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On 8/14/2020 at 8:06 PM, thormas said:

Earlier in this post I gave quotes from Ehrman, the 5th quote.

So are you talking about the quote ""Paul took seriously the words of the prophets that at the end of time God's salvation would extend not only to his people, Israel, but to all the nations of the earth.................the word of salvation, therefore, was not only for the people of Israel, but for all people."?

If so, I addressed it in the paragraph that I wrote following where I said I thought you were reading too much into Bart.  At the time I wrote "At the end of time, not before it.  And at the end, they will be saved if they capitulated to the God of Israel.  They were not being 'invited' into the Kingdom.  The prophets (Isaiah) were prophesying the end results after God had intervened.  There was no talk in Isaiah or other Jewish expectations about gentiles 'preparing' for the end times.  I think you misread 'Jewish expectations' in this regard."

On 8/14/2020 at 8:06 PM, thormas said:
 

Scholars: Allison, Ehrman, Hurtado, Fredrikesn, and Vermes and Hengel.  

I have given a fair reading and presented their take - what do you think of Bart's quote?

See above (if that is the quote you are referring to).

On 8/14/2020 at 8:06 PM, thormas said:
Settle the matter: a simple turn of phrase, the bottom line is that settled or not for you, the question remains what was the actual situation, what is the most accurate take - scholarly opinion trumps (no pun intended) amateur opinion. So there must be something in the texts for them to consider. Best to remain open and when time permits see what the experts are saying and why.

Actually there was a council and a decision. And we also have Acts: I'm still exploring this as I never gave Acts too much credit but some scholars show that it is different from Luke and is a history like Josephus' writings. Still reading. Paul's version? Okay but there is the reality of an increased Christian mission to the Gentiles - and even Peter seems involved unless Rome was a vacation gone wrong. 

Good one unless those missionaries came from the Jerusalem community. Still reading because I simply don't know. Ever heard of the Hellenist Christians? A bit new to me and exploring when time permits.

Part of the issue: was Paul in line with Jesus? - given some of the scholarly opinion I included above where Jesus is seen making reference to non-Jews (Gentiles) and the Kingdom. His focus was the Jews but is there mention and inclusion of the Gentiles and what is the scholarly take on these texts? Previously you didn't even consider these texts (see above). The other issue is that the disciples knew Jesus and if there were any mission to the Gentiles that they 'blessed' that is telling.

It seems convoluted and twisting Jesus to fit what otherwise to me seems pretty clear - that Jesus did not practice outreach to the gentiles and could so easily have made it clear that the Kingdom was an invitation for them also, if he just said so.  He is never recorded as saying that, which to me, seems the most telling evidence.

On 8/14/2020 at 8:06 PM, thormas said:
The point being it is your reading of Isiah and, as we both know, many times there is more than meets the eye - thus scholarly insight. I have not been focusing on invitation so much as inclusion and how that inclusion is handled (announcement, explanation and encouragement). The difference between us is that you rely on your reading and I turn to the scholars to get the fuller story.  

So it seems to you.

On 8/14/2020 at 8:06 PM, thormas said:

Yet the point remains. Jewish expectations of the kind of Messiah was turned on its head: Jesus was not a military Messiah and there was no conquest or coercion - as seen in the ministry of Jesus. And yet his disciples continued with their expectation of the coming Kingdom, preaching to Jews and Gentiles, in light of this reversal of understanding. The kind of 'evidence' intrigues me - thus I turn to the experts for greater insight.

I get the role of the disciples in the Kingdom but you seem to conceive of a rule like that of kingdoms of old. In his ministry Jesus did not rule like this, would the disciples who knew him (with the Risen Christ as their leader in the Kingdom) differ in how they ruled - would what they did have anything in common with earthy rule? 

