"Visions" of Jesus in the earliest sources
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07-10-2015, 05:27 AM (This post was last modified: 07-10-2015 07:00 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: "Visions" of Jesus in the earliest sources
(06-10-2015 07:09 PM)GotIssues Wrote:  Second Temple Judaism was a visionary culture. People claimed to see things all the time.

Great. Then lets have 10 examples ONLY from Second Temple period Judaism of "visions" of PEOPLE, and then tell us what your expertise is in the field.

"Ophthe" is not the English equivalent to "appear". Sorry.
"When Saul first talks about the resurrection, other than himself as a "revealed" thing, he says that he "appeared to Cephas". The word "appeared", is an ok translation but not exactly correct, in context. The Greek word is "ophthe". It has a *passive* element. In English it is an intransitive verb. "Appeared" is a word which means "to become visible", or "was made visible", or "became apparent". The Greek verb is the past tense of the passive verb "horao", "to see", ("was seen"). The passive translation is "The Anointed has been seen by Cephas". HOWEVER, normally a Greek translation of "by whom" would be translated in Greek using the "hypo" (preposition), to indicate "agency". THAT is not here, in the Greek. It really should be translated as "The Anointed has been seen FOR the advantage of Cephas or to BENEFIT Cephas, or for Cephas' *advantage*". It does NOT mean "Cephas saw the Anointed". It means the "Anointed was made manifest for Cephas' advantage". That begins to look very different, than Cephas seeing something. It's more like Saul's "vision" (change of viewpoint). There are many examples of these kinds of misuse, and mistranslations, due to assumed cultural overlay, which when translated correctly, make the entire picture look very very different, especially in terms of the many "sightings" of various beings, and mysterious things, in both the Old and New Testaments. The most famous of these "shifts" is the sighting of Moses of Yahweh in the burning bush, where the angel shifts into the bush and is also "seen for" Yahweh, when Abraham moves from Ur, (which Philo of Alexandria talks about around 20-50 CE, in "On Abraham"). There is NO physical "seeing". The correct translations all mean "seeing in the mind". It's a MENTAL change. Guess what ? SAUL's "blinding", and the "new seeing" is an EXACT correlation of these prior Biblical "manifestations", and any Jew or Christian, or Greek of the day would conflate these various "manifestations", "blindings", "and then seeings" as METAPHOR, for a mental attitude change. The same verbs, and words are used. Sauls blinding and then "seeing" was equated, as Abraham's "vision", where his "mind saw again with it's recovered sight". Just like Saul. Saul "saw" with a different "sight". It was NOT a physical thing. It was a metaphor for a mental change. THAT is how he "*saw* the Anointed One". It like we say, "oh, ok, I get it, now". He did not intend to say he physically "saw" the Anointed One. It means "I have come to understand the Anointed One". In 1 Corintians 9:1-2, in defending his apostleship, he appeals to his new "seeing". "Have I not seen the Lord". That means that a requirement for apostleship, one has to have "seen the light Lord". But here he changes the passive past tense, to active verb. He means the "seeing" has an ONGOING present continuing "influence". It's all missed in translation, usually.
--- from the link I provided (which I wrote before Ehrman published his book).

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07-10-2015, 08:41 AM
RE: "Visions" of Jesus in the earliest sources
What a bunch of gibberish. First, I'd like to point out that you totally ignored getting called out on the Ehrman book. This is a classic example of someone citing a work but not knowing what they're talking about.

Second of all, it seems that when you don't have an actual argument your knee jerk reaction is to create a bunch of straw man arguments in the hopes that one of them sticks.

Thirdly, exactly how would you describe the "appearances" in 1 Cor 15:5-8? If you won't call them "visions" then what were they? And where are the scholarly arguments that support your view?

(07-10-2015 04:11 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
Quote:So yet another CHRISTIAN believer NT writer you present as an expert on older Hebrew culture. Hahahaha. I don't care what he says.


Maurice Casey was not a believer and I'm not sure what Jonge's beliefs are. Do you? Or did you just assume that everyone who disagrees with you must be an evangelical? I'm not sure why you keep bringing up "Hebrew culture". You keep asserting that the scholars I cited don't know anything about it. Exactly how do you know that? Were you there when they completed their PhDs? Assertions are not arguments or evidence. Since the NT documents arose out of a Hellenistic Jewish milieu, I'd say most NT scholars have quite a bit of knowledge about Hebrew culture. You should try broadening your horizons a bit and not act like you know it all when you don't.

[quote]Your premise is patently false. Acts were not ''early sources". They were not 'earlier' than the gospels.

