It is - in my opinion at least - a remarkable statement. Remarkably reflective and honest. I've been critical of some of the things James Tabor has written, but this is certainly an exception. Here's the opening paragraph.
I have been thinking lately about the essential differences between Judaism and Christianity, or more properly, the kind of religion reﬂected in the Hebrew Bible and that of the Greek New Testament. I have long ago rejected as personal options the major contemporary manifestations of Judaism and Christianity — by that I mean the Mishnaic-Talmudic forms of the Classical Jewish faith that developed after Second Temple times, and the Orthodox Catholic versions of Christianity that developed in the West and East after Constantine. I am interested in religious and philosophical truth, but my training is that of an historian, so perhaps that is why I am drawn to the more ancient forms of these two faiths, i.e., the Hebrew faith as formulated by the Prophets and ﬁnal redactors of the Hebrew Bible, and earliest Christianity as reﬂected in the New Testament. In considering these two “religions” or ways of thinking about God, the world and human purpose, I ﬁnd that I am much more drawn to the former than the latter. Why is that so? What is it about the Hebrew Bible, even on a purely mythological level, that seems to draw me so? Conversely, what is it about early Christianity, especially the systematic interpretations of Paul or the Gospel of John, that puts me off so?
Tabor poses (but doesn't answer) some big questions. It's worth reading in it's entirety.
I completely understand what James is asking himself. Once you open the door to understanding Paul and his gospel vs. James, Peter and John and theirs, there is no turning back. They are not the same.
The animosity between these characters in the NT is obvious once you see it and how each writes to discredit the other. It is no coincidence that every time "John" writes about Peter, he sandwiches his story of Peter between two accounts of Judas.
Judas betrayed Jesus and Peter denied him. No difference so don't listen to Peter.
Even the story of Annanias and Sapphira being struck down by Peter for saying one thing and doing another is a spoof on Peter, in Acts, who said he'd do one thing and did another too.
We have lost that meaning but the original audience would have laughed Peter to scorn, being on Paul and Luke's side of the isle.
It is not a story of two church members caught lying in weakness...kill them, it a story of Peter caught lying in weakness, don't listen to him.
Add to this the fact that the story of Jesus as Son of God with his twelve is the same story as that of the Sun of God and it's journey through the 12 signs of the zodiac. Even the order of stories in the gospels matches the unfolding of the seasons and the faces of the four beasts of Revelation around the throne are merely symbols of the four seasons. Leo-lion-summer, Taurus-bull-spring, Aquarius-man-winter and Aquila-eagle-fall, each one quarter of the year apart in the sky. Can't be a coincidence. It just can't be.
The throne of God, in the North, sea of glass and seven spirits of God are Casseopea-the throne, before and through which the Milky Way runs-sea of glass and opposite the Big Dipper-seven stars/spirits
As above so below, every night, round and round.
I am not sure if the Jesus of the Bible ever existed. I just don't know. I marvel that few if any outside the Bible noticed him in real history and that one of the first heresies in the NT church that came up, and EARLY, was "whoever says Jesus is not come in the flesh....." etc. Isn't that like us doubting Elvis or MJ existed? What's going on there? And so soon that it is actually a part of the NT. How could first generation christians or converts ever think he didn't exist in reality? Did they know something about the story we don't?
I would have to say, as James, that if there is a true church, it would not contain the musings of the Apostle Paul, who is the real founder of Christianity today and as winner, gets to write the story his way, stealing the history of the Jews and making Abraham the father of the gentiles. What a master trick that was however poorly done.
If you don't believe how badly Paul understands the OT, recall his "the promise is to you and your seed" not "seeds" and that seed is Christ argument. Feed my sheeps I guess. Paul, as Pharisee of the Pharisees always quotes the Greek version even when it doesn't agree with the original Hebrew. Strange huh? What kind of Hebrew master student would do that?
Truly the Greatest Story Ever Sold?
I would be the first to admit naive is better and less painful at times. Anyway, I understand James fascination and leanings away from Paul. James knows.....
I've got a slightly different view from Dr. Tabor's, but freely acknowledge that he is the scholar. While not one of his students, I am a student as opposed to being a scholar.