Jesus didn't rule at all, and it is likely he believed he wasn't going to rule as he seems to have believed the Son of Man and/or God would be the rulers - in line with Jewish expectations.  There is speculation that Jesus may have been referring to himself as the Son of Man, but it is just that - speculation.  I think jesus expected a Kingdom like Isaiah where God would defeat his enemies and overthrow the powers that subjected Israel, then God would rule like a king.  The 'love' that Jesus was sharing was his message of the love that God had for the Jews, not the gentiles.  Hence why Jesus wasn't interested in preaching to the gentiles.

On 8/14/2020 at 8:06 PM, thormas said:

Were the Gentiles to be 'subject' to God? The prophet speaks of all feasting at the table of God - doesn't sound like subjects but rather those who have turned to and freely worship God. Thus conflicting images so turn to the scholars or at least I do.

Again, relying on two or three verses in all of Isaiah, when so clearly the language in the rest of the entire book of Isaiah is talking about defeating gentiles and their kingdoms.  It just doesn't weigh up, in my opinion.

On 8/14/2020 at 8:06 PM, thormas said:

First of all, what scholars? Sure some scholar have preconceived notions that they bring to the Bible but the best try to let the texts speak for themselves - like Ehrman and the others I have included above.

Like I said, I think you read too much into Ehrman in this instance.

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Time to throw AJ into all this.  

Forgiveness is the only way to rid yourself of resentment.  It does nothing for the other, but everything for the self.

I agree.

12 hours ago, PaulS said:

So are you talking about the quote ""Paul took seriously the words of the prophets that at the end of time God's salvation would extend not only to his people, Israel, but to all the nations of the earth.................the word of salvation, therefore, was not only for the people of Israel, but for all people."?

That's the one:

  • Ehrman, since he wrote it, says not only did Paul understand and take seriously the words of Israel's prophets but that those words meant the "word of salvation' (would extend) ...for all people." So Paul was in agreement on this with the prophets and Jesus.
  • Ehrman also (as indicated in previous posts) shows that Jesus did indeed refer to and include 'non-Jews' (pagans) in some of his sayings and parables when talking about the Kingdom for all. 
  • Another issue is should any of the interactions of Jesus (listed by Elen) with non-Jews be considered as historical or of a piece with his teachings?  
  • And finally, the remaining question(s) is did Jesus allow for 'announcing' the Kingdom to the Gentiles, do his saying indicate only a violent ending and/or was such a mission in line with Jesus' teaching in the minds of his closest followers?

I am not attempting to twist anything just get to the bottom after considering everything and turning to the scholars for information and interpretation. Jesus taught in parables and the some of those parables are said to reference the Gentiles. 

To be fair it has to be asked whether or not such mention in parables is considered an 'outreach.'  However as I said earlier, "I have not been focusing on invitation so much as inclusion and how that inclusion is handled (announcement, explanation and encouragement)."

Concerning Jesus as the Son of Man: what you say is likely a bit more complicated according to the scholars. It is speculation either way.

 

As I have said, I have no problem if I am wrong I am just trying to fully understand and for that we amateurs need the help the scholars.

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Concerning point #1 above, Ehrman, in his book 'The Triumph of Christianity' writes, "Throughout the prophets of Scripture can be found predictions that at the end of time God would bring outsiders into the fold of the people of God as gentiles flock to the good news that comes forth from his chosen ones, the message delivered through his Jewish people."

And he quotes from Isiah2:2-3, "Many peoples shall come and say, 'Come let us go up to the mountains of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways, and that we may walk in his paths.' For out of Zion shall go forth instruction and the world of the Lord from Jerusalem."

And Zechariah, "Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem........saying (to the Jews), "Let us go with you , for we have heard that God is with you."

______________

Now on a fair reading, Ehrman is saying that gentiles would go in crowds to hear the good news delivered by the Jews. 

And the two prophets predict that the gentiles will decide to go to the Jews so they can learn God's ways and walk with him. Instruction is to come from the Jews and the gentiles will seek to learn.  

There are indeed verses which talk of a horrible ending and the coercion and judgment of the Gentiles......but these verses (above) speak of a different reality that the prophets predict (and of which Jesus would have been aware).

Still exploring.........