Straw man argument. When I said "earliest sources" I meant Paul's letters. Thanks.

Quote:The gospels say nothing about "visions" of a god.


I never said they did. Is your straw man stun gun set to auto-repeat? Jeez...

We have Paul's own admission from 2 Cor 12:1 - It is necessary to boast; nothing is to be gained by it, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.

Matthew 17:9 refers to the Transfiguration as a vision. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

Luke 1:22
And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: and he continued making signs unto them, and remained dumb.

Luke 24:23
and when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive.

Quote:No Jew thought of Jesus as a god,

When did I ever say this?

Quote:and the early Christians were JEWS for decades, if not centuries. At the end of the 1st Century, the High Priest required the Expulsion Curses to be read as the members of the Way subsect of JEWS (Christians) were still going to the synagogues. The Jews did not believe in an afterlife until very late in the apocalyptic period.


This is completely off-topic. Do you think it makes you look smart to bring up stuff that's not relevant to the discussion at all? Here's a hint - it doesn't.

Quote:Voices and other "theophanies" are not "visions".


I'm using the term "vision" as all encompassing for these subjective experiences. Again, how would you describe the "appearances" in 1 Cor 15:5-8 if not visions?

Quote:HJ de Jonge also is not an expert in OT or Hebrew anything. He's a professor of NT, NOT OT. There is a vast difference.


Did we suddenly change the topic from the NT Christian documents to the OT? We are talking about Christianity and the NT after all aren't we?

Quote:All your examples above are not "visions" and are not even remotely similar to what is described in the NT.

The examples show how the word ōphthē was used. And of course, the NT does not describe Jesus' appearance as a vision. The gospels were written after Paul's letters and have a more "physical" view of resurrection. That was the whole point of my argument to show the development throughout the sources.

Quote:There is no mainstream scholar that claims there was a tradition of "visions" in which the resurrection falls.

There you go with that word "mainstream" again. Did you learn that on an atheist blog or something?

Quote:Jesus was not a god until much later, and certainly never thought of a equivalent to Yahweh. The Hebrew notion was that no one could look on Yahweh and live.

Totally off-topic and irrelevant.

Quote:It would REALLY help if these people knew something about what they were talking and stuck to their own fields of expertise.

I don't think anyone is qualified to keep up with your high demand of straw man arguments. You have not shown anything wrong with the sources I've used. You keep saying "so and so is not an expert in such and such". This is just a textbook genetic fallacy and a mere assertion.

Quote:All Casey does is repeat the same old same old believer tripe about what he claims (with almost no references EXCEPT to the Bible) about what his opinions are about what Christians believed.


Casey was not a believer. Where do you get your info from? Why do you keep making stuff up? You've never read his book so lets not comment on things we know nothing about ok.

Quote:They were Jews. Jews didn't believe in people going to heaven. In his Christmas sermon in 400 CE, John Chrysostom tells his congregation to stop going to synagogue. I simply don't buy it. The gospels say nothing about "visions". They are consistent with the concept of Jewish "shades" and Sheol being the place of afterlife. Paul thought only the saved were immortal. So you have two people who present Christian views of sources they are not expert in. I don't buy it. It's not consistent with ancient Hebrew thought. The idea of "afterlife" changed radically during the post-Exilic period as it came closer to the millennial change,

Since you quoted Ehrman's book have you read chapter 6 yet or did you just throw that out to make yourself look smart?

Quote:but Jews did not "see" Yahweh. Ever. Exodus 33:20 "But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live."

Exodus 33:11
Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then he would return to the camp; but his young assistant, Joshua son of Nun, would not leave the tent.

Quote:Try reading "The Trouble with Resurrection". http://www.amazon.com/Trouble-Resurrecti...1598150200
He says nothing about "visions".


Argument from silence. There's a whole wealth of scholarly literature on the subject. I've read my fair share of it. Thanks. BTW, the description of the book here says: Furthermore, most Christians believe in a physical resurrection, although Paul clearly calls this into question.

That's pretty much exactly what the argument in the OP does as well so in that we agree.

Quote:It simply does not fit with Hebrew culture of the late apocalyptic period. Theophanies are not (corporeal) "visions". Except for #6 above. all the examples are not 2nd Temple period, and they don't claim to be a "vision of a god". You're obviously conflating two entirely different concepts to support an agenda. You present what you claim are examples of "Second Temple Period Judaism" which are not from the Second Temple period. Which is it ?

Christianity was born in the Second Temple period and the OT is full of visions. Do you deny this? Again, were the appearances in 1 Cor 15:5-8 corporeal or not? The Casey link was enough to prove my claim. You can't just hand wave it away.

