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The "concept" Of Jesus And Paul As Ceo


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Part 1

I was inspired by Kathy's phrase about the concept of Jesus and a couple of books I have been reading to comment on the four factors which led to Christianity being the large behemoth it is. I was fortunate to get some of Spong's older books at a book giveaway(thanks Alexandra) so have been reading "Born of a Woman", I briefly scanned "Liberating the Gospels, reading the Bible with Jewish eyes" and my next read is "Sins of the Scriptures".My spiritual reading group just got finished with "The Evolution of God" by Richard Wright.Since I am currently unemployed and am considering throwing the towel in and just retire I am broke so reading is my chief entertainment.

 

Jesus and John the Baptist have a lot in common with one another as well as a host of other Jewish prophets, prostelitizers(how do you spell that word?), and crazy men. Spong not only throws most Christian traditions like the virgin birth, the physical resurrection,and all the miracles out like bathwater,he also throws the baby out by surmising that Jesus had a questionable father with a possible rape or other sexual misdeed in the picture! By extensive examination of the gospels in light of Jewish tradition Spong enlightens us as to how the Gospels developed over time.

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Part 1

I was inspired by Kathy's phrase about the concept of Jesus and a couple of books I have been reading to comment on the four factors which led to Christianity being the large behemoth it is. I was fortunate to get some of Spong's older books at a book giveaway(thanks Alexandra) so have been reading "Born of a Woman", I briefly scanned "Liberating the Gospels, reading the Bible with Jewish eyes" and my next read is "Sins of the Scriptures".My spiritual reading group just got finished with "The Evolution of God" by Richard Wright.Since I am currently unemployed and am considering throwing the towel in and just retire I am broke so reading is my chief entertainment.

 

Jesus and John the Baptist have a lot in common with one another as well as a host of other Jewish prophets, prostelitizers(how do you spell that word?), and crazy men. Spong not only throws most Christian traditions like the virgin birth, the physical resurrection,and all the miracles out like bathwater,he also throws the baby out by surmising that Jesus had a questionable father with a possible rape or other sexual misdeed in the picture! By extensive examination of the gospels in light of Jewish tradition Spong enlightens us as to how the Gospels developed over time.

 

Hi Kay,

 

Sooo, the Spongster has intrigued you also ,huh? "A New Christianity" uttered by Spong in the age of Cromwell would of gotten his head handed back to him. But as I followed some of his historical references and essays, he becomes less radical to me everyday.

In support of his views, I ran across this, that makes many of the current gaggle of pulpit pimps, the laughing stocks of the ages: from Shadow of the Third Century [url=<http://pc93.tripod.com/shadow.htm&gt]Shadow of the Third Century[ http://pc93.tripod.com/shadow.htm]

to see how Spong isn't as alone in how he thinks, as many make him out to be. Do you have access to any of his essays?

 

The Juanster

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Hi Kay,

 

Sooo, the Spongster has intrigued you also ,huh? "A New Christianity" uttered by Spong in the age of Cromwell would of gotten his head handed back to him. But as I followed some of his historical references and essays, he becomes less radical to me everyday.

In support of his views, I ran across this, that makes many of the current gaggle of pulpit pimps, the laughing stocks of the ages: from Shadow of the Third Century [url=<http://pc93.tripod.com/shadow.htm&gt]Shadow of the Third Century[ http://pc93.tripod.com/shadow.htm]

to see how Spong isn't as alone in how he thinks, as many make him out to be. Do you have access to any of his essays?

 

The Juanster

 

Hi Juan,

 

I'm still trying to figure out how to use all the features of this forum.

Juan, have you actually read the book "A New Christianity"? It is a compilation or reprint of a book written by the theologian Boyd Alfred Kuhn who died in 1963. One place I found the book(Google?) said it was a reprint from the Theosophical Society which should raise red flags. Amazon had only one review of the book which gave it a three star rating and made a comment about the big words the man used! Dr. Kuhn wrote many books, many in the ilk of Akira who was mentioned in the old forum. I still get her Emails, though I think most of her "scholarship" is a bit second rate. Bishop Spong also doesn't have the "credentials" to be placed in the same category with Borg, Crossan, Ehrman, etcetc.