 

 

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7 hours ago, thormas said:

That's the one:

  • Ehrman, since he wrote it, says not only did Paul understand and take seriously the words of Israel's prophets but that those words meant the "word of salvation' (would extend) ...for all people." So Paul was in agreement on this with the prophets and Jesus.
  • Ehrman also (as indicated in previous posts) shows that Jesus did indeed refer to and include 'non-Jews' (pagans) in some of his sayings and parables when talking about the Kingdom for all. 
  • Another issue is should any of the interactions of Jesus (listed by Elen) with non-Jews be considered as historical or of a piece with his teachings?  
  • And finally, the remaining question(s) is did Jesus allow for 'announcing' the Kingdom to the Gentiles, do his saying indicate only a violent ending and/or was such a mission in line with Jesus' teaching in the minds of his closest followers?
  • I think the devil is in the detail.  Israel's prophets did not mean salvation in the same context as Paul to the gentiles.  Indeed, is the word salvation directed at the gentiles in Isaiah?  No.  The salvation that any of the prophets may have referring to for non-Jews was that gentiles got to exist after the Kingdom came if they capitulated to the God of Israel.  Paul on the other hand, and definitely not in line with the prophets, was preaching salvation to gentiles by belief in Jesus.  Totally different.
  • Which Jesus sayings did Jesus indeed refer to non-Jews entering the Kingdom?  Which ones does Ehrman claim to be Jesus' sayings?
  • Jesus may have interacted with non-Jews - I don't imagine that he lived in a bubble.  But just because he interacted with them, or even had sympathy for them, doesn't mean he was inviting them into the Kingdom.  He simply doesn't according to the NT - ever.
  • I'm guessing by 'violent ending' you are referring to God overthrowing his enemies when the Kingdom came.  I don't think Jesus view or that of the Prophets was a violent ending for all non-Jews.  Those that capitulated and subjected themselves to the God of Israel would live.

 

7 hours ago, thormas said:

I am not attempting to twist anything just get to the bottom after considering everything and turning to the scholars for information and interpretation. Jesus taught in parables and the some of those parables are said to reference the Gentiles. 

I don't think you're deliberately twisting to be devious, I just think you have to do some NT-gymnastics and harmonizing to present a Jesus and a Paul that both align with the Prophets on the Kingdom.

7 hours ago, thormas said:

To be fair it has to be asked whether or not such mention in parables is considered an 'outreach.'  However as I said earlier, "I have not been focusing on invitation so much as inclusion and how that inclusion is handled (announcement, explanation and encouragement)."

Again, Jesus isn't recorded explaining the Kingdom to non-Jews and isn't recorded as encouraging them to join the Kingdom.

7 hours ago, thormas said:

Concerning Jesus as the Son of Man: what you say is likely a bit more complicated according to the scholars. It is speculation either way.

I thought that was what I said.  It is speculative either way, presently.

7 hours ago, thormas said:

As I have said, I have no problem if I am wrong I am just trying to fully understand and for that we amateurs need the help the scholars.

We need their help yes, but even scholars speculate and guess or 'lean' a certain way, not necessarily based on inarguable evidence.

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4 hours ago, thormas said:

Concerning point #1 above, Ehrman, in his book 'The Triumph of Christianity' writes, "Throughout the prophets of Scripture can be found predictions that at the end of time God would bring outsiders into the fold of the people of God as gentiles flock to the good news that comes forth from his chosen ones, the message delivered through his Jewish people."

And he quotes from Isiah2:2-3, "Many peoples shall come and say, 'Come let us go up to the mountains of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways, and that we may walk in his paths.' For out of Zion shall go forth instruction and the world of the Lord from Jerusalem."

And Zechariah, "Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem........saying (to the Jews), "Let us go with you , for we have heard that God is with you."

______________

Now on a fair reading, Ehrman is saying that gentiles would go in crowds to hear the good news delivered by the Jews. 

After the Kingdom has come and enemies have been overthrown.