Quote:And what is it about Christian NT writers that gives them any expertise about Hebrew culture before the period they claim to know about and accept all the usual Christian *beliefs* as facts from ? If you're going to try to tell us that "visions" fit organically into Hebrew culture, then at least give us information from Jewish (OT period) / Hebrew experts.


How about the 35 times חָזוֹן chazown "vision" is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible?
1 Samuel 3:1. 1 Chronicles 17:15. 2 Chronicles 32:32. Psalms 89:19. Proverbs 29:18. Isaiah 1:1; 29:7. Jeremiah 14:14; 23:16. Lamentations 2:9. Ezekiel 7:13, 26; 12:22, 23, 24, 27. Daniel 8:1, 2, 2, 13, 15, 17, 26; 9:21, 24; 10:14; 11:14. Obadiah 1:1. Micah 3:6. Nahum 1:1. Habakkuk 2:2, 3. Ezekiel 13:16. Daniel 1:17. Hosea 12:10.


Quote:Do archaeologists (any) or Drs. Richard Elliott Friedman, or William M. Schniedewind say anything about a tradition of "visions". Nope. Nothing.

1. Argument from silence

2. Why would an archaeologist say anything about "visions"? Archaeologists dig stuff out of the ground.

3. The only works I know from Friedman and Schniedewind are the books about the Documentary Hypothesis. I didn't know they wrote about resurrection and early Christianity.
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07-10-2015, 08:42 AM
RE: "Visions" of Jesus in the earliest sources
(07-10-2015 05:22 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(06-10-2015 11:14 PM)GotIssues Wrote:  I know that.

Then why did you try to imply that they were "earliest sources" ?

I didn't imply that. You just misrepresented what I said again. I meant Paul's letters are the earliest sources.
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07-10-2015, 08:46 AM
RE: "Visions" of Jesus in the earliest sources
(07-10-2015 08:42 AM)GotIssues Wrote:  
(07-10-2015 05:22 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Then why did you try to imply that they were "earliest sources" ?

I didn't imply that. You just misrepresented what I said again. I meant Paul's letters are the earliest sources.

But you talked about Acts.

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07-10-2015, 08:49 AM
RE: "Visions" of Jesus in the earliest sources
(07-10-2015 05:27 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Great. Then lets have 10 examples ONLY from Second Temple period Judaism of "visions" of PEOPLE, and then tell us what your expertise is in the field.

How about we see you try and explain away Paul's own admission of "visions and revelations of the Lord" in 2 Cor 12:1?

Quote:"Ophthe" is not the English equivalent to "appear". Sorry.

Er...yup

1) to see with the eyes
2) to see with the mind, to perceive, know
3) to see, i.e. become acquainted with by experience, to experience
4) to see, to look to
4a) to take heed, beware
4b) to care for, pay heed to
5) I was seen, showed myself, appeared
http://lexiconcordance.com/greek/3708.html

Quote:"When Saul first talks about the resurrection, other than himself as a "revealed" thing, he says that he "appeared to Cephas". The word "appeared", is an ok translation but not exactly correct, in context. The Greek word is "ophthe". It has a *passive* element. In English it is an intransitive verb. "Appeared" is a word which means "to become visible", or "was made visible", or "became apparent". The Greek verb is the past tense of the passive verb "horao", "to see", ("was seen"). The passive translation is "The Anointed has been seen by Cephas". HOWEVER, normally a Greek translation of "by whom" would be translated in Greek using the "hypo" (preposition), to indicate "agency". THAT is not here, in the Greek. It really should be translated as "The Anointed has been seen FOR the advantage of Cephas or to BENEFIT Cephas, or for Cephas' *advantage*". It does NOT mean "Cephas saw the Anointed". It means the "Anointed was made manifest for Cephas' advantage". That begins to look very different, than Cephas seeing something. It's more like Saul's "vision" (change of viewpoint). There are many examples of these kinds of misuse, and mistranslations, due to assumed cultural overlay, which when translated correctly, make the entire picture look very very different, especially in terms of the many "sightings" of various beings, and mysterious things, in both the Old and New Testaments. The most famous of these "shifts" is the sighting of Moses of Yahweh in the burning bush, where the angel shifts into the bush and is also "seen for" Yahweh, when Abraham moves from Ur, (which Philo of Alexandria talks about around 20-50 CE, in "On Abraham"). There is NO physical "seeing". The correct translations all mean "seeing in the mind". It's a MENTAL change. Guess what ? SAUL's "blinding", and the "new seeing" is an EXACT correlation of these prior Biblical "manifestations", and any Jew or Christian, or Greek of the day would conflate these various "manifestations", "blindings", "and then seeings" as METAPHOR, for a mental attitude change. The same verbs, and words are used. Sauls blinding and then "seeing" was equated, as Abraham's "vision", where his "mind saw again with it's recovered sight". Just like Saul. Saul "saw" with a different "sight". It was NOT a physical thing. It was a metaphor for a mental change. THAT is how he "*saw* the Anointed One". It like we say, "oh, ok, I get it, now". He did not intend to say he physically "saw" the Anointed One. It means "I have come to understand the Anointed One". In 1 Corintians 9:1-2, in defending his apostleship, he appeals to his new "seeing". "Have I not seen the Lord". That means that a requirement for apostleship, one has to have "seen the light Lord". But here he changes the passive past tense, to active verb. He means the "seeing" has an ONGOING present continuing "influence". It's all missed in translation, usually.
--- from the link I provided (which I wrote before Ehrman published his book).