Having said that, I believe that Hellenistic thought, ie the classic philosophers, laid the groundwork for Jesus to be able to be understood. I believe that God has indulged in progressive revelation to mankind, metering out additional information as mankind developed to the point of being prepared to absorb it. While the goatherders of the Old Testament understood fixed law, the followers of Jesus understood that the evil which man does started in the mind. Love thy neighbor superceded "Thou shalt not kill", and other of the commandments.
Dr. Tabor appears to be from the same mold as that for the Armstrong movement, in that Torah was considered to be eternal truth, not a shadowing of Jesus Christ, and historically, all that transpired following the classic Torah period was to be evaluated based on Torah. No changes! Not even the ones Jesus authored in Matt. 5.
Dr. Tabor can be a very valuable resource, and I like to rely on him for information on several topics. I do not believe him to be a good resource for most information about Jesus, and his own comments should indicate why not.
As a former COG'er for many years, I'm asking myself many of the same types of questions that James Tabor asks.
Why am I drawn to the Bible, even though I no longer believe it to be the inerrant word of God?
Answer: There's a lot of truth in there. How do I know it's true? It's self evident.
But some of the other things in the Bible, that James Tabor asks about, such as, "To what degree are we able to honestly affirm Christ's divinity", are NOT self evident.
There's not a human being alive that knows the answer to that.
There are many who THINK they know. But they DON'T know, they just believe, however sincerely. And there's a big difference between the two.
For myself, I can no longer believe the things that I have no way of proving, just because something else coming from the same source may happen to be true.
I've already done that, for years, and got burned for it, from my experience with Herbert and the WCG.
And that's one of my big problems with the Bible. It says to believe, or be condemned. To believe what one has no way of proving for sure.
That just smacks too much of clever and devious men, devising a means to enlave people through fear, so they can have the power, and the access to the people's money.
And while it may not have been written with that intent, it sure seems to lend itself all too easily to be used that way.
There are much more efficient and unambiguous ways, that would leave no doubt among anybody, for an all-powerful and all-knowing God to reveal Himself through.
"But why bother with either, with any? I ﬁnd myself drawn to these texts, these ideas and images, even if only on a mythological level."
There you have it. He is a historian, not a person of faith. He leans towards the Bible being a myth, rather than an accurate account of the faithful. What he needs is not more information, but intervention. He's well schooled, but is sitting on this fence like there is a "great decision" that he is contemplating and just needs more knowledge or information to come to a well thought out conclusion. He'll never find it that way.
"..earliest Christianity as reﬂected in the New Testament"
Doesn't 'NT' have an orthodox bent? For instance proto Luke, then Marcion(Pauline)Luke, then canonical Luke(cooked by the Catholics)
There are several reasons not to wonder too much about the Bible as to its truth:
Blood sacrifices, burnt offerings, slavery, genocide, misogyny, belief in witches, sorcery and other magical things.
And no, Paul, "thy seed" is not singular - read the context.
And no, Matthew, the "virgin" birth story was not for Jesus but for a sign to Ahaz - read the context.
And no, Jesus, you did not return quickly.
Coco Joe wrote:
"Why am I drawn to the Bible, even though I no longer believe it to be the inerrant word of God? Answer: There's a lot of truth in there. How do I know it's true? It's self evident."
That's exactly how I see it as well, Joe.
The Bible indeed contains many accurate observations and insights into life that our everyday human experience verifies. But so do the works of Shakespeare, for example, and so do many other great pieces of literature, both ancient and modern. But that fact does not automatically lead to the conclusion that therefore such works constitute "the inerrant word of God." Yet I’ve heard people argue exactly this.
The Bible is a mixture in that it also contains many bizarre claims, widespread during the times it was written, that go way beyond any sort of legitimate verification, ideas that occur repeatedly in ancient documents - the belief in supernatural beings, astounding miracles, sons of God born of virgins with twelve disciples who are then crucified and magically resurrected from the dead, etc, etc. The Bible clearly is not unique in ancient literature in promoting these ideas. But we were never taught such facts at Ambassador College. It wasn’t until many years later that I was confronted by them. Most Church members just sweep such inconvenient facts aside in order to maintain their belief system.
Coco Joe also wrote: "There are much more efficient and unambiguous ways, that would leave no doubt among anybody, for an all-powerful and all-knowing God to reveal Himself through."
