AuthorTopic: Mrs. Christ  (Read 4228 times)

Offline buzzard

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Re: Mrs. Christ
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2012, 11:23:16 AM »
Ashvin, Ka-- I'm enjoying the discussion thus far. Even though early Christian history is an interest of mine I don't feel especially qualified to debate the issues. I do have a question. Ashvin, when you say that the reason that some of the early writings (1st-2nd cen.) became New Testament canon and others were rejected by early Christians is that they believed that the ones chosen more accurately portrayed actual events. My question is: who is it that you say made the actual decisions of what to include and what to reject as canon. And further, when were these decisions made?

I agree that many different writings circulated during the first two centuries of the current era.

Offline Snowleopard

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Re: Mrs. Christ
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2012, 12:00:08 PM »
I have not yet had time to read/listen to all of this. (but i will find it).   I was under the impression (from childhood research) that the Christ title was not applied to Jesus until about 300AD when the Greek Christos cult was merged with the Jeshuan cult and made a state religion by Constantine (those that might have opposed this being previously slaughtered).  Can anyone shed light on this?
"A man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest." -  Simon and Garfunkel

Offline Ashvin

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Re: Mrs. Christ
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2012, 12:36:43 PM »
Ashvin, Ka-- I'm enjoying the discussion thus far. Even though early Christian history is an interest of mine I don't feel especially qualified to debate the issues. I do have a question. Ashvin, when you say that the reason that some of the early writings (1st-2nd cen.) became New Testament canon and others were rejected by early Christians is that they believed that the ones chosen more accurately portrayed actual events. My question is: who is it that you say made the actual decisions of what to include and what to reject as canon. And further, when were these decisions made?

I believe the leaders of the early churches in Jerusalem, Rome, Antioch and Alexandria were primarily responsible for determining what written traditions were acceptable. The evidence for this is primarily from the writings of the Apostolic Fathers who also had direct contact with the original disciples (Ignatius of Antioch, Clement of Rome, Shepherd of Hermas, Didache and Polycarp), some of which were up for debate to be included in the canon themselves, but were ultimately rejected. I believe the weight of the evidence suggests the canon was fully formed by the end of the 1st century or the early 2nd century, but that doesn't mean some debates didn't persist after that. 

Offline Ashvin

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Re: Mrs. Christ
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2012, 12:38:33 PM »
I have not yet had time to read/listen to all of this. (but i will find it).   I was under the impression (from childhood research) that the Christ title was not applied to Jesus until about 300AD when the Greek Christos cult was merged with the Jeshuan cult and made a state religion by Constantine (those that might have opposed this being previously slaughtered).  Can anyone shed light on this?

Christ was a title for the Messiah, but it was applied to Jesus very early on. See the quotations from the sources here - http://thedevineevidence.com/jesus_history.html

Offline Snowleopard

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Re: Mrs. Christ
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2012, 03:53:01 PM »
I have not yet had time to read/listen to all of this. (but i will find it).   I was under the impression (from childhood research) that the Christ title was not applied to Jesus until about 300AD when the Greek Christos cult was merged with the Jeshuan cult and made a state religion by Constantine (those that might have opposed this being previously slaughtered).  Can anyone shed light on this?

Christ was a title for the Messiah, but it was applied to Jesus very early on. See the quotations from the sources here - http://thedevineevidence.com/jesus_history.html

Your reply sparked my interest enough to look into this further.  I no longer have my childhood sources.

It appears that you are correct, that greek Jews used the title (Christos) for the Messiah, and when converted applied the title to Jesus.   Nevertheless, it may also be true that the title was not officially applied, until doctrine was distilled under Constantine.   If Jesus's had a wife:-\   it is unlikely anybody was calling her "Mrs Christ"!   :)

It also appears there was more than one pagan cult that used Chrestos or Christos to apply to an initiate, to a priest trainee and/or to a prophet/teacher.  It is highly likely the pagan usage was primary, and previously pagan greek converts to Judiasm (and later converts to "Christianity" or whatever it was then called) imported the title and concept.   Certianly it was used earlier in Egypt and likely found its way to Greece from there.


http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/chrestos%20christos.htm
"A man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest." -  Simon and Garfunkel

Offline Ka

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Re: Mrs. Christ
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2012, 04:36:07 PM »

So, no matter what anyone of the scholars say, you are going to ignore them because they are dealing with religious texts? I think that's quite ridiculous, but if that's your view set in stone, then obviously there is nothing anyone could say to convince you otherwise.

More or less correct, but here is why it is not ridiculous. Some time ago I heard a conspiracy theorist (anent JFK) claim that the evidence for conspiracy was on a par with scientific evidence. Thinking about what he said, I realized that he was clearly wrong, that he was making a fundamental epistemological mistake. Science deals with repeatably patterns of events, while conspiracies, and history in general deal with particular events. Thus, the analogy to make for evaluating particular events is to lawyers arguing before a jury. One depends on witnesses, and in some cases expertise, but the defense and prosecution both line up their experts, and both attempt to impugn the testimony and/or character of witnesses.