None of that contradicts anything I said. In fact, I can agree with a lot of it. The whole point of the argument is that the "appearances" in 1 Cor 15:5-8 were not physical as in actually seeing and talking to a person in real life - like the later gospels depict. Call them visions, subjective manifestations, whatever.
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07-10-2015, 08:51 AM
RE: "Visions" of Jesus in the earliest sources
(07-10-2015 08:46 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(07-10-2015 08:42 AM)GotIssues Wrote:  I didn't imply that. You just misrepresented what I said again. I meant Paul's letters are the earliest sources.

But you talked about Acts.

I never said Acts was included in the earliest sources. Stop spamming my thread with your garbage.
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07-10-2015, 09:04 AM
RE: "Visions" of Jesus in the earliest sources
(06-10-2015 09:37 PM)GotIssues Wrote:  Book of Daniel, Revelations, numerous references to "visions" in the Bible. You can discount the historicity of Acts but you can't deny the depiction of visions that Paul and Peter were said to have experienced. Obviously, visions were a common theme throughout Jewish and Christian literature.
http://www.equinoxpub.com/blog/2011/04/c...urrection/

Book of Daniel is an interesting read isn't it? Lets take a peek at Daniel:

The Book of Daniel is often paired with the Book of Revelation as providing the road map of future end-time events. Many alleged prophecies in Daniel were fulfilled, but is that because Daniel was a divinely inspired seer? Critical scholars see a more mundane explanation. Daniel might actually be a Jew from the Hellenistic period, not a person from the Babylonian court. His so-called prophecies were made ex eventu, or after the fact, so that he could pass himself off as a genuine seer. The book itself betrays more than one author. Chapters 1–6 were written in Aramaic, while chapters 7–12 are in Hebrew. Daniel makes many historical errors when talking about the Babylonian period, the time in which he supposedly lived. For example, he claims that Belshazzar was the son of Nebuchadnezzar, but the Nabonidus Cylinder found in Ur names Nabonidus as Belshazzar’s actual father.

Also, Belshazzar was a crown prince but never a king, contrary to Daniel’s claim. In Daniel 5:30, Daniel writes that a certain Darius the Mede conquered Babylon. It was actually Cyrus the Great, a Persian and not a Mede, who overthrew Babylon. On the other hand, Daniel writes about events of the Hellenistic era with extreme accuracy. Chapter 11, presented as prophecy, is on the mark in every detail. This leads to the conclusion that Daniel was witness to these events but not to those of the Babylonian period, on which he is vague and unfamiliar.

Scholars thus place the writings of Daniel at around 167–164 B.C., during the persecution of the Jews by Syrian tyrant Antiochus Epiphanes. The book was meant as inspirational fiction to encourage the Jews in their time of trial. Daniel did take a shot at making a real prophecy, predicting the death of Antiochus in the Holy Land. This genuine prophecy turned out to be wrong. Antiochus actually died in Persia in 164 B.C.

Traditionally ascribed to Daniel himself, modern scholarly consensus considers the book pseudonymous, the stories of the first half legendary in origin, and the visions of the second the product of anonymous authors in the Maccabean period (2nd century BCE). Its exclusion from the Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Twelve) was probably because it appeared after the canon for those books had closed, and the dominant view among scholars is that Daniel is not in any case a prophetic book but an apocalypse.

Daniel is one of a large number of Jewish apocalypses, all of them pseudonymous. Although the entire book is traditionally ascribed to Daniel the seer, chapters 1–6 are in the voice of an anonymous narrator, except for chapter 4 which is in the form of a letter from king Nebuchadnezzar; only the second half (chapters 7–12) is presented by Daniel himself, introduced by the anonymous narrator in chapters 7 and 10. The real author/editor of Daniel was probably an educated Jew, knowledgeable in Greek learning, and of high standing in his own community. It is possible that the name of Daniel was chosen for the hero of the book because of his reputation as a wise seer in Hebrew tradition.

