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Ch. 10 - What Did Jesus Do? 
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Post Re: Ch. 10 - What Did Jesus Do?
DWill wrote:
Have you ever read any literary criticism? Wright uses a very similar approach in his treatment of the Bible.



Literary criticism is precisely what Wright does not do. If he did, I would have less of a beef with him. In literary criticism one starts with the text in question and explores it in detail. Wright just ignores large, significant and incovenient (to his premise) sections. This leaves him free to invent his own story. That would be ok, but he should go the whole way and leave the Bible out of his book completely.


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Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:18 am
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Post Re: Ch. 10 - What Did Jesus Do?
DWill wrote:
geo wrote:
Certainly Wright seems to pull his gloves off in this chapter, doesn't he?

I thought about this after I responded, geo, and I'm glad you said it because it made me think about Wright's approach in this book. I can see why you might say he takes the gloves off, since what he says in the chapter can be taken as a strong critique of the traditional view of Jesus. But it's interesting, and I think admirable, that he does this without actually coming across as a bare-knuckles fighter. He's much less confrontational and more dispassionate than the other prominent atheist authors. (I say "other atheist" because he identifies himself as a materialist, which to me is about equivalent to atheist.) Wright starts with the assumption that the literalist stuff has been well refuted, so he doesn't need to waste time on that. That allows him to go after the higher fruit, which would be the understandings and assumptions that non-literalists or moderate traditionalists have brought to the Bible. Then, too, he's writing a book about religion, not against it, for all the sacred cows that he might need to target along the way.


I detect a certain attitude—very subtle—in Wright's writing. I can certainly empathize with him. There was a point when I started questioning the existence of God and I became fairly angry about being taught so much nonsense for so long by people who I felt should have known better. But, though my parents were insistent that I go to church, maybe I detected a certain lack of sincerity in their faith which I'm sure was subconscious. And at this point in their lives will certainly remain so.

Still, you may be right. It could merely be Wright's refusal to bow before sacred cows that I'm not used to seeing. Even Dawkins doesn't go after Jesus quite like this—with gloves off (apparently). Though I really liked Dawkins' book when I first read it, I think if I read it now I would be annoyed with his insistence on going after the literalist stuff, which after all is the most rigid and dumbest on the religion spectrum. Wright's perspective is refreshing in the way you say, that he can set his sights on higher fruit.

Having come from a religious background, Wright must to some extent have enjoyed his task of deconstructing the Bible, even if he's not directly attacking religious beliefs and, in fact, is always rather polite about it.


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Post Re: Ch. 10 - What Did Jesus Do?
DWill wrote:
what he says in the chapter can be taken as a strong critique of the traditional view of Jesus. But it's interesting, and I think admirable, that he does this without actually coming across as a bare-knuckles fighter. He's much less confrontational and more dispassionate than the other prominent atheist authors. (I say "other atheist" because he identifies himself as a materialist, which to me is about equivalent to atheist.) Wright starts with the assumption that the literalist stuff has been well refuted, so he doesn't need to waste time on that. That allows him to go after the higher fruit, which would be the understandings and assumptions that non-literalists or moderate traditionalists have brought to the Bible. Then, too, he's writing a book about religion, not against it, for all the sacred cows that he might need to target along the way.


Wright is a materialist, seeking to reconcile science and religion. This stance, correct in my view, leads him to the error, as Stahrwe has argued, of imagining Jesus as an apocalyptic prophet only, rather than a prophet of universal love. As I noted earlier, the Biblical vision of the apocalypse is grounded in a vision of universal love, so the claim that Jesus is not a prophet of love fails to engage the text sufficiently. The love of God is the source of the wrath of God, with love and justice two faces of the same sentiment.