Yes, this thought has also crossed my mind many times as well. If, as HWA taught, the Bible was written and intended for the latter days, then why isn't there clearly any unambiguous sections in it revealing truths discovered by modern science - and I'm talking about something like atomic theory, DNA or helio-centrism to name just a few.
I realize that true believers (like our friend JumpinJackSprat) attempt to cram into (or read out of) certain scriptures, especially from Genesis, modern beliefs and then jump to the fantastical claim that the Bible was ahead of it's time and thus inspired by a God, but most clear-thinking people recognize that in order to do this both ancient scriptures and modern concepts are twisted beyond all recognition to accommodate the conclusions such believers want to arrive at.
Instead the Bible is composed much like the works of Nostradamus – much of it written in extremely ambiguous terms that can be interpreted and understood by later readers in any number of contradictory ways, even by those claiming to possess the Holy Spirit and be in direct contact with the said diety who is claimed to be directing such conflicting understandings.
I'm not a theologian...but i think the old and new testament fit together pretty well when one understands that the main topic/thrust/focus of the 2 are different. The purpose of the Law was to reveal sin and inspire Awe of the Creator, and the purpose of Christ was to reveal the Creator (in human terms) and to forgive sin.
Ambassador College produced some remarkable men and women, and from what I can glean from their stories subsequent to the AC experience, several of those who left are among the most remarkable. But the AC experience was unforgettable and worthwhile, despite its equally negative "qualities," if "qualities" is a proper word.
One might think of George Geis, Ron Kime, Dirk Hudson, Noel Rude, Robert Kuhn, James Tabor, Fred Peace, John Beaver and many others. Several of them excel in academics. One is a retired clinical psychologist, another a retired Deputy DA, yet another a brilliant linguist. One is a highly successful marketing executive, another a consummate author and international businessman. Each of them is exceptional in his field, yet still bears the discernable impress of AC. All of them must share a deep curiosity about Life in terms of God, Creation and Holy Writ. Why else would they have responded to "The World Tomorrow" broadcast?
James Tabor is such a man, and with his grasp of Hebrew and Greek has an enviable access to the Bible. As an historian, his viewpoint is probably better than that of the theologian, because the Hebrew Bible is not theological; it's not about religion, but reality. God exists, He creates the universe, the earth, then nascent mankind -- and now must deal with His beloved can of worms -- us. For this reason, Tabor's historical approach is extremely sensible.
The Hebrew Scriptures, especially the books of Moses, are intentionally pregnant with interpretive potential. There are mysteries therein that challenge the best minds. The Kabbalists tell us that its potential is intentionally infinite, so much so that God waits for us to reveal insights that would not have occurred to Him. A relationship with God should be a learning experience in both directions. Parents and teachers learn much from their children and students.
Tabor has given us personal insights into his own struggle for understanding in his exceptional, self-published, "Restoring Abrahamic Faith," Genesis2000. By no means does it supply all the answers, but it is an honest account of one scholar's search for understanding. It would not find its place in the AC curriculum because it is more erudite and exploratory than AC could have dared to allow -- but it reflects the AC imprint nonetheless. I personally found it invaluable for climbing beyond the narrow views of AC and the ACOGs.
This didn’t begin as a commercial for Tabor’s manifesto, but James Tabor is one of us, and a unique credit to our shared experience.
I read in these comments so much interest in, yet so much contempt for the Bible. The Bible is a passionate book for sure! Those who say they no longer believe in it send such a strong message demonstrating their passion around it.
Their passion here does more to promote the Bible than does its antithesis- apathy. Apathetic people wouldn't bother coming on here and commenting. Apathy is the opposite of love and the opposite of hate, so thank you for helping out. You are not lukewarm!
hmmm, the zodiac is a creation of man (which means Satan put put it in his mind)
i often marvel at how the ancients saw those critters in the stars....certainly takes a lot of imagination.
to try to use the zodiac arguement to discredit the plan is backward thinking.....the plan came first, then the zodiac... Satan created the zodiac to try and discredit the plan.....and with at least one person here, it seems to be working. (he is right on one point, however, it's no coincidence)
The path to true understanding is when you realize that there is absolutely no difference between saying "The Christ in me" and "The Buddha in me."
Even the story of Annanias and Sapphira being struck down by Peter for saying one thing and doing another is a spoof on Peter, in Acts, who said he'd do one thing and did another too.