4 hours ago, thormas said:

And the two prophets predict that the gentiles will decide to go to the Jews so they can learn God's ways and walk with him. Instruction is to come from the Jews and the gentiles will seek to learn.  

Once the Kingdom has arrived.

4 hours ago, thormas said:

There are indeed verses which talk of a horrible ending and the coercion and judgment of the Gentiles......but these verses (above) speak of a different reality that the prophets predict (and of which Jesus would have been aware).

 

Prophets like Isaiah say that also - the horrible ending is for the powers that subjugate Israel.  They were to be overthrown and destroyed.  'Innocent' individuals so to speak will survive if they aren't against the God of Israel.  These are the ones who will 'flock to learn' etc.

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5 minutes ago, PaulS said:

Jesus may have interacted with non-Jews - I don't imagine that he lived in a bubble.  But just because he interacted with them, or even had sympathy for them, doesn't mean he was inviting them into the Kingdom.  He simply doesn't according to the NT - ever.

I think you will find that Jesus used a parable to indicate the gentiles were to be included in the kingdom. In fact many of the Jews were left out.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_Great_Banquet

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54 minutes ago, PaulS said:

After the Kingdom has come and enemies have been overthrown.

 

That is the question and neither Ehrman nor the quoted prophets make that a definitive conclusion.

1 hour ago, PaulS said:

Prophets like Isaiah say that also - the horrible ending is for the powers that subjugate Israel.  They were to be overthrown and destroyed.  'Innocent' individuals so to speak will survive if they aren't against the God of Israel.  These are the ones who will 'flock to learn' etc.

I have no problem recognizing the prophets on the end time including the overthrow of the kingdoms and I agree about the innocents. However, the question is do these innocents flock to the Jews for instruction about the good news before the Kingdom is established or after? If it is good news it seems that it would be before - just as Jesus announced the good news of the Kingdom before not after it was to be established. 

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1 hour ago, PaulS said:

Again, Jesus isn't recorded explaining the Kingdom to non-Jews and isn't recorded as encouraging them to join the Kingdom.

 

Agreed but as we said that was not his focus, however he did speak of the gentiles (see Ehrman) in his parables being included. And a question for me is - was that interaction, especially in light of his teachings, an 'invitation' in itself?

 

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1 hour ago, PaulS said:
  • We need their help yes, but even scholars speculate and guess or 'lean' a certain way, not necessarily based on inarguable evidence.

No one said inarguable, the point is that the scholars 'speculation' is more grounded than an amateur and that makes a difference - sometimes a considerable difference.

 

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4 hours ago, JosephM said:

I think you will find that Jesus used a parable to indicate the gentiles were to be included in the kingdom. In fact many of the Jews were left out.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_Great_Banquet

I don't find that at all, but I can see how others do, particularly if they view Christianity through a Pauline lens, which I think has long been the 'classical' take on Jesus and Christianity.

The parable can (probably should) be read as the religious Jews being spurned and instead, the 'lesser' of God's people being invited.  This seems to be a theme of Jesus' ministry and is further pointed out in Luke where the same parable has the invitation being extended particularly to the "poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame", evidencing explicit concern for the "poor and the outcasts", again, more aligned with what we understand of Jesus compared to him inviting the gentiles.

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3 hours ago, thormas said:
 

That is the question and neither Ehrman nor the quoted prophets make that a definitive conclusion.

They don't say it's not either, and the rest of their sayings certainly point toward it.  This is what I mean about reading into Ehrman - because he doesn''t make it a definite conclusion, you assumed he wasn't thinking that way, and I disagree.

3 hours ago, thormas said:

I have no problem recognizing the prophets on the end time including the overthrow of the kingdoms and I agree about the innocents. However, the question is do these innocents flock to the Jews for instruction about the good news before the Kingdom is established or after? If it is good news it seems that it would be before - just as Jesus announced the good news of the Kingdom before not after it was to be established. 

I don't think that is a question, I think it is pretty clear, but I understand you're not convinced.