In setting religion against evolution, the intriguing question that emerges is how an intrinsic purpose of the universe, evolution towards higher complexity, is displayed in religion. Darwin discovered the universal law of adaptive selection. This law appears to refute traditional religious theories of design, but what Wright shows is that religion displays an intrinsic purpose, towards higher complexity, that indicates the need for a new form of teleology, a theory of purpose and meaning, to understand how humans can adapt to the intrinsic purpose of the universe. If we try to find a coherent story from Jesus, we can see that love is central, and his vision explains what will happen to humanity if we fail to love. Apocalyptic vision obtains its direction and energy from a deep sense that humans belong on earth but we risk extinction because of our failure to love, amounting to failure to engage with the intrinsic purpose of natural love as the basis of an evolving complexity of life.

Wright's materialism is an important step for theology, given that most theologians have a very shaky knowledge of science. Matter is all that there is. However, when matter is formed into life, and into human intelligence, it continues to obey physical law, including the law of evolution. Intelligence evolves by adaptation to its context. Wright sees the evolving context of greater global connectivity, but somehow misses the central place of Jesus in providing a theory of time that reconciles the universal natural energies of love and justice.



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Post Re: Ch. 10 - What Did Jesus Do?
Robert Tulip wrote:
DWill wrote:
what he says in the chapter can be taken as a strong critique of the traditional view of Jesus. But it's interesting, and I think admirable, that he does this without actually coming across as a bare-knuckles fighter. He's much less confrontational and more dispassionate than the other prominent atheist authors. (I say "other atheist" because he identifies himself as a materialist, which to me is about equivalent to atheist.) Wright starts with the assumption that the literalist stuff has been well refuted, so he doesn't need to waste time on that. That allows him to go after the higher fruit, which would be the understandings and assumptions that non-literalists or moderate traditionalists have brought to the Bible. Then, too, he's writing a book about religion, not against it, for all the sacred cows that he might need to target along the way.


Wright is a materialist, seeking to reconcile science and religion. This stance, correct in my view, leads him to the error, as Stahrwe has argued, of imagining Jesus as an apocalyptic prophet only, rather than a prophet of universal love. As I noted earlier, the Biblical vision of the apocalypse is grounded in a vision of universal love, so the claim that Jesus is not a prophet of love fails to engage the text sufficiently. The love of God is the source of the wrath of God, with love and justice two faces of the same sentiment.

You don't say whether you've reached this part of the book, Robert, but I think what you're not taking into account is the evolution of Christian universal love. That is what Wright is trying to trace. He tells us we won't find it in the Jesus of Mark, who likely would be closest to the portrait of the actual Jesus. You, I believe, don't appear to place much stock in the historicity of Jesus, which would mean that for you the chronology of the Gospels wouldn't have much significance. It would be the overall, composite portrait of Jesus that you would emphasize. Wright stresses the layering process that went on over time, so that universal love begins to emerge by the time of the latest Gospel. Remember that Wright has a strict criterion for what constitutes universal love. The Bible's "love thy neighbor" in its original context, for example, did not mean that we were directed to treat all humans as we would our actual neighbors.
Quote:
In setting religion against evolution, the intriguing question that emerges is how an intrinsic purpose of the universe, evolution towards higher complexity, is displayed in religion. Darwin discovered the universal law of adaptive selection. This law appears to refute traditional religious theories of design, but what Wright shows is that religion displays an intrinsic purpose, towards higher complexity, that indicates the need for a new form of teleology, a theory of purpose and meaning, to understand how humans can adapt to the intrinsic purpose of the universe. If we try to find a coherent story from Jesus, we can see that love is central, and his vision explains what will happen to humanity if we fail to love. Apocalyptic vision obtains its direction and energy from a deep sense that humans belong on earth but we risk extinction because of our failure to love, amounting to failure to engage with the intrinsic purpose of natural love as the basis of an evolving complexity of life.

Some of what you say reflects Philo's thought, which was the subject of Chapter 8. He also believed that love or at least comity would be the inevitable result of our shaping our own actions to the Logos. I must disagree with you about the place of complexity in religion. I know we had a conversation a while back about greater complexity emerging as physical evolution goes on. There was disagreement on whether the direction is best described as greater complexity or greater diversity. Regardless, the parallel breaks down regarding religion in the cultural realm. The end that Wright envisions for religion exhibits greater simplicity and less diversity.