Daniel's exclusion from the Hebrew bible's canon of the prophets, which was closed around 200 BCE, suggests it was not known at that time, and the Wisdom of Sirach, from around 180 BCE, draws on almost every book of the Old Testament except Daniel, leading scholars to suppose that its author was unaware of it. Daniel is, however, quoted by the author of a section of the Sibylline Oracles commonly dated to the middle of the 2nd century BCE, and was popular at Qumran beginning at much the same time, suggesting that it was known and revered from the middle of that century.

The actual historical setting of the book is clear from chapter 11, where the prophecy is accurate down to the career of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, king of Syria and oppressor of the Jews, but not in its prediction of his death: the author knows about Antiochus' two campaigns in Egypt (169 and 167 BCE), the desecration of the Temple (the "abomination of desolation"), and the fortification of the Akra (a fortress built inside Jerusalem), but he knows nothing about the reconstruction of the Temple or the actual circumstances of the death of Antiochus in late 164. Chapters 10–12 must therefore have been written between 167 and 164 BCE. There is no evidence of a significant time lapse between those chapters and chapters 8 and 9, and chapter 7 may have been written just a few months earlier again. (Wiki)

Now the good stuff:

Today the consensus of scholars understands the whole book of Daniel to be put together by an author editor who first collected traditional stories in chapters 1-6 about the boy hero Daniel showing his courage during the persecutions of exile, and added to them the visions of chapters 7 – 12 that predicted the coming end of Antiochus Epiphanes and his persecution. This kind of writing is called a Vaticinium ex eventu, a “prediction after the fact,” in which an author creates a character of long ago and puts into his mouth as predictions all the important events that have already happened right to the author’s own time and place. The language is often coded with symbolic animals and colors and dates to protect its message from the persecuting authorities. Its focus is not on predicting the future, but getting some meaning to present happenings by explaining the past events that led up to this terrible situation (Boadt 1984, p509).

To achieve such an important purpose, the authors mixed historical facts with older religious traditions and even pagan myths (Boadt 1984, p509).

It is important to note that the entire book claims to take place in the sixth century BC and to report a series of visions that come to the boy Daniel, who is remarkable for his great wisdom and his ability to receive divine revelation about the future. Very few scholars today, however, believe that this book originated in any way during the days of the Babylonian exile. And the ones who do usually have a very difficult time explaining the references to historical people and places which seem to be grossly wrong.

Darius the Mede is called the son of Xerxes in 5:31 and 9:11, both are wrong:

Darius was not a Mede but a Persian and the father of Xerxes. Belshazzar is called the king of Babylon in chapter 7 and the son of Nebuchadnezzar in chapter 5. He was neither: he was only crown prince under his father Nabonidus.

In chapter 6 Cyrus succeeds Darius as King of the Persians. This too has history backward, since Cyrus was the founder of the Persian dynasty. The author seems to be quite confused about his facts and either lived long afterward or else intended the giant bloopers to warn the audience that what follows is not intended as history but a story of faith; similar to the approach of the book of Judith (Boadt 1984, p508).

Although the book of Daniel was supposed to have been written during the Babylonian exile by an official of King Nebuchadnezzar, modern scholars date its writings to the second century BCE. The reasons for this include:

• It is listed in the writings of the Jewish canon, rather than the Prophets. This indicates that Daniel was written after the collection of prophetic books had been closed (sometime after 300 B.C.E.)
• Parts of the book (2.4 – 7.28) were written in Aramaic, which suggest a later date when Aramaic had become the common language.
• The author of Daniel used Persian and Greek words that would not have been known to residents Babylon in the sixth century BCE.
• The book contains numerous historical inaccuracies when dealing with sixth century B.C.E. Babylonian history. Such mistakes would not have been made by an important official of King Nebuchadnezzar.
• Daniel is the only book in the Old Testament in which angels are given names (such as Gabriel in 8.16 and 9.21 and Michael and 10.13, 10.21, and 12.1). Elsewhere in the Bible, names for angels only appear in the Apocrypha and the New Testament.
• The absence of Daniel’s name in the list of Israel’s great men in Ecclesiasticus.
• Nebuchadrezzar is spelled Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel, which is the way the king’s name was spelled, under Greek influence, at a later time.
• In 2.2 the Kings wise men are called “Chaldeans.” But at the time of Nebuchadrezzar, “Chaldean” would have referred to the nationality. It was only centuries later that this word came to mean sorcerer or astrologer. (Wells 2013, p 1109)

Do you see how these books were put together not by whom you think, not when you think and how they are allegorical writings based on parables, meant to drive a message and purposely designed in a hubris attempt to give them credibility? This was the driving force for me losing my faith, an intelligent person can't ignore facts, and the facts have been laid out. The more I learned, the more I thought, the less I believed. Your thoughts?