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3 hours ago, thormas said:
Agreed but as we said that was not his focus, however he did speak of the gentiles (see Ehrman) in his parables being included. And a question for me is - was that interaction, especially in light of his teachings, an 'invitation' in itself?

I just think you're making it too hard for yourself.  if Jesus was interested in sharing the Kingdom with the gentiles, he would have said so.  He didn't.  He never did.  He never preached to them, when he so easily could have.  To say his 'focus' was on the Jews because in 3 or 4 years of Ministry he couldn't preach one message to the gentiles seems a stretch to me.  To me it seems much clearer that he wasn't interested in gentiles, and for good reason.  They weren't God's chosen people.

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3 hours ago, thormas said:

No one said inarguable, the point is that the scholars 'speculation' is more grounded than an amateur and that makes a difference - sometimes a considerable difference.

I don't disregard scholars but unlike you, I don't think they are right on all their speculations.  Different scholars at different times range from pinpoint accuracy to pure speculation and guesswork.  To say their speculation is more grounded is giving them way too much credit sometimes.  I think it's a bit naive to say because they are a scholar that they are always right (or are more grounded than an amateur).  Much of the field of this work is speculative. 

I also think, as I have mentioned before, that you read things into scholars like Ehrman that they aren't necessarily thinking or saying.

But, you run with what works for you.  I don't have the inclination to convince you otherwise, that's not my interest, just enjoying a bit of a debate about the matter whilst I have the time.  Later this week I'm back at work and will be quite absent from here.

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7 hours ago, PaulS said:

I don't disregard scholars but unlike you, I don't think they are right on all their speculations.  Different scholars at different times range from pinpoint accuracy to pure speculation and guesswork.  To say their speculation is more grounded is giving them way too much credit sometimes.  I think it's a bit naive to say because they are a scholar that they are always right (or are more grounded than an amateur).  Much of the field of this work is speculative. 

I also think, as I have mentioned before, that you read things into scholars like Ehrman that they aren't necessarily thinking or saying.

But, you run with what works for you.  I don't have the inclination to convince you otherwise, that's not my interest, just enjoying a bit of a debate about the matter whilst I have the time.  Later this week I'm back at work and will be quite absent from here.

What you say about scholars may be true, however, for years, I have taken my nod from Ehrman and sought out what he refers to as 'critical biblical scholars and historians.' There are points of disagreement but there is also a high degree of agreement. I now include about a dozen such scholars and it is growing. I have always been and still am more interested in theology that I am in biblical studies. However, I have, in part, you to thank for a growing interest in the latter: you have brought up topics, for example the Temple incident, that have sparked my interest and led me to do a good deal of reading/research to get the best possible answer, discovering in the process that it s more nuanced that you (and others) have allowed. Thus the preference/need for critical scholarly opinion vs. amateur opinion when not simply reading but seeking to understand the text at a deeper level.

So, I never said scholars were always right on their speculation. However, scholarly speculation or opinion is more grounded: for example, Hurtado has delved into Paul and what it tells us about the earliest 'Christian communities.' For someone to have a contrary opinion is fine but for it to be taken seriously, he/she would have to show where Hurtado is wrong or engaging in ungrounded speculation. That hasn't been done here.

 

Running with what works for you is fine and that you don't have time or an inclination is also fine - however critical scholars - as opposed to an amateur opinion -  know and show that there is more to the Bible than the untrained, unsupported eye beholds.

I'm not looking to be convinced and I too enjoy a bit of debate but in these kinds of debates I am also looking to develop a more nuanced understanding of the text that is most often missed in an amateur opinion.   

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7 hours ago, PaulS said:

They don't say it's not either, and the rest of their sayings certainly point toward it.  This is what I mean about reading into Ehrman - because he doesn''t make it a definite conclusion, you assumed he wasn't thinking that way, and I disagree.

All I did was report what Ehrman and the two prophets said. I didn't say anyone make it a definite conclusion. 