Your view of what Jesus represents for our future, as either promise or threat, is of course a further evolution of the religion we see in the New Testament. It could be the universalist form of Christianity. I don't see it having a claim to supercede other universalist claims from other traditions, though.
Quote:
Wright's materialism is an important step for theology, given that most theologians have a very shaky knowledge of science. Matter is all that there is. However, when matter is formed into life, and into human intelligence, it continues to obey physical law, including the law of evolution. Intelligence evolves by adaptation to its context. Wright sees the evolving context of greater global connectivity, but somehow misses the central place of Jesus in providing a theory of time that reconciles the universal natural energies of love and justice.

To move toward the truly universal would be to not favor one tradition over another, as your proposal does. I also think we should back off from talking about Wright advocating anything certain in terms of religion. That's not his purpose in the book. He only presents evidence that leads him to conclude tentatively that human life may direct itself toward greater universality in terms of morality. He thinks that that may be what religion was building up to all along.



Last edited by DWill on Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Post Re: Ch. 10 - What Did Jesus Do?
DWill wrote:
. . .
You don't say whether you've reached this part of the book, Robert, but I think what you're not taking into account is the evolution of Christian universal love. That is what Wright is trying to trace. He tells us we won't find it in the Jesus of Mark, who likely would be closest to the portrait of the actual Jesus. You, I believe, don't appear to place much stock in the historicity of Jesus, which would mean that for you the chronology of the Gospels wouldn't have much significance. It would be the overall, composite portrait of Jesus that you would emphasize. Wright stresses the layering process that went on over time, so that universal love begins to emerge by the time of the latest Gospel.


This becomes even more apparent in the next chapter on Paul.


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Post Re: Ch. 10 - What Did Jesus Do?
What Did Jesus Do?

For some reason this chapter title reminds me of Al Gore…

Thanks DWill for suggesting I read it again, which I have now done. I read right through The Evolution of God before I recommended we read it, and have been dipping back into it since.

As at first, I found 'What Did Jesus Do' irritating, and a weaker part of Wright's overall argument. His claim that Mark is more reliable than Matthew, Luke and John seems superficial and highly dubious. Conventional dating sets Mark at 70AD, during the Roman-Jewish War, and the others in the next generation. I have read that there is no proof of the gospels existing in their settled form for a century after that, before the late second century, although there are earlier references to ‘memoirs of the apostles’. In any case, even accepting the conventional dates, it would be like histories of the second world war written between 1985 and 2000 that rely primarily on oral testimony. Very doubtful. And if the history writers have a clear and overt political agenda, triply doubtful. It is easy to imagine them cobbling together stories from diverse sources for the purpose, as John puts it, that you may believe.

Wright’s invocation of the argument from implausibility to justify the claim that Jesus existed shows how much the terrain of religious debate has shifted. Where a generation ago people debated if God existed, the debate now is on whether Jesus existed. Hitchens also uses this argument that quirky details in the gospels would not have been thought up. And yet, if a circle of writers collaborated on the Gospels as part of a religious community, we can well imagine the scenario of them developing the story to meet the rhetorical demands of maximum plausibility, combined with the religious demand of conveying key messages. Plausibility is enhanced by quirkiness, so this argument is weak as a basis to say the gospels are anything more than fictional fantasy drawing in a range of material from history.