Does anyone know if the Annanias that Peter struck down is the same Annanias who received Paul after the police helicopter turned on the search light on him on the road to Damascus? (You know I'm kidding about the helicopter right?)
If it is, then it makes for an interesting counterplay, in that Peter strikes down the very person Paul used to establish his divine mission to the Gentiles. It is Annanias Paul is told to meet.
There are precedents for this type of writing in the OT. The griffin was the Aaronite Priesthood symbol (covering the ark of the covenant), the Bull was the Levite priesthood symbol, and we find a politcal merging of two books in the OT and it has Moses grinding the bull into dust and making the Children of Israel eat it...thus crushing a decentralized priesthood into a centralized one.
It would also fit into that idea that the False Prophet of Revelation is Paul.
Could it be that Annanias really was in it for the money and Paul was his meal ticket? Not that anyone we know would get into religion after a long period of economic hardship and lack of employment so that he could once again enjoy the luxuries of life.
OR - is that the Jewish Church's opinion of Annaias for his ringing endorsement of Paul? Strike him dead with Peter's word? I wonder why the story doesn't have Peter using that trusty sword, I mean come on - Peter had an ear fetish! Ask the Roman Soldiers!
I'm thinking out load yet because I haven't researched this yet, maybe some of you have already?
"Satan created the zodiac to try and discredit the plan.....and with at least one person here, it seems to be working."
I thought God created the heavens and the earth?
"i often marvel at how the ancients saw those critters in the stars....certainly takes a lot of imagination."
While some signs do fairly well resemble their form, others don't so much and the "ancients" knew it. But it was in the right spot for the story which has existed since humans developed conscious awareness.
The idea Satan mimicks to discredit is simply an apologetic to explain away the obvious so the Christians win again. It's called Diobolical Deception, and a common way to put carts before horses so as to explain away the obvious origin of the now fleshed out story of the godmen.
Moses grinds up the calf or bull as a sign that the age of Taurus is coming to an end with the progression of the equinoxes from Taurus to Aries about 2000 BC. Aries ends with the crucifixion of the lamb Aries 2000 years ago. Pices, the fish is the sign of the church and fishers of men which is ending soon and I imagine religion will change again from a blood symbol to water as it enters Aquarius, the water man.
After all, they do have you paying a buck for a bottle of water that costs them nothing and blood as the symbol of life has fallen out of favor as trustable.
Like it or not, the origin of Satan is also partly the story of the planet Venus which preceeds the Sun "thinking to ascend to the throne of God." (Noon) But , alas, gets cast back to the earth every time for such arrogance. (a function of being an inner planet) Both Jesus and Satan are called "the bright and morning star" in the Bible. Satan in Isaiah and Jesus in Revelation. Satan is called "the son of the morning star" That's Venus. That planet has fueled lots of theology.
I am sure that this info was one of, if not the secret truth that was kept from the commoners and was the basis for "secret knowledge" held close to the chest by the priestcrafters
Anon's post (Fri Aug 21, 11:20:00 AM, of "Satan created the..." fame) struck me as kind of kooky, yet I do notice that there are plenty of Christians who believe that "Satan has planted fossils"(in order to trick people who would later look back on history), and that Satan created Mithraism in advance of Jesus(in order to trick people who would later look back on history), as well as a whole slew of other things that people posit Satan did in advance of future events because he knew what was coming and wanted to trick people who would later look back on history.
It makes me wonder if it's "Satan" who's ultimately super-tricky, or if the "tricky" ones are the people who manipulate facts in their minds in order to believe these highly questionable theories.
And if those conspiracy theories were true, wouldn't that make God a total dickhead for laying that on us via "Satan"?
I think the truly "tricky ones" are the preachers who hang the specter of "tricky ole Satan" over our heads while constantly and consistently asking for more money.
"It's called Diobolical Deception,"
Sorry, I meant "Diobolical Mimicry"
Apologists have been using the idea that Satan copies the truth in advance to throw the faithful a loop, for a very long time.
The TRUTH is that many of the Christian "truths" existed in similar forms in other cultures and religions before the Christians copied them etc.
Mithraism resembles Paul's gentile Christian ideas of the godman and holidays because Paul or the Church took it's cue from them. Tarsus was a hotbed of Mithraism and Paul would have been very familiar with the story.