You miss my point: I recognize the other sayings - it is just that these saying adds something interesting to the mix and then the questions remain: did the end-time, in addition to an annihilation of pagan kingdoms, have instruction on the good news coming from the jews that (other) Gentiles sought/flocked to? If so, was it before or after the Kingdom was established?

Seems you are reading into me, not me into Ehrman. 🙂

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8 hours ago, PaulS said:

I just think you're making it too hard for yourself.  if Jesus was interested in sharing the Kingdom with the gentiles, he would have said so.  He didn't.  He never did.  He never preached to them, when he so easily could have.  To say his 'focus' was on the Jews because in 3 or 4 years of Ministry he couldn't preach one message to the gentiles seems a stretch to me.  To me it seems much clearer that he wasn't interested in gentiles, and for good reason.  They weren't God's chosen people.

Don't worry, I can take it.

You seem to miss that Jesus' focus on the Jews was one thing but as Ehrman shows his parables speak of pagans participating in the Kingdom. So if true, then he took it for granted that Gentiles would share the Kingdom. 

We have established he didn't preach to them because he came to announce the good news to the people of God. It might seem a stretch to you but that was the mission and he apparently took it seriously right to the end.

 

*I get that you have issues with Paul of the NT (that he took Christianity in a way contrary to what Jesus preached) but you seem to allow that have an adverse impact on your understanding that the sole focus of Jesus on the Jews did not necessarily mean that "he wasn't interested in gentiles."  They were simply and understandably were not his focus. 

Can you point to any scholars who is this definitive? I am curious.

 

*p.s. that is the equivalent of you saying I read into Ehrman 😜

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11 hours ago, PaulS said:

I don't find that at all, but I can see how others do, particularly if they view Christianity through a Pauline lens, which I think has long been the 'classical' take on Jesus and Christianity.

The parable can (probably should) be read as the religious Jews being spurned and instead, the 'lesser' of God's people being invited.  This seems to be a theme of Jesus' ministry and is further pointed out in Luke where the same parable has the invitation being extended particularly to the "poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame", evidencing explicit concern for the "poor and the outcasts", again, more aligned with what we understand of Jesus compared to him inviting the gentiles.

Well, what kind of God wouldn't include everyone! 🙂 The OT shows a mixed multitude coming out of Egypt with the Jews. The word Gentile is not an original Hebrew or Greek word. It is not a blood line.

Gentile (from Latin gentilis 'of or belonging to the same people or nation',

Yes, Jesus was a Jew and his ministry was focused on the Jews . However this did not exclude Gentiles with faith as in the Mark and Mathew examples. All the Gospels include an emphasis on global mission not just Israel. That is plain to see from reading all 4 Gospels. Why else would he command his people to preach the gospel to all the world.

Mathew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15 and John 1 says "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe." and John 3:16  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that WHOEVER believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. The book of John is filled with quotes by Jesus like "whosoever believeth in me"

Even excluding all of Paul's letters, more quotes of Jesus plus the OT show that Jesus came for all regardless of his ministry focus on the Jews. 

PS : If you use the writings to argue your point . You must use them all in context or none at all. I have excluded Pauline writings as a courtesy. 😄

 

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I've found another verse that shows Jesus preaching and teaching to non-Jews, alongside and with a good number of people from the Jewish regions:

Mark 3:7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed. 8 When they heard about all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon

I've had a little trouble figuring out who the Idumeans are, seems like they are half Jewish and half not, but I'm not sure. Indecently Herod was Idumean.

"Regions across the Jordan", sounds pretty non-Jewish to me.

I believe Tyre and Sidon are Greek Hellenistic areas Edit> I'm sorry, these are Canaanite areas. I don't always do so well when just typing from memory.

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2 minutes ago, Elen1107 said:

I've found another verse that shows Jesus preaching and teaching to non-Jews, alongside and with a good number of people from the Jewish regions:

Mark 3:7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed. 8 When they heard about all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon

I've had a little trouble figuring out who the Idumeans are, seems like they are half Jewish and half not, but I'm not sure. Indecently Herod was Idumean.

"Regions across the Jordan", sounds pretty non-Jewish to me.