How I read the Gospels is that the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome greatly traumatized the Jewish people, and that Christianity arose as a ‘once for all’ way to cope with the psychological pain while also plotting revenge on the empire through the unity of the marginalised. Wright sees the cross as the clincher for the argument from implausibility. I would rather imagine that from the vantage of gospel writers after the destruction of the temple by Rome, the story of the cross was a way to displace the trauma of Roman savagery, a time when Josephus says the Romans nailed thousands of Jews to trees. The cross also has a bundle of clear cosmic references. By inventing a story in which one king is crucified to save everyone, we have an explanation of why the messiah failed, as a post hoc rationalisation of history. It is like the gospel writers said to themselves, if we did have a perfect messiah, what would he have been like? With hindsight of fifty years, Jesus Christ could not ride into Jerusalem victorious on a battle horse, but had to be plausible as a way to mythologise Jewish spiritual superiority while accepting Rome's temporal victory, through the slogan the last will be first.

Wright is far too certain in his assertion that Jesus existed. His claim that Mark is more reliable than the other gospels is flimsy as a way to draw a psychological portrait of Christ. If it is true that Mark was the earliest gospel, we might imagine that reviewers among the initiate group commented that the apocalyptic vision required a clearer basis in love, and that this led to the insertion of the 'love your enemies' theme in Matthew and Luke. Whatever the truth, it is interesting and valuable to seek to reconstruct a plausible path for the construction of the gospels, as a way to frame our own conceptions of salvation and to better understand psychology and history.



Last edited by Robert Tulip on Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Ch. 10 - What Did Jesus Do?
Robert Tulip wrote:
What Did Jesus Do?

For some reason this chapter title reminds me of Al Gore…

Thanks DWill for suggesting I read it again, which I have now done. I read right through The Evolution of God before I recommended we read it, and have been dipping back into it since.

As at first, I found 'What Did Jesus Do' irritating, and a weaker part of Wright's overall argument. His claim that Mark is more reliable than Matthew, Luke and John seems superficial and highly dubious. Conventional dating sets Mark at 70AD, during the Roman-Jewish War, and the others in the next generation. I have read that there is no proof of the gospels existing in their settled form for a century after that, before the late second century, although there are earlier references to ‘memoirs of the apostles’. In any case, even accepting the conventional dates, it would be like histories of the second world war written between 1985 and 2000 that rely primarily on oral testimony. Very doubtful. And if the history writers have a clear and overt political agenda, triply doubtful. It is easy to imagine them cobbling together stories from diverse sources for the purpose, as John puts it, that you may believe.

Wright’s invocation of the argument from implausibility to justify the claim that Jesus existed shows how much the terrain of religious debate has shifted. Where a generation ago people debated if God existed, the debate now is on whether Jesus existed. Hitchens also uses this argument that quirky details in the gospels would not have been thought up. And yet, if a circle of writers collaborated on the Gospels as part of a religious community, we can well imagine the scenario of them developing the story to meet the rhetorical demands of maximum plausibility, combined with the religious demand of conveying key messages. Plausibility is enhanced by quirkiness, so this argument is weak as a basis to say the gospels are anything more than fictional fantasy drawing in a range of material from history.


So, you claim that in order to make the Gospels more plausible the writers included details which were implausible. The writers were not that sophisticated and expected the return of Christ to be any minute, another reason that the Gospels were not immediately set down.

Robert Tulip wrote:
How I read the Gospels is that the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome greatly traumatized the Jewish people, and that Christianity arose as a ‘once for all’ way to cope with the psychological pain while also plotting revenge on the empire through the unity of the marginalised. Wright sees the cross as the clincher for the argument from implausibility. I would rather imagine that from the vantage of gospel writers after the destruction of the temple by Rome, the story of the cross was a way to displace the trauma of Roman savagery, a time when Josephus says the Romans nailed thousands of Jews to trees. The cross also has a bundle of clear cosmic references. By inventing a story in which one king is crucified to save everyone, we have an explanation of why the messiah failed, as a post hoc rationalisation of history. It is like the gospel writers said to themselves, if we did have a perfect messiah, what would he have been like? With hindsight of fifty years, Jesus Christ could not ride into Jerusalem victorious on a battle horse, but had to be plausible as a way to mythologise Jewish spiritual superiority while accepting Rome's temporal victory, through the slogan the last will be first.