When I read the first text argument you listed (I don't like audios and videos -- I need to go back over what is said), the one from 4truth.net, what I read was lawyer-talk. That doesn't mean it is wrong -- there are open-and-shut cases after all -- just that I am quite aware that the next lawyer could argue quite differently. As it happens, I don't disagree with what was said, but we've been arguing over other things where I might. All I am saying now is that it is just in the nature of the case that the arguments over who wrote what and when and how much we can trust them is courtroom argumentation. If you want a more or less just society, you have to put up with that because that's all there is. But it is not required for religion. If I am on a jury, I have to choose one claim over another, but I don't if I am not. So I don't ignore the arguments, but I decline to base my beliefs on them.

The basic belief of traditional Christianity is that only through Jesus Christ will one be saved. Setting aside for the moment the question of what this means, would you agree with this even if it were somehow determined that in actual physical fact there was no resurrection? (Obviously, according to my way thinking this could not be determined through historical investigation, but maybe some esotericists develop the ability to view ancient history -- and I have read of such, though also obviously you would just dismiss this as the work of the devil.) I can continue to maintain this basic Christian tenet (though I would put it in a form that few traditional Christians are likely to approve of) -- that it is true even if there was no resurrection, and even if Jesus was not actually the second person of the trinity, but since you have concluded this through a chain of assumptions that I don't make, you are building your faith edifice on sand. If that were the only way to get to the basic Christian tenet, that would be one thing. But it isn't. And the problem with getting to it your way is that you also pick up a bunch of other stuff which is either irrelevant to salvation or is actually anti-salvific -- the idolatry of which I have previously spoken. However, the only way we can argue about that is on the level of metaphysics, and while you complain that I ignore history, I complain that you ignore metaphysics.

I suppose I should apologize for reopening all this in this thread, but I probably will again when I see you giving a claim of one side of a lawyerly debate as "we know". Though perhaps not for a while as in a couple of days I will be going off line for a bit.


Offline Ashvin

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Re: Mrs. Christ
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2012, 01:19:37 AM »
More or less correct, but here is why it is not ridiculous. Some time ago I heard a conspiracy theorist (anent JFK) claim that the evidence for conspiracy was on a par with scientific evidence. Thinking about what he said, I realized that he was clearly wrong, that he was making a fundamental epistemological mistake. Science deals with repeatably patterns of events, while conspiracies, and history in general deal with particular events. Thus, the analogy to make for evaluating particular events is to lawyers arguing before a jury. One depends on witnesses, and in some cases expertise, but the defense and prosecution both line up their experts, and both attempt to impugn the testimony and/or character of witnesses.

When I read the first text argument you listed (I don't like audios and videos -- I need to go back over what is said), the one from 4truth.net, what I read was lawyer-talk. That doesn't mean it is wrong -- there are open-and-shut cases after all -- just that I am quite aware that the next lawyer could argue quite differently. As it happens, I don't disagree with what was said, but we've been arguing over other things where I might. All I am saying now is that it is just in the nature of the case that the arguments over who wrote what and when and how much we can trust them is courtroom argumentation. If you want a more or less just society, you have to put up with that because that's all there is. But it is not required for religion. If I am on a jury, I have to choose one claim over another, but I don't if I am not. So I don't ignore the arguments, but I decline to base my beliefs on them.

Exactly, Ka. You are trying to make an arbitrary distinction between science and law and philosophy and religion, but there is no distinction. If you want to truly understand something, you have to work your ass off to understand it. No excuses... just buckle up and devote yourself to it. I'm tired of hearing all these excuses... if you don't want to spend any time considering these issues seriously, then just admit it.

Quote
The basic belief of traditional Christianity is that only through Jesus Christ will one be saved. Setting aside for the moment the question of what this means, would you agree with this even if it were somehow determined that in actual physical fact there was no resurrection? (Obviously, according to my way thinking this could not be determined through historical investigation, but maybe some esotericists develop the ability to view ancient history -- and I have read of such, though also obviously you would just dismiss this as the work of the devil.) I can continue to maintain this basic Christian tenet (though I would put it in a form that few traditional Christians are likely to approve of) -- that it is true even if there was no resurrection, and even if Jesus was not actually the second person of the trinity, but since you have concluded this through a chain of assumptions that I don't make, you are building your faith edifice on sand. If that were the only way to get to the basic Christian tenet, that would be one thing. But it isn't. And the problem with getting to it your way is that you also pick up a bunch of other stuff which is either irrelevant to salvation or is actually anti-salvific -- the idolatry of which I have previously spoken. However, the only way we can argue about that is on the level of metaphysics, and while you complain that I ignore history, I complain that you ignore metaphysics.

