way? Is the translation proper? Is it just a reflection of Paul's ego? I don't know, but I see these, and probably there are more, as being possibilities. For me, I've very reluctant to take a verse that stands by itself with little to support it from other verses and just accepting it literally.

    Possibly. Or James may have relented on the circumcision of converts part, which would change the direction of the church over time, and yet those already Jewish could still observe their practice, which one can even pick up from some of Paul's statements. Sort of the best of both worlds kind of compromise. And it's quite possibly that it's in this arena where Paul and James might have kissed and made up.
     
  13. nazz

    nazz Doubting Thomas

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    But again they are only arguing over whether or not Gentiles needed to observe these things. IOW, whether or not Gentiles needed to first become Jews before they became Christians. We know this debate also existed among the Pharisees with the school of Shammai saying a Gentile could only merit the World to Come if they became fully observant Jews and the house of Hillel saying they need only keep the Noachide laws, with Hillel's view becoming the normative view of Judaism. At that point in time no one, not even Paul, was arguing that Jewish Christians need not keep the Torah. There was disagreement over whether Jewish Christians could eat with their Gentile brethren but that concern doesn't come from anything in the written Torah that I can see.

    Whether they do or not I certainly don't automatically accept everything they say as gospel. But what they say on this issue makes somewhat sense to me. It's an embarrassment to the church if the early leaders were not in agreement so smoothing that over would make sense. Plus the very fact that Acts was written well after all these events take place makes it a less reliable source.

    I don't accept the Bible as undisputed history but I do think there is a historical basis for what we are discussing.

    There is no question from the Greek that he said they "seemed to be pillars" and I think it's clear in saying that he does not necessarily recognize them to be so. I really should have referenced an earlier verse to make this clear:

    But from those who seemed to be something—whatever they were, it makes no difference to me; God shows personal favoritism to no man—for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me. [Gal 2:6]

    And considering the hostility he displays toward them later in the letter it does not seem he thought much of them. If anything he's being overly polite in the above.

    If James did relent it is not recorded anywhere that he did except perhaps as a temporary measure (if Acts is to be accepted as factual).

    I would not go that far! ;)
     
  14. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    But you're missing the point. When one converts into a Jewish group, any Jewish group, one falls under the Law-- all of it. The idea that gentiles would be allowed into a Jewish group without being under the Covenant and the Law has no precedence. If they chose to remain separate, as the "God-fearers" did, that was fine and dandy, but they are not Jews inside a Jewish branch. The fact that they allowed gentiles in without full conversion should tell one something.

    Then the gospels have less reliability than Paul's letters since they were written by and large later. And since all of them are quite subjective, there really isn't much room for any of it being reliable.

    But which part is history and which is imagination and/or subjective fabrication, which is why I throw up my hands and just treat it all as allegory. Instead, I just deal with the basic teachings and see if any are applicable to my life. As far as history is concerned, whatever happened, happened; and speculation is just that-- speculation.


    I do believe you're taking this out of context. Remember Paul's past, and imagine trying to put trust in a man that was persecuting your group earlier. Doncha think you're going to have some reservations? And doncha think you're gonna have some "issues" on top of that since Paul only met Jesus in a "vision", whereas the twelve knew Jesus personally? Why should you believe him would logically be a concern, especially when he keeps asking for donations, right?

    So, what I believe Paul is saying is that he is authentic. BTW, if Peter and the others were hostile, or Paul was hostile to them, then why would they give Paul even the time of day? And why is it that the early church (still 1st century) honored his letters even more than the gospels at first? And one simply cannot say there were no Jews left or that there were none in any leadership positions.

    No matter how one might look at it, as Joseph Campbell was fond of saying, "The myth became the reality".
     
  15. FranklinMichaelV.3

    FranklinMichaelV.3 Well-Known Member

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    It seemed that the least James and Paul never really got along. John didn't seem to be active in the early church, and Peter ends up looking like a guy trying to hold the two together.

    Paul had to swear that he had done nothing against the law (according to Acts), but whether that actually solved anything...who knows.
     
  16. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    I do think it's likely that Paul and James at least at first had different visions as far as which way the church should go, but the fact that this is being discussed at all in Luke encourages me to lean in the direction that this got resolved. Otherwise, why would Luke even mention it? If this issue had persisted, then why is it we see nothing in any text whereas James denounces Paul? Why is it that Paul's letters get wide circulation amongst the various communities? It just doesn't add up that this animosity continued.