Jesus did not fail as you would know if you had read the Bible. The prophosies showed a duality to the Messiah; that of a suffering servant and a conquering King. At the time the prophets could not understand the duality but it became clear with the advent.

As for coming into Jerusalem on a donkey on Palm Sunday, that was a traditional presentation of the King and fulfilled another prophecy. The conquering horse is pictured in Revelation.

Try reading the Bible with a 'good' commentary.

Robert Tulip wrote:
Wright is far too certain in his assertion that Jesus existed. His claim that Mark is more reliable than the other gospels is flimsy as a way to draw a psychological portrait of Christ. If it is true that Mark was the earliest gospel, we might imagine that reviewers among the initiate group commented that the apocalyptic vision required a clearer basis in love, and that this led to the insertion of the 'love your enemies' theme in Matthew and Luke. Whatever the truth, it is interesting and valuable to seek to reconstruct a plausible path for the construction of the gospels, as a way to frame our own conceptions of salvation and to better understand psychology and history.


I suppose you have some 'imaginative' explanation as to why none of the Gospels mention the destruction of Jerusalem.

According to the Bible if Jesus did not exist and do what the Gospels say that He did then there is no salvation so your search is a vain one, a waste of your time.


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Post Re: Ch. 10 - What Did Jesus Do?
On page 253 amidst Wright's general disparragement of the Bible and the Gospels in particular he cites the words, "Why have you foresaken me?" as an example that Jesus was surprised about his mission.

How much must we put up with from Wright before it becomes clear that he is critical of a book (the Bible) he knows little about.

In fact Jesus' words were recorded a thousand years before He spoke them and far from indicating a confused Messiah they demonstrate that He was who whas prophesied all those years before. In support see Psalm 22:1 KJV

Quote:

Psalm 22
1My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

2O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

3But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

4Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.

5They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.

6But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

7All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,

8He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

9But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.

10I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.

11Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.

12Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.

13They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.

14I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

15My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.

16For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

17I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.

18They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

19But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.

20Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.

21Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

22I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.

23Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.

24For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.

25My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.

26The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.

27All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.

28For the kingdom is the LORD's: and he is the governor among the nations.

29All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.

30A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.

31They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.





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Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:49 am
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Post Re: Ch. 10 - What Did Jesus Do?
stahrwe wrote:
On page 253 amidst Wright's general disparragement of the Bible and the Gospels in particular he cites the words, "Why have you foresaken me?" as an example that Jesus was surprised about his mission.

How much must we put up with from Wright before it becomes clear that he is critical of a book (the Bible) he knows little about.

In fact Jesus' words were recorded a thousand years before He spoke them and far from indicating a confused Messiah they demonstrate that He was who whas prophesied all those years before. In support see Psalm 22:1 KJV

There isn't a single conceivable instance in which Wright would credit the parts of a text that claim to be prophetic or otherwise depend on belief in the supernatural. This would apply to any text--Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, whatever. It is not the Bible he is disparaging, if he is disparaging anything at all; he proceeds from the reasonable assumption that we don't need to spend time agonizing over the objective truth of any such belief, wherever we may find it.

All of which makes it beside the point that in your passage a savior, other than Yahweh, is not mentioned, and that the situation of being nailed to a cross is a bit more urgent than the general fears the speaker expresses.



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Post Re: Ch. 10 - What Did Jesus Do?
We don't even know if Jesus said these words, "Why have you forsaken me?" Again, we are relying on the gospel of Mark, written some four decades after Jesus' crucifixion by someone we almost know nothing about. While I would agree that this is rather flimsy evidence, I can at least see that Wright is only pointing out some differences between the gospels and making certain speculations about those differences. It's no big deal. This is what higher criticism is all about:

Quote:
Historical criticism, higher criticism, or the historical-critical method is a branch of literary analysis that investigates the origins of a text. As applied in biblical studies it investigates the books of the Bible and compares them to other texts written at the same time, before, or recently after the text in question . . .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_criticism


These speculations can be disparaging only to someone who treats the Bible as a sacred document. This an amazing disconnect. Stahrwe would throw Wright's book out based on a few perceived misreadings of certain Bible passages while maintaining his own beliefs that wholly rely on magic and miracles. Wright's speculations are actually far more plausible than the Bible being the inerrant word of God. Occam's razor anyone.