Where do good credentials get you? Really nowhere, as I find some of the erudite ponderings of some of these people (though not the above mentioned) similar to the "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?"arguments, as a person to enter the present world of akadamia must create a lifetime of scholarship on a questioned phrase in the "Bible", the book that got us into this mess in the first place.

Kay

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(Deleted redunctant quoted copy of previous post) JM

 

By the way the book you were referring to was "The Shadow of the Third Century" which may be a part of his other books or an individual essay. I skimmed through one of his writings and it mainly discusses the origins of Christianity from pagan, Egyptian, and other sources.He thinks the Bible is purely symbolic. Here is part of what Wikipedia says about him:

 

Highly influenced by the work of Gerald Massey and Godfrey Higgins, Kuhn contended that the Bible derived its origins from other Pagan religions and much of Christian history was pre-extant as Egyptian mythology. He also proposed that the Bible was symbolic and did not depict real events, and argued that the leaders of the church started to misinterpret the bible at the end of the third century. Many authors including Tom Harpur and John G. Jackson were influenced by the works of Kuhn. His final book, A Rebirth for Christianity, was completed shortly before his death on 14 September 1963.[2]

 

Same stuff Akyra and other people and websites are writing about. Another take upon the Gospels is Spong's (and others) thesis that they were written to fit in with the Jewish liturgy. My thought is both theses could be true but I really believe there was a man named Jesus who died from crucifixtion by the Romans approx 30 C.E.

 

Part 2

 

Paul was some scholars feel as important as Jesus as creating what is now one of the biggest international religions. Jesus was into apocalyptic endings, helping the poor (primarily if they were Jewish), and viewing the extensive orthodox Jewish laws in a more practical light.It was Paul who interjected love as an overriding theme in Christianity especially love of all people regardless of ethnicity. why did this change occur!Because of Paul's overriding ambition and the multiple ethnic groups which were part of Roman society an emphasis on brotherly love across all ethnicities became part of the Christian theme. Robert Wright in his "Evolution of God" actually describes Paul as like a successful CEO because he used such effective methods available in those ancient times, i.e. letter writing and asserting his authority through the use of the concept love.

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  • 2 weeks later...

By the way the book you were referring to was "The Shadow of the Third Century" which may be a part of his other books or an individual essay. I skimmed through one of his writings and it mainly discusses the origins of Christianity from pagan, Egyptian, and other sources.He thinks the Bible is purely symbolic. Here is part of what Wikipedia says about him:

 

Highly influenced by the work of Gerald Massey and Godfrey Higgins, Kuhn contended that the Bible derived its origins from other Pagan religions and much of Christian history was pre-extant as Egyptian mythology. He also proposed that the Bible was symbolic and did not depict real events, and argued that the leaders of the church started to misinterpret the bible at the end of the third century. Many authors including Tom Harpur and John G. Jackson were influenced by the works of Kuhn. His final book, A Rebirth for Christianity, was completed shortly before his death on 14 September 1963.[2]

 

Same stuff Akyra and other people and websites are writing about. Another take upon the Gospels is Spong's (and others) thesis that they were written to fit in with the Jewish liturgy. My thought is both theses could be true but I really believe there was a man named Jesus who died from crucifixtion by the Romans approx 30 C.E.

 

Part 2

 

Paul was some scholars feel as important as Jesus as creating what is now one of the biggest international religions. Jesus was into apocalyptic endings, helping the poor (primarily if they were Jewish), and viewing the extensive orthodox Jewish laws in a more practical light.It was Paul who interjected love as an overriding theme in Christianity especially love of all people regardless of ethnicity. why did this change occur!Because of Paul's overriding ambition and the multiple ethnic groups which were part of Roman society an emphasis on brotherly love across all ethnicities became part of the Christian theme. Robert Wright in his "Evolution of God" actually describes Paul as like a successful CEO because he used such effective methods available in those ancient times, i.e. letter writing and asserting his authority through the use of the concept love.

 

Hi "K"

Are you familiar with the relationship between Paul Gamaliel-2 and Hillel?