    It's hard to say much about John's role one way or another, but I do tend to think that you're quite possibly correct about Peter, who's a guy I really feel sorry for at times as I think he might have been in over his head. The irony is that I really do believe that Paul is pretty much the intellectual within the early church, and he appears to be able to sell ice to Eskimos-- oops, I mean Inuit.
     
  17. FranklinMichaelV.3

    FranklinMichaelV.3 Well-Known Member

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    To take a secondary/tertiary viewpoint, the early Gospels can be looked at as Propaganda. By the time of Luke's estimated writing, the church in Jerusalem had already lost James as its leader, the temple in Jerusalem had been destroyed, and the Roman Empire had begun it's persecutions. It was a trying time for Christians, who was to be followed the viewpoints of Paul, or should they follow the trends set down by the Church of Jerusalem? But there was no longer any temple, what did this mean for the Jews who had been part of the Church of Jerusalem, they were suddenly torn from their land and sent away, there was not a stable community for the remainders to flourish. Obviously Paul's viewpoints won out, but you don't just toss aside the Disciple who was Jesus's brother, so even if he had a falling out with Paul, that was never reconciled, it is not something that would have ever made the Gospels. James was a leader, you don't tear down a pillar like that if you can help it. This is of course, just a theory.
     
    #497 FranklinMichaelV.3, Nov 25, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013
  18. Epic Beard Man

    Epic Beard Man Bearded Philosopher

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    I'm no scholar, but I think according to Jews the question is not to "which" prophecy Jesus fulfilled, I believe according to Judaism the Messiah would have to fulfill all the prophecies. To my understanding of Judaic theology, Jesus didn't usher in the era of world peace. I believe that world peace would be acheived during Jesus' lifetime.
     
  19. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Totally agree.

    I'm quite sure this happened as well.

    Obviously, as I stated previously, I'm far from convinced that Paul was tearing James or the others down but, instead, building himself up, which is understandable when we consider the circumstances. Am I positive of this? Of course not, but this is how I connect the dots-- correctly or incorrectly.

    Clement stated later that James was very much a leader within the church, and it very much appears that he stays even though Paul convinced the others to change. Now, did James change his mind? I don't know because it's always possible he may have stayed while still disagreeing with Paul. How many organizations have you and I belonged to whereas we may not always agree with some of the decisions that were made by the leaders?
     
  20. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Let me supply a list that our sages have long felt were messianic in nature:

    The Sanhedrin will be re-established (Isaiah 1:26)

    Once he is King, leaders of other nations will look to him for guidance (Isaiah 2:4)

    The whole world will worship the One God of Israel (Isaiah 2:17)

    He will be descended from King David (Isaiah 11:1) via King Solomon (1 Chron. 22:8–10)

    The Moshiach will be a man of this world, an observant Jew with "fear of God" (Isaiah 11:2)

    Evil and tyranny will not be able to stand before his leadership (Isaiah 11:4)

    Knowledge of God will fill the world (Isaiah 11:9)

    He will include and attract people from all cultures and nations (Isaiah 11:10)

    All Israelites will be returned to their homeland (Isaiah 11:12)

    Death will be swallowed up forever (Isaiah 25:8)

    There will be no more hunger or illness, and death will cease (Isaiah 25:8)

    All of the dead will rise again (Isaiah 26:19)

    The Jewish people will experience eternal joy and gladness (Isaiah 51:11)

    He will be a messenger of peace (Isaiah 52:7)

    Nations will recognize the wrongs they did Israel (Isaiah 52:13–53:5)

    For My House (the Temple in Jerusalem) shall be called a house of prayer for all nations (Isaiah 56:3–7)

    The peoples of the world will turn to the Jews for spiritual guidance (Zechariah 8:23)

    The ruined cities of Israel will be restored (Ezekiel 16:55)

    Weapons of war will be destroyed (Ezekiel 39:9)

    The Temple will be rebuilt (Ezekiel 40) resuming many of the suspended mitzvoth

    He will then perfect the entire world to serve God together (Zephaniah 3:9)

    Jews will know the Torah without Study (Jeremiah 31:33)

    He will give you all the desires of your heart (Psalms 37:4)

    He will take the barren land and make it abundant and fruitful (Isaiah 51:3, Amos 9:13–15, Ezekiel 36:29–30, Isaiah 11:6–9)
     
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