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Post Re: Ch. 10 - What Did Jesus Do?
DWill wrote:
stahrwe wrote:
On page 253 amidst Wright's general disparragement of the Bible and the Gospels in particular he cites the words, "Why have you foresaken me?" as an example that Jesus was surprised about his mission.

How much must we put up with from Wright before it becomes clear that he is critical of a book (the Bible) he knows little about.

In fact Jesus' words were recorded a thousand years before He spoke them and far from indicating a confused Messiah they demonstrate that He was who whas prophesied all those years before. In support see Psalm 22:1 KJV

There isn't a single conceivable instance in which Wright would credit the parts of a text that claim to be prophetic or otherwise depend on belief in the supernatural. This would apply to any text--Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, whatever. It is not the Bible he is disparaging, if he is disparaging anything at all; he proceeds from the reasonable assumption that we don't need to spend time agonizing over the objective truth of any such belief, wherever we may find it.

All of which makes it beside the point that in your passage a savior, other than Yahweh, is not mentioned, and that the situation of being nailed to a cross is a bit more urgent than the general fears the speaker expresses.


If Wright can't acknowledge what is in the Bible then he has no business citing it at all for any of his book. The fact is that he opens himself up to criticism when he claims that Jesus was surprised by His crucifixion and said surprise is enshrined by the phrease, "Why hast though foresaken me." If Wright uses that phrase he should have the basic skills to find that it is a reference to Psalm 22:1. When you take this demonstration of his ignorance of the Bible added to his ignorance (or at leat ignoring) of the story of Abraham, and the erroneous interpretation of the striking of the ground with the arrows, etc. one wonders how many more examples of Wright's basic lack of Bible knowledge I need to show before his credibiltiy is completely gone. Beleive me, every page of his book is riipe with such examples.


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Post Re: Ch. 10 - What Did Jesus Do?
geo wrote:
We don't even know if Jesus said these words, "Why have you forsaken me?" Again, we are relying on the gospel of Mark, written some four decades after Jesus' crucifixion by someone we almost know nothing about. While I would agree that this is rather flimsy evidence, I can at least see that Wright is only pointing out some differences between the gospels and making certain speculations about those differences. It's no big deal. This is what higher criticism is all about:

Quote:
Historical criticism, higher criticism, or the historical-critical method is a branch of literary analysis that investigates the origins of a text. As applied in biblical studies it investigates the books of the Bible and compares them to other texts written at the same time, before, or recently after the text in question . . .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_criticism


These speculations can be disparaging only to someone who treats the Bible as a sacred document. This an amazing disconnect. Stahrwe would throw Wright's book out based on a few perceived misreadings of certain Bible passages while maintaining his own beliefs that wholly rely on magic and miracles. Wright's speculations are actually far more plausible than the Bible being the inerrant word of God. Occam's razor anyone.


How many examples do you require? I have lots. Again, the point isn't whether Mark actually recorded the words of Jesus, the point is that Wright seems ingnorant of that phrase back in Psalms 22.

Wright impunes himself, and as inquiring minds you should demand a higher standard than you seem willing to settle for, or at least require of me.


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Post Re: Ch. 10 - What Did Jesus Do?
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In fact Jesus' words were recorded a thousand years before He spoke them and far from indicating a confused Messiah they demonstrate that He was who whas prophesied all those years before. In support see Psalm 22:1 KJV


This is indicative of plagiarism, not prophecy. Only when you believe the text to be absolutely true to you need to harmonize it by appealing to prophecy, which is non-sequitur and false. When you realize the text is not absolutely true you realize that the authors borrowed lines from earlier texts. All of your criticisms of Wright are only supported if you view the text as absolutely true. You often ask for others on Booktalk to meet you halfway and make a few assumptions before the rampant criticisms spiral out of control, so why can't you do the same?