No, I have told you numerous times that the Christian faith means NOTHING if Jesus was not resurrected by God... Paul makes that patently clear in his letters. So my beliefs are actually reliant on history, while yours are reliant on ignorantly claiming that history doesn't matter. Sorry, Ka, but you are way out of your element here. I will admit that you have given me the best argument against my faith out of anyone here, but ultimately it doesn't measure up to anything realistic. You HAVE to ignore thousands of years of history for your metaphysics to be credible, and I say that takes a lot of blind faith.

Offline Ashvin

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Re: Mrs. Christ
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2012, 10:21:11 AM »
Sorry, Ka, for the tone in my last reply. What I really meant to say was... it seems like we need to just agree to disagree at this point. I appreciate your extremely considered and respectful engagement with me on these issues. And, if it were a choice between a world full of atheists or a world of Buddhists, I wouldn't hesitate to choose the latter.

I just feel that I have to ignore a lot of evidence to accept your position, and you feel that we have to give too much weight to unreliable evidence to accept mine. I think the legal analogy is a good one - you feel that contradictory arguments can be made endlessly with a decent amount of evidence, and, in some ways, you are right. But, as someone trained in law, I feel that this is the only legitimate way to get to the truth, and the truth can be found if we try hard enough to find it.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 10:26:02 AM by Ashvin »

Offline Ashvin

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Re: Mrs. Christ
« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2012, 09:07:27 AM »
Some nice musings on the issue of potential Jesus marriage by Dr. Mike Heiser:

http://michaelsheiser.com/TheNakedBible/2012/09/humanity-jesus-jesus-married/

The Humanity of Jesus: Could Jesus Have Been Married?
Posted By MSH on September 19, 2012

I’m sure by now readers have heard the recent announcement that Dr. Karen King of Harvard has announced (in Rome at a conference) that she is in possession of a small fragment of a Coptic manuscript that has Jesus addressing his wife (the line reads: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …’”). The manuscript also mentions a woman named Mary. (For all the lines translated into English, go here - an NBC news item that kindly includes a link to my initial thoughts on the fragment posted on my PaleoBabble blog.)

While the fragment doesn’t provide evidence that Jesus was married (it only provides evidence that someone living a few centuries after Jesus thought he was married, or at least wanted to cast him as such), I don’t see any theological problem with him being married. But there’s no evidence for it, especially in the New Testament. There is certainly no sexual problem, unless your theology is twisted into some idea that intercourse is inherently wrong. My point here is that Jesus would not have recoiled from marriage because it would have meant he’d have to consummate the marriage. That’s quite an unbiblical view of sex (let’s just cut the creation mandate out of our Bibles, shall we?). In biblical theology, Jesus was as human as the rest of us, though he was certainly more. As I posted earlier about his humanity, he grew up as any of us did, which means he went through puberty. He would have experienced sexual attraction. Sexual impulse is not sinful; it’s human — our bodies working the way God made them, with a procreative impulse. Biblical morality, however, prescribes boundaries for their expression; it just doesn’t require their execration. Again, how biblical is your theology about the humanity of Jesus? Sadly, this is one area that tends to be awfully tradition-driven.

Rather than problems, though, I’d say there might have been practical and theological obstacles to marriage for Jesus, though an obstacle doesn’t mean it couldn’t be so. What do I mean by obstacles?

I think the text is clear (Luke 2:41-52) that by the time of the temple incident, when Jesus had reached his teen years, he knew who he was and that he was on earth to fulfill God’s plan for salvation history. (By the way, this passage ends with the noteworthy Luke 2:52 – another interesting juxtaposition of divinity and humanity). While that would not of necessity have caused Jesus to refrain from marriage, it feels a little callous of him taking a wife knowing he was going to die in the near future. But that read naturally depends on the debate over whether Jesus did (or could have) offered the kingdom to Israel in a genuine way (i.e., could the Jews have embraced him as messiah in view of OT prophecies that called for a suffering messiah). This is a significant debate in biblical studies with good arguments on all sides. If the answer turned out to be “yes,” then Jesus would have only known he was going to die for sure after his rejection. The gospels record that “from that time forward” Jesus began to tell them he would die. (But if that’s the case, what about those OT prophecies? I have my own answer for that, but I won’t digress.) You get the picture.
Another obstacle, or at least potential reason to avoid marriage on Jesus’ part, would have been the issues raised by having children. I’m thinking here of succession struggles (read the books of Kings for that) and any superstitious weirdness that might ensue about the nature of any children (I don’t think that would have been complicated — they’d have been human and nothing more, since deity doesn’t have DNA, and is not transmitted by DNA — but in a pre-scientific culture, that would not have been an easy parsing).

Anyway, just thought I’d muse a bit in the wake of the new manuscript find.

 

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