Works cited:

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

Boadt, L. (1984) Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction. New York. Paulist Press.

Wells, S. (2013) The skeptics annotated Bible. New York. SAB Books, LLC

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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07-10-2015, 09:14 AM
RE: "Visions" of Jesus in the earliest sources
(07-10-2015 08:41 AM)GotIssues Wrote:  What a bunch of gibberish.

Is not an argument. The fact is, "exalted apocalytic heroes" do not necessarily end up in heaven. I suspected you knew nothing about the period. Now I know for sure.

How typical knee jerk of a Christian, everything is a "strawman". Everything. Yet no actual linguistic reply to the fact that you used the Greek word incorrectly, and ALL you could come up with (after essentially plagiarizing one) were two NT people talking about OT themes, and then placed almost all of them in the wrong period.

I don't have to explain "appearances" if the Greek word doesn't mean "appearances".

Quote:Straw man argument. When I said "earliest sources" I meant Paul's letters. Thanks.

1. That's not what a strawman is, and
2. YOU did use acts which is FAR from earliest, and the gospels say nothing about visions.

Quote:When did I ever say this?

Your reference said precisely that.

Quote:This is completely off-topic. Do you think it makes you look smart to bring up stuff that's not relevant to the discussion at all? Here's a hint - it doesn't.

Unfortunately for ignorants with only Christian backgrounds, such as you, is is precisely on topic. These are JEWS we're talking about, and they lived in that environment and thought as JEWS. It is the height if ignorance to deny their environment

Quote:I'm using the term "vision" as all encompassing for these subjective experiences. Again, how would you describe the "appearances" in 1 Cor 15:5-8 if not visions?

Nice. Now you change your definition to move your goal-posts, AFTER you have been shown your translations and context are all wrong. Of course they are "subjective experiences". But "visions" are "sightings". That's what the word means.

Quote:suddenly change the topic from the NT Christian documents to the OT? We are talking about Christianity and the NT after all aren't we?
How utterly typical. No. We are talking about how the idea of a resurrection arose among among a bunch of JEWS. They are organically and completely linked. The fact you think of them at that time as separate betrays your complete ignorance.

Quote:The examples show how the word ōphthē was used. And of course, the NT does not describe Jesus' appearance as a vision. The gospels were written after Paul's letters and have a more "physical" view of resurrection. That was the whole point of my argument to show the development throughout the sources.

You showed no "development" through anything. You translated the word simplistically without it's Greek nuances, which is perfectly typical for people who know nothing about the cultures involved.

Quote:Totally off-topic and irrelevant.

YOUR reference said they saw gods. Who then were you and he talking about ?

Quote: think anyone is qualified to keep up with your high demand of straw man arguments. You have not shown anything wrong with the sources I've used. You keep saying "so and so is not an expert in such and such". This is just a textbook genetic fallacy and a mere assertion.

Nice try. They were professors of NEW Testament, repeating the same old Christian tripe and are not recognized by anyone as experts in late Jewish Apocalypticism, and how that morphed into Christianity. You obviously have no feel at all for the nuances of the period, culture, or languages.

Quote:Since you quoted Ehrman's book have you read chapter 6 yet or did you just throw that out to make yourself look smart?

But you didn't answer the point in any way. Just a retort. Did you learn that at Biola ?

Quote:Christianity was born in the Second Temple period and the OT is full of visions. Do you deny this? Again, were the appearances in 1 Cor 15:5-8 corporeal or not? The Casey link was enough to prove my claim. You can't just hand wave it away.

A repeated CLAIM by Casey proves nothing, and I see you can't even come up with one.

Quote:1. Argument from silence

2. Why would an archaeologist say anything about "visions"? Archaeologists dig stuff out of the ground.

3. The only works I know from Friedman and Schniedewind are the books about the Documentary Hypothesis. I didn't know they wrote about resurrection and early Christianity.

Hahahahaha. That's what I thought. They wrote about the culture that produced Christianity, you idiot. Archaeology INTERPRETS things the things they find. How typical.