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Post Re: Ch. 10 - What Did Jesus Do?
stahrwe wrote:
you claim that in order to make the Gospels more plausible the writers included details which were implausible.
Yes, that is what I claim. Growing from Paul’s Gnostic vision of a purely spiritual Christ, embedded within a carnal story intended for the ignorant, the Gospel writers were highly sophisticated, seeking to update spirituality for a new age through the story of Jesus. It bears all the hallmarks of an ‘after the event’ attempt to write historical fiction in a manner that is plausible as fact for the new reader. Implausible details are an easy thing to work in when the strategic agenda is the transformation of the world.
Quote:
The writers were not that sophisticated and expected the return of Christ to be any minute, another reason that the Gospels were not immediately set down.
Is this your explanation of the forty to one hundred year gap between event and record? All the eyewitnesses were so enraptured by the promise of heaven that they forgot to tell anyone for half a century? It is farcical.
Quote:
Jesus did not fail as you would know if you had read the Bible. The prophesies showed a duality to the Messiah; that of a suffering servant and a conquering King. At the time the prophets could not understand the duality but it became clear with the advent.
The success of Jesus is deferred to the Age of Aquarius at the Second Coming. For the Age of Pisces, he is a failure, seeking to be a king and getting tossed out with the garbage. The Gospels explain Jesus’ strategy to become king, but it starts with his return on the clouds of heaven.
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As for coming into Jerusalem on a donkey on Palm Sunday, that was a traditional presentation of the King and fulfilled another prophecy. The conquering horse is pictured in Revelation.
Yes, and the donkey trip ended in him getting nailed to a tree. You can say the resurrection is a victory, but that is purely imaginary. The conquering horse is at the Age of Aquarius, not Pisces.
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Try reading the Bible with a 'good' commentary.
You mean one that says the universe is 6000 years old and bases all its arguments on this wrong premise?
Quote:
I suppose you have some 'imaginative' explanation as to why none of the Gospels mention the destruction of Jerusalem.
We have had this conversation before. That would be like a history of world war two mentioning the fall of the Berlin Wall. If you want readers to believe that your history is factual, you don’t include details that can easily be proven wrong.
Quote:
According to the Bible if Jesus did not exist and do what the Gospels say that He did then there is no salvation so your search is a vain one, a waste of your time.
Well it would be nice in that case if Paul showed any evidence whatsoever of knowing about Jesus of Galilee. “What the Gospels say that he did” is a fine embroidery on a spiritual vision of the turning of the ages.



Last edited by Robert Tulip on Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.



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Post Re: Ch. 10 - What Did Jesus Do?
Interbane wrote:
Quote:
In fact Jesus' words were recorded a thousand years before He spoke them and far from indicating a confused Messiah they demonstrate that He was who whas prophesied all those years before. In support see Psalm 22:1 KJV


This is indicative of plagiarism, not prophecy. Only when you believe the text to be absolutely true to you need to harmonize it by appealing to prophecy, which is non-sequitur and false. When you realize the text is not absolutely true you realize that the authors borrowed lines from earlier texts. All of your criticisms of Wright are only supported if you view the text as absolutely true. You often ask for others on Booktalk to meet you halfway and make a few assumptions before the rampant criticisms spiral out of control, so why can't you do the same?


I thought I was clear, for this discussion it does not matter if Mark is true or not. It does not matter that Mark may have deliberately quoted Psalms. What matters is that Wright did not know about the quote from Psalms, or if he did know he chose to ignore it because it did not fit his narrative, an even worse offense.

Also, I have never asked BT members to meet me halfway, all I have asked is that you read the Bible and not rely on what other say about it.


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Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:13 pm
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