James Tabor rightly notes the Greek or Hellenized version we get today. If Paul was a Hebrew of the Hebrews, he never used Hebrew to prove it. And when he tried to find meaning in the Hebrew story, he turned it on it's head making it mean what it never meant.
What we see as Christianity existed in form and teaching long before Christians came along. Remember...there is nothing new under the sun or the son.
Pagan gods were "the way the truth and the life or light" long before Jesus "said" it. Jesus was also not the first to say a lot of things. His words of "eating his body and drinking his blood" ewww, did not originate with Jesus. Canabalizing the godman was very common in the past to gain his insite and spirit.
Jesus of the Gospels, never intended to have to start a Church. Original Apostles never thought they would die like everyone else. He never intended his death until it went badly for him and God did not intervene, rout the Romans and bring the Kingdom. He wasn't kidding when he asked, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me..." Of course, that's when the apologetics began in earnest.
Remember, Paul wrote his Gentile version of the Gospel and Jesus, lived and died, long before any Gospel was ever penned. It's why neither heard of the other in their writings. Then come the Gospels and taking the Gentile cosmic Jesus of Paul's hallucinations from the sky to the earth as a fleshed out human.
This is why some in the early church were cursed for saying, Jesus never came in the flesh. Paul was FIRST to interprete Jesus, then the Gospels. They are not the same Jesus by any means.
To get the picture better we would have to put Galatians first perhaps, Paul's real writings, Paul's pseudopigrapha and the church epistles and then the Gospels which present the fleshy Jewish Jesus.
The rest is history.
Maybe you folks who believe in a literal devil could explain why Satan entered into Judas to betray Jesus when the death of Jesus would bring about his own destruction?
Anonymous Fri Aug 21, 09:07:00 AM NZST wrote - "...so much so that God waits for us to reveal insights that would not have occurred to Him."
No doubt another fine example that mankind, especially ex COGers are always increasing in knowledge but never coming to the truth!
Anon 11:20's, "Satan created the zodiac to try and discredit the plan.....and with at least one person here, it seems to be working." is a bold assertion.
In Job 38, God asks Job: "Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, Or loose the belt of Orion? Can you bring out Mazzaroth [zodiac or constellations] in its season? Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs?"
Revelation 12 mentions a woman clothed with the sun, the moon at her feet. The only woman in the heavens through which the sun passes, is Virgo. A similar imagery was interpreted by Jacob, in the Joseph story, as symbolizing his family. Have you not noticed the similarity of the signs of the Zodiac to descriptions of Jacob's 12 sons?
Israel is forbidden to worship the host of heaven, including the zodiac, but there is no denial of its existence. Quite to the contrary, it is poignantly, and often, acknowledged.
How then can we assume that Satan created it?
"Like it or not, the origin of Satan is also partly the story of the planet Venus which preceeds the Sun "thinking to ascend to the throne of God."
probably Satan's greatest trick yet, convincing you that he doesn't really exist.
...probably Satan's greatest trick yet, convincing you that he doesn't really exist.
Naw, he was just diabolically mimicking Santa Claus! I bet you think Santa Claus doesn't exist!
"Moses grinds up the calf or bull as a sign that the age of Taurus is coming to an end with the progression of the equinoxes from Taurus to Aries about 2000 BC. Aries ends with the crucifixion of the lamb Aries 2000 years ago. Pices, the fish is the sign of the church and fishers of men which is ending soon and I imagine religion will change again from a blood symbol to water as it enters Aquarius, the water man."
Big D, here is the - or rather a - part of this story that I don't understand - and I am very serious here.
How has this story told in the zodiac managed to endure for several thousand years? Who created it? Who preserves it? You say, "I imagine that religion will change again from a blood symbol to water as it enters Aquarius..."
Why? Not symbolically why, I get that part. Who decided that it was time to move from the blood of bulls to sheep to fishers of men? Who is going to decide that it is time to change the myth to move to water? I understand the progression of the signs but how does this in any way relate to the reality of what is happening on earth? Is there a man behind the curtain? Is there a secret sect hidden under the pyramids?
Sorry for the inarticulate mess above, but it has been a long week for me. I just don't understand how how people who write their religious and biblical stories know/knew where to go and how to incorporate their mythologies into the zodiac pattern.