Yesterday, I gave the bios of Hillel and his opinion regarding The Torah Books of the Moseic Law. Gamaliel was Hillel's g-son and Paul's teacher in how to be a good Pharisee. If you read Hillel's bios, you will see that he was the originator of the text all Jews from his day to the present used/use to supplant the Torah given to Moses by EL over 40 days on Mt. Siani. For Hillel to opine that this sacred Israelite Text was Inadequate for his purposes, tells me that he was not intimately familiar with the history of the Israelites and their sojourn in Egypt and 40year treke in the wildeness. The only way Hillel,a Pharisee, could reach his conclusion regarding the inadequacy Of Torah was by his never receiving the instructions required to understand it or the penalty for altering Torah in any degree.(Deut:4-2) This should explain why The Word made Flesh was so upset with the Pharisees' interpretation of His Father's Word. It is this Phariseic/Talmudic foundation that Christianity was erected, and Zionism worships. Now, read from this perspective Matt.23:15 and the last part of verse9 @ Rev.2:9 and see if the motivation for the Jesus [Jot and Tittle] rebuke starts to make sense to you. Jesus with Paul as CEO would be the same as mixing Oil and Water. TORAH and TALMUD, the twain shall never meet.

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So, are you asserting that Jesus would have been unhappy that Paul was a founder of the Christian church? How would Christianity be different if it didn't follow the Talmudic tradition but the Torah instead? Sometimes I'm slow and need things broken down for me.

 

Thanks!

Janet

 

Dear Janet,

Don't apologise, I admire you for questioning.

 

After close scrutny of Jesus' gosple, I find that he alludes to the presence of what the Pharisees were marketing as being different from The Torah, by his many references to "your Law" or "doesn't your law say thus and such,ect,ect, ect". One of the most illuminating examples I found was Jn.8:3-11, where Jesus and the Pharisees were in the process of judging a woman allegedly caught in adultry. The claimax to the story was Jesus forgiveness of this woman and his instruction "to go and sin no more". Without the intervention of Jesus, this lady would of been stoned to death via the strict legalese of the Pharisees. It was this blatant disregard of the {spirit} of the Torah Law, the proselyte Pharisees weren't cognizant of, via their unfamiliarity with the long history of God's intervening in the lives of his chosen. This IMO, is the reason why the Proselytes Jews who adopted the religion of the Israelites, were unable to grasp the proper administration of Torah Law, and as Hillel stated, found it Inadequate as the primary source of Judaic Belief instruction, thus necessitatig the creation of The Talmud. Jesus' hangup with this source of Pharisaic knowledge was because it totally disregarded the edit of Torah Law at Deut.4:2. The Tribe of Judah were instructed by Moses to adhere to this command of their god.

It is from this Proselyte Pharisaic/Talmudic version of Judaic dogma, the Greek Septuagint Text as the foundation of Christianity was erected by Seventy Jewish Shcolars commissioned by Ptolemyll. Hillel, Gamaliel and the Apostle Paul were the purveyors of this Greek translated, Proselyte/Hebrew Text, which first came into being, I discovered, way back during the saga of the deportation of the Ten Israelite Tribes at 2Kgs.17:24-41. From this bit of Secular and Biblical history, is the foundation of Jesus' problem with the Pharisees, thus illiciting his Jot and Tittle pronouncemnt.

Hopefully, this will began to come clear for you. The Jews and the Israelites were not Genetically the same people. (Ezra.4:2) This reference mentions Esarheddon as king of Ashur. Secular history ties this king to the deportation of the Ten Tribes I mentioned at 2Kgs.17:24-41.

King Esarhaddon of Assyria. Bible history and archaeology.

[My linkhttp://knp.prs.heacademy.ac.uk/essentials/esarhaddon/]

The Juanster

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It is from this Proselyte Pharisaic/Talmudict version of Judaic dogma, the Septuagint Greek Text was erected by Seventy Jewish Shcolars commissioned by Ptolemyll. Hillel, Gamaliel and the Apostle Paul were the purveyors of this Greek translated, Proselyte/Hebrew Text, [. . .] The Jews and the Israelites were not Genetically the same people.