As you are very clearly most interested in dealing with apologists, perhaps you best stick to arguing with them.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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07-10-2015, 09:16 AM (This post was last modified: 07-10-2015 09:26 AM by goodwithoutgod.)
RE: "Visions" of Jesus in the earliest sources
gotissues: "I'm using the term "vision" as all encompassing for these subjective experiences. Again, how would you describe the "appearances" in 1 Cor 15:5-8 if not visions?"

Hallucinations, or lies.

Paul had the motive to lie as the leader of the new cult. When their "prophet" was unceremoniously nailed to a piece of wood without making any of the alleged prophesies happen, it kind of made a huge problem with the whole son of god thing. What to do, what to do....ooooh lets follow EVERY other hero god construct all the way back to Horus, and say he was resurrected, and appeared before friends before whisking into the heavens to rule. People have made up stories forever, and usually to gain fame or power. To sit here and slap our gums together discussing whether or not Paul had a vision from a mythical super being is just an expression of neurological flatulence.

Now lets look at jesus the alleged prophet...

The Bible claims that Jesus made the following comment:

Matthew 16:28

“Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Jesus also advised against going to court over someone who steals something and also told people not to store up stocks or reserves for the future. Clearly, he thought the end was very near.

Likewise, Paul advised followers not to marry and that the end time was near. In this scripture he obviously believes that some of the people he is talking to will still be alive at the second coming.

I Thessalonians 4: 16-18

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

The obvious fact is that the second coming was not forthcoming at that time, or even close to being near. The 2000-year delay is a strong piece of evidence that Christianity is a failed religion.

The following quote from Stephen L. Harris, Professor Emeritus of Humanities and Religious Studies at California State University- Sacramento, completes this point with a devastating argument. Remember that Jesus was a Jew who had no intention to deviate from the Hebrew scriptures:

“Jesus did not accomplish what Israel’s prophets said the Messiah was commissioned to do: He did not deliver the covenant people from their Gentile enemies, reassemble those scattered in the Diaspora, restore the Davidic kingdom, or establish universal peace (cf.Isa. 9:6–7; 11:7–12:16, etc.). Instead of freeing Jews from oppressors and thereby fulfilling God’s ancient promises—for land, nationhood, kingship, and blessing—Jesus died a “shameful” death, defeated by the very political powers the Messiah was prophesied to overcome. Indeed, the Hebrew prophets did not foresee that Israel’s savior would be executed as a common criminal by Gentiles, making Jesus’ crucifixion a “stumbling block” to scripturally literate Jews. (1 Cor.1:23)”

Jesus’ immediate followers, mostly his 12 disciples, probably did not immediately identify this failure, because after Jesus’ body was likely stolen and concealed, a rumor spread that Jesus had been resurrected from the dead. A sense of optimism overcame their grief about his execution and renewed some hope that he was a true messiah. If they had known then that there was to be no return in the near or long-term future, they likely would have abandoned any further activity. Despite this resurgence in their faith, they never agreed with Paul’s concept of Jesus as being divine. Anything written in the Bible to suggest that they did is probably a result of later editing by some of Paul’s followers. Such a belief would have been an exceptional departure from the Jewish faith.

The Jesus story, however, was not original. The entire story was plagiarized in bits and pieces, and sometimes blatantly intact, from ancient god/man mythology passed down by Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Persian cultures.

Many of the Hellenistic and pagan myths parallel so closely to the alleged Jesus that to ignore its similarities means to ignore the mythological beliefs of history. Dozens of similar savior stories propagated the minds of humans long before the alleged life of Jesus. Virtually nothing about Jesus "the Christ" came to the Christians as original or new.

For example, the religion of Zoroaster, founded circa 628-551 B.C.E. in ancient Persia, roused mankind in the need for hating a devil, the belief of a paradise, last judgment and resurrection of the dead. Mithraism, an offshoot of Zoroastrianism probably influenced early Christianity. The Magi described in the New Testament appears as Zoroastrian priests. Note the word "paradise" came from the Persian pairidaeza.

Osiris, Hercules, Hermes, Prometheus, Perseus, Romulus, and others compare to the Christian myth. According to Patrick Campbell of The Mythical Jesus, all served as pre-Christian sun gods, yet all allegedly had gods for fathers, virgins for mothers; had their births announced by stars; got born on the solstice around December 25th; had tyrants who tried to kill them in their infancy; met violent deaths; rose from the dead; and nearly all got worshiped by "wise men" and had allegedly fasted for forty days.

Even Justin Martyr recognized the analogies between Christianity and Paganism. To the Pagans, he wrote: "When we say that the Word, who is first born of God, was produced without sexual union, and that he, Jesus Christ, our teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven; we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter (Zeus)."

