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Why did Jesus speak in parables?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Surrealgurl, Aug 13, 2004.

  1. Lightkeeper

    Lightkeeper Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't the parables be speaking to the same thing us that songs and poetry speak to? Some things resonate better and are experienced more deeply when not intellectualized.
     
  2. Surrealgurl

    Surrealgurl Member

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    But Jesus himself said that he used parables to intentionally disguise his messages in order to deceive some people so they would not be saved. That's the part of it that I don't like.
     
  3. Lightkeeper

    Lightkeeper Well-Known Member

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    Mark is writing from the standpoint of a later experience of the Church. He had experienced that many did not understand the mystery of the Kingdom of God. Jesus was referring to the people who didn't have faith. The faithless wouldn't understand. My personal belief is that Jesus taught that the Divine, the Kingdom of God is within us and taught how to find it. it was true then and it is true now that many people don't understand this. Not being saved would refer to not finding the Christ within and being reborn within. The main way he taught to find it within was to pull back your projections. Some ask why didn't he come right out and say it. He may have.
     
  4. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    Where did he say that?
     
  5. Surrealgurl

    Surrealgurl Member

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    Ceridwen018, I posted this already but I'll post it again...

    Mark 4:10-12
    But, when he was in private...the twelve asked him the meaning of the parable. And he said, "You are permitted to know the secrets of the kingdom of God. But to those outside, these things are said in parables, so that they may see but not perceive, and may hear but not understand. Otherwise, they would be converted, and their sins would be forgiven"

    Lightkeeper, it doesn't seem that way to me. It's more like Jesus was saying, "Only you are permitted to know, they are not. Because if they did know, then they would become saved and their sins would be forgiven." Like he was choosing who he wanted to give the message to.

    It was like HE DIDN'T WANT THEM to understand, not the other way around. He said they're NOT PERMITTED to know.
     
  6. Lightkeeper

    Lightkeeper Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe that. I think the authors sometimes didn't get it either. He could have disguised his message from someone who could do him harm. The bottom line is that it works to take the whole thing inwardly.
     
  7. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    God gives everyone the chance to accept the Gospel, but they must accept it at a speed that they will be able to live up to. No one said they would stay ignorant. You're making assumptions again. They are protected in their ignorance as to the subject being expounded upon in parable form. Their understanding in that instance would only serve to condemn them, for they would not have the capacity to live up to the doctrine being taught. You can't tell a devout orthodox Jew to just up and forget the law of Moses and love his enemies and expect him to do it. You have to help him along line upon line, precept upon precept before he can reach that point. Geez, it's like you're having a contest to see who can understand the least about God in this forum.
     
  8. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    This from a pedant who worships a fiction that goes around infecting pigs and cursing fig trees. Thanks, Dan.
     
  9. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    What makes you think it's a fiction?
     
  10. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    Mainly because it involves mythology. Homer's Illiad and Odyssey are considered fictional due to their immortal warriors and sirens. Likewise, the bible should be considered mythology due to it's wrestling with angels and fantastical boats (Noah's ark).
     
  11. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    So you believe it never could have happened?
     
  12. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    Not all of the mythological stuff, no. I think it's possible that there was a man named Jesus who was a preacher in Jerusalem and who pissed off the Pharisees with his message and was crucified. I could even believe that the message presented in the bible was his, but I don't believe he was the son of god.
     
  13. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    How do you arrive at this conclusion?
     
  14. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    As far as ruling out the mythological stuff goes, I reject it's authenticity because a) stuff like that doesn't happen nowadays--why would it just stop? b) there are many other books from many other religions which also contain mythology, and they are considered fictional, and c) there is no evidence for these mythological happenings besides a few eyewitnesses, and some accounts can't even claim those.

    I feel it is possible that Jesus was a real person. During his time, there were many travelling preachers, trying to spread their message of reform. Likewise, many people were crucified for stirring up trouble--mostly by the Romans, of course, but the Temple leaders also had a hand in some. It is feasible that there was one particular preacher who rose above the others and became particularly influential among the people, etc. I'm not saying that I think Jesus lived, only that it seems to be a possible theory to me. I don't know of any evidence (other than historical documents) which definitively proves his existence, but it is definately possible.
     
  15. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    1- You're right; why would it stop? The reason? It hasn't stopped. Stuff like that still happens. I can attest to that.

    2- They are considered fictional by those who don't want to believe in them, but many people believe in them with everything they have.

    3- What must be produced to prove they happened (besides eyewitnesses)?

    I found an article in a Jehovah's Witness magazine called the Watchtower that delved into archeological evidence of His existence. It was quite a provocative article. The JW's are pretty sketchy sometimes, but I enjoyed that article.
     
  16. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    We've already been around the block as far as sharing those experiences goes, so I'll stay out of that :). However, compared to the level of 'mythology' in the bible, aka, the level of god's interaction with humans then as opposed to now, I would say that things definately have changed.

    As far as modern miracles, many are disproven by science. I actually can't think of one, off the top of my head that hasn't been disproven.

    Perhaps, however I don't think that quite covers everyone. I don't not believe in ancient Greek mythology because I 'don't want to'.

    I agree that there some some people who believe in it with all their hearts (...well, maybe not Greek mythology in particular, but for the sake of example...). This is why I reject the premise of 'just have faith'. Back in the old days, many people had tremendous faith in Greek mythology, and yet by Christian standards, they are burning in hell right now. Faith is obviously not enough.

    Why don't you believe in ancient Greek mythology?

    I'm not saying the eyewitnesses aren't enough, per se. Physical evidence would be nice though. A document with no religious affiliation would be too.
     
  17. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    One problem I have with science trying to prove or disprove miracles is the fact that that capacity (to prove the validity or invalidity of a miracle) is basically science saying, "We know all that is. If we cannot describe it it cannot be." Science is barely scratching the surface of our universe; so to come out and slap a qualitative judgment on these things is arrogant in my opinion.

    I don't believe in Greek mythology because it was man's attempt at reaching toward heaven. Almost all of the Chistian religions these days are the same thing: a church trying to reach heaven. I believe in a Gospel in which heaven reaches down to me to show me the way. My church was not founded by someone trying to figure out how God works, it was founded by God showing us how He works.

    The problem with looking for a non-biased opinion is that back then there were no non-biased people. You were either Christian or anti-Christian. Either way you were religious. The Jehovah's Witnesses (whom I have already mentioned) do a surprisingly good job of trying to piece together just that: a seemingly third party interpretation of the facts. The guise of unbiased spectator is paper thin, but they unearth a lot of good evidence.
     
  18. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't trying to say that science has all the answers--I agree with you that it most certainly does not. What I meant, was that the main reason for why I don't believe in miracles is because science has proven many of them to be fakes--meaning that they have natural scientific explanations, and therefore don't 'need' god to explain. If you know of some miracles which haven't been disproven by science, I'd like to check them out.

    I didn't know that about them. I'll have to look into that.
     
  19. Mr Spinkles

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    Science doesn't say miracles don't happen....science is honest. Science either says a) we don't know the explanation, or b) there is a natural explanation that could explain it. How is that arrogant? I think it would be arrogant to assume that one knows the explanation, and that the explanation can only be supernatural.
     
  20. Mr Spinkles

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    Anyway, getting back on topic....maybe Jesus spoke in parables because he was trying to describe the Kingdom of God and so forth...the best way to describe a metaphysical concept like that would probably be a parable about farming or fishing that the people would understand.
     
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