 

Why are you so concerned about the genetic purity of various Jews such as Hillel and Paul? You keep repeating this is various forms. Would genetic impurity discredit them in some way, even if it were true?

 

George

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By the way the book you were referring to was "The Shadow of the Third Century" which may be a part of his other books or an individual essay. I skimmed through one of his writings and it mainly discusses the origins of Christianity from pagan, Egyptian, and other sources.He thinks the Bible is purely symbolic. Here is part of what Wikipedia says about him:

 

Highly influenced by the work of Gerald Massey and Godfrey Higgins, Kuhn contended that the Bible derived its origins from other Pagan religions and much of Christian history was pre-extant as Egyptian mythology. He also proposed that the Bible was symbolic and did not depict real events, and argued that the leaders of the church started to misinterpret the bible at the end of the third century. Many authors including Tom Harpur and John G. Jackson were influenced by the works of Kuhn. His final book, A Rebirth for Christianity, was completed shortly before his death on 14 September 1963.[2]

 

Same stuff Akyra and other people and websites are writing about. Another take upon the Gospels is Spong's (and others) thesis that they were written to fit in with the Jewish liturgy. My thought is both theses could be true but I really believe there was a man named Jesus who died from crucifixtion by the Romans approx 30 C.E.

 

Part 2

 

Paul was some scholars feel as important as Jesus as creating what is now one of the biggest international religions. Jesus was into apocalyptic endings, helping the poor (primarily if they were Jewish), and viewing the extensive orthodox Jewish laws in a more practical light.It was Paul who interjected love as an overriding theme in Christianity especially love of all people regardless of ethnicity. why did this change occur!Because of Paul's overriding ambition and the multiple ethnic groups which were part of Roman society an emphasis on brotherly love across all ethnicities became part of the Christian theme. Robert Wright in his "Evolution of God" actually describes Paul as like a successful CEO because he used such effective methods available in those ancient times, i.e. letter writing and asserting his authority through the use of the concept love.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Juanster,

 

So do you think that Paul's early church went back to the "legalistic"/Pharasee/Talmudic-type religion that Jesus hated?

 

Janet

 

 

Hi Janet,

Before Paul's conversion, but after the crucifixion, Jesus' diciples(the believers and teachers of The Way)Matt.10:5-6, were wanted men, sought by the Romans and their quislings the Pharisees. What the Pharisees were marketing as official Judaic belief,(Matt.23:15) had existed long prior to the tribe of Judah's incarceration into Babylon as Slaves of Nebuchadnezzar. See Ezra.4:2. The group at Ezra.4:2 making this claim were the descendants of the pagan imigrants mentioned in 2nd Kgs.17:24-35.

It was these Proselyte/Jewish scholars,[not the former enslaved Judeans] the Greek king Ptolemyll commissioned to translate their proselyte version of the Hebrew Torah into the Greco language Septuagint, the Apostle Paul's textbook. From this compilation, we get the various translations of The Bible, the foundation of Christianity.

How this came about is explained in the book; Ceasar's Messiah <http://www.caesarsmessiah.com/>

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Thanks! Okay, so if the septuagint differs from the Torah, what do you think would be the emphasis of Paul's textbook if it had been more faithfully converted to Greek?

 

From an ealier post by Kayatl

"Paul was some scholars feel as important as Jesus as creating what is now one of the biggest international religions. Jesus was into apocalyptic endings, helping the poor (primarily if they were Jewish), and viewing the extensive orthodox Jewish laws in a more practical light.It was Paul who interjected love as an overriding theme in Christianity especially love of all people regardless of ethnicity. why did this change occur!Because of Paul's overriding ambition and the multiple ethnic groups which were part of Roman society an emphasis on brotherly love across all ethnicities became part of the Christian theme."

 

Do you think God/Jesus would not approve of this new emphasis?

 

Janet

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Hi "K"

Are you familiar with the relationship between Paul Gamaliel-2 and Hillel?