I believe Tyre and Sidon are Greek Hellenistic areas

It seems with all gospel texts it has to be determined (if possible) if they go back to the historical Jesus or are created by the writers for theological reasons. 

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15 minutes ago, thormas said:

It seems with all gospel texts it has to be determined (if possible) if they go back to the historical Jesus or are created by the writers for theological reasons. 

If the Gospels were created by and for the Greek speaking people in the synagogues, outside of Judea, as JS Spong says, would they have noticed this or known if this was true or not?

One would think that they would have noticed this, and known where these regions were and what kinds of people lived there.

If this was in the synagogues, then one would think that a good number of these people were Jewish-Christians. Would these people be more likely to include or exclude non-Jewish people in the stories concerning Jesus's ministry? Perhaps they would have done neither and just told the story as best they could remember or knew of it.

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6 minutes ago, Elen1107 said:

If the Gospels were created by and for the Greek speaking people in the synagogues, outside of Judea, as JS Spong says, would they have noticed this or known if this was true or not?

One would think that they would have noticed this, and known where these regions were and what kinds of people lived there.

If this was in the synagogues, then one would think that a good number of these people were Jewish-Christians. Would these people be more likely to include or exclude non-Jewish people in the stories concerning Jesus's ministry? Perhaps they would have done neither and just told the story as best they could remember or knew of it.

Great question and I don't have a definitive answer. The question is always what did the writers and the audience (so to speak) believe? 

Who among those pagans in the synagogues would even know to raise the question? Who would actually know it went back to Jesus or not - even Mark was 40 years after the death of Jesus? Even the writers if they received information from oral or written sources, would they know? Certainly they knew if they arranged sayings or events in order to tell the story the writer intended but would even the writers question 'inherited' material? 

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1 hour ago, thormas said:

Great question and I don't have a definitive answer. The question is always what did the writers and the audience (so to speak) believe? 

Who among those pagans in the synagogues would even know to raise the question? Who would actually know it went back to Jesus or not - even Mark was 40 years after the death of Jesus? Even the writers if they received information from oral or written sources, would they know? Certainly they knew if they arranged sayings or events in order to tell the story the writer intended but would even the writers question 'inherited' material? 

If there were a bunch of people who were not Jewish, who were converted by Jesus himself, would they and their children still be milling around the areas or nearby areas mentioned in the Gospels? 

Would the Jewish-Christians, in the synagogue(s) where Mark was first composed, known or been aware of some of these people and or their children?

Could they have had another reason for including these peoples in Mark or the other Gospels?

If they were Jewish-Christians they may have felt that they could benefit more by just making Jesus's ministry only about Jewish Christian converts, (after all they had thought of themselves as the "chosen people"). Could there have been some non-Jewish Christians that did get left out because they wanted the Gospel to be more exclusively about the Jewish people? - Perhaps they couldn't get away with leaving out all the non-Jewish Christians who were converted by Jesus, entirely, because there were just too many of them, so they had to mention at least some of them?

I'm just typing down a train of thought here, and speculating. Fraid  I'm not being fair to the people surrounding the composing of Mark. Just trying to get a variety of pictures on what could have been happening and this is just one of them. Could come up with another one that has entirely the opposite perspective. I'd like to think that the writing of Mark has a good amount of honesty in it, even if it was designed as liturgy and not a verbatim history. . . Just stuff to think about.

Thanks for reading

Edit/add > Seems to me if Mark got edited by non-Jewish-Christian people sometime later when the first copies that we have were made, they would have added a lot more Gentiles/non-Jewish converts. That is if editing was going on in relation to this topic.

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Edit 2 > I'm adding this after thormas's last comment below, I'm out of comments again for the next 24 hours or so.

Seems that there are such people in the Gospels

All we have is speculation right now. If any speculations can lead people somewhere, then that could be a good thing. Perhaps all we'll ever have is speculation, and we will never know this/these things for sure. Sometimes good ideas and insights start with speculation, and other times all they'll ever be is "just speculation". 