Virtually all of the mythical accounts of a savior Jesus have parallels to past pagan mythologies which existed long before Christianity and from the Jewish scriptures that we now call the Old Testament. The accounts of these myths say nothing about historical reality, but they do say a lot about believers, how they believed, and how their beliefs spread.

My favorite pre-jesus hero god construct is almost an identical twin to the jesus story, and predates it by 800 years...

Romulus
Mythology has always fascinated me. When you research mythology, you find the common strains, a rhythm, a philosophical skeletal system where the “hero god” is constructed, and the same system is used time and time again. It is almost as if one borrowed from another throughout time. It is impossible to ignore the implication of systematic fabrication. The jesus story, however, was not original. The entire story seems to have been plagiarized in bits and pieces, and sometimes blatantly intact, from ancient god/man mythology passed down by Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Persian cultures.

The list is long, from Horus in 3000 BCE Egypt all the way to jesus, but I will focus on just one…Romulus 771 BCE. In Plutarch’s biography of Romulus, the founder of Rome, we are told he was the son of god, born of a virgin; an attempt is made to kill him as a baby, and he is saved, and raised by a poor family, hailed as King, and killed by the conniving elite; that he rises from the dead, appears to a friend to tell the good news to his people, and ascends to heaven to rule from on high. Sound familiar? Just like Jesus.

Plutarch also tells us about annual public ceremonies that were still being formed, which celebrated the day Romulus ascended to heaven. The story goes as follows: at the end of his life, amid rumors he was murdered by conspiracy of the Senate, the sun went dark, and Romulus’s body vanished. The people wanted to search for him but the Senate told them not to, “for he had risen to join the gods”. Most went away happy, hoping for good things from their new god, but “some doubted”. Soon after, Proculus, a close friend of Romulus, reported that he met Romulus “on the road” between Rome and a nearby town and asked him, “why have you abandoned us?”, To which Romulus replied that he had been a God all along but had come down to earth and become incarnate to establish a great kingdom, and now had to return to his home in heaven. Then Romulus told his friend to tell the Romans that if they are virtuous they will have all worldly power.

Folks, does any of this ring any bells for you? You do realize this story predates Jesus by 800 years right? Fabricators of religion borrow from previous religions Man/God/hero constructs and have all the way back to 3000 B.C.E.

So the fact that the jesus son of god myth story has clearly been plagiarized from older Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Persian cultures, coupled with the fact that no one who wrote of Jesus actually knew him should make a thinking person take a pause, and reflect on the basis of their faith.

In regards to my posit; paragraph three speaks about the ceremony celebrating Romulus's ascension actually going on at the time, so he is a witness, unlike the lack of witnesses in the NT of jesus. More importantly the tale of Romulus itself though was widely attested as pre-christian: in Romulus (27-28), Plutarch, though writing c. 80-120 CE, is certainly recording a long established Roman tale and custom, and his sources are unmistakenly pre-christian: Cicero, Laws 1.3, Republic 2.10; Livy, From the founding of the city 1.16.2-8 (1.3-1.16 relating the whole story of Romulus); Ovid, Fasti 2.491-512 and Metamorphoses 14.805-51; and Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities 2.63.3 (1.171-2.65 relating the whole story of Romulus); a later reference: Cassius Dio, Roman History 56.46.2. The story's antiquity was even acknowledged by christians: Tertullian, Apology 21.

So as you can see, before christianity was even beginning to be fabricated, the story of Romulus was solidly incorporated into the Roman culture. So it would be a false and disingenuous posit to suggest that the story of Romulus was fabricated after jesus, and based on jesus, when it fact it is the exact opposite. It is also false to say it was interpolations (besides the fact it is all an obvious made up fabrication) as interpolations are additions to writings to make them seem more in line with whatever view the forger wishes to support after the fact. Conjecture? No, it was actually pre-christian, and as I provided above, easy to find within respectable writers from differing times and places. If Plutarch was the only one to write of it, OR he and the other writers were all writing about some "god" named Romulus from 800 years ago, and were writing it after jesus, then you could absolutely draw a correlation to the posit that the story of Romulus was based on jesus, or that it was fabricated to throw suspicion on the jesus story, sadly the facts do not reflect that.


Knowledge is power my friend

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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07-10-2015, 10:34 AM
RE: "Visions" of Jesus in the earliest sources
(06-10-2015 02:15 PM)GotIssues Wrote:  I agree. The whole point of the post is that it pretty much debunks the later empty tomb and "bodily" resurrection of Jesus found in the later gospels.

Yeah, with the gospels coming several decades after the first epistles, it certainly makes it entirely possible that they were fabricated to bolster Paul's beliefs.

Historicity is one of those things I've learned not to debate with Christians.
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