Yesterday, I gave the bios of Hillel and his opinion regarding The Torah Books of the Moseic Law. Gamaliel was Hillel's g-son and Paul's teacher in how to be a good Pharisee. If you read Hillel's bios, you will see that he was the originator of the text all Jews from his day to the present used/use to supplant the Torah given to Moses by EL over 40 days on Mt. Siani. For Hillel to opine that this sacred Israelite Text was Inadequate for his purposes, tells me that he was not intimately familiar with the history of the Israelites and their sojourn in Egypt and 40year treke in the wildeness. The only way Hillel,a Pharisee, could reach his conclusion regarding the inadequacy Of Torah was by his never receiving the instructions required to understand it or the penalty for altering Torah in any degree.(Deut:4-2) This should explain why The Word made Flesh was so upset with the Pharisees' interpretation of His Father's Word. It is this Phariseic/Talmudic foundation that Christianity was erected, and Zionism worships. Now, read from this perspective Matt.23:15 and the last part of verse9 @ Rev.2:9 and see if the motivation for the Jesus [Jot and Tittle] rebuke starts to make sense to you. Jesus with Paul as CEO would be the same as mixing Oil and Water. TORAH and TALMUD, the twain shall never meet.

 

The Mishnah and Talmud did not supplant the Torah. Our Mishnah and Talmud are elucidations of the Torah, they explain how the Torah laws should be enacted. So, for instance, while the Torah states, "An eye for an eye..." it doesn't explain, "how?" Our Mishnah and Talmud teach, "The value of an eye for an eye, and the value of a tooth for a tooth." And then the texts explain (I paraphrase): If one man should take the eye of another man, we measure the value of the victim (how much he was able to earn in the work-world) before loosing the eye, and then the value of the victim (again, measured by work-capacity) after loosing the eye. The defendant is then liable to the victim for the difference, the amount the victim lost; also, the defendant is liable to the victim for 'pain and suffering', etc., in much the same way as our courts function today.

 

In other words, our Mishnah and Talmud enable the Jewish people to enact the laws of the Torah.

 

RE Hillel: Hillel was a remarkably learned rabbi - a scholar. He most certainly knew the Torah inside and out, backwards and forwards.

 

Rabbi Benjamin

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After close scrutny of Jesus' gosple, I find that he alludes to the presence of what the Pharisees were marketing as being different from The Torah, by his many references to "your Law" or "doesn't your law say thus and such,ect,ect, ect". One of the most illuminating examples I found was Jn.8:3-11, where Jesus and the Pharisees were in the process of judging a woman allegedly caught in adultry. The claimax to the story was Jesus forgiveness of this woman and his instruction "to go and sin no more". Without the intervention of Jesus, this lady would of been stoned to death via the strict legalese of the Pharisees. It was this blatant disregard of the {spirit} of the Torah Law, the proselyte Pharisees weren't cognizant of, via their unfamiliarity with the long history of God's intervening in the lives of his chosen. This IMO, is the reason why the Proselytes Jews who adopted the religion of the Israelites, were unable to grasp the proper administration of Torah Law, and as Hillel stated, found it Inadequate as the primary source of Judaic Belief instruction, thus necessitatig the creation of The Talmud. Jesus' hangup with this source of Pharisaic knowledge was because it totally disregarded the edit of Torah Law at Deut.4:2. The Tribe of Judah were instructed by Moses to adhere to this command of their god.

It is from this Proselyte Pharisaic/Talmudic version of Judaic dogma, the Greek Septuagint Text as the foundation of Christianity was erected by Seventy Jewish Shcolars commissioned by Ptolemyll. Hillel, Gamaliel and the Apostle Paul were the purveyors of this Greek translated, Proselyte/Hebrew Text, which first came into being, I discovered, way back during the saga of the deportation of the Ten Israelite Tribes at 2Kgs.17:24-41. From this bit of Secular and Biblical history, is the foundation of Jesus' problem with the Pharisees, thus illiciting his Jot and Tittle pronouncemnt.

 

The Juanster

 

A valiant attempt, my friend. I applaud your desire to understand the Judaism of the times.

 

Basically, there were two 'mainline' groups of Jews at the time: the Sadducees and the Pharisees. The Sadducees were of the priestly clan; they wanted the Jewish world to continue to revolve around the Temple cult, the sacrifices, and they wanted Jewish political power to continue to rest in their hands. They interpreted the Torah in a very literal fashion.