Tabor seems like a gentle soul.
There's none of the snarkiness you usually see in COG ministers.
" Who decided that it was time to move from the blood of bulls to sheep to fishers of men? Who is going to decide that it is time to change the myth to move to water?"
It seems to be a evolutionary process of thought and thus story telling. The key seems to be a function of what sign is at the Spring Equinox at "Easter" It takes 2190 years or so to rotate a new sign into the Easter position. Religions and adoption new and improved gods was very very common in the past.
"I understand the progression of the signs but how does this in any way relate to the reality of what is happening on earth?"
It revolves around the agriculture, plant and harvest cycle and the recognition that the SUN gives all life etc. The SUN turns water (rain) into wine (by growing grapes) gets literalized, first with Dionysius and then makes a good story for Jesus, both SUN gods.
"I just don't understand how how people who write their religious and biblical stories know/knew where to go and how to incorporate their mythologies into the zodiac pattern."
Its the other way around. The agricultural story of the SUN cycle was the original observation. When certain stars, constellations etc, were in certain places, it was time to do this or that agriculturally. When writing came and could replace just oral traditions, it could be written down, which literalized it. Then the writings evolved, changing the names of the gods to accomdate various cultures.
A key seems to be writing. Once you write it down, it can be called "sacred" For a long time, writings were just for the elite and priestcraft, so it could be used to manipulate and control.
The fact that Malachi says "The SUN of righteousness will rise with healing in his wings" etc shows they knew the connection between the SUN and some literalized form of it. Making their godmen sons of "the morning Star" etc, shows they could weave a tale about them based on astronomical observations common to all cultures.
For example, When Orion (sword n shield lifted high) is coming up in the East the herdsman Bootes and Virgo the virgin are going down in the West. Perhaps the origin of Adam and Eve driven from the Garden (day) into the night with the mighty angel guarding the Eastern side. (Gen 3:23) and the way to the trees reserved only for the gods. Of course in real life, you'd have to guard all directions, but this fit the night sky picture. The story is originally Sumerian as is the story of Noah.
"SUNS of God" and "The Christ Conspiracy" by Acharyas S are a good overview.
"The Religion of the Occident" by Larson , hard to find, but is also very good.
These books explain the how and evolution of the same story of the dying godman in history.
Julian Jaynes, Origin of Consciousness and the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, is also helpful perhaps.
The arrival of writing and then a more defined human consciousness was a big factor in the explosion of gods and godmen stories that evolved and made their way into different cultures for differnt uses.
Start with "The SUNS of God." Good overview imho.
"The idea Satan mimicks to discredit is simply an apologetic to explain away the obvious so the Christians win again."
ummmm, the plan existed before any human did, so the whole zodiac thing (a human invention)is obviously a counterfeit.
"Maybe you folks who believe in a literal devil could explain why Satan entered into Judas to betray Jesus when the death of Jesus would bring about his own destruction?"
maybe he thought Jesus wouldn't go through with it, that He would falter and sin, which would make Satan the winner by default.
who knows why Satan does the things he does. who would, after serving at the very Throne of God, think that they could over throw Him?
Jesus Christ's purpose in coming to earth was to die for the past, present, and future sins of humanity. Everyone played their correct part in making sure that this would happen on schedule (even Satan).
If Satan or anyone else had succeeded in preventing the crucifixion, it would actually have been a victory for Satan. I've oft contemplated a Star Trek episode based on this, patterned after the one in which Kirk and Spock travel back in time to the 1930s. They encounter a remarkable woman, a peace activist who is to die when hit by an automobile. If not, she is so convincing that she will turn the entire US into a peacenik nation, and there will be nobody to confront and defeat Adolf Hitler. Spock and McCoy literally hold Jim Kirk back, when, to prevent her final accident, he could easily push this lady to safety. She dies, and history remains as we know it with Hitler having been defeated.
In my version, the Star Trek characters would accidentally become propelled into the first century and become disciples of Jesus. They would become philosophically aligned with Simon Peter. But, by the time that Peter cuts off the centurion's ear, Spock would have convinced Kirk not to use his phaser on the Romans and Jews, or any of the ship's weaponry, because if Jesus were prevented from being crucified, all of humanity would have no savior.
maybe he thought Jesus wouldn't go through with it, that He would falter and sin, which would make Satan the winner by default.
who knows why Satan does the things he does. who would, after serving at the very Throne of God, think that they could over throw Him?.