Edited by Elen1107
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13 minutes ago, Elen1107 said:

If there were a bunch of people who were not Jewish, who were converted by Jesus himself, would they and their children still be milling around the areas or nearby areas mentioned in the Gospels? 

Would the Jewish-Christians, in the synagogue(s) where Mark was first composed, known or been aware of some of these people and or their children?

Could they have had another reason for including these peoples in Mark or the other Gospels?

If they were Jewish-Christians they may have felt that they could benefit more by just making Jesus's ministry only about Jewish Christian converts, (after all they had thought of themselves as the "chosen people"). Could there have been some non-Jewish Christians that did get left out because they wanted the Gospel to be more exclusively about the Jewish people? - Perhaps they couldn't get away with leaving out all the non-Jewish Christians who were converted by Jesus, entirely, because there were just too many of them, so they had to mention at least some of them?

I'm just typing down a train of thought here, and speculating. Fraid  I'm not being fair to the people surrounding the composing of Mark. Just trying to get a variety of pictures on what could have been happening and this is just one of them. Could come up with another one that has entirely the opposite perspective. I'd like to think that the writing of Mark has a good amount of honesty in it, even if it was designed as liturgy and not a verbatim history. . . Just stuff to think about.

Thanks for reading

Edit/add > Seems to me if Mark got edited by non-Jewish-Christian people sometime later when the first copies that we have were made, they would have added a lot more Gentiles/non-Jewish converts. That is if editing was going on in relation to this topic.

Are there any such people in the gospels? And, if there are, same question: how does anyone know if it is historical or created?

All your questions are speculative and there are no answers to my knowledge.

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7 hours ago, JosephM said:

Yes, Jesus was a Jew and his ministry was focused on the Jews . However this did not exclude Gentiles with faith as in the Mark and Mathew examples. All the Gospels include an emphasis on global mission not just Israel. That is plain to see from reading all 4 Gospels. Why else would he command his people to preach the gospel to all the world.

The Mark examples?  What, the single story where Jesus likens the gentile woman to a dog?  What other Markan examples are you drawing on to conclude an emphasis on a global mission being in accordance with Jesus' teaching?  And in our earlier sources of Mark there was no command to preach the gospel to the world.  This seems to be a later edition.  I wonder why.

7 hours ago, JosephM said:

Mathew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15 and John 1 says "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe." and John 3:16  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that WHOEVER believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. The book of John is filled with quotes by Jesus like "whosoever believeth in me"

All men meaning all Jews.  That's how they were referring to God's people.

7 hours ago, JosephM said:

Even excluding all of Paul's letters, more quotes of Jesus plus the OT show that Jesus came for all regardless of his ministry focus on the Jews. 

I disagree.  I think one has to try and thread that together rather than just accept the relatively obvious - Jesus wasn't interested in preaching to the gentiles.

7 hours ago, JosephM said:

PS : If you use the writings to argue your point . You must use them all in context or none at all. I have excluded Pauline writings as a courtesy. 

I agree.  It seems to me though that the argument for Jesus outreaching to all is taken out of context wherever it is considered (later endings to Mark, calling a gentile woman a dog actually meaning the Kingdom was equally for them, etc).

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10 hours ago, thormas said:

All I did was report what Ehrman and the two prophets said. I didn't say anyone make it a definite conclusion. 

No, you added your understanding of what you think they were saying.

10 hours ago, thormas said:

You miss my point: I recognize the other sayings - it is just that these saying adds something interesting to the mix and then the questions remain: did the end-time, in addition to an annihilation of pagan kingdoms, have instruction on the good news coming from the jews that (other) Gentiles sought/flocked to? If so, was it before or after the Kingdom was established?

After.  Following the destruction and desolation of the powers that subjected Israel.

10 hours ago, thormas said:

Seems you are reading into me, not me into Ehrman. 🙂

No, your posts demonstrate your opinions of what Bart and others have written.  They are you interpretations essentially.  I think they are mistaken.

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