 

The Pharisees were the progenitors of the modern-day rabbis. They were attempting to move Judaism away from a literal interpretation of the Torah and towards an analytical system that would enable the Torah to be interpreted and fairly implemented in their changing world. In fact, the root of the Hebrew word for 'Pharisee' means 'explanation': the Pharisees were the 'explainers', the elucidators of the Law. The pharisees were the ones who instituted prayer as a replacement for the Temple sacrifices.

 

Within the Pharisaic/rabbinic tradition, there was/is wide latitude in the interpretation of Torah laws. So, if you read the Mishnah and Talmud, for instance, you will see that many rabbis give their opinions regarding the proper interpretation of any given Torah law: some are lenient in their legal decisions, others are stringent, and many more are moderate. Jesus' interpretations were amongst the most lenient of the Pharisaic/rabbinic tradition.

 

Remember, the rabbinic tradition is a legal system: rabbis are, first and foremost, lawyers and judges. Jesus walked in this tradition and so when you read his words to other Jewish leaders, remember that he was using the legal language of their times. When Jesus said, "Your law," he was not excluding himself from the Law but rather engaging in legal debate.

 

Also, please recall that the Gospels were written, at the very least, 50-100 years after Jesus left this earth. The Gospel stories were written by individuals who had never met Jesus, had never met anyone who had ever met Jesus. The Gospel stories were handed down verbally from generation to generation, and recorded as best as possible given that the eventual writings were done by Christians living within a very different paradigm than that of Jesus himself.

 

Hope this helps a bit.

 

Rabbi Benjamin

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Also, please recall that the Gospels were written, at the very least, 50-100 years after Jesus left this earth. The Gospel stories were written by individuals who had never met Jesus, had never met anyone who had ever met Jesus. The Gospel stories were handed down verbally from generation to generation, and recorded as best as possible given that the eventual writings were done by Christians living within a very different paradigm than that of Jesus himself.

 

Hope this helps a bit.

 

Rabbi Benjamin

 

Rabbi,

 

First, welcome. Your contributions are needed and appreciated.

 

As to the Gospels, although as you say, they were written by those who never met Jesus, New Testament scholar, Richard Bauckham (Jesus and the Eyewitnesses), makes a good case that they were written by witnesses to eye witnesses. Of course, the stories are modified by subsequent events, different understandings and some mythologizing, but there is also an underlying thread of historicity. And, there were not that many generations between Jesus and the Gospels. There could easily have been people alive at the time of Jesus who were alive when the Gospels were written.

 

George

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Hello George, good to meet you - and thanks for the kind welcome!

 

As Bishop Spong and many other (Christian) theologians and scholars explain, it seems to me pretty clear that the Gospel writers were neither eye-witnesses nor witnesses to eye witnesses.

 

Paul's writings were the first on the scene - they predated the Gospels by decades - and yet have you ever noticed that Paul seems to know nothing about the Gospel stories? All those Gospel stories we know so well, like the Virgin Birth, the Annunciation, Jesus teaching in the synagogues as a youngster...Paul didn't mention a single one. What do you make of all this? Personally, it seems clear to me that given Paul was the first writer on the scene, his accounts of the Good News story are probably the most accurate.

 

Something else: as a Jew who practices his Judaism in a manner remarkably similar to the way Jesus would have, there are interesting tidbits in the Gospel stories that just do not line up, items that stick out like a sore thumb. I am not saying I believe these bits to be outright falsehoods - no one was out to hoodwink anyone - but rather that these bits tell me the Gospels were written quite late by individuals who, although they did their best to give over the accounts, were so remarkably removed in time from the actual events as to give over legends that they might not have fully understood. It makes sense: these Gospel stories were told orally in the synagogues on the Sabbath - and later on in the new Christian synagogue/churches - for many decades before being committed to writing, and of course the legends changed slightly over the years.

 

Of course, that doesn't mean there is no "underlying thread of historicity"! On the contrary, I do believe there is an underlying thread of historicity. No matter what we may personally believe, there was something extraordinary about Jesus, about his persona, that captured the hearts of many, and that "something special" drove people to tell the Gospel stories and eventually write them down.