Jesus wouldn't have any choice but to go through with it since Judas betrayed him to the authorities. So, that can't be the answer.
A rebellion in the heaven of God's throne doesn't say much for the perfection of that realm, does it? That sounds more like things that happen on earth amongst men. The whole story of angelic rebellion just sounds so Hellenistic and...Pagan.
"But, by the time that Peter cuts off the centurion's ear.."
Had Peter raised a sword against a Roman Centurian, he would have been cut down on the spot. I believe the victim of Peter was the servant of a High Priest. The crowd was sent by the High Priest and were not Romans (Matt 26:47) The author is going to great pains to not blame Romans. You only blame those who can't take you out for it.
Why did Judas have to reveal who Jesus was with a kiss. Did he not have a pointing finger? Why did Jesus need to be pointed out if he was so famous in Jerusalem and thousands knew him? How did
The Judas story is inserted to make the Jews the cause of Jesus death, and not the Romans. In the Gospels, the Romans are portrayed as near converts of Jesus Again, this is a wise way to write the story because one should not make enemies of those with all the power.
Paul does the same in Romans 13 when he tells the church to obey the Romans and the powers that be. His days would have been numbered had he not. You can call the Jews anything you wish, and Paul did, but not the Romans.
Judas suffers two different deaths in scripture...hanging and gut busting after a fall. And please don't think he was hanging so long the rope finally broke and he fell down and burst. That is not what the stories indicate.
You don't fall "headlong" from a hanging.
By the fourth century, Judas was the worst of the worst and of course the Jews would pay for the next 2000 years.
"Judas was a terrible, walking example of ungodliness in this world ... For his eyelids, they say, were so swollen that he could not see the light at all, and his eyes could not be seen ... when he relieved himself there passed through it pus and worms from every part of his body, much to his shame.
After much agony and punishment, they say, he finally died in his own place, and because of the stench the area is deserted and uninhabitable even now; in fact, to this day no one can pass that place unless they hold their nose, so great was the discharge from his body and so far did it spread over the ground."
Papias,"Exposition of the Oracles of the Lord" as quoted in Apollinaris of Laodicea, Christian priest and storyteller.
Peter denied Jesus. Judas betrayed him.
The message of these stories is from the church writers to the people. 1. Don't follow Peter 2. Don't blame the Romans..please. The Jews killed Jesus.
The choice of the people wanting Pilate to free Jesus Son of the Father (Bar-Abbas) and not Jesus the King of the Jews, (we have no King but Caesar) was a story meant to show the people were loyal to Rome and not in rebellion. The Romans didn't care if the church looked at Jesus as a religious figure..Bar-Abbas, but did if he was their King.
So they killed Jesus the King of the Jews and not Jesus the Son of the Father. So we have to also ask which Jesus was crucified? The political one or the Spiritual one? According to this, it was the rebel and not the savior.
There were not two people Pilate was asking them to choose one of. There was one Jesus and Rome wanted to know if he was a King or a religious figure. The fate of the crowd depended on which TITLE they assigned to Jesus.
The Jews (Judas) did it.
"A rebellion in the heaven of God's throne doesn't say much for the perfection of that realm, does it? That sounds more like things that happen on earth amongst men."
what you see on earth is Satan's mentality. Satan rebelled in heaven, and he spread that rebellious attitude to mankind.
what you see on earth is Satan's mentality. Satan rebelled in heaven, and he spread that rebellious attitude to mankind..
So, rebellion can happen in heaven?
Then what makes heaven any better a place than earth? What else happens in heaven? Murder? Theft? Angels committing fornication with humans? Wait...aren't angels supposed to be sexless?
A story of heavenly rebellion and angels having sex with humans is not my idea of a perfect government going on there.
"what you see on earth is Satan's mentality. Satan rebelled in heaven, and he spread that rebellious attitude to mankind."
God just can't seem to control the little devil, can he?
Hey Byker Bob,
Mad TV actually had a story like that: the Terminator (or, actually, the Arnold character from Terminator II) goes back in time to rescue Jesus. He keeps blasting Judas, but Jesus keeps healing him.
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