 

 

Rabbi Benjamin

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Rabbi,

 

Yes, I am familiar with what Bishop Spong and others like him claim. However, I would encourage you to read Bauchham's book and see what you think. It is a careful and methodical examination of the evidence.

 

As an example, someone who was 20 in 30CE could have related their experiences to someone age 20 when they were 60 who puts this in writing when they were 60 (a witness to an eyewitness). This would date the writing to 110CE. Most (probably all) of the Gospels were written before this time. So, it is very plausible that someone could have easily witnessed to Mark (circa 65-80 CE) and Q (circa 40-50CE).

 

FWIW, Luke, unless he was lying or mistranslated, explicitly states that some of his sources were eyewitnesses.

 

George

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A valiant attempt, my friend. I applaud your desire to understand the Judaism of the times.

 

Basically, there were two 'mainline' groups of Jews at the time: the Sadducees and the Pharisees. The Sadducees were of the priestly clan; they wanted the Jewish world to continue to revolve around the Temple cult, the sacrifices, and they wanted Jewish political power to continue to rest in their hands. They interpreted the Torah in a very literal fashion.

 

The Pharisees were the progenitors of the modern-day rabbis. They were attempting to move Judaism away from a literal interpretation of the Torah and towards an analytical system that would enable the Torah to be interpreted and fairly implemented in their changing world. In fact, the root of the Hebrew word for 'Pharisee' means 'explanation': the Pharisees were the 'explainers', the elucidators of the Law. The pharisees were the ones who instituted prayer as a replacement for the Temple sacrifices.

 

Within the Pharisaic/rabbinic tradition, there was/is wide latitude in the interpretation of Torah laws. So, if you read the Mishnah and Talmud, for instance, you will see that many rabbis give their opinions regarding the proper interpretation of any given Torah law: some are lenient in their legal decisions, others are stringent, and many more are moderate. Jesus' interpretations were amongst the most lenient of the Pharisaic/rabbinic tradition.

 

Remember, the rabbinic tradition is a legal system: rabbis are, first and foremost, lawyers and judges. Jesus walked in this tradition and so when you read his words to other Jewish leaders, remember that he was using the legal language of their times. When Jesus said, "Your law," he was not excluding himself from the Law but rather engaging in legal debate.

 

Also, please recall that the Gospels were written, at the very least, 50-100 years after Jesus left this earth. The Gospel stories were written by individuals who had never met Jesus, had never met anyone who had ever met Jesus. The Gospel stories were handed down verbally from generation to generation, and recorded as best as possible given that the eventual writings were done by Christians living within a very different paradigm than that of Jesus himself.

 

Hope this helps a bit.

 

Rabbi Benjamin

 

Thanks Rabbi Ben,

You're definitely an answer to a prayer. I was just contemplating starting a new topic "Would A deeper Understanding of Torah From a Jewish Perspective, enhance Progressive Christianity". Apparently you noy only know Torah and the Talmud but are psychic also. :rolleyes:

 

Recently I was denied the opportunity to discuss a verse of Torah Gen. 9:27, which IMO, holds the key to the M.E. conflict and the pedigree of BenLaden. No one seems to grasp the relativity of Japheth's posterity upon current events, especially in reference to the "Time of the Gentiles being Fulfilled". Can expound upon this and tell me if you agree with this explanation of Gen.9:27:My link

 

From my understanding, Japheth's descendants were all Goy and not included in the Covenant, between HaShem and Abraham, the Patriarch of OBL , via the Seed of Abraham's son Ishmael.

Two questions; when did the enlargement of Japheth take place and was this enlargment a reference to the later three mass conversions of Gentiles to the faith of the Israelites?

Hopefully you can answer this before the thought Police goes into action. :ph34r:

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I appreciate your opinion, but there is a tremendous amount of internal evidence within the New Testament indicating that the Gospel story 'grew' between the writing of Mark (the first Gospel written) and Luke (the last Gospel written); I am pretty firm on this issue.

 

And, how about the fact that Paul's writings indicate no knowledge of the Gospel stories?

 

If it helps, we Jews have the same 'problem' with the Old Testament.

 

Rabbi Benjamin

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quote name='Rabbi Benjamin' timestamp='1306340702' post='24777']

I appreciate your opinion, but there is a tremendous amount of internal evidence within the New Testament indicating that the Gospel story 'grew' between the writing of Mark (the first Gospel written) and Luke (the last Gospel written); I am pretty firm on this issue.

 

And, how about the fact that Paul's writings indicate no knowledge of the Gospel stories?

 

If it helps, we Jews have the same 'problem' with the Old Testament.

 

Rabbi Benjamin

 

Rab,

I think I might of sent you the wrong link I wanted you to expound upon. This was what I thought I sent:

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=154&letter=J

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quote name='Rabbi Benjamin' timestamp='1306340702' post='24777']

I appreciate your opinion, but there is a tremendous amount of internal evidence within the New Testament indicating that the Gospel story 'grew' between the writing of Mark (the first Gospel written) and Luke (the last Gospel written); I am pretty firm on this issue.

 

And, how about the fact that Paul's writings indicate no knowledge of the Gospel stories?

 

If it helps, we Jews have the same 'problem' with the Old Testament.

 

Rabbi Benjamin

 

Rab,

I think I might of sent you the wrong link I wanted you to expound upon. This was what I thought I sent:

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=154&letter=J

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I appreciate your opinion, but there is a tremendous amount of internal evidence within the New Testament indicating that the Gospel story 'grew' between the writing of Mark (the first Gospel written) and Luke (the last Gospel written); I am pretty firm on this issue.

 

And, how about the fact that Paul's writings indicate no knowledge of the Gospel stories?

 

If it helps, we Jews have the same 'problem' with the Old Testament.

 

Rabbi Benjamin

 

There is no doubt that the Gospel stories "grew" from Mark to Luke who borrowed much from Mark (actually John was the last Gospel written). But, that doesn't mean that no one who experienced Jesus personally related their experience to a Gospel writer. I (nor Bauckham) are claiming the historicity of matters such as the virgin birth, literally walking on water and the like (of which Paul was unaware).

 

I am not sure what you mean by "the same problem."

 

George

Edited by GeorgeW
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Recently I was denied the opportunity to discuss a verse of Torah Gen. 9:27, which IMO, holds the key to the M.E. conflict and the pedigree of BenLaden. No one seems to grasp the relativity of Japheth's posterity upon current events, especially in reference to the "Time of the Gentiles being Fulfilled". Can expound upon this and tell me if you agree with this explanation of Gen.9:27:My link

 

From my understanding, Japheth's descendants were all Goy and not included in the Covenant, between HaShem and Abraham, the Patriarch of OBL , via the Seed of Abraham's son Ishmael.

Two questions; when did the enlargement of Japheth take place and was this enlargment a reference to the later three mass conversions of Gentiles to the faith of the Israelites?

Hopefully you can answer this before the thought Police goes into action. :ph34r:

 

Oh my: You are inquiring regarding one of the most obscure passages of the Torah! That entire story of Noach's drunkenness and his sons'/grandsons' responses is riddled with questions. Our sages have argued over this passage for at least two thousand years (not just the verse you mentioned, but the entire passage).

 

In my mind, this entire passage is a wonderful illustration of how a Biblical story 'morphs' into one almost inexplicable due to generations of verbal relatings prior to being written down. It's sort of like a child's game of 'Telephone': a group of children sit in a circle, one child whispers a brief 'story' to the next child, who does the same to the child next to him...and we all remember how funny and confused the story is related to all by the last child in the loop!

 

No one really knows what to make of this passage. We all agree that Noach got drunk and acted fairly indecently within the confines of his tent, and that his sons or grandsons covered him up. It is argued by some that one of the sons or grandsons took the opportunity to emasculate Noach. The rest of the story...well, it gets awfully confusing.

 

Regarding the particular verse you mentioned, I really don't have much to say. Given the confusion surrounding the entire passage, I am not sure that I can even take verse 27 at face value: this entire story became too garbled in the oral transmission process.

 

By the way, your link did not work for me, so I cannot address any issues I might have read there.

 

Rabbi